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Spelunky

(Boss Fight Books #11)

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  853 ratings  ·  75 reviews
When Derek Yu released Spelunky for free in 2008, his roguelike-inspired platformer took the indie game community by storm with its combination of classic platform mechanics, extreme difficulty, and random level generation. Four years later, Spelunky's HD remake went on to become PC Gamer's Game of the Year and earn perfect scores from Polygon and Eurogamer. But how is a " ...more
Paperback, 140 pages
Published March 29th 2016 by Boss Fight Books (first published January 1st 2015)
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4.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  853 ratings  ·  75 reviews


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Sjors
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read it through from beginning to end in one sitting, something I haven't done in about 15 years. Of course very much dependent on my current obsession with the game, but Yu very clearly and interestingly goes into the depths of his creative process. Hard to put down.
Amar Pai
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good. I read this on Kindle Cloud E-Reader! Dot com. Truly, the future is here. I already feel ripped off though that I paid $5
Peter Derk
Mar 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Such a great read!

Spelunky, if you haven't played it, is a roguelike platformer. Which means it's kinda like crossing The Legend of Zelda with Super Mario Bros. with D&D.

The gimmick is that the game randomly generates the levels. Which sounds like it totally shouldn't work, but it totally does. Through some clever coding, each level being made of tiles with certain rules, levels are always generated in such a way that the player can navigate from beginning to end using only movements that
...more
Ben
Mar 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Despite Spelunky being a masterpiece (as close as you can get to a literally perfect videogame), I knew very little before reading this about it's creator Derek Yu. I expected him to be some John Carmack style uber-geek who dreams in C++ but he's anything but really - remarkably down to earth and relatable. It's fascinating learning from the horse's mouth how the game's features and systems came to be as part of Spelunky's rather long-winded development.

Maybe not one to read if you're not a Spel
...more
Martin
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Derek Yu is not just a great game designer but also a great writer. Spelunky is entertaining book full of interesting little stories from game development and designing advices. If you are interested in game development, you should read it.
Tyler
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Super interesting book about the development of the indie game Spelunky, written by the game's main developer. I really liked it! Seeing the backbone of the random generation inherent in the game as well was really interesting, and Yu's thoughts on the process of game development and (by proxy) navigating being a creator in general was very cool.

4/5 stars
Bill Mason
Mar 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I contributed to Boss Fight Books' Kickstarter campaign pretty much solely for this book. While a bunch of them looked interesting, at the time of the campaign I was subject to the austerity inherent in founding a startup. There were two reasons why I couldn't pass up the Spelunky book, though (above the fact that the digital copy was inexpensive): 1) a couple of years ago, I played a lot of Spelunky -- a lot of Spelunky; 2) this is one of the few (only?) books in the series written by the subje ...more
Ben
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a thoroughly enjoyable little read. I would really only recommend this to a reader who has actually spent some time playing Spelunky, because even if it is super fascinating to see some of the creative process explained from the game developer himself, it seemed necessary to have at least a passing familiarity with the source material to appreciate certain sections. Regardless, this was very entertaining and extremely interesting to go 'behind-the-scenes' into the world of indie developm ...more
Alex Keen
Mar 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed Derek's discussion about the development and the reasoning behind many of his decisions. However, as the book went along it seemed more and more like writing this book was more of a burden than a pleasure. I greatly appreciate that he took the time out of his life to bring the development of this essential game to life and I look forward to what he makes next! (Spelunk 2 please)

BW Diederich
Mar 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
It is by the person who designed what I think is the best game in the entire world. It's got a lot of great insight into decisions made, and design choices. Mostly though it made me want to finish it and start playing Spelunky regularly again, which I am now doing.
Steven
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A super interesting window into the development process of one of the best designed games in the last decade.
Jacob Tjornholm
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Spelunky is an amazing game.

Personally I’m not a huge fan of actually playing it, because I suck and die all the time. However, I still fire it up from time to time and play for half an hour before I get frustrated again.

I keep coming back to this game even though I know that I’ll get my ass kicked yet again. This is quite rare for me. Usually I’ll just move on if a game is too hard. I’m that kind of gamer, I guess. Apart from Super Meat Boy, Spelunky is the only game that keep pulling me back f
...more
MarvelousMonomaniacMonkeyMan
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: learning
Game design student and rogue-like lover, I never played Spelunky, not once. Of course I've heard about this game, a lot, I've seen many footages, I've had friends spending hours telling me about the hundreds of hours they spent on the game, how hard it is to get to the true last boss, all the little secrets that turn a "simple" game into emerging stories that can be shared with people.

This book's not only a report about some technical aspects of the game, or the process of indie game developmen
...more
Joe
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Fascinating Look In Into My Favorite Game

As a fan of Spelunky, I've always loved the game's randomly generated levels and super charming music and art style while constantly being frustrated at its intense (but always fair) difficulty. Reading through this book gives an incredible insight into the triumph that this game has become in being able to balance all of those aspects while still showing the love and heart that Yu and the others involved put into the project.

