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Friday, August 13, 2004



Femable James Bond, Joanna Dark of Perfect Dark?

Scott Miller

Yeah, I thought of her, but Perfect Dark seemed too futuristic, and just because she's a female agent doesn't necessarily make her a female James Bond. I could be wrong, because I never player much of that game, but I still think the slot for a female Bond is available for the taking. Likewise, I think the slot for a female Duke Nukem is still wide open.


Actually, I think Cate Archer of No One Lives Forever fits the bill perfectly, although Monolith unfortunately makes her character too incidental to the story (in both the original and the sequel). She's basically there to add some style and wit, but it isn't significantly about her in any real way, keeping her from reaching massive popularity.

Incidentally, I picked up McKee's Story not too long ago. Good stuff. Also picked up Egri's The Art of Dramatic Writing, which is considered to be a classic of the trade.

Gabby Dizon

Duke Nukem - macho, wisecracking, butt-kicking hero.

female Duke Nukem - sexy, wisecracking, butt-kicking hero?

What qualities would a "female Duke Nukem" possess?


if the twist is just a gender change then you cannot really say the idea is innovative as it has been done since Ms. Pac Man. Now what would be a real shocker would be a male Barbie (and I don't mean Ken).

Michael Samyn

A male Barbie who is gay! :)
Has there ever been a gay game hero?


> Gives the lead character an interesting, meaningful story arc.

And what exactly is duke's meaningful story arc? :P

Tom Henderson

A female James Bond is a very unappealing idea. James Bond is tailor made to appeal to men. The closest characters are Modesty Blaize and more recently Syndey Brisco from "Alais". Both of these characters were strongly feminine. Frankly, this kind of role reversle is pretty lame. Even by the standards of Hollywood.

The rules you've listed seem preety reasonable if fairly obvious and generic. I mean who doesn't want to create a "easily conveyed concept" or "rich game world". Goals are easy, meeting them is the bitch.


"Gives the lead character an interesting, meaningful story arc."

That doesn't apply to all games. Project Gotham Racing was a great game, with a great premise (Race with style), that sold really and definitely started a franchise, yet it most definitely has no character story-arc. Heck, it doesn't even have identifiable characters.

It may be applicable to character-based games, but even then I'm not so sure. I played Halo, for example, because of the action and most certainly not because of the story (I mean, mutant zombies from outer space?). As you pointed out earlier, Scott, sometimes when you play you just rush forward (Geronimo!), ignoring the plot and when you're over you don't really feel like watching the missed story elements is worth it.

So, while essential in movies and books, I don't think a story-arc is an essential feature for a good game. If you can put a good one in your game, that's good but I don't think games live or die based on their story.


I at least gotta agree with the first point: a game needs to have something unique to get sales. Grand Theft Auto had it, Battlefield 1942 had it, Max Payne had it.

But the uniqueness should be describable in one sentence, respectively "Play a criminal and do whatever you want", "Fight multiplayerbattles with lots of vehicles" and "Shoot people in slow motion".

Games like Sacrifice, Perimeter and even Beyond Good & Evil are too unique to appeal the masses: try to begin to describe what makes them unique, it's not a single feature but an entire concept, and that doesn't seem to work out all the time.

I also feel that the best thing to do is innovate within a known universe/setting. Full Spectrum Warrior did it, and sold above decent. Games which innovate and come up with a great, new universe, mostly won't be a hit - but an innovative and well executed Star Wars game is likely to be.

Personally I wonder if there are more settings to be thought of than medieval fantasy, historical, realism and science fiction. More than 99% of the games fits in one of those categories. A fresh setting without an innovative concept, might also work.

Scott Miller

-- "What qualities would a "female Duke Nukem" possess?"

Stay tuned!

-- "And what exactly is duke's meaningful story arc?"

Well, in Duke 3D he didn't have one, because back then we didn't know any better, and stories were less relevant to a game's success. In the coming Duke game, we're putting a lot more attention in this area.

-- "That doesn't apply to all games."

