Significant Zero

Significant Zero

Heroes, Villains, and the Fight for Art and Soul in Video Games

Book - 2017
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"From the award-winning videogame writer behind Spec Ops: The Line comes an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at how today's blockbuster video games are made. 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 more immersive and emotional experiences. Significant Zero offers a rare look inside this fascinating, billion-dollar industry and a path forward for its talented men and women--gamers and nongamers alike--that imagines how video games might inspire the best in all of us"-- Provided by publisher.
"An award-winning videogame writer offers a rare behind-the-scenes look inside the gaming industry, and expands on how games are transformed from mere toys into meaningful, artistic experiences"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2017
Edition: First Atria Books hardcover edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781501129957
Characteristics: x, 290 pages ; 24 cm


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May 02, 2018

Brutal edgy autobiography on a maligned job in the toxic next big thing with matching big egos video game industry & the dreaded "Crunch". The writer that create the backstory, the mindnumbing to immortalized dialogue & the multiple paths in open ended games in concert with development before shipping out in sometimes extended to inflexible deadlines.
He admitted he loved his job a bit too much & act like a swear happy Prima Donna perfectionist chef that happened to be right.
If story done right, game will sell & gain pop culture immortality
He gave out advice for the wannabe.
For a lowbrow & weird metaphors , book surprisingly highbrow & very relatable with regrets on not being more communicative to his co-workers & wish games weren't all first person shooters politicians & lobbyists loved to bash.
Autobiography make Dilbert look like grade school.
Recommended for high school & up.
Even odds it will be an independent Hollywood movie within five years.


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May 02, 2018

mammothhawk229e thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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May 02, 2018

Video games are like rock bands.
Art is the lead vocalist.
Design is on guitar.
Programming plays bass.
Story has no place in the band, because story is the song.


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