The Game Designer’s Bookshelf

Maintained by Steve Meretzky -- Last updated 1/6/09


[11/4/04] This list was begun as the result of a session at the Game Designers Workshop in San Rafael, CA in August 2003. The exercise was not to come up with a list of books that are explicitly about game design, but other books which nonetheless have stuff to offer that will aid and inform the game design process – although some of the former have made their way onto this list. The goal was to include both books that are meant to be read, and books that are merely additions to a reference library. I have included quotes about the book, but these may have been garbled in the frantic heat of note-taking; please send corrections if needed. I will continue to add additional titles are they are suggested.
 
[11/3/05] As the list was getting unwieldy, I have divided it into sections by topic. Within each topic, books are arranged alphabetically by title:


Art and Architecture [7 suggestions]
Business Strategy [10 suggestions]
Communities, Networks, and Cyberspace [8 suggestions]
Fiction [10 suggestions]
Filmmaking [8 suggestions]
Game Development and Industry History [14 suggestions]
History and Sociology [10 suggestions]
Marketing and Positioning [16 suggestions]
Miscellaneous [7 suggestions]
Psychology [14 suggestions]
Reference [11 suggestions]
Software Management and Team Leadership [20 suggestions]
User Interface and Usability [5 suggestions]
Writing and Storytelling [9 suggestions]


Art and Architecture

Title:
The Animator's Survival Kit: A Manual of Methods, Principles, and Formulas for Classical, Computer, Games, Stop Motion, and Internet Animators
Author: Richard Williams
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication Date: January 7, 2002
ISBN: 0571202284
Suggested by: Hal Barwood
Comments: Beyond The Illusion of Life in detail and practicality by the master of Roger Rabbit.
 
Title: Architecture: Form, Space, and Order
Author: Frank D. K. Ching, Francis D. Ching
Publisher: Wiley
Publication Date: December 18, 1995 (second edition)
ISBN: 0471286168
Suggested by: Paul Schuytema
Comments: “Simple overview of architecture. Good for level builders.”
 
Title: A Bug's Life: The Art and Making of an Epic of Miniature Proportions
Author: Jeff Kurtti
Publisher: Disney Editions
Publication Date: December 23, 1998
ISBN: 0786864419
Suggested by: Mike Pondsmith
Comments: “Or any of the ‘making of’ Disney and Pixar stuff. Talk about how teams function. Create docs. Team dynamics. The ‘Bug’s Life’ one is particularly good.”
 
Title: Designing Disney's Theme Parks: The Architecture of Reassurance
Author: Karal Ann Marling (editor)
Publisher: Flammarion
Publication Date: February 15, 1998
ISBN: 2080136399
Suggested by: Patricia Pizer
Comments: A fascinating volume which unites the writing of Marty Sklar, Frank Gehry & others in the analysis of the intentions and strategies behind the design of Disneyland. Full of fabulous photos & sketches from the famed Disney Archives.
 
Title: Design of Cities
Author: Edmund N. Bacon
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: May 1, 1976 (revised edition)
ISBN: 0140042369
Suggested by: Patricia Pizer
Comments: “How cities are designed and function over history.”
 
Title: The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation
Author: Ollie Johnston, Frank Thomas
Publisher: Disney Editions
Publication Date: October 19, 1995 (revised edition)
ISBN: 0786860707
Suggested by: Hal Barwood
Comments: A great coffee table book by two famous pros and a standard teaching text.
 
Title: A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction
Author: Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 1977
ISBN: 0195019199
Suggested by: Mark Terrano
Comments: Warren Spector recommends everything by Christopher Alexander: “Alexander’s Timeless Way of Building is both instructive and therapeutic – I’m convinced reading/rereading it lowers my blood pressure. His new series, Phenomenon of Life, is pretty wacky – I’m still trying to wade through its four thick volumes – but it’s certainly through-provoking.”

Business Strategy

Title:
Blockbusters: The Five Keys to Developing GREAT New Products
Author: Gary S. Lynn, Richard R. Reilly
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Publication Date: October 1, 2002
ISBN: 0060084731
Suggested by: Gordon Walton
Comments: “Statistical analysis across industries analyzing teams that built blockbuster products.”
 
Title: The Change Monster: The Human Forces that Fuel or Foil Corporate Transformation and Change
Author: Jeanie Daniel Duck
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Publication Date: August 13, 2002 (first paperback edition)
ISBN: 0609808818
Suggested by: Gordon Walton
 
Title: Focus: The Future of Your Company Depends on It
Author: Al Ries
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Publication Date: June 18, 1997
ISBN: 0887308635
Suggested by: Scott Miller
Comments: “For anyone running a business.”
 
Title: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
Author: Jim Collins
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Publication Date: October 16, 2001
ISBN: 0066620996
Suggested by: Scott Miller
 
Title: Hardball: Are You Playing to Play or Playing to Win
Author: George Stalk, Rob Lachenauer, John Butman
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Publication Date: September 2004
ISBN: 1591391679
Suggested by: Gordon Walton
Comments: “The title says it all; pretty interesting analysis.”
 
Title: The Medici Effect: Breakthrough Insights at the Intersection of Ideas, Concepts, and Cultures
Author: Frans Johansson
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press Publication Date: Sept 2004
ISBN: 1591391865
Suggested by: Gordon Walton
Comments: “Some nice prescriptions for innovation and how to innovate.”
 
Title: The Only Sustainable Edge: Why Business Strategy Depends on Productive Friction and Dynamic Specialization
Author: John Hagel III, John Seely Brown
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Publication Date: May 2005
ISBN: 1591397200
Suggested by: Gordon Walton
Comments: “Want to know how to use the power of outsourcing/overseeing stuff while focusing on your real differentiation? Read this book.”
 
