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Tabletop Game Design for Video Game Designers by Ethan Ham

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Chapter TwoFoundations

Introduction

Many of the terms used to describe and analyze games are loose in terms of having a precise and widely accepted definition. Game studies is still a young discipline, and its terminology may one day solidify. In the meantime, this chapter presents definitions for how this book uses a number of game terms. It is important to understand these definitions (especially “game state” and “game mechanic”) in order to fully absorb the chapters that follow.

The learning objectives for this chapter are:

  1. Define the book’s usage of “game state,” “game mechanic,” “algorithm,” and “gameplay.”
  2. Understand the relationship between game mechanics, dynamics, and player experience.
  3. Demonstrate an ability to analyze a game’s ...

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