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Game Design Workshop: Designing, Prototyping, Playtesting Games

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Master the craft of game design so you can create that elusive combination of challenge, competition, and interaction that players seek. This design workshop begins with an examination of the fundamental elements of game design; then puts you to work in prototyping, playtesting, and redesigning your own games with exercises that teach essential design skills. Workshop exercises require no background in programming or artwork, releasing you from the intricacies of electronic game production, so you can develop a working understanding of the essentials of game design.

The ideas and exercises in this Game Design Workshop answer the questions asked by every aspiring game designer: How do I learn to design games? What skills do I need to become a professional game designer? Game design is demystified with a clear, accessible analysis of the formal and dramatic systems of game design. Examples, illustrations, and exercises strengthen your understanding of what makes game systems function; and teach you the skills and tools that you need to create a compelling game.

Refined over a number of years, this workshop curriculum has provided the foundation for hundreds of careers in all areas of the game industry including game design, producing, programming, visual design, quality assurance, and marketing. This guide to the language of the business of game design will help anyone pursuing a career in the industry.

About the Authors

The authors have designed dozens of games for Microsoft, Sony, Sega, Disney, Activision, Acclaim, Spectrum, Holobyte, and others.

Tracy Fullerton and Chris Swain teach game design at the USC School of Cinema-Television.

Steve Hoffman founded game developer Lavamind, where he created simulation hits Gazillionaire and Zapitalism. In addition he was an executive with Sega in Japan, and CEO of developer, Spiderdance.

Collectively, their work has received dozens of honors including Best Family/Board Game from the AIAS, IBC’s Nome D’Or, and PC Computing’s Strategy Game of the Year.

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