Building Blocks of Tabletop Game Design : An Encyclopedia of Mechanisms book cover
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2nd Edition

Building Blocks of Tabletop Game Design
An Encyclopedia of Mechanisms




  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after March 11, 2022
ISBN 9781032015811
March 11, 2022 Forthcoming by CRC Press
528 Pages 72 Color & 206 B/W Illustrations

 
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Book Description

If games were lands to be explored, they would be far too large for one explorer to master. Building Blocks of Tabletop Game Design is a much-needed atlas for the explorer - giving a framework of what to look for in a game, and a focus for game play that will be useful for understanding the whole. The game scholar will find this invaluable.  

- Richard Garfield, creator of Magic: The Gathering 

People talk about the art of game design or the craft of game design. Engelstein and Shalev hone in on the science of game design with a razor-sharp scalpel. This book will be within arm’s reach as I work on games and I expect it to be consulted often.

- Rob Daviau, creator of Risk: Legacy and Chief Restoration Officer of Restoration Games

The most comprehensive and well-researched encyclopedia of game mechanisms that I’ve seen to date.  

- Matt Leacock, creator of Pandemic:

Building Blocks of Tabletop Game Design: An Encyclopedia of Mechanisms compiles hundreds of game mechanisms, organized by category. Building Blocks can be read cover-to-cover, used as a reference to solve a specific design problem, or for inspiration and research on new designs. This second edition collects even more mechanisms, expands and updates existing entries, and includes color photographs. Building Blocks is a great starting point for new designers, a handy guidebook for the experienced, and an ideal classroom reference.

 

Each Game Mechanisms Entry Contains:

  • The definition of the mechanism
  • An explanatory diagram of the mechanism
  • Discussion of how the mechanism is used in successful games
  • Considerations for implementing the mechanism in new designs

 

Geoffrey Engelstein is a game designer and educator. His designs include the Space Cadets series, The Dragon & Flagon, The Expanse, and Super Skill Pinball. He has published several books on game design, including GameTek: The Math and Science of Gaming, Achievement Relocked and Game Production. He is on the faculty of the NYU Game Center as an adjunct professor for Board Game Design, and has been invited to speak about game design at PAX, GenCon, Metatopia, and the Game Developers Conference.

Isaac Shalev is a game designer, author and educational games consultant. Isaac has designed tabletop titles including Seikatsu, Waddle, and Show & Tile. Isaac runs Sage70, Inc., a data strategy and games-based learning consultancy that serves nonprofit organizations. Isaac lives in Cary, NC with his wife, three children, and a dog.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Game Structure

Chapter 2 Turn Order and Structure

Chapter 3 Actions

Chapter 4Resolution

Chapter 5 Game End and Victory

Chapter 6 Uncertainty

Chapter 7 Economics

Chapter 8 Auctions

Chapter 9 Worker Placement

Chapter 10 Movement

Chapter 11 Area Control

Chapter 12 Set Collection

Chapter 13 Card Mechanisms

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Author(s)

Biography

Geoffrey Engelstein is a game designer and educator. His designs include the Space Cadets series, The Dragon & Flagon, The Expanse, and Super Skill Pinball. He has published several books on game design, including GameTek: The Math and Science of Gaming, Achievement Relocked and Game Production. He is on the faculty of the NYU Game Center as an adjunct professor for Board Game Design, and has been invited to speak about game design at PAX, GenCon, Metatopia, and the Game Developers Conference.

Isaac Shalev is a game designer, author and educational games consultant. Isaac has designed tabletop titles including Seikatsu, Waddle, and Show & Tile. Isaac runs Sage70, Inc., a data strategy and games-based learning consultancy that serves nonprofit organizations. Isaac lives in Cary, NC with his wife, three children, and a dog.

Reviews

The value of this work lies not only in the thoughtful descriptions and discussions of the building blocks themselves, but in the cataloging of example games for each section. So many design problems have been solved before, and this book gives designers a handy overview of those solutions. 

- Elizabeth Hargrave (designer of Wingspan):