Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals

Rules of Play Game Design Fundamentals An impassioned look at games and game design that offers the most ambitious framework for understanding them to date As pop culture games are as important as film or television but game design has ye

  • Title: Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals
  • Author: Katie Salen Eric Zimmerman
  • ISBN: 0000262240459
  • Page: 102
  • Format: Hardcover
  • An impassioned look at games and game design that offers the most ambitious framework for understanding them to date.As pop culture, games are as important as film or television but game design has yet to develop a theoretical framework or critical vocabulary In Rules of Play Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman present a much needed primer for this emerging field They offeAn impassioned look at games and game design that offers the most ambitious framework for understanding them to date.As pop culture, games are as important as film or television but game design has yet to develop a theoretical framework or critical vocabulary In Rules of Play Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman present a much needed primer for this emerging field They offer a unified model for looking at all kinds of games, from board games and sports to computer and video games As active participants in game culture, the authors have written Rules of Play as a catalyst for innovation, filled with new concepts, strategies, and methodologies for creating and understanding games Building an aesthetics of interactive systems, Salen and Zimmerman define core concepts like play, design, and interactivity They look at games through a series of eighteen game design schemas, or conceptual frameworks, including games as systems of emergence and information, as contexts for social play, as a storytelling medium, and as sites of cultural resistance.Written for game scholars, game developers, and interactive designers, Rules of Play is a textbook, reference book, and theoretical guide It is the first comprehensive attempt to establish a solid theoretical framework for the emerging discipline of game design.

    One thought on “Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals”

    1. I did a lot of skimming here. The authors don't begin to understand how video games differ from traditional games or how to talk about them as the remarkably novel creation that they are. As a result, they write almost entirely about traditional games and the video games that closely resemble them. Most of this book could have been written before video games were ever invented, which shows how little they focus on how they are actually unique. If you're interested in video games as sets of limit [...]

    2. The pretentious forward was the opening number in a scattergun approach to the topic that just felt so shallow compared to discussions you might hear on The Forge or Extra Credits or EnWorld or really anywhere that gaming fanatics gather to discuss theory. A dreary dull text that will be of no interest to anyone that would be interested in reading it, written by dreary dull academics that haven't a clue really what they are talking about and know less about game design than the average experienc [...]

    3. This dry, yet thorough, book draws upon research and theory in sundry fields (such as cybernetics, probability, and systems theory) to develop a thorough theory of game design as a field of its own. One thing this book does both repeatedly and well is to describe a fundamental game structure and then suggest a modification of this structure that inspires thoughts of entire games based upon that tweak. For example, after describing the formal properties of poker rules, they suggest that a new gam [...]

    4. It's clear that the authors are extremely well read. The book is jam packed with different conceptual frames in which to place games. But it never really comes together into a coherent book. It feels more like a brain dump (albeit of two huge brains).There were several really strong ideas that I thought could've been books, or units, to themselves. In particular, the idea of games as systems of metacommunication (how we signify what is play and what is not) strikes me as fascinating and rich. Th [...]

    5. An extensive and in-depth study on game design. The basic format is how games fit into different schema and how to design games by thinking about all the different possible ways to look at games. Katie Salen and Aaron Zimmerman use a plethora of games from classic card games to current (at the time this was written) games to illustrate their points. Their are also four games made specifically for this book that are included in the book. Many parts are very interesting, but it can get dry at poin [...]

    6. Was a guinea pig for this book in several grad school classes. I turned out pretty OK!Good intro to basic game design principles and thinkers. You can probably get away with reading chapter summaries, though, if you have any experience with game production, design, or critical thinking in general.

    7. I read the first "unit" and skimmed through the rest of this book. The content is actually good, but the text being set in a small sans-serif typeface makes it hard to read.

    8. Reading this made me realize that I'm mostly interested in game design as a hobbyist. That being said, I think this is probably the most complete textbook available on the subject and is really ahead of its time with the range of topics it covers. My main complaint is that most of the case studies are on really boring games that I doubt most readers have played. It gets pedantic at times, but most writing in academia does.

    9. Some chapters were not well structured; however, the book gave lots of insights about games. Magic circle and lusory attitude were new to me. For a game designer, considering different types of rules in games such as constitutive, operational, and implicit rules are critical in designing a meaningful game. Last but not least, enjoy playing games :)

    10. It is a heavy, extensive and a daunting but good entry point for game design basics. This book dissects game design from the inside out. From the formal, mathematical, logical approach all the way up to the cultural side, and it's quite an eye opening journey.Because of this, the reader must be aware that the book focuses more on breadth than depth, but again, that's good as it's set to be a starting point for game design in general and seeks to help the reader to establish a formal game design [...]

