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Level Up!: The Guide to Great Video Game Design
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Level Up!: The Guide to Great Video Game Design

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  228 ratings  ·  23 reviews
'Level Up!' covers the entire video game creation process. Readers will learn how to develop marketable ideas, and learn what perils and pitfalls await them during a game's pre-production, production and post-production stages.
Paperback, 492 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by John Wiley & Sons (first published January 1st 2010)
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Joey Comeau
This book is GREAT! It's a whole bunch of really practical thinking about game design. How should the camera work? What should the power-ups be? Level design, achievements, villains, music? Sound effects? It's all illustrate with charming drawings and has a good sense of humour about itself. This is the Understanding Comics of video games, and my only problem with it is that it is priced like a computer book - halfway between a reasonable price and a textbook price. But, I guess that's the way o ...more
This is a great book. Many things said here aren't anything revolutionary, but are very important as a base for game design and shows how to avoid common pitfalls - some of which are still prevalent in major AAA titles, so a lot of this is rightly mentioned. Sometimes it feels as if there's not enough information, that a topic is barely scratched, but in this kind of book the focus is on game design in general, not on specifics. The book has a definite action bias, but its full of advice useful ...more
Arturo Nunez
Loved it! I'm usually not a huge fan of game design books but this one is more than that, is a guide with many things to learn from Scott experience.
Jo'hari Payne-bullock
This was the best video game designing book that I have ever read!!!
Teresa Madruga
Awesome book about game design. Well organized and very easy to read.
Angela Alcorn
Just found out about this book from this article on gaming. The article weighs up the pros and cons of playing computer games and surmises that 7-21 hours per week is ideal, especially if half of your time is spent playing games with other people (either multi-player online or real-life against each other or cheering each other on). It also suggests using this book to learn how to make games.
A great book that actually covers different game design aspects instead of just talking about theory, ex.: story, characters, level design, mechanics, enemies. It also covers good and bad ways to design each of these elements and provides examples. There's also a chili recipe at the back, which is the first time I've seen a recipe in a game design book or any book that's not for cooking/recipes for that matter.
Corlag TheBard
By far the best book on Game Design put there. It has a great blend of friendly advice, and healthy installment of how to do things, complete with comparisons of good vs. bad design documentation etc.

If you are looking to learn more about our industry, or how to get started, this book is a great place to start. Heck, even if you are just an avid gamer with a curiosity for how we do it, check this book out.
Steve Losh
A good, wide introduction to the non-technical aspects of creating games. If you're looking for a programming book you should look elsewhere, but this covers (in broad strokes) lots of the other parts of making games.

Focuses more on bigger-budget games created by larger studios and less on the indie game developer, but single developers can still learn a lot from reading it.
I was actually looking for a more conceptual book about game design but got an in-detail guide of everything a novice game designer should know: From camera angles to controller configuration to designing your NPCs.

For a more conceptual book about game design, I recommend "A book for lenses".
Very readable introduction to video game design. I will DEFINITELY be using this with my students. Occasionally a little repetitive, and I wish it had discussed more of the PROCESS of working with a team to make design decisions - but those are minor complaints.
Scott Rogers
Fun, approachable and filled with great illustrations and diagrams, Level Up! is a great starting point for anyone who wants to learn how to make video games and a great refresher for anyone who already works in games.
A must read for anyone who wants to be in game industry especially being a designer. I only regret that why didn't read it sooner so probably didn't make mistakes that Scott Rogers warns about them.
Ahmed Gamal
it's a great book .. but the writer was very specific at the type of games he was talking about ... it isn't like a game design book .... it's more like "an action/adventure game design book"
Really straightforward guide, although I thought it was oversimplified. If the person reading isn't familiar with most of the terms in this book they probably haven't played many games...
Aug 31, 2014 Nick rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Nick by: George Saines
Didn't get a chance to read the whole thing, but I liked what I read, and it has helped us in game design, much more than Rules of Play did.
Chris Moyer
A good, quick read. A bit too much focus on 3d action/adventure style games for my taste, but still has insights for any game development.
Ben Bays
Very good practical approach to game design. I have read a few of these and this one is the best way to start.
Eric Smith
Best nuts and bolts book on game design I've ever seen. A lot of info and a great reference.
I think this book is one of the best book about game design.
Kitanga Nday
Best BOOK EVER,...(Sniff,Sniff)
I told myself i was not goin to Cry.

Must read for every game designer
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“Gamers can feel when developers are passionate about their games. They can smell it like a dog smells fear. Don't be afraid to hold onto your unique vision: just be aware that it may not turn out exactly how you envisioned.” 1 likes
“If you think something is innovative, it just means you haven’t been paying attention. attention. Scott Rogers” 1 likes
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