Introduction to Game Design, Prototyping, and Development 2nd Ed

Author: Jeremy Gibson Bond
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Pages: 1024
ISBN: 978-0134659862
Print: 0134659864
Kindle: B074WBLTPG
Audience: Game developers
Rating: 1 or 5 (see conclusion)
Reviewer: David Conrad
Unity, my fellow programmers... the graphics engine that is. This is a mixed book and given its size it can afford to be.

The first part of the book "Game Design and Paper Prototyping" left me fairly cold and my guess is that it would do the same for many a self-study reader. It's basically about the management view of game design. You can see quite clearly how it would fit into a lecture course on games and really I think that's where it belongs. From my point of view much of this is waffle. Will it help me integrate with a game design team? Probably not, unless they all read this book or have graduated from a course using the book as its source. Thing get done differently in different places. For me this part of the book might as well have been left out with the saving of 250 pages. However, I'm aware of the fact that if you want to give a course on this material, or are taking a course on it, then the 250 pages might not be so badly spent. As a result I'm going to ignore my misgivings about this part of the book and press on with the rest.



Part II is "Digital Prototyping", but it is mostly about learning to program in C# as this is the language that the book uses to work with Unity. You are introduced to the basics of C# using Unity which is a little strange as there are features of Unity that might get in the way of learning C#. For example, what is the Start function and what is the Update function? These are features outside of the usual C# language and specific to Unity.

 I think on balance I'd advise anyone to learn C# in a "normal" environment and then move on to learning what Unity brings to the "game".  Learning a language this way seems to make things more difficult than they need be but again if you really want to do things this way I suppose it might work. Given you are learning about Unity, and a whole lot of other ideas -  such as quaternions, Euler angles and so on - mastering the skill of programming is possibly too tough a workload.

Part III is called Game Prototype Examples and Tutorials and this is exactly what you get. Seven prototype games are introduced and developed and you get about 30 to 40 pages per example. If you like learning by following examples you will be in heaven, but I found it difficult to extract any general principles. You can see what I'm getting at when you learn that there is an Appendix called Useful Concepts. For me concepts are what a book should be all about and not hived off into an appendix.


This is a well-produced, high-quality book which clearly a lot of work has gone into. I didn't like it and if you recognize any of the comments as being relevant then you probably won't like the book either. In particular, don't buy it if you just want to learn C# or if you already know C# and want to learn Unity. Do buy it if you are on a course that uses it as its textbook.

To keep up with our coverage of books for programmers, follow @bookwatchiprog on Twitter or subscribe to I Programmer's Books RSS feed for each day's new addition to Book Watch and for new reviews.


Math for Programmers (Manning)

Author: Paul Orland
Publisher: Manning Publications
Date: January 2021
Pages: 688
ISBN: 978-1617295355
Print: 1617295353
Audience: Python developers interested in math
Rating: 4
Reviewer: Mike James
Of course you need to learn math, don't you?

Modern Fortran

Author: Milan Curcic
Publisher: Manning
Date: November 2020
Pages: 416
ISBN: 978-1617295287
Print: 1617295280
Audience: Fortran programmers
Rating: 5
Reviewer: Mike James
Not your parents' Fortran?

More Reviews

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 June 2019 )