8 Books Everyone in Game Development Should Read

Whether you’re a game developer or in the gaming industry, there is some essential literature you have to get your hands on if you’re interested in game development. While the online world offers countless online courses, masterclasses, and tutorial videos, these books are essential companions to get a deeper understanding of the magical process of video game creation.

We compiled a short list of the fundamental books every game developer and passionate gamer should indulge in. Whether it is for you or someone you love, any of these books would make a great investment or equally fantastic holiday gift.

The Gamer’s Brain by Celia Hodent

Written by Celia Hodent, a UX expert with a PhD in psychology who has been working in the entertainment industry for over 10 years — including at prominent companies such as Epic Games (Fortnite), Ubisoft, and LucasArts — this books revolves around the importance of User Experience for the success of a video game.

User Experience is about understanding the gamer’s brain: human abilities and limitations to anticipate how a game will be perceived, the emotions it will elicit, how players will interact with it, and how engaging the experience will be.

Designed to equip student readers as well as professionals, this book offers useful insights about cognitive science and user experience guidelines and methodologies.

The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell

This book was written to convey one simple message: you don’t need to have technological expertise to understand the fundamentals of game design.

The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses shows how basic principles of psychology that work for card and board games are also key to making a top-quality video game.

At the heart of this book is the belief that magic happens when you can view your game from different views and perspectives, also called lenses.

This book gives readers one hundred of these lenses in the form of questions the reader has to ask themselves to make the game better. Anyone reading this book will get inspired to become a better game designer, understanding the art of how to do it.

No-Code Video Game Development by Michael Kelley

We all remember those times when not being able to program meant not being able to make video games. Today, if you can draw a flow-chart, you can become a game developer.

No-Code Video Game Development using Unity and Playmaker teaches you how to substitute flow-charts for code. This book comes with free resources such as Unity Packages, Playmaker Templates, Animations, Materials, and more. Readers will also learn game design documentation and theory, mecanim, UI, and Particle Systems, among others. By the end of the book, you will be equipped with all you need to design your own video game, all without code.

Programming Game AI By Example by Mat Buckland

This book is about the so-called bread and butter AI techniques used in the video game development industry. It leads the reader through the process of designing and programming a game while using the C ++ programming language. It covers techniques such as state- and goal-based behavior, individual and group steering behavior, inter-agent communication, team AI, search, path planning, scripting, fuzzy logic, and many more.

Foundations of Game Engine Development Volume 1: Mathematics and Volume 2: Rendering by Eric Lengyel

The first volume is a great book for anyone interested in the 3D programming world. It’s a relatively short book, but it manages to explain and cover everything in a very concise manner. The last chapter looks into Grassmann algebra, a subject not easy to find everywhere else. The second volume explores the subject of real-time rendering in modern game engines. It goes deep into color science, world structure, shaders, lighting, and visibility methods. The book also discusses advanced rendering techniques including volumetric effects, atmospheric shadowing, ambient occlusion, motion blur, and more. A special focus is placed on practical implementation, including code.

Mastering iOS Game Development by Miguel DeQuadros

In this book, readers will learn an easy and fun approach to game development, with step-by-step instructions of each block of code. The topics explored range from easy to advanced for a fast-paced and enticing ride.

This book was written for those who have already created an iOS game and want to hone their skills in. A good understanding of the basics would be helpful to make the most of it.

Readers can expect to learn how to create a complete game with advanced techniques thanks to in-depth, hands-on instructions, as well as how to multi-task and improve performance optimization in their game playing experience. It was written by Miguel DeQuadros, who boasts over a decade of experience in iOS game development using xcode. He has released over 10 games to the Apple AppStoreMaster player movement.

The Making of Prince of Persia: Journals 1985-1993 by Jordan Mechner

Before becoming a best-selling video game franchise and a Jerry Bruckheimer movie, Prince of Persia was an Apple II computer game created and programmed by one individual, Jordan Mechner.

This one-of-a-kind book gives readers an insight into his precious journals, which span from the time he lived in his parents’ home to the fast-growing 1980s video game industry. He talks about his personal struggles that helped him conceive the story of the Prince of Persia, which later became one of people’s favorite games of all time, making its way into the homes of millions of people worldwide.


6 Ways to Ensure Your Android App Won’t Be Rejected by the Google Play Store

It is indisputable that quality and functionality are the main reason for an app’s success. In today’s digital world, the average mobile user spends a quarter of their day on their mobile device. During this time, they spend 90% of the time on apps. 

