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am 16. Januar 2010
This book is a little unusual in that it claims to cover very technical topics while reading more like a light novel. While it was still interesting, it's of the 'read once and forget' type, i.e. I do not regularly get this book out for reference like most of my other technical books. It's biggest problem is that it tries to cover too much ground in too little space (~700 pages) - there is no way to deal with the whole process of developing a commercial quality game in a single book. As a result the author only briefly touches on many topics which would have been better left out for more in-depth coverage from other books. For example, management, architecture design, design patterns and testing each require a book for themselves, rather than a short and superficial one chapter treatment. What's left is a lot of stating the obvious (breaking news: testing is good!) and a lot of personal opinions. While the chapters on design are quite readable, by their very nature they deal with lots of 'religious' issues, and although the author tries to be careful I sometimes felt offended by his preachy tone. I sometimes got the feeling the author had a somewhat ivory-tower, disconnected from reality view on many of the topics, especially the treatment of 'software factories' sounded utopian. The book also features lots of useless diagrams and code snippets of varying quality, which are, presented in isolation, again useless. The highlights are probably the 'case-studies', small anecdotes, scattered throughout the book. In summary, the book is like the internet: an ocean of information but mostly only knee deep.
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am 15. Dezember 1999
** This is not a code-monkey book. ** If you're trying to figure out C++ inheritance or Direct 3D, you've got the wrong book.
This is a book that goes above and beyond the simple act of coding a game. It dares to say that there is more to writing a game than sitting down and hacking something out in an hour. The book makes the revolutionary statement that software design should be a professional undertaking, not just something on a napkin.
There are excellent articles on game theory, design strategies, and gameplay balancing that I have never seen in another game book. I have bought a lot of game programming books along with software methodology books, and I rank this one as one of the best in both categories. It is definitely the only game design book I have found that is deserves that title.
Yes, the book does include a section on managing a team...let me tell you, a lot of so-called managers could use to read this section. And personally, if "Joe Programmer" is so offended by that section, I hope to never have to work with him.
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am 24. Februar 2000
I am a QA Tester, RPG DM/GM, and game design consultant. This book is great, but don't take my word for it alone. Look at these other stars man! In a nutshell this tomb uses case studies to emphasize points, and the points are detailed and listed like a text book. It's easy to read, full of useful details and vocabulary, and it actually has helped me immensely organize my game design philosophy. It covers Spec Writing, and the many stages of project developement. That is a huge book; if you don't know this stuff you need this book! But only if your serious, and want to read. Granted, it can be very funny as well~I found myself laughing at the case studies several times. Finally, I am using this book to finish my Masters (MBA) Thesis project ... because this book rocks, and it is the most professional omnibus I have found on the subject of Game Design.
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am 18. Januar 2000
This book is an excellent work. I commend the authors for writing it.
It covers the whole spectrum of the game development process, from initial ideas to gold master, highlighting the differences and similarities between conventional development and game development.

The first section is a detailed treatise on game design. This covers game theory in detail and is a truly original and informative approach.
It opened my eyes to a lot of design details (both good and bad) in games that I own, that I hadn't seen before.

The second section is all about teams and management, both from the viewpoint of the team and from the management.
This section is incredible. Having worked in the games field for some time, I can see how accurate some of the information in here is - by using these team-building techniques, even the most disfunctional team stands a chance of success.
The chapters on the Software Factory Methodology and the treatment of milestones are worth the cover price alone.

The third section covers game architecture - this is based around an object oriented soft/hard architecture - i.e. you hard code only what you need to (reusable stuff and speed critical stuff), and the rest sits on top of that. This is the way all games should be written.
The authors clearly know what they are talking about.

In short, BUY THIS BOOK.

As a final note, I noticed a review where someone had awarded it only one star because they didn't like the "dilbertesque" management techniques.
In fact, the part of the book they are complaining about (where they state that the authors have said that ALL game programmers are one of a number of stereotypes) is not at all what they have said it is.
The authors clearly state that it is a description of *problem* developer types, and it only makes up a minority of developers.

