Game Mechanics Advanced Game Design

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-06-15
  • Publisher: New Riders
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Game mechanics--the rules and systems that govern the functional behavior of a game--lie at the heart of all game design. The mechanics implement the living world of the game; they generate active challenges for players to solve in the game world and they determine the effects of the players'actions on that world. Here to teach game designers and students the essentials of game mechanics are two leading authorities in game design. Readers will learn how to craft mechanics that generate challenging, enjoyable, and well-balanced gameplay. They'll learn how to visualize and simulate game mechanics in order to design better games and learn at what stages to prototype, test, and implement mechanics in games. This in-depth resource also comes with hands-on lessons and readers can download a free simulation tool in order to follow along with exercises in the book.

Author Biography

Ernest Adams is a game design consultant, teacher, and the author of the classic Fundamentals of Game Design, Second Edition, the companion volume to this title. He has worked in the game industry for 23 years, eight of them at Electronic Arts. He is also the founder and first chairman of the International Game Developers' Association. His professional website is at www.designersnotebook.com. Joris Dormans is a game design lecturer and researcher based in Amsterdam with eight years of experience in higher education. For the past four years he has been researching formal tools and methods to design game mechanics. As an independent, freelance game designer he published and worked on several video games and board games, including story-driven adventure games, physical platform games, and a satirical political card game. His professional website is at www.jorisdormans.nI.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. xi
Who Is This Book For?p. xii
How Is This Book Organized?p. xii
Companion Websitep. xiii
Designing Game Mechanicsp. 1
Rules Define Gamesp. 1
Discrete Mechanics vs. Continuous Mechanicsp. 9
Mechanics and the Game Design Processp. 12
Prototyping Techniquesp. 15
Summaryp. 21
Exercisesp. 22
Emergence and Progressionp. 23
The History of Emergence and Progressionp. 23
Comparing Emergence and Progressionp. 24
Games of Emergencep. 26
Games of Progressionp. 30
Structural Differencesp. 37
Emergence and Progression Integrationp. 39
Summaryp. 41
Exercisep. 42
Complex Systems and the Structure of Emergencep. 43
Gameplay as an Emergent Property of Gamesp. 43
Structural Qualities of Complex Systemsp. 47
Harnessing Emergence in Gamesp. 57
Summaryp. 58
Exercisesp. 58
Internal Economyp. 59
Elements of Internal Economiesp. 59
Economic Structurep. 62
Uses for Internal Economies in Gamesp. 71
Summaryp. 78
Exercisesp. 78
Machinationsp. 79
The Machinations Frameworkp. 79
Machinations Diagram Basic Elementsp. 82
Advanced Node Typesp. 93
Modeling Pac-Manp. 98
Summaryp. 104
Exercisesp. 104
Common Mechanismsp. 107
More Machinations Conceptsp. 107
Feedback Structures in Gamesp. 113
Randomness vs. Emergencep. 126
Example Mechanicsp. 130
Summaryp. 144
Exercisesp. 145
Design Patternsp. 147
Introducing Design Patternsp. 147
Machinations Design Pattern Languagep. 151
Leveraging Patterns for Designp. 168
Summaryp. 169
Exercisesp. 170
Simulating and Balancing Gamesp. 171
Simulated Play Testsp. 171
Playing with Monopolyp. 179
Balancing SimWarp. 187
From Model to Gamep. 195
Summaryp. 195
Exercisesp. 196
Building Economiesp. 197
Economy-Building Gamesp. 197
Analyzing Caesar IIIp. 199
Designing Lunar Colonyp. 206
Summaryp. 219
Exercisesp. 220
Integrating Level Design and Mechanicsp. 221
From Toys to Playgroundsp. 221
Missions and Game Spacesp. 229
Learning to Playp. 238
Summaryp. 244
Exercisesp. 246
Progression Mechanismsp. 247
Lock-and-Key Mechanismsp. 247
Emergent Progressionp. 258
Summaryp. 270
Exercisesp. 270
Meaningful Mechanicsp. 271
Serious Gamesp. 271
Communication Theoryp. 276
The Semiotics of Games and Simulationsp. 282
Multiple Layers of Meaningp. 294
Summaryp. 299
Exercisesp. 300
Machinations Quick Referencep. 301
Design Pattern Libraryp. 303
Static Enginep. 303
Dynamic Enginep. 305
Converter Enginep. 308
Engine Buildingp. 311
Static Frictionp. 314
Dynamic Frictionp. 316
Stopping Mechanismp. 319
Attritionp. 321
Escalating Challengep. 325
Escalating Complexityp. 327
Arms Racep. 330
Playing Style Reinforcementp. 333
Multiple Feedbackp. 336
Tradep. 336
Worker Placementp. 336
Slow Cyclep. 336
Getting 5tarted with Machinationsp. 337
Referencesp. 338
Indexp. 341
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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