Copyright by Brenda Brathwaite, Ian Schreiber

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Chapter 2. Game Design Atoms

Chemists and physicists have spent centuries trying to identify the smallest identifiable pieces of matter and how they interact with one another. Game design is a much younger field, but designers have likewise attempted to identify the smallest identifiable parts of a game. Each part can be designed individually, and understanding what the parts are and how they interact is necessary to design or analyze a complete game. These parts of a game, these “atoms” of game design, are what this chapter is all about.

When designing a game, many novice designers have no idea where to start. A complete game like World of Warcraft is so huge and expansive that designing the entire thing from scratch seems like an impossible task. ...

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