Advertisement Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
ph0enix

Recommend sources (books, sites) to learn game design

This topic is 1761 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Hi All,

 

For a while I've been looking for quality sources to study game design. So far not much luck. Most of the books I've found were too high level and rather.. philosophical ones :)

 

Are there any concrete, step by step books or blogs? Preferably created by designers of successful games where they describe process of making decisions step by step.

 

I understand that inspiration and gut feeling definitely play their part in game design process, but there must be a strict set of rules and best practices, like in music or drawing.

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

Well... there probably is, but there are different avenues of these things and people don't get the terminology right, even those within the industry, due to many companies calling different things differently. And then there is vagueness about the term designer to begin with.

 

If you want to be a developer, pick an area to specialize, like Directing, writing, art, programming, music, and minorly dabble in each so that you have a base understanding, but focus heavily on one of those things. If you figure out what to focus on people will be able to help you more concretely...

 

If you want to be a designer specifically then it matter whether you want to go the industry standard route which is basically Beta Tester + One of the Above and get promoted up into the position. If you want to be more of a "rebel" and go the indie route or the "people you recognize as master designers" route then what you need to do is learn quite a bit of the above, enough that you can create a game by yourself, but you also should have a good understanding of film, art, writing, history, and many other areas so that you can not only build the game, but the world in which your game is made.

 

The reason that is the case, Because a game with out a world is rather boring and poorly designed imo, even it's silly BS, having a vision of the world helps get kinesthetics right, which a large chunk of game design in itself.

 

Of course the former is largely from what I've read from various sources while the latter is more my opinion.

 

But the reason you won't find a good book or whatever on this stuff is because, as Lawrence Krauss pointed out it is basically that if you find a lot of books and opinions on a subject it is because noone actually has the answer and we're all still looking for it. The stuff we have the answer for usually only have 1 concrete answer. All we have are general guidelines because there are so many ways in and not one of them is all that guaranteed .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might be interested in Daniel Cook's "Evolutionary Design" and his blog "Lost Garden" (especially the posts tagged as worth reading or tagged as science of game design), the resources linked from Ernest W. Adams's "Designers Notebook", and Tom Sloper's "Sloperama".

 

 

If you're after a book you might be interested in Jesse Schell's "The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses" or any of Tom Sloper's book recommendations.

 

 


there must be a strict set of rules and best practices, like in music or drawing.

This isn't really any more true for music or drawing than it is for game design.  For any of these disciplines there certain rules and guidelines that are often followed, and certain core processes that most people use, but as with all creative fields almost any individual will have their own take on how best to go about things, which "rules" can and cannot be broken, and the best order in which to do things.

 

There are however a lot of people working on processes for analysing and designing games in a more methodical or precise fashion, so there are plenty of resources out there including some of the links I provided above.

 

 

Hope that helps! smile.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Level Up!: The Guide to Great Video Game Design by Scott Rogers and David Perry on Game Design: A Brainstorming ToolBox both make for an excellent read on game design in general. The former appears to be more suited for arcade-style, action-oriented games while the latter is a very extensive (1000+ pages!) collection of topics, ideas and suggestions.

 

If you want to get more specific, I can only recommend Creating Emotion in Games: The Craft and Art of Emotioneering by David Freeman. While some of the topics Freeman writes about tackle general game design as well, he concentrates on how to create a believable game environment populated with characters the player would care for. I read it regularly every few years.

Edited by c-Row

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some books that I found a while back. They are all game design related. I know it's not as concrete as you would hope, but I think it's a really good collection of titels right there and while some elements can be designed and thought step by step, clean and simple, others really can't. And it is good that it is like that cause different perspectives lead to innovation and great ideas.

Edited by Petru G.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, thanks guys for recommendations and ideas. I'll come back in ten years after I read all these books :) No but seriously, great information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!