Blood, Sweat, and Pixels

The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made

by Jason Schreier

2021-01-16 – 2021-01-22


Written by a video game journalist, this book relates the struggles faced by the developers of games like The Witcher 3, Diablo 3, Uncharted 4, Stardew Valley, and Shovel Knight. The theme of each story is one of crunch, a period where those building the game work overtime to meet an optimistic but unrealistic deadline.

Review ★★★★☆

The game industry is dysfunctional, propelled by the good intentions and addictive personality traits that bring people to play games in the first place. None of the dozen stories on how games were made seemed healthy or sustainable. But each game had its own twist on how it struggled: one tried to stay too similar to its predecessor and forgot to make it fun and others allowed the games to be changed wildly during the process. The mixture of art, engineering, and business at play in the game industry takes the worst aspects of each and puts them on a deadline. I wouldn’t recommend this book unless you’ve played the games that were discussed or are interested in engineering planning.