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Chris Crawford's Tips for New Game Designers

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Chris Crawford's Tips for New Game Designers

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  • Copyright 2006
  • Dimensions: 6 X 9
  • Pages: 34
  • Edition: 1st
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-321-48117-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-321-48117-7

Just getting started with game design and want to dive right in without reading a 1,000-page tome? Check out the Peachpit’s new Short Cuts! Quick PDF guides that are...Smart...Handy...Concise.

This mini guide covers exactly what you need to know avoid making the most common mistakes befall most beginning game designers. Let Chris Crawford, renowned author of The Art of the Computer Game, walk you through each of the most common mistakes and how to avoid them. You’ll learn:

• Learn the 5 motivations to equip a game with good graphics and sound and the 5 reasons people commonly abuse them.
• How to not to become over obsessed with cosmetics
• How lessons learned in cinema can be applied to game creation
• How the human imagination effects graphic realism
• Understand the dangers of incremental game design
• And more!

Sample Content

Table of Contents


1. Definitions, Definitions.

2. Some Milestone Games.

Old-Style Games. Board Wargames. Other Non-Computer Games. Videogames. Computer Games.

3. Play.

History of Play. Play Is Metaphorical. Play Must Be Safe. Play Need Not Be Exotic. The Fun Factor.

4. Challenge.

Challenge Necessitates Rules. The Point Is the Challenge, Not the Goal. Dimensions of Challenge. Challenge and Identity.

5. Conflict.

Mars, Venus, and Conflict. Dimensions of Conflict. Directness of Conflict. Intensity of Conflict. Intensity and the Evolution of Taste.

6. Interactivity.

History. Other Attributes of the Computer. So What Is Interactivity? Is More Interactivity Better? How Do We Measure Interactivity? Low-Interactivity Entertainment Designs. Process Intensity Versus Data Intensity.

7. Creativity: The Missing Ingredient.

How Serious Is the Problem? Where Does Creativity Come From? How to “Get Creative”. A Tyrannosaurus Rex for Ideas. The Politics of Innovation.

8. Common Mistakes.

Obsession with Cosmetics. Incremental Accretive Design.

9. The Education of a Game Designer.

Get a Degree. Education Versus Schooling.

10. Games I'd Like to Build.

Galilean Relativity. Napoleonic Cavalry. Napoleon in Space. Attack of the Cellular Automata. Volkerwanderung. Third-World Dictator. Lies. Spies. The Wheels of Commerce. Corporate Politics. Evolution. The Self-Modifying Game. Mooser-Gooser. So What Does All This Mean?

11. Storytelling.

Adventure Games. Backstory. Cut Scenes. Integrated Cut Scenes. Here Come the Academics! Role-Playing Games. The Real Problem. Tackling the Problem.

12. Random Sour Observations.

Massively Multiplayer Monsters. Licensed Games. New Input Devices. The Sims. Short-Term Thinkers. Everybody's a Game Designer. Hollywood Envy. Young Males. Sleaze.

13. Tanktics.

Map. Calculating Line of Sight. Planning Moves. Initial Programming. Enter the KIM-1. Input and Output. Linguistic Input. Sound Effects. Showing It Off. Porting. Production, Marketing, and Sales. Avalon-Hill. Fade Away. Results.

14. Legionnaire.

A Record-Setting Blunder. Disruption. Terrain. Sales. First Draft Design. Conclusions.

15. Wizard.

VCS Technology. Designing the Game. Asymmetric Combat. Lines of Sight (LOS). Disposition and Conclusion.

16. Energy Czar.

17. Scram.

Input Structures. Oh Yes, It Was Supposed to Be a Game, Wasn't It? Coda.

18. Eastern Front (1941).

The Scrolling Map. The Combat System. AI. Tuning. Conclusion.

19. Gossip.

AI. Implementation Woes. Conclusions.

20. Excalibur.

Camelot. The Interpersonal Subgame. Diplomacy. The Strategic Map. The Battle Subgame. Overall Course of Play. The Manual. Conclusions.

21. Balance of Power.

The UnWar Game. Early Efforts. The Rubber Map. Thank You, National Enquirer. Research. Building the Map. Memory Headaches. Making It a Game. Publisher Woes. I Get by with a Little Help from the Press. The Wheel of Fortune.

22. Patton Versus Rommel.

To Hell with Grids. Geometric AI.

23. Siboot.

A Lesson for Designers. First Draft Proposal. The First Proposal. Design Essays. Economies. Intransitive Combat Relationships. The Inverse Parser. The Display. Interstitial Stories. The Novella. Conclusions.

24. Guns & Butter.

Designing the World. Building Provinces. Adding Mountains, Deserts, and Forests. Naming Names. First-Person Firing Squad. The Economic System. Combat. Faces. The Ideas behind the Game. Results.

25. Balance of the Planet.

Values. Implementing a Value System. The Politics of the Game. Higher Levels of Play. Balancing the Equations. Artwork. Schedule Hassles. Results.

26. Patton Strikes Back.

Simple Rules. Clean User Interface and Strong Visual Presentation. Explain the History. Color Hassles. Anti-Piracy. Results.

27. Themes and Lessons.

People, Not Things! Faces. Gameplay Help. Language. Art Over Money. The Harsh Realities of Business.

28. Old Fart Stories.

Early Sound and Music. An Early Multiplayer Game. Getting a Job. E.T. Alan Kay. Lost in the Shuffle. International Sales. The Locked File Cabinet. Bill Carris. Marketing Wisdom. The Dragon Speech. The Great Pratfall. A More Serious Pratfall. Problems of Decentralization. The Unrevenged Review. Failed Humor. The Sins of Youth. Corporate Politics. Blinded by Your Own Equipment. Thinking Big. The CGDC.




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