Book publication announcement

What past game design can teach us today

20 Essential Games to Study’s purpose is to look over the past 25 years of games to discuss titles whose design deserves to be studied by anyone with an interest in game design.

Author, Joshua Bycer has stated that, “I have always had an interest in game design and being able to talk about the art and craft of it. Despite so many games being released, it can be very hard to break down specifically why certain game work and others don’t.” His goal of this book was to pick 20 games spanning the decades and platforms that are worthy for anyone to study with an interest in game design, whether they may be an experienced developer or student.

There have been plenty of books which focus on the technical side of Game Development, there are few that study the nature of game design itself, which is where 20 Essential Games to Study falls. This title features a mix of console and PC offerings, the author Joshua Bycer purposely left out the easy choices of Mario, Starcraft, Call of Duty, and Overwatch to focus on games that stood out thanks to their designs. While this list certainly has some blockbusters from major studios, Mr. Bycer also wanted games that became cult classics due to their innovative takes on design. Great games have a sense of timelessness, and if the reader did not grow up playing the ones features in 20 Essential Games to Study, this will expose the reader to some of the all-time best titles. Games that include Super Metroid, X-Com UFO Defense, Devil May Cry 3, and more.  

Joshua Bycer was recently interviewed by a local radio station discussing his thoughts on the game industry, Game-Wisdom, 20 Essential Games to Study and plans for his next book. Listen to this interview on

20 Essential Games to Study is available via CRC Press:

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Samantha Holt

Joshua Bycer

About the Author:
Joshua Bycer has spent his adult life examining the art and craft of game design; to demystify a field that even professionals within it still have trouble fully grasping. Through his site Game-Wisdom, he has literally interviewed developers from all around the world. From those just starting out, to established veterans like Jon Shafer, Chris Park, Zach Barth, and more. He has lost count of the number of developers he’s spoken to who appreciate being able to talk to someone who speaks and understands the language of game design.

Along with his website, and videos on YouTube, Josh spends his time presenting and lecturing about game design.