In 1995 I got a call from Keith Weiskamp, who wanted me to turn a bunch of notes I was putting out on the Internet into a book about game development. That book became the Ultimate Game Developer’s Sourcebook, and it was a chance for me to really document an industry I love. It will forever hold a special place in my life.
As I set out to morph that book into the new text you now have before you, it amazed me how much has changed since that first book came out. DirectX was just an emerging technology (some say it’s still emerging) and multiplayer gaming was still in its early days. Today, DirectX and multiplayer gaming are big. MMX was still in the labs at Intel, 3D Studio MAX hadn’t even shipped, and Nintendo 64 was still delayed. Game Developer magazine was a tiny bimonthly start-up publication, and even the Web was a green entity. I can easily say there are now ten times the companies and information on the Web about gaming as there was when the first book was developed.
As this book is set to go to press, the game industry is in one of its healthier moments—32/64-bit consoles are doing extremely well and publishers are reporting strong growth. A number of new developer startups with key veterans at the helm, such as Firaxis, Digital Anvil, Titanic, and Redline Games, are sprouting up. The industry, while pushing big publishers, also seems to be paying more attention to smaller autonomous teams for the creativity that has produced some of the most memorable games. Let’s hope that lasts.
In the midst of all this growth comes the Game Developer’s Marketplace. It truly represents Keith Weiskamp’s vision when he gave me the chance to do my first book: a text that helps people who really want to make it in the games industry. The Coriolis Group has committed itself to producing books that make a real impact on developers’ bottom lines, and hopefully this book and the other Marketplace books will be prime examples of that commitment.