[Reading] ➷ Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made Author Jason Schreier – Morefreeinfo.info

Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made I love behind the scenes looks at industries that we don t often think about Whether you re buying a game in the store or downloading it from Steam, chances are you aren t that knowledgeable about what the game development industry is actually like Oh, you might have read some horror stories on Reddit, heard some of the gossip going back and forth on gaming blogs Blood, Sweat, and Pixels The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made is aboutthan that, though Jason I love behind the scenes looks at industries that we don t often think about Whether you re buying a game in the store or downloading it from Steam, chances are you aren t that knowledgeable about what the game development industry is actually like Oh, you might have read some horror stories on Reddit, heard some of the gossip going back and forth on gaming blogs Blood, Sweat, and Pixels The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made is aboutthan that, though Jason Schreier digs deeper into the pressures and structures of the video game development industry The question which he never really gets to answer is there is a less gruelling, less stressful way to create games and still be successful Schreier structures the book into 10 chapters, each one recounting the genesis of a specific video game Each chapter also has a central lesson In some chapters, he focuses on the internecine politics of the game dev studios and the publisher In others, he examines how developer dynamics, the size of the teams involved, the pressure from fans, contribute to how smoothly a game is developed.Chances are that if you play games you will have heard of some, if not most, of these titles, including Stardew Valley, Dragon Age Inquisition, Diablo 3, and The Witcher 3 This book might be worth buying for the story behind one of these games for all 10 stories, it feels like a steal Although common threads run throughout every chapter most notably the intense pressure to crunch near the end of the development schedule Schreier makes sure that every game highlights specific and different ways in which the industry functions or doesn t function Likewise, although he frequently points to dysfunctional parts of game dev, he is also quick to celebrate the amazing parts of the industry too Schreier shows a lot of respect for the work that devs put into a game He is careful to include all members of game dev in this camp not just the programmers, but the artists and writers and musicians and voice actors and others as well More than anything, Schreier definitely underscores that with some exceptions, like Stardew Valley and Shovel Knight , modern games are the result of intensely coordinated and talented teams of people bending their talents to a single, interactive experience.In all of these ways, Blood, Sweat, and Pixels excels The entire book is basically a series of narratives assembled from interviews Schreier has done with various people, some of whom are featured in the chapters He is fairly transparent about when how he got his information Ultimately, though, the stories seem rather restricted to within the game dev industry itself By this I mean, while he raises questions around, for example, the fairness of crunching, he never really looks beyond the game dev industry for opinions It would have been nice to see him interview some sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, or other people who have studied this phenomenon or others As it is, Blood, Sweat, and Pixels scope feels a little limited, a little too pixelated from zooming in too much.This was a fun thing to read over the course of about two days, and I learned some interesting facts about some interesting games Also, mad props to whoever put the Oxford comma into the title Ten separate articles about the making of 10 particular video games, with no connecting materials or conclusions drawn May be of interest to players of those games, but fails to live up to the cover blurbs, e.g A fascinating and remarkably complete pantheon The ten games, in order, are Pillars of Eternity, Uncharted 4, Stardew Valley, Diablo III, Halo Wars, Dragon Age Inquisition, Shovel Knight, Destiny, The Witcher 3, and Star Wars 1313 Only the last was never released There was only a v Ten separate articles about the making of 10 particular video games, with no connecting materials or conclusions drawn May be of interest to players of those games, but fails to live up to the cover blurbs, e.g A fascinating and remarkably complete pantheon The ten games, in order, are Pillars of Eternity, Uncharted 4, Stardew Valley, Diablo III, Halo Wars, Dragon Age Inquisition, Shovel Knight, Destiny, The Witcher 3, and Star Wars 1313 Only the last was never released There was only a very scant conclusion with no lessons learned , so here s what I gleaned from the stories.Making video games is harder than you think New consoles and platforms are challenging though no mention was made of cross platform libraries that make it a little easier Having a big company running things makes it easiermoney and harder less flexible deadlines Games ship late because of bugs Almost all games suffer from crunch time serious developer overtime to finish the game , nobody wants to do that, and it usually results from bugs.Now that I ve lent Jason Schreier a concluding paragraph that at least sums up what this book is about, the worst thing I saw were the bugs This isn t life and death quality software, but surely the libraries also come with test suites If a particular scene is vulnerable to shots going out of bounds, surely there are shoot every direction bots that would test for that Based on the stories in this book, I am appalled at the level of testing directed at video games, and the amount of developer hours