The Game Designer’s Playbook: An Introduction to Game Interaction Design
Video games have captivated us for over 50 years, giving us entire worlds to explore, new ways to connect with friends, thought-provoking stories, or just a fun way to pass the time. Creating games is a dream for many, but making great games is challenging. The Game Designer’s Playbook is about meeting that challenge. More specifically, it’s a book about game interaction design; in other words, shaping what players can do and how they do it to make a game satisfying and memorable. Our time with a game is built on interaction, from basic things like pushing buttons on a controller, to making complicated strategic decisions and engaging with the narrative. If you’ve ever felt the adrenaline rush from beating a perfectly tuned boss fight or been delighted by the fanfare of picking up that last collectible, you’ve experienced good interaction design firsthand.
The Game Designer’s Playbook is about learning what makes for great (or terrible!) interaction design in games, exploring things like controls, feedback, story, and tutorial design by analyzing existing games. It also looks at how newer and still-developing tech like VR and streaming are changing the ways we play, and how you can bring great interaction design to your own games.
Cover Half Title Title Page Copyright Page Dedication Foreword Preface and Acknowledgments Contents 1 Caveman Arcade 1.1 What’s in a game? 1.2 A (Relatively) brief history of game interaction 1.3 How to use this book 2 The Parlance of Play 2.1 Making humans and computers play nicely 2.2 What successful game interaction design looks like 2.3 The field of game interaction design 2.4 How can we define successful game interaction design? 2.5 What to expect from the rest of this book Expert Profile: David Galindo—Food for thought 3 The Long Con 3.1 Baby steps 3.2 A masterclass in learning Expert Profile: Romana Ramzan—Player champion 4 Say What you Mean 4.1 Communication and the senses 4.2 Continuous communication and HUD design 4.3 Responsive communication 4.4 Brief thoughts on creative direction Expert Profile: Cherry Thompson—Accessibility by design 5 Control Freaks 5.1 I can’t find the “any” key 5.2 Rules of thumbstick 5.3 Virtual input and two-way interfaces Expert Profile: Jason Avent—Changing Tides 6 The Play’s the Thing 6.1 What’s in a feeling? 6.2 Act I: Narrative and characters 6.3 Act II: Player agency Expert Profile: Osama Dorias—Something for everyone 7 Rejecting your Reality 7.1 Designing for VR 7.2 What we don’t want VR to give us 7.3 Putting the “real” in reality Expert Profile: Mark Laframboise & Steven Smith—Partners in Play 8 The Audience is Listening 8.1 The ratings war 8.2 Come on down Expert Profile: Kris Alexander—Learn to play, play to learn 9 Rise of the Machines 9.1 The toaster is sentient now 9.2 AI that plays with you 9.3 AI that works for you Expert Profile: Regan Mandryk—The science of fun 10 Making the Thing 10.1 Chasing the lightbulb 10.2 Follow the rulebook 10.3 Re-writing the rulebook Expert Profile: Ario Jafarzadeh—Steps from perfection 11 Test your Patience 11.1 Spend your questions wisely 11.2 A crash course in testing 11.3 The melting pot of methods Expert Profile: Graham McAllister—Having a clear vision 12 What Comes Next? 12.1 Pocket supercomputers strapped to your face 12.2 Buy low, sell high 12.3 Game changers Expert Profile: Jason Della Rocca—Optimizing for success Glossary List of Acronyms Ludography Subject Index Game Index
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