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u/Torus-shaped_Donut · 3 pointsr/gamedesign

When you say "2D rpg" we all have a different view on what you might mean. You probably mean numbers in a single player game, but the thing is, the more detail you give, the better. Are there any items? Is the amount of items nearly infinite, do you pick some prefixes, suffixes like in Diablo? Are there classes in your game? Do they have a unique purpose, different play-style? I'll try not to focus on multiplayer, because it's highly improbable that it is in your game. And even if we know nothing about your game.. There are still a lot of useful tricks and rules about balance.


Numerical relationships
Firstly, math, excel, custom tools.
Most things are numbers. The player has 5 health, is that a lot? No idea. Enemies might deal 500 damage, maybe they deal 1 damage. This leads to NUMERICAL RELATIONSHIPS. How does one stat work with others? Make diagrams showing enemy damage vs player health and you'll see how many hits the player can take in a quick succession in some part of your game.
There are a lot of numerical relationships. Linear, Identity, Triangular, Polynomial, Exponential, Logarithmic. Try to figure out what works best. You can see a lot of information scanning through diagrams in the Reverse Design: Diablo 2, make sure to check out the other pages, because I just gave a link to the beginning. Also check out Ian Schreiber's GDC talk A Course About Game Balance.


Expected Values
Use expected values, they are a very powerful balancing tool.
Lets say we have some kind of board game and the players pick cards from one deck of cards.
Player A picks a card:
You gain 2 gold.
Player B picks a card:
If you have at least 2 buildings, gain 3 gold. Otherwise gain 1 gold.
Oh well, Player B didn't have 2 buildings, he got only 1 gold. Did he get a worse card? Maybe yes, maybe no. How do you even treat calculate things like this? Well.. If the players played this game 100000 times in a row, how often would one card be better than the other? Or.. How often does a player have at least 2 buildings? Maybe players have 2 buildings about 70% of the time, which means that on average, in 70% cases that player gets 3 gold and in 30% cases players get 1 gold. Of course, if you pick a SPECIFIC case, you get 3 or 1, but hopefully you get the point.
Expected value of card1:
100% 2 = 2 [gold]
Expected value of vard2:
70% 3 + 30% 1 = 2.4 [gold]*
Hey, maybe card2 isn't that bad after all? It actually is better than card1!
Of course there are many other relationships, maybe gold is only good at the beginning of the game and worthless later, check out how the expected value changes over time, in turn 1, turn 2, or after 10 minutes of play and so on. Maybe on your turn the chance to have 2+ buildings is 0% or only 10%, but it gets higher over time.


Treating everything like numbers
Now that you know expected values, just treat everything like a number! Make sure that all players feel that the game is fair. In single player games, make sure that all characters have same power level. One way to do it is to assign a value to each attribute or ability and make sure that it adds up to the same number for all characters.

Base Value | Health | Damage | MoveSpeed
Low | 1| 2 | 2
Medium | 3 | 3 | 3
High | 4| 5 | 4

Then look at the starting values of your classes and check if they same the same or similar total power.

Class | Health | Damage | MoveSpeed | Total
Warrior | High (4) | Low (2) | Low (2) | 8
Archer | Medium (3) | Medium (3) | Medium (3) | 9
Mage | Low (1) | High (5) | Low (2) | 8

From these made up stats, it looks like the archer is the best character. Does playtesting support this? Maybe I got the table wrong, it needs a lot of iterations to get it right.


You might want to add some randomness (which means probability, which means expected value again). When people win, they will think they are good. When they lose, they can always blame it on bad luck. This is a very powerful feeling that works for a lot of casual players. Hearthstone might be a good example, if not a bit too extreme.


Rock Paper Scissors
You can also use rock-paper-scissors mechanics. Card games have it, strategy games have it. The most common example is archers beat pikeman, pikeman beat cavalry, cavalry beats archers. Just don't make it too obvious or straightforward, just enough to prevent players from going full-on one thing. For example, look at armor and damage types in Warcraft 3, you can't just go and produce the same unit all the time.


Diminishing returns
"is the decrease in the marginal (incremental) output of a production process as the amount of a single factor of production is incrementally increased, while the amounts of all other factors of production stay constant", which in RPGs it can mean that the first 100 points in strength increase your damage by 5 per point, but above 100 strength they only increase it by 3 per point. Sure, the math is usually more complex, just an example. Even Blizzard uses this in Diablo 2 and 3.


