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Fundamentals of Game Design, Third Edition

Book Description

Now in its third edition, the classic book on game design has been completely revised to include the latest developments in the game industry. Readers will learn all the fundamentals of concept development, gameplay design, core mechanics, user interfaces, storytelling, and balancing. They’ll be introduced to designing for mobile devices and touch screens, as well as for the Kinect and motion-capture gameplay. They’ll learn how indie developers are pushing the envelope and how new business models such as free-to-play are influencing design. In an easy-to-follow approach, Adams offers a first-hand look into the process of designing a game, from initial concept to final tuning.

This in-depth resource also comes with engaging end-of-chapter exercises, design worksheets, and case studies.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Dedication Page
  4. Acknowledgments
  5. About the Author
  6. About the Technical Editor
  7. Contents
  8. Introduction
    1. Whom Is This Book For?
    2. How Is This Book Organized?
    3. Bonus Files
  9. Chapter 1. Games and Video Games
    1. What Is a Game?
    2. Conventional Games Versus Video Games
    3. Games for Entertainment
    4. Serious Games
    5. Summary
    6. Design Practice Exercises
    7. Design Practice Questions
  10. Chapter 2. Designing and Developing Games
    1. An Approach to the Task
    2. Key Components of Video Games
    3. The Structure of a Video Game
    4. Stages of the Design Process
    5. Game Design Team Roles
    6. Game Design Documents
    7. The Anatomy of a Game Designer
    8. Summary
    9. Design Practice Exercises
    10. Design Practice Questions
  11. Chapter 3. The Major Genres
    1. What Is a Genre?
    2. The Classic Game Genres
    3. Summary
    4. Design Practice Exercises
    5. Design Practice Questions
  12. Chapter 4. Understanding Your Player
    1. VandenBerghe’s Five Domains of Play
    2. Demographic Categories
    3. Gamer Dedication
    4. The Dangers of Binary Thinking
    5. Summary
    6. Design Practice Exercises
    7. Design Practice Questions
  13. Chapter 5. Understanding Your Machine
    1. Home Game Consoles
    2. Personal Computers
    3. Portable Devices
    4. Other Devices
    5. Summary
    6. Design Practice Exercises
  14. Chapter 6. Making Money from Your Game
    1. Direct Payment Models
    2. Indirect Payment Models
    3. World Markets
    4. Summary
    5. Design Practice Questions
  15. Chapter 7. Game Concepts
    1. Getting an Idea
    2. From Idea to Game Concept
    3. Summary
    4. Design Practice Exercises
    5. Design Practice Questions
  16. Chapter 8. Game Worlds
    1. What Is a Game World?
    2. The Purposes of a Game World
    3. The Dimensions of a Game World
    4. Realism
    5. Summary
    6. Design Practice Exercises
    7. Design Practice Questions
  17. Chapter 9. Creative and Expressive Play
    1. Self-Defining Play
    2. Creative Play
    3. Other Forms of Expression
    4. Game Modifications
    5. Summary
    6. Design Practice Exercises
    7. Design Practice Questions
  18. Chapter 10. Character Development
    1. The Goals of Character Design
    2. The Relationship Between Player and Avatar
    3. Visual Appearances
    4. Character Depth
    5. Audio Design
    6. Summary
    7. Design Practice Exercises
    8. Design Practice Questions
  19. Chapter 11. Storytelling
    1. Why Put Stories in Games?
    2. Key Concepts
    3. The Storytelling Engine
    4. Linear Stories
    5. Nonlinear Stories
    6. Granularity
    7. Mechanisms for Advancing the Plot
    8. Emotional Limits of Interactive Stories
    9. Scripted Conversations and Dialogue Trees
    10. When to Write the Story
    11. Other Considerations
    12. Summary
    13. Design Practice Exercises
    14. Design Practice Questions
  20. Chapter 12. Creating the User Experience
    1. What Is the User Interface?
    2. Player-Centric Interface Design
    3. The Design Process
    4. Managing Complexity
    5. Interaction Models
    6. Camera Models
    7. Visual Elements
    8. Audio Elements
    9. Input Devices
    10. Navigation Mechanisms
    11. Accessibility Issues
    12. Allowing for Customization
    13. Summary
    14. Design Practice Exercises
    15. Design Practice Questions
  21. Chapter 13. Gameplay
    1. Making Games Fun
    2. The Hierarchy of Challenges
    3. Skill, Stress, and Absolute Difficulty
    4. Commonly Used Challenges
    5. Actions
    6. Saving the Game
    7. Summary
    8. Design Practice Exercises
    9. Design Practice Questions
  22. Chapter 14. Core Mechanics
    1. What Are the Core Mechanics?
    2. Key Concepts
    3. The Internal Economy
    4. Progression Mechanics
    5. Tactical Maneuvering Mechanics
    6. Social Interaction Mechanics
    7. Core Mechanics and Gameplay
    8. Core Mechanics Design
    9. Random Numbers and the Bell-Shaped Curve
    10. Summary
    11. Design Practice Exercises
    12. Design Practice Questions
  23. Chapter 15. Game Balancing
    1. What Is a Balanced Game?
    2. Avoiding Dominant Strategies
    3. Incorporating the Element of Chance
    4. Making PvP Games Fair
    5. Making PvE Games Fair
    6. Managing Difficulty
    7. Understanding Positive Feedback
    8. Other Balance Considerations
    9. Design to Make Tuning Easy
    10. Summary
    11. Design Practice Exercises
    12. Design Practice Questions
  24. Chapter 16. General Principles of Level Design
    1. What Is Level Design?
    2. Key Design Principles
    3. Layouts
    4. Expanding on the Principles of Level Design
    5. The Level Design Process
    6. Pitfalls of Level Design
    7. Summary
    8. Design Practice Exercises
    9. Design Practice Questions
  25. Chapter 17. Design Issues for Online Gaming
    1. What Are Online Games?
    2. Advantages of Online Games
    3. Disadvantages of Online Games
    4. Design Issues
    5. Technical Security
    6. Persistent Worlds
    7. Social Problems
    8. Summary
    9. Design Practice Questions
  26. Glossary
  27. References
    1. Introduction
    2. Chapter 1
    3. Chapter 2
    4. Chapter 4
    5. Chapter 7
    6. Chapter 8
    7. Chapter 9
    8. Chapter 10
    9. Chapter 11
    10. Chapter 12
    11. Chapter 13
    12. Chapter 14
    13. Chapter 15
    14. Chapter 16
    15. Chapter 17
  28. Index