Acting as a sequel/continuation of Gamers at Work: Stories Behind the Games People Play, Online Game Pioneers at Work is another in-depth collection of interviews with game developers shining a light on the process of creating games, building a company and the trails, tribulations and successes that go with it. The focus this time is on online IPs and company structure, but each interviewee has a great deal more knowledge to share about general development and how their passion for videogames and creativity shaped their careers.
It’s a fascinating read spanning interviews with 16 of the top online game pioneers in the industry. Emily Greer, co-founder of the online portal for flash games, Kongregate; co-founder of Origin Systems turned astronaut, Richard Garriott; and Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeshuk, co founders of BioWare, are but a few of those author Morgan Ramsay interviewed, each sharing their own personal story about a career in an industry they love, openly and frankly sharing the difficulties and successes of creating games and building companies within this competitive and dynamic industry.
As each interviewee tells their in-depth story you feel their struggles, celebrate their successes and experience their fears, uncertainties, nostalgia and relief. It’s a remarkable journey for you as a reader. This is partly because of the overwhelming passion of each developer; their love for all things videogame related is palpably evident, meanwhile, Morgan Ramsay probes with beautifully fluid and open questions, allowing the conversation to flow and immerse you in its narrative of hobby turned to passion turned to career. The process of developing games and building a company has seldom felt so real and personal.
Moreover, because these are such frank and in-depth interviews, the knowledge you can glean from it is immense. Whether you are interested in the industry as a player who wants to see more behind the curtain, a journalist looking for a deeper understanding, or a developer looking to follow in the interviewee’s footsteps, this is an invaluable resource.
Indeed Online Game Pioneers at Work is a terrific read. discovering each developer’s story and following their accounts of developing in different eras and countries, and then enveloping yourself in their shared passion, is invigorating. You’re likely to come away from reading this even more excited about videogames than you all ready are. You’ll have a greater understanding of how they’re developed, the goals of a development teams, the love, care, time, money, sweat and blood that’s poured into them. It’s a harsh industry, certainly, and these accounts paint it vividly and truthfully, but there’s no denying it’s creative pull, superb products, and fascinating members.