Choices and dominant strategies
Giving players a lot of options is generally good, but if goals can be achieved in many ways it can lead to dominant strategies. Even if you give 5 options (you can shoot an enemy, shoot a chandelier to make it drop on enemies, sneak past them, use dialogue to avoid fights) players might pick the "best" one, even if it is boring. This is a kind of a balance problem. Make sure nothing is the best in every case, but make sure the player doesn't have to change weapons every 10 seconds in order to be efficient or to progress.


Proper level of challenge
When you make it too hard, people will get frustrated.
When you make it too easy, people will get bored.
In addition to that, you will have different types of players and they will get better over time. This is one reason why you need to know your target audience, know what your average player will be and how much time are they realistically willing to play your game.


The problem here is that the players will get better over time and you need to keep them challenged. You can have a game with waves, where the game gets harder with every wave, thus increasing difficulty all the time. This leads to a problem of boring early waves, maybe give pro players an option to skip the early parts of your game so they don't get bored and just quit the game. You can have difficulty levels and just let the player pick. It might seem I'm getting off topic here, but "too easy" and "too hard" are balance problems as well and you need to keep that "just right" level all the time.



u/iugameprof · 2 pointsr/gamedesign

I've written about this extensively in my game design textbook (see Chapter 4 in particular). So as not to just make this response a plug for that, here are a few points from it:

  • Games are interactive, meaning that there has to be a loop between the player and the game where each acts in a way to change the other's internal state.
  • If a game (or anything else) is sufficiently attractive, we become psychologically aroused and focused on it. As this arousal continues, our performance increases (see the Yerkes-Dodson curve). If this state of arousal and performance continues, we enter a highly engaged state of "flow."
  • Engagement is a word that's tossed around a lot without defining it. There are good, useful definitions though, such as that being engaged with a task means someone shows a combination of "vigor, dedication, and absorption" such that they are willing to apply energy to it, they stick with it, and they are less distracted by external stimuli than normal.
  • If someone is engaged with a game, they are typically in the process of building a complex mental model of it. The more detailed and accurate this model, the greater the engagement and the longer it lasts.
  • Becoming and staying psychologically engaged has a lot of layers to it: neurochemical, perceptual, short- and long-term cognitive, emotional, social, and cultural. Each of those can form loops between the player and the game, each operating faster than the next. So we're often initially attracted by something perceptual (bright colors, animations, sexual connotations, etc.), but we remain engaged because of cognitive, emotional, and/or social interactive loops that form with the game.
  • If these interactive loops are engaging and induce positive neurochemical rewards (e.g., dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and/or endorphins) or positive emotional states, then we tend to see the experience as fun.
  • Note that many experiences and some games can be highly engaging but not fun. Even math homework can be engaging. Some games (The Grizzled, This War of Mine, Train...) are rarely classified as fun, but are nevertheless highly engaging as described here.

    Okay, that's a lot and it may sound awfully academic. This is the state of game design theory today. We know more than we did a few years ago about how to make games attractive, engaging, and fun... but the actual doing of it is still difficult in the best of times!
u/feteti · 3 pointsr/gamedesign

I have a copy of the cards; they're not super helpful and are pretty massively overpriced imo. The book doesn't handle player psychology in a very rigorous way (and there's only one chapter on it) but I'm probably a lot more picky about that than most people.

I haven't read it yet but Glued to Games looks pretty good coming from authors with a bit more experience in psychology. Their work is on the motivational aspect of game playing: why people play games and how some games satisfy their intrinsic needs better than others. The basic argument is that "fun" or "engagement" are outcomes of need satisfaction.

Other than that though I think there's not much work applying psychology to game design directly. A Theory of Fun is based on pop-psych and (in my opinion) a questionable understanding of cognitive science, but it's a fun read at least.

In terms of blogs this one is although it's mostly focused on phenomena around games (sales, reception, player attitudes) rather than the act of playing itself. This blog reviews recent academic literature in psychology (and a few other fields) related to games.

If you're really interested you'd probably be best served picking up an introductory psych textbook (I like Gleitman's) and picking out the sections that are most relevant to what you're interested in. I could give you more specific topics or books to look into if you have a particular part of player psychology you're interested in.

u/dgeisert · 5 pointsr/gamedesign

You can find a lot of art and music for free, just need to do some checking into the attribution requirements. My favorite site for this is
That plus a Unity3D free ( and you should be ready to go.
Make sure to learn the C# way of doing things for the games, since most of the good plugins will be written in C#
I taught myself the programming aspects of it through youtube, google, and the scripting api.
I've only put out one minor game so far, and got some help on the art, but it wasn't too hard.
The hard part comes in when you want to have servers or interact with other APIs, then you are looking at a longer commitment and much more tweeking, since you have more than one debug point.
Start early on the habit of using state machines ( The first game you make will probably be a lot of spaghetti, but making a few really quickly, then starting over will help you understand a lot more about it.
for design i'd recommend Level Up! ( as it is really good at explaining the why of game design as well as the mechanics.
Lastly, don't be afraid of copying something at first, there is always a game like the one you are making. Put something together that you, and your friends, enjoy then try something a bit more novel next time. You won't make the next great thing on your first try.

u/fandangalo · 2 pointsr/gamedesign

I'd say it's a pretty complex set of conditions that need to be met, ranging from game DNA, the technical scope, cost of the project, and the market viability/RoI (unless you have a grant or are making an art game).

