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Game Mechanics: Advanced Game Design (Voices That Matter) [Kindle Edition]

Ernest Adams , Joris Dormans
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Print List Price: £46.99
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Book Description

This in-depth resource teaches you to craft mechanics that generate challenging, enjoyable, and well-balanced gameplay. You’ll discover at what stages to prototype, test, and implement mechanics in games and learn how to visualize and simulate game mechanics in order to design better games. Along the way, you’ll practice what you’ve learned with hands-on lessons. A free downloadable simulation tool developed by Joris Dormans is also available in order to follow along with exercises in the book in an easy-to-use graphical environment.

In Game Mechanics: Advanced Game Design, you’ll learn how to:

* Design and balance game mechanics to create emergent gameplay before you write a single line of code.
* Visualize the internal economy so that you can immediately see what goes on in a complex game.
* Use novel prototyping techniques that let you simulate games and collect vast quantities of gameplay data on the first day of development.
* Apply design patterns for game mechanics—from a library in this book—to improve your game designs.
* Explore the delicate balance between game mechanics and level design to create compelling, long-lasting game experiences.
* Replace fixed, scripted events in your game with dynamic progression systems to give your players a new experience every time they play.

"I've been waiting for a book like this for ten years: packed with game design goodness that tackles the science without undermining the art."
--Richard Bartle, University of Essex, co-author of the first MMORPG

  “Game Mechanics: Advanced Game Design by Joris Dormans & Ernest Adams formalizes game grammar quite well. Not sure I need to write a next book now!”
 -- Raph Koster, author of A Theory of Fun for Game Design.

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Product Description

About the Author

Ernest Adams is a game design consultant, teacher, and the author of the classic Fundamentals of Game Design, Second Edition, the companion volume to this title. He has worked in the game industry for 23 years, eight of them at Electronic Arts. He is also the founder and first chairman of the International Game Developers’ Association. His professional web site is at

Joris Dormans (PhD) is a game design lecturer and researcher based in Amsterdam with eight years of experience in higher education. For the past four years he has been researching formal tools and methods to design game mechanics. As an independent, freelance game designer he published and worked on several video games and board games, including story-driven adventure games, physical platform games, and a satirical political card game. His professional web site is at

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 37583 KB
  • Print Length: 360 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (18 Jun. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008CG8E8Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #321,730 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still reading but love this so far 18 Feb. 2013
By Anthony
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this book and the previous at the same time so have only just started reading this one, but the quality of the last one and what I have read so far already get this full marks. This book deviates away from the tradition gdd focus and instead goes over core mechanics, I personally loved this.

Thanks -Anthony
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very advanced but great if youll do the work 16 Sept. 2012
By Anthony - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ive only gone through this once but I will be going through it several more times.

There are almost no books on game mechanics but this one makes up for it. It really goes into depth on what an economy is in a game and the effect of positive and negative feedback.

There is of course a healthy amount of mechanics theory and plenty of game examples (across all major genres). However where this book really shines is the machinations system.

Be warned machinations is no joke and will take some dedicated work to learn and practice. However machinations is a powerful prototyping feature that can help you make a good starting point for game balance and testing out plausible game mehanics or there effects.

Great book just know it is very advanced and there is a learning curve!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Alternate POV on Mechanic Design 9 Mar. 2013
By Nat - Published on
A great book delving into more advanced notions of game design. It covers some universally used terms in the industry and provides insight into alternate choices and decisions that can be taken into what you might currently be working on.

As a professional GD, I can tell you that the industry doesn't have a definite standard of design practices/terminology. As such, this book does try to set a standard by defining as much as it can into a methodological pipeline in order to help predict and minimize unknowns during the design process. For me, it was a great read to see alternate processes I could use in creating more rational and comprehensive designs on a theoretical level.

That said, readers should have at least some basic GD experience/backing before reading this to appreciate some of the subject matter. Beginners might be a little overwhelmed by some of the concepts and their importance.
2.0 out of 5 stars Useless if you're a programmer and have played a few games 20 Sept. 2015
By Marton Trencseni - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I'm interested in game design. I can guess basic things, so I was drawn to the title 'Advanced...'

I found the book pretty useless. The first 60 pages are a general introduction and mildly interesting, then it's downhill.

The authors introduce and use their own custom diagram language. I found this pretty useless as most concepts discussed are pretty simple, a few examples are enough. Instead I would have appreciated more real game examples. Code written in Python (or whatever) would have been clearer than various diagrams at different LODs.

The last 200 pages of the book I skimmed and tried to read interesting passages, but I kept getting bored. No real meat apart from approx. 20 so-called patterns, but even these are pretty obvious and/or not discussed in a cohesive way.

I'm sure there are better books on game design out there.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Introduces Machinations 18 Jun. 2013
By Geraldo XEXEO - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This books introduces one of the very few methodologies for helping game designers, Machinations. Although Machinations is very similar with a kind of discrete System Dynamics, it is very useful for understanding mechanics and dynamics of a game. No game designer should plan a game without using of at lest tinkering with its behavior in Machinations.
5.0 out of 5 stars It is exactly what it says it is. 24 Jan. 2015
By debiant - Published on
This is the book I've been looking for. The machinations system is an excellent design resource and the treatment of game systems in this book is unparalleled by other game design books I've found. If you want to delve deep into mechanisms and system design, this is the book you want.
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