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I'm releasing my game design book for free...


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#1 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 896

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 10:15 AM

http://learnbuildplay.com/Training/IndieGameDevBook

 

I had created a book on Game design, programming, AI, marketing, etc...  300+ pages.  I had originally intended to print this, but decided to release this for free.  

 

I'm releasing this for free, but it will not be stagnant.  I'm looking to improve it from other game designers.  I'm working with some marketing people right now, and we are discussing a re-write in smaller sections.  I would really love some feed back as to what you think of its design.  I'm really looking for making the version 2 of this to be great.  I've had over 2000 downloads so far, so I don't need any "You rock" responses.  Though I'm not opposed :D.  What I'm really in need of is real critiquing.  even to my comic character approaches, the art work, anything.  

 

I really want to know what you think is good, bad and ugly.  

 

 


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


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#2 Unduli   Members   -  Reputation: 744

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 11:11 AM

As part of my obsession, I check book sites everyday to see what's new, so what I see most is well book covers :) I'll start soon so not even read one page but first impression is book cover says "I am of 90s, early 00s at best". So cover would appreciate a change.

 

Also lacks a "to/for my cat Mortimer and dearest bunny Fluffy" section :)

 

Thought there was no link to pages at TOC section as no underline but there is. I read on and off around page 50s and seems good until now. For more I'll need time :)

 

Congrats for effort btw.

 

PS : Just a typo - Mininim (Viable Product)



#3 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 896

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 11:42 AM


first impression is book cover says "I am of 90s, early 00s at best". So cover would appreciate a change.

 

Agreed.  I have someone already considering some fresh art to the cover.  I agree it needs work.

 


Also lacks a "to/for my cat Mortimer and dearest bunny Fluffy" section

 - I never really thought of that as needed in books.  But it makes sense, and could help me call out some specific respects.  Thanks.

 

I've posted this feed back on the contact page for the book, so I'll remember it.   Thanks!

 


Thought there was no link to pages at TOC section as no underline but there is

 - Good point.  This was originally made for printed materials, so the link format didn't make sense, but it does operate as one, so I'll look into that.  


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#4 ShadowFlar3   Members   -  Reputation: 1177

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 06:58 AM

At the first glance it seems this is written from your own experience and perspective rather than as an overall game design guide. While it gives a basic outline of things it seems to focus heavily on programming and largely exclude the actual design part of game development. How to write a good story, how to make appealing graphic content, how to understand and use music, how to have interesting gameplay and intuitive controlling schemes? Etc.

 

For getting a good grasp on game structure and game development process I feel it could seriously use more graphs, diagrams, concept maps or other forms of data that is quick and easy to overview and process. But I understand all of that takes time which you might not feel comfortable spending now that you're publishing it for free.

 

Still, couple of quick things to improve on:

 

1) Add some art and graphics to break up blank text pages. You're publishing digital media, ink and color do not cost you. Many digital books even have white-on-black basis to help with on-screen reading and it also presents art nicely. You can also consider finding a novice graphic designer to help you improve on the visuals. It's not all just aesthetics but good visualization helps you make your points.

 

2) Check your topic hierarchy is logical and clear. For example the things you list under "contributors" subtitle is confusing. And do you really need to write a chapter about the gender of a game developer when your message is it doesn't matter? I think by including a chapter like that you are sort of answering a question nobody is asking and by doing so actually assuming it would matter.

 

Also the intended topic hierarchy is currently a bit hard to read both in table of contents and the written part. So while you might adjust your hierarchy, you could use visualizing that better as well. You could indent the chapters and topics more, use different font formatting (some color shades perhaps) in different level titles and text.

 

3) Check spelling and grammar but mostly try to improve on sentence structure and variance. Also check your big scale chapter structure is logical.

 

If you don't want to polish on this yourself you could search for an editor for your book that might be able to point you better direction in many aspects. For the right demographic it could be a book that practically reads itself but at this phase it looks like something you wrote chapter at a time on a subject on your mind and just assembled it all together.

 

Still, everyone can see you've put a lot of effort into it and I'm sure there's lots and lots about really useful programming information in there. For this you obviously deserve a big thanks. But also you'll need good structure in your large document so that people can find and understand your points and benefit from your knowledge. smile.png


Edited by ShadowFlar3, 21 October 2013 - 07:00 AM.


#5 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 896

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 10:38 AM


At the first glance it seems this is written from your own experience and perspective rather than as an overall game design guide. While it gives a basic outline of things it seems to focus heavily on programming and largely exclude the actual design part of game development. How to write a good story, how to make appealing graphic content, how to understand and use music, how to have interesting gameplay and intuitive controlling schemes? Etc.

That's an eye opener for me.  It didn't even occur to me how much I skipped in that process.  I spoke about the design, only at a high level, and didn't actually get into them making decisions, discussing levels, physics or AI.  That will definitely be in better focus during the rewrite.  Thank you.  

 


For getting a good grasp on game structure and game development process I feel it could seriously use more graphs, diagrams, concept maps or other forms of data that is quick and easy to overview and process. But I understand all of that takes time which you might not feel comfortable spending now that you're publishing it for free.

This is a good point as well.  I am planning on putting serious work into a rewrite, I think I'm going to change the comics to a team and see about changing their format to be myself giving direct instruction, but then a far better/more focused comic structure where we see them interacting and making decisions in the real product.  I was treating myself as a character at times. - This would allow you to easily separate the instructional from the reasons why for the team.

 


1) Add some art and graphics to break up blank text pages. You're publishing digital media, ink and color do not cost you. Many digital books even have white-on-black basis to help with on-screen reading and it also presents art nicely. You can also consider finding a novice graphic designer to help you improve on the visuals. It's not all just aesthetics but good visualization helps you make your points.

I have a strong interest in getting far better art involved in this.  I'm not afraid to say that I am a terrible artist.  This art was originally supposed to be place holders.  Now, my intention, based on this and other comments, to alter the comic characters to an isolated comic, where they begin to face issues, the instruction will then show what they know/have learned, and then the end of the chapter will show them resolving choices with this new knowledge.  For this, I'm going to need a real comic artist.  During the instruction, I'll add charts and diagrams where applicable.

 


Also the intended topic hierarchy is currently a bit hard to read both in table of contents and the written part. So while you might adjust your hierarchy, you could use visualizing that better as well. You could indent the chapters and topics more, use different font formatting (some color shades perhaps) in different level titles and text.

When I get someone to start looking into the UI of the book, I'll have them consider this as well.  I'm using default Word 2013 headings.  I agree that could use some improvement.

 


3) Check spelling and grammar but mostly try to improve on sentence structure and variance. Also check your big scale chapter structure is logical.

If you don't want to polish on this yourself you could search for an editor for your book that might be able to point you better direction in many aspects. For the right demographic it could be a book that practically reads itself but at this phase it looks like something you wrote chapter at a time on a subject on your mind and just assembled it all together.

 - Getting an editor.  Definitely getting an editor.

 

Thank you so much for your insight.  These have been some excellent clarifications, and given me some good targets to start considering.


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.





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