Significant Zero: Heroes, Villains, and the Fight for Art and Soul in Video Games By Walt Williams and 2


    A book about game writing, but much than that. It's about addiction (to the creative process) and the cost this can take on someone's life. Well written, very funny and very real. Makes me want to actually play some of the games he's written to get some appreciation of his input and see how the process works from both points of view. If you like books about video games, or about the writing process, this is a good choice. Significant Zero: Heroes, Villains, and the Fight for Art and Soul in Video Games Walt Williams experience in the industry is an absolute treat to read. His experience in the industry is an insightful, hilarious, and inspiring journey about the struggles of a post grad stumbling his way into a multi billion dollar industry, building a resume filled with Significant Zero: Heroes, Villains, and the Fight for Art and Soul in Video Games I loved this book I really didn’t want to put it down as I wanted and information. Really easy to read, I teach video games development and will recommend to my students to read as it contains so much knowledge that should be shared about the industry. I love reading about the industry in this raw form as I lived and breathed some of it myself and I can relate to so much in the book. I love his honesty throughout, I want to read please. Significant Zero: Heroes, Villains, and the Fight for Art and Soul in Video Games Fun romp through the video game industry. Significant Zero: Heroes, Villains, and the Fight for Art and Soul in Video Games 「Spec Ops: The Line」のシナリオライダーであるWalt Williams氏が、ゲーム業界で歩んできた道を振り返ります。
    ライダーになり損ねてゲーム業界に迷い込む。「BioShock」シリーズと「Mafia II」などの開発に携わったのち、「Spec Ops: The Line」のシナリオライダーになる。
    同僚のゲームクリエイターとの確執。上司からの理不尽な要求。ゲーム業界のプレイヤー至上主義への疑念。ゲームにおける人間性に対するこだわり。シナリオ製作のために身を削り、寂しさのあまりに泣き崩れる。
    一人のゲームクリエイターが創作行為に砕心没頭する、可笑しくも切ない奮闘記です。ゲーム業界関連の書籍といえば技術やビジネス、業界史など、感情描写よりは資料性や実用性を重視する本ばかりですが、Walt Williams氏の文章はダークユーモアに満ちており、生々しくて人間らしさが感じられます。ゲーム開発者として読んで、とても共感できました。
    同種類の本と比べても、Cara Ellison氏やTom Bissell氏、Russ Pitts氏に勝るとも劣らないほどの文章力です。読み物として十分に面白かったです。
    「Spec Ops: The Line」をプレイした人はもちろん、ゲーム業界で働いている人・ゲーム業界に興味ある人なら、是非ともオススメしたい。 Significant Zero: Heroes, Villains, and the Fight for Art and Soul in Video Games

    When his satirical musings in a college newspaper got him discharged from the Air Force, it became clear to Walt Williams that his destiny in life was to be a writer he just never thought he'd end up writing video games, let alone working on some of the most successful franchises in the industry Bioshock, Civilization, Borderlands, and Mafia, among others. Williams pulls back the curtain on an astonishingly profitable industry that has put its stamp on pop culture and yet is little known to those outside its walls. In his reflective yet comically observant voice, Williams walks you through his unlikely and at times inglorious rise within one of the world's top gaming companies, exposing an industry abundant in brain power and out sized egos, but struggling to stay innovative. Significant Zero also provides clear eyed criticism of the industry's addiction to violence and explains how the role of the narrative designer the poor soul responsible for harmonizing gameplay with storylines is crucial for expanding the scope of video games into immersive and emotional experiences. Significant Zero: Heroes, Villains, and the Fight for Art and Soul in Video Games

    This is a timely book about video game development. It’s also a meditation on the relationship of art, commerce, and morality in gaming.

    The writer, Walt Williams, is a veteran of the video game industry. He has been involved with several major franchises and games, such as Bioshock, Spec Ops: The Line, and Star Wars Battlefront. The acclaim and popularity of those titles gives Williams’ book a certain amount of credibility and weight, although he is quick to disclaim that he is “not a hero so much as I am a collection of insecurities and paranoid delusions molded into the shape of a pudgy doughboy.”

    Williams uses his own life and experiences with gaming to shed light on the industry and its impact. Williams was kind of an outcast as a kid, and would make stuff up about video games to gain attention. He credits that experience as part of what got him into writing. Games also helped him explore who he was as a person:

    When I played these games, I didn’t have to be Walt with the big ears and Coke bottle glasses. I could be strong, capable, and most of all, important. That was the real fantasy, I think—not power or heroism but relevancy. In those games, I mattered.

    Through a series of (un)fortunate events, Williams finds himself at a Christian university in Texas, the Air Force, and unemployed in NYC. Eventually he lands at the bottom of a gaming company. For me, this is where the book picks up. Williams pulls the curtain back on how things really work and also weaves in his own philosophy of work:

    You do everything so that one day, if you rise to the top, you understand how it all works. Sure, you shovel a lot of sh*t, but that’s because there’s a lot of sh*t that needs shoveling, and the people above you are too busy to do it themselves. It’s called paying your dues. Come out the other end and you’ll be hardened enough to handle the pressures of the real job. Crumble under the weight of menial tasks and you’ll be gone in no time, your expulsion a mercy killing. If you can’t handle the sh*t at the bottom, you’re not cut out for the job at any level.

    Wililams spends significant time on the Crunch – the hectic and life owning time in the development cycle in which all hands are on deck at all times to get a game out. In the last few years, there’s been a lot of controversy about the hours and energy that game makers must put into games. Red Dead Redemption II, for example, has amazing reviews and also bad press for all of the hours developers put in. The author is a little less critical of the Crunch than some because he finds solace and stability in work. (“This isn’t an endorsement, by the way. It’s the confession of an addict.”) He also takes a realist’s approach to the problem: “Careers are not magical wish fulfillment where you are paid a constant living wage for only doing what you want to do, when you want to do it.”

    In addition to being part biography, expose, and philosophy, there’s a little bit of writing advice in the book, as well. (“Writing does not happen in outlines or summaries or group discussions. It happens when you sit your *ss in a chair and put letters in order. That’s where the real decisions are made. You can’t know if a story is worth telling until you start telling it.”)

    If you enjoy games and are interested in the industry, this one is worth a read. Significant Zero: Heroes, Villains, and the Fight for Art and Soul in Video Games

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