PaG, of course not. Only to games with a strong lead character. That list was a list of guidelines, not hard-n-fast rules.

The overall idea of this particular blog entry is to prod developers into ensuring that they dod not bother working on a been-there-seen-that concept, and try to add freshness and uniqueness to whatever idea they commit to. Beyond Good and Evil is a great example of a poor initial concept, as it doesn't seem to be compelling, nor distinctive. Part of this is that the title may be the most generic in the history of games, but even the elevator pitch for this game is bland. Why this game concept was made I'll never know. Even though this game was well executed, it never had a chance.

Jerane Alleyne

--"female Duke Nukem - sexy, wisecracking, butt-kicking hero?"
Julie Strain!

--"Gives the lead character an interesting, meaningful story arc."
I think along with this, having an interesting character is also helpful. I dunno about anyone else, but I'd like to see a bit more variation in what we're given for characters. I understand that that white males aged 18-25 are the core audience, but it would be nice to at the very least, have options. I do remember a friend of mine refusing to play NOLF because "he didn't want to play as a chick". Is this part of the same thought process when developers are creating characters? RPGs and games like Deus EX and even Jedi Academy give us a least a few options, I would like to see more action-oriented games do this as well.


"-- "What qualities would a "female Duke Nukem" possess?"

Stay tuned!"

That wasn't a hint of games to come ... was it?

Chris Franklin

Are we talking about metaphor for the game (story, setting, characters), or game design here?


As far as I can tell, when it comes to Scott we are never talking about game design.


The truth is all of these guidelines have give. The best selling games today arn't always the most creative, nor innovative. It's a problem with the industry at large, and a more mainstream audience. Does halo have a compelling story? not really. What is innovative to one isn't to another. Games are far more driven today by hype and the mystical coolness factor that gets attached to some games while not to others. Does the mainstream care about great story? not really, they look for the cool.


The only thing that makes a decent game is original gameplay. Simply put, even if you took a game with a story - snatched the story away, made the graphics terrible, withdrew all sounds, and then played it.... would you still want to play it?

I mean, this is what made the games of yore so good. The GTA series have a certain gameplay which, even outside the realm of the story, you can really stick your teeth into... and keep playing ad infinitum.
I think even if Capcom released street-fighter 2 with no music, no backgrounds, and monochrome blocky characters - people would still enjoy it.... ok, so not as much as they normally would... but the game would still be playable at least. Make a game completely out of blocks and you end up with Tetris, which is universally popular.

Just look at chess. The only thing brilliant about that game is the math and gamplay mechanics behind it. A black and white checkerboard isn't too enticing, and even if the pieces weren't dressed up as medieval characters, the game would still be fun.


"The concept is so distinctive that if anyone else does it after you, it'll be obvious where they got the idea from."


Some people here are confusing "good game" and "successful game". "Good" can mean whatever you want, "successful" is much easier to agree upon.

Beyond Good and Evil is a good example: a great execution of a weird concept that wasn't successful. Compare to "NFS: Underground", a decent execution of an appealing concept that was very successful.

Simple - you can explain it in a few words.
Familiar - many people can relate to it.
Innovative - brings something new.
Attractive - this is the really tough one, being in tune with the tastes of millions of people.

Don't ruin it during production... cluttering its simplicity, moving away from what is familiar in order to solve design problems, or not playing to the strengths of what is innovative and attractive.


"Uniqueness (don't be a copycat)"


"Has anyone attempted a female James Bond, yet?"


Separating the gameplay from its metaphor is a bit weird, imho. Would Grand Theft Auto be as good if it were purely abstract? I don't think so. The twist in GTA (play a criminal who steals cars to achieve missions in a big city) has a direct impact on gameplay and not only on its metaphor. I believe the best "strange attractors" for games are those that affect what the player _does_, not just its setting.


I would disagree that Beyond Good and Evil had a poor initial concept; if you listen to the creator in interviews, his concept was that of the camera as a weapon, and of creating a world in which the hero had a different kind of effect from slaying the Great Evil One. I think that he pulled off those ideas quite well.

