Blood, Sweat, and Pixels (2017) by Jason Schreier
Genre: Non-fiction, videogames
Summary: Jason Schreier chronicles the stressful and many times chaotic path to creating a video game. Schreier documents 10 video games and the storytellers, producers, programmers, and digital artists who put blood and sweat into creating some of the most memorable and venerated video games.
There are a few failures (Star Wars 1313, I will forever wonder what could have been). However, Schreier shows just how much “crunch” – video game lingo for working 100+ weeks to meet a deadline – goes into making some of the most iconic video games. Schreier puts a focus on role-playing games (RPGs). Due to the nature of RPGs these generally require the most time consuming work and creativity to compile an average of 40+ hours worth of video game content.
Schreier also shares stories about two of my favorite games: Uncharted 4 and Dragon Age Inquisition. The amount of effort, work, and vision it takes to create these beautiful and compelling games – not to mention writing these remarkable stories – is amazing. Hearing the interviews and statements by those who help craft these games is so enlightening to show the amount of work and energy it takes to create something so special.
Technical Summary: If you have no interest in video games – then this book isn’t for you. If you are a person who enjoys video games, even occasionally, this is a great book to gain insight into the video game industry and the unforgiving nature of developing a new game.
Author: Jason Schreier is a news editor at at Kotaku. His second book, Press Reset, will be out May 2021.
Lover of the written word.