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Game Design Workshop, 3rd Edition

Book Description

Create the Digital Games You Love to Play

Discover an exercise-driven, non-technical approach to game design without the need for programming or artistic expertise using Game Design Workshop, Third Edition.

Author Tracy Fullerton demystifies the creative process with a clear and accessible analysis of the formal and dramatic systems of game design. Examples of popular games, illustrations of design techniques, and refined exercises strengthen your understanding of how game systems function and give you the skills and tools necessary to create a compelling and engaging game.

The book puts you to work prototyping, playtesting, and revising your own games with time-tested methods and tools. It provides you with the foundation to advance your career in any facet of the game industry, including design, producing, programming, and visual design.

Table of Contents

  1. Preliminaries
  2. Foreword
  3. Preface
  4. Acknowledgments
  5. Image Credits and Copyright Notices
  6. Introduction
      1. Step 1
      2. Step 2
      3. Step 3
    1. End Notes
  7. Part 1: Game Design Basics
    1. Chapter 1: The Role of the Game Designer
      1. An Advocate for the Player
        1. Playtesters
      2. Passions and Skills
        1. Communication
        2. Teamwork
        3. Process
        4. Inspiration
        5. Becoming a Better Player
        6. Creativity
      3. A Playcentric Design Process
        1. Setting Player Experience Goals
        2. Prototyping and Playtesting
        3. Iteration
          1. Step 1: Brainstorming
          2. Step 2: Physical Prototype
          3. Step 3: Presentation (Optional)
          4. Step 4: Software Prototype(s)
          5. Step 5: Design Documentation
          6. Step 6: Production
          7. Step 7: Quality Assurance
        4. Prototypes and Playtesting in the Industry
      4. Designing for Innovation
      5. Conclusion
      6. Further Reading
      7. End Notes
        1. 1.1
        2. 1.2
        3. 1.3
        4. 1.4
        5. 1.5
        6. 1.6
        7. 1.7
        8. 1.8
        9. 1.9
        10. 1.10
    2. Chapter 2: The Structure of Games
      1. Go Fish versus Quake
        1. Go Fish
        2. Quake
        3. Comparison
          1. Players
          2. Objectives
          3. Procedures
          4. Rules
          5. Resources
          6. Conflict
          7. Boundaries
          8. Outcome
          9. Formal Elements
      2. Engaging the Player
        1. Challenge
        2. Play
        3. Premise
        4. Character
        5. Story
        6. Dramatic Elements
      3. The Sum of the Parts
      4. Defining Games
      5. Beyond Definitions
      6. Conclusion
      7. Further Reading
      8. End Notes
        1. 2.1
        2. 2.2
        3. 2.3
        4. 2.4
        5. 2.5
        6. 2.6
        7. 2.7
        8. 2.8
        9. 2.9
        10. 2.10
        11. 2.11
        12. 2.12
        13. 2.13
        14. 2.14
        15. Figure 1
        16. Figure 2
        17. Figure 3
        18. Figure 4
        19. Figure 5
    3. Chapter 3: Working with Formal Elements
      1. Players
        1. Invitation to Play
        2. Number of Players
        3. Roles of Players
        4. Player Interaction Patterns
          1. 1. Single Player versus Game
          2. 2. Multiple Individual Players versus Game
          3. 3. Player versus Player
          4. 4. Unilateral Competition
          5. 5. Multilateral Competition
          6. 6. Cooperative Play
          7. 7. Team Competition
      2. Objectives
          1. 1. Capture
          2. 2. Chase
          3. 3. Race
          4. 4. Alignment
          5. 5. Rescue or Escape
          6. 6. Forbidden Act
          7. 7. Construction
          8. 8. Exploration