On the other hand, the first time I saw Jade, I thought, "Wow, I went to school with her." She isn't all that unique to look at. However, while BG&E suffered from a lack of a unique world, so to speak, it excelled in every other area in my opinion. I can't remember the last time I saw an interface so well thought-out, so natural, and the last game I enjoyed as much as BG&E was Metroid Prime. The key/door problem solutions and the fighting were terrific, and the graphics and sound were very immersive.

As for Tomb Raider, it wasn't the female Indiana Jones thing that hadn't been done before. (IIRC that was the love interest in The Fate of Atlantis.) It was successfully taking Prince of Persia's style of movement and translating it into 3D. I don't feel that any other game before it successfully did that; it's one of the few systems in which the player feels personally connected to the adventuring because they, themselves, do the climbing, swinging, etc. What I feel developers are losing touch with is, what makes a game fun? The original Star Fox 64 is still one of my favorite games to date because it took a simple control scheme, and a limited gameplay mechanism, and went to town with it. After Tomb Raider II the games were just not fun any more due to gameplay additions and extra movements, diluting the pureness of the original game, and taking away all the things that made exploration fun.

I think that it's not just a killer concept that can make a game, although certainly games like Tomb Raider and Gish certainly use that to their advantage. But also, at this point a game which simply does things right would be a breath of fresh air. I'm sick of how nobody yet has figured out how to fix 3D cameras, aside from the morph ball mode in Metroid Prime. I'm sick of in-game interfaces not developing; why, when games like BG&E come out with such stylish examples of human interaction, do games like Doom3 look the same, roughly, menu-wise as they did ten years ago?

Also, story isn't necessarily needed in character-based games either. Alien Hominid works without it because the game's just so damned fun.


as far as story goes, the most important thing is that it be subservient to the gameplay. as a designer, as soon as you say "ooo you know we shouldn't do that cool gameplay hook, that messes up our story" you've made a mistake. stories, like characters, are the same. I agree with Cloud; while Tomb Raider may have been marketed as "female Indiana Jones", the reason it exploded popularity-wise (aside from the huge marketing of course :P ) was the way it captured whatever it was that the old PoP games had in 3D. So really, from a design standpoint, Tomb Raider's high-level concept was "3D prince of persia".

mario wears overalls because it is too hard to tell where his arms are otherwise. mario is a plumber because he wears overalls. in most cases, i think it is very important to retain this hierarchy; make your characters and story subservient to the game!

the clear exceptions to this rule are games descended from the IF genre - i would include BGE in this category.

I imagine you've all heard the news already, but Lara's original creator is working with Crystal Dynamics on the new TR title - I for one am looking forward to the results!

Gabby Dizon

"The concept is so distinctive that if anyone else does it after you, it'll be obvious where they got the idea from."

AFAIK, Max Payne was released in 2001 after 4 years of development by Remedy Entertainment. Which means they got their concept before the first Matrix movie was released in 1999.

For me, the problem with BG&E that I just have no idea what the game's about. There's no immediate high concept that their marketing people have been able to impress upon me. And I'm not buying it to find out (though I heard it's a good game).


"AFAIK, Max Payne was released in 2001 after 4 years of development by Remedy Entertainment. Which means they got their concept before the first Matrix movie was released in 1999."

Bullet time only became a talked-about feature in Max Payne after the Matrix came out (and before then, as the Matrix teasers and trailers that drifted out onto the net well in advance generated substantial buzz). The first time the feature was shown off publicly was over a year after the Matrix hit theatres.

Of course, Scott might remind us that perception is a lot more important than reality, and the perception is of course that bullet time is something the Matrix coined... never mind the fact that French cinematographer Michel Gondry created the technique ("The Frozen Moment") well before then.

