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Blood, Sweat, and Pixels – The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games are Made

Author: Jason Schreier

IF you think making a video game is as easy as making a movie, try shooting said movie with actors, who won’t move an inch unless you tell them to, building arbitrary corners of a world few inhabitants will ever see, and using a camera that your technician keeps tinkering with during production, even if it means having to start from scratch when he’s done.

Oh, and if you somehow manage to navigate the chaos and actually put out a product, you’d then be at the mercy of internet instability and fault-finding fans demanding updates.

It’s not all Doom and gloom, though. Despite the delays, crunches (excruciatingly long working hours before launch) and the eternal conflict between man and machine, artists and financiers, and overworked employees and neglected families, video-game creators find a deep sense of fulfillment in “that moment” when it all comes together and the team finally sees what they were working towards (unless the publisher pulled the plug and it didn’t come together at all).

It also doesn’t hurt that the industry is proving to be extremely lucrative for anyone willing to put in the time and effort to produce something special.

In Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, veteran video-game journalist Schreier reveals what happened during the development of 10 titles, from mega hits such as Uncharted 4 and Halo Wars to the experimental and independent Stardew Valley. You’d be forgiven for thinking there’s a lot of repetition here, but every game has its own story, and each is skilfully unravelled by Schreier as he walks you through the storm while teasing you of the outcome.

Further reading: Fun Inc – Why Gaming will Dominate the Twenty-First Century (Tom Chatfield), Jacked – The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto (David Kushner).

– Omar Sayed.

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