Strategy games are the type of games I prefer. Turn-based or real-time, they share some common ground. This book tries to explain them.
Content and opinions
The book is split in three parts: war, peace and design.
War is generally at the center of a strategy game (war, or tensions that can lead to it). War consists of units fighting together. Equilibrium is something that is not easy to achieve, and the game must suggest different strategies with those units to remain interesting. Relevant facts about those topics are introduced.
The Peace chapter is not only about peace, perhaps only truce before the war. It’s about resources, technologies or stuff like that. It is not mentioned that too many different resources can lead to a bad game as well (too complicated to handle, an AI that cannot cope with it can ruin the game, …)
Finally, almost half of the book is dedicated to design. Not only interface design, but also game and gameplay design. Do I need a hero? How far does the world strech? These kind of questions can make really different games, and also a game that wanted things to big can in the end be a failure because of these.
This small book can be read in a few hours. It is mainly based on actual game images, but their legends are too small, especially when they convey useful information. This problem put aside, the book is really enjoyable, it does not go into too many details, only to give a first overview of what a strategy game should be.