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Blood, Sweat, and Pixels Audiobook

Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made

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Publisher's Summary

Developing video games - hero's journey or fool's errand? The creative and technical logistics that go into building today's hottest games can be more harrowing and complex than the games themselves, often seeming like an endless maze or a bottomless abyss. In Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, Jason Schreier takes listeners on a fascinating odyssey behind the scenes of video game development, where the creator may be a team of 600 overworked underdogs or a solitary geek genius. Exploring the artistic challenges, technical impossibilities, marketplace demands, and Donkey Kong-size monkey wrenches thrown into the works by corporate, Blood, Sweat, and Pixels reveals how bringing any game to completion is more than Sisyphean - it's nothing short of miraculous.

Taking some of the most popular, best-selling recent games, Schreier immerses listeners in the hellfire of the development process, whether it's RPG studio Bioware's challenge to beat an impossible schedule and overcome countless technical nightmares to build Dragon Age: Inquisition; indie developer Eric Barone's single-handed efforts to grow country-life RPG Stardew Valley from one man's vision into a multimillion-dollar franchise; or Bungie spinning out from their corporate overlords at Microsoft to create Destiny, a brand-new universe that they hoped would become as iconic as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings - even as it nearly ripped their studio apart.

Documenting the round-the-clock crunches, buggy-eyed burnout, and last-minute saves, Blood, Sweat, and Pixels is a journey through development hell - and ultimately a tribute to the dedicated diehards and unsung heroes who scale mountains of obstacles in their quests to create the best games imaginable.

©2017 Jason Schreier (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (104 )
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4.7 (96 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Eugene Bus-Sam 17/02/2018
    Eugene Bus-Sam 17/02/2018 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant Understanding Video Game Industry "

    It is amazing how video games development works behind closed doors. Best Books Ever. 👍🏾

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fedir Makarchuk 04/02/2018 Member Since 2018
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful and exciting documentary which reveals some truths about the gamedev"

    The book follows its description. Its chapters are dedicated to the game development projects, mostly notorious ones.
    Unless you don't care for gamedev industry whatsoever, or know pretty much everything about it, you are likely to get excited by this book as it has many insights to provide.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hedgehog 25/01/2018
    Hedgehog 25/01/2018 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really enjoyed"

    Really interesting look at what happens behind the scenes of game development, now thinking of buying some of the games mentioned in the book as adds a new dimension to the game knowing some of the troubles and creative process.

    Was also read well with expression by the narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kenii 25/01/2018
    kenii 25/01/2018 Member Since 2018
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The perfect accompaniment to any gaming session."

    I listened to most of this book while playing such games as Diablo 3 and Destiny 2.
    While listening to it I often paused my game to sit and just think to myself, “wow it’s a miracle I’m even playing this”.

    Such an insightful, well researched and human take on the production of my favourite past time.

    I recommend it to anyone and would love a Part 2 based on other games not mentioned in this book.

    I implore any lover of games to listen to this book.

    Also I enjoyed the narration I will seek out others read by him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hannah 24/11/2017
    Hannah 24/11/2017 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    4
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    Story
    "Fascinating insight into video games "

    I love video games and was absolutely gripped for the whole book - each story was unique and well structured.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris 28/10/2017
    Chris 28/10/2017
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    REVIEWS
    70
    2
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    Story
    "Fantastic and fascinating read/listen"

    Only slight negative is that there’s no chapter dedicated to any of the Rockstar games but, otherwise, this is tremendous if you love games and/or are a creative interested in how they get made.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam 13/10/2017
    Sam 13/10/2017 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "I miss it already, probs gonna start it again now."

