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Level Up!: The Guide to Great Video Game Design

Level Up!: The Guide to Great Video Game Design

Paperback

By (author) Scott Rogers

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  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 550 pages
  • Dimensions: 185mm x 234mm x 30mm | 953g
  • Publication date: 9 May 2014
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1118877160
  • ISBN 13: 9781118877166
  • Edition: 2, Revised
  • Edition statement: 2nd Revised edition
  • Sales rank: 75,664

Product description

Want to design your own video games? Let expert Scott Rogers show you how! If you want to design and build cutting-edge video games but aren't sure where to start, then the second edition of the acclaimed Level Up! is for you! Written by leading video game expert Scott Rogers, who has designed the hits Pac Man World , Maximo and SpongeBob Squarepants , this updated edition provides clear and well-thought out examples that forgo theoretical gobbledygook with charmingly illustrated concepts and solutions based on years of professional experience. Level Up! 2nd Edition has been newly expanded teach you how to develop marketable ideas, learn what perils and pitfalls await during a game's pre-production, production and post-production stages, and provide even more creative ideas to serve as fuel for your own projects including: developing your game design from the spark of inspiration all the way to production; learning how to design the most exciting levels, the most precise controls, and the fiercest foes that will keep your players challenged; creating games for mobile and console systems - including detailed rules for touch and motion controls Monetizing your game from the design up. Writing effective and professional design documents with the help of brand new examples Level Up! 2nd Edition is includes all-new content, an introduction by David " God of War " Jaffe and even a brand-new chili recipe - making it an even more indispensable guide for video game designers both "in the field" and the classroom. Grab your copy of Level Up! 2nd Edition and let's make a game!