          9. 9. Solution
          10. 10. Outwit
        1. Summary
      3. Procedures
        1. Connect Four
        2. Super Mario Bros.
        3. Comparison
        4. System Procedures
        5. Defining Procedures
      4. Rules
        1. Rules Defining Objects and Concepts
        2. Rules Restricting Actions
        3. Rules Determining Effects
        4. Defining Rules
      5. Resources
        1. Lives
        2. Units
        3. Health
        4. Currency
        5. Actions
        6. Power-Ups
          1. Inventory
        7. Special Terrain
        8. Time
      6. Conflict
        1. Obstacles
        2. Opponents
        3. Dilemmas
      7. Boundaries
      8. Outcome
      9. Conclusion
      10. Further Reading
      11. End Notes
        1. 3.1
        2. 3.2
        3. 3.3
        4. 3.4
        5. 3.5
        6. 3.6
        7. 3.7
        8. 3.8
        9. 3.9
        10. 3.10
        11. 3.11
        12. 3.12
        13. 3.13
        14. 3.14
        15. 3.15
        16. 3.16
        17. 3.17
        18. 3.18
        19. 3.19
        20. 3.20
        21. 3.21
        22. 3.22
        23. 3.23
        24. 3.24
        25. 3.25
        26. 3.26
        27. 3.27
        28. 3.28
        29. 3.29
        30. 3.30
        31. 3.31
        32. 3.32
        33. 3.33
        34. 3.34
        35. 3.35
        36. 3.36
    4. Chapter 4: Working with Dramatic Elements
      1. Challenge
        1. A Challenging Activity That Requires Skill
        2. The Merging of Action and Awareness
        3. Clear Goals and Feedback
        4. Concentration on the Task at Hand
        5. The Paradox of Control
        6. The Loss of Self-Consciousness
        7. The Transformation of Time
        8. Experience Becomes an End in Itself
      2. Play
        1. The Nature of Play
        2. Types of Players
        3. Levels of Engagement
      3. Premise
      4. Character
      5. Story
      6. World Building
      7. The Dramatic Arc
      8. Conclusion
      9. Further Reading
      10. End Notes
        1. 4.1
        2. 4.2
        3. 4.3
        4. 4.4
        5. 4.5
        6. 4.6
        7. 4.7
        8. 4.8
        9. 4.9
        10. 4.10
        11. 4.11
        12. 4.12
        13. 4.13
        14. 4.14
        15. 4.15
        16. 4.16
        17. 4.17
        18. 4.18
        19. 4.19
        20. 4.20
        21. 4.21
        22. 4.22
    5. Chapter 5: Working with System Dynamics
      1. Games as Systems
        1. Objects
        2. Properties
        3. Behaviors
        4. Relationships
      2. System Dynamics
        1. Tic-Tac-Toe
        2. Chess
        3. Mastermind versus Clue
        4. Economies
        5. Simple Bartering
        6. Complex Bartering
        7. Simple Market
        8. Complex Market
        9. Metaeconomy
        10. Emergent Systems
      3. Interacting with Systems
        1. Information Structure
        2. Control
        3. Feedback
      4. Tuning Game Systems
      5. Conclusion
      6. Further Reading
      7. End Notes
        1. 5.1
        2. 5.2
        3. 5.3
        4. 5.4
        5. 5.5
        6. 5.6
        7. 5.7
        8. 5.8
        9. 5.9
        10. 5.10
        11. 5.11
        12. 5.12
        13. 5.13
        14. 5.14
        15. 5.15
        16. 5.16
        17. 5.17
  8. Part 2: Designing a Game
    1. Chapter 6: Conceptualization
      1. Where Do Ideas Come From?
      2. Brainstorming
        1. Brainstorming Best Practices
          1. State a Challenge
          2. No Criticism
          3. Vary the Method
          4. Playful Environment
          5. Put It on the Wall
          6. Go for Lots of Ideas
          7. Don’t Go Too Long
        2. Alternate Methods
          1. List Creation
          2. Idea Cards
          3. Mind Map
          4. Stream of Consciousness
          5. Shout It Out
          6. Cut It Up
