Blood, Sweat, and Pixels by Jason Schreier

Blood, Sweat, and Pixels

Developing video games—hero's journey or fool's errand? The creative and technical logistics that go into building today's hottest games can be more harrowing and complex than the games themselves, often seeming like an endless maze or a bottomless abyss. In Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, Jason Schreier takes readers on a fascinating odyssey behind the scenes of video game development, where the creator may be a team of 600 overworked underdogs or a...

Details Blood, Sweat, and Pixels

TitleBlood, Sweat, and Pixels
Release DateSep 5th, 2017
PublisherHarper Paperbacks
GenreNonfiction, Games, Video Games, Business, Gaming, Sports and Games, Science, Technology

Reviews Blood, Sweat, and Pixels

  • Tim O'Hearn
    I picked this book up for one reason: to learn why Diablo 3 was such a letdown. I vaguely remembered a well-known developer posting "F*** that loser" on Facebook in reference to a past contributor criticizing the new game and that being a big deal. I really hoped to get the full story behind what went on there. Speculation on Blizzard's next Diablo venture would have been cool, too. Really, I would have read a book entirely about the Diablo franc...
  • Erik
    Dear Goodreads Father, forgive me, for I have sinned: I love video games as much as I love books. It's true, I put them on an equal level. I know it is blasphemy, but I cannot help this corruption of my heart. Truth is, I love anything with a story, no matter the medium. Film, TV, books, video games, the secret hearts of strangers... But, yes, video games, the newest and most immature of these media and therefore the one with the most room for gr...
  • Rob
    Executive Summary: I think this book can appeal to both software developers and fans of video games alike, but it's definitely targeted more at the latter than the former. Full Review This book was previewed with an excerpt from the chapter on Diablo 3 (which incidentally is the ONLY game in this book that I've actually played/plan to play). When I was younger I wanted to make video games. Somewhere along the way however I felt like I'd rather sp...
  • Mike Horowitz
    As much as it hopes to show the "realities" of game development, Jason Schreier's book only succeeds at casually shrugging off crunch, "death marches" and glaringly evident worker exploitation. The stories sell, but his writing is grossly irresponsible. This quote by Glen Weldon on NPR sums up my thoughts:"There's another book lurking beneath the surface of the one Schreier's written, which ditches such blandishments and tackles the culture of ga...
  • Maurício Linhares
    So you think your job as a software engineer sucks? Think again, you could be working on games!Nightmarish environments with total and complete lack of management, direction, tooling or even a common dictionary, a bootload of manual testing and very little feedback until you finally deliver the final game to customers. Now add a sprinkle of 100 hour weeks (yes, you will work on weekends), no overtime pay and very little financial incentive and yo...
  • Fiona
    I can't say it really taught me a whole lot about game development, apart from I wouldn't want to do it due to all that "crunch" time. Basically, people come up with an idea, there is a few problems along the way which are mostly all the same kinda thing - technical issues, often publishers wanting to hurry a game out (Dragon Age 2) and then horrendous crunch time. Perhaps it would have been more interesting if he'd looked at game development as ...
  • Jesse Billet
    This is a very well written book that I think Jason spent a lot of time on. Time that leaves me a quite a bit confused. However, I want to address some very strange misconceptions that people seem to be having having about this book. This is not some guide to game development and this book is not going to help you make your Indie game. If you're buying this book for that reason then you're going to be left disappointed. Now this is a really solid...
  • Tracey
    Interesting look into the development process of video games. The author did a great job at picking which games to talk about. He chose a variety of big AAA games and smaller indie games, focusing on whichever games had the craziest stories. He researched them well but I already knew most of the information from gaming podcasts and news feeds. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy playing video games but haven't looked into the industry...
  • Thom
    Ten separate articles about the making of 10 particular video games, with no connecting materials or conclusions drawn. May be of interest to players of those games, but fails to live up to the cover blurbs, e.g. "A fascinating and remarkably complete pantheon."The ten games, in order, are Pillars of Eternity, Uncharted 4, Stardew Valley, Diablo III, Halo Wars, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Shovel Knight, Destiny, The Witcher 3, and Star Wars 1313. On...
  • Daniel Bastian
    "Oh, Jason," he said. "It's a miracle that any game is made."Finally, a book that captures the complexity of game development that anyone can pick up and enjoy. Jason Schreier of Kotaku spent two years traveling around the world to score in depth interviews with the industry's most renowned gaming studios. Drawing from sources speaking both on and off the record, Blood, Sweat, and Pixels provides a rare glimpse into the pain and passion that go i...
  • Caitlin
    "One surefire way to annoy a game developer is to ask, in response to discovering his or her chosen career path, what it’s like to spend all day playing video games.”In Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, Jason Schreier gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at some major videogames (successes, failures and everything in between) to show what it’s like working in the video game industry. Among the games that Schreier looks at are Destiny, Stardew Val...
  • Ben Babcock
    I love behind-the-scenes looks at industries that we don’t often think about. Whether you’re buying a game in the store or downloading it from Steam, chances are you aren’t that knowledgeable about what the game development industry is actually like. Oh, you might have read some horror stories on Reddit, heard some of the gossip going back and forth on gaming blogs. Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Vide...
  • Michel Avenali
    A revealing insightful look at the trials and tribulations that go into making some of the biggest games of today. As a gamer it was a revelation of what goes on behind the scenes of game development and how incredibly hard it is for these teams of passionate developers to create these experiences. Highly recommended if you are interested in game design and development , are a gamer yourself or wish to learn more about the industry.
