Game Design Books
The Craft and Science of Game Design: A Video Game Designer's Manual goes into the nuts and bolts of video game development from the perspective of a veteran designer with more than 20 years of experience in the industry. It covers the psychology and biology of why people play games and goes in depth on the techniques and tricks professional game designers use to be successful in game development.
This book offers an introduction to the basic concepts of game design, focusing on techniques used in commercial game production. It presents a model for analyzing game design in terms of three interconnected levels -mechanics and systems, gameplay, and player experience - and explains how novice game designers can use these three levels as a framework to guide their design process. The text is notable for emphasizing models and vocabulary used in industry practice and focusing on the design of games as dynamic systems of gameplay.
Principles of Game Audio and Sound Design is a comprehensive introduction to the art of sound for games and interactive media using Unity. This accessible guide encompasses both the conceptual challenges of the artform as well as the technical and creative aspects, such as sound design, spatial audio, scripting, implementation and mixing.
The Art of Game Design features over 100 sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game's design. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again.
Video Game Design is a visual introduction to integrating core design essentials, such as critical analysis, mechanics and aesthetics, prototyping, level design, into game design. Using a raft of examples from a diverse range of leading international creatives and award-winning studios, this is a must-have guide for budding game designers.
Building Blocks of Tabletop Game Design: An Encyclopedia of Mechanisms compiles hundreds of different mechanisms, organized by category. Each has a description of how it works, discussion of its pros and cons, how it can be implemented, and examples of specific games that use it. Building Blocks can be read cover to cover, used as a reference when looking for inspiration for a new design, help to solve a specific problem or assist in getting unstuck in the midst of a project.
Collision detection, extra lives, power-ups, and countless other essential design elements were invented by the mostly anonymous designers at the early pioneering companies that produced these great games. In this book you'll go step by step, using modern, free software tools such as Unity to create five games in the classic style, inspired by retro favorites like Pong, Breakout, Space Invaders, Scramble, and Pac-Man.
In Playing Smart, Julian Togelius explores the connections between games and intelligence to offer a new vision of future games and game design. Video games already depend on AI. We use games to test AI algorithms, challenge our thinking, and better understand both natural and artificial intelligence. In the future, Togelius argues, game designers will be able to create smarter games that make us smarter, in turn, applying advanced AI to help design games.
In The Pyramid of Game Design, Nicholas Lovell identifies and explains the frameworks and techniques you need to deliver fun, profitable games. Using examples of games ranging from modern free-to-play titles to the earliest arcade games, via PC strategy and traditional boxed titles, Lovell shows how game development has evolved and provides game makers with the tools to evolve with it.
HTML5 Games: Novice to Ninja will teach you how to create video games that run cross-platform, in web browsers, and on phones.
Games live and die commercially on the player experience. Games User Research is collectively the way the designer optimizes the quality of the user experience (UX) in games, working with all aspects of a game from the mechanics and interface, visuals and art, interaction and progression, making sure every element works in concert and supports the game UX. This book aims to be the go-to resource for everyone working with players and games or other interactive entertainment products. It is accessible to those new to Games User Research, while being deeply comprehensive and insightful for even hardened veterans of the game industry. In this book, dozens of veterans share their wisdom and best practices on how to plan user research, obtain the actionable insights from users, conduct user-centred testing, which methods to use when, how platforms influence user research practices, and much, much more.
Visual Design Concepts For Mobile Games is geared towards both students as well as professionals who are looking to enter the mobile and PC industry as concept artists or 2D production artists.
Situational Design lays out a new methodology for designing and critiquing videogames. While most game design books focus on games as formal systems, Situational Design concentrates squarely on player experience. It looks at how playfulness is not a property of a game considered in isolation, but rather the result of the intersection of a game with an appropriate player.
Despite the proliferation of video games in the twenty-first century, the theory of game design is largely underdeveloped, leaving designers on their own to understand what games really are. Helping you produce better games, Game Design Theory: A New Philosophy for Understanding Games presents a bold new path for analyzing and designing games.
NES/Famicom: A Visual Compendium features the very best pixel art, box art and product design on each system. Spread over 536 pages, it features more than 170 classic games, with articles on the leading developers, interviews with key figures in the industry and mini-features on subjects such as packaging, fan art and unreleased games.
History of Digital Games adopts a unique approach and scope that traces the interrelated concepts of game design, art and design of input devices from the beginnings of coin-operated amusement in the late 1800s to the independent games of unconventional creators in the present. Rooted in the concept of videogames as designed objects, Williams investigates the sources that inspired specific game developers as well as establishing the historical, cultural, economic and technological contexts that helped shape larger design trends.
