Honoring the Code : Conversations with Great Game Designers book cover
1st Edition

Honoring the Code
Conversations with Great Game Designers

ISBN 9781466567535
Published March 26, 2013 by A K Peters/CRC Press
240 Pages 90 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

If you want to be successful in any area of game development—game design, programming, graphics, sound, or publishing—you should know how standouts in the industry approach their work and address problems. In Honoring the Code: Conversations with Great Game Designers, 16 groundbreaking game developers share their stories and offer advice for anyone aspiring to a career in the games industry. You’ll learn from their triumphs and failures and see how they dealt with sweeping changes in technology, including critical paradigm shifts from CD-ROMs and 3D graphic cards to the Internet and mobile revolution.

The book presents in-depth interviews with a diverse mix of game professionals, emphasizing the makers of adventure games, role-playing games, and real-time strategies. It focuses on developers who have contributed to multiple eras or genres as well as those who have hired, taught, or mentored newcomers. Since the mobile revolution has opened up new demographics and new gameplay mechanics, the book features current developers of games for mobile devices. It also explores how indie game developers are making commercial-quality games with a small team mostly using free tools and funded with crowdsourcing applications.

While there are plenty of resources available for aspiring game developers to learn the necessary technical skills, there is hardly any historical material on the culture that made the games industry possible. Filling the void, this book provides a historical and cultural context for the games industry. It takes you into the minds of the pioneers who blazed the trails and established the industry as we know it today.

Table of Contents

Honoring the Code

John Romero, Architect of Doom

Rebecca Heineman, Archmage

Tim Cain, Game Designer X

Brian Fargo, Patron of Wizards

Chris Avellone, the Iconoclast

Chris Taylor, the Problem Solver

Howard Scott Warshaw, the Sad Clown

Jon Hare, the Rock ’n’ Roller

Ralph Baer, the Father of Videogames

David Fox, the Mindbender

George Sanger, "the Fat Man"

Mark Soderwall, Mentor to Graphic Artists

Megan Gaiser and Rob Riedl, Gamemakers for Girls

Paul Reiche and Fred Ford, the Toymakers of Gaming


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"Fans of classic games will appreciate the insider stories and explanations of the reasoning behind particular choices in game play and development. Students of game history will benefit from the detailed look at specific moments in the development of many significant games. The author is obviously very knowledgeable and passionate about games and communicates that clearly throughout the text. … Summing Up: Recommended. Students of all levels in game design programs; general readers."
—E. Bertozzi, Long Island University, in CHOICE

"… a pick for any computer science collection strong in game development and here provides the insights and experiences of sixteen groundbreaking game developers who share their stories and experiences. From their successes and failures to the evolving gaming industry, this provides in-depth interviews that emphasize the creators of adventure and role-playing games and real-time strategies. Interview questions are specific and lend to in-depth and unique answers … From games designers play to insights on audiences, markets, and more, this is a fine pick for any game designer and computer collections catering to them."
—California Bookwatch, November 2013