Swipe This Book!

Well, don’t literally swipe this book.

Swipe This! The Guide to Great Touchscreen Game Design is all about making touchscreen games, like the kind you play on tablets such as your iPad, on smartphones such as your iPhone, and on handheld gaming systems like the Nintendo DS or Sony PS Vita. You’ll learn how to design gameplay that’s as simple as moving your finger (or stylus)—or swiping it—across a screen. It’s a pun. Ugh. Now I’ve just explained the title of the book to you: that’s as bad as explaining the punch line of a joke.

Look, would it help if I told you that it took a long time to write this book? I (and my publisher) would prefer that you buy Swipe This! rather than actually swiping it . . . or pirating it electronically, or memorizing it in the bookstore, or borrowing it from a friend and never giving it back. What can I do to convince you to not swipe Swipe This!?

I know! In a previous video game design book I wrote,1 I explained that every good book has to start off with an excerpt so gripping, so exciting, so thrilling that the reader has to keep reading it to its conclusion. An excerpt that has zombies in it! Preferably something like this:

Jack leapt aboard the helicopter as two dozen zombies reached out, entangling the struts. “There’s too much weight!” yelled Evelyn from the cockpit. “We’ll never be able to take off!” Jack hew at the clawing creatures and yelled back, “Working on it!” He wasn’t sure whether zombies could feel pain, but they ...

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