To help myself remember how I felt about various things that I finished
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Social Game Design
I'll be honest -- I wasn't expecting much from this book. The authors (Tim Fields and Brandon Cotton) freely admit they wrote it in just 14 weeks. I don't envy them the task of trying to write a book about something changing as rapidly as the world of social games. The book came out a year ago, and already, by not talking about the clever structures of Puzzle & Dragons and Candy Crush Saga, the book feels terribly out of date. And by no means, overall, can I say that it is a great book. However -- it has some great parts. The chapters that summarize monetization methods and business terms for social games are completely worth the price of admission. Without a doubt, these chapters present these more clearly and succinctly than any other source I have found, and I very much plan to make them required reading in my game design class. In short -- this book is worth a hearty skim, and also worth keeping around for reference if you are working on social or F2P games.
Jesse Schell has taught Game Design and led research projects at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (www.etc.cmu.edu) since 2002. Jesse is also the CEO of Pittsburgh’s largest videogame studio, Schell Games (www.schellgames.com), the author of The Art of Game Design: a book of lenses (www.artofgamedesign.com), and the former chairman of the International Game Developers Association (www.igda.org). In 2004, he was named one of the world’s Top 100 Young Innovators by Technology Review, MIT’s magazine of innovation.
Before coming to Carnegie Mellon, he was the Creative Director of the Disney Virtual Reality Studio, where he spent seven years as designer, programmer and manager on several projects for Disney theme parks and Disney Online. Before that, he was a software engineer at IBM and Bell Communications Research, and a writer, director, performer, juggler, comedian, and circus artist for both Freihofer's Mime Circus and the Juggler's Guild. You can email him at jesse(at)schellgames.com.