Title: The Power of Unfair Advantage: How to Create It, Build it, and Use It to Maximum Effect
Author: John L. Nesheim
Publisher: Free Press
Publication Date: May 2005
ISBN: 0743256050
Suggested by: Gordon Walton
Comments: “A must read for anyone starting a company, but just as important for people making a game.”
 
Title: Visionary's Handbook: Nine Paradoxes That Will Shape the Future of Your Business
Author: Watts Wacker, Jim Taylor
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Publication Date: August 1, 2001
ISBN: 0066619882
Suggested by: Gordon Walton
Comments:Kinda out there. Megatrends of the coming decades.”
 
Title: The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century
Author: Thomas L. Friedman
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: 2005
ISBN: 0374292884
Suggested by: Gordon Walton
Comments: “I think this is an important book, as it is a great illustration of where we are, how we got here and where we might be going as people and nations. Fascinating.”

 

Communities, Networks and Cyberspace

Title: Community Building on the Web: Secret Strategies for Successful Online Communities

Author: Amy Jo Kim

Publisher: Peachpit Press

Publication Date: April 6, 2000

ISBN: 0201874849

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

 

Title: Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace

Author: Janet H. Murray

Publisher: The MIT Press

Publication Date: August 27, 1998

ISBN: 0262631873

Suggested by: Susan O’Connor

Comments: “Invention of vocabularies for new technologies. Each art form has its incunabula period, where they don’t know what they’re dealing with.” “Just read the first five chapters.” – Lee Sheldon

 

Title: Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet

Author: Sherry Turkle

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: September 4, 1997 (reprint edition)

ISBN: 0684833484

Suggested by: Sheri Ray

 

Title: My Tiny Life: Crime and Passion in a Virtual World

Author: Julian Dibbell

Publisher: Henry Holt & Company

Publication Date: January 1, 1999

ISBN: 0805036261

Suggested by: Lee Sheldon

Comments: “Introduction to how people behave when there is an anonymous shroud over them.”

 

Title: Nexus: Small Worlds and the Groundbreaking Science of Networks

Author: Mark Buchanan

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Publication Date: May 1, 2002

ISBN: 0393041530

Suggested by: Patricia Pizer

Comments: “Helps you understand your player.”

 

Title: Remediation: Understanding New Media

Author: Jay David Bolter, Richard Grusin

Publisher: The MIT Press

Publication Date: February 28, 2000

ISBN: 0262522799

Suggested by: Mark Terrano

 

Title: The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit

Author: Sherry Turkle

Publisher: Touchstone Books

Publication Date: September 1, 1985 (reprint edition)

ISBN: 0671606026

Suggested by: Sheri Ray

Comments: “How people relate to technology.”

 

Title: Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age

Author: Duncan J. Watts

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Publication Date: February 2003

ISBN: 0393041425

Suggested by: Patricia Pizer

Comments: “Research based on six degrees of separation. Then goes way beyond existing research.”

 

Fiction

 

Title: Don Quixote

Author: Miguel de Cervantes, translated by Tobias Smollett

Publisher: Modern Library

Publication Date: April 10, 2001

ISBN: 037575699X

Suggested by: Lee Sheldon

Comments: “The first true novel. Picaresque format. Surprisingly non-linear; things happen in modular scenes that can be shifted around. You still get to the end with the death scene where he thinks he hasn’t proved chivalry.”

 

Title: Dream Park

Author: Larry Niven, Steven Barnes

Publisher: Ace Books

Publication Date: March 25, 2003 (reissue edition)

ISBN: 0441167306

Suggested by: Corey Cole

Comments: “Fiction about a virtual world.”

 

Title: Ender’s Game

Author: Orson Scott Card

Publisher: Tor Books

Publication Date: July 1, 1994 (reprint edition)

ISBN: 0812550706

Suggested by: David Fox

Comments: “Especially the giant’s game within the novel.”


Title: The Glass Bead Game (Magister Ludi)
Author: Herman Hesse
Publisher: Picador
Publication Date: 1943
ISBN: 0312278496
Suggested by: Brian Moriarty
Comments: “A magnificent novel, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946, featuring a delightful game-religion that oddly prefigures the Web, sort of. Many people have attempted to implement Hesse's Glass Bead Game themselves, a goal about as likely to succeed as reverse-engineering Wells' Time Machine."

 

Title: Goodbye Mickey Mouse

Author: Len Deighton

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publication Date: 1983

ISBN: 0586054480

Suggested by: Hal Barwood

 

Title: Snow Crash

Author: Neal Stephenson

Publisher: Spectra

Publication Date: May 2, 2000 (Spectra edition)

ISBN: 0553380958

Suggested by: Patricia Pizer

Comments: “Cyberpunk fiction. You have to read it.”

 

Title: Tigana

Author: Guy Gavriel Kay

Publisher: Roc

Publication Date: 1990

ISBN: 0451457765

Suggested by: Ken Rolston

 

Title: Trouble and Her Friends

Author: Melissa Scott

Publisher: Tor Books;

Publication Date: November 1, 1998 (reprint edition)

ISBN: 0812522133

Suggested by: Patricia Pizer

Comments: “Interesting look at cyberspace. Interface issues that are interesting. Towns with bulletin board.”

 

Title: True Names: And the Opening of the Cyberspace Frontier

Author: Vernor Vinge, James Frenkel

Publisher: Tor Books

Publication Date: 1981 (original publication); December 2001 (reprint edition)

ISBN: 0312862075

Suggested by: Patricia Pizer

Comments: “Fiction about pseudonymity.”

 

Title: The Worlock of Firetop Mountain (Fighting Fantasy Gamebook)

Author: Steve Jackson, Ian Livingstone

Publisher: I Books

Publication Date: October 1, 2003

ISBN: 0743475119

Suggested by: Noah Falstein

Comments: “Any of the books in Steve Jackson’s Fighting Fantasy Gamebook series. Like a choose-your-own-adventure book.”

