A long, detailed, and in depth look at every (?) facet of game balance; a one-stop-shop for all your game balance needs! The first half of the book talks about different ways a game can be/feel balance/unbalanced and how each different genre has its own balance requirements. The second half of the book offers up concrete advice on how to actually test and implement balance from a mostly mathematical perspective. At the end of the book there is a good overview of some of the more powerful spreadsheet capabilities that can assist in balancing your game. Overall, this is a great read for anyone wanting to know more about game balance (surprising I know) in general (the first half) and how to crank the numbers to make it happen (the second half).
Industrial Society and its Future
When I read this about 20 years ago a lot of thing resonated with me, but his targeting of the leftist ideology as the root of so many of the problems we are facing, then and now, only rang true in my recent reading after an extra few decades of life under my belt. Again, I find it so apropos that he focuses like a laser on people who 'interpret as derogatory almost anything that is said about him' which seems to be the a reasonable definition for the modern trigger/safe space culture. Similarily he states 'This tendency is pronounced among minority-rights activists, whether or not they belong to the minority groups whose rights they defend.' which we see again when 'white' people march for BLM or Hamas/Israel while simultaniously championing their self-loathing by saying 'white' people are the problem. There is so much to unpack in a relatively short 100-odd pages that I can't recommend this book any higher; reguardless of your political leaning I guarantee if you put aside your predjudice and bias, you will learn something either about your 'enemies' or the world you may already despise. Agree or disagree, but violence got his message out there and Uncle Ted, RIP in Peace, has become something of folk hero.
Game Programming Patterns
This is a fairly no-nonsense look at programming patterns that are specifically, but not exclusively useful for games. Each patterns starts out with a basic definition and a simple use case for when the pattern might be applicable. Next, through pared down C++, a simple code example is given; this is often built up in a few steps so the reader can follow what is going on. After the pattern is thoroughly explained there are usually a few warning or gotchas to look out for when using the pattern. I like how the author, on several occasions, stresses that even though a pattern can work you should, when possible, opt for the simpler solution unless you are certain you need the full power of some of the more complex patterns.
Characteristics of Games
The book examines many micro elements of games and the surrounding metagames in a very casual and easy (and interesting) way. After breaking down the games into smaller units, it is demonstrated that there are often a few 'root' games that underlie what, on the surface, seems like a great many games; for example very many games can be decomposed into things like brawls, races, or chip-taking. The indirect comparison, through their respective treatments, of older 'classic' games, some of which that have have been around for millennia, to more modern computer games is very interesting. Beyond the intention of the book, I think there is a bit to be gleaned here in regard to a social commentary on how people no longer need other humans to play games and I would argue that the long term effects of this development may be socially disastrous; even the so-called social games (like MMOs) have been devolving into asocial parallel single played game (IMHO). Finally there is a decent amount of very interesting analysis on things like metagames, heuristics, and a decent treatment of Von Neumann Game Theory and Combinatorial Game Theory.
Godot 4 Game Development Projects - Build Five Cross-platform 2D and 3D games
After a solid introduction the first project is presented and explained in deep detail so that someone who has never used Godot or a game framework in general will be able to follow along. In the beginning many things are shown with screen shots to hold your hand as to where things are and give you an example of how your project should look. As the book progresses, theses screen shots are less common and the description of what you are supposed to do gets more terse, forcing you to have paid attention to and understood the previous lessons. I think that the difficulty curve utilized in this book is done very well so that it takes you from no understanding at the beginning to having a solid foundational understanding by the end. Overall, very pleased with the book and confident that what I learned will position me to successfully tackle more complex aspects of Godot and game dev in general.