This post is part of my Book reviews series, where I share thoughts and impressions on the books I read.
Understanding and thinking-through game experiences from the point of view of their creator, the game designer.
I think learning to design play experiences, including computer games, is an amazing skill to cultivate, with far reaching implications into many other areas of a software developer's professional life.
381 pages split in 3 parts and 17 chapters, with mostly text and a few schemas.
👩💻🧑💻 Who is this book for?
People interested in game design, and also game developers looking to have a more structured way of thinking about the core aspects of a game experience.
The content is very dense, in the sense that you'll need to read some sections a couple of times to really sink in what the author is trying to transmit; I very much liked that.
Even though there isn't any inherent structure in the book, in the sense of a start-to-finish recipe book, the content is grouped into different ideas and mechanics, which I found very useful.
The author is able to abstract and synthesize very well aspects of a game experience that are usually hard to put into words.
There is a lot of actionable advice and approaches in this book, which are especially useful if you're working in a team or on your own indie game.
Editing quality is top notch, as we've come to expect from an O'Reilly book.
I sometimes found it hard to follow the way subsections are delimited, and how they blend into each other.
Occasionally the subject changes abruptly between subsequent sections, and that made it feel a bit jarring to me.
🚧 Improvements I would suggest
Try out a more directed experience in terms of the section ordering and transitioning between the sections.
I've learned a great deal from this book, so I'm very much recommending it!
I also wish there were more titles of this calibre in the "Game Design" section of technical books.