mardi 9 octobre 2012

The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell

Being a game designer, what is it ? What do I have to do to do it ? Is there some precise ways, some documents to do, what qualifications do I need ?
Am I a game designer ?

I had a lot of these questions, mostly "how to design games?" in my mind. I'm still sure that I have some ideas, some elements that could make a great game, but how to write them down, how to create them ?

So, I bought Jesse Schell's "The Art of Game Design" (french translation made by Antony Champane, good translation for a computer related book).

So far, I'm only at chapter 6, so I'll talk more about it later.

It's a very interesting book, because it doesn't tells you everything. It forces you to think by yourself. There's no precise way to design games, there are mostly objectives : gamer's experience, objective of the game, the importance of theming...). Jesse Schell helps you think what are the objectives of your game, why and how you should think about it, by using examples, not only in video games, but in movies, painting, music... It treats games (not gaming) as an art.
But most of the time, he isn't right. He isn't wrong either, but, as he states, game design is an art, not a science. So, there are no "right" or "wrong". Everybody has his definition of "fun", "play", "game". Everyone has a different experience while playing a game.
But he helps finding your own definition, and qualities about games. What is a game, what am I creating?

For now, this book helps answer these questions. I hope that, later, It'll be more precise, but if it isn't, it still helped me think about why I am making games, and how.

Another plus side : it's really easy to read.

Should you buy this book ?
Of course not, you choose your ways to design your games. But it helps getting some self-confidence you might be lacking.

3 commentaires:

  1. My friend and I I played your game bastonnade. We love it but can't choose any other levels except 6 the rest have a lock image and won't let's us play them! Please help!

    1. Hi. Glad to hear that some people are enjoying this game, I am about to write a post about the terrible developing this game got.
      About the locked levels : some levels have a secret mission to unlock the next level, and get more exp.
      First forest : destroy every tree.
      First mountain : get the tnt safe to the end of the level.
      The fields : get the sleeping dwarf to the end of the level.
      The goblin village : don't kill the queen when she is about to die.
      The lake : save at least two paddlers.
      The cave : give a Crystal to every mining dwarf.
      The second mountain (this one is terrible): get the snowball as big as you can, and bring it too the end of the level.

      I think that is it, sorry for lack of explanation in game.

  2. Thank you very much! This is the best game on Ouya.