When it comes to mobile apps, Android is by far the leader.  The Google Play Store boasts nearly 3.5 million functioning apps to download, making it the largest application repository in the world. Android has become increasingly meticulous and dedicated to ensuring only the highest user experience to Play Store users. In fact, roughly 55% of the total apps submitted for review never make it to the Play Store for public downloading.  

Google’s Android’s approval process for Google Play Store is something every app developer should know. This is fundamental to ensure that the money and work put into launching an app doesn’t go to waste. In this regard, Android Google makes it easy to understand why some applications don’t make the cut. Let’s dive into the top six. 

  1. 1. Bug-ridden or Unfinished Versions  

It is no secret that Google and the Android team employ some of the best engineers in the world.  Their demanding standards ensure that only the highest quality applications make it to the Play Store. Inaccurate or misleading information, as well as bugs and incomplete apps, contribute to a big percentage of the total rejections. Some of the factors that make an app complete are a built-in support link, version history, company information, and documentation. 

How to Avoid This? 

One way to ensure that your app is complete and bug-free is by investing in comprehensive testing to ensure all bugs are taken care of before submission. Underestimating small bugs can result in time-consuming resubmissions and launch delays. Carefully review Android’s Document for App Developers to ensure all the information and content in your app is tested and correct. 

  1. 2. Carefully Test and Fix – App Crashes  

App crashes are also responsible for an application’s failure to make the cut. All major application repositories have a low tolerance for app crashes. Therefore, making sure your app runs smoothly before submission is key. 

How to Avoid This?  

A great solution to this problem are repetitive testing and a practice called “regression.” An app needs to be tested in different scenarios to identify potential small bugs and crashes. This means testing your application on several devices instead of just one. Luckily, major quality assurance and testing companies have a multitude of consoles and devices in their arsenal to conduct extensive testing across platforms. 

  1. 3. Inconsistent User Experience   

Though Apple has stricter interface guidelines, Android’s shouldn’t be underestimated either. One of the reasons why some apps don’t make it to the Play Store is because of poor or inconsistent interface. It is of crucial importance that your application is tested vigorously on different platforms to ensure it is flawless and functional before submission. 

How to Avoid This?  

Ensure that you follow Android’s human interface guidelines. With Android, you’re lucky to have more freedom with interface designs, unlike Apple. However, ensuring your app follows all interface guidelines is a must.  

  1. 4. Long Loading Times

Would you spend seconds waiting for an app to load? The ideal loading time of a mobile app is just two seconds. According to VMware’s Aptiligent division, about 48 percent of consumers will delete or stop using an app if it is slow. Apps that take longer than this amount of time to load are usually pretty good candidates for rejection.  

How to Avoid This? 

One way to avoid this problem altogether is by designing apps that value simplicity and functionality at their core. As mentioned earlier, testing vigorously across platform is another way to ensure everything works and flow perfectly. Applications that perform too many functions but have glitches or take longer to load have higher chances of being rejected. 

  1. 5. Intellectual Property Infringement 

As you may guess, Google’s position on intellectual property rights makes it clear that any application impeaching on IP rights (such as trademark, patent, or copyright) will not make it on the Play Store. Similarly, impersonating a brand or existing app will also result in a ban upon submission.  

It is imperative that your app needs a fulfills a unique function or delivers a unique experience, also called unique selling proposition (USP). There are exceptions, however: if you partnered with an existing app, you can show documentation upon submission in order to be accepted on the Play Store 

  1. 6. Neglecting User Privacy  

Android wants to “build the world’s most trusted source for apps and games.” So, not valuing your users’ personal data can be a very costly mistake. Confidentiality is at the heart of the matter for major application providers. Following Android’s User Data and Privacy Policies are therefore a must for every application trying to make it on the Play Store. You should never access user information without informing the user in clear and explicit terms, as this can have harmful consequence on the submission and overall success of your app. 

How to Avoid This? 

Be as clear and upfront as possible about the permissions and information your app requires. It is always good practice to allow users to choose the data they are willing to share with you and which they aren’t. It is also best to avoid sharing and capturing personal user information without notifying the user. 

Ready for Launch 
These are just some of the reasons why apps may be rejected by the Play Store. There are many more criteria that could cause your app to be rejected, including copyright infringement, similarity to other applications, usage of private APIs, external payment gateways, and others.  

An experienced testing and Quality Assurance Services provider like GlobalStep can help you navigate successfully through Android’s guidelines as well as support you in conducting comprehensive QA and testing to ensure your application is free of bugs, maximizing your chances of approval and success in the Play Store.