Game design bibliography?

Hey S-G,

I'm getting interested in game design again and want to do some deeper reading on the topic.

What texts* would you recommend on the subject?

If there's some master-list somewhere that I've overlooked, let me know.

Bonus Points are available for links and/or unpacking why a text is important or useful.

Thanks,
Mike


*books, .pdfs, videos, infographics, podcasts, psychic transmissions all welcome

Comments

  • The Characteristics of Games by Garfield and Elias.
    Winning Ways for your Mathematical Plays by Conway et al.
    Mark Rosewater's podcast.
    Vincent Baker's blog and forum.
    Grognardia blog and links to other blogs.

    Weirdly enough, I studied game design formally but none of the above was brought up. But we had some interesting lessons such as a longish course where an architect that had have several public real-life buildings designed tought us how to design Quake 3 levels.

    I think design in general texts are also good. Alexander's A Pattern Language. Doesburg's De Stijl magazine. Dieter Rams lectures. Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, and Paradigms in AI Programming.
  • edited May 2016
    From the top of my head.

    Theory of Fun - Raph Koster, about the basics of human interaction and learning.

    Science of Game Design - Daniel Cook, about the basics of human interaction and learning.

    3 Minute Game Design - Keith Burgun. Short introduction to game design.

    Game Design Concepts - Quick tour by Ian Schreiber.

    Mechanics, Dynamics, Aethetics - Marc LeBlanc, three components in game design.

    Understanding Comics - Scott McCloud. MDA++.

    How great leaders inspire action - Simon Sinek. Why, How, What corresponds to MDA.

    Four Keys of Fun - Nicole Lazarro, four different ways of enjoying games.

    Flow - Mihály Csíkszentmihályi. What makes us happy is what makes us engaged.

    Impro - Keith Johnstone. Group building, releasing spontaneity, basic ideas behind collaborative storytelling, and more.

    We know so little of our hobby - me bringing it all above together.
  • Good list, Rickard!
    Making Comics is even better than Understanding Comics I think (and Reinventing Comics is a bit worse than both).
  • Thanks guys!

    Oh yes, the We Know So Little thread! A gem to be reminded of.

    Arg! Where to start!? I guess it depends on what I'm interested in.
  • I tried to sort my list; just interweave everything from Rickard's list and go from the top. E.g. read Elias before Conway etc.
  • I added 3 Minute Game Design. I really like Keith Burgun's controversial ideas. He dares to challenge norms.
  • I'd also add general usability texts like Donald Norman's The Design of Everyday Things
  • edited May 2016
    So far so good, nodding along with much of what I've opened.

    I realise there's a lot of interdisciplinary stuff here - general design principals, video-game design and table-top-game design - and it's all applicable. But does anyone want to be really brave and suggest some purely TTRPG design texts they found to be insightful within the specialism?
    While so much here is fascinating, I'm going to get quickly overloaded with choice here!
  • You may consider to have a look at the first chapter of my framework dealing with general concepts of storytelling games.
    From chapter 2 it goes into the framework and is no more 'general'.
    http://www.levity-rpg.net/en/?p=252
  • I realise there's a lot of interdisciplinary stuff here - general design principals, video-game design and table-top-game design - and it's all applicable. But does anyone want to be really brave and suggest some purely TTRPG design texts they found to be insightful within the specialism?
    That would be the Forge, pretty much, and perhaps some other websites. Just start from the beginning of the Forge archives (the design and theory subforums in particular), skim all the threads that seem interesting/relevant, and see if you can get anything out of it that way. Perhaps make notes of interesting ideas that are not expanded upon sufficiently and ask for more context e.g. here - odds are that people can expand upon individual topics and suggest further reading.
  • The Complete Idiot's Guide To Game Theory (you might need to get out a calculus textbook too)
  • Anna Anthropy's Rise of the Videogame Zinesters is my personal favorite.
  • I'd also add general usability texts like Donald Norman's The Design of Everyday Things
    Yeah, that book had a huge influence on me.
  • I found The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell a comprehensive introduction to the topic. It's theory oriented, starts from the very basics of what a game designer is really trying to accomplish and doesn't try to give you a step by step formula for game design. It also has awesome further reading listings at the end of each chapter.
  • edited May 2016
    But does anyone want to be really brave and suggest some purely TTRPG design texts they found to be insightful within the specialism?
    While so much here is fascinating, I'm going to get quickly overloaded with choice here!
    Overloaded is what you will become because there is much to read even when it comes to the basics. :) I found that it's mostly puzzling everything that everyone writes together to form a whole.

    To me, game design is mostly about understanding interaction. What parts are needed to create interaction? What is happening during the interaction? What are the results from interaction? How do the people interacting think?

    When it comes to my own RPG theory, I talked how I applied it in this thread about Imagine to create a new type of storytelling gaming.
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