 

Filmmaking

 

Title: Adventures in the Screen Trade

Author: William Goldman

Publisher: Warner Books

Publication Date: 1983; March 10, 1989 (reissue edition)

ISBN: 0446391174

Suggested by: Hal Barwood

Comments: Excellent lore about the experience of writing movies by one who knows. “The sequel (so to speak), Which Lie Did I Tell?, is also great.” – Steve Meretzky

 

Title: Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen

Author: Steven Katz

Publisher: Michael Wiese

Publication Date: July 31, 1991

ISBN: 0941188108

Suggested by: Hal Barwood

Comments: Standard tome on basic directorial technique; having this kind of knowledge about movies is like knowing the theory of chord progression in music – it’s important.

 

Title: Final Cut: Art, Money, and Ego in the Making of Heaven's Gate, the Film That Sank United Artists

Author: Steven Bach

Publisher: Newmarket Press

Publication Date: September 1, 1999 (revised edition)

ISBN: 1557043744

Suggested by: Hal Barwood

Comments: What it’s like to watch a studio collapse; excellent account of life in Hollywood.

 

Title: The Five C's of Cinematography: Motion Picture Filming Techniques

Author: Joseph V. Mascelli

Publisher: Silman-James Press

Publication Date: June 1, 1998

ISBN: 187950541X

Suggested by: Hal Barwood

Comments: How to make movies dynamically expressive.

 

Title: Grammar of Film Language

Author: Daniel Arijon

Publisher: Silman-James Press

Publication Date: September 1, 1991 (reprint edition)

ISBN: 187950507X

Suggested by: Hal Barwood

Comments: Alternate standard tome on directorial technique for movies; deeper than Katz.

 

Title: Making Movies Work: Thinking Like a Filmmaker

Author: Jon Boorstin

Publisher: Silman-James Press

Publication Date: December 1, 1995

ISBN: 1879505274

Suggested by: Hal Barwood

Comments: Psychology (overlaps with Norman), movie lore, film technique, excellent discussion.

 

Title: Story Sense: A Screenwriter's Guide for Film and Television

Author: Paul Lucey

Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages

Publication Date: January 1, 1996

ISBN: 0070389969

Suggested by: Scott Miller

Comments: “Same problem as with McKee; useful to a point.” – Hal Barwood

 

Title: Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting

Author: Robert McKee

Publisher: Regan Books

Publication Date: December 17, 1997

ISBN: 0060391685

Suggested by: Steve Meretzky

Comments: “Although a screenwriting text, a lot of the lessons about storytelling are adaptable to games.” – Steve Meretzky; “People like this, and I find it useful on general principles, but short on specifics.” – Hal Barwood

 

Game Development and Industry History

 
Title: The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses

Author: Jesse Schell

Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann

Publication Date: August 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0123694966

Suggested by: many

Comments: "Brilliant, and I particularly love the way he focuses on teaching how a designer thinks instead of dwelling on the more prosaic aspects of the job. There are other good books for those but Jesse does more to describe the internal process than anything I've seen by a long shot. I've been hearing people praise his designer graduates for years now, and I have a much better understanding of why after reading his book."

Title: Central Casting: Heroes Now!

Author: Paul Jaquays, Randall G. Kuipers, John Terra

Publisher: Task Force Games

Publication Date: 1991

ISBN: 0922335117

Suggested by: Jurie Horneman

Comments: “It contains a cool system for generating heroes, with backstories.”

 

Title: Character Development and Storytelling for Games

Author: Lee Sheldon

Publisher: Course Technology PTR

Publication Date: June 2004

ISBN: 1592003532

Suggested by: Steve Meretzky

 

Title: Creating Emotion in Games: The Craft and Art of Emotioneering

Author: David Freeman

Publisher: New Riders

Publication Date: September 15, 2003

ISBN: 1592730078

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

Comments: “People who are on the gdworkshop mailing list will know that there’s been a lot of heated discussion about this book, by both proponents and opponents.”

 

Title: Designing Virtual Worlds

Author: Richard Bartle

Publisher: New Riders Games

Publication Date: July 15, 2003

ISBN: 0131018167

Suggested by: Lee Sheldon

Comments:Bartle designed the first MUD.”

 

Title: Developing Online Games: An Insider's Guide

Author: Jessica Mulligan

Publisher: New Riders Games

Publication Date: March 7, 2003

ISBN: 1592730000

Suggested by: Susan O’Connor

Comments: “I disagree with the early chapters, but the post-launch stuff is great.” – Ellen Beeman.

 

Title: Game Architecture and Design: A New Edition

Author: Andrew Rollings, Dave Morris

Publisher: New Riders

Publication Date: October 24, 2003

ISBN: 0735713634

Suggested by: Mike Pondsmith

Comments: “I took away a lot of useful ideas.” – Corey Cole

 

Title: Game Design: The Art and Business of Creating Games

Author: Bob Bates

Publisher: Course Technology PTR

Publication Date: April 2002

ISBN: 0761531653

Suggested by: Lee Sheldon

 

Title: Game Developer’s Market Guide

Author: Bob Bates

Publisher: Muska & Lipman/Premier-Trade

Publication Date: September 1, 2003

ISBN: 1592001041

Suggested by: Steve Meretzky

 

Title: Game Over: How Nintendo Zapped an American Industry, Captured Your Dollars, and EnslavedYour Children

Author: David Sheff

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: April 27, 1993

ISBN: 0679404694

Suggested by: Hal Barwood

Comments: In spite of the stupid title, excellent history of Nintendo that resembles a Kurosawa movie.

