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My partner and I are starting to get into game development on the iPhone. I'm a programmer and he's not. We are looking for some good language agnostic game programming books. Hopefully things that will explain basic game development principles without focusing too much on the particulars of a language and more on the concepts needed to build and design games.

We will probably focus on 2D games (at the beginning anyways) so no need for books on in depth 3D math, complex AI, etc.

Any suggestions?

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-1, subjective and a probable dupe. I also made it a CW. –  Tetrad Aug 18 '10 at 6:40
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What role do you see for your partner? What background does he have? What background do you have? –  Kaj Aug 18 '10 at 6:46
    
My partner's background is Project Management. I'm a software developer (c#, .net, asp.net etc.) –  hover Aug 18 '10 at 23:59
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5 Answers

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For game DESIGN, I highly recommend Jesse Schell: link text

Hope that helps!

[EDIT] Stupid StackExchange... I had more links for you, but I need higher rep before I can link them. I'll try to put them in as comments...

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For game PROGRAMMING: amazon.com/s/… –  Grimless Aug 18 '10 at 21:25
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For game DEVELOPMENT: amazon.com/Game-Development-Essentials-Jeannie-Novak/dp/… –  Grimless Aug 18 '10 at 21:26
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While a couple of the chapters are grossly outdated (the book was written in 1982), The Art of Computer Game Design has some great ideas and principles.

http://library.vancouver.wsu.edu/art-computer-game-design

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His other book, Chris Crawford on Game Design is equally awesome. amazon.com/Chris-Crawford-Game-Design/dp/0131460994 –  michael.bartnett Dec 3 '10 at 6:45
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Keep in mind the differences between game development (the all-inclusive process of making a game), game programming (writing the code that makes a game happen), and game design (designing the game: plot, characters, mechanics, etc.). You seem to be using them interchangeably.

But it appears you are looking for iPhone Game development/programming, not game design. The major book at the moment appears to be Beginning iPhone Games Development.

There is also iPhone Game Development: Developing 2D & 3D games in Objective-C which has a wide range of reviews, good and bad; I'd give it a second thought before purchasing.

The problem is, if you're looking into iPhone development, Objective-C is your only language option as far as I know, and development for the iPhone is considerably different than PC development. I think in this case you'd do best to try one of these two books, rather than starting with a PC game development book.

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You can also develop in C, C++, and Javascript. You'll need to do a little Objective-C but it can be minimal compared to the others if you want. Arguably, you can also develop in scripting languages like Lua, but the rules and regulations around that are still somewhat unclear. –  ZorbaTHut Aug 18 '10 at 4:22
    
Thanks for your reply. I get the difference between development, programming and design but was looking for suggestions for books on all 3 topics. I'm not really looking for iPhone specific books because most of them seem to suck. I'm also looking for more general books for my partner who doesn't code. He'd like to understand more of the process. –  hover Aug 18 '10 at 4:33
    
If you want to understand the process, wouldn't it be better to read, say, Gamasutra? Because there really isn't one process, and a book will kinda make you believe there is, better to get a good grasp on the field as a whole. –  Kaj Aug 18 '10 at 6:58
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Just my $0.02, but you should always start with the fundamentals - FUN. Raph Koster's "A Theory of Fun" is a great read. Here's a review: http://www.runawaycreations.com/home/2010/11/21/book-review-a-theory-of-fun-for-game-design.html

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Must read: Steve Swink - Game Feel

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