Summer reading

June 21, 2009

I’m taking summer-classes this year but in the brief period between those and the end of the last semester I bought three books that I wanted to read and I’m going to review it for you here.

The first one I read was “The Gold Standard” by Mike Krzyzewski, it recounts how the USA Basketball Olympic Team got formed and the process used to build it and meet the goal of winning the Gold Medal on the 2008 Olympic Games. It’s clearly trying to catch the business aspect of forming a team, but for those looking for a sports book I can tell you’re not going to be disappointed, it tells about the behind the scenes of a team formed by great stars like Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and how to make them work together and build truly a team. Overall a great reading, you can learn from this book, mostly how to be a team player and of course how to create and lead a team.

Next was “T-Minus: Race to the Moon” by Jim Ottaviani, Zander Cannon and Kevin Cannon. This is a graphic novel about the behind the scenes of the Space Race of the ’60 and ’70 between USA and the USSR. Although it would be nice if it was longer it meets the expectations, you get to know the internal fights and stretch time-lines both programs had and much more about how the Soviet program worked, at least I didn’t know that it was so dependent of only one man and who that men was and how brilliant he was. Great reading, fun and informative at the same timed.

The last one was a book I was trying to read since a long time, “A Theory of Fun for Game Design” by Raph Koster. Certainly it’s what everyone is saying about it, an instant classic and a must for those wanting to work on the gaming industry and even for those willing to know why we play games and how to make them in a successful manner. After reading it I truly believe it changed my way of thinking on certain aspects and I was able to identify past behaviors of mine on play situations and the actual reasons of my reactions. A book to read once and consult every time you need it and of course one to recommend to everyone.

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T-Minus: Comic about the Space Race

February 20, 2009

I read this story today and got exited about it. It’s a graphic novel about the US/URSS Space Race in the ’60 but focused on the scientists! At last someone put the view on those that makes everything possible.

And the thing that the author’s motivation is to show and encourage people that you can be part of this without being an astronaut is the best part. Indeed, of course you need to study a lot and really hard to get there, but YOU CAN.

Just yesterday I read an article saying that NASA is supporting the development of an MMO Game about Moon exploration. NASA and Video Games together, I don’t need to tell you that is the Dream job for me and a lot of other people, and something I thought we would have to wait several years to see it happen. And you know what? Is happening right now.

The author of T-Minus mentioned that we have lost that excitement about going to space and the Moon and that he is trying to get that again with this book, but I think that excitement is coming back already. Just the idea of having plans to return to the Moon, and even going to Mars on the schedule, only that should weak up a dead.

I just hope to be alive the day we’re back to the moon and the day we launch the first manned spacecraft to Mars.


The Video Game Industry

August 28, 2008

I just bought a couple of books about video game development (more words on that when I’ve read them) and design, the titles are “Programming Video Games for the Evil Genius” and “The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and Design”, I got pretty good references from the former one but when trying to find reviews for the second one I got to this article and found it just great. It tells you a big part of what you need to get into the Video Game Industry and where to study or how to get involved in it.

Also from that article this link explains you what the industry looks on someone to be part of it. Both are extensive and very good funded, reliable sources back up them and you should end up knowing exactly what to do to get in.

I didn’t found reviews of the book, but as I’ve already paid for it I will read it anyway and tell you how was it.