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25-03-2013, 07:22 PM #1
Untold stories of the industry worth telling
I've just finished rereading the brilliant Masters of Doom by David Kushner and now I'm hungering for more. For anyone who doesn't know Masters of Doom is a long form book detailing the rise and fall of the iD alumni. From the rise of bedroom coding to the age of "rock star developers" (even if that really only existed in the 7 square inches between Romero's hair and ears).
Any other long form biographies/documentaries about the game development world to recommend? Or another question, any stories you'd want to be told. I for example would be fascinated to read a thoughrough telling of what the heck was going on during the making of Amarular or Duke Nukem Forever. The snippets I've heard are fascinating but maybe the wounds are still a little fresh to go picking at the scabs. Likewise I'd love to see a fly on the wall documentary of EA right now.
I haven't read David Kushner's new book about Jack Thompson's war with Rockstar but it's in my to do list.
25-03-2013, 11:18 PM #2
Stories I want to be told:
Vanguard. The hell happened? I remember the bits and pieces that came out of this one being very interesting.
Limbo of the Lost. This was quite the crapstorm when it started. I wonder if there were ever any consequences for the developers and what they're doing now.
25-03-2013, 11:29 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
- Lagoon West, Vermilion Sands
I'd probably be down with some form of expose on Valve that wasn't the usual Gabe Newell dick sucking game journalist article (See recent EDGE for instance).
25-03-2013, 11:58 PM #4
This article was great. Said a lot about Harvey Smith and Ultima 8 that I was unaware of, not to mention Raf Colantonio and the rest of the story behind Arkane. I think it may have been in a Sunday Papers some time ago (but probably linked to on the Verge, since that's where Polygon spawned from).
I DIGRESS - I would love to know about more of these kinds of stories. I want to know how these games are made. Failures, successes, everything in between. Whether its following the creative process or the stories of the developers themselves. I would love to know how the original DX came about, or how something as awful as Aliens: Colonial Marines got past initial gameplay tests. I had one example in particular that I was going to mention, but I was just distracted and will now have to get back to this thread.
26-03-2013, 12:38 AM #5
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
Not a book, but the Double Fine Kickstarter and Amnesia Fortnight video series are long insights into this sort of stuff and scratch a similar itch.
26-03-2013, 02:33 AM #6
It might just be me but this kind of focused documentary seems to have gone out of style across all mediums. I can't remember the last time I saw a documentary about a single person/book/film. Now everything has to be generalised and tell you about the whole period or genre. I kinda miss the focused stuff, it manages to make the people involved much more nuanced and their story more interesting.
Great read, the anecdote about Garriot making him a project lead is a great example of what I loved about Masters of Doom.
26-03-2013, 06:52 AM #7
It really depends on what games you like. If you like Heroes of Might and Magic, I can produce links to interviews and stuff about Heroes IV (what went wrong and why) as well as Heroes V by NWC, including unit renders and concept art.
You like DooM, so check out alphas and betas:
It's fascinating to see how the game was changing. You realize how important the right artwork is.pass
26-03-2013, 03:16 PM #8
The best one I can think of is this article on Kaos Studios' disaster - Death March: The Long, Tortured Journey of Homefront
There are many interesting postmortem writeups, and while they're mostly about the development process and results, they tend to include lots of studio history and personal details. Some random postmortem article links: Natural Selection 2, StarTopia, Tropico, and Tresspasser.
26-03-2013, 03:26 PM #9
- Join Date
- May 2012
Spore. Honestly, I downloaded the free gameplay tech demos. They were more in depth and more fun to play than the actual game. For example, the planet simulation "toy" had actual atmospheres and proper ecosystems of life simulated. The final game dropped all that. Not to mention the pre-alpha gameplay videos.
26-03-2013, 03:39 PM #10Support for my all-pepperjack-cheese food bank charity drive has been lukewarm at best.
26-03-2013, 03:41 PM #11Itsbastiat, Dawngate
Bastiat, Planetside 2, Miller NC
Therin Khatta, FFXIV, Cerberus
26-03-2013, 04:45 PM #12
- Join Date
- Jul 2012
Most major games have a postmortem, many of which are posted on Gamasutra.
26-03-2013, 04:55 PM #13
Yeah it's a really nice coffee table style book. A great read, and really nicely produced. I would have liked an entire book just on the Dark Forces games but you can't be greedy :)
It's not really a story, but the gamasutra article on the Invisible Hand of Super Metroid is a fantastic read.
Really must give Masters of Doom a read. There is also a book on the history of Sega coming out soon which I kickstarted called 'Service Games'. Looks like it will be good.
26-03-2013, 05:29 PM #14
I'm usually not a big fan of the Escapist, but their article on the rise and fall (well, mostly fall) of Troika Games is worth a read. It reveals some interesting insights into the company itself and the relationship between developers and publishers.
26-03-2013, 05:35 PM #15
Man, I really need to use the iPlayer more. I keep forgetting how good their documentaries can be.
On topic, a quick plug for the brilliant King of Kong.