Game Mechanics: Advanced Game Design

By Ernest Adams, Joris Dormans

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Description
Game mechanics--the rules and systems that govern the functional behavior of a game--lie at the heart of all game design. The mechanics implement the living world of the game; they generate active challenges for players to solve in the game world and they determine the effects of the players' actions on that world.
 
Here to teach game designers and students the essentials of game mechanics are two leading authorities in game design. Readers will learn how to craft mechanics that generate challenging, enjoyable, and well-balanced gameplay. They'll learn how to visualise and simulate game mechanics in order to design better games and learn at what stages to prototype, test, and implement mechanics in games.

Biography

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.

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.

Product details
ISBN
 
9780321820273
Edition
 
1st
Published date
 
19/09/2012
Published by
 
Pearson Higher Ed USA
Pages
 
360
Format
 
Table of contents
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