 

Title: Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution

Author: Steven Levy

Publisher: Penguin Putnam

Publication Date: January 2, 2001 (updated edition)

ISBN: 0141000511

Suggested by: Steve Meretzky

Comments: Especially part three, a look at the early days of Sierra Online

 

Title: Massively Multiplayer Game Development

Author: Thor Alexander (editor)

Publisher: Charles River Media

Publication Date: February 14, 2003

ISBN: 1584502436

Suggested by: Patricia Pizer

Comments: “A compilation of articles by many authors. Good for browsing. The Toon Town chapter is worth the price of the book.” “A lot of interesting ideas.” – Corey Cole

 

Title: A Theory of Fun for Game Design

Author: Raph Koster

Publisher: Paraglyph

Publication Date: November 2004

ISBN: 1932111972

Suggested by: Lee Sheldon

 

Title: The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon--The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World

Author: Steven L. Kent

Publisher: Prima Lifestyles

Publication Date: October 2, 2001

ISBN: 0761536434

Suggested by: Hal Barwood

Comments: Actually more of a history of companies than games, but with excellent personal anecdotes in abundance.

 

History and Sociology

 

Title: Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Author: Neil Postman

Publisher: Penguin Books

Publication Date: November 1, 1986

ISBN: 0140094385

Suggested by: Eric Goldberg

 

Title: The Art of War

Author: Sun Tzu, translated by Thomas Cleary

Publisher: Shambhala

Publication Date: May 7, 1991 (reprint edition)

ISBN: 0877735379

Suggested by: Hal Barwood

Comments: Deep thoughts on armed conflict set forth in very simple terms.

 

Title: Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

Author: Jared Diamond

Publisher: Viking Adult

Publication Date: December 2004

ISBN: 0670033375

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

Comments: “A great overview of the record of societies that have suffered collapse, and the factors that contribute. Like his earlier book Gun, Germs, and Steel, this is a must-read for game designers.”

 

Title: Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Riverhead

Publication Date: May 2005

ISBN: 1573223077

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

Comments: “Fascinating look at the evolution of entertainment overall, with good coverage of electronic gaming. Must-read for game developers.”

 

Title: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

Author: Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

Publisher: William Morrow

Publication Date: May 1, 2005

ISBN: 006073132X

Suggested by: Geoff Zatkin

Comments:I have added this to my list of books that all of my MMP designers should read. Using economic / incentive models to tear down a problem to its purest core is exactly what designers should be thinking of when they design systems for large groups of people. Agree with the book or not, it is a great mindset to get into.” Raph Koster adds: “I just wished that the book were less scattershot – it's a bit too much of a puff piece for Levitt and not enough of building a coherent thread thru every chapter.”

 

Title: The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why

Author: Richard Nisbett

Publisher: Free Press

Publication Date: March 2003

ISBN: 0743216466

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

Comments: “Pretty important if you want to understand other cultures; particularly good on the West and East differences.”

 

Title: Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

Author: Jared Diamond

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Publication Date: April 1999

ISBN: 0393317552

Suggested by: Warren Spector

Comments: “I preferred this to [Diamond’s book] Collapse, although both are useful for game designers.” Steve Meretzky: “This book has been mentioned/recommended so often at past workshops that I can’t believe it hasn’t made it onto the list until now!”

 

Title: A History of Warfare

Author: John Keegan

Publisher: Vintage

Publication Date: November 1, 1994

ISBN: 0679730826

Suggested by: Mark Terrano

 

Title: The Prince

Author: Niccolo Machiavelli, translated by Daniel Donno

Publisher: Bantam

Publication Date: August 1, 1984 (reissue edition)

ISBN: 0553212788

Suggested by: Mark Terrano

 

Title: The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations

Author: James Surowiecki

Publisher: Doubleday

Publication Date: May 2004

ISBN: 0385503865

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

Comments: “The subtitle sums it up.”

 

Marketing and Positioning

 

Title: The Anatomy of Buzz: How to Create Word of Mouth Marketing

Author: Emanuel Rosen

Publisher: Currency

Publication Date: April 16, 2002

ISBN: 0385496680

Suggested by: Scott Miller

 

Title: Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant

Author: W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

Publisher: Harvard Business School Press

Publication Date: February 3, 2005

ISBN: 978-1591396192

Suggested by: Steve Meretzky
Comments: “A great way to think about new ways of positioning games in the marketplace. Possibly, a way to get away from the me-too-timidity of most of the game industry. I’ve already based one lecture on the principles of this book, and we are also making Red Ocean/Blue Ocean the theme of the 2009 Casual Game Summit.”

Title: Buzzmarketing: Get People to Talk About Your Stuff

Author: Mark Hughes

Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover

Publication Date: July 2005

ISBN: 1591840929

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

Comments: “My new second favorite viral marketing book (after Secrets of Word of Mouth Marketing), gives you some easy to understand tools to use in incorporating viral marketing into your products.”

 

Title: The Clustering of America

Author: Michael J. Weiss

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publication Date: October 1, 1989 (reprint edition)

ISBN: 0060915994

Suggested by: Mike Pondsmith

Comments: “Good idea of marketing structure. A little outdated.”

 

Title: The Deviant's Advantage: How to Use Fringe Ideas to Create Mass Markets

Author: Ryan Matthews, Watts Wacker

Publisher: Three Rivers Press

Publication Date: March 23, 2004

ISBN: 1400050006

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

Comments: “How fringe ideas get to mass markets. How products and ideas start way out on the edge and how they move into the mainstream.”