    Wicked book if you are into video games, quality insight. Can't recommend enough! More Jason!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • SAMA
    Earth
    27/11/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Behind the Scenes"

    The stories in this book are:

    1. Pillars of Eternity: How crowdfunding changes the rules, and changes the priorities of the developer who promised backers certain gameplay features, against deadlines and a limited budget. This story provides a better understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of crowdfunding.
    2. Uncharted 4: How too much success affects a studio, and how to successfully end a successful series. It is also the story of The Last of Us, which nobody expected to be successful early on. I enjoyed all the possibilities of how different this game could have been.
    3. Stardew Valley: The great risks and heartwarming payoff of going solo. The ending made me want to play this game.
    4. Diablo 3: The troubles of online-only games, and the angst and pressures of racing against time to meet player expectations. In the end, it is a success story that had a lot of challenges and frustrations along the way.
    5. Halo Wars: How games are transformed in the middle of development, and the pressures of working against a deadline. The Age of Empires developers are behind Halo Wars. Who knew?
    6. Dragon Age: Inquisition: How EA corporate politics and poor can slow down game development and creates a large degree of developer frustration. After reading this, I have a better understanding of why EA is a blight on video games.
    7. Shovel Knight: The quest to create an iconic character inspired by classic NES games and characters. It provides an insider look into an indie game team and the challenges they face.
    8. Destiny: The challenges of combining multiple genres and trying to create something that's never been done before, and how past successes tend to dictate what the next success would look like. It is also the story of how a developer matures.
    9. The Witcher 3: The reason for the volume and quality of content is revealed, in one of the most fascinating and enjoyable chapters of this audiobook.
    10. Star Wars 1313: How a game that can do no wrong ends up being buried due to corporate politics. Delayed because of Disney and canceled outright by EA, this is the game that makes you wonder, what if? Also, f*ck EA.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Celina L Dobson
    11/11/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ray Chase is great!"

    I'm glad I purchased the audio version of this book because listening to Ray Chase was a delight. Having a voice actor of video games narrate a book on video games was a solid choice.

    Overall, the book was a nice slice of various company's descent into and occasionally ascent from the madness of producing video games. The anecdotes are both humbling and harrowing and are sure to make game fans think twice when they criticize a game. As noted, with all the moving parts and preferences, it's miracle any game gets made.

    Worth the read, or preferably, the listen, if you are a fan of or just curious about video games and their production.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • James Sadler
    23/09/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great inside look into the gaming industry"
    What did you love best about Blood, Sweat, and Pixels?

    As someone who has played video games since their childhood, and flirted with the prospect of maybe one day making video games, Blood, Sweat, and Pixels is a fantastic look inside a variety of studios as they worked through development of their titles. I loved that the author interviewed developers from different grades of studios; from the one-man indie developer all the way to AAA game studios. It offers a great answer to why video games cost so much money, and why they take so long to make. I would offer this up to anyone that wants to get into the industry, on any level.


    What did you like best about this story?

    My favorite segment/chapter was probably the one on Star Wars 1313 as it told the story of how that game came to be, and why it disappeared. It was heart wrenching, but also somewhat inevitable with how Lucas Arts was run once upon a time.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I listened to this book while doing my weekly running, and always found myself wanting to continue listening, which pushed me to run just a little bit more.


    Any additional comments?

    My only negative, and it is a good negative to have I guess, is that I wish there were more chapters. It was amazing to hear how the different studios approached their problems, and how some of them made the same mistakes as others did (i.e. Destiny and Diablo 3). I just wanted more in the end.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    07/09/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A must read, truly."

    If you love video games, this should be the first book you read about them.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Reuben M.
    31/10/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I enjoyed this book."

    It's required that I use at least fifteen words to say I liked this book.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Vincent Walter
    11/02/18
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Felt like it was written by gamers for gamers"

    If you want to know how games are made just buy this book right now!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    11/02/18
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing stories. Can't wait to hear the sequel. "

    Every story was awesome and captivating. Would love to see another one with more stories from inside the industry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dana Sciandra
    Washington, D.C.
    08/02/18
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting insight into world of game development"

    Interesting to learn about the behind the scenes alerts of certain games I've played, and whatb happened to other games I'd been anticipating, especially Star Wars 1313, and why Amy Henning left Naughty Dog. Definitely a good listen if you're interested in video games, and their development.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mike
    08/02/18
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good book"

    Would have liked a bit more depth, but still great. Also it was a amusing hearing him define terms like 'RPG' in a game dev book =P

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Linkk
    30/01/18
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very insightful "

    Very insightful for anyone interested in video games and the video game industry.
    Jason Schreier looks deep into the production of a dozen different video games of recent years.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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