This is the first introductory game design textbook that's 100% focused on practical application and the needs of today's game students, reflects the field's most authoritative research, and includes detailed coverage of player decision-making. Written by long-time game designer Zack Hiwiller, department chair for Full Sail University's pioneering Game Design degree program, Players Making Decisions brings together reliable information on the topics most widely covered in modern game design classes. Hiwiller focuses on knowledge that will be useful for years to come, not tips and tricks that will become obsolete long before students can use them. He addresses the needs of both digital and analog game designers, and offers many references as jumping-off points for further exploration and learning.
• Developed from the ground up to address the key needs of today's game design students • Addresses the needs of both analog and digital game designers, cultivating evergreen knowledge over transient tips and tricks • Covers prototyping, playtesting, game mechanics, dynamics, aesthetics, tools, and much more • Includes a deeper focus on cognitive biases and human decision-making: player behavior issues that are crucial to effective game design but ignored by most texts • Shows how to use simulation tools to decode the magic of game balance and quantitative design
Table of Contents
Introduction Part I. Starting Part II. Prototyping and Playtesting Part III. Meaningful Decisions Part IV. Game Elements Part V. Game Theory and Rational Decision Making Part VI. Actual Human Behavior and Games Part VII. Game Design Tools Part VIII. The Game Design Business Conclusion
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About the Author(s)
Zack Hiwiller is a game designer, educator, and writer living in Orlando, Florida. He is a department chair for the Game Design degree program at Full Sail University and does consultant work for many large and small companies. Previously, in addition to independent projects, he was a designer at Gameloft and Electronic Arts. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master’s degree in Modeling and Simulation from the University of Central Florida. His writings at hiwiller.com have been reposted by Kotaku, GameSetWatch, and others and have reached over two million readers.