Recently, I've really gotten into Scott Rigby's work because he seems to be on to a testable idea surrounding the DNA, but I also pull from Jesse Schell and others--I just prefer Rigby because he's testing the ideas, not just arguing for them. Using his framework, I can place features into different categories before writing up actual design specs, so before the feature's nuts and bolts even exist, I know where it fits into the machine ("This aids in the competency part", "This aids in the autonomy part", etc.)

The technical scope and cost go roughly hand-in-hand after you've got the DNA and design specs going on, but you can do things in stages. Make a prototype with programmer art, the most essential features, and test it. If that does well, pull from the plan and add more based on cost. Test again, etc. Build up the team as you need. If something isn't playtesting well, figure out if its worth it to double down or scrap. And if you're scrapping something central to the DNA, then figure out if you can replace it with a functionally similar feature or scrap the game.

The market viability and RoI can be more or less important depending on the type of game. If it's something like Jason Rohrer's Gravitation, then your scope and technical cost is smaller, and you might have a grant, so there's less risk to sell. If you're making a F2P mobile game, you're at the exact opposite--business is much more at the forefront and really has to be for a financially successful game. AAA are less extreme vs. F2P, although there's high investment which certainly puts the pressure on, but the business model isn't there as much. An Indie PC, crowd-funded darling focuses much more on the developer/community relations and how the community, when treated as investors, have a voice in development, like any other investors would. So there's complex constraints there too (the public may not understand a decision at first or might disagree with you, do you explain and try to win them over or listen to the sway of the crowd?)

As you mentioned, there's also platform concerns that will change the design. A mobile phone experience is different than a tablet experience. The market's on those platforms react differently to different products. I wouldn't make a game with features that indie PC gamers would love on mobile because the market just isn't there. Likewise, I wouldn't make a console game on mobile phones, because that mistakes what people want out of mobile phone experiences over a long period of time. Other features, like VR, come with huge unknowns because we're just starting to work in that space.

Finally, I would say, "Make something you would like." and "Make something you can sleep with at night." If you want to make something like Smash, do it, but put your own spin, since you can't make Smash (unless you work at Nintendo). If you work in F2P, make something you would like to play, not just something you think will make money. And, paradoxically, realize that sometimes you aren't the consumer (AAA and mobile F2P come to mind), and in those cases, playtest and listen to the people more than your gut.

u/pjsdev · 1 pointr/gamedesign

Okay, here are 4 suggestions about theory. There are plenty more, but these are a few of my favourites.

Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals

  • Chunky theory book and one of my favourites. Also has a companion book of essays

    Characteristics of Games

  • Really nice combination of chapters from various designers (including Richard Garfield of MtG) looking into different aspects of design.

    Game Mechanics: Advanced Game Design

  • All about systems and how resources move through them in games and the affect that has.

    Theory of Fun for Game Design

  • Easy to read, nicely illustrated and conveys a powerful fundamental idea for game design.

    Good luck and happy reading.
u/KarmaAdjuster · 11 pointsr/gamedesign

I'm honestly a little surprised you can't come up with anything of your own.

Some things that really stand out to me are...

  • The visuals are distractingly static.
  • The audio is non-existant (the clearing of your throat is actually a refreshing change of pace from the clicking on the keyboard)
  • It appears to be another flappy bird knock-off that fails to even capture what works well of the original much less improve on it.
  • There's no progression of difficulty, or even really any variation in the challenge of it.
  • There's no apparent objective beyond making the distance counter go higher, but it doesn't even look like your distance is saved.
  • The floating blocks feel completely out of place with the rest of the environment
  • There's a graphical glitch with the ground. It looks like the ground is just one big long piece that you're teleporting to the right side of the screen once you reach it's end.
  • The fail state is pretty jarring, and gives players no time for reflection or rest before throwing the player back into the fire.

    There's a variety of ways you can address these issues, but depending on what you want to do with this game would inform what solution would work best.

