ISBN-10:
026201713X
ISBN-13:
9780262017138
Pub. Date:
08/24/2012
Publisher:
MIT Press
Characteristics of Games

Characteristics of Games

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262017138
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 08/24/2012
Series: The MIT Press
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 514,393
Product dimensions: 7.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Skaff Elias is Vice President of Three Donkeys LLC, a game design, development, and consulting company.

Richard Garfield, mathematics professor and game designer, is the creator of many card games, including Magic: The Gathering, as well as the board game RoboRally.

K. Robert Gutschera is Lead Designer at Secret Identity Studios.

Eric Zimmerman is a game designer, game design theorist, and co-founder and CEO of gameLab. He has taught at universities including MIT, the University of Texas, Parsons School of Design, New York University, Rhode Island School of Design, and the School of Visual Arts.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xvii

Introduction 1

1 Basics 11

1.1 Characteristic: Length of Playtime 11

1.2 Characteristic: Number of Players 21

1.3 Characteristic: Heuristics 29

2 Multiplayer Games 37

2.1 Characteristic: Player Elimination 38

2.2 Characteristic: Interactivity 44

2.3 Characteristic: Politics 48

2.4 Characteristic: Kingmaking 56

2.5 Characteristic: Teamwork 61

3 Infrastructure 71

3.1 Characteristic: Rules 71

3.2 Characteristic: Standards 76

3.3 Characteristic: Outcomes 82

3.4 Characteristic: Ending Conditions 86

3.5 Characteristic: Positional Asymmetry 92

3.6 Characteristic: Sensory Feedback 96

4 Games as Systems 101

4.1 Characteristic: Abstract Subgames and Essential Games- 101

4.2 Characteristic: Snowball and Catch-Up 106

4.3 Characteristic: Complexity Tree Growth and Game Arc 120

4.4 Characteristic: Game Balance and Strategic Collapse 129

5 Indeterminacy 137

5.1 Characteristic: Randomness 137

5.2 Characteristic: Luck and Skill 150

5.3 Characteristic: Hidden Information 161

6 Player Effort 167

6.1 Characteristic: Costs 167

6.2 Characteristic: Rewards 174

6.3 Characteristic: Downtime 178

6.4 Characteristic: Busywork 183

6.5 Characteristic: Reward/Effort Ratio 189

7 Superstructure 203

7.1 Characteristic: Metagame 203

7.2 Characteristic: Conceit/Motif 212

7.3 Characteristic: Spectation 220

7.4 Characteristic: Game Customization 226

7.5 Characteristic: Misbehavior 231

7.6 Characteristic: Play Lifetime 238

8 Appendixes 245

Appendix A Von Neumann Came Theory 245

Appendix B Combinatorial Game Theory 255

Appendix C List of Games 271

Bibliography 301

Index 305

What People are Saying About This

Raphael "Raph" Koster

This book is a key step forward in the effort to develop game design from art to craft and thence to science.

Jesse Schell

Characteristics of Games is a meaningful contribution to the literature of games. It presents a system and dozens of examples of how to break out and analyze game mechanics. This book is an excellent step towards a fuller understanding of how and why games work.

Walker M. White

Characteristics of Games is great fun to read, but thorough and rigorous enough to use as a classroom textbook. If you want to understand the social and mathematical dynamics of multiplayer games, this book is a must have.

Endorsement

Characteristics of Games is a meaningful contribution to the literature of games. It presents a system and dozens of examples of how to break out and analyze game mechanics. This book is an excellent step towards a fuller understanding of how and why games work.

Jesse Schell, Carnegie Mellon University; CEO, Schell Games

From the Publisher

"This book is a key step forward in the effort to develop game design from art to craft and thence to science."—Raphael "Raph" Koster, Vice President of Creative Design, Playdom/Disney Interactive

" Characteristics of Games is great fun to read,but thorough and rigorous enough to use as a classroom textbook. If you want to understand the social and mathematical dynamics of multiplayer games, this book is a must have."—Walker M. White, Director, Game Design Initiative at Cornell, Cornell University

" Characteristics of Games is a meaningful contribution to the literature of games. It presents a system and dozens of examples of how to break out and analyze game mechanics. This book is an excellent step towards a fuller understanding of how and why games work."—Jesse Schell, Carnegie Mellon University; CEO, Schell Games

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