it costs teams at the end of their projects.If you have played one orof the titles listed and really want to know some of what went behind making those games, this book might be of interest to you Since the 10 articles are not connected in any way, it could also be read like a short encyclopedia I didn t get much out of it, and wouldn t recommend it it really didn t live up to the hype 1 stars.Further cover quotes Gripping, intelligent no Opens a crucial door into an abnormally secretive industry maybe, is any other softwareopen Brutal, honest, yet ultimately uplifting I do trust that the stories told here are honest, but don t see them as either brutal or uplifting, much less both This last quote is from Adam Conover Adam Ruins Everything who goes further to say I was surprised by every page Adam has clearly never worked in software, and besides many of these stories are quite similar to each other Executive Summary I think this book can appeal to both software developers and fans of video games alike, but it s definitely targetedat the latter than the former Full Review This book was previewed with an excerpt from the chapter on Diablo 3 which incidentally is the ONLY game in this book that I ve actually played plan to play When I was younger I wanted to make video games Somewhere along the way however I felt like I d rather spend my time PLAYING games instead of making them Executive Summary I think this book can appeal to both software developers and fans of video games alike, but it s definitely targetedat the latter than the former Full Review This book was previewed with an excerpt from the chapter on Diablo 3 which incidentally is the ONLY game in this book that I ve actually played plan to play When I was younger I wanted to make video games Somewhere along the way however I felt like I d rather spend my time PLAYING games instead of making them This book helps to illustrate why I work 40 hours week as a software developer There have been days or weeks where I had to stay late, or when things went sideways and I was fighting a fire But nothing like the crunch described in every single story in this book.It s a wonder games get made at all These people must really love making games Personally, I ll stick to writing business apps for my day jobs and keeping video games something I consume.I ve read some betterin depth books about video games, but this made for a decent sampler with a variety of stories It was a quick read, with each game getting a single chapter of about 20 30 pages each.Each story in here is unique enough to be interesting, but they do all share a theme of things running over budget, behind schedule and requiring insane hours overtime to finish at all You get some stories of indie games, and huge big budget games and a few in between.The tone is definitelyfor fans of games, and not potential developers Anything even slightly technical seems to be explained in a footnote that I often skipped, but I imagine will be useful to most readers I didn t find that to be the detriment of the book however, as despite also being a software developer, I m a fan of video games.Of all of these stories, the Stardew Valley one was probably the most interesting I had mostly picked this up to read the rest of the Diablo 3 story so good job on that marketing Kotaku , but I liked reading about all of these games.I think if you re a fan of any of these games, or just a big fan of videogames in general, this is a pretty good read As much as it hopes to show the realities of game development, Jason Schreier s book only succeeds at casually shrugging off crunch, death marches and glaringly evident worker exploitation The stories sell, but his writing is grossly irresponsible This quote by Glen Weldon on NPR sums up my thoughts There s another book lurking beneath the surface of the one Schreier s written, which ditches such blandishments and tackles the culture of gaming and gaming development with a saltiness t As much as it hopes to show the realities of game development, Jason Schreier s book only succeeds at casually shrugging off crunch, death marches and glaringly evident worker exploitation The stories sell, but his writing is grossly irresponsible This quote by Glen Weldon on NPR sums up my thoughts There s another book lurking beneath the surface of the one Schreier s written, which ditches such blandishments and tackles the culture of gaming and gaming development with a saltiness that would provide real insights into its easily wounded, boys only or at least, boys largely ethos To be fair, that s not the one Schreier set out to write What he s produced instead offers a useful survey of the landscape of game production at this cultural moment, if you re willing to accept its argument that the industry s every bug is, in fact, a feature I can t say it really taught me a whole lot about game development, apart from I wouldn t want to do it due to all that crunch time Basically, people come up with an idea, there is a few problems along the way which are mostly all the same kinda thing technical issues, often publishers wanting to hurry a game out Dragon Age 2 and then horrendous crunch time Perhaps it would have beeninteresting if he d looked at game development as a whole, rather than breaking it down into chapter I can t say it really taught me a whole lot about game development, apart from I wouldn t want to do it due to all that crunch time Basically, people come up with an idea, there is a few problems along the way which are mostly all the same kinda thing technical issues, often publishers wanting to hurry a game out Dragon Age 2 and then horrendous crunch time Perhaps it would have beeninteresting if he d looked at game development as a whole, rather than breaking it down into chapters about individual games, because each chapter was rather repetitive and really only interesting if I d played the game, or at least had interest I skipped a