  • Juan-Pablo Scaletti
    Depressing. Almost all stories are about teams of 50+ devs in continuous crunch mode.
  • Bon Tom
    I'm sure it's not intentional, just unavoidable because of the topic, but this book is for gamers. It's that one book the gamers will enjoy for sure, if they don't read anything else ever. This book is incredible fun, just like the best games are. And the amount of info on what's happening behind the scenes... priceless. Also, just like it's the case with all arts, I strongly believe that increased understanding of laws that govern the production...
  • Alex Givant
    Excellent book about what it takes to build game that players want to play for many hours. I love Diablo 3, but on start they had this auction for game items that many people hated, read in the book they dropped it and added lot of stuff to make it fun again - should check the game again!
  • Tyler Sampson
    This is an absolutely fascinating read, and cool to see how some of this generations most revered games almost failed to see release. With games like Dragon Age Inquisition and Witcher 3 (two games that won many game of the year awards) and even the infamous Star Wars 1313 and its tremulous tale, this book is a must read for anyone interested in game development as a career, hobby or even just slightly interested in the inside baseball of it all.
  • Philipp
    Alternative title: How the sausage is madeFun collection of essays/articles on how computer games are made, one game per chapter/article. Most of these games are fairly new, so if like me you're born in the 80s chances are you won't have played them (some games: Diablo III, Witcher 3, Uncharted 4, Stardew Valley, Pillars of Eternity). Some stories are success stories (Witcher 3), some are failures (Star Wars 1313, cancelled when Disney bought Luc...
  • Xane
    Video game development is a hard thing to write about. In most cases, it's such a large, expensive, and lengthy process that trying to describe it in a single chapter is essentially an impossible task. Blood, Sweat, and Pixels attempts to tell the stories of ten games in ten chapters. Largely, it succeeds. The book accurately captures the insane difficulty of creating a game (not to mention making a successful game) and presents it in an engaging...
  • Aali Hashim
    I normally don't read nonfiction because it bores me, but I wanted to know more about how video games were made, and most importantly why the fuck Bungie thought their version of Destiny was worth 60 dollars plus over a 100 more in worthless DLC. So when I started reading this book, I did not expect to fall in love with Schreier's writing style. He writes each chapter (and game) as a story - from the birth of the concept to the actual execution a...
  • Ioana
    When a book makes you miss your station twice, you know it's a good one. I originally picked this up with the premise of 'I'm reading this for work', but I ended up really enjoying it and even played Stardew Valley and looked further into 'The Witcher 3'! I am not a massive gamer, but I do have my niche of games I get caught into ('The Sims', 'Need for Speed' to name a few) so I was at least hoping that if I read it for work I might find somethin...
  • Sebastian Gebski
    Fun to read, indeed.I've expected something more like an analysis of why game development is different to all the other kind of software (why all the crunch), how does this industry evolve (early access, PTW, internal marketplaces, streaming), etc. What I've got instead is few (6? 7? I don't remember) stories of how few certain high profile (very well known) games were developed, what were the biggest challenges & how did the creators achieve the...
  • Сонин үнэг
    I'm a lifelong gamer and have always been fascinated with the process of making games, to the point where I made it my aspiration to become a game developer. I studied programming but alas, in my country there is no game development industry, and so I'm a normal IT engineer now. But the fascination still lives on and I devoured this book, drawing parallels to my experience as a programmer. This book is broken into chapters each focusing on the st...
  • Michael
    Having spent several years in a software development house, this provided me with plenty of flashbacks. Admittedly my years in the barrel were not at a game development studio, but I could appreciate the craziness that the game devs go through to get a game out the door. The stories behind the games were fascinating, and if there's one common theme running through each story it's the soul crushing doubt that dev teams go through when working on g...
  • Ryan Lackey
    Good introduction to video game development -- pretty widely known as a horrible working environment and filled with crunch time (even compared to software development in general), told through the stories of ~10 different game development projects. Interesting contrasting some AAA projects in the US, vs. a Polish team, vs. a couple small projects using Kickstarter, vs. a solo dev effort.
  • Sean Li
    For anyone who's ever thought about the game industry - this is an interesting, insightful look at how the sausage is made, why things happen, and how much of this labor of love may kill the people doing it.
  • Jeff Harris
    Fun look at the world of video game development. Working in software development myself, it was interesting to see the parallels to software dev in general (moving deadlines, changing requirements, etc.) but it seemed so amplified in these cases.
  • Mike Arvela
    Enjoyable, if a bit shallow read into what kind of struggles there have been in getting some major games done. Learning about all the hardships made me appreciate them so much more.
  • Vedran Karlić
    This is one of the easiest 5 stars so far, and I'll go even further and say it's a masterpiece. Or at least for those interested in video games. Jason did a wonderful job with it. Both writing and research behind stories (some of which are layered with tones of NDA) are top notch. The presentation is even better, as he is just in the role of the narrator that tells a story, and sometimes explains terms that are used in the video game industry. He...
  • JJ Hassan
    B,S,&P is a solid 4-star read and an easy recommendation. It is a series of short factual stories that quickly describe the most intriguing parts of how several games were made (or weren't). Because of the shortness of the stories, it's more of a gateway to the more focussed books of video game journalism. This was a very enjoyable read!