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Chris Crawford on Game Design

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Chris Crawford on Game Design

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  • Copyright 2003
  • Edition: 1st
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  • ISBN-10: 0-13-146099-4
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-146099-7

Chris Crawford on Game Design is all about the foundational skills behind the design and architecture of a game. Without these skills, designers and developers lack the understanding to work with the tools and techniques used in the industry today. Chris Crawford, the most highly sought after expert in this area, brings an intense opinion piece full of personality and flare like no other person in this industry can. He explains the foundational and fundamental concepts needed to get the most out of game development today. An exceptional precursor to the two books soon to be published by New Riders with author Andrew Rollings, this book teaches key lessons; including, what you can learn from the history of game play and historical games, necessity of challenge in game play, applying dimensions of conflict, understanding low and high interactivity designs, watching for the inclusion of creativity, and understanding the importance of storytelling. In addition, Chris brings you the wish list of games he'd like to build and tells you how to do it. Game developers and designers will kill for this information!



Author Bio - 351 kb - 0131460994A.pdf

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Chris Crawford on Designing the Game "Balance of Power"

Downloadable Sample Chapter

Sample Chapter - 382 kb - Chapter 21 - Balance Of Power

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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