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Table of contents

INTRODUCTION Press Start! 1 If You Are Anything Like Me 1 No, You Can't Have My Job 3 Who Is This Book For? 4 Why a Second Edition? 6 LEVEL 1 Welcome, N00bs! 7 A Brief History of Video Games 10 The Brave New World of Gaming: Mobiles, Online Distribution, and Touchscreens 14 Game Genres 16 Who Makes This Stuff ? 17 Programmer 18 Artist 19 Designer 20 Producer 20 Tester 21 Composer 22 Sound Designer 23 Writer 23 Have You Thought about Publishing? 25 Product Manager 25 Creative Manager 25 Art Director 26 Technical Director 26 Marketing Team 26 And the Rest 26 LEVEL 2 Ideas 29 Ideas: Where to Get Them and Where to Stick Them 30 Getting Ahead of the Game 32 What Do Gamers Want? 35 Brainstorming 36 Breaking Writer's Block 38 Why I Hate "Fun" 40 LEVEL 3 Writing the Story 43 Once Upon a Time 43 The Triangle of Weirdness 50 A Likely Story 52 Time to Wrap It Up 55 A Game by Any Other Name 56 Creating Characters Your Players Care About 58 A Few Pointers on Writing for Kids of All Ages 62 Writing for Licenses 62 LEVEL 4 You Can Design a Game, but Can You Do the Paperwork? 65 Writing the GDD, Step 1: The One-Sheet 68 ESRB Ratings 69 Unique Selling Points 70 Competitive Products 70 Writing the GDD, Step 2: The Ten-Pager 71 The Rule of Threes 72 The Ten-Pager Outline 73 Page 1: Title Page 73 Page 2: Game Outline 73 Page 3: Character 74 Page 4: Gameplay 75 Page 5: Game World 76 Page 6: Game Experience 76 Page 7: Gameplay Mechanics 77 Page 8: Enemies 79 Page 9: Multiplayer and Bonus Materials 80 Page 10: Monetization 80 Writing the GDD, Step 3: Gameplay Progression 81 Writing the GDD, Step 4: The Beat Chart 82 Writing the GDD, Step 5: The Game Design Document (and the Awful Truth about Writing It) 85 Writing the GDD, Step 6: Above All, Don't Be a Jerk 89 LEVEL 5 The Three Cs, Part 1: Character 93 Who Do You Want To Be Today? 94 Personality: Do We Really Need Another Kratos? 96 Let's Get Personal 98 Using All the Parts 102 Games Without Characters 103 We Are Not Alone 104 When More Is More 107 Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood? 109 Finally, We Talk About Gameplay 111 Metrics for Non-Characters 114 Be Kind to Our Four-Legged Friends 114 Why Walk When You Can Run? 114 The Art of Doing Nothing 119 Might as Well Jump 120 Hoists and Teeters 124 What Goes Up Must Fall Down 125 Me and My Shadow 126 The Water's Fine or Is It? 127 LEVEL 6 The Three Cs, Part 2: Camera 131 Get It Right: Camera Views 132 First Person Camera 136 Third Person Camera 138 Giving Up Control 142 So You've Decided to Let the Player Control the Camera 142 So You've Decided Not to Let the Player Have Control over the Camera 144 So You've Decided to Let Players Sometimes Have Control over the Camera 145 Two and a Half D 145 Isometric Camera 146 Top-Down Camera 148 AR Cameras 149 Special Case Cameras 149 Tunnel Vision 150 Camera Shot Guide 150 Camera Angle Guide 153 Camera Movement Guide 154 Other Camera Notes 157 Always Point the Camera to the Objective 158 Never Let the Character Get out of the Camera's Sight 159 Multiple-Player Cameras 159 LEVEL 7 The Three Cs, Part 3: Controls 163 Control Is in Your Hand 164 You've Got the Touch 167 Dance, Monkey, Dance 169 Character or Camera Relative? 175 Shake, Rattle, and Roll 177 LEVEL 8 Sign Language: HUD and Icon Design 181 Heads Up! 181 Health Bar 182 Targeting Reticule 183 Ammo Gauge 184 Inventory 185 Score/Experience 185 Positive Messaging 186 Radar/Map 187 Context-Sensitive Prompts 188 The Clean Screen 190 Icon Has Cheezburger? 191 Creating Icons for Mobile Games 194 Don't Get QTE 196 HUDs and Where to Stick 'Em 198 There Are Other Screens Th an the HUD 199 A Final Word on Fonts 207 LEVEL 9 Everything I Learned About Level Design, I Learned from Level 9 209 The Top 10 Cliche Video Game Themes 212 The Name Game 218 Everything I Learned About Level Design, I Learned from Disneyland 220 Mapping the World 221 Foreshadowing 222 Goal Setting 223 Following Procedure 225 You've Got the Beat 227 Re-using Re-use 229 The Gary Gygax Memorial Mapping Section 230 Sandbox Play 233 Illusional Narrative 236 The Dave Arneson Memorial Mapping Section 237 Wrapping Up Mapping 248 Gray Matters 251 Leave the Training Level for Last 253 Levels without Characters 254 LEVEL 10 The Elements of Combat 257 400 Quatloos on the Newcomer! 259 Put 'Em Up! 262 And a One and a Two 266 The Big Finish 268 Live by the Sword 270 Now You Have to Kiss Me 273 Let's Get Defensive 273 Dodging the Bullet 276 On Guarding 277 State of the Art Bang Bang 281 The Best Gun for You 286 Run and Gun 290 Not Just Shooting 293 Dang it, Jones! Where Doesn't It Hurt? 297 Death: What Is It Good For? 299 Conflict Without Combat 301 LEVEL 11 They All Want You Dead 305 Sizing Up the Enemy 307 Bad Behavior 308 How Rapid is Rapid? 313 Movement Style 316 Bring on the Bad Guys 318 I Love Designing Enemies 327 The Alphabetical Bestiary of Choices 328 I Hate You to Pieces 337 Non-Enemy Enemies 341 How to Create the World's Greatest Boss Battle 342 Who's the Boss? 342 Size Matters 344 Location, Location, Location 349 Why Not to Create the World's Greatest Boss Battle 351 LEVEL 12 The Nuts and Bolts of Mechanics 353 The Mechanics of Mechanics 353 Holy Death Trap! 357 What I Learned from Making Kids Cry 360 Time to Die 361 Th e Music of Mechanics 364 Chip Off the Old Block 368 A Nice Little Calm Spot 371 Riddle Me Th is 372 Puzzle Me That 375 Minigames and Microgames 377 LEVEL 13 Now You're Playing with Power 381 Powering Up 381 "Love Thy Player" 388 Seriously "Love Thy Player" 390 More Wealth Than You Can Imagine! 391 High Score 394 Achievements 395 Money! Money! Money! 395 Souvenirs 399 Bonus Section about Bonus Features 400 How to Win at Losing 402 LEVEL 14 Multiplayer--The More the Merrier 405 How Many Is the Right Number? 410 MMORPGS, or Hell Is Other People 410 Designing Multiplayer Levels 415 Planning Your Level 415 Mapping Your Level 416 Building Your Level 417 The Dirty Half Dozen 418 LEVEL 15 Everybody Wins: Monetization 419 Cashing In 422 Money Is the Root of Something Something 423 LEVEL 16 Some Notes on Music 427 I Know It When I Hear It 429 Music with Style 430 And the Beat Goes On 431 Sounds Like a Game to Me 434 LEVEL 17 Cutscenes, or No One's Gonna Watch 'Em Anyway 441 A Cut Above 442 How to Write a Screenplay in Eight Easy Steps 444 Finding Your Voice 448 LEVEL 18 And Now the Hard Part 451 No One Cares About Your Stupid Little World 452 Who's Paying? 455 Video Games Is a Haaaard Business 456 When Reality Gets in the Way 457 Emergent, Vertical, or Horizontal? 459 What to Do for an Encore? 462 Continue? 467 Time to Level Up! 467 BONUS LEVEL 1 The One-Sheet Sample 469 BONUS LEVEL 2 The Ten-Page Design Document Sample 473 BONUS LEVEL 3 Game Design Document Template 485 BONUS LEVEL 4 The Medium-Sized List of Story Genres 493 BONUS LEVEL 5 Game Genres 495 BONUS LEVEL 6 The Big List of Environments 503 BONUS LEVEL 7 Mechanics and Hazards 507 BONUS LEVEL 8 Enemy Design Template 509 BONUS LEVEL 9 Boss Design Template 511 BONUS LEVEL 10 High-Concept Pitch Presentation 513 BONUS LEVEL 11 Achievement Unlocked: Exactly Like Making Chili 521 Index 523