on 14 August 2002
I found this book rather disappointing. While the luminary interviews are excellent I found they provided little actual insight. The writer himself seems to be some way from the pinnacle of good game design (the included design document for 'Atomic Sam' is particularly poor), and again offers no real insight. There are a few good ideas, a few good pointers, a few things to think about but nothing of real depth here. Still, it was an enjoyable read.
on 1 January 2006
Recently ordered the second edition of this book, and reading it made me remember how much I liked the original. I always liked the way the book takes a common sense approach to game design, while also providing invaluable lessons from someone who's obviously been "in the trenches." The second edition improves on the first in a lot of key ways, but in general I'd say the whole book seems more solid and deeper than the first edition. Definitely the best book on game design that's out there.
on 6 May 2001
Game Design: Theory & Practice covers the entire range of game design issues, all in an extremely readable writing style. PC and console games are both covered, as well as all gaming genres, as is evidenced by the variety of games the author analyses. from Centipede to Tetris to The Sims. The long and informative interviews with established game designers like Sid Meier and Steve Meretzky are great to read because they were conducted in a very friendly, conversational style. Personally, I really enjoyed the sample design document included at the end of the book, which demonstrated better than any other I have seen how to document a game. I wish there had been a chapter on multi-player gaming, but otherwise there's not much missing from this great book.