          7. Surrealist Games
          8. Research
        3. Editing and Refining
          1. Technical Feasibility
          2. Market Opportunity
          3. Artistic Considerations
          4. Business/Cost Restrictions
        4. Turning Ideas into a Game
          1. Focus on the Formal Elements
          2. Practice, Practice, Practice
          3. Feature Design
            1. Battle for Middle Earth 2
            2. Battlefield 2
            3. Karaoke Revolution
          4. Feature Storyboards
        5. Conclusion
        6. Further Reading
        7. End Notes
          1. 6.1
          2. 6.2
          3. 6.3
          4. 6.4
          5. 6.5
    2. Chapter 7: Prototyping
      1. Methods of Prototyping
        1. Physical Prototypes
        2. Battleship Prototype
        3. More Examples
        4. Up the River Prototype
        5. Prototyping a First-Person Shooter
          1. Arena Map
          2. Units
          3. Movement and Shooting Rules
        6. Perspective on Physical Prototyping
      2. Prototyping Your Original Game Idea
        1. Visualizing Core Gameplay
        2. Building the Physical Prototype
          1. 1. Foundation
          2. 2. Structure
          3. 3. Formal Details
          4. 4. Refinement
        3. Refining Your Visualization
      3. Making the Physical Prototype Better
      4. Beyond the Physical Prototype
      5. Conclusion
      6. Further Reading
        1. 7.1
        2. 7.2
        3. 7.3
        4. 7.4
        5. 7.5
        6. 7.6
        7. 7.7
        8. 7.8
        9. 7.9
        10. 7.10
        11. 7.11
        12. 7.12
        13. 7.13
        14. 7.14
    3. Chapter 8: Digital Prototyping
      1. Types of Digital Prototypes
        1. Prototyping Game Mechanics
        2. Prototyping Aesthetics
        3. Prototyping Kinesthetics
        4. Prototyping Technology
      2. Designing Control Schemes
      3. Selecting Viewpoints
        1. Overhead View
        2. Side View
        3. Isometric View
        4. First-Person View
        5. Third-Person View
      4. Effective Interface Design
        1. Form Follows Function
        2. Metaphors
        3. Visualization
        4. Grouping Features
        5. Consistency
        6. Feedback
      5. Prototyping Tools
        1. Programming Languages
        2. Game Engines
        3. Level Editors
      6. Conclusion
      7. Further Reading
      8. End Notes
        1. 8.1
        2. 8.2
        3. 8.3
        4. 8.4
        5. 8.5
        6. 8.6
        7. 8.7
        8. 8.8
        9. 8.9
        10. 8.10
        11. 8.11
        12. 8.12
        13. 8.13
        14. 8.14
        15. 8.15
        16. 8.16
        17. 8.17
        18. 8.18
        19. 8.19
        20. 8.20
        21. 8.21
        22. Figure 1
        23. Figure 2
        24. Figure 1
        25. Figure 2
        26. Figure 3
        27. Figure 4
    4. Chapter 9: Playtesting
      1. Playtesting and Iterative Design
      2. Recruiting Playtesters
        1. Self-Testing
        2. Playtesting with Confidants
        3. Playtesting with People You Do Not Know
        4. Finding the Ideal Playtesters
        5. Playtesting with Your Target Audience
      3. Conducting a Playtesting Session
        1. Introduction (2–3 Minutes)
        2. Warm-Up Discussion (5 Minutes)
        3. Play Session (15–20 Minutes)
        4. Discussion of Game Experience (15–20 Minutes)
        5. Wrap-Up
        6. Methods of Playtesting
      4. The Play Matrix
      5. Taking Notes
      6. Basic Usability Techniques
        1. Do Not Lead
        2. Remind Testers to Think Out Loud
        3. Quantitative Data
      7. Data Gathering
      8. Test Control Situations
      9. Playtesting Practice
        1. Connect Four
          1. 1. Create the Prototype
          2. 2. Prepare Your Questions and Script
          3. 3. Recruit Testers