 

Title: Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate--The Essential Guide for Progressives

Author: George Lakoff, Howard Dean

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing Company

Publication Date: September 2004

ISBN: 1931498717

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

Comments: “Pertinent to how we should be framing our message about gaming.” “I just read this. An important book for learning about how Republicans manage to keep cobbling together a slight majority despite being wrong on virtually every issue. But I don’t see a lot of applicability to game design, unless you want to try – as a few of us have – to use games to help shape political opinion.” – Steve Meretzky

 

Title: Guerrilla Marketing: Secrets for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business

Author: Jay Conrad Levinson

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Publication Date: October 21, 1998 (third edition)

ISBN: 0395906253

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

 

Title: How Hits Happen: Forecasting Predictability in a Chaotic Marketplace

Author: Winslow Farrell

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publication Date: July 1, 1998

ISBN: 0887309070

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

Comments: “Great stuff about the word of mouth process of making a hit.”

 

Title: Marketing Outrageously

Author: Jon Spoelstra

Publisher: Bard Press

Publication Date: July 9, 2001

ISBN: 1885167504

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

 

Title: The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less

Author: Barry Schwartz

Publisher: Ecco

Publication Date: January 1, 2004

ISBN: 0060005688

Suggested by: Steve Meretzky

Comments: Mostly about how too many choices in the marketplace (supermarket shelves, electricity deregulation, financial instruments, medical care) but with some lessons that can be applied to games. Lots about the psychology of decision-making.

 

Title: Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind

Author: Al Ries, Jack Trout

Publisher: McGraw-Hill

Publication Date: December 13, 2000

ISBN: 0071373586

Suggested by: Scott Miller

Comments: “Everything our company does is based on this. I credit the success of our company to this book.” Enthusiastically seconded by Gordon Walton and Mike Pondsmith.

 

Title: Powerful Products: Strategic Management of Successful New Product Development

Author: Roger Bean, Russell Radford

Publisher: AMACOM

Publication Date: May 15, 2000

ISBN: 0814405665

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

 

Title: Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

Author: Seth Godin

Publisher: Portfolio

Publication Date: May, 2003

ISBN: 159184021X

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

 

Title: The Secrets of Word-of-Mouth Marketing: How to Trigger Exponential Sales Through Runaway Word of Mouth

Author: George Silverman

Publisher: American Management Association

Publication Date: April 2001

ISBN: 0814470726

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

Comments: “Best book this year… no way you can read that and not make your games better.”

 

Title: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

Author: Malcolm Gladwell

Publisher: Back Bay Books

Publication Date: January 7, 2002

ISBN: 0316346624

Suggested by: Susan O’Connor

Comments: Warren Spector: “Better than Blink, I think.”

 

Title: Virtuous Reality: How America Surrendered Discussion of Moral Values to Opportunists, Nitwits, and Blockheads Like William Bennett

Author: Jon Katz

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: January 1997

ISBN: 0679449132

Suggested by: Warren Spector

 

Miscellaneous

 

Title: Comics & Sequential Art

Author: Will Eisner

Publisher: Poorhouse Press

Publication Date: November 1, 1985

ISBN: 0961472812

Suggested by: Hal Barwood

Comments: An earlier treatise on comic book design by a master and teacher.

 

Title: Finite and Infinite Games
Author: James P. Carse
Publisher: Ballantine
Publication Date: 1987
ISBN: 0345341848
Suggested by: Brian Moriarty
Comments: “Is it an elite design primer? Philosophy? A religious treatise? I turn to this again and again. Wish I wrote it."

Title: The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary

Author: Simon Winchester

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Publication Date: October, 2004

ISBN: 019517500X

Suggested by: Lee Sheldon

Comments: “Witty, fascinating, and easily readable story of the tortuous compiling of the Oxford English Dictionary.”

 

Title: NewMedia Magazine Puzzle Workout: A Multi-Dimensional Exercise Program for Your Mind

Author: Scott Kim

Publisher: Random House Information Group

Publication Date: October 25, 1994

ISBN: 0679755950

Suggested by: Steve Meretzky

Comments: A collection of Scott’s puzzle columns from New Media magazine. Great stuff for casual game brainstorming, or for puzzle-based games.

 

Title: Normal Accidents

Author: Charles Perrow

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Publication Date: September 1999 (Updated Edition)

ISBN: 0691004129

Suggested by: Zeb Cook

Comments: “This builds the theory that there is a special type of accident, a ‘normal’ or system accident that occurs in complicated technologies, caused by the interactions and failures of small things in ways that create results that can’t be anticipated, predicted, or even understood at the time they occur. Perversely, adding more safety and backup systems can actually increase the risk of a system accident. While he focuses on big engineering projects – nuclear power plants, air traffic control – there is a lot of useful info for designers about how complex systems interact and create unpredictable results. If nothing else, it is a good book to remind us of the value of KISS as we map out our projects.”

 

Title: Understanding Comics

Author: Scott McCloud

Publisher: Perennial Currents

Publication Date: April 27, 1994 (reprint edition)

ISBN: 006097625X

Suggested by: Steve Meretzky

Comments: First recommended to me by Chris Crawford. Both an excellent analysis of a medium that has some key touchstones with our own medium, as well as a blueprint for how to deconstruct and analyze any art form. McCloud has spoken at several GDCs and drawn large crowds. “More entertaining than any comic and a wonderful treatise on visual aesthetics.” – Hal Barwood

 

Title: VO: Tales and Techniques of a Voice-Over Actor

Author: Harlan Hogan

Publisher: Watson-Guptill Publications

Publication Date: November 2002

ISBN: 1581152493

Suggested by: Al Lowe

 

Psychology

 

“Social Mobs” (?) – Mike Pondsmith

“Understanding Behavioral Psychology” (?) – Mike Pondsmith

 

Title: The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature

Author: Steven Pinker

Publisher: Penguin Putnam

Publication Date: September 26, 2002

ISBN: 0670031518

Suggested by: Hal Barwood

Comments: Locke versus Hobbes, and Hobbes was right. Disturbing, quirky, wonderful book.

