Synopses & Reviews
Game designers spend their lives solving extraordinary problems and facing mind-bending paradoxes. It’s their job to make a meticulous plan for “spontaneous fun” players will want to experience over and over again. Pressure is heaped on with demands for innovation and blockbuster status. So designers find themselves facing an abyss of problems, pressure, and possibilities, armed only with their brains and an assortment of design principles they picked up over years of experience.
For the first time, 100 Principles of Game Design gathers some of the best of these big ideas into one toolkit. Seasoned designers will be glad they don’t have to hold it all in their heads anymore, and beginning design students can use the book to learn the tools of the trade. When the going gets tough, everyone can turn to this book for guidance, inspiration, or just to remind them of what works. Collected from every popular school of thought in game design, these core principles are organized by theme: innovation, creation, balancing, and troubleshooting.
• Includes advances from the world’s leading authorities on game design, some explained by the creators themselves
• A reference book of finite, individual principles for easy access, providing a jumping off point for further research
• Principles originating in fields as diverse as architecture, psychiatry, and economics, but shown here as they apply to game design
• Richly designed with illustrations and photos, making each principle easy to understand and memorable
• Timeless approach includes feedback loops, game mechanics, prototyping, economies of scale, user-centered design, and much more
Professional designers and instructors at one of the world’s leading game design institutions lay out the building blocks of diverse knowledge
required to design even the simplest of games.
Game designers spend many hours solving design problems but are often unaware that many of the problems they are solving have been encountered and solved countless times before. The best solutions may still require additional steps but there are common principles to many of the approaches that game designers can use for inspiration.
Written by a team of instructors at a top games school in the U.S., Game Design Principles is the first one-stop reference book for seasoned designers or beginning design students to turn to when the going gets tough, or any time they need a little inspiration to solve a problem.
These universal, general design principles are gleaned from fields as disparate as architecture, neuroscience, and marketing, and brought together and presented in ways game designers can apply directly to games. The book focuses on finite, individual principles rather than broader ideas and approaches. Richly designed with infographics, illustrations, and schematics, each principle is easy to understand and memorable.
Game Design Principles is specifically designed to itemize, describe, and explain the principles behind the process of designing video games. You’ll carry it with you as an essential guide on your game design adventure.
About the Author
Wendy Despain is a contract game designer, writer and teacher who has wide experience in games and viral media. Her credits include narrative designer on "Gardens of Time," named the Best Social Game of 2011 by GDC Online, and consultant on the design of Cartoon Network's successful MMO "Fusion Fall." Despain was also the lead designer andproducer on Alternative Reality Games (ARG's) for Gene Roddenbery's "Andromeda" and "Earth: Final Conflict," and served as writer and/or designer on a variety of children's games such as "Bratz: Forever Diamondz" and "Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks." She runs her own consultancy called Quantum Content, works in association with International Hobo, and teaches online classes to game design students at Full Sail University.
Table of Contents
Introduction - What is this book? How to use it.
Universal Principles For The Design Process
Design by committee
The 80/20 Rule
The four ways to be creative
Universal Principles For Game Creation
Operant conditioning - the Skinner Box
Rock Paper Scissors (game theory)
Volunteer’s Dilemma (game theory)
Memory games vs. Skill games
Theories of fun
Cognitive Biases - Anchoring Bias, Availability Bias, Confirmation Bias, Commision Bias
Motivation via: Food/Sex/Movement/Faces/Stories/Surprise
Universal Principles For Game Balancing
The “Strong Tie”
Universal Principles For Troubleshooting
Attention Vs. Perception
Seven Universal Emotions