How to Make a Video Game All By Yourself: 10 steps, just you and a computer – Book Review
Follow Genre: Inspirational, Guide
Written by: Matt Hackett
Publisher: Matt Hackett

How to Make a Video Game All By Yourself: 10 steps, just you and a computer – Book Review

Site Score
Good: Good starting point
Bad: Doesn't do much more than getting the reader in a mindset and giving a pat on the back
User Score
(3 votes)
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Rating: 9.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Making a video game is the dream of many people. However, just like most things, getting started can seem daunting to a beginner. There are many tools for the purpose of introducing newbies to the world(s) of game design and programming, but sorting through these can still be hard. For the purpose of letting people know where to begin and how to first approach everything, Matt Hackett has written the book How to Make a Video Game All By Yourself: 10 steps, just you and a computer. Here is what it has to offer.

As the title of the book indicates, How to Make a Video Game All By Yourself is a guide for those looking to get into game creation. It provides general advice for any type of creator which will set readers on the right path as well as the right mentality for achieving their goal. That being said, the book doesn’t delve into the more complex parts such as coding or actual game design

The content as a whole is interesting and well-informed, on top of being quite relevant to the topics it covers. Thanks to the small page format the book utilizes, it is also easy to follow along without getting tired of large paragraphs. Alongside this, relevant drawings and diagrams are often interwoven with the text in order to emphasize certain points, further improving the flow.

Oftentimes the author tends to veer into metaphors he continues for a while. While some of these are useful in order to picture something more easily, a certain few could be done away with. Those metaphors that do not particularly work often mar the message that the author is trying to convey.

On top of these metaphors, Matt’s writing style is often reminiscent of self-help books. While addressing the reader can often be a good way of maintaining engagement, sentences like “Just wait a moment. Take a breath.” or “Prepare for more. This final swarm boss also has a fourth form. And a fifth. And maybe a sixth, seventh, eighth …” take away from the book’s seriousness and become somewhat eye-rolling.


Despite a few gripes with the writing style, How to Make a Video Game All By Yourself is a competent book beginners will most likely benefit from. However, it is worth noting that much of the advice present in the book can be found by simply browsing game development communities or forums. Nothing in the book is a complete game-changer or particularly deep, and simply speaking to a developer with experience will provide an equally valuable experience. Sold for $14,99 in paperback or $9,55 in ebook format, the title is not particularly expensive, making it a decent purchase to streamline getting into game creation.

Personal Opinion

“As someone who’s delved into the world of game-making and who works as a programmer, this book didn’t tell me anything I didn’t know. While it’s well-written and its style makes it more welcoming than trudging through the unity forums and similar resources, the information provided is still rather shallow. This book is no substitute for doing some hands-on research and development, which will likely provide more fruitful. The book itself points this out: researching and spending time looking into forums, servers and communities is very much required for aspiring developers. Also, as already stated in the early parts of the review, the book does not actually teach any coding, it simply attempts to put its readers in a certain mindset.”

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How to Make a Video Game All By Yourself: 10 steps, just you and a computer - Book Review, 9.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

No longer writing for the site, pursuing other things.

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