Greg Findlay

Star Fox is a great example of taking a good high concept and ruining it. The origianl two Star Fox games were fun because the control you had in the space ship was fun. It took the 2D side scroller and made it 3D. Why they thought taking the characters out of spaceships and making an adventure game was a good idea, I'll never know. I think the only reason people bought StarFox Adventures was because they thought there would at least be a little bit of space ship flying. I wouldn't know though because I couldn't make it past the first NPC who spoke in a "different language". My ears still bleed thinking about it.

For a good 3rd person camera I would look no further then Mario64. It did have the advantage of very open levels, which makes it much easier but I never found myself really struggling with the camera, even when near walls. You are right though Cloud, why companies still produce bad cameras is beyond me and they are the vast majority.

It's funny you should mention the interface from Doom 3 because they did do some niffy interface interaction things in Doom. The seemless shift from crosshair to cursor when you are interacting with a monitor is pretty cool. Doom also has a fairly well thought out pre game interface. It's really easy to navigate and is all on the same screen. I find interface is one area you have to be very careful when you try something new. There have been interfaces that have tried to do something different and failed misrably. An interface needs to be intuative to navigate. There is a reason why all windows apps look the same and that's because it's familiar and people know how to use it.

For those interested, the history of Bullet Time.

Also, the most successful games are simulation games bar none and I think that's because they are so easy to relate too. The top selling games are pretty much all sports games. Their high concept is very simple. For example, the Madden Football series is "Simulate NFL football".

Scott Miller

Regarding bullet-time, the concept of slow-motion gameplay was in the game's design prior to the release of The Matrix -- the game was shown at E3 in 1998. The idea of slow-motion gameplay was directly influenced by Hong Kong action movies, especially those by John Woo. The Matrix was undoubtedly similarly influenced.


I would like unbound, autogenerated (but shaped with simple, loose rules) virtual world.
Still, without novel concepts, soon enaugh, the game would resemble "unpredictable" adventure TV series.

Jerane Alleyne

--"Regarding bullet-time, the concept of slow-motion gameplay was in the game's design prior to the release of The Matrix..."

I always thought that bullet time was spawned from the slowdown that you got from playing games on the NES when there was too many things on screen...they even tried to capitalize on it by having controllers that made the games go in "slow motion" by repeatedly activating/deactrivating pause :))


Bullet Time's History - exactly, everyone seems to have forgotten we were watching Gap Commercials (and then every brand that followed) use the technique at years before the first Matrix film came out (ok, at least a year!)


Not to further derail this into a discussion about bullet time, but:

First of all, that The Matrix did BT first does not detract from Max Payne utilizing it in gameplay. If anything, it makes it more appealing. Watching and doing in BT are not the same thing, and watching in this case could only up interest in doing.

Second, the distinction everybody fails to see between GAP time and bullet time (as seen in The Matrix) is that GAP time is *just* a "Frozen Moment" (Gondry is the man!). In GAP time, time has come to a complete standstill: only spatial movement remains. In bullet time, times slows down but doesn't stop. What makes this different from regular slow-mo, though, is that it combines the slowdown with spatial movement. From a technical standpong, setting up a bullet time shot is much harder than a GAP time shot.


Er, that's 'standpoint', of course.

Also, bullet time slow-mo is a good deal slower than regular slow-mo.


Have you considered that originality (and/or innovation) does NOT go hand in hand with enjoyability?
A good idea can be made into a better idea simply by amending its weakest factors. You don't always make the winning formula the first time around. The success of such projects often relies on the amount of new or improved material you include. I have read many fan pleadings for a remake of Final Fantasy VII. (Much in the same way resident evil and metal gear solid were remade on gamecube)
I am trying to design a best selling video game and I am finding it impossible to gather good information from players. If anyone can helpme out send me some comments on their favourite games to goldleadero@yahoo.co.uk.


Well affynity, I hope ya don't mind me replying here rather than emailing you (my client is down for the moment and I'm too lazy to actually re-enable one of my online accounts). On with the show I guess.

I find it impossible to even give good information as to what makes a best selling game of any description.

