Building Blocks of Tabletop Game Design: An Encyclopedia of Mechanisms compiles hundreds of different mechanisms, organized by category. Each has a description of how it works, discussion of its pros and cons, how it can be implemented, and examples of specific games that use it. Building Blocks can be read cover to cover, used as a reference when looking for inspiration for a new design, help solving a specific problem, or assist in getting unstuck in the midst of a project. This book, the first to collect mechanisms like this in the tabletop game design field, aims to be a practical guide that will be a great starting point for beginning designers, a handy guidebook for the experienced, and an ideal classroom textbook.
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
Introduction. Game Structure. Turn Order and Structure. Actions. Victory and Endgame. Auctions. Conflict Resolution. Worker Placement. Set Collection. Area Control. Movement. Economics. Uncertainty. Card Mechanics. Dice Mechanics. Physical and Dexterity. Narrative. Conclusion. Index.