Game Design Books

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  1. HTML5 Games - Novice to Ninja

    HTML5 Games: Novice to Ninja

    HTML5 Games: Novice to Ninja will teach you how to create video games that run cross-platform, in web browsers, and on phones.

  2. Games User Research

    Games User Research

    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.

  3. Visual Design Concepts For Mobile Games

    Visual Design Concepts For Mobile Games

    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.

  4. Situational Game Design

    Situational Game Design

    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.

  5. Game Design Theory - A New Philosophy for Understanding Games

    Game Design Theory: A New Philosophy for Understanding Games

    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.

  6. NES/Famicom - A Visual Compendium

    NES/Famicom: A Visual Compendium

    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.

  7. Video Game Design - Principles and Practices from the Ground Up

    Video Game Design: Principles and Practices from the Ground Up

    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.

  8. History of Digital Games - Developments in Art, Design and Interaction

    History of Digital Games: Developments in Art, Design and Interaction

    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.

  9. Atari Age - The Emergence of Video Games in America

    Atari Age: The Emergence of Video Games in America

    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.

  10. Brenda Laurel - Pioneering Games for Girls

    Brenda Laurel: Pioneering Games for Girls

    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.

  11. Power Play - How Video Games Can Save the World

    Power Play: How Video Games Can Save the World

    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.

  12. Interactive Stories and Video Game Art - A Storytelling Framework for Game Design

    Interactive Stories and Video Game Art: A Storytelling Framework for Game Design

    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.

  13. Level Design - Processes and Experiences

    Level Design: Processes and Experiences

    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.

  14. Escape the Game - How to Make Puzzles and Escape Rooms

    Escape the Game: How to Make Puzzles and Escape Rooms

    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.

  15. Becoming a Video Game Artist - From Portfolio Design to Landing the Job

    Becoming a Video Game Artist: From Portfolio Design to Landing the Job

    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.

  16. Polished Game Development - From First Steps to Final Release

    Polished Game Development: From First Steps to Final Release

    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.

  17. Games User Research - A Case Study Approach

    Games User Research: A Case Study Approach

    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.

  18. Games, Design and Play

    Games, Design and Play

    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.

  19. How Games Move Us - Emotion by Design

    How Games Move Us: Emotion by 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.

  20. Indie Games - The Complete Introduction to Indie Gaming

    Indie Games: The Complete Introduction to Indie Gaming

    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.

  21. How Games Move Us - Emotion by Design

    How Games Move Us: Emotion by 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.

  22. Video Games - An Introduction to the Industry

    Video Games: An Introduction to the Industry

    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.

  23. Virtual Character Design for Games and Interactive Media

    Virtual Character Design for Games and Interactive Media

    Virtual Character Design for Games and Interactive Media covers a breadth of topics to establish a relationship between pertinent artistic and scientific theories and good character design practice. Targeted at students, researchers, and professionals, the book aims to show how both character presentation and character performance can be enhanced through careful consideration of underlying theory.

  24. Clockwork Game Design

    Clockwork Game Design

    Clockwork Game Design is the most functional and directly applicable theory for game design. It details the clockwork game design pattern, which focuses on building around fundamental functionality. You can then use this understanding to prescribe a system for building and refining your rulesets. A game can achieve clarity of purpose by starting with a strong core, then removing elements that conflict with that core while adding elements that support it.

  25. Tabletop Game Design for Video Game Designers

    Tabletop Game Design for Video Game Designers

    Tabletop Game Design for Video Game Designers guides you through your initial attempts to design game mechanics. It goes beyond simple description and definition to explore in detail the issues that designers grapple with for every game they create.

  26. Thinking about Video Games

    Thinking about Video Games

    The growth in popularity and complexity of video games has spurred new interest in how games are developed and in the research and technology behind them. David Heineman brings together some of the most iconic, influential, and interesting voices from across the gaming industry and asks them to weigh in on the past, present, and future of video games.

  27. Game Art

    Game Art

    Game Art is a collection of breathtaking art from 40 video games and interviews with their creators. Featuring major studios like Square Enix, Bioware, and Ubisoft as well as independents like Tale of Tales and E-Line Media, Game Art explores and celebrates the creative process that turns a video game into art.

  28. The Uncanny Valley in Games and Animation

    The Uncanny Valley in Games and Animation

    The Uncanny Valley in Games and Animation presents a novel theory that goes beyond previous research in that the cause of the Uncanny Valley is based on a perceived lack of empathy in a character. This book makes an original, scholarly contribution to our current understanding of the Uncanny Valley phenomenon and fills a gap in the literature by assessing the biological and social roots of the Uncanny Valley and its implications for computer-graphics animation.

  29. Designing Games for Children

    Designing Games for Children

    Whether you're a seasoned game designer, a children's media professional, or an instructor teaching the next generation of game designers, Designing Games for Children is the first book dedicated to service the specific needs of children's game designers. This is a hands-on manual of child psychology as it relates to game design and the common challenges designers face.

  30. Video Game Storytelling

    Video Game Storytelling

    With increasingly sophisticated video games being consumed by an enthusiastic and expanding audience, the pressure is on game developers like never before to deliver exciting stories and engaging characters. With Video Game Storytelling, game writer and producer Evan Skolnick provides a comprehensive yet easy-to-follow guide to storytelling basics and how they can be applied at every stage of the development process. This clear, concise reference pairs relevant examples from top games and other media with a breakdown of the key roles in game development, showing how a team's shared understanding and application of core storytelling principles can deepen the player experience.