          4. 4. Playtesting
          5. 5. Alternate the Grid Size
          6. 6. Alternate the Objective
          7. 7. Alternate Turn Procedure
          8. 8. Alternate Number of Players
        2. Final Analysis
      10. Conclusion
      11. Further Reading
      12. End Notes
        1. 9.1
        2. 9.2
        3. 9.3
        4. 9.4
        5. 9.5
        6. 9.6
        7. 9.7
        8. 9.8
        9. 9.9
        10. 9.10
        11. Figure 1
    5. Chapter 10: Functionality, Completeness, and Balance
      1. What Are You Testing For?
        1. Foundation
        2. Structure
        3. Formal Details
        4. Refinement
      2. Is Your Game Functional?
      3. Is Your Game Internally Complete?
        1. Solution #1
        2. Solution #2
        3. Solution #3
        4. Solution #4
        5. Discussion
        6. Loopholes
        7. Loopholes versus Features
        8. Dead Ends
        9. Wrapping Up Completeness
      4. Is Your Game Balanced?
        1. Balancing Variables
        2. Balancing the Dynamics
        3. Reinforcing Relationships
        4. Dominant Objects
        5. Dominant Strategies
        6. Balancing Positions
        7. Symmetrical Games
        8. Asymmetrical Games
        9. Asymmetrical Objectives
        10. Ticking Clock
        11. Protection
        12. Combination
        13. Individual Objectives
        14. Complete Asymmetry
        15. Balancing for Skill
        16. Balancing for the Median Skill Level
        17. Balancing Dynamically
        18. Balancing Computer-Controlled Characters
      5. Techniques for Balancing Your Game
        1. Think Modular
        2. Purity of Purpose
        3. One Change at a Time
        4. Spreadsheets
      6. Conclusion
      7. Further Reading
      8. End Notes
        1. 10.1
        2. 10.2
        3. 10.3
        4. 10.4
        5. 10.5
        6. 10.6
        7. 10.7
        8. 10.8
        9. 10.9
        10. 10.10
        11. 10.11
        12. 10.12
        13. 10.13
        14. 10.14
    6. Chapter 11: Fun and Accessibility
      1. Is Your Game Fun?
        1. Challenge
          1. Reaching and Exceeding Goals
          2. Competing against Opponents
          3. Stretching Personal Limits
          4. Exercising Difficult Skills
          5. Making Interesting Choices
        2. Play
          1. Living Out Fantasies
          2. Social Interaction
          3. Exploration and Discovery
          4. Collection
          5. Stimulation
          6. Self-Expression and Performance
          7. Construction/Destruction
        3. Story
        4. Analyzing Appeal
          1. World of Warcraft
          2. Monopoly
          3. Tetris
      2. Improving Player Choices
        1. Types of Decisions
        2. Dilemmas
          1. Cake-Cutting Scenario
          2. The Prisoner’s Dilemma
        3. Puzzles
        4. Rewards and Punishments
        5. Anticipation
        6. Surprise
        7. Progress
        8. The End
      3. Fun Killers
        1. Micromanagement
        2. Stagnation
        3. Insurmountable Obstacles
        4. Arbitrary Events
        5. Predictable Paths
      4. Beyond Fun
      5. Is Your Game Accessible?
      6. Conclusion
      7. Further Reading
      8. End Notes
        1. 11.1
        2. 11.2
        3. 11.3
        4. 11.4
        5. 11.5
        6. 11.6
        7. 11.7
        8. 11.8
        9. 11.9
        10. 11.10
        11. 11.11
        12. 11.12
        13. 11.13
        14. 11.14
        15. 11.15
        16. 11.16
  9. Part 3: Working as a Game Designer
    1. Chapter 12: Team Structures
      1. Team Structure
        1. Publisher versus Developer
      2. Developer’s Team
        1. Game Designer
        2. Producer
        3. Programmers
        4. Visual Artists
        5. QA Engineers
        6. Specialized Media
        7. Level Designer
      3. Publisher’s Team