 

Title: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Author: Malcolm Gladwell

Publisher: Little, Brown

Publication Date: January 2005

ISBN: 0316172324

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

Comments: “Like his earlier book, The Tipping Point, this will make you look at the world differently. Microexpressions, unconscious associations, autism, and more.” “Mostly, this is a warning about the pitfalls of trusting the ‘adaptive unconscious.’ This is a terrific cognitive psychology book masquerading as a business book, full of stunning anecdotes and examples of our cognitive powers and limitations.” – Hal Barwood

 

Title: Eye to Eye: How People Interact

Author: Peter Marsh

Publisher: Salem House Publishers

Publication Date: May 1, 1991

ISBN: 0881623717

Suggested by: Mark Terrano

Comments: This book is an amazing compilation of research filled with hundreds of clear pictures and diagrams. An extremely useful book for designers – there is condensed information on social groups, eye contact and speaking distance, reading facial expressions, marking territory, and much more. Every page seemed to have a useful game design topic.

 

Title: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Author: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Publisher: Perennial

Publication Date: March 13, 1991 (reprint edition)

ISBN: 0060920432

Suggested by: Noah Falstein

Comments: “Helpful in understanding how people think.” – Noah Falstein; “Happiness can be analyzed and engineered, and fun has a psychological structure.” – Hal Barwood. Also on Nicole Lazzaro’s list of “suggested first reads on interface design, usability, emotion, games, storytelling, and more” – see www.xeodesign.com/topshelf.html.

 

Title: Homo Ludens

Author: Johan Huizinga

Publisher: Beacon Press

Publication Date: 1955

ISBN: none

Suggested by: Hal Barwood

Comments:Originally published in 1944 and later translated. Excellent intro to the concept of play, its prominence in human activity, and how traces of the impulse are found in many of society's structures, especially the military and the law. Very good discussion of poetry (and by extension, all the arts) as species of play. Tough to track these down at Borders, but I found a cheap copies through the usual Amazon used bookstore allies without any trouble.”

 

Title: How the Mind Works

Author: Steven Pinker

Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company

Publication Date: January 1, 1999

ISBN: 0393318486

Suggested by: Noah Falstein

Comments: “Modules in the mind, what they do, and what games should hit.” – Noah Falstein; “What evolutionary psychology has learned about the mind inside our brains.” – Hal Barwood

 

Title: Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Make-Believe Violence

Author: Gerard Jones

Publisher: Basic Books

Publication Date: May 2003

ISBN: 0465036961

Suggested by: Warren Spector

Comments: Steve Meretzky: “This has been brought up any number of times at past workshops and on various mailing lists… I can’t believe it hasn’t made it onto the Bookshelf list until now.”

 

Title: The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language

Author: Steven Pinker

Publisher: Perennial

Publication Date: November 7, 2000

ISBN: 0060958332

Suggested by: Hal Barwood

Comments: It’s nice to know that double negatives are grammatical and the niceties of usage debated in newspaper grammar columns are merely etiquette.

 

Title: Man, Play and Games

Author: Roger Caillois

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

Publication Date: 2001 Reprint of a 1958 Issue

ISBN: 0-252-07033-X

Suggested by: Hal Barwood

Comments: “Original French title is Les Jeux et les Hommes. A very clear and useful analysis of play types, ways of playing, and combinations of elements. Example: Caillois distinguishes 4 types of play, competition, chance, simulation, vertigo. Like Huizinga (Homo Ludens), he's interested in establishing how societies form around certain play concepts and when they evolve, how they move on to others in various combos, for good and ill. Tough to track these down at Borders, but I found a cheap copies through the usual Amazon used bookstore allies without any trouble.”

 

Title: Play

Author: Catherine Garvey

Publisher: Harvard University Press

Publication Date: November 1, 1990 (enlarged edition)

ISBN: 0674673654

Suggested by: Sherri Ray

 

Title: Please Understand Me: Character and Temperament Types

Author: David Keirsey, Marilyn Bates

Publisher: Prometheus Nemesis Book Company

Publication Date: November 1, 1984 (third edition)

ISBN: 0960695400

Suggested by: Lori Cole

Comments: “Myers-Briggs test popularized. How people think differently. Shows why some games fail because they went for the wrong audience. Helps with team dynamics.”

 

Title: The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales

Author: Bruno Bettleheim

Publisher: Vintage

Publication Date: April 23, 1989 (reissue edition)

ISBN: 0679723935

Suggested by: Hal Barwood

Comments: How fairy tales work; in other words, why it’s good for young minds to encounter the dark side of life indirectly; Freudian in a good way.

 

Title: What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy

Author: James Paul Gee

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Publication Date: May 7, 2004

ISBN: 1403965382

Suggested by: Eric Goldberg

 

Title: Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language

Author: Steven Pinker

Publisher: Perennial

Publication Date: January 15, 2000

ISBN: 0060958405

Suggested by: Hal Barwood

Comments: Irregular verbs and what they tell us about our mental powers.

 

Reference

 

A good dictionary for reference – Lee Sheldon

Foreign dictionaries, especially Latin – Steve Meretzky

A good baby name book, for naming characters – Steve Meretzky

 

Title: Bartlett's Familiar Quotations: A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs Traced to Their Sources in Ancient and Modern Literature (17th Edition)

Author: John Bartlett

Publisher: Little, Brown

Publication Date: November 2002 (17th edition)

ISBN: 0316084603

Suggested by: Steve Meretzky

Comments: Sprinkling a game, or documentation, with authentic quotes can give you and your game an air of intellectualism and class (undeserved, of course, but what the hell!) It’s also great for title ideas.

