Finished two books, Behavioral Mathematics for Game AI
by Dave Mark (2009), a very easy read and rather superficial. I don't remember how I encountered it, probably some thread about how terrible Yandere Dev is. It completely omits path-finding and the author gets a bit too obsessed with randomness in the end IMHO, but it's an OK book for absolute noobs (Yandere Dev would surely benefit). It lead me to another book published by the same company, Video Game Design Revealed
by Guy W. Lecky-Thompson (2008) and that book is, well… something else.
The author claims Smash TV introduced dual-stick controls in top-down shooters, even though Robotron already had implemented that years earlier. The author mentions Crazy Taxi (written Crazi Taxi) in the same sentence with GTA as an example of violent games. The author claims Mario Sunshine to be the first 3D Mario and classifies it as a puzzle
game. The author claims that the release of the Sony PSP "prompted Nintendo to combine the GameBoy Advance and GameCube into a similar kind of gaming system" and he means the Nintendo DS by that. The author seems to believes that the original Doom used polygons and that CryTek invented variable level of detail in polygon models (and he calls Far Cry "Cry Freedom") and he says bump mapping
is when you recycle a monochrome texture by mixing in different colors to represent sand and asphalt. The author says that in Doom episode is the term for a level, that modern shmups use momentum in their control schemes, that the d-pad came about with the 16-bit generation, and that R-Type got 2D top-down
scrolling. This thing is so terrible I'm going tinfoil mode: Was that on purpose?
Here's a representative excerpt:<There may not actually be an on-screen character. Puzzle games such as Tetris do not actually have a lead character or even enemies. The idea is to beat the machine, which becomes the “enemy.” The blocks falling from the top of the screen, and which need to be arranged in order to complete lines and thus win points, can be seen as enemies or heroes—you can be either with them or against them, depending on your point of view. Puzzle games rely on a recognizable screen layout, the game environment, and its dynamics to achieve success.
The author likes above paragraph so much that he reminds you of it later in the book, and by later I mean literally the next paragraph:<In addition to the characters, there is the game environment which they inhabit. While “character development” might not apply to some types of games (we used puzzle games as an example of games without characters), the “environment” applies to all games. Even games such as Tetris, which do not have a discernable character beyond the blocks that fall from the top of the screen, have a game environment that is instantly recognizable.
It's extremely repetitive. The author mentions that Tekki on XBox has a special controller seven times
Here are some more real quotes from the work:
<For example, take a game such as Brain Training for the Nintendo DS. This is a game that relies on the player’s wish to have his brain “trained” for periods at a time.
<Skin looks like skin, and a moving thing that is covered with a skin-like surface is probably an animal or a person.
<As animals, we rely on our hearing (one of our five senses) to give us information beyond that which is delivered by our eyes.
<In the GameBoy world, the LCD screen is composed of a series of dots (pixels), each of which can be lit up as required.
<An automobile, for example, is a compound object that can be used as a container for other automobile parts. A mix of parts with different properties will make automobiles with different external characteristics. Red and blue automobiles will share many of the same objects, but each will have different color properties that will give the automobile its distinctive red or blue features.
<Consider films like Star Wars or, more recently, The Matrix. They present alternate realities that have their basis in our day-to-day experiences and, therefore, enable us to believe in them, even though we know that they are not real.
<We expect flying vehicles to give us a different perspective than submarines or race cars.
<It is worth checking out the Nintendo of America site (http://www.nintendo.com). Search for Super Mario Sunshine and take a look at the (eye candy) screenshots. Even a “platform” game like Super Mario has been updated to reflect an FPS, over-the-shoulder 3D feel.
<the text adventure might just take over the future of gaming
WHO IS THE AUDIENCE?! It's like a boomer writing for aliens. Maybe the author is both a boomer and also an alien. I don't know how the author functions in this world as a believable human being. Zero stars.