        1. Producer
        2. Marketing Team
        3. Executives
        4. Quality Assurance
        5. Usability Specialists
        6. User Research and Metrics
      4. Team Profile
      5. All Contribute to the Design
      6. Team Building
      7. Team Communication
        1. Conducting Meetings
        2. Agile Development
      8. Conclusion
      9. Further Reading
      10. End Note
        1. 12.1
        2. 12.2
        3. 12.3
        4. 12.4
        5. 12.5
        6. 12.6
    2. Chapter 13: Stages and Methods of Development
      1. Stages Defined
        1. Concept/Contract
          1. The Team
          2. The Project Plan
          3. The Idea
        2. Preproduction
        3. Production
        4. QA/Polish
        5. Ongoing Production
      2. Using Agile Development
      3. Agile Project Planning
        1. Goals
        2. Priorities
        3. Schedule
        4. Budget
        5. Scoping and Revising
        6. Milestones and Approvals
      4. Conclusion
      5. Further Reading
        1. 13.1
        2. 13.2
        3. 13.3
        4. 13.4
    3. Chapter 14: Communicating Your Designs
      1. Visualization
      2. Flowcharts
      3. Tables and Spreadsheets
      4. Concept Art
      5. Description
      6. Formats for Design Documents
      7. Contents
      8. Design Macros
      9. Conclusion
      10. Further Reading
      11. End Notes
        1. 14.1
        2. 14.2
        3. 14.3
        4. 14.4
        5. 14.5
        6. 14.6
        7. 14.7
    4. Chapter 15: Understanding the New Game Industry
      1. The Size of the Game Industry
      2. Platforms for Distribution
        1. Consoles
        2. Sony PlayStation 3 and 4
        3. Microsoft Xbox 360 and Xbox One
        4. Nintendo Wii and Wii U
        5. Computer (PC and Mac)
        6. Mobile (Phone and Tablet)
      3. Genres of Gameplay
        1. Action Games
        2. Strategy Games
        3. Role-Playing Games
        4. Sports Games
        5. Racing/Driving Games
        6. Simulation/Building Games
        7. Flight and Other Simulations
        8. Adventure Games
        9. Educational Games
        10. Children’s Games
        11. Casual Games
        12. Experimental Games
      4. Publishers
        1. Electronic Arts
        2. Microsoft
        3. Sony Computer Entertainment
        4. Nintendo
      5. Developers
      6. The Business of Game Publishing
        1. Element 1: Development
          1. Industry Trends
          2. Developer Royalties
          3. Base Deal
          4. Royalty Calculation
          5. Affiliate Label Deal
        2. Element 2: Licensing
          1. Content Licensing
          2. Console Licensing Agreements
        3. Element 3: Marketing
        4. Element 4: Distribution
      7. Conclusion
      8. Further Reading
      9. End Notes
        1. 15.1
        2. 15.2
        3. 15.3
        4. 15.4
    5. Chapter 16: Selling Yourself and Your Ideas to the Game Industry
      1. Getting a Job at a Publisher or Developer
        1. Educate Yourself
        2. Academic Programs
        3. Play Games
        4. Design Games and Levels
        5. Know the Industry
        6. Networking
        7. Organizations
        8. Conferences
        9. Internet and E-Mail
        10. Starting at the Bottom
        11. Interning
        12. QA
      2. Pitching Your Original Ideas
        1. Pitch Process
        2. Pitch Materials
          1. 1. Sell Sheet
          2. 2. Game Demo
          3. 3. Gameplay Video
          4. 4. Game Design Overview
          5. 5. Company Prospectus
          6. 6. Storyboards
          7. 7. PowerPoint Presentation
          8. 8. Technical Design Overview
          9. 9. Competitive Analysis
        3. What Happens after the Pitch
      3. Independent Production
      4. Conclusion
      5. Further Reading
  10. Conclusion