 

Title: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR

Author: none

Publisher: American Psychiatric Association

Publication Date: June 2000 (fourth edition)

ISBN: 0890420254

Suggested by: Paul Schuytema

 

Title: The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition

Author: William Strunk Jr., E. B. White, Roger Angell

Publisher: Longman

Publication Date: January 15, 2000 (fourth edition)

ISBN: 020530902X

Suggested by: Lee Sheldon

 

Title: Glossary of Literary Terms

Author: M. H. Abrams

Publisher: Heinle

Publication Date: 1957; November 18, 1998 (seventh edition)

ISBN: 015505452X

Suggested by: Hal Barwood

 

Title: The Macmillan Visual Dictionary

Author: Jean-Claude Corbeil, Ariane Archambault

Publisher: Webster's New World

Publication Date: October 14, 1992 (first American edition)

ISBN: 0025281607

Suggested by: Steve Meretzky

Comments: I have several visual dictionaries and this is by far the best one. Useful for a 1,001 different reasons.

 

Title: Microsoft Bookshelf 2000

Author: n.a.

Publisher: Microsoft

Publication Date: October 24, 1999

ISBN: n.a.

Suggested by: Noah Falstein

Comments: “Quotes, atlas, useful as a brainstorming tool.” “The thesaurus alone is worth the price; the dictionary ain’t bad either; it will cut down thumb-trips through a paper thesaurus by 90%; not bad.” – Hal Barwood

 

Title: The New Games Treasury: More Than 500 Indoor and Outdoor Favorites With Strategies, Rules, and Traditions

Author: Merilyn Simonds Mohr

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Publication Date: September 1, 1997

ISBN: 1576300587

Suggested by: Steve Meretzky

Comments: Rules of hundreds of board games, card games, sports, and so forth, but more than that a history of each game, a strategy guide, variations, and more. Copious diagrams.

 

Title: Sizes

Author: John Lord

Publisher: Perennial

Publication Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0062732285

Suggested by: Steve Meretzky

Comments: Incredibly fun book; sort of a book of lists, but entirely size-related. Everything from biblical measurements to knitting needle sizes to the scoville system for rating the hotness of peppers.

 

Title: The Slang Thesaurus

Author: Jonathon Green

Publisher: Penguin

Publication Date: 1986; June 1, 1990 (reprint edition)

ISBN: 0140512055

Suggested by: Hal Barwood

Comments: Actually works, although all books like this date quickly.

 

Title: The Thesaurus of Slang

Author: Ester Lewin, Albert E. Lewin, Esther Lewin

Publisher: Facts on File

Publication Date: August 1, 1997 (revised expanded edition)

ISBN: 0816028982

Suggested by: Hal Barwood

Comments: Alternative to Jonathon Green, also actually works, also dating quickly.

 

Title: The Writer’s Grammar Guide

Author: Jane Walpole

Publisher: Fireside

Publication Date: October 18, 1984 (reissue edition)

ISBN: 0671530461

Suggested by: Hal Barwood

Comments: Get this or its equivalent, just in case.

 

Software Management and Team Leadership

 

Title: 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player: Becoming the Kind of Person Every Team Wants

Author: John C. Maxwell

Publisher: Nelson Books

Publication Date: January 8, 2002

ISBN: 0785274359

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

 

Title: Agile Software Development

Author: Alistair Cockburn

Publisher: Addison-Wesley

Publication Date: December 15, 2001

ISBN: 0201699699

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

 

Title: Agile Software Development with SCRUM

Author: Ken Schwaber, Mike Beedle

Publisher: Prentice Hall

Publication Date: October 2001

ISBN: 0130676349

Suggested by: Paul Stephanouk

Comments: “Our group [at the workshop] was just talking about using the SCRUM process. Here’s a link to a good overview: http://www.controlchaos.com/about/. The book is worth picking up.”

 

Title: Are Your Lights On?: How to Figure Out What the Problem Really Is
Author: Gerald Weinberg

Publisher: Dorset House Publishing Company

Publication Date: March 1990

ISBN: 0932633161
Suggested by: Jurie Horneman
Comments: “Another book by Weinberg on defining your problem before you try solving it.”

 

Title: Code Complete, Second Edition

Author: Steve McConnell

Publisher: Microsoft Press

Publication Date: June 2004 (second edition)

ISBN: 0735619670

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

Comments: “The producer’s bible.” – Ellen Beeman.

 

Title: Death March, Second Edition

Author: Edward Yourdon

Publisher: Prentice Hall

Publication Date: December 7, 2003 (second edition)

ISBN: 013143635X

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

 

Title: Dynamics of Software Development

Author: Jim McCarthy

Publisher: Microsoft Press

Publication Date: August 1, 1995

ISBN: 1556158238

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

 

Title: Exploring Requirements: Quality Before Design
Author: Gerald Weinberg

Publisher: Dorset House Publishing Company

Publication Date: September, 1989

ISBN: 0932633137
Suggested by: Jurie Horneman
Comments: “This is an excellent book on general problem-solving and design, independent of any particular field.”

 

Title: Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change

Author: Kent Beck

Publisher: Addison-Wesley

Publication Date: October 5, 1999

ISBN: 0201616416

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

 

Title: First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently

Author: Marcus Buckingham, Curt Coffman

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: May 5, 1999

ISBN: 0684852861

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

 

Title: A Good Hard Kick in the Ass: Basic Training for Entrepreneurs

Author: Rob Adams

Publisher: Crown Business

Publication Date: January 29, 2002

ISBN: 0609609505

Suggested by: Ellen Beeman

Comments: “About running a start-up.”

 

Title: Hot Groups: Seeding Them, Feeding Them, and Using Them to Ignite Your Organization

Author: Jean Lipman-Blumen, Harold J. Leavitt

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Publication Date: April 1, 2001

ISBN: 0195144058

Suggested by: Susan O’Connor

Comments: “A team-building book by the writing team from Hill Street Blues.”

