A Game Design Vocabulary

A Game Design Vocabulary : Exploring the Foundational Principles Behind Good Game Design

4.16 (49 ratings by Goodreads)
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Master the Principles and Vocabulary of Game Design Why aren't videogames getting better? Why does it feel like we're playing the same games, over and over again? Why aren't games helping us transform our lives, like great music, books, and movies do? The problem is language. We still don't know how to talk about game design. We can't share our visions. We forget what works (and doesn't). We don't learn from history. It's too hard to improve. The breakthrough starts here. A Game Design Vocabulary gives us the complete game design framework we desperately need-whether we create games, study them, review them, or build businesses on them. Craft amazing experiences. Anna Anthropy and Naomi Clark share foundational principles, examples, and exercises that help you create great player experiences...complement intuition with design discipline...and craft games that succeed brilliantly on every level. * Liberate yourself from stale cliches and genres * Tell great stories: go way beyond cutscenes and text dumps * Control the crucial relationships between game "verbs" and "objects" * Wield the full power of development, conflict, climax, and resolution * Shape scenes, pacing, and player choices * Deepen context via art, animation, music, and sound * Help players discover, understand, engage, and "talk back" to you * Effectively use resistance and difficulty: the "push and pull" of games * Design holistically: integrate visuals, audio, and controls * Communicate a design vision everyone can understandshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 177.8 x 226.06 x 17.78mm | 476.27g
  • Pearson Education (US)
  • Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers Inc
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • colour illustrations, figures
  • 0321886925
  • 9780321886927
  • 419,145

Review quote

"A Game Design Vocabulary succeeds where many have failed-to provide a broad-strokes overview of videogame design. Utilizing analytic smarts, an encyclopedic knowledge of games, and subcultural attitude, Naomi Clark and Anna Anthropy get to the heart of how games work. "Why is this book important? Videogames are the defining mass medium of our time, yet even those who make games lack a clear language for understanding their fundamental mechanics. A Game Design Vocabulary is essential reading for game creators, students, critics, scholars, and fans who crave insight into how game play becomes meaningful." -Eric Zimmerman, Independent Game Designer and Arts Professor, NYU Game Center "A Game Design Vocabulary marks an important step forward for our discipline. Anna Anthropy and Naomi Clark's extraordinarily lucid explanatio ns give us new ways to unpick the complexities of digital game design. Grounded in practical examples and bursting with original thinking, you need this book in your game design library." -Richard Lemarchand, Associate Professor, USC, Lead Designer, Uncharted "Anthropy and Clark have done it! Created an intuitive vocabulary and introduction to game design in a concise, clear, and fun-to-read package. The exercises alone are a great set of limbering-up tools for those new to making games and seasoned designers, both." -Colleen Macklin, Game Designer and Professor, Parsons The New School for Design "Two of my favorite game design minds sharing a powerful set of tools for designing meaningful games? I'm so excited for this book. A Game Design Vocabulary may very well be the best thing to happen to game design education in more than a decade. I can't wait to put this book in the hands of my students and dev friends alike." -John Sharp, Associate Professor of Games and Learning, Parsons The New School for Design "Some of the greatest challenges to the intelligent advancement of game-making can be found in the ways we conceptualize and discuss them. This simple yet profound new vocabulary is long-overdue and accessible enough to help new creators work within a meaningful framework for games." -Leigh Alexander, Game Journalist and Criticshow more

About Anna Anthropy

Anna Anthropy is an artist, author and game creatrix working in the East Bay area. As an ambassador for game creation, she works to empower marginalized voices to gain access to game creation. Her first book, Rise of the Videogame Zinesters, is an autobiography / manifesto / DIY guide. She's radical. Naomi Clark has been designing and producing games for more than two decades, ever since she started creating text-based virtual worlds as a teenager. She's worked on multiplayer web games (Sissyfight 2000), casual downloadable games (Miss Management), Flash games for kids (LEGO Junkbot). and Facebook games (Dreamland) while working with companies like Gamelab, LEGO, Rebel Monkey, and Fresh Planet. Naomi has also taught classes and workshops at Parsons School of Design, the NYU Game Center, and the New York Film Academy, and written game analysis and feminist critique for Feministe. She is currently developing an independent game with the Brooklyn Game Ensemble.show more

Table of contents

Part I Elements of Vocabulary 1 By Anna Anthropy 1 Language 3 Signs Versus Design 4 Failures of Language 7 A Voice Needs Words 9 A Beginning 10 2 Verbs and Objects 13 Rules 14 Creating Choices 16 Explaining with Context 21 Objects 22 The Physical Layer 25 Character Development 30 Elegance 32 Real Talk 34 Review 36 Discussion Activities 37 Group Activity 38 3 Scenes 39 Rules in Scenes 40 Shaping and Pacing 50 Layering Objects 56 Moments of Inversion 60 Chance 61 Real Talk 64 Review 71 Discussion Activities 71 Group Activity 73 4 Context 77 First Impressions 78 Recurring Motifs 82 Character Design 83 Animation 86 Scene Composition 89 Camera 94 Sound 96 Real Talk 99 Review 103 Discussion Activities 104 Group Activity 104 Part II Conversations 107 By Naomi Clark 5 Creating Dialogue 109 Players 110 Creating Conversation 111 Iterating to Fun and Beyond 113 Your Conversation 115 6 Resistance 117 Push and Pull 118 Flow 119 Alternatives to Flow 129 Opening Up Space 132 Opening Up Purpose 134 The Pull of Rewards 137 Time and Punishment 141 Scoring and Reflection 147 Review 150 Discussion Activities 152 Group Activity 153 7 Storytelling 155 Pattern Recognition 156 Authored Stories 159 Interpreted Stories 172 Open Stories 181 Review 187 Discussion Activities 188 Group Activity 189 A Further Playing 191 Achievement Unlocked (John Cooney, 2008) 192 American Dream (Stephen Lavelle, Terry Cavanagh, Tom Morgan-Jones, and Jasper Byrne, 2011) 192 Analogue: A Hate Story (Christine Love, 2012) 193 The Banner Saga (Stoic, 2014) 193 Candy Box (aniwey, 2013) 194 Consensual Torture Simulator (Merritt Kopas, 2013) 194 Corrypt (Michael Brough, 2012) 195 Crypt of the Necrodancer (Ryan Clark, 2013) 196 Dwarf Fortress (Tarn Adams, 2006) 196 English Country Tune (Stephen Lavelle, 2011) 197 Even Cowgirls Bleed (Christine Love, 2013) 197 Gone Home (The Fullbright Company, 2013) 198 Mighty Jill Off (Anna Anthropy, 2008) 198 NetHack (NetHack Dev Team, 1987) 199 Papers, Please (Lucas Pope, 2013) 199 Persist (AdventureIslands, 2013) 200 QWOP (Bennett Foddy, 2008) and GIRP (Bennett Foddy, 2011) 201 Spelunky (Derek Yu, 2008) 201 Triple Town (Spry Fox, 2011) 202 Index 203show more

Review Text

Since the first arcade videogames appeared in the 1970s, publishers have invested billions of...show more

Rating details

49 ratings
4.16 out of 5 stars
5 37% (18)
4 45% (22)
3 16% (8)
2 2% (1)
1 0% (0)
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