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A Game Design Vocabulary: Exploring the Foundational Principles Behind Good Game Designby Anna Anthropy
Synopses & Reviews
Since the first arcade videogames appeared in the 1970s, publishers have invested billions of dollars in developing more powerful technologies to deliver richer player experiences. Games have often taken a central role in popular culture; in fact, organizations are even attempting to “gamify” traditional business processes. However, our language for understanding, discussing, and designing games has remained primitive — and this has made it more difficult to create great games or intelligently evaluate them.
A Game Design Vocabulary fills this gap, offering a complete shared framework for understanding and evaluating game design — as creators, as players, as students, as game industry decision-makers. Anna Anthropy approaches games through the lens of storytelling and vocabulary, examining the structure of a game, identifying its verbs, adverbs, objects, and showing how game designers develop these elements over the course of a game.
Anthropy uses extensive examples to illuminate abstract concepts in game design. In multiple case studies, she dissects samples from existing games. Every chapter concludes with hands-on design challenges and learning exercises that promote deeper insight — and can be done with or without access to any game development technologies.
Master the Principles and Vocabulary of Game Design
Why aren’t videogames getting better? Why does it feel like we’re playing the same games, over and over again? Why aren’t games helping us transform our lives, like great music, books, and movies do?
The problem is language. We still don’t know how to talk about game design. We can’t share our visions. We forget what works (and doesn’t). We don’t learn from history. It’s too hard to improve.
The breakthrough starts here. A Game Design Vocabulary gives us the complete game design framework we desperately need—whether we create games, study them, review them, or build businesses on them.
Craft amazing experiences. Anna Anthropy and Naomi Clark share foundational principles, examples, and exercises that help you create great player experiences…complement intuition with design discipline…and craft games that succeed brilliantly on every level.
About the Author
Anna Anthropy is a noted game critic, designer, writer, and speaker who has recently presented in venues ranging from NYU to the Game Developers Conference (GDC). She has created several independent videogames, including Lesbian Spider-Queens of Mars, Mighty Jill Off, Keep Me Occupied and dys4ia. She is author of Rise of the Videogame Zinesters, a book about how everyone can and should make videogames.
Table of Contents
3. Left to Right
4. Castles and Caves
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