 

Title: Leadership and the One Minute Manager: Increasing Effectiveness Through Situational Leadership

Author: Ken Blanchard, Patricia Zigarmi

Publisher: William Morrow

Publication Date: October 6, 1999

ISBN: 0688039693

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

 

Title: Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration

Author: Warren Bennis, Patricia Ward Biederman

Publisher: Perseus Books Group

Publication Date: June 1, 1998

ISBN: 0201339897

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

 

Title: Patton on Leadership

Author: Alan Axelrod

Publisher: Prentice Hall Art

Publication Date: August 28, 2001 (reissue edition)

ISBN: 0735202974

Suggested by: Scott Miller

 

Title: Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams

Author: Tom Demarco, Timothy Lister

Publisher: Dorset House

Publication Date: February 1, 1999 (second edition)

ISBN: 0932633439

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

 

Title: Rapid Development

Author: Steve McConnell

Publisher: Microsoft Press

Publication Date: July 2, 1996

ISBN: 1556159005

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

Comments: “Everything McConnell writes is useful.”

 

Title: Software for Your Head: Core Protocols for Creating and Maintaining Shared Vision

Author: Jim McCarthy, Michele McCarthy

Publisher: Addison-Wesley

Publication Date: December 27, 2001

ISBN: 0201604566

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

 

Title: Software Project Survival Guide

Author: Steve McConnell

Publisher: Microsoft Press

Publication Date: November 14, 1997

ISBN: 1572316217

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

 

Title: Software Requirements, Second Edition

Author: Karl Wiegers

Publisher: Microsoft Press

Publication Date: February 26, 2003 (second edition)

ISBN: 0735618798

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

 

User Interface and Usability

 

Title: Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity

Author: Jakob Nielsen

Publisher: New Riders Press

Publication Date: December 20, 1999

ISBN: 156205810X

Suggested by: Ellen Beeman

 

Title: The Design of Everyday Things

Author: Donald A. Norman

Publisher: Basic Books

Publication Date: September 17, 2002

ISBN: 0465067107

Suggested by: Steve Meretzky

Comments: “The importance of usability in amazing detail, with great examples.” – Hal Barwood

 

Title: Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

Author: Steve Krug

Publisher: New Riders Press

Publication Date: August 2005 (Second Edition)

ISBN: 0321344758

Suggested by: Hal Barwood

Comments: Not all of us are excited by Web design, but as designers we’re all interested in usability and its many dimensions. This book is just excellent, lean on words and long on instructive illustrations.

 

Title: Emotional Design: Why We Love (Or Hate) Everyday Things

Author: Donald A. Norman

Publisher: Basic Books

Publication Date: December 23, 2003

ISBN: 0465051359

Suggested by: Hal Barwood

Comments: The importance of psychological factors in design beyond usability. Also on Nicole Lazzaro’s list of “suggested first reads on interface design, usability, emotion, games, storytelling, and more” – see www.xeodesign.com/topshelf.html.

 

Title: Envisioning Information

Author: Edward R. Tufte

Publisher: Graphics Press

Publication Date: May 1, 1990

ISBN: 0961392118

Suggested by: Gordon Walton

 

Writing and Storytelling

 

Title: Art Of Dramatic Writing: Its Basis in the Creative Interpretation of Human Motives

Author: Lajos Egri

Publisher: Touchstone

Publication Date: 1946; February 15, 1972 (reissue edition)

ISBN: 0671213326

Suggested by: Susan O’Connor (but Hal Barwood has also been touting it for years)

Comments: “Much better than McKee.” – Lee Sheldon; “The best book on dramatic writing I’ve read that’s less than 100 years old.” – Hal Barwood

 

Title: Cause of Death: A Writer's Guide to Death, Murder and Forensic Medicine (Howdunit Series)

Author: Keith D. Wilson

Publisher: Writer's Digest Books

Publication Date: September 1, 1992

ISBN: 0898795249

Suggested by: Ellen Beeman

Comments: “This and the other 7 entries in the Howdunit Series from Writer’s Digest Books. Poisons, Weapons, Wounds, Private Investigating, etc. Topics get pretty grim.”

 

Title: Characters and Viewpoint (Elements of Fiction Writing)

Author: Orson Scott Card

Publisher: Writer's Digest Books

Publication Date: April 1, 1999 (first paperback edition)

ISBN: 0898799279

Suggested by: Paul Schuytema

 

Title: The Hero with a Thousand Faces

Author: Joseph Campbell

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Publication Date: 1949; March 1, 1972 (reprint edition)

ISBN: 0691017840

Suggested by: Steve Meretzky

Comments: “The classic; how an individual fits into the scheme of life; prototype stories.” – Hal Barwood.

 

Title: On Moral Fiction

Author: John Gardner, John C. Gardner

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publication Date: September 1, 1979

ISBN: 0465052266

Suggested by: Lee Sheldon

 

Title: Play Making: A Manual of Craftsmanship

Author: William Archer

Publisher: Norwood Editions

Publication Date: June 1, 1913

ISBN: 0848232550

Suggested by: Lee Sheldon

 

Title: Poetics

Author: Aristotle (translated by Malcolm Heath)

Publisher: Penguin Books

Publication Date: March 1, 1997

ISBN: 0140446362

Suggested by: Lee Sheldon

Comments: “Read this first.” – Lee Sheldon; “Writers gotta read this book.” – Hal Barwood

 

Title: The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers

Author: Christopher Vogler

Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions

Publication Date: October 1, 1998 (second edition)

ISBN: 0941188701

Suggested by: Scott Miller

 

Title: Writing Dialogue for Scripts

Author: Rib Davis

Publisher: A&C Black

Publication Date: January 2003

ISBN: 0-7136-4802-3

Suggested by: Steve Ince

Comments: This book is valuable because it looks at the importance of how spoken dialogue works in scripts.  Writers and designers should be ever mindful of the fact that the dialogue we write will be performed by professional actors (in the main). Game dialogue should be written with great consideration for the performance.