By Jeannie Novak
Published August 2011 List Price:$135.95, Your Amazon.com Price: $72.33
Amazon.com Sales Rank:62,334 Availability: Usually ships in 2 to 4 weeks
Summary: Game Development Essentials An Introduction, is an authoritative, industry-driven introduction to the world of game development, with updates that keep readers current and well-prepared for a successful career in the field. This book not only examines content creation and the concepts behind development, but it also give readers a background on the evolution of game development and how it has become what it is today.
Game Development Essentials also includes chapters on project management, development team roles and responsibilities, development cycle, marketing, maintenance, and the future of game development. With the same engaging writing style and examples that made the first two editions so popular, this new edition features all the latest games and game technology. Coverage of new game-related technology, development techniques, and the latest research in the field make this an invaluable resource for anyone entering the exciting, competitive, ever-changing world of game development.
GDNet Staff Review: Game Development Essentials is the third and latest edition of the title. And it is a pretty luxurious volume with a price to match, although the $90 "street price that nobody pays" is overstating it. Amazon and everybody else's street price is around $50, which is not quite so bad.
And if you are a baby game developer wannabe who wants to see where game development was, is, and is going. And you want to see what is involved in making a game as well as what the opportunities are for people who want to get into the game industry, this is probably the best I have seen. This is a very broad and non-technical introduction to everything that goes into a game before it hits the shelves. If you have ever looked at an Xbox title on the shelf and said to yourself "I want to get into some aspect of that", this book might help you get there.
Game Development Essentials is replete with color and has a breezy, almost magazine-style, layout. And technical discussion is kept to a minimum. In fact, it is almost nonexistent. This is the first game development book I have seen in quite a while that does not have a single line of code. You will learn what Photoshop is, but only in the context of a discussion about tools that artists use. Ditto for programming languages. The deepest thing you will learn about programming languages is that they are the code that is used to write games or to script the game logic within a game engine.
My biggest question upon reading Game Development Essentials was "what is the audience for this book?" And the best answer I had was that this is probably a better "For Teens" book than the other Cengage "For Teens" books. Reading this book, I was reminded of the old "plant trip" that I took in high school. That's one of those things where teachers would take promising students to a factory that builds or designs something, with the hope of giving kids a handle on the practical steps that are behind the creation of a widget. And much of Game Development Essentials is this, only it covers more than you would likely see at a single studio. And if you are a preteen-to-teen who is aching to get into the industry but is at a loss as to HOW and WHERE, this book may very well help you focus.
And while I didn't grow up in the era of "[programming language] For Teens" books. I didn't NEED a "For Teens" book about programming. The C Programming Language was in existence when I was in high school, and I could follow it just fine. What I needed was the direction. I needed the arrow that pointed me towards C or Photoshop or a 3D modeling tool. The tools follow the direction, not the other way around. And this book may possibly give you the direction.
If you are not a teen, but you are looking to refocus yourself into the game industry. Or if you are an adult who just wants to know a little more about what is involved in the production of a game, Game Development Essentials still has something to offer. And it offers it in a way that is not too taxing. "Enjoyable" is rarely a word I would apply to a book on software development, but Game Development Essentials is intended to be just that.