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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

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  361 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Design and build cutting-edge video games with help from video game expert Scott Rogers! If you want to design and build cutting-edge video games but aren't sure where to start, then this is the book for you. Written by leading video game expert Scott Rogers, who has designed the hits "Pac Man World," "Maxim vs. Army of Zin," and "SpongeBob Squarepants," this book is full ...more
ebook, 520 pages
Published September 29th 2010 by Wiley (first published January 1st 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,107)
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Joey Comeau
Apr 06, 2012 Joey Comeau rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 02, 2015 Natosha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have the second edition

The book, Level Up! The Guide To Video Game Design by Scott Rogers is a very easy to follow book on the process of developing a great game! Scott Rogers is known to be a leading video game expert as he is best known for the creations of Pac Man World, Maximo(one of my favorites), and SpongeBob Squarepants. Those games are very nicely designed with a good story line and excellent graphics! I really have to say that this was what really interested me to read this book and
Francisco Tufró
Feb 22, 2016 Francisco Tufró rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I truly like Scott Rogers, he's an easy going and funny folk. I think he is a good designer, but this book left me meh...

I liked the art around the book, scott's sketches are great to illustrate the concepts he shows in the book. My problem is with the concepts themselves. I think it barely scratches the surface of game design, I don't think the book gave me much insight on game design as other books like Game Design Workshop by Tracy Fullerton did. It's shallow and it doesn't go anywhere. It's
Aug 31, 2014 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 23, 2013 Krzysztof rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Paul Boden
Aug 18, 2015 Paul Boden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really I would give this book 3.5 but as that option isn't available it was more deserving of better than a 3 star review. The book does a good job of covering the entire breadth of game development and includes some really useful content such as templates for the various design documents that most developers opt to create. My only issue with this book is that some of the content seemed quite obvious and while I imagine this might have been included because the author has witnessed fundamental e ...more
Arturo Nunez
Jun 22, 2014 Arturo Nunez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Thomas Mølby
Apr 23, 2015 Thomas Mølby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It contains tons of useful advice for designing and working on games. In general a great inside-the-box look at game design.
Apr 05, 2016 Mackenzie marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: acadia-moon
I got this recommendation from Storm Hollow game designer Angela Hickman Newnham, who I met at Gamestorm 2016. I haven't seen it or read it yet but looking forward to it.
Teresa Madruga
Feb 01, 2014 Teresa Madruga rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book about game design. Well organized and very easy to read.
Mar 24, 2014 Ilib4kids rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ave_adult_nf
794.81 ROG
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.
Jan 22, 2013 Kory rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: game-dev
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
Sep 29, 2013 Corlag TheBard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
David Hunter
Nov 11, 2015 David Hunter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: game-design
Really funny and entertaining, but I was hoping for something a little more high brow.
Nov 06, 2012 Omer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 15, 2011 Scott Rogers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 06, 2014 Majid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 09, 2013 Ahmed Gamal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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"
Marcelo A.
Feb 26, 2016 Marcelo A. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ótima introdução ao game design e de uma forma bem-humorada por um veterano da área. A tradução brasileira ficou boa, apesar de alguns pequenos deslizes mas que não afetam a leitura.
Jul 18, 2012 Alicia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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...
Chris Moyer
Nov 24, 2012 Chris Moyer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 05, 2011 Eric Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best nuts and bolts book on game design I've ever seen. A lot of info and a great reference.
Jo'hari Payne-bullock
This was the best video game designing book that I have ever read!!!
Aug 02, 2012 Micowendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this book is one of the best book about game design.
Kitanga Nday
Sep 14, 2013 Kitanga Nday rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best BOOK EVER,...(Sniff,Sniff)
I told myself i was not goin to Cry.
Aug 05, 2012 Mohammed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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.” 3 likes
“If you think something is innovative, it just means you haven’t been paying attention. attention. Scott Rogers” 2 likes
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