    11. It basically just says that games are systems are and over. Flipping to a random page, here's an example: "It is clear that games are systems and that complexity and emergence affect meaningful play." Basically every sentence is like this, too abstract to mean anything. Absolutely horribly written and unpleasant to read. The authors are pretentious and have nothing actually to say. You WILL get a headache reading this; you WON'T ever be able to apply any of it.It focuses a huge amount on giving [...]

    12. I had to get this through Interlibrary Loan, so I didn't finish it, but at about the half-way mark it was interesting. There's been a lot of talk about games as art recently, and the need for a critical language for them, and I think this is a good start. A lot of the concepts are perhaps over-done, with common sense stuff being spelled out in complex language, which can become tedious after a while. Still, there're a lot of interesting ideas in this book which are just now coming into considera [...]

    13. Rules of Play is an academic textbook about game design. Starting from a framework with three components---the rules (organization of the game), the play (gameplay experience), and the culture (game context)---, Katie Salen introduces a (formidable) theory of game design. Two more topics are part of this textbook: an introduction to games, and an introduction to game design. While I found the theory to be on the dry side, I enjoyed reading about the design processes of five game designers, four [...]

    14. A interesting look at Game Design. Although at times it was a bit dry and long winded, there is some valuable insight provided throughout. The commissioned pieces by Reiner Knizia (Designer extraordinaire), Richard Garfield (Magic the Gathering) and James Ernest (Cheapass Games) were clearly the highlight of the book. In particular, was the Knizia article on the design and development of the Lord of the Rings co-op boardgame. A recommended book for those who are seriously interested in game desi [...]

    15. I finally read this cover to cover as my first experience with it was in my senior undergraduate project where my advisor wanted to talk about the "magic circle" (we were doing a distributed ARG-style educational game) and I basically wrote it off as a bunch of philosophical claptrap. I've come back to it over the years and while I still feel there is a fair amount of useless meandering, I've also found that the things I teach are in here in spades and I could have saved a lot of time by not mak [...]

    16. I read the first two sections (about two-thirds of the book).The amount of thought and research that went into this book on game design amazes me. It is a surprisingly deep but understandable treatise on game theory. The book deals with three aspects of game design - rules (the structure of games), play (players interactions with games), and culture (the interaction between games and culture). Although I only took the time two read the first two sections, based on their content I expect the enti [...]

    17. A valuable set of schemas that will prove useful in designing any type of game. It is abstract, quite universal and of considerable theoretical depth.I like to use this combined with Adams & Rollings' Fundamentals of Game Design, which offers somewhat more practical guidelines that are specified for digital game design. Together they offer a more complete picture.

    18. What a tome! Good to carry as a physical weapon as well as to wield as an implement of knowledge. The bible of game theory, schemas, and animation. So what if I didn't understand 50% of it. I can say I read it, and now I know what a pixel really is.

    19. The book uses many technical words, and is mostly an academic analysis of gameplay and games. While trying to analyse games from a serious perspective, it does not convey the message as effectively as other titles.

    20. Long winded and redundant at times. A little too familiar for something that's pretty close to a textbook. That's me nitpicking though. This book laid out a foundation for all the hunches and intuitions I had about game design and pointed out many that I didn't have.

    21. Has so far been overly technical and wordy. Several of the first chapters are spent explaining what could be surmised in a few paragraphs. Early chapters are basically a history / philosophy lesson on why humans are compelled to play.

    22. I found this book very interesting. It attempts to create a theoretical framework, for designing games. Many popular games are analyzed in the book, and many sections were entertaining as well as enlightening. I'm looking forward to reading the anthology also by these authors.

    23. Zimmerman and Salen do a fine (and playful) job of first defining, then exploring the building blocks of game design. I'd class it with Jesse Schell's book on the same topic. (Unrelated to book, I had a chance to meet Katie Salen in person and she was pleased to know I'd delved into the work.)

    24. It's not often a book comes along that defines an entire category. This book also gives us a vocabulary to speak about games, game theory, and of course, rules, play and culture - and how they intersect.

    25. Want to design or understand some of the underlying aspects of games and their implications? You must read this book.

    26. When / If I design my own board / card game, once it is in a working version, I will read rather than flcik thru this book to truth test it. A textbook on Game Design which seems fairly detailed.

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