Some will claim that great game mechanics (boy that sounds wrong somehow :D) is what is needed, however, what makes this greatness? The shoot enemies->find the key(s)->get to exit? Seeing as a great many games do this throughout the history of PCs and consoles etc, it might just be.

Some will claim it's highly detailed interaction (but incidental to the completion of the game) with the game environment. Others will claim it's highly detail ambience (the sounds of traffic, weather effects) or other incidental item.

The list can (and does) go on, however I shall curtail the list here for clarity. In my *opinion*, all the planning in the world, all the detail in the game world, all the interactivity in the game world doesn't matter.

And why is that? Because it may all come down to how much and how well a game is advertised. The old saying being something along the lines of "the people like what the critics tell them to like".

Let's not forget all those who go into game stores and buy a game because the box looked pretty.




How inspiring.


I don't think marketing is all that matters. A lot of games had good reviews but sold poorly (that's why Looking Glass closed, basically) and many games with lots of advertising sell badly (BMXXX being a good example of this). Conversely, a few games with low marketing do get quite popular through word of mouth (The Sims didn't have big marketing at first and look where it is now!).

IMNSHO, games succeed when they do three things right (this is, of course, a gross simplification, but the point still holds): form, function and cool.

Form is what makes a game look and sound good. The graphics, music, sound effects, story, characters, etc. are all part of this. If your game has poor form, it will look and feel dated and cheap and people just won't like it no matter how fun it is (heck, they may not even notice that it's fun since they won't try it after seeing it).

Function is the actual gameplay. Is it fun? Does the game has a good "flow" (ie. if you start playing, how hard is it to put down?)? Is it deep (emergent gameplay)? Is it broad (lots of stuff to try)? If your game has poor function, it will be boring and repetitive and people won't like it no matter how nice it is.

The cool factor is basically the marketing aspect of the game. Is it different from everything else out there? If not, people won't notice it and the game's quality will mean nothing. Does it have good positionning and marketing? If players never learn that your game exists, they obviously won't try it. There's also buzz, or word of mouth. Well done it's the strongest and cheapest marketing available. It's worth considering buzz when designing the game to make it more likely to happen.

If your game is strong in those three factors -- form, function and cool -- then you will have a hit. Focusing too hard on one factor will mean doom to your project (thrust me, I've tried).

Gabby Dizon

"And why is that? Because it may all come down to how much and how well a game is advertised. The old saying being something along the lines of "the people like what the critics tell them to like".

A huge advertising product coupled with a bad game will lead to disappointing sales. Except when people care about the IP enough to buy it without regard for the actual game (Enter the Matrix).

Building a game with a feature that is worth talking about will get the hardcore player's mouths wagging, and this could at least turn your game into a cult hit. A great game, with great advertising and PR, could mean the next Grand Theft Auto.

As game developer, I cannot accept the assertation that how well our game will do is based on the publisher's marketing department.


I apologise, looking at my post I can see my glaring mistakes:-

1. Saying (in the fifth pseudo-paragraph) that all the planning etc etc etc doesn't matter. That is, of course, complete and utter crap.

2. The link, therefore, between the fifth (cough) paragraph (cough cough) is somewhat tenous with the sixth (cough cough ack) paragraph (*breathe*), which is stating that "...it may all come down to..." - note that I indicated the word "may".

Given that the fifth paragraph reads as a certainty, the sixth paragraph indicates a chance. I should have just rewrote the post to strongly indicate a chance - not certainties (given as we all know, there are no certainties in life).

In fact, given the post, the only real advice one can take from it is:-

"Let's not forget all those who go into game stores and buy a game because the box looked pretty."

A great many people dispute that this even happens, the only proof that anyone needs however, is to visit any popular game store (those in the malls are best) and simply observe.

In any case, again I apologise, as I made many, many mistakes in...that post...hell, probably mistakes in this post - I figure that I can live with these mistakes rather than well, those ones.



Gabby Dizon

Thanks for the clarification! No harm done =)

Jonathan Hallier

With regard to the effectiveness of marketing, take Max Payne 2 for example.