The section for which the guy marked the book as one star is only FOUR PAGES out of about seven hundred, one page of which is cartoons. I suspect that he recognized himself as one of the problem types and feared for his job if his manager read the book!
I hope that that one inaccurate review doesn't influence people against buying this excellent book!
If it does then they are missing out on a game development classic.
(The three chapters on the future of the industry have proved to be uncannily accurate so far.)
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am 11. Dezember 1999
A real little gem of a book, which should become indispensable to any serious game developer. Morris and Rollings have covered every aspect of the topic in the first serious (and successful) attempt at a developer's bible.
The book starts with game design, telling you how to produce a game that plays as well as it looks (it's a pity this section wasn't available sooner - like 1985!)
The section on team building is the real killer. Now you can handle all those snobbish little know-it-alls that are the bane of every development project. Just think, all those years of learning by failure can be replaced with effective tips on how to pick and structure a team that delivers.
Then it deals with how to construct a game, covering everything from coding tips to the proper way to tackle re-use and OO. Again, this is solid, practical advice that many people only learn the hard way.
I've never seen such a comprehensive book before. It may not be the last word on every topic, but at least it gives you a start in all of them. Moreover, the sections on design, architecture and team building simply cannot be found elsewhere.
If you are serious about game development, you cannot afford to be without this book.
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am 21. März 2000
I would actually rate this book with 4.8 star (sorry, nothing is perfect)
Besides the slightly disorganized style, This is a very good book on design and architecture.
Don't expect to read it once and leave the book. I might be worthwhile to read the book again to allow the new "concept" to sink in.
Besides talking about game design and architecture, this book also contain a health portion on software management. And that part alone is already worth reading about.
Part I:
Rarely can you find any comprehensive information on design. And part I provide many answers/suggestions to the common (but often ignored) concerns regarding game design. What does a good design consist of? what kind of things should a design look out for? How does different kind of design aspect come together to create a good game?
Part II
If you work as a software engineer, whether you are a game developer or not, you would find this section about software management both entertaining and enlighteneing. I have read a few books on software management, and this section re-enforced those concepts nicely with emphasis on game development.
Part III
Game architecture. Simply put, revealing. And a definite eye-opener (at least for a wish-to-be game developer)
CONCLUSION
A must buy.
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am 23. Dezember 1999
** This is not a code-monkey book. ** If you're trying to figure out C++ inheritance or Direct 3D, you've got the wrong book.

This is a book that goes above and beyond the simple act of coding a game. It dares to say that there is more to writing a game than sitting down and hacking something out in an hour. The book makes the revolutionary statement that software design should be a professional undertaking, not just something on a napkin.

There are excellent articles on game theory, design strategies, and gameplay balancing that I have never seen in another game book. I have bought a lot of game programming books along with software methodology books, and I rank this one as one of the best in both categories. It is definitely the only game design book I have found that is deserves that title.

Yes, the book does include a section on managing a team...let me tell you, a lot of so-called managers could use to read this section. And personally, if "Joe Programmer" is so offended by that section, I hope to never have to work with him.
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am 14. Januar 2000
As is mentioned in previous reviews, this book is really not about coding a game. It is designed for managers who are afraid of their reports and need help managing a large scale software project. There are already numerous better books on this topic that apply to general software development. Why do the authors of this book think that games are special?
The people-managing advice is what finally made me close the book in disgust. Progammers are categorized by personality type such as "Jack of all Trades," "Know it all" and the insidious "Sleeper." Advice is then given on how to deal with each type. Sample dialogs are provided so that the Manager/Reader will know how to communicate with the nutty engineers that report to them.
This book may be packed full of useful game design tips, but I couldn't get past Dilbert'esque management advice.
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am 14. März 2000
I am a QA Tester, RPG DM/GM, and game design consultant. This book is great, but don't take my word for it alone. Look at these other stars man! In a nutshell this tomb uses case studies to emphasize points, and the points are detailed and listed like a text book. It's easy to read, full of useful details and vocabulary, and it actually has helped me immensely organize my game design philosophy. It covers Spec Writing, and the many stages of project developement. That is a huge book; if you don't know this stuff you need this book! But only if your serious, and want to read. Granted, it can be very funny as well~I found myself laughing at the case studies several times. Finally, I am using this book to finish my Masters (MBA) Thesis project ... because this book rocks, and it is the most professional omnibus I have found on the subject of Game Design.
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am 14. Dezember 1999
I've just read this book from cover to cover. The sections on game design and architecture are well written and very thought provoking. There are some interesting ideas about what's going to happen in the future of the industry.
The section on management was fascinating. As a programmer working on a number of projects, I've found that the management of these projects has been really haphazard. A lot of typical hacky game progammers aren't going to like the stuff in this bit, but theres no denying that the stuff really would cut wild schedules down to size.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to know how to fit into the games industry of the future - especially with the huge teams that are going to be needed for PlayStation 2. If you not up with it, you're gonna be left out.
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