As an avid video gamer, this book has been an incredible read from start to finish. It is a collection of stories behind how videos games are made. The author – also the news editor at Kotaku.com where I visit on a daily basis – has interviewed hundreds of people. Some officially. Others unofficially. Some games are triumphant. Others not.
While each video games are created under very different circumstances, there are common themes within. It is art meets science where the scope, timeline, and cost is just as fluid. How much detail should be put into a video game? How large and how many maps should that be? How many times the storyline has to be rewritten? Is the game fun? Can the game afford another delay knowing that the extra time would help with the bug fixing but the company would miss the fiscal year financial target? And etc. Above all, I can feel the passion of the game developers within each game title. The various challenges they face.
This book features 10 games. Some are big-budget titles. One is very much a one-man show. Each has its own distinct ending. It is true blood, sweat, and pixels.
- Pillars of Eternity – I have recently discovered that I have a copy in my Steam account!
- Unchartered 4 – Heard about it. But I don’t have a next-gen console.
- Stardew Valley – Never heard of before reading this game. I have added this to my Steam wishlist.
- Diablo III – One of my favorite games of all time. I am still playing it. I have read this chapter twice.
- Halo Wars – Heard about it. But I don’t have a XBox.
- Dragon Age: Inquisition – I have played Dragon Age: Origin. Love it. But I read that Dragon Age 2 is a disappointment. So I have avoided Inquisition. Or BioWare in general.
- Shovel Knight – I have seen it featured in Steam often. Still not really into its concept.
- Destiny – Very interesting read. Mainly because I have planned to pre-purchase Destiny 2 (PC).
- The Witcher 3 – Also a very interesting read. I have purchased the first two installments but still yet to find the time to play. Who knows? One day I may play The Witcher 3.
- Star Wars 1313 – Never heard of. Because it was meant for consoles.