As I recall, Max Payne 2 scored consistently good reviews on the whole -- it was well made, had strong hooks (bullet-time, physics, story-driven ), a fairly strong, and established IP (Max Payne); yet according to Take2, sales were "disappointing". So the question is, was that a fault of the developer, marketing, or something else?

No doubt there's an overlap, but I'd say Remedy did an excellent job within the two year timeframe. However, the obvious criticisms that would influence a prospect would be: that it’s too short; there’s no multiplayer; it’s a sequel; and the whole "love story" thing, which might not appeal to young, bloodthirsty, hardcore, action junkies (the target audience, no?) -- criticisms which you might level at the developer (and were, I think).

BUT, would it not be fair to suggest that these could have been remedied with *good* marketing? Granted the game is fairly short, but it's not a game like Half Life or Final Fantasy -- so why wasn't replay value emphasised through marketing & PR? Why wasn't customizability & modding emphasised? While it’s true that Remedy could have expanded on these also (DMW was good idea, but not a replacement for multiplayer), the ball was not entirely in their court.

Scott’s talked about sequels before, so I won’t reiterate his points on that; but as far as the subtitle/caption goes, I accept that they wanted to appeal to mature gamers as well. That's alright, but I suspect that “every matrix fans’ dream game” did a MUCH better job of selling MP1, in comparison.

Getting back to the point: - marketing alone might not be able to save a bad game (although, I bet Big Rigs sold a few extra copies thanks to the buzz generated from being offically labeled "The worst game ever"); but good, smart marketing CAN have a significant impact – regardless of how “good” your game is. Likewise, it doesn’t matter on the quantity of the advertising, but the effectiveness of it.

Did IP alone sell Enter the Matrix, or was the way the marketers USED it’s IP that sold the game? e.g. all the PR and interviews about how the directors had such big role in the game’s development; how Wo Ping’s stunt team did the kung fu mo-cap; the fact that the actors are in it; there are extra scenes written and recorded especially for it; and so on -- these things are all buzz worthy attributes that would appeal to gamers – particularly fans of the IP, but not exclusively.

Uh… what does this have to do with a female Duke Nukem again? :P

Brian Cable

I loathe bullet time. It's one of the most annoying "features" that has interrupted the flow of way too many movies and games in the last 5 years. I'll be happy once the concept is dead and buried.

Blake Grant

Yes it is overused now, but when it first came out it was cool (The Matrix and Max Payne). I don't know of too many other games that use it, but movies do it way too much now. Most recent annoying example is Alien Vs Predator.


Well, it's a tool, is the point. It can be used for both good or evil, but it's not an inherently bad or good thing in of itself.

In games, especially, slowing down game time implicitly allows players to spend a little more time to think. Can't remember who mentioned using time-scaling as the cheapest and easiest way to adjust the difficulty of a game, it certainly has to be a more elegant method than re-rigging every game mode with slightly different AI placements/abilities, and is also a scalar method of increasing difficulty. It's not hard for slow motion to have that effect in any game, and indeed, slowing down certain moves can highlight/zoom in on the minutae in an interactively dense area: see Viewtiful Joe, or frame rate hits in bullet heavy 2Ds scrollers.

But yeah, in films, its over-use is pretty grating, especially when directors do nothing with it other than to check the "bullet time" tick-box. Fuck 'em. Walk out of the movie.

Mark Ventura

Bullet-time is different from slow motion and time slice.

IIRC Max Payne didn't have visible bullets (the defining feature of bullet-time) until after The Matrix came out.


Maybe a ferocious pink bunny?


What I find the most interesting about these kinds of discussions is how everyone has such incredibly varying opinions. For instance, while reading Cloud's comments about Beyond Good & Evil, I was actually thinking to myself:

"I love the environment and the characters, but the interface was one of the most horrible interfaces I've ever used."

It is completely possible to have 2 completely opposite viewpoints. However, the existence of 2 completely different opinions doesn't necessarily make one of the 2 any less valid, or correct, than the other.

