Page Tools:

Fundamentals of Game Development

Author(s): Heather Maxwell Chandler, Founder and Executive Producer, Media Sunshine, Inc.
Rafael Chandler
  • ISBN-13: 9780763778958
  • ISBN-10:0763778958
  • Paperback    381 pages      © 2011
Price: $69.95 US List
Add to Cart Request a Review Copy

Part of the new Foundations of Game Development Series!

"Fundamentals of Game Development is a book that should be required in every freshmen level university classroom that teaches anything about game development."

Written by veterans who are currently working in the game industry, Fundamentals of Game Development is unique because it provides the practical aspects of the processes involved in developing and completing game projects. Designed for introductory game development and game production courses, this text provides a hands-on approach using examples and exercises to walk the reader through the entire process of developing a game from concept to completion. The book covers the basic topics discussed in an introductory text as well as history, game genres, design, story-telling, character creation, pre-production, code release, career descriptions, and more.

Scroll down to the Samples tab to preview Chapter 1: What Is a Game?

Scroll down to the Resources tab to request the available Instructor Resources, including chapter exercises, quizzes, and PowerPoint Lecture Outlines.

Features & Benefits

  • Does not require pre-requisites. Students would not need any special art, engineering, programming, or design knowledge in order to understand the concepts discussed in the text.
  • Emphasis is on design and production. This book presents an overview of the fundamentals of developing a game from concept to completion that is geared toward a student audience.
  • Provides a case study that illustrates the process of a game design concept becoming an actual game. Instructors can build this case study into the curriculum and base assignments on it
  • Student Resources include blank versions of all the templates and forms discussed in the book, samples of game development documentation, images from actual games (e.g., Star Trek Online), and game demos
  • Instructor's resources include sample syllabus, class assignments, lecture outlines in PowerPoint format, color figures, solutions to exercise sets, and more

Applicable Courses

Ideal for introductory game development and game production courses.

Sample Course titles include: Introduction to Game Development; Game Documentation; Ethics; Business Development of Games; Team Product Development; Game Production; Game Project Management.

  Chapter 1  What Is a Game?
  Chapter 2  The Game Industry
  Chapter 3  Roles on the Team
  Chapter 4  Teams
  Chapter 5  Effective Communication
  Chapter 6  Game Production Overview
  Chapter 7  Game Concept
  Chapter 8  Characters, Setting, and Story
  Chapter 9  Game Requirements
  Chapter 10  Game Plan
  Chapter 11  Production Cycle
  Chapter 12  Voiceover and Music
  Chapter 13  Localization
  Chapter 14  Testing and Code Releasing
  Chapter 15  Marketing and Public Relations
Appendix A  Case Study – Justice Unit
Appendix B  Glossary
Appendix C  Resources
Appendix D  Star Trek Online
Appendix E  Interview Biographies

Heather Maxwell Chandler-Founder and Executive Producer, Media Sunshine, Inc.

Heather Maxwell Chandler is a veteran game producer with experience at Activision, EA, and Ubisoft. She's also the founder of Media Sunshine, Inc., ( a company that provides game production contract services to developers, publishers, and vendors. She has contributed to the production of Apocalypse, Civilization: Call to Power, Heavy Gear 2, Sacred 2: Fallen Angel, and eight games in the Ghost Recon series. She's the author of The Game Production Handbook, Second Edition and Fundamentals of Game Development, also part of the Foundations of Game Development Series.

Additional Titles by this Author

Rafael Chandler

Rafael Chandler has written or co-written several video games, including U-Wars, SOCOM4, MAG, SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo 3, SOCOM: Confrontation, Ghost Recon 2, and Rainbow Six: Lockdown. He is the author of The Game Writing Handbook, which was a finalist for the 2007 Game Developer Front Line Awards, and he has written articles for Gamasutra,, the IGDA Game Writer's Quarterly, and Writer's Digest magazine. Chandler has been a speaker at the Game Writers Conference, the Russian Game Developers Conference, and the Montreal International Game Summit. For more information, please visit

  • Fundamentals of Game Development is a book that should be required in every freshmen level university classroom that teaches anything about game development. Not only will it open eyes to the students about what they may want to do in the industry, but it provides excellent explanations of how the industry works in almost every facet.

    The read is not complicated, rather it's easy. From quick history lessons to job breakdowns to examples/samples of jobs this book has it all. It's not too specific, but it is a great guide to different options for budding game developers.

    Nathaniel Stevens
    Managing Editor

  • Designed so that readers with no previous experience can understand, the book focuses on the concepts rather than the code, and covers everything from the pitch of the game to the voiceover work and localization. Fundamentals of Game Development is a must for anyone who wants to get into or understand the field of making video games

    -Midwest Book Review

  • "There is a wealth of production documentation examples in the text, at the publisher's Web site, and on the accompanying CD-ROM. This material includes PowerPoint slides, sample discussion exercises, and quizzes that could aid instructors interested in using the book for a video game production class. Readers considering the production track in the video game industry would benefit most, but anyone curious about mainstream game development will find the book focused and enlightening."

    - A. Chen, Cogswell Polytechnical College
    CHOICE Reviewer
    December 2010 Vol. 48 No. 04 - Science & Technology, Information & Computer Science

  • "There are a lot of good ideas. In fact, as this book says on one of the first pages, 'the idea is the easy part; it's turning the idea into an actual playable game that's the hard part.' This book is about the hard part, primarily that is the design of the game with a bit on production and marketing. It's an excellent introduction to how the industry really works, and yes, it is an industry with players like Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo huge companies with billions of dollars in annual revenue, thousands of employees."

    -John Matlock

The following instructor resources are available to qualified instructors for download

ISBN-13: 9780763778958

Additional Resources for Instructors
Chapter Quizzes
Discussion Questions
Slides in PowerPoint Format

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience or allow us to communicate with you effectively. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Read our cookie policy to learn more.

Agree & Dismiss