couple of chapters Shovel Night and Destiny, two games I have zero interest in playing.I bought this book mainly because it featured a chapter on Dragon Age Inquistion Dragon Age to me is like the Harry Potter of the game world I love it, I still live it quite intensely in my imagination After the failure that was Mass Effect Andromeda I wanted to understand really how things worked behind the scenes and what could cause such a highly respected game series to come out with such a massive flop It did answer a few of those questions as did Schreier s article on Andromeda However it wasn t really what I was expecting A lot of this kind of information could have been gleamed from the Internet quite easily.Maybe I was expecting too much he could hardly go into any technical issues with any detail without alienating readers who like myself don t understand programming or all that technical stuff Overall, interesting but not really worth spending the money on So you think your job as a software engineer sucks Think again, you could be working on games Nightmarish environments with total and complete lack of management, direction, tooling or even a common dictionary, a bootload of manual testing and very little feedback until you finally deliver the final game to customers Now add a sprinkle of 100 hour weeks yes, you will work on weekends , no overtime pay and very little financial incentive and you end up completely burned out, broke and most lik So you think your job as a software engineer sucks Think again, you could be working on games Nightmarish environments with total and complete lack of management, direction, tooling or even a common dictionary, a bootload of manual testing and very little feedback until you finally deliver the final game to customers Now add a sprinkle of 100 hour weeks yes, you will work on weekends , no overtime pay and very little financial incentive and you end up completely burned out, broke and most likely needing to visit a doctor at the end.It is indeed surprising that we do get to play games with the incredible amount of madness that is involved in making them It s evensurprising that people continue in the industry after going through these maddening and soul sucking crunch periods and delivering sub par games that don t live up to the expectations.Including both indie and AAA games, Blood, sweat and pixels is a cautionary tale about the industry of games, while the heroism sagas to deliver that amazing game sound cool, they were most likely not cool for the people involved and the burnout they must have felt after it The gaming industry definitely feels like an amateur cult, where even the most basic pieces of software engineering are thrown out for the sake of art , whatever that is supposed to mean.Studios lack clear leadership or management Ensemble s Halo Wars chapter, with 3 different teams working on 3 different games when the only thing they should be working on is Halo Wars borders insanity, with people employed in the company just refusing to do what they were supposed to do like spoiled teenagers, eventually leading to the end of the studio, is just one of the examples.Then you get to Dragon Age Inquisition , where the team decided to use the Frostbite engine but had no idea it was completely bereft of the features they would need to build an RPG I mean, it was an FPS engine, maybe prototype and spike before you decide on it The team worked forthan a year building a game in feels only since they just could not play or do anything for real, luckily for them it worked out, but we all know the long list of games that just didn t make it.Bungie s Destiny and it s fraught relationship with Activision that wasn t even an issue with Activision itself, as many would like to blame Oh, it s the big corp owning the scrappy game developer Nope The wounds are almost all self inflicted, lack of communication between the people doing the story and building the game, lack of an holistic view of what the game should be and the usual over promising As much as it s cool to blame the huge corp, as a Bungie employee said, we had to hold ourselves accountable now that we were free of microsoft but they just weren t doing it They went on to fight publicly with Activision on twitter but had to redo the game completely with less than a year for the final release that and we got the story we had on Destiny 1 Given how Destiny 2 came to be, the whole drama has most likely repeated itself.Seeing the backstory of how these games are made makes me value them a bitbut also makes me sad at how the people building them are doing it mostly for passion and are getting the short end of the stick almost all the time Amazing book Interesting look into the development process of video games The author did a great job at picking which games to talk about He chose a variety of big AAA games and smaller indie games, focusing on whichever games had the craziest stories He researched them well but I already knew most of the information from gaming podcasts and news feeds I would recommend this book to people who enjoy playing video games but haven t looked into the industry as a whole. This is a very well written book that I think Jason spent a lot of time on Time that leaves me a quite a bit confused However, I want to address some very strange misconceptions that people seem to be having having about this book This is not some guide to game development and this book is not going to help you make your Indie game If you re buying this book for that reason then you re going to be left disappointed Now this is a really solid book and it s very well written but with the exce This is a very well written book that I think Jason spent a lot of time on Time that leaves me a quite a bit confused However, I want to address some very strange misconceptions that people seem to be having having about this book This is not some guide to game development and this book is not