To touch on the subject of marketing vs good game concept, I tend to believe that in todays market, it's very rare that a fantastic product can stand on its own two feet. Now, I must admit that marketing is not something I'm an expert on. However, I've consistently heard from various people that it's simply not enough to make a better mouse trap, these days. There are an amazing amounts of products out there that are perhaps inferior but their sales are better due to marketing initiatives, evangelism, and all sorts of various efforts. There are many occasions where great games have sub-par sales and I believe that it can be greatly connected to a lack of marketing.

However, as a whole, the game industry is suffering from serious growing pains. While there are a plethora of game design theory websites out there, including my own, there don't appear to be any websites or groups discussing game marketing techniques. This "one sided growth" is a relatively common problem in any industry. For instance, a software product could becomes more and more complex (such as a game) but while the concepts, production, and implementation of that product become more complex, other departments may not grow concurrenty with the main "engine" (development) at the center of the product. Other departments may include QA in some companies, simply relying on unit testing as they had in the past, since they had no need to grow along with the dev team. On a smaller level, product management may not evolve along with the product quite as fast as it needs to, because there isn't quite as high of a priority either. However, one thing that I believe is a HUGE problem for the game industry is that the marketing and sales methods have not evolved or changed to fit the new models and complexities of the game industry.

It doesn't merely come down to just marketing, however. It also comes down to distribution, how we deal with resellers, how we deal with retail, how we deal with ONLINE DISTRIBUTION (sorry, that's just my big love machine right now), etc...

The consumer software industry (not games) has put a lot of effort and thought into the realm of marketing. There are trade magazines, conferences, and much more. There are techniques and concepts being created every day. However, this kind of dynamic progress does not seem to exist in the marketing forces of the game industry. I am VERY dissapointed with the methods of the marketing department at most publishers.

Anyway, my extreme rambling all comes down to this: Right now the game industry is growing. However, not every aspect of the industry is growing along with the core. So, we're running around like a man with a giant head and tiny little legs. Sure, we're moving about, but not nearly as quickly as we could be if the rest of the body grew along with the head...

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  • : The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge

    The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge
    The building of world's most technological structure for its time, against pitfalls, deaths and political intrigue. An amazing tale, told amazingly well. (*****)

  • Richard Feynman: What Do You Care What Other People Think?

    Richard Feynman: What Do You Care What Other People Think?
    My first book by Feymann will not be my last. A champion of common sense and insightful thought, Feymann's story-telling about life's events is riveting. (*****)

  • : Marketing Warfare

    Marketing Warfare
    A revised re-release of one of the all-time best marketing books. Only bother reading this is you care about running a successful company. (*****)

  • : YOU: The Owner's Manual

    YOU: The Owner's Manual
    Another good overview of way to protect your health in the long run. It's all about prevention, rather than hoping medicine can fix us when we're broken (i.e. heart disease or cancer). (****)

  • : The Universe in a Single Atom

    The Universe in a Single Atom
    Perfectly subtitled, "The Convergence of Science and Spirituality." Buddhism meets relativity, and believe it or not, there's a lot of common ground. (****)

  • : See Spot Live Longer

    See Spot Live Longer
    Feeding your dog at least 65% protein? Most likely not, as all dry dog foods (and most canned, too) absolutely suck and have less than 30% protein. And that is seriously hurting your dog's health in the long run. (****)

  • : 17 Lies That Are Holding You Back and the Truth That Will Set You Free

    17 Lies That Are Holding You Back and the Truth That Will Set You Free
    Anyone who needs motivation to make something of their life -- we only get one chance, after all! -- MUST read this book. (*****)

  • : Ultrametabolism

    Perfect follow up to Ultraprevention. Health is at least 80% diet related--nearly all of us have the potential to live to at least 90, if we just eat better. (****)

  • : How to Tell a Story

    How to Tell a Story
    Great overview of story creation, especially from the point of view of making a compelling stories, with essential hooks. (****)

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