Student Work: "Cyclops World Cup" HND Computer Game Animation

The perfect combination of art and science, game development has become an increasingly popular career choice in the last decade. With new computer games hitting the entertainment market daily, games developers’ skills are in high demand. Since books are humankind’s second best friend (the first being dogs), games developers might turn to books to hone their skills. However, in the myriad space of books available in the market, how do you go about selecting the one that suits your requirements the best? Well, here’s a list of the top 7 books that should be a part of every game developer’s library:

1. Game Engine Architecture - Third Edition (by Jason Gregory):

 Game Engine Architecture

This book by Jason Gregory is the go-to manual for all information on Game Engine Architecture. The book goes into details citing ways to create your own game, challenges you might face and the solutions to it. With a focus on eighth generation gaming console architecture such as Xbox One and PlayStation 4, it is not a book for beginners. In order to understand the concepts explained in the book, you must have prior knowledge of C++. The expanse of the book’s content ranges from different game engines to the differences between them. It covers topics like runtime engine architecture, 3D maths for games, memory leak, engine support systems, animation systems, graphics, gameplay systems, profiling tools and more. The cost of the third edition, as advertised on Amazon, is £56.45.

2. The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses (by Jesse Schell):

The Art of Game Design

How wonderful would it be to understand studying game designing from different perspectives? The “lenses” in the title refers to these perspectives. The book takes readers on a unique journey where you not only understand the game design process in-depth but also analyse every step of the process that leads to the development of a game. Moreover, the author of the book, Jesse Schell is a game designer himself, who has designed many Disney games and also chaired the International Game Developers Association. This book is available on Amazon for £69.95.

3. Game Coding Complete – Fourth Edition (by Mike McShaffry and David Graham):

Game Codeing Complete

Veteran programmers Mike McShaffry and David Graham collaborated to write this book that guides game developers on how to launch their games commercially. The focus of the book is on the game designing process and the challenges that come with it. The contents of the book dive into concepts such as modern game engines, professional techniques used in games, LUA scripting, shader programming and artificial intelligence. McShaffry is known for creating games like “Ultima” and “Blackjack”, whereas Graham has dipped his toes in everything starting from the development of mini-games to programming for games on PlayStation 3. This book is available on Amazon for £38.49.

4. Game Design Workshop – Fourth Edition (by Tracy Fullerton):

Game Design Workshop

First published in 2014, this book by Tracy Fullerton is based on key game design concepts and is a great book for beginners. Due to the ease of understanding and the expanse of knowledge that the book provides, it is used as the de facto textbook in game design courses across the world. The book is full of successful game references along with illustrations and up-to-date design methods and techniques. Fullerton is currently the Head of Game Innovation Lab at the Interactive Media Division of USC School of Cinematic Arts. As advertised on Amazon, this book is priced at £51.29.

5. Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals (by Eric Zimmerman and Katie Salen):

Game Design Fundamentals

Rules of Play is one of the best books that gives you a ride along the key concepts and methodologies about anything between board games and video games. It walks you through a series of perspectives, helping you understand how a game can be developed ranging from storytelling to informative information. Both authors are game developers and former professors of reputed universities. The aim behind the inception of this book was to serve as a catalyst for innovation by inculcating new concepts, strategies and methodologies in game creation. You can buy this book for £36.20 on Amazon.

6. Theory of Fun for Game Design (by Raph Koster):

Theory of Fun for Game Design

This book takes you into the depths of the concepts that influence modern day video games. Priced at £22.31 on Amazon, the book draws out a detailed comparison between the modern and traditional video games. The author has taken the opportunity of writing a book to bring to the readers’ notice that fun is the most vital element of any game. Furthermore, he goes on to explain what drives this cultural force and how it has transformed over the years.

7. Level Up! The Guide to Great Video Game Design (by Scott Rogers):

Guide to great video game design

Any game developer that wants to make it big in the industry must have this book in their collection. Among the myriad of game development books available today, this is one of the best. The information is presented in a comprehensible manner, with little hand-made illustrations to go with the text. This is one book in the list that is suitable for novice game designers as well as experts. The book is available for £15.33 on Amazon.

Enjoying work and getting paid for it, is there anything that can beat that? If you are a gamer at heart and a game developer at mind, this can be the way ahead for you.

London College of Contemporary Arts (LCCA) offers a HNC/HND Computer Game Animation course to help students who aspire to become game developers and contribute to this ever-growing industry. So, wait no more and sign up for the course now!

This text was written by Meghdeep Patnaik and edited by Anisa Choudhary.