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Game Mechanics

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Table of Contents

Introduction Who Is This Book For? How Is This Book Organized? Companion Website. Chapter 1 Designing Game Mechanics Rules Define Games Discrete Mechanics vs. Continuous Mechanics Mechanics and the Game Design Process Prototyping Techniques Summary Exercises Chapter 2 Emergence and Progression The History of Emergence and Progression Comparing Emergence and Progression Games of Emergence Games of Progression Structural Differences Emergence and Progression Integration Summary Exercise Chapter 3 Complex Systems and the Structure of Emergence Gameplay as an Emergent Property of Games Structural Qualities of Complex Systems Harnessing Emergence in Games Summary Exercises Chapter 4 Internal Economy Elements of Internal Economies Economic Structure Uses for Internal Economies in Games Summary Exercises Chapter 5 Machinations The Machinations Framework Machinations Diagram Basic Elements Advanced Node Types Modeling Pac-Man Summary Exercises Chapter 6 Common Mechanisms More Machinations Concepts Feedback Structures in Games Randomness vs. Emergence Example Mechanics Summary Exercises Chapter 7 Design Patterns Introducing Design Patterns Machinations Design Pattern Language Leveraging Patterns for Design Summary Exercises Chapter 8 Simulating and Balancing Games Simulated Play Tests Playing with Monopoly Balancing SimWar From Model to Game Summary Exercises Chapter 9 Building Economies Economy-Building Games Analyzing Caesar III Designing Lunar Colony Summary Exercises Chapter 10 Integrating Level Design and Mechanics From Toys to Playgrounds Missions and Game Spaces Learning to Play Summary Exercises Chapter 11 Progression Mechanisms Lock-and-Key Mechanisms Emergent Progression Summary Exercises Chapter 12 Meaningful Mechanics Serious Games Communication Theory The Semiotics of Games and Simulations Multiple Layers of Meaning Summary Exercises Appendix A Machinations Quick Reference Appendix B Design Pattern Library Static Engine Dynamic Engine Converter Engine Engine Building Static Friction Dynamic Friction Stopping Mechanism Attrition Escalating Challenge Escalating Complexity Arms Race Playing Style Reinforcement Multiple Feedback Trade Worker Placement Slow Cycle Appendix C Getting Started with Machinations References Index

About the Author

Ernest Adams is a game design consultant, teacher, and the author of the classic Fundamentals of Game Design, Second Edition, the companion volume to this title. He has worked in the game industry for 23 years, eight of them at Electronic Arts. He is also the founder and first chairman of the International Game Developers' Association. His professional web site is at www.designersnotebook.com. Joris Dormans (PhD) is a game design lecturer and researcher based in Amsterdam with eight years of experience in higher education. For the past four years he has been researching formal tools and methods to design game mechanics. As an independent, freelance game designer he published and worked on several video games and board games, including story-driven adventure games, physical platform games, and a satirical political card game. His professional web site is at www.jorisdormans.nl.

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