Fundamentals of Game Design, 2nd Edition

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

Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Games and Video Games
Chapter 2. Design Components and Processes
Chapter 3. Game Concepts
Chapter 4. Game Worlds
Chapter 5. Creative and Expressive Play
Chapter 6. Character Development
Chapter 7. Storytelling and Narrative
Chapter 8. User Interfaces
Chapter 9. Gameplay
Chapter 10. Core Mechanics
Chapter 11. Game Balancing
Chapter 12. General Principles of Level Design

Chapter 13. Action Games
Chapter 14. Strategy Games
Chapter 15. Role-Playing
Chapter 16. Sports Games
Chapter 17. Vehicle Simulations
Chapter 18. Construction and Management Simulations
Chapter 19. Adventure Games
Chapter 20. Artifi cial Life and Puzzle Games
Chapter 21. Online Gaming

Appendix A. Designing to Appeal to Particular

Book Details

  • Paperback: 700 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders Press; 2nd Edition (September 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321643372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321643377
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