In Atari Age, Michael Newman charts the emergence of video games in America from ball-and-paddle games to hits like Space Invaders and Pac-Man, describing their relationship to other amusements and technologies and showing how they came to be identified with the middle class, youth, and masculinity.
Brenda Laurel is best known for her work with Purple Moon, the pioneering game company she cofounded in the 1990s. Purple Moon's games were based on years of research Laurel completed in an effort to understand why computer games seemed to be of so little interest to girls. Using diverse archival sources such as trade journals, newspapers, and recorded interviews, alongside Laurel's completed games and own writings and an original interview with Laurel herself, this volume offers insight into both the early development of the games for girls movement of the 1990s and the lasting impact of Laurel's game design breakthroughs.
Power Play looks to the future of games as a global movement. Asi Burak and Laura Parker profile the luminaries behind some of the movement's most iconic games, including former Supreme Court judge Sandra Day O'Connor and Pulitzer-Prize winning authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. They also explore the promise of virtual reality to address social and political issues with unprecedented immersion, and see what the next generation of game makers have in store for the future.
The success of storytelling in games depends on the entire development team―game designers, artists, writers, programmers and musicians, etc.―working harmoniously together towards a singular artistic vision. Interactive Stories and Video Game Art is first to define a common design language for understanding and orchestrating interactive masterpieces using techniques inherited from the rich history of art and craftsmanship that games build upon. Case studies of hit games like The Last of Us, Journey, and Minecraft illustrate the vital components needed to create emotionally-complex stories that are mindful of gaming's principal relationship between player actions and video game aesthetics.
In this book, veteran game developers, academics, journalists, and others provide their processes and experiences with level design. Each provides a unique perspective representing multiple steps of the process for interacting with and creating game levels - experiencing levels, designing levels, constructing levels, and testing levels. These diverse perspectives offer readers a window into the thought processes that result in memorable open game worlds, chilling horror environments, computer-generated levels, evocative soundscapes, and many other types of gamespaces.
Good escape rooms are made by thinking of the player experience first. Escape the Game covers all aspects of creating your escape room from scratch. The book is meant to inspire designers to think holistically and to think about their escape rooms as more than the sum of their parts.
Becoming a Video Game Artist helps guide readers from their first steps of making a portfolio, to acing the job interview and beyond. John Pearl explores the different art related jobs and their responsibilities. Questions are posed to industry professionals throughout each chapter to help with the reader's growth and understanding.
Learn the things you need for a complete game, such as translations and tutorials, and improve the things you've already written to raise their standard to a professional level. This is a practical guide covering every discipline: art, music, writing, and code. In the case of the latter, code examples are included to demonstrate how to implement functionality to make the game shine.
Usability is about making a product easy to use while meeting the requirements of target users. Applied to video games, this means making the game accessible and enjoyable to the player. Video games with high usability are generally played efficiently and frequently while enjoying higher sales volumes. Games User Research: A Case Study Approach provides a highly useful resource for researchers, practitioners, lecturers, and students in developing and applying methods for testing player usability as well as for conducting games user research. It gives the necessary theoretical and practical background for designing and conducting a test for usability with an eye toward modifying software interfaces to improve human-computer interaction between the player and the game.
Games, Design and Play offers a play-focused, process-oriented approach for designing games people will love to play. Drawing on a combined 35 years of design and teaching experience, Colleen Macklin and John Sharp link the concepts and elements of play to the practical tasks of game design. Using full-color examples, they reveal how real game designers think and work, and illuminate the amazing expressive potential of great game design.
In How Games Move Us, Katherine Isbister takes the reader on a timely and novel exploration of the design techniques that evoke strong emotions for players. She counters arguments that games are creating a generation of isolated, emotionally numb, antisocial loners. Games, Isbister shows us, can actually play a powerful role in creating empathy and other strong, positive emotional experiences; they reveal these qualities over time, through the act of playing. She offers a nuanced, systematic examination of exactly how games can influence emotion and social connection, with examples - drawn from popular, indie, and art games - that unpack the gamer's experience.
Illustrating the rapidly expanding world of independently produced video games, this book features conversation with the makers themselves about the possibilities open to developers freed of trend-specific shackles.
In How Games Move Us, Katherine Isbister takes the reader on a timely and novel exploration of the design techniques that evoke strong emotions for players. She counters arguments that games are creating a generation of isolated, emotionally numb, antisocial loners. Games, Isbister shows us, can actually play a powerful role in creating empathy and other strong, positive emotional experiences; they reveal these qualities over time, through the act of playing.
A highly visual, example-led introduction to the video game industry, its context and practitioners. Video Games explores the industry's diversity and breadth through its online communities and changing demographics, branding and intellectual property, and handheld and mobile culture.