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Game Design Workshop
A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games

Game Design Workshop

There is magic in games. The magic at work in games is about finding hidden connections between things, in exploring the way that the universe of a game is structured. If games are spaces where meaning is made, game designers are the meta-creators of meaning, those who architect the spaces of posibility where such discovery takes place.

Which is where this book comes in. You're reading these words because you're interested in not just playing games, but in making them. Game Design Workshop is one of the very few books that can truly help you make the games that you want to make. The games bursting from your heart and from your imagination. The ones that keep you up at night demanding to be designed. Games that are brimming with potential for discovery, for meaning, for magic.

Aaron Hill of Richmond, IN says, "The top rating is well-deserved - this book is both thorough and well-written. Fullerton provides in-depth discussion and a progressive approach to introducing the material. It begins with the absolute basics, discussing the basics of where game ideas come from, and ends with a treatise on the inner-workings of the game publishing industry.

"There were so many things to love about this book, but three things really stand out in my mind as being particularly awesome:

1. The 'Designer Perspective' sidebars (insight into how some famous game designers got started and some behind-the-scenes knowledge about the industry). 2. The focus on iterative-design (prototype and test early and often). 3. The Exercises (real application exercises that hold your hand through the development of games, and of yourself as a career designer).

"There were basically only two things I 'didn't' like about this book, and they are purely circumstantial. The first thing is that this book is college-textbook dense. Seriously. The page-count is just shy of 450 pages, and each page is divided into two columns, with a relatively small font-size. It was a beast to get through. There were many times when finishing the book felt like a daunting task, particularly towards the end.

"The second thing that I wished was different was that the book's focus changes almost completely to digital game development (video games). The first half of the book was about basic game development, and so it could apply to either tabletop games or digital games; but as the book progresses, it makes a clear shift towards digital game development.

"Realistically, this is not surprising - the video game industry is gigantic, with revenues exceeding Box Office sales, and it keeps growing. The market for tabletop games is vastly smaller, domestically, and although it enjoys a much larger market share in Europe, particularly Germany, it is still comparatively diminuitive. So this particular nitpick is purely arbitrary, on my part - I don't begrudge the authors for their decision regarding the content.

"I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to learn more about game development, as a trade, and especially for anyone looking to do it as a profession."

Game Design Workshop presents tried-and-true strategies for thinking about and creating games. Game Design Workshop is a treasury of methods for putting game design theories into practice. The authors of Game Design Workshop have real experience making games, teaching game designers, and writing about game design. Click here for more information.

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