Creating Games offers a comprehensive overview of the technology, content, and mechanics of game design. It emphasizes the broad view of a games team and teaches you enough about your teammates' areas so that you can work effectively with them. The authors have included many worksheets and exercises to help get your small indie team off the ground.
- Exercises at the end of each chapter combine comprehension tests with problems that help the reader interact with the material
- Worksheet exercises provide creative activities to help project teams generate new ideas and then structure them in a modified version of the format of a game industry design document
- Pointers to the best resources for digging deeper into each specialized area of game development
- Website with worksheets, figures from the book, and teacher materials including study guides, lecture presentations, syllabi, supplemental exercises, and assessment materials
Table of Contents
Minigame Design Exercise
The Process of Development and Theory of Design
What Is a Game?
Levels of Abstraction
Emergence and Progression
Design as Theory
How Hard Can It Be?
Critique and Proposal
The Design Document
User Interface Storyboards
Tags and Dialogue
Schedule and Related Elements
Asset Management Tools
Runtime Technology for Video Games
Choice and Probability
Statistics and Probability
Generating Random Numbers
Cards and Dice
Case Study: Settlers of Catan
The Role of Randomness
What Players Value
Optimizing for Real People
Techniques for the First Move
Reward Cycles and Minigames
Creating a World
Motivations for Setting
Characters and Plot
3D Art Roles
Graphics Processor (GPU)
Newton’s Laws of Motion for a Particle
Solving Equations of Motion
Rigid Body Dynamics
Collision Detection, Response, and Friction
Constraints and Articulated Bodies
Articulated Kinematics and Motion Control
Particle Systems and Natural Phenomena
An Extended Analogy
Network Address Translation (NAT)
Synchronization and Topology
Optical Character Recognition
Inertial-Based Input and Global Positioning
Light and Positional Guns
What Is AI?
How Smart Does My AI Really Need to Be?
Embodied Autonomous Agents
Decision Making: Reaction and Deliberation
Ratings and Content
Industry Quality of Life
Real and Virtual Economies
A. Minigame Worksheet
B. Overview Worksheet
C. Technology Plan Worksheet
D. Budget Worksheet
E. Schedule Worksheet
F. The Games Canon
Morgan McGuire is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Williams College, where he teaches computer graphics and games. He is also a games industry consultant with credits including Titan Quest (2006), ROBLOX (2005), Zen of Sudoku (2007), and a yet-unannounced Activision title. He received his Ph.D in Computer Science from Brown University.
Odest Chadwicke Jenkins is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Brown University. In 2007, Jenkins received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and Young Investigator funding from the Office of Naval Research. He received his Ph.D in Computer Science from the University of Southern California.
Williams College Professor Morgan McGuire takes his games very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that he has written a book about it. ... While teaching his game design class, McGuire couldn't find a book that covered this, so he called up his colleague Professor Chad Jenkins at Brown, and they co-wrote the book to help other people design games. It combines scientific theories about rule systems with more practical advice about the process of designing a game.
-- L452The Berkshire Eagle , November 2008
Apply Game Design as a Science for Public Policy to Rescue Economy, Planet: They are all subject to analysis as games: scenarios where intelligent agents (players) seek to maximize their payoff (win) under a set of rules. Although some seem like fun and others like work, an understanding of each instance informs the others, and insights for any improve how we both work and play.
-- Morgan McGuire, Infinite Connection, April 2009
The writing is friendly and just casual enough that the authors' personalities come through. The book is engaging, clear, and well focused. The text combines a general survey of each topic with occasional asides offering specific and well-chosen detail. This combination gives the book a sense of confident authority. . . .This ambitious, wide-ranging book succeeds in giving its readers a broad overview of many topics that contribute to contemporary video game design. For someone who has never worked in the field, this book will give a general understanding of how a game is designed, the working of a modern studio, the roles of different departments and the people in them, the tools they use, and the technical issues that are important to them. The exercises at the end of each chapter enhance the book's value as a course textbook.
With its wealth of information on many subjects important to game design, the book would serve well as an introductory text for a student considering a career as a game designer.
-- Andrew Glassner, SIAM, January 2010