Book review: “Behind the scenes of Harry Potter video games. The first three years in Hogwarts”

Book

We rarely look at books. But this book is special: it’s dedicated to the first three games about Mr. Potter….

The original book title in French: « Dans les coulisses des jeux vidéo Harry Potter. Les trois premières années à Poudlard » by Gaëtan Boulanger (Pix’n Love, 2019).

The book is (almost) not illustrated, as is this review. So, to keep our readers from being bored, we wrote it as a small question-and-answer session.

Okay, here we go!

 

1. What does the book contain?

— Short stories with a common storyline: from early organizational issues related to the first game to the launch of the third game.

— People and companies that have been involved in game development.

— Quotes from the letters of game developers contacted by the book’s author.

 

2. Is this a commercial review?

— No, we just want to review this book. Although we wouldn’t mind a postcard from the author of the book. ;-)

 

3. What sources did the author use?

— The main sources, according to the bibliography, are game magazines, topic-specific websites and, of course, correspondence with the developers.

 

4. Can you give examples of topics for each year?

— Year 1: character modeling, creating the cards with portraits of famous witches and wizards, fantastic beasts, specifics of the game versions for different platforms, game engines, organizational issues.

— Year 2: the architecture of Hogwarts, the magic of animation, organizational issues. Maybe something else ;-)

— Year 3: three characters, revised Hogwarts, Time-Turner, dementors, hippogriff, textbooks, specifics of implementation on different platforms, organizational issues.

— Quidditch in the first games: specifics of the game from different development teams, details of implementation on different platforms, organizational issues.

 

5. Any mention of the games’ soundtrack?


Yes, of course. For example, the book has a chapter about the contribution of Jeremy Saul and Ian Stoker to the musical ambience of games.

 

6. Which development teams are mentioned in the book?

— Electronic Arts, Argonaut Games, Know Wonder, Criptonite, Eurocom, Warthog Games, Magic Pockets and some others.

 

7. Is this book is available in French only?

— Yes, it is. At the time of writing this review, the book is published in French only. Still, we hope that publishers in other countries will also be interested in it. An English version would be very helpful.

 

8. What do you think about this book?

— While reading the book, we had a feeling of being close to the author of the book. He tells us about the games we’ve known for a long time. We already know a part of his story, too, but… he knows how to add something new to the details we already know.

 

9. What you’re saying is that you’ve been aware of what situations happened during the game development?

— Oh no. :-) We had in mind the rules and traditions of the wizarding world, the specifics of cards and gameplay.

 

10. To whom would you recommend this book?

— To everyone who likes the first Harry Potter games. Everyone who’s interested in the history of creating these games and why these games have become what we know them to be. :-)

 

11. For sure it’s a commercial post ;-)

— No, it’s not. We have already mentioned a postcard :-)

 

That concludes our mini-review. We hope it’ll be useful. In the meantime… We’ll read a little more because the book has to be returned. ;-)


Review written by Alexms69

Book’s author: Gaëtan Boulanger

English translation: Actani

The website team thanks @HP_Archivist for providing a copy of the book to write this review.

P. S. We would like to thank the author of the book for writing a unique book that provides answers to many questions that have been discussed in our community for so many years. :-)


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