Having first learned about
...more
Bemmu
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you've seen the NoClip documentary on Spelunky, you'll already know a lot of the story behind this game, but the overlap with this book is rather small—plenty more to learn here.

How the idea for Spelunky came about, and advice on how to find ideas in general. What it was like prototyping the first version. How the elements of the game came together, with detail on how the procedural level generation works. How the indie community received the game, and how the free game turned into start of
...more
Mr Anderson
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Overview of Game Development and Community with a Case Study

The Developer and Lead Designer of Spelunky thoughtfully takes the reader through his process and art of game design. He offers lots of valuable advise comfortably wrapped in stories that provide context and conveys his indie based perspective. Often a birdseye view of the rarely exposed creative and technical processes with a number of nose dives into some of the details. A tale about artistic process, self reflection and personal triu
...more
Eduardo Cruz
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've followed Spelunky around for a long time now. I've played, watched and read a lot about it. Reading a book about its whole history felt like the next logical step.
Derek Yu's autobiographic book is such a charming and inspiring one, you can feel Derek's passion at every page turn. I didn't expect less from the mind that created such a great game.
Although I knew several of the things mentioned in the book, seeing them intertwine with each other created a cohesive new layer to the whole Spelun
...more
Maximiliano
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An incredible journey into the world of game development, more specifically Spelunky.

The game's creator - Derek Yu - walks with us by all the steps he took while developing and launching the game.

Expect a fun and light read, while learning about the challenges of game development, publishing, the easter eggs and inspirations of the game, and several personal tips from this amazing developer.

As a game developer "wanna be" I couldn't be happier having the opportunity to learn about his trajecto
...more
Ciro Bolado
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Spelunky (book) has a lot of value into Derek's stories even out of game development itself, I liked a lot all those tips about how to finish a project or how even continue working on it until the end, also about feedback reception and my favorite part when was on development for XBLA, it makes me rethink about what I'm doing as a game developer and what I can change about it not just to get better result but actually to do the stuff simpler. worth to read!
Em
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Spelunky might be a perfect video game, which makes this book by its creator the perfect look back and post mortem for Spelunky. That's how things work, right? Anyway this book is a thoughtful history lesson about Derek Yu, both versions of Spelunky, and the weirdness of success in the indie games space. It is pleasant, and made me want to play more Spelunky.
Matt King
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
An engaging and inciteful guide into creating one of biggest indie games of recent years.

This book covers all areas of developing an indie game without getting too technical. Derek is honest about his own successes and failures whilst sharing the spotlight with others that helped him. Essential reading for all budding indie developers.
Arpit Agarwal
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great read. Derek Yu is a genius game designer and Spelunky is one of the best game ever, this books discusses all the design decisions and the process behind making Spelunky Classic and then making Spelunky HD. This is a must read for anyone interested in game design or game development in general.
Bob Rubbens
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very interesting read on the mind behind and development process of Spelunky. Dives deep into Spelunky gameplay specifics (spoiler alert!), which is very interesting if you're not afraid of arcade games and platformers. Also talks about the experience of developing multiple games as an indie and the community around it.
Michael
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I needed.

Being a hobby game marker there aren't many people around just talk talk games and shop. This book is what I needed to fill a void that needed to filled. Thanks a million to the author.
Evan
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great read if you've ever played Spelunky and are interested in how it was made. Also great even if you haven't played it but just like video games and want to read an interesting story about developing games from someone who's quite successful in the industry.
Jez Burrows
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, owned
A fascinating, generous book about a deeply infuriating game. I'd recommend this to any game dev, but also to designers of any stripe—Derek Yu's approach to design and problem-solving is just so reasonable and diligent, and he does a great job of writing about it.
Jon Dubielzyk
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read about the development of Spelunky. It gives you a fascinating insight into the process of creating and shipping that applies beyond game development. I doubt it would be super interesting if you’re not into game dev or have played the game but if you are, it’s an easy recommend.
Liam
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this. It's an approachable how/what/why of the making of an indie game gem and Derek Yu details his experiences well.
José
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great insight into the creative process
Andrew Scarpati
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very insightful. Was not the biggest fan of 'Spelunky' the game, but the story of it's creation straight from the horses mouth was fascinating.
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“In a way, producing, experiencing, and interacting with art is like participating in a long-running conversation that artists have been having and will keep having in the future. Themes” 1 likes
“The “joy of discovery” is one of the fundamental joys of play itself. Not just the joy of discovering secrets within the game, but also the joy of uncovering the creator’s vision. It’s that “Aha!” moment where it all makes sense, and behind the world the player can feel the touch of another creative mind. In order for it to be truly joyful, however, it must remain hidden from plain view—not carved as commandments into stone tablets but revealed, piece by piece, through the player’s exploration of the game’s rules.” 0 likes
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