7 Best Books on Game Development & Design [2023]

Game Design and Development is easily one of the most difficult fields of programming. It requires alot of knowledge and pre-planning before you begin. Most of the time this knowledge and experience is gained through trial and error. However, with the right resource, this process will become much easier. To help you with that, we have compiled the Best Books on Game Development and Design here.

1. The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses

Best Books on Game Development & Design

The Art of Game Design is a book written by one of the best game designers in the world. It has earned widespread acclaim with its unique way of explaining game design through a series of “lens”. Each lens offers a different take, and a different perspective which reveals something new.

The book is very beginner friendly as well, allowing those with little prior knowledge to easily navigate through it as well. It will take you step-by-step through the fundamentals of game design, and by the end of the Book you will have assembled your own fully functioning game.

Another plus point is that the Book is constantly updating (current on the 4th edition). It even includes code examples from various popular games such as Uncharted 4 and The Last of Us.

You can purchase the book online here >>>

2. Games, Design and Play: A detailed approach to iterative game design

Game design is a pretty dry subject, and for more of us, it’s hard to keep your motivation while flipping through hundreds of pages full of text. For those of you who have experienced this problem, this book is a great choice!

It takes a much more “fun” and engaging way of teaching you Game Design. First you develop your game by following the book step-by-step. At the end, you get to play your own game!

One particularly interesting concept taught by this book is the various types of game play designs it covers. single player, multiplayer, competitive, role-playing, chance-based etc. Useful for those looking to develop a variety of games, or a game which utilizes various game modes.

You can purchase the book online here >>>

3. Game Mechanics: Advanced Game Design

For those looking for a comprehensive book on Game Design that helps you improve yourself as a Game developer, look no further. This book will teach you how to design, prototype, test and visualize game mechanics to help you design and create better games.

The book is not only aimed towards those looking to enter the Game Design field, but rather it also for existing game developers to further polish and improve their skills. Highly recommended for those willing to put in the effort.

You can purchase the book online here >>>

4. Learning C# by Developing Games with Unity 2021

Book for Game Design in Unity

This book here is a rather unique addition in our list. The reason being that it is revolves around Game Design and Game development using the popular Unity game engine. This is actually a great choice for many as Unity is a powerful, yet simple-to-learn game engine that is already widely used amongst the community.

Often people have trouble designing and building a game from scratch. Unity assists you greatly during the process, so its great for beginners. By extension, this book is great for beginners looking to begin game development.

This book might not be the most comprehensive guide on game design (as its scope is a bit narrow), but it will surely teach you the fundamentals, and leave you with the ability to produce professional games in Unity.

You can purchase the book online here >>>

5. Foundations of Game Engine Development, Volume 1: Mathematics

Mathematical book for Game Design and Development

For those with little experience in Game design and development, you might not realize just how important mathematics can be to this field. Game Physics and 3D rendering especially are two subfields which rely heavily on mathematical concepts like Vectors, Matrices, Projection, Reflections, Transformations and more.

This book comes in two parts. The first volume is heavily focused on the Mathematical side, and teaches you the various concepts you need for use in Game Development. On the other hand, the Second Volume focuses more on “Rendering” of Game graphics.

This book is particularly a good choice for those with a weak maths background, or beginner game developers looking to improve their skills.

You can purchase the book online here >>>

6. The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and Design

This book markets itself as a book that teaches you everything you need to know about game development. Not just the basics, but also everything else that’s a part of game development, such as how to create a compelling and emotional story and how to flesh out your characters.

It’s a book heavily focused on the “Video game” aspect of things. For those looking to create an awesome video game and improve your current games, this is the book for you.

You can purchase the book online here >>>

7. Game Programming Patterns 

We saved one of the best for last. This book is here was originally written by a top developer at the Game Company Electronic Arts, and later publicly released in book format due to popular demand.

Game Programming Patterns is a book where author shares his many years of experience with AAA games. You will learn how to properly write and structure code, how to untangle complexities and properly optimize your game and take advantage of various CPU features (such as the cache).

The book is well written, clear and concise. Even entry-level game programmers can read this, as it doesn’t delve too much into code, rather it focuses more on the concept and design, and how they can be used to solve various problems or implement a certain feature.

You can purchase the book online here >>>

This marks the end of the 10 Best Books on Game Development & Design Article. Any suggestions or contributions for CodersLegacy are more than welcome. Questions regarding the tutorial content can be asked in the comments section below.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments