Update on my eBook “How Video Games Are Made”

Since the publication of the last installment of my article series at Polygon about the making of Defense Grid 2, many of you have been wondering when those articles would be available in eBook form. I can now, at long last, give you an approximate answer: Soon.

I finished writing the book, adding new chapters, expanding the original interviews and restructuring the story to account for being able to apply hindsight (and now having an ending) in October. And last month a version of the eBook went out to people who’d ordered the “Steam Special edition” version of Defense Grid 2 on Steam. Early reviews of the book are positive.

Soon I will finally be offering the eBook for sale, via Gumroad, but it will be slightly different than what the Steam customers received.




The new title is “How Video Games Are Made: My 16 Months Inside the Development of Defense Grid 2, by Russ Pitts.” And the book will have new cover art (the above image is temporary) created by the designer of many of my Polygon articles, Tyson Whiting.

The book will be made available as soon as it is ready, which I hope will be sometime in December 2014. You can pre-order it here. (Thank you to those who have already done so.)

UPDATE (12/15/14): The book will definitely be made available this week. Thanks for your patience.

My Chili Recipe

I’ve been working on this chili recipe for a little over 20 years. The current version is based on my current tastes. Yours may differ. Feel free to shake it up. The only really important parts are that you brown the meat well and get the spices right. And don’t forget the peppers!

Here’s the recipe in a little more legible text. A step-by-step livetweet of the process follows.

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The last byline

I’ve just filed a story with the website www.escapistmagazine.com. It’s a story based on a pitch I sent to editor-in-chief Greg Tito on July 17th of this year, and that was officially assigned to me on July 24th. As I believe it is my professional obligation to Greg, his website and the subjects of my article to complete that assignment to the best of my ability, I have done so. I do not know when the story will be published, but it will most likely be the last time my name appears on a byline at The Escapist for the foreseeable future. Thought you, as fans of my work, should know that.


If you’re looking for something on this site and not finding it, I have bad news for you: It’s gone.

The short version is: Back up your database regularly.

The long version is: I migrated the site to a new host. I backed up my database at the old host. I attempted to build a new database at the new host and discovered that the backup I had was three years old and corrupted. For whatever reason, my current DB from the old host did not export, and the DB I had was unusable.

As of 9 am this morning, when my old host erased my old database, my site ceased to be. I’ve spent most of the rest of the day rebuilding the super important bits from an internet archive and whatever I had stored locally. I will spend whatever time I have in the coming weeks (spoiler alert: I don’t have much) rebuilding what I can of the rest. Whatever is left will simply be gone for good. Sorry.

Protip: Back up your database. And then verify those backups.