Theory of Fun for Game Design

Front Cover
"O'Reilly Media, Inc.", Nov 6, 2004 - Computers - 256 pages
5 Reviews

A Theory of Fun for Game Design is not your typical how-to book. It features a novel way of teaching interactive designers how to create and improve their designs to incorporate the highest degree of fun. As the book shows, designing for fun is all about making interactive products like games highly entertaining, engaging, and addictive. The book's unique approach of providing a highly visual storyboard approach combined with a narrative on the art and practice of designing for fun is sure to be a hit with game and interactive designers, At first glance A Theory of Fun for Game Design is a book that will truly inspire and challenge game designers to think in new was; however, its universal message will influence designers from all walks of life. This book captures the real essence of what drives us to seek out products and experiences that are truly fun and entertaining. The author masterfully presents his engaging theory by showing readers how many designs are lacking because they are predictable and not engaging enough. He then explains how great designers use different types of elements in new ways to make designs more fun and compelling. Anyone who is interested in design will enjoy how the book works on two levels--as a quick inspiration guide to game design, or as an informative discussion that details the insightful thinking from a great mind in the game industry.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - tomhudson - LibraryThing

Perhaps because the one or two core ideas are old hat and well-accepted*, this book underwhelmed. Very readable, but not much to retain or apply. His concluding exhortations about the potential of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JenneB - LibraryThing

Some interesting ideas, about the art of game design. The only thing I didn't like was that a lot of the little cartoons were of the "I'm afraid of my wife" variety, which I just think is so puerile ... Read full review


Why write this book?
How the brain works
What games are
What games teach us
What games arent
Different fun for different folks
The problem with learning
The problem with people
Games in context
The ethics of entertainment
Where games should go
Taking their rightful place
Fun matters Grandpa

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About the author (2004)

Raph Koster is a veteran game designer who has been professionally credited in almost every area of the game industry. He's been the lead designer and director of massive titles such as Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies; and he's contributed writing, art, soundtrack music, and programming to many more titles ranging from Facebook games to single-player titles for handheld consoles. He has worked as a creative executive at Sony Online and Disney Playdom, and in 2012 was honored as an Online Game Legend at the Game Developers Conference Online.

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