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Making Videogames

The Art of Creating Digital Worlds

Duncan Harris, Alex Wiltshire


An in-depth visual guide presenting the captivating creative journeys behind the world’s leading videogames

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Making Videogames is an unprecedented snapshot of modern interactive entertainment, with insight from true pioneers about the most important games in the world. Illustrated with some of the most arresting in-game images ever seen in print, the book explores the unique alchemy of technical and artistic endeavour that constitutes the magic of videogames, striking a captivating balance between insight and accessibility.

Across eleven chapters, each focusing on a specific game from AAA blockbusters such as Control and Half-Life: Alyx to cult breakthrough games including No Man’s Sky and Return of the Obra Dinn, the book documents the incredible craft of videogame worldbuilding and visual storytelling via the world’s most popular, but seldom fully understood, entertainment medium. The book’s text orbits breathtaking, specially created imagery ‘photographed’ in-engine by the author, demonstrating the magic and method behind each studio’s work.

A book not only for die-hard videogame fanatics, but also for designer-creatives and the visually curious, Making Videogames is a thrilling showcase of the boundless creativity of this amazing industry.


'Beautifully illustrated'

'Remarkable ... Makes a compelling case for how the exquisite collusion of math and design contributes to [video games’] power ... As immersive and impressionistic as the games it celebrates'
NPR, Best Books 2022

'Making Videogames starts with the premise that "video games are a visual art". It’s hard to disagree as we follow the authors’ journey through twelve different examples, revealing the sheer depth of content, research, and craft required to shape the modern game environment'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC (no jacket)

Size: 28.0 x 21.5 cm

Extent: 256 pp

Illustrations: 240

Publication date: 24 March 2022

ISBN: 9780500023143

Contents List

1. Optimising Story
2. Lighting in Action
3. Building the Open World
4. Reinventing Virtual Reality
5. Faking Flight
6. A Theatre of Diplomacy
7. Procedural Worlds
8. Landscaping Joy
9. The Digital Actor
10. Fear Factory
11. The Soul of Simulation

About the Author

Duncan Harris is a screen capture artist for videogames, with over a decade of game industry experience. He has created official in-game imagery for titles such as Tomb Raider, Hitman, Crysis, Minecraft, EVE Online and The Evil Within. His clients include EA, PlayStation, Crytek, the V&A and many more. Alex Wiltshire is a writer and consultant for videogames, design and technology. He is the author of the bestselling book Minecraft Blockopedia (2014), and the editor of Britsoft: An Oral History (2016). Previously editor of Edge, he has also written for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, PC Gamer and Eurogamer.