Synopses & Reviews
How often have you heard "anyone can design a game?" While it seems like an easy job, game ideas are cheap and plentiful. Advancing those ideas into games that people want to play is one of the hardest, and most under-appreciated, tasks in the game development cycle. Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams on Game Design introduces both students and experienced developers to the craft of designing computer and video games for the retail market. The first half of the book is a detailed analysis of the key game design elements: examining game concepts and worlds, storytelling, character and user interface design, core mechanics and balance. The second half discusses each of the major game genres (action, adventure, role-playing, strategy, puzzle, and so on) and identifies the design patterns and unique creative challenges that characterize them. Filled with examples and worksheets, this book takes an accessible, practical approach to creating fun, innovative, and highly playable games.
Although the design of games may be best left up to professional game designers, programmers can have a great influence on how the final product actually feels in the hands of the player. "Principles of Game Design" speaks directly to the game programmer and presents the design fundamentals that can make or break a game's playability. This book explores the key characteristics of different game genres and how the programmer can avoid pitfalls associated with inaccurate (or overly accurate) representation of reality in the virtual game world and apply the techniques that have brought success to many popular commercial games.
This title introduces both students and experienced developers to the craft of designing computer games for the retail market. Filled with examples and worksheets, this book takes an accessible practical approach to creating fun, innovative and playable games.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -593) and index.
About the Author
(co-author of the highly successful book Game Architecture and Design) has a B.S. in Physics from Imperial College, London, and Bristol University, and has worked as a technical consultant spanning the games industry and the financial industry since 1995. Ernest Adams (co-founder of the IGDA) is an American game design consultant currently based in England. He has developed on-line, computer, and console games for everything from the IBM 360 mainframe to the Sony PlayStation 2. He is the author of the popular Designer's Notebook series of columns on the Gamasutra developers' webzine.
Ernest Adams is a freelance game designer and a member of the International Hobo game design consortium. He was most recently employed as a lead designer at Bullfrog Productions, and for several years before that he was the audio/video producer on the Madden NFL Football product line for Electronic Arts. He founded the International Game Developers Association in 1994.
Table of Contents
I. THE ELEMENTS OF GAME DESIGN. 1. What Is Game Design?
Art, Science, or Craft? The Anatomy of Game Design. Documenting the Design. Anatomy of a Game Designer. Putting It Together. 2. Game Concepts.
Getting an Idea. The Elements of a Game. Understanding Your Audience. The Genres of Interactive Entertainment. The Types of Game Machines. Motivations That Influence Design. Game Concept Worksheet. Putting It Together. 3. Game Settings and Worlds.
The Purpose of a Game Setting. The Dimensions of a Game World. Realism and Abstraction. The Save-Game Issue. Putting It Together. 4. Storytelling and Narrative.
Stories in Games. The Story Vehicle. Storytelling and Narrative Worksheet. Putting It Together. 5. Character Development.
Art-Driven Character Design. Story-Driven Character Design. Character Development Worksheet. Putting It Together. 6. Creating the User Experience.
What Is the User Experience? The Human-Computer Interface. Components of the User Experience. User Interface Worksheet. Putting It Together. 7. Gameplay.
Use of Language. Defining Gameplay. Gameplay Worksheet. Putting It Together. 8. The Internal Economy of Games and Game Balancing.
What Is Game Balance? Static Balance. Dynamic Balance. Tools for Balancing. Internal Economy Worksheet. Putting It Together.
II. THE GENRES OF GAMES. 9. Action Games.
Action Game Genres. Design Elements. Special Design Considerations for Action Games. Action Game Worksheet. Putting It Together. 10. Strategy Games.
The Common Elements of Strategy Games. Strategy Game Worksheet. Putting It Together. 11. Role-Playing Games.
The Common Elements of Role-Playing Games. CRPG Worksheet. Putting It Together. 12. Sports Games.
The Common Elements of Sports Games. Special Design Issues for Sports Games. Sports Game Worksheet. Putting It Together. 13. Vehicle Simulations.
The Common Elements of Vehicle Simulations. Other Vehicles. Special Design Considerations for Vehicle Simulations. Vehicle Simulation Worksheet. Putting It Together. 14. Construction and Management Simulations.
The Common Elements of CMSs. Special Design Considerations for CMSs. Construction and Management Simulation Wrksheet. Putting It Together. 15. Adventure Games.
What Is an Adventure Game? The Common Elements of Adventure Games. User Interface Design. Special Design Considerations. Adventure Game Worksheet. Putting It Together. 16. Artificial Life, Puzzle Games, and Other Genres.
Artificial Life Games. Puzzle Games. Games for Girls. Putting It Together. 17. Online Games.
Advantages of Online Games. Disadvantages of Online Games. Design Issues for Online Gaming. Persistent Worlds. Putting It Together. 18. The Future of Gaming.
Gaming Hardware. The Future of Game Programming. Game Genres. Broadband Networking. The Distant Future. Interactive Entertainment as an Art Form. A Few Final Words.
III. APPENDIXES. Appendix A. Sample Design Documents.
Creating and Using Design Documents. The High-Concept Document. The Game Treatment. The Design Script. Appendix B. Bibliography.
Game Design. Game Theory. History and Sociology of Video Games. Architecture and Graphic Design. Writing and Narrative. Index.