Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams on Game Design

Front Cover
New Riders, 2003 - Computers - 621 pages
2 Reviews

How often have you heard "anyone can design a game?" While it seems like an easy job, game ideas are cheap and plentiful. Advancing those ideas into games that people want to play is one of the hardest, and most under-appreciated, tasks in the game development cycle. Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams on Game Design introduces both students and experienced developers to the craft of designing computer and video games for the retail market. The first half of the book is a detailed analysis of the key game design elements: examining game concepts and worlds, storytelling, character and user interface design, core mechanics and balance. The second half discusses each of the major game genres (action, adventure, role-playing, strategy, puzzle, and so on) and identifies the design patterns and unique creative challenges that characterize them. Filled with examples and worksheets, this book takes an accessible, practical approach to creating fun, innovative, and highly playable games.

  

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User Review  - joshleejosh - LibraryThing

Excellent overview of things you need to keep in mind while designing video games. Goes into detail without getting overly bogged down in technical specifics, which is no small feat. Chapters 7 (on ... Read full review

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Selected pages

Contents

What Is Game Design?
3
Art Science or Craft?
4
The Anatomy of Game Design
5
Seeking the Key Elements of Games
7
Laying Down the Ground Rules
8
Documenting the Design
13
The Types of Design Documents
15
Anatomy of a Game Designer
18
Competition Modes
373
Setting
374
Interaction Model
375
User Interface Design
376
Player Roles
377
Structure
378
Rating the Athletes
379
Athlete Al Design
380

