Synopses & Reviews
To create a great video game, you must start with a solid game design: A well-designed game is easier to build, more entertaining, and has a better chance of succeeding in the marketplace. Here to teach you the essential skills of player-centric game design is one of the industry’s leading authorities, who offers a first-hand look into the process, from initial concept to final tuning.
Now in its second edition, this updated classic reference by Ernest Adams offers a complete and practical approach to game design, and includes material on concept development, gameplay design, core mechanics, user interfaces, storytelling, and balancing. In an easy-to-follow approach, Adams analyzes the specific design challenges of all the major game genres and shows you how to apply the principles of game design to each one. You’ll learn how to:
- Define the challenges and actions at the heart of the gameplay.
- Write a high-concept document, a treatment, and a full design script.
- Understand the essentials of user interface design and how to define a game’s look and feel.
- Design for a variety of input mechanisms, including the Wii controller and multi-touch iPhone.
- Construct a game’s core mechanics and flow of resources (money, points, ammunition, and more).
- Develop appealing stories, game characters, and worlds that players will want to visit, including persistent worlds.
- Work on design problems with engaging end-of-chapter exercises, design worksheets, and case studies.
- Make your game accessible to broader audiences such as children, adult women, people with disabilities, and casual players.
“Ernest Adams provides encyclopedic coverage of process and design issues for every aspect of game design, expressed as practical lessons that can be immediately applied to a design in-progress. He offers the best framework I’ve seen for thinking about the relationships between core mechanics, gameplay, and player—one that I’ve found useful for both teaching and research.” — Michael Mateas, University of California at Santa Cruz, co-creator of Façade
About the Author
Ernest Adams (Normandy, U.K.) is an independent game designer, writer, and teacher. He has worked in the game industry for 20 years. Ernest was most recently employed as a lead designer at Bullfrog Productions on the Dungeon Keeper series, and for several years before that he was the audio/video producer on the Madden NFL Football product line for Electronic Arts. For the last ten years he has written a regular column on game design for the Gamasutra developers' webzine. He was the founder of the International Game Developers' Association, and is a frequent lecturer at conferences and arts festivals around the world. His professional web site is at http://www.designersnotebook.com.
Table of Contents
THE ELEMENTS OF GAME DESIGN
1 Games and Video Games
2 Design Components and Processes
3 Game Concepts
4 Game Worlds
5 Creative and Expressive Play
6 Character Development
7 Storytelling and Narrative
8 User Interfaces
10 Core Mechanics
11 Game Balancing
12 General Principles of Level Design
THE GENRES OF GAMES
13 Action Games
14 Strategy Games
16 Sports Games
17 Vehicle Simulations
18 Construction and Management Simulations
19 Adventure Games
20 Artifi cial Life and Puzzle Games
21 Online Gaming
A Designing to Appeal to Particular