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Old Computer Game Design Book

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#1 Gabriel OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:51 PM

I've been thinking about a book recently.  I can't recall the title or author.  So, I'm going to spam a few forums here and see if anyone else remembers it.
It was a book about game design.  I'm thinking it was from 1982.  It had some color pages, and those color pages tended to focus on first person dungeon exploration games of the Wizardry ilk.
I can't recall much from the book.  I recall the introduction explaining the writer was a college professor who had seen quite a few students want to do games as class projects, so he was trying to provide some advice and structure to those endeavors.  There seemed to be a fair focus on text adventure games and dungeon exploration games.  I distinctly recall an example of using Base 16 in order to code Wizardry style maps and save memory.  There were also examples of using perspective and formula for drawing dungeon walls.
The only other things I think I recall are the book had a kind of magenta color on its cover and was a non-standard size almost like a softcover coffee table book.  I don't know if those last two qualities are accurate, though.  It has been over 30 years, after all.
Back when I owned this book, I didn't really grasp the information it was trying to impart.  And while it wouldn't be very applicable to modern game design, I'd kind of like to read it again with different eyes.
Does anyone have any idea what book I'm trying to describe?

#2 carlsson ONLINE  


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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:27 AM

Does it match any of the books on this site?



If you browse around, the site has multiple sections for brand specific books too, mainly Commodore but also others. Just don't start to leech everything you find, it will lead to IP blocking.

Edited by carlsson, Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:31 AM.

#3 Gabriel OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:36 PM

Very interesting link with several books I have been looking for, just not the one I'm seeking in this instance.

#4 carlsson ONLINE  


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Posted Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:00 AM

At least we've got a long list of titles to eliminate from further suggestions and speculations. :) The rest of the above site is ordered per brand, so if the book you're looking for was mostly general in approach, that is probably where you would've found it.


For those who don't know your book by memory, it is very little information to base a comprehensive search upon, especially as search engines usually don't work based on the dimensions or general colour of an object. Good luck anyway, and if you happen to remember any more details, go ahead and post them if you like others helping you in searching.

#5 jhd OFFLINE  



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Posted Thu Aug 9, 2018 4:20 PM

A search on worldcat.org for the keywords "computer game design" returns 42 publications from 1982. 


There are a few collections of BASIC programs (many of which are available on bombjack.org), numerous specialist technical and engineering publications, and Jeffrey Stanton. Apple graphics & arcade game design. This is the most likely-looking title from 1982.


Based on his other publications, Stanton was not a university professor, however -- he would later write guides to Atari and Amiga computers (and a book about Venice Beach, California).


A keyword search for "adventure game design" turns up lots of D&D modules and the like, but nothing published in 1982.


Given that Wizardry was only released late in 1981, I would be surprised if there was such a detailed book about the genre published as early as 1982. You may wish to expand the date range for your search a bit. 

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