I owe enormous thanks to my publisher, Lou Rosenfeld, not only for championing this book but also for the tremendous support he’s provided to me over the years. He’s been an inspiring force in my life, and his belief in me has made all the difference in who I am today.
A lot of people have generously lent their expertise and viewpoints to this book, and I sincerely hope that I’ve managed to cite all of them here. Ian Bogost, Jim Gee, Stone Librande, Jamie Madigan, and Jesse Schell not only contributed the sidebars in this book, but were kind enough to give personal guidance and review chapters as they were in progress.
My wonderful editor was JoAnn Simony, and the technical reviewers were Stephen Anderson, Mathias Crawford, and Nathan Verrill. This is a much better book as a result of their careful attention and thoughtful input. Other people who made critical contributions of time and expertise include Mike Ambinder of Valve Software; Nate Bolt of Bolt|Peters; Luis Von Ahn of Carnegie Mellon; Seth Cooper of Foldit; Dennis Crowley of Foursquare; Scott Rigby of Immersyve; Jason Haas, Eric Klopfer, and Scot Osterweil of MIT’s Education Arcade; Anna Johnson and Sooin Lee of Project Injini; Richard Marks and Eric Matthews of Sony Computer Entertainment; and Seann Dikkers and Ben Shapiro from the University of Wisconsin. Additional reviews were provided by Catriona Cornett, Jim Kalbach, Julie Price, and Kyle Soucy. Thank you all so much for your help!
People who made pertinent impacts in my professional life include David Wright, who first provided a platform for me to start designing games; Todd Horning, Rob Patey, and Mike Rosario, with whom I collaborated on those projects; Richard Dalton and Gina Puzo, who pushed me hard to start talking about games; and James “Chip” Chiponis, Andrew Karetas, and Bri Lance, who each made a leap of faith to pursue game projects with me. I sincerely hope that I’ve lived up to the confidence they’ve all invested in me.
I would certainly be remiss if I didn’t thank my parents, Margie and Charlie, who have made so many sacrifices on my behalf and to whom I can never be sufficiently grateful, and my siblings Steve, Chris, and Cath. You are each, in your own way, a part of this book.
I opened the book with a dedication to my wife Amanda, and I must close with a note of gratitude to her. She’s put up with so much over the course of this project, above and beyond what could ever be reasonably asked. I will always be thankful for the support she has given me, not only during this period, but throughout our time together.
—John Ferrara, Philadelphia, April 2012