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Chris Crawford on Game Design

Book Description

Chris Crawford on Game Design is all about the foundational skills behind the design and architecture of a game. Without these skills, designers and developers lack the understanding to work with the tools and techniques used in the industry today. Chris Crawford, the most highly sought after expert in this area, brings an intense opinion piece full of personality and flare like no other person in this industry can. He explains the foundational and fundamental concepts needed to get the most out of game development today. An exceptional precursor to the two books soon to be published by New Riders with author Andrew Rollings, this book teaches key lessons; including, what you can learn from the history of game play and historical games, necessity of challenge in game play, applying dimensions of conflict, understanding low and high interactivity designs, watching for the inclusion of creativity, and understanding the importance of storytelling. In addition, Chris brings you the wish list of games he'd like to build and tells you how to do it. Game developers and designers will kill for this information!

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. About the Author
  3. About the Technical Reviewers
  4. Tell Us What You Think
  5. Introduction
  6. Definitions, Definitions
  7. Some Milestone Games
    1. Old-Style Games
    2. Board Wargames
    3. Other Non-Computer Games
    4. Videogames
    5. Computer Games
  8. Play
    1. History of Play
    2. Play Is Metaphorical
    3. Play Must Be Safe
    4. Play Need Not Be Exotic
    5. The Fun Factor
  9. Challenge
    1. Challenge Necessitates Rules
    2. The Point Is the Challenge, Not the Goal
    3. Dimensions of Challenge
    4. Challenge and Identity
  10. Conflict
    1. Mars, Venus, and Conflict
    2. Dimensions of Conflict
    3. Directness of Conflict
    4. Intensity of Conflict
    5. Intensity and the Evolution of Taste
  11. Interactivity
    1. History
    2. Other Attributes of the Computer
    3. So What Is Interactivity?
    4. Is More Interactivity Better?
    5. How Do We Measure Interactivity?
    6. Low-Interactivity Entertainment Designs
    7. Process Intensity Versus Data Intensity
  12. Creativity: The Missing Ingredient
    1. How Serious Is the Problem?
    2. Where Does Creativity Come From?
    3. How to “Get Creative”
    4. A Tyrannosaurus Rex for Ideas
    5. The Politics of Innovation
  13. Common Mistakes
    1. Obsession with Cosmetics
    2. Incremental Accretive Design
  14. The Education of a Game Designer
    1. Get a Degree
    2. Education Versus Schooling
  15. Games I'd Like to Build
    1. Galilean Relativity
    2. Napoleonic Cavalry
    3. Napoleon in Space
    4. Attack of the Cellular Automata
    5. Volkerwanderung
    6. Third-World Dictator
    7. Lies
    8. Spies
    9. The Wheels of Commerce
    10. Corporate Politics
    11. Evolution
    12. The Self-Modifying Game
    13. Mooser-Gooser
    14. So What Does All This Mean?
  16. Storytelling
    1. Adventure Games
    2. Backstory
    3. Cut Scenes
    4. Integrated Cut Scenes
    5. Here Come the Academics!
    6. Role-Playing Games
    7. The Real Problem
    8. Tackling the Problem
  17. Random Sour Observations
    1. Massively Multiplayer Monsters
    2. Licensed Games
    3. New Input Devices
    4. The Sims
    5. Short-Term Thinkers
    6. Everybody's a Game Designer
    7. Hollywood Envy
    8. Young Males
    9. Sleaze
  18. Tanktics
    1. Map
    2. Calculating Line of Sight
    3. Planning Moves
    4. Initial Programming
    5. Enter the KIM-1
    6. Input and Output
    7. Linguistic Input
    8. Sound Effects
    9. Showing It Off
    10. Porting
    11. Production, Marketing, and Sales
    12. Avalon-Hill
    13. Fade Away
    14. Results
  19. Legionnaire
    1. A Record-Setting Blunder
    2. Disruption
    3. Terrain
    4. Sales
    5. First Draft Design
    6. Conclusions
  20. Wizard
    1. VCS Technology
    2. Designing the Game
    3. Asymmetric Combat
    4. Lines of Sight (LOS)
    5. Disposition and Conclusion
  21. Energy Czar
  22. Scram
    1. Input Structures
    2. Oh Yes, It Was Supposed to Be a Game, Wasn't It?
    3. Coda
  23. Eastern Front (1941)
    1. The Scrolling Map
    2. The Combat System
    3. AI
    4. Tuning
    5. Conclusion
  24. Gossip
    1. AI
    2. Implementation Woes
    3. Conclusions
  25. Excalibur
    1. Camelot
    2. The Interpersonal Subgame
    3. Diplomacy
    4. The Strategic Map
    5. The Battle Subgame
    6. Overall Course of Play
    7. The Manual
    8. Conclusions
  26. Balance of Power
    1. The UnWar Game
    2. Early Efforts
    3. The Rubber Map
    4. Thank You, National Enquirer
    5. Research
    6. Building the Map
    7. Memory Headaches
    8. Making It a Game
    9. Publisher Woes
    10. I Get by with a Little Help from the Press
    11. The Wheel of Fortune
  27. Patton Versus Rommel
    1. To Hell with Grids
    2. Geometric AI
  28. Siboot
    1. A Lesson for Designers
    2. First Draft Proposal
    3. The First Proposal
    4. Design Essays
    5. Economies
    6. Intransitive Combat Relationships
    7. The Inverse Parser
    8. The Display
    9. Interstitial Stories
    10. The Novella
    11. Conclusions
  29. Guns & Butter
    1. Designing the World
    2. Building Provinces
    3. Adding Mountains, Deserts, and Forests
    4. Naming Names
    5. First-Person Firing Squad
    6. The Economic System
    7. Combat
    8. Faces
    9. The Ideas Behind the Game
    10. Results
  30. Balance of the Planet
    1. Values
    2. Implementing a Value System
    3. The Politics of the Game
    4. Higher Levels of Play
    5. Balancing the Equations
    6. Artwork
    7. Schedule Hassles
    8. Results
  31. Patton Strikes Back
    1. Simple Rules
    2. Clean User Interface and Strong Visual Presentation
    3. Explain the History
    4. Color Hassles
    5. Anti-Piracy
    6. Results
  32. Themes and Lessons
    1. People, Not Things!
    2. Faces
    3. Gameplay Help
    4. Language
    5. Art Over Money
    6. The Harsh Realities of Business
  33. Old Fart Stories
    1. Early Sound and Music
    2. An Early Multiplayer Game
    3. Getting a Job
    4. E.T.
    5. Alan Kay
    6. Lost in the Shuffle
    7. International Sales
    8. The Locked File Cabinet
    9. Bill Carris
    10. Marketing Wisdom
    11. The Dragon Speech
    12. The Great Pratfall
    13. A More Serious Pratfall
    14. Problems of Decentralization
    15. The Unrevenged Review
    16. Failed Humor
    17. The Sins of Youth
    18. Corporate Politics
    19. Blinded by Your Own Equipment
    20. Thinking Big
    21. The CGDC
  34. Glossary
  35. Index