Heroes, Villains, and the Fight for Art and Soul in Video Games
Baker & Taylor
An award-winning video-game writer who worked on Bioshock, Civilization, and Spec Ops: The Line offers an insider’s view of how today’s video games are made and explains what his role is as the narrative designer responsible for making a game more immersive and emotional.
"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"--
The author recalls details of his career as a writer for the video game industry, sharing how he garnered praise for his innovation on several well-received titles, as well as reputation for angering co-workers and getting kicked off of projects.
Simon and Schuster
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.
Pocket Books 2017