Crowdsourcing

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen that I am writing a book. I have a first draft done and I’m feeling a bit “meh” on it, which I am told by other published authors is quite normal. I’m in the process of re-reading the whole thing on paper and making my edits. For instance, I know that I use too many commas. Too many commas, you say? Preposterous! You can, never, have, too, many, commas!

The book is tentatively called “Practical Tools for Game Design Students” and yes, it is sort of a textbook. It is based off of the class I teach at Full Sail University, expanded into more depth than I have the time for in class. The class is about learning standard software and theoretic tools in the context of how game designers use them. So we talk about Word and what makes a good GDD. We talk about Excel specifically about how you can use it to simulate dynamic systems. We talk about analog prototyping, mind mapping, how to not kill people with Powerpoint and other kinds of esoterica. We also talk about the structure of the professional video game development industry because no one else seems to cover it. The class and the book’s goal is to cover things that fall through the cracks when talking about the high-falutin Game Design Ideas or the gritty mechanics of coding.

I’m interested in feedback and editing support from my colleagues in the industry. I’ve already reached out via other methods, but I want to cover my bases. If you are interested in taking a look at it and giving me some help, I can give you credit in the “Thanks” section. Email me and if I know you to be honest (and will take a good look at a 77k word draft), I’ll share the PDF on Dropbox with you. It contains some images that still need to be cleared, so I’m not going to release it into the wild.

As I get it closer and closer to Done, I will post sample chapters here. For now, nothing is locked.

Here is the current working table of contents, to give you an idea of the scope of the book:

Front Matter

Introduction
Thanks
About the Author
Disclaimers
The Designer’s Education

Part One – The Digital Games Industry

1 – The Digital Games Industry Overview
2 – Industry Roles
3 – Software Development Life Cycle

Part Two – Written Communication

4 – The Game Design Document
5 – GDD Creation Process
6 – Word Processors
7 – Wikis
8 – Diagram Creation
9 – Photoshop & 2D Image Manipulation
10 – GDDs for Indies, Students and One-Person Teams

Part Three – Number Crunching

11 – Excel Crash Course
12 – Simple Simulation
13 – Probability Tools
14 – Game Theory

Part Four – Generating, Testing and Presenting Ideas

15 – Generating Ideas
16 – Analog Prototyping
17 – Asides: The MDA Framework / The d20 System
18 – Digital Prototyping
19 – Playtesting
20 – Quality Assurance
21 – Pitching Ideas
22 – The Many Don’ts of Powerpoint
23 – Powerpoint
24 – Powerpoint Case Study
25 – Other Docs: Feature Overviews and Pitch Documents

Part Five – Get Your Hands Dirty

26 – Doing

Part Six – Personal Promotion

27 – Broadcasting via Blogging
28 – WordPress
29 – Networking
30 – Twitter
31 – Resumes
32 – Business Cards
33 – How to Interview

Conclusion
Life as a Designer
Index

3 thoughts on “Crowdsourcing”

  1. I like the lineup a lot and will look forward to reading this. It seems a little odd that pitching gets so much attention while playtesting only gets a chapter. But maybe this gets revisited in the “Doing” section.

  2. I am really looking forward to reading it. There are not many books that explain what I learned from you in Design Tools 1&2 and to build upon that foundation would be awesome!

  3. Josh – Thanks! I appreciate it!

    Charley – The importance of the topic is not proportional to how much time I spent on it.

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