going to help you make your Indie game If you re buying this book for that reason then you re going to be left disappointed Now this is a really solid book and it s very well written but with the exception of Star Wars 1313 and Star Dew Valley most sections of the book are complete rehashes of things any dedicated fan knows that s got it s own video or article series Obsidian for example has always been very open and talked to anyone who would ask at length about their history as a studio and everything that led up to the release of Pillar s of Eternity this coupled with a ton of different interviews with the likes of Eurogamer, Kotaku, PC Gamer, etc makes that whole section kind of useless in my book Because I feel that if you care about Obsidian and Classic CRPG stuff you re already deeply aware of everything that happened with Classic Fallout to the ridiculous things that happened with New Vegas and beyond You see it doesn t stop there though, this is one of my big issues with this book The very next section is once again a well documented and full featured video from the very developers themselves The Naughty Dog section focuses on the troubled development and stages that the studio went through during the production of The Last of US and well as the Last Uncharted game Which like I said is well documented with a ton of resources covering it because of the huge controversy that occurred at the time Which brought up the point in my mind once again if you care about this studio or the making of said game enough to buy this book in the very first place then you as the reader are probably very aware of all this and have probably seen the video covering all the points made in the book This is a continuing theme in the book that just makes very little practical sense to me Bungie another storied and immensely famous studio in the video game world has covered the history of their own studio in video form several times over the years Which can be seen here here which begs the question if you care enough about Bungie s story to buy this book then you ve probably seen all that before or watched the DVD that came in your copy of Halo 3 or the Master Chief collection It keeps going though because Destiny 3 3 Age a lesser extent Shovel Knight one of them has some form of the written history of the development process and or video documentary detailing it Making a very large portion of this book useless Because to me if you care enough to buy this book then you care about the studios and everything that has happened to them But if all the information that you would gleam from this book has already been made available to you in many cases for years then why is it in the book The only sections of this book that don t have some detailed history of the making of process and everything that happened during development are Stardew Valley and Star Wars 1313 Now I will grant that these sections are full of wonderful insight and information that the development of these games went through But they re really the only parts of the book that provide this that weren t already available elsewhere To a lesser extent you could say that the Shovel Knight section is worth having since there s not a whole lot of information on what the development of that was like but it s just not really that different from anything else that you couldn t already get from watching say Indie Game The Movie and seeing what it was like during the creation of Super Meat Boy This takes me to the crux of my problem with the book While it is very well written and I m sure Jason worked very hard on it there s just so much filler in the book I just feel like spending time with a studio like Klei Entertainment and going over the development of Don t Starve could have been a lotinsightful instead of the Obsidian section For a major studio wouldn t it have been better to talk to Epic about Gears of War or Turn 10 about Forza or Sony Online Entertainment about anything or Ubisoft about Assassin s Creed or Fry Cry or Rock Star about Red Dead Particularly Rock Star because understanding the hurdles the studio went through during the very troubled development of the barely working engine for Red Dead would have been way better than rehashing everything we already know about Naughty Dog I could literally list hundreds of studios that we don t know the story of how a game was made but have heard stories about how difficult it was that would have been much better choices to include in this book Having said all this I will say that this is a solid book and if you some how have not seen the videos of everything Jason already talked about in the book or just wantinfo all the links are there now for you to watch This is still a well written book and is worth your time and money I feel because even if you re like me and you already know 80% of this books content just the fact that it s out there and thatauthors could bring usbooks like it makes it worth your time and investment Dear Goodreads Father, forgive me, for I have sinned I love video games as much as I love books It s true, I put them on an equal level I know it is blasphemy, but I cannot help this corruption of my heart Truth is, I love anything with a story, no matter the medium Film, TV, books, video games, the secret hearts of strangers But, yes, video games, the newest and most immature of these media and therefore the one with the most room for growth I have been there from nearly the beginning Dear Goodreads Father, forgive me, for I have sinned I love video games as much as I love books It s true, I put them on an equal level I know it is blasphemy, but I cannot help this corruption of my heart Truth is, I love anything with a story, no matter the medium Film, TV, books, video games, the secret hearts of strangers But, yes, video games, the newest and most immature of these media and therefore the one with the most room for growth I have been there from