The Game Designer's Playlist: Innovative Games Every Game Designer Needs to Play : 9780134873268

The Game Designer's Playlist: Innovative Games Every Game Designer Needs to Play

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Pearson Higher Ed USA
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In The Game Designers Playlist, top game design instructor Zack Hiwiller introduces more than 70 remarkable games, revealing how they work, why they’re great, and how to apply their breakthrough techniques in your own games.

Ranging from Go to Texas Hold’em and Magic: The Gathering to Dishonored 2, Hiwiller teaches indispensable lessons about game decision-making, playability, narrative, mechanics, chance, winning, originality, cheats, and a whole lot more. He gleans powerful insights from virtually every type of game: console, mobile, PC, board, card, and beyond.

Every game is presented in full colour, with a single purpose: to show you what makes it exceptional, so you can create legendary games of your own.

  • Discover how game designers use randomness and luck
  • Make the most of narrative and the narrator’s role
  • Place the game challenge front and centre
  • Optimise game mechanics, and place mechanics in a broader context
  • Uncover deep dynamic play in games with the simplest rules
  • Find better ways to teach players how to play
  • See what games can teach about the process of game design
  • Build games with unusual input/output modalities
  • Explore winning, losing, and game dynamics beyond “one-vs.-all”


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Table of contents
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • About the Author
  • Chapter 1: From Simplicity, The Universe
  • Chapter 2: Randomness and Cholesterol
  • Chapter 3: Pushing One’s Luck
  • Chapter 4: Piecemeal Perspectives
  • Chapter 5: Permanence
  • Chapter 6: Mechanics as Message
  • Chapter 7: Requiem for a Pewter Shoe
  • Chapter 8: The Second Chance Phenomenon
  • Chapter 9: Challenging Complexity
  • Chapter 10: Learning to Walk
  • Chapter 11: Mechanics in Milieu
  • Chapter 12: The Clone Wars
  • Chapter 13: The Discipline of Game Design
  • Chapter 14: Winning and Losing
  • Chapter 15: Inputs and Outputs
  • Chapter 16: Whose Stories?
  • Chapter 17: Cheat Codes
  • Chapter 18: Conclusion and Final Playlist
  • Index
Author biography

Zack Hiwiller is a game designer, educator, and author living in Orlando, Florida. He has been a game designer for large publishers and small, independent developers. He is also a department chair in the game design program at Full Sail University and is the author of Players Making Decisions: Game Design Essentials and the Art of Understanding Your Players (New Riders, 2016).

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