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Game designers today are expected to have an arsenal of multi-disciplinary skills at their disposal in the fields of art and design, computer programming, psychology, economics, composition, education, mythology—and the list goes on. How do you distill a vast universe down to a few salient points?
Players Making Decisions brings together the wide range of topics that are most often taught in modern game design courses and focuses on the core concepts that will be useful for students for years to come. A common theme to many of these concepts is the art and craft of creating games in which players are engaged by making meaningful decisions. It is the decision to move right or left, to pass versus shoot, or to develop one’s own strategy that makes the game enjoyable to the player. As a game designer, you are never entirely certain of who your audience will be, but you can enter their world and offer a state of focus and concentration on a task that is intrinsically rewarding.
This detailed and easy-to-follow guide to game design is for both digital and analog game designers alike and some of its features include:
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.