Jesse Schell

The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses

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    Ильясhas quoted2 years ago
    It is like the relationship between architects and carpenters: an architect does not need to know everything the carpenter knows, but an architect must know everything the carpenter is capable of.
    Stanislav Patskevichhas quoted4 years ago
    Good game design happens when you view your game from as many perspectives as possible. I refer to these perspectives as lenses, because each one is a way of viewing your design.
    Stanislav Patskevichhas quoted4 years ago
    Game design is the act of deciding what a game should be.

    That’s it. On the surface, it sounds too simple.

    “You mean you design a game by just making one decision? ”
    Yeugene Polievhas quoted7 years ago
    hasn’t been mentioned explicitly yet in the other definitions, although the idea of endogenous value does imply it. Much has been made of this boundary at the edge of the game. Johan Huizinga called it “the magic circle, ” and it does indeed have a kind of magical feeling to it. When we are mentally “in the game ” we have very different thoughts, feelings, and values than when we are “out of the game. ” How can games, which are nothing more than sets of rules, have this magical effect on us? To understand, we have to look to the human mind.
    Yeugene Polievhas quoted7 years ago
    Gambling games, at first, seem like a possible exception. Is someone playing craps really trying to solve a problem? Yes. The problem is how to take the right calculated risks and make as much money as possible. Another tricky example is a game where the outcome is completely random, such as the children’s card game of War. In War, the two players each have a stack of playing cards. In unison, they each flip over the top card from their stack to see who has the higher card. The player with the higher card wins the round keeping both cards. In the case of a tie, more cards are flipped, and the winner gets a larger take. Play continues until one player has all the cards.
    How could a game like that possibly involve any problem solving? The outcome is predetermined — the players make no choices, they just gradually reveal who the winner will be. Nonetheless, children play this game just as happily as any other, and draw no special distinction about this game differing somehow from other games. This baffled me for some time, so I took the cultural anthropologist point of view. I played the game with some children and tried hard to remember what it felt like to be a child playing War. And the answer quickly became obvious. For children, it is a problem-solving game. The problem they are trying to solve is “ Can I control fate, and win this game? ”
    Yeugene Polievhas quoted7 years ago
    An example of the Lens of Endogenous Value: The game Bubsy for the SNES and Sega Genesis is a fairly standard platform game. You play a cat who tries to navigate to the end of levels, defeating enemies and avoiding obstacles, and collecting yarn balls for extra points. However, the points serve no purpose other than to measure how many things you have collected. No other in-game reward is given for earning points. Most players gather yarn balls at first, with the expectation that they are valuable, but after playing a short while, they completely ignore them, focusing only on defeating enemies, avoiding obstacles, and getting to the end of the level. Why?
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