Synopses & Reviews
Now in full color, the 10th anniversary edition of this classic book takes you deep into the influences that underlie modern video games, and examines the elements they share with traditional games such as checkers. At the heart of his exploration, veteran game designer Raph Koster takes a close look at the concept of fun and why its the most vital element in any game.
Why do some games become boring quickly, while others remain fun for years? How do games serve as fundamental and powerful learning tools? Whether youre a game developer, dedicated gamer, or curious observer, this illustrated, fully updated edition helps you understand what drives this major cultural force, and inspires you to take it further.
Youll discover that:
- Games play into our innate ability to seek patterns and solve puzzles
- Most successful games are built upon the same elements
- Slightly more females than males now play games
- Many games still teach primitive survival skills
- Fictional dressing for modern games is more developed than the conceptual elements
- Truly creative designers seldom use other games for inspiration
- Games are beginning to evolve beyond their prehistoric origins
Now in full color, the 10th anniversary edition of this classic book packs more insight into what it means to design games for fun. Theory of Fun for Game Design challenges and inspires game designers as well as game enthusiasts looking for products and experiences that are truly fun and entertaining.
The book discusses the impact of designing in a multidimensional landscape, where computer science, environmental design, and storytelling all play a role in creating an interactive game design. For the professional game developer to the interested young gamer, this updated edition takes you on an illustrated ride in fun and games.
- Learn why some games are fun and others are boring
- Discover how playing a game and learning are connected
- Understand why making a game too hard--or too easy--is a mistake
- Find out why games have to balance deprivation and overload, order and chaos, silence and noise
- Explore why you need to balance challenges of task mastery, pattern recognition, discovery, and time attacks
About the Author
Raph Koster is a veteran game designer who has been professionally credited in almost every area of the game industry. He's been the lead designer and director of massive titles such as Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies; and he's contributed writing, art, soundtrack music, and programming to many more titles ranging from Facebook games to single-player titles for handheld consoles. He has worked as a creative executive at Sony Online and Disney Playdom, and in 2012 was honored as an Online Game Legend at the Game Developers Conference Online.
Table of Contents
- About the Author
- Foreword (from the First Edition)
- Prologue: My Grandfather
- Chapter 1: Why Write This Book?
- Chapter 2: How the Brain Works
- Chapter 3: What Games Are
- Chapter 4: What Games Teach Us
- Chapter 5: What Games Arent
- Chapter 6: Different Fun for Different Folks
- Chapter 7: The Problem with Learning
- Chapter 8: The Problem with People
- Chapter 9: Games in Context
- Chapter 10: The Ethics of Entertainment
- Chapter 11: Where Games Should Go
- Chapter 12: Taking Their Rightful Place
- Epilogue: Fun Matters, Grandpa
- Afterword: Ten Years Later