Imagination
19
Technical Awareness
20
Analytical Competence
21
Mathematical Competence
22
General Knowledge
23
Writing Skills
24
Drawing Skills
25
The Ability to Compromise
26
Putting It Together
27
Game Concepts
29
Dreaming the Dream
30
Game Ideas from Other Media
31
Game Ideas from Other Games
32
From Dream to Game
33
The Elements of a Game
34
Challenges Gameplay and the Victory Condition
35
Setting Interaction Model and Perspective
36
The Players Role
38
Realism
39
A Word About Story
40
Understanding Your Audience
41
The Genres of Interactive Entertainment
42
The Types of Game Machines
44
Personal Computers
45
Handheld Game Machines
46
Motivations That Influence Design
47
DesignerDriven Games
48
License Exploitation
49
TechnologyDriven Games
51
ArtDriven Games
52
Putting It Together
53
Game Settings and Worlds
55
The Purpose of a Game Setting
56
The Graphics Versus Gameplay Debate
57
Immersiveness and Suspension of Disbelief
58
The Dimensions of a Game World
60
The Temporal Dimension
65
The Environmental Dimension
69
The Emotional Dimension
75
The Ethical Dimension
77
Realism and Abstraction
81
The SaveGame Issue
82
Reasons for Saving a Game
83
Consequences for Immersion and Storytelling
84
To Save or Not to Save
86
Putting It Together
87
Storytelling and Narrative
89
Stories in Games
91
Simple Backstories
92
The Monomyth and the Heros Journey
93
The Story Vehicle
110
Plot Pacing
111
Gameplay and Narrative
113
MultiPart Stories
115
Storytelling and Narrative Worksheet
118
Putting It Together
119
Character Development
121
ArtDriven Character Design
122
Physical Design and SuperSensuality
123
Cute Sidekicks
128
StoryDriven Character Design
130
Character Development
131
The Character Archetypes
137
Character Development Worksheet
145
Creating the User Experience
147
What Is the User Experience?
148
The Interactive Element
149
Evolution of the User Experience
150
Components of the User Experience
166
The Interactive Element
168
The Visual Element
191
The Audio Element
193
User Interface Worksheet
196
Putting It Together
197
Gameplay
199
Use of Language
200
Pure Challenges
202
Applied Challenges
228
Gameplay Worksheet
236
Putting It Together
237
The Internal Economy of Games and Game Balancing
239
What Is Game Balance?
240
Static Balance
242
Randomness and Average Values
243
Dominant Strategies
244
Symmetry
250
TradeOffs
260
Combination
261
Emergence
262
Feedback Loops
265
Summary of Static Balance
267
What Are We Balancing?
268
Balanced Systems
271
Tools for Balancing
281
Design Prototyping
283
Future Potential
284
Internal Economy Worksheet
285
The Genres of Games
287
Action Game
289
Shooters
290
NonShooters
296
Design Elements
298
The Rules
299
Victory Conditions
311
Interaction Model
313
Perspective
314
User Interface Design
315
Special Design Considerations for Action Games
318
Action Game Worksheet
319
Putting It Together
320
Strategy Games
321
The Common Elements of Strategy Games
323
Themes
324
Setting
338
Interaction Model
339
Perspective
340
User Interface
341
Designing Opponents
342
Strategy Game Worksheet
343
Putting It Together
344
RolePlaying Games
347
The Common Elements of RolePlaying Games
348
Themes
350
Setting
351
Interaction Model
358
Perspective
364
CRPG Worksheet
367
Putting It Together
368
Sports Games
371
The Common Elements of Sports Games
372
Injuries
382
Arcade Mode Versus Simulation Mode
383
Simulating Matches Automatically
384
Licenses Trademarks and Publicity Rights
385
Audio Commentary
387
Other Peculiarities
390
Sports Game Worksheet
393
Putting It Together
394
Vehicle Simulations
395
The Common Elements of Vehicle Simulations
396
The Rules
397
Competition Modes
398
Gameplay and Victory Conditions
399
Setting
402
Interaction Model
403
User Interface Design
405
The Players Role
406
Other Vehicles
407
Tanks and Mechs
409
Spacecraft
411
GForces
412
Designing Opponents
413
Vehicle Simulation Worksheet
414
Putting It Together
415
Construction and Management Simulations
417
The Common Elements of CMSs
418
Setting
426
The Players Role
430
User Interface
432
Special Design Considerations for CMSs
434
Advisors
436
Pure Business Simulations
437
Hybrid Games
439
Putting It Together
440
Adventure Games
443
The Original Adventure
444
The Growth of Adventure Games
445
The Common Elements of Adventure Games
447
Interaction Model
448
Perspective
449
Player Roles
455
Structure
456
Storytelling
457
Challenges
460
User Interface Design
462
Manipulating Objects
463
Special Design Considerations
468
Mapping
471
Journal Keeping
472
Adventure Game Worksheet
475
Putting It Together
476
Artificial Life Puzzle Games and Other Genres
477
Artificial Pets
478
The Sims
480
Genetic ALife Games
482
Puzzle Games
487
What Computers Bring to Puzzles
490
Checking the Victory Condition
491
Games for Girls
493
Mattels Approach
494
A Few Misconceptions
496
A Final Note
497
Online Games
499
Advantages of Online Games
500
Human Intelligence Instead of Artificial Intelligence
501
Disadvantages of Online Games
503
Its Harder to Suspend Disbelief
504
Misbehavior
505
Customer Service
506
Design Issues for Online Gaming
507
Disappearing Players
508
RealTime Versus TurnBased Games
510
Chat
511
Collusion
513
Technical Security
515
Persistent Worlds
518
The Four Types of Players
521
Creating an Avatar
522
World Models
524
Avatar Death
525
The PlayerKiller Problem
526
The Nature of Time
529
Persistent World Economies
530
Final Thoughts on Persistent Worlds
531
Putting It Together
532
The Future of Gaming
533
LocationBased Entertainment
534
Home Video Game Consoles
536
Personal Computers
538
Handheld Game Machines PDAs and Telephones
540
Virtual Reality
541
The Future of Game Programming
542
Scene Representation
543
Animation
544
Natural Language Processing
546
Game Genres
548
Action Games
549
Strategy Games
550
RolePlaying Games
551
Vehicle Simulations
552
Construction and Management Simulations
553
Broadband Networking
554
HighSpeed Online Gaming
557
The Distant Future
558
Interactive Entertainment as an Art Form
561
Interactive Artwork
562
Breaking New Ground
565
A Few Final Words
566
Appendixes
567
Sample Design Documents
569
Protecting Your Rights
570
About These Templates
571
HighConcept Statement
572
Overview
573
Further Details
574
The Game Treatment
576
Title Page
577
Executive Summary
578
Production Details
581
Competition
583
The Design Script
585
The Design Web Site
586
Chris Taylors Template
587
Bibliography
589
Game Theory
590
History and Sociology of Video Games
591
Architecture and Graphic Design
592
Index
594
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Andrew Rollings (co-author of the highly successful book Game Architecture and Design) has a B.S. in Physics from Imperial College, London, and Bristol University, and has worked as a technical consultant spanning the games industry and the financial industry since 1995. Ernest Adams (co-founder of the IGDA) is an American game design consultant currently based in England. He has developed on-line, computer, and console games for everything from the IBM 360 mainframe to the Sony PlayStation 2. He is the author of the popular Designer's Notebook series of columns on the Gamasutra developers' webzine.

Ernest Adams is a freelance game designer and a member of the International Hobo game design consortium. He was most recently employed as a lead designer at Bullfrog Productions, and for several years before that he was the audio/video producer on the Madden NFL Football product line for Electronic Arts. He founded the International Game Developers Association in 1994.

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