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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive guide to game design
Rules of Play is a mix of a student textbook about games and a practical guide for game designers. It is extremely comprehensive, clear and well written, admirably synthesising a diverse set of perspectives on the ways in which games function. It is structured to allow the reader to dip into particuar areas and read the book in any order. As a designer of games this is by...
Published on 24 Mar 2006 by M C Adams

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment
I spent several hours choosing a game design book, and from the other reviews I figured thi must be the one. However, I discovered that it reads much more as a theoretical textbook than a practical guide. Mind you - I have a Ph.D. in IT so theory is great, but only when it's actually useful for something.

If you want 7 definitions of "what is a game" and an...
Published on 18 April 2011 by Jakub


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment, 18 April 2011
This review is from: Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals (Hardcover)
I spent several hours choosing a game design book, and from the other reviews I figured thi must be the one. However, I discovered that it reads much more as a theoretical textbook than a practical guide. Mind you - I have a Ph.D. in IT so theory is great, but only when it's actually useful for something.

If you want 7 definitions of "what is a game" and an in-depth discussion about what is a rule and what is not a rule, spiced up by discussing how Tic-Tac-Toe permeates and influences the contemporary culture, you're going to be satisfied. If you wish to learn how to design games, you're also going to learn quite a lot but on the way there you'll have to skip quite a few sections of this hefty tome.

I bought The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses at the same time. Although my focus is not on digital games, the Book of lenses is so much more practical and inspirational that I just have to recommend it, along with Challenges for Game Designers which may not be as inspirational but is all the more practical.

Hope I helped :o)
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive guide to game design, 24 Mar 2006
This review is from: Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals (Hardcover)
Rules of Play is a mix of a student textbook about games and a practical guide for game designers. It is extremely comprehensive, clear and well written, admirably synthesising a diverse set of perspectives on the ways in which games function. It is structured to allow the reader to dip into particuar areas and read the book in any order. As a designer of games this is by some measure the finest book I've found on the subject.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, broad coverage of design principles, 28 Dec 2010
This review is from: Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals (Hardcover)
This book is great for anybody wishing to read up on design principles. Some of the ideas discussed within can be applied to areas outside of video game design. As a matter of fact, I used much of this book to write a paper on illustration. I believe that reading this book has enriched my design practice.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Long winded and aimless, 21 Feb 2008
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N. J. Birkenshaw "rabbitzofdoom" (Guildford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals (Hardcover)
The most irritating thing about this book is it's brilliant presentation (especially the cover), which unfortunately is coupled to a repetitive long winded text which takes ages to get to a point, which it then reiterates eight different ways. As a result the valuable content of this book is simply what is written on each of the chapter summary pages, and much of that is just common sense. Attempts to actually read the main text will simply cause headaches.
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Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals
Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals by Katie Salen (Hardcover - 4 Nov 2003)
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