nearly the beginning and have watched it bloom from pixellated graphics, childish themes, and simplistic mechanics to what we have today, a verdant garden of diverse flowers, some merely a joy for the senses to behold but others a newer,active exploration of humanity.I ve watched the culture of gaming grow too I remember the days when being a gamer made you a GEEK that is, a NERD TV film invariably depicted gamers as ultra nerds and outcasts think Stranger Things depiction of the kids They weren t wrong, exactly, but still, what made this hobby of mine inferior to the hobby of people gathering around a TV to watch grown men toss around a ball I didn t know and, for me, gaming felt a secret shame.I remember, too, the first time I played an online game, in the late 90s My uncle showed me a WW2 airplane dog fighting game, and it blew my mind People from all over the world connected to play with each other in real time, to engage together anonymously in this secret hobby In that moment, in my mind, the world was made irrevocably smaller Ever after, I found the idea of borders and countries rather quaint I could feel no hate, no out group bias, toward those of other countries, for such distance was but a light speed hop and skip through the fiber optic nerves of the Internet.Point is, I m a huge fan of video games, so I thoroughly enjoyed Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, which gives a concise but intimate peek into the development and developers of some of the most popular games of the past decade It s all too easy to forget that behind these fantastical, otherworldly creations are artists who have sacrificed heavily to turn their vision into reality That s probably why my favorite chapters were about the indie teams or studios, like those behind Shovel Knight, Stardew Valley, and Pillars of Eternity Their stories are all inspiring triumphant under dog stories.This is especially gratifying to me because I backed on Kickstarter the original Double Fine Adventure, despite absolutely hating adventure games, solely to demonstrate the viability of developer studios making games independently, without a publisher The democratization of game development, if you will So it was highly pleasing to me to read how Obsidian was inspired by the success of DFA to make their own Kickstarter for the isometric cRPG, Pillars of Eternity Kinda feels like I helped make that possible, y know With that said, I don t think any particular knowledge or engagement of video games is necessary to understand this book, as it s written quite simply and many video game terms and systems are explained for those who may not know them At the same time, there s no denying that a familiarity with video games does help one appreciate this book.For example, one of the chapters is on Diablo III, and this chapter focuses heavily on the RMAH Real Money Auction House Before release, myself others lobbied Blizzard to remove this system from their game because it would create a conflict of interest the designers would need to make loot sparse and unsatisfying, in order to funnel players towards the RMAH You never want that adding tedium and inconvenience, just so people will pay to avoid it That s bad design Maybe even unethical, in its exploitation of people s addictive tendencies.Of course, Blizzard ignored us And surprise, surprise we turned out to be correct, and the RMAH was eventually removed, a process that is touched upon in this book So I have a lot of history that made reading this book a bit like seeing Wizard of Oz behind his curtain.In summary, it s easy to recommend this book to anyone who is a gamer, whether they re specifically familiar with the games or not There s ten chapters games Diablo 3 Destiny Witcher 3 Halo Wars Uncharted 4 Shovel Knight Star Wars 1313 Pillars of Eternity Dragon Age Inquisition Stardew Valley For those who aren t gamers, it s still a light, humanizing read about an industry that is swiftly becoming a juggernaut and may even one day become the King of Story Developing Video Games Hero S Journey Or Fool S Errand The Creative And Technical Logistics That Go Into Building Today S Hottest Games Can Be Harrowing And Complex Than The Games Themselves, Often Seeming Like An Endless Maze Or A Bottomless Abyss In Blood, Sweat, And Pixels, Jason Schreier Takes Readers On A Fascinating Odyssey Behind The Scenes Of Video Game Development, Where The Creator May Be A Team Of Overworked Underdogs Or A Solitary Geek Genius Exploring The Artistic Challenges, Technical Impossibilities, Marketplace Demands, And Donkey Kong Sized Monkey Wrenches Thrown Into The Works By Corporate, Blood, Sweat, And Pixels Reveals How Bringing Any Game To Completion Is Than Sisyphean It S Nothing Short Of MiraculousTaking Some Of The Most Popular, Bestselling Recent Games, Schreier Immerses Readers In The Hellfire Of The Development Process, Whether It S RPG Studio Bioware S Challenge To Beat An Impossible Schedule And Overcome Countless Technical Nightmares To Build Dragon Age Inquisition Indie Developer Eric Barone S Single Handed Efforts To Grow Country Life RPG Stardew Valley From One Man S Vision Into A Multi Million Dollar Franchise Or Bungie Spinning Out From Their Corporate Overlords At Microsoft To Create Destiny, A Brand New Universe That They Hoped Would Become As Iconic As Star Wars And Lord Of The Rings Even As It Nearly Ripped Their Studio Apart Documenting The Round The Clock Crunches, Buggy Eyed Burnout, And Last Minute Saves, Blood, Sweat, And Pixels Is A Journey Through Development Hell And Ultimately A Tribute To The Dedicated Diehards And Unsung Heroes Who Scale Mountains Of Obstacles In Their Quests To Create The Best Games Imaginable


About the Author: Jason Schreier

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made book, this is one of the most wanted Jason Schreier author readers around the world.


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