Level Up!: The Guide to Great Video Game Design
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 of Rogers's wit and imaginative style that demonstrates everything you need to know about designing great video games.
- Features an approachable writing style that considers game designers from all levels of expertise and experience
- Covers the entire video game creation process, including developing marketable ideas, understanding what gamers want, working with player actions, and more
- Offers techniques for creating non-human characters and using the camera as a character
- Shares helpful insight on the business of design and how to create design documents
So, put your game face on and start creating memorable, creative, and unique video games with this book!
About the Author.
Acknowledgments: Everything I Learned about Writing a Book.
Level 1 Welcome, N00bs!
A Brief History of Video Games.
Who Makes this Stuff?
Have You Thought about Publishing?
And the Rest . . .
Level 1's Universal Truths and Clever Ideas.
Level 2 Ideas
Ideas: Where to Get Them and Where to Stick Them.
What do Gamers Want?
Why I Hate "Fun."
Breaking Writer's Block.
Level 2's Universal Truths and Clever Ideas.
Level 3 Writing the Story.
The Triangle of Weirdness.
Time to Wrap It Up.
A Few Pointers on Writing for Kids of All Ages.
Writing for Licenses.
Level 3's Universal Truths and Clever Ideas.
Level 4 You Can Design a Game, But Can You Do the Paperwork?
Writing the GDD, Step 1: The One-Sheet.
Writing the GDD, Step 2: The Ten-Pager.
The Rule of Threes.
The Game Design Document (and the Awful Truth about Writing Them).
The Beat Chart.
Above All, Don’t Be a Schmuck.
Level 4's Universal Truths and Clever Ideas.
Level 5 The Three Cs, Part 1—Character.
Personality: Do We Really Need Another Badass?
Let’s Get Personal.
Finally, We Talk about Gameplay.
Why Walk When You Can Run?
The Art of Doing Nothing.
Might as Well Jump.
Hoists and Teeters.
What Goes Up, Must Fall Down.
Me and My Shadow.
The Water’s Fine… or Is It?
Be Kind to Our Four-Legged Friends.
Using All of the Parts.
We Are Not Alone.
Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?
Level 5's Universal Truths and Clever Ideas.
Level 6 The Three Cs, Part 2—Camera.
Get It Right: Camera Views.
First Person Camera.
Third Person Camera.
Giving Up Control.
So You've Decided to Let the Player Control the Camera.
So You've Decided to Not Let the Player Have Control Over the Camera.
So You've Decided to Let the Player Sometimes Have Control Over the Camera.
Two and a Half D.
Special Case Cameras.
Camera Shot Guide.
Camera Angle Guide.
Camera Movement Guide.
Other Camera Notes.
Always Point the Camera to the Objective.
Never Let the Character Get Out of the Camera’s Sight.
Multiple Player Cameras.
Level 6's Universal Truths and Clever Ideas.
Level 7 The Three Cs, Part 3—Controls.
Dance, Monkey, Dance.
Character or Camera Relative?
Shake, Rattle and Roll.
Level 7's Universal Truths and Clever Ideas.
Level 8 Sign Language—HUD and Icon Design.
The Clean Screen.
Icon Has Cheezburger?
Don’t Get QTE.
HUDs, and Where to Stick ‘Em.
There Are Other Screens Than the HUD.
The Pause that Refreshes.
A Final Word on Fonts.
Level 8's Universal Truths and Clever Ideas.
Level 9 Everything I Learned about Level Design, I Learned from Level 9.
The Top 10 Cliché Video Game Themes.
The Name Game.
Everything I Learned about Level Design, I Learned from Disneyland.
The Beat Chart.
The Gary Gygax Memorial Mapping Section.
The Dave Arnenson Memorial Mapping Section.
Wrapping Up Mapping.
Leave the Training Level for Last.
Level 9’s Universal Truths and Clever Ideas.
Level 10 The Elements of Combat.
400 Quatloos on the Newcomer!
Now You have to Kiss Me.
State of the Art Bang Bang.
The Best Gun for You.
Run and Gun.
Not Just Shooting.
Dammit Jones, Where Doesn’t It Hurt?
Death: What is It Good For?
Level 10's Universal Truths and Clever Ideas.
Level 11 They All Want You Dead.
Bring on the Bad Guys.
I Love Designing Enemies.
I Hate You to Pieces.
How to Create the World’s Greatest Boss Battle.
Who’s the Boss?
Location, Location, Location.
Why Not to Create the World’s Greatest Boss Battle.
Level 11's Universal Truths and Clever Ideas.
Level 12 The Nuts and Bolts of Mechanics.
Holy Death Trap!
Time to Die.
The Music of Mechanics.
A Nice Little Calm Spot.
Riddle Me This.
A Short Word on Minigames and Microgames.
Level 12’s Universal Truths and Clever Ideas.
Level 13 Now You’re Playing with Power.
“Love Thy Player”.
More Wealth Than You Can Imagine!
Level 13’s Universal Truths and Clever Ideas.
Level 14 Multiplayer—the More the Merrier.
How Many is the Right Number?
MMORPGS, or Hell is Other People.
Level 14’s Universal Truths and Clever Ideas.
Level 15 Some Notes on Music.
Sounds Like a Game to Me.
Level 15’s Universal Truths and Clever Ideas.
Level 16 Cutscenes, or No One's Gonna Watch 'Em Anyway.
How to Write a Screenplay in Eight Easy Steps.
Level 16’s Universal Truths and Clever Ideas.
Level 17 And Now the Hard Part.
No One Cares about Your Stupid Little World.
Video Games is a Haaaard Business.
What to Do for an Encore?
Level 17's Universal Truths and Clever Ideas.
Bonus Level 1: The One-Sheet Sample.
Bonus Level 2: The Ten-Page Design Document Sample.
Bonus Level 3: Game Design Document Template.
Bonus Level 4: The Medium-Sized List of Story Themes.
Bonus Level 5: The Big List of Environments.
Bonus Level 6: Mechanics and Hazards.
Bonus Level 7: Enemy Design Template.
Bonus Level 8: Boss Design Template.
Bonus Level 9: High Concept Pitch Presentation.
Achievement Unlocked: Exactly Like Making Chili.
Level Up!: The Guide to Great Video Game Design (US $44.99)
-and- Swipe This!: The Guide to Great Touchscreen Game Design (US $39.99)
Total List Price: US $84.98
Discounted Price: US $63.73 (Save: US $21.25)