1st Edition

Reverse Design Chrono Trigger

By Patrick Holleman Copyright 2019
    100 Pages 100 Color Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    100 Pages 100 Color Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    The Reverse Design series looks at all of the design decisions that went into classic video games. This is the second installment in the Reverse Design series, looking at Chrono Trigger. Written in a readable format, it is broken down into four sections examining some of the most important topics to the game:

    1. Analyzes how the designers use gameplay to preserve and embellish the surprises in the plot
    2. Explains how Chrono Trigger is really two different games: the Tragedy of the Entity and the Comedy of the Sages.
    3. Highlights how the two games differ in terms of tone, linearity, player choice and in the pacing of their content.


    Key Features

  • Comprehensive definitions of key concepts and terms, introducing the reader to the basic knowledge about the study of RPG design
  • Summary of historical context of Chrono Trigger how it came to be, how it influenced other games, and how it manipulated players through expectations they had about the RPG genre
  • Extensive collections of data and data visualizations explaining how Chrono Trigger’s systems work and how the game’s challenges increase in complexity as the player gets deeper into the content

    Chapter 1 Quest One: Save Queen Leene (And Marle)

    Chapter 2 The Comedy of the Sages

    Chapter 3 Strengths and Weaknesses in the Design of Chrono Trigger

    Chapter 4 Patterns of Evolution and Expansion in Chrono Trigger

    Chapter 5 Conclusion


    Patrick Holleman founded The Game Design Forum in 2010 with the specific goal of publishing scholarly articles about videogame design. On that site he originally published the Reverse Design series, which has been used by game designers and students across the world to improve their understanding of their craft. Material from that series has been used in online courses as well as university settings, including the University of Toronto and Cornell. His writing has also appeared in Paste Magazine, Indie Game Magazine and Tutsplus. In addition to his writing, Holleman has worked as a part-time producer and consultant in the game development industry. He lives in Pennsylvania.