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Welcome to a book written to challenge you, improve your brainstorming abilities, and sharpen your game design skills! Challenges for Game Designers: Non-Digital Exercises for Video Game Designers is filled with enjoyable, interesting, and challenging exercises to help you become a better video game designer, whether you are a professional or aspire to be. Each chapter covers a different topic important to game designers, and was taken from actual industry experience. After a brief overview of the topic, there are five challenges that each take less than two hours and allow you to apply the material, explore the topic, and expand your knowledge in that area. Each chapter also includes 10 "non-digital shorts" to further hone your skills. None of the challenges in the book require any programming or a computer, but many of the topics feature challenges that can be made into fully functioning games. The book is useful for professional designers, aspiring designers, and instructors who teach game design courses, and the challenges are great for both practice and homework assignments. The book can be worked through chapter by chapter, or you can skip around and do only the challenges that interest you. As with anything else, making great games takes practice and Challenges for Game Designers provides you with a collection of fun, thoughtprovoking, and of course, challenging activities that will help you hone vital skills and become the best game designer you can be.
Brenda Brathwaite is an award-winning game designer, artist, writer, and creative director with 30 years of experience in the industry. Before founding Loot Drop, Brenda worked for a variety of game companies including Atari, Electronic Arts, Sir-tech Software, and numerous companies in the social games space. She has worked on many Facebook games, including Cloudforest Expedition, Ravenwood Fair, Critter Island, SuperPoke Pets!, SPP Ranch, Garden Life, Rock Riot, and Top Fish. Brenda served on the board of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) and presently chairs the IGDA's Women in Games Special Interest group. Brenda was named Woman of the Year by Charisma+2 Magazine in 2010 and also was a nominee in Microsoft's 2010 Women in Games game design awards. In 2009, her game Train won the coveted Vanguard Award at IndieCade. She was named one of the top 20 most influential women in the game industry by Gamasutra.com in 2008 and one of the 100 most influential women in the game industry by Next Generation magazine in 2007. Nerve magazine also called her one of the 50 artists, actors, authors, activists, and icons who are making the world a more stimulating place.
Ian Schreiber has been in the industry for eight years, first as a programmer and then as a game designer. He has worked on five published game titles, including Playboy: the Mansion and the Nintendo DS version of Marvel Trading Card Game. He has also developed training/simulation games for two Fortune 500 companies. Ian has taught game design and development courses at Ohio University, Columbus State Community College, and Savannah College of Art and Design, and has mentored college students at those and several other universities. Ian is co-author of "Challenges for Game Designers."
Introduction & Welcome; Part I: Building Blocks; Chapter 1: The Basics; Chapter 2: Game Design Atoms; Chapter 3: Puzzle Design; Chapter 4: Converting Digital to Physical; Part II: Chance and Skill; Chapter 5: Elements of Chance; Chapter 6: Elements of "Strategic" Skill; Chapter 7: Elements of "Twitch" Skill; Chapter 8: Chance and Skill: Finding the Balance; Part III: Writing Game Concepts; Chapter 9: What Is Intellectual Property?; Chapter 10: Creating Sequels; Chapter 11: Targeting a Market; Chapter 12: Learning an Unfamiliar Genre; Chapter 13: Designing a Game to Tell a Story; Part IV: Additive and Subtractive Design; Chapter 14: Adding and Subtracting Mechanics; Chapter 15: "But Make It Multiplayer"; Part V: Special Topics; Chapter 16: Creating a User Interface; Chapter 17: Games as Art; Chapter 18: Games as a Teaching Tool; Chapter 19: Serious Games; Chapter 20: Casual Games; Chapter 21: Social Networks and Games;