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The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lensesby Jesse Schell
Synopses & Reviews
Jesse Schell takes an unusual approach to game design, an approach that focuses neither on the technological details of game development nor on the analysis of popular games. Instead, the book will propose that the most important skill for a game designer is not creativity as most suppose, but that of listening. The five kinds of listening (team, client, audience, game, and self) are shown to be backbone of all successful game design methods. These methods fall into three categories: understanding the psychology of gameplay and entertainment, using techniques from traditional disciplines in the game design, and processes for inventing new experiences that will fully engage the player. This book fully explains and compares these techniques and presents many case studies of their use. The book will contain excerpts of related writings from a wide variety of sources.
Game design is far from a new art form, but rather a very old one that now, through technology, is able to successfully integrate many other art forms. A successful designer must study aspects of many other fields. To do so, one must examine the work of the masters of these fields, and the book will include excerpts from writers discussing diverse topics such as psychology, architecture, music, visual design, film, software engineering, theme park design, writing, puzzle design, and several others. These elements will give this book a sense of authority and timelessness that is currently lacking in game design books.
* Jesse Schell is a highly recognisable name within the game industry - he is the former chair of the International Game Developer's Association.
* 100 'lenses' are scattered throughout the book. Theseare boxed tips, showing ways of seeing a game to inspire the creative process.
* 600 pages of detailed, practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again
Anyone can master the fundamentals of game design – no technological expertise is necessary. The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses shows that the same basic principles of psychology that work for board games, card games and athletic games also are the keys to making top-quality videogames. Good game design happens when you view your game from many different perspectives, or lenses. While touring through the unusual territory that is game design, this book gives the reader one hundred of these lenses – one hundred sets of insightful questions to ask yourself that will help make your game better. These lenses are gathered from fields as diverse as psychology, architecture, music, visual design, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, writing, puzzle design, and anthropology. Anyone who reads this book will be inspired to become a better game designer – and will understand how to do it.
* Jesse Schell is a highly recognizable name within the game industry - he is the former chair of the International Game Developer's Association, and has designed many successful games, including Disney's award-winning Toontown Online.
* The book's design methodology was developed at Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center, co-founded by Dr. Randy Pausch of "Last Lecture" fame.
* 100 'lenses' are scattered throughout the book. These are boxed sets of questions, each a different way of seeing a game that will inspire the creative process.
* 500 pages of detailed, practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again.
* Winner of Game Developer's 2008 Front Line Award in the book category
About the Author
Jesse Schell is professor of entertainment technology for Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC), a joint master's program between Carnegie Mellon's College of Fine Arts and School of Computer Science, where he teaches game design and leads several research projects. Formerly he was creative director of the Walt Disney Imagineering Virtual Reality Studio. Schell worked as a designer, programmer, and manager on several projects for Disney theme parks and DisneyQuest. Schell received his undergraduate degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a master's degree in information networking from Carnegie Mellon. He is also CEO of Schell Games, LLC, an independent game studio in Pittsburgh, and chairman of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA). In 2004 he was named as one of the World's 100 Top Young Innovators by MIT's Technology Review.
Jesse Schell is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC), where he teaches game design and leads several research projects. He is also CEO of Schell Games, Pittsburgh's largest videogame studio. Previous positions include Creative Director of the Walt Disney Imagineering Virtual Reality Studio, Chairman of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), and professional juggler. In 2004 he was named as one of the World's 100 Top Young Innovators by MIT's Technology Review.
Table of Contents
Introduction; The History of Games; The Most Important Skill; Holographic Design; The Cycle of Design; Excerpt: Lehman and Witty: The Psychology of Play (1927); The Psychology of Play; The Spectrum of Humanity; Excerpt: Julian Jaynes: The Orgin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, Chapter One: The Consciousness of Consciousness; The Subconscious Mind Part I: The Player; Excerpt: Salvador Dali: Fifty Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship: Secret Number Three: Slumber With a Key; The Subconscious Mind Part II: The Designer; Essay: Greg Costikyan: I Have No Words and I Must Design; What is a Game?; The Elements of Game Mechanics; Toy Design; State and State Change; Skill and Chance; Decisions; Feedback- The Heart of Interactivity; Interfaces; Patterns of Rewards; Game Balancing; Case Study: Deconstructing Pac-Man; Essay: Scott Kim: What is a Puzzle?; Puzzle Principles; The Psychology of Story; Interactive Stories: The Promise and the Problem; Story and Gameplay- The Conflict and Solution; Story and Game Worlds; Lessons from Tabletop RPGs; Essay: Henry Jenkins: Transmedia Worlds; Transmedia Worlds; Excerpt: Scott McCloud: The Vocabulary of Comics (from Understanding Comics); Characters in Games; Excerpts: (various) Christopher Alexander: A Pattern Language; Architecture in Games (Level Design); Elegance; Character in Games; Essay: Brian Moriarty: The Point; Social Principles in Multiplayer Games; Online Communities; Technology; Iteration; Playtesting; Brainstorming; Team Communication; Design Documents; Business; The Art of the Pitch; Excerpt: Mills Penny Arcade (1920); Location Based Entertainment; Serious Games; The Ethics of Games; The Deepest Theme; The Future; Your Secret Responsibility
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