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Game Design Theory

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Table of Contents

Introduction The Death of Tetris Our Story My Story Problem Statement On Game Design Game Design Theory Today What This book Is What This book Is Not Why Video Games? The Concept of "Game" Definitions Types of Interactive Systems The Abstract and the Literal The "Meaningful" Decision Are Games "Art"? Games: The "Finer" Interactive System Game-Playing Itself Is An Art The Value of Games? Misconceptions about Games Games Can Occur Naturally "Video Games" and the Value of Words Exploration Game Design Do You Want to Make a Game? Games and Story Understanding Design "Let's Add Some Fun!" Non-Linearity Continuous or Discrete Space Execution vs. Decisions Randomness Single-Player/Multi-Player "Survival", "Completion" and "Game Difficulty" Balance Theme Inherent/Emergent Complexity Information and Solvability Symmetry False Choices Too Many Choices Efficiency Take Nothing for Granted Become an Expert |Studying Games Related Disciplines Conclusion How We Got Here Ancient History Sports The 20th Century The Promise of SpaceWar! The Video Game "Generations" The Alternate Reality of PC Games Other Notable Areas Looking Back Through the Lens: Videogames Problems Common to Almost All Genres On Brawlers On Third Person Action On Real-Time Strategy On Turn-Based Strategy Role-Playing Games On Sports Games On Racing Games On Fighting Games On FPS Games On Platformers Other Genres "Videogames" That Aren't Games Through the Lens: Boardgames Area-Control games Bidding Games Wargames Roleplaying Games Cooperative Games Role-Selection/Worker Placement Games Card Games Abstract Games Other Genres Predictions Rise of Indies Merging Renaissance Purpose


About the Author

Keith Burgun is a game designer, writer, composer, and visual artist who has been developing games independently for nearly 20 years. He writes for Gamasutra, Destructoid, and several other popular websites, including his own blog at Dinofarm Games. He is a founding member of Dinofarm Games and produced its first commercial game 100 Rogues for the iOS platform. He also teaches game design and animation courses at local art schools.


While literature and music, for example, stand on a solid theoretical foundation, the theory of game design is much less developed. ... It is possible that thought-provoking books such as this one may be just the spark required to kick start the industrial revolution of game design. -From the Foreword by Reiner Knizia

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