1st Edition

Casual Game Design Designing Play for the Gamer in ALL of Us

By Gregory Trefry Copyright 2010
    264 Pages
    by CRC Press

    264 Pages
    by CRC Press

    From Windows Solitaire to Bejeweled to Wii Tennis, casual games have radically changed the landscape of games. By simplifying gameplay and providing quick but intense blasts of engaging play, casual games have drawn in huge new audiences of players. To entertain and engage the casual player, game designers must learn to think about what makes casual games work, from game mechanics to narrative content. Through the close examination of a number of casual games, you will learn how to inject the necessary game design elements into your casual games and give your designs the complexity and strategy they need to hook gamers. You will learn:

    It Started in Solitude
    The Next Swing in Casual Gaming
    Casual Queens versus Genre Kings
    Why Now?
    The Game Mechanic at Work
    The Role of the Game Designer
    The Responsibilities of the Game Designer
    Becoming a Game Designer
    Play Is the Thing
    The Liminal Moment
    The Rush to Complexity
    The Push toward Simplicity
    Patterns of Play
    Tapping Play for Games
    Defining Games
    Bejeweled : The Casual Ideal
    LEGO Fever and Luxor : The Necessity of Constraints
    Snood : Matching as Means to an End
    Klondike Solitaire vs. Spider Solitaire : More Choices, More Complexity
    Drop 7 : Foiled by Randomness
    Wurdle vs. Bookworm : The Replacements
    Jojo ’s Fashion Show : Sorting the World Through Play
    Mystery Case Files: Huntsville : Simple Seek-and-Find
    Azada : Introducing Logic to Seeking
    Diner Dash : Spinning Plates
    Cake Mania : Managing and Matching
    Managing Attention
    Natural Feedback
    Scaling with Skill
    Whac -A-Mole : 30 Seconds of Primal Pleasure
    Wii Tennis : The Swing Is the Thing
    Diner Dash : Pushing Your Luck
    Tetris and Crayon Physics : Two Approaches to Building
    Creative Construction
    Bouncing , Tossing, Rolling and Stacking
    Bow Man 2 : Experimentation and Repetition
    Paper Toss: Simple Choices with Unclear Outcomes
    Jenga : The Inherent Drama of Gravity
    World of Goo: From Toy to Game
    Peggle : Balancing Mystery and Legibility
    Apples to Apples : Reading People, Not the Game
    Rock Band : Becoming a Band
    What to Wear : Tapping the Wisdom of Crowds


    Greg Trefry designs games large and small, from offline games to video games. Greg is a Senior Game Designer at the New York-based studio Gamelab, where he leads design on the Gamestar Mechanic, a large web-based multiplayer game and the popular Jojo's Fashion Show franchise of casual downloadable games.Greg serves as the director of Come Out & Play, an annual festival of big games that brings together designers from around the world to turn New York City into a playground for an entire weekend. Greg also designs and produces big games, from low-tech events like CounterSquirt to large promotional Alternate Reality Games like Case of the Coveted Bottle.In addition to designing games, Greg teaches and writes about games. He has taught classes on subjects ranging from game design to interactive fiction and alternate reality games at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program and Parsons the New School for Design. He has spoken at conferences around the world about games. His writings about games have been published in Adobe Think Tank, Notes on Game Dev and PopMatters. Greg combines practical experience in game design with a background in teaching and theory. As both a professor and the director of the Come Out & Play Festival, Greg works with dozens game designers each year as they move from ideas to fully implemented games. In working with designers he brings a game designer's insight and a teacher's desire to help others produce their best possible work. This has given him a front-row view to what works and what doesn't in casual play and games.

    "Gregory Trefry defines the attributes for casual games in his book "Casual Game Design" as follows:

    - Rules and goals must be clear.

    - Players need to be able to quickly reach proficiency.

    - Casual game play adapts to a player's life and schedule.

    - Game concepts borrow familiar content and themes from life.

    I believe he has made a good approach in trying to define common aspects in casual games."--Gamasutra.com