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Free Book: Designing Arcade Computer Game Graphics


arcadegamedesign.pngIf you're into game design with Blender, then here's a valuable addition to your library. 'Designing Arcade Game Graphics' by Ari Feldman has been released for free by Wordware Publishing.

From the foreword:

In this book Ari Feldman gently but firmly exposes the artist to the technical requirements and jargon used by professionals in the game development field. Rather than assuming the programmer is the only one who needs to know this stuff, Ari insists the artist take responsibility too. [...] I have seen talented young artists drop out of the field of game development simply because they were overwhelmed by the expectations of the industry. And really, the technology behind computer artwork is not that difficult. All you really need is a resource that explains the capabilities and limitations to you. I believe Ari has provided such a resource with this book.

The table of contents:

  1. Arcade Games and Computer Arcade Game Platforms
  2. Designing for Different Display Modes
  3. Image Compression and Graphic File Formats
  4. Files and File Management
  5. Evaluating Graphics Creation Tools
  6. Essential Graphics Tools
  7. Color and Arcade Game Graphics
  8. All About Color Palettes
  9. Arcade Game Animation
  10. Fonts and Arcade Games
  11. Planning Arcade Game Graphics
  12. Hands-on Arcade Game Project—Fish Dish
  13. Miscellaneous Topics and Final Thoughts

Some of the topics (such as color palettes and DOS painting programs) are obviously a bit dated and not relevant to Blender projects, but many of the covered aspects, such as color theory, game design project management and character design considerations are still valid when you're designing 3D games.

This is an incredibly rich resource and if you're planning to create a game in Blender, I recommend you at least browser through this book before you begin. If you're short on time, I recommend you at least ready chapter 12.

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. I remember downloading this years ago, but I didn't read much of it because I wasn't really into computer graphics back then. I should really check this out to see what I missed, thanks for the find Bart! :D

  2. I didn't read anything in the book yet, just want to say that sometimes the topics that look a bit dated for 'normal' computers suddenly start to make sense again if you have to develop for phones, set-top boxes and the like.

  3. Marcos Vinicius on

    I downloaded it today, I hope it helps me to understand about blender game engine.
    A braziliam trying to learn blender games.

  4. First, this book is EXCELLENT! Thank you!

    Second, the so-called 8-bit graphics will NEVER die! Mario in 3D doesn't have that "Marioness" that pixel-pizza Mario does :D Plus it looks totally cool

    Also, there are plenty of apps that make good use of this type of graphics. Off the top of my head, I'd recommend playing Automation, a mini-game made in Adventure Game Studio -- this is exactly the sort of thing that makes 8-bit look as good as 3D (and no, I'm not getting paid to say that :P ). Get it at

  5. Cool! My sister likes old arcade games, and she personally thinks they're better than 3D games. Unfortunately for me, she now wants me to make a new version of Pac-Man for her.

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