- Paperback: 700 pages
- Publisher: New Riders; 2 edition (14 Sept. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321643372
- ISBN-13: 978-0321643377
- Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 3.7 x 23 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,218,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Fundamentals of Game Design (New Riders Games) Paperback – 14 Sep 2009
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From the Author
Our book has been adopted as at textbook at MIT, Georgia Tech, Cornell University, Rensselaer Polytechnic, and numerous other institutions around the world.
Fundamentals of Game Design is an updated edition of our earlier work, Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams on Game Design. This version contains so much new material that Prentice Hall gave it a new title. The earlier book caught on as a textbook, so in this one we have added more features to help instructors and students. It now has multiple choice questions and exercises at the end of every chapter. We've also kept the worksheets of questions to ask yourself about your design, which were a popular feature of the older work. In fact, we put in so much new stuff that we had to move two of the chapters from the old book (Online Games and The Future of Gaming) onto the new Companion Website at Prentice Hall.
Fundamentals is more rigorous than Rollings and Adams was, and more comprehensive. It now includes more formal definitions of such important concepts as gameplay, core mechanics, interaction models, and the storytelling engine. We have also increased our emphasis on design process, with more how-to information than the earlier book had. We've written four new chapters, a glossary, and an appendix, and expanded our discussion in a number of places.
Here are the names of the new chapters:
- Design Components and Processes. We break the game into key components, and propose a process for doing game design based on current industry practice.
- Creative and Expressive Play. The previous book only touched upon these important aspects of video gaming in the context of other things. We now give them a chapter to themselves.
- Core Mechanics. In Rollings and Adams we had one chapter on mechanics, called The Internal Economy of Games and Game Balancing. We've split it into two: one called Core Mechanics and one called Game Balancing. This time we go into much more detail about what mechanics are and how to design them. The balancing chapter is also longer.
- General Principles of Level Design. This was an area that we just didn't have time to address in the previous book. Level design is a critically important part of the job, and though we can't cover everything, we now provide a solid grounding in the basics.
- Appendix: Designing to Appeal to Particular Groups. We added this to cover a number of issues that designers ought to know about choosing a target audience: men and women, adults and children, girls and boys, and how to make your game more accessible to people with impairments of various kinds. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
To create a great video game, you must start with a solid game design: A well-designed game is easier to build, more entertaining, and has a better chance of succeeding in the marketplace. Here to teach you the essential skills of player-centric game design is one of the industry’s leading authorities, who offers a first-hand look into the process, from initial concept to final tuning.
Now in its second edition, this updated classic reference by Ernest Adams offers a complete and practical approach to game design, and includes material on concept development, gameplay design, core mechanics, user interfaces, storytelling, and balancing. In an easy-to-follow approach, Adams analyzes the specific design challenges of all the major game genres and shows you how to apply the principles of game design to each one. You’ll learn how to:
- Define the challenges and actions at the heart of the gameplay.
- Write a high-concept document, a treatment, and a full design script.
- Understand the essentials of user interface design and how to define a game’s look and feel.
- Design for a variety of input mechanisms, including the Wii controller and multi-touch iPhone.
- Construct a game’s core mechanics and flow of resources (money, points, ammunition, and more).
- Develop appealing stories, game characters, and worlds that players will want to visit, including persistent worlds.
- Work on design problems with engaging end-of-chapter exercises, design worksheets, and case studies.
- Make your game accessible to broader audiences such as children, adult women, people with disabilities, and casual players.
“Ernest Adams provides encyclopedic coverage of process and design issues for every aspect of game design, expressed as practical lessons that can be immediately applied to a design in-progress. He offers the best framework I’ve seen for thinking about the relationships between core mechanics, gameplay, and player―one that I’ve found useful for both teaching and research.” ― Michael Mateas, University of California at Santa Cruz, co-creator of Façade
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Top Customer Reviews
- a complete and practical approach to game design
- to teach you how to write a treatment, and a full design script
- that it includes design worksheets
... it doesn't deliver!
The lack of design documents is its very weak point! They're supposed to be available for download from the publisher's website but they are not! In other words, if you register to the publisher's website you'll end up receiving promotional e-mails but no design documents.
It is extremely difficult to apply the theory learned in the book to practice without having sample design documents to work with. Although, sample design documents can be found for free online, it is very difficult -and sometimes impossible- to match the layout of these samples to the theory learned in the book. So, there's no practical approach in the book, just theory...
After contacting the publisher regarding the lack of availability of the design documents, the response came late and was unacceptable: "We decided not to provide design documents but include end-of-chapter design practice questions". Nevertheless, the book's description promises both "engaging end-of-chapter exercises", and "design worksheets" but the latter are just not delivered.
What's more, the end-of-chapter design practice questions, which are supposed to lead someone to create the design documents(per communication with the publisher), are mostly theoretical and directed towards a college student,
e.g. "Does my game require a physical dimension? What is it used for? Is it essential part of gameplay or merely cosmetic?",
and "How much detail can I afford in my game? Will it be rich and varied or sparse and uncluttered?Read more ›
I've been a developer and armchair game designer for years, and although this book provides great structure and perspective, and introduced me to some new terminology, not much of what it presented was exactly new to me.
If you have no idea about game design, it's probably fantastic. If you have a vague idea, you might not learn too much, but at least you'll get a great summary of everything.
It is an easy read, by which I mean it doesn't bog you down with definition after definition or the likes. It engages your thinking as a game designer and provides plenty of interesting well sourced topics.
It helped me on my course and I can see it helping me in the future as well. A truly well structured documentation about the world of game design. I say go for it.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I just can't say enough about this book. Buy it and read it is all I can say - if you're serious about game design you will find what you need in this book.
If you are ready to design commercially appealing games, then this is your book. If you are more of an independent developer, looking to break the mold that most publishers wouldn't dare to fund, then perhaps you should look elsewhere.