Casual Game Design : Designing Play for the Gamer in ALL of Us book cover
1st Edition

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

ISBN 9780123749536
Published January 26, 2010 by CRC Press
264 Pages

USD $66.95

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Book Description

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:

Table of Contents

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

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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."