    Honestly the game looks like a programming exercise in recreating a primitive flappy bird (which is already pretty primitive), or maybe you're asking the internet to help you with a homework assignment. I would ask yourself some basic questions about what you are trying to achieve with this game? Define a goal or mission statement for your game. Once you have that, you should be able to better steer the direction of your game and provide you with the direction you seem to be seeking here. Also doing some research on what similar games in this genre have done may also prove illuminating for you. By looking at other games in the genre, you may find features in those games that you liked and want to emulate in yours.

    You may also find the following links useful

  • Juice it or lose it - a talk by Martin Jonasson & Petri Purho
  • The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lense
  • Extra Credits Youtube Channel
u/livrem · 4 pointsr/gamedesign

> I don't think you can have quality emergent complexity (depth) without elegance. Elegance is a byproduct of a strong core mechanism, and without that you really have no chance.

Sorry, but that is just euro-gamer-snobbery. Emergent complexity is very strong in over-designed complex games like many oldschool roguelikes (Nethack etc) or Cataclysm: DDA or Dwarf Fortress. Nothing elegant about the designs, but just throwing in that amount of complexity creates an environment where interesting complex stories emerge all the time.

There is at least one equivalent in boardgames I have experience with: Advanced Squad Leader. Hundreds of pages of rules, but thanks to there being rules for everything and lots of different units moving on different terrain fun things happen all the time.

Of course almost any pen-and-paper role-playing game ever would probably be a good examples of this as well. Even when the rules are (unusually) short, the presence of a human game-master means that complexity is limitless.

This is something that comes up a lot in the book Playing at the World: Games where players can "try anything". Of course only real rpgs can really do that, but some roguelikes, computer-rpgs, and ameritrash-games (and a few wargames like ASL) also comes close. Allowing the player to attempt to do anything that would make sense in a situation, rather than restricting them to some small set of "elegant" rules, is a fantastic way to make interesting things emerge.

u/ode_ · 1 pointr/gamedesign

Yep, hit a block recently where I realized I really suck at game design (at least coming up with something that I can actually finish myself).

I can code anything, but actually coming up with a design of a simple game that is fun to play and can be developed by a single person has been hard. So I've backtracked a bit and realize that I have been focusing on learning how to make games so much that I never learned how to design them. So I am doing a lot more research and studying of games to realize what makes them good.

I've found (also has a free android app to go with it, definitely worth the download! to be excellent so far, and all the stuff I thought I knew that I took for granted (like why do we actually play games, what "fun" means or even what a "game" is) are revisited and makes me think a lot deeper when making design choices. Before I would just implement a bunch of features I thought were cool with a vague understanding with how it fits into the game as a whole.

u/gibmelson · 1 pointr/gamedesign

If you want something broader than just writing plot then looking into game design in general might be a good idea - and that of being a creative director. On this subject I recommend the book The Art of Game Design. You can also try find design documents for games you enjoy, maybe get in touch with and interview game designers working on games you like. I don't have any examples to give.

Sounds like you have your own ideas which is great, honestly the best way forward is to just invent your own structure that works for the game you want to create. You're looking for a format that is easy for you to organize and communicate to others. Focus on what you need right now, and the techniques and structure will follow.

u/Invisig0th · 2 pointsr/gamedesign

Your question is based on some flawed assumptions, which makes it hard to answer. Any game programming 101 course will tell you that strict realism makes a terrible game. That's been known since video games were first invented.

Pretty much nothing you've ever seen in a video game is programmed to be "realistic". Take for example jumping. You've never seen a game where jumping was programmed as authentic jumping for a human body, because that kind of movement feels horribly flat and unresponsive in a video game. So instead, game programmers add things like acceleration curves, sticky platform edges, changing direction in mid-air, etc. None of that is realistic in the slightest, but it makes for a much more fun game. Even the most so-called realistic games routinely take this approach, it's pretty much universal. Realism is generally the first thing sacrificed when trying to make a game more enjoyable to play.

So if you are serious about this, I would strongly recommend you read some of the popular books explaining how to design and program a game. They deal with this issue extensively and early. Here's the one I had in mind regarding this particular question. I believe there's a whole chapter on this very issue.

Level Up! The Guide to Great Video Game Design

u/domogrue · 7 pointsr/gamedesign

First, if you want to make music for game, make music! EVERY job in the game industry is hard, including design. No matter where you start you will probably have to get your foot in the door with QA. That's a place where people "learn" where they want to move into, whether that's code, production, design, or art. If I were hiring for an audio member, I'd look at:

  • Are they making music in their spare time?
  • Is it technically well executed? Does this person have the flexibility to work in genres and styles that they may not be comfortable in, but willing to learn and have the technical chops to back that up?
  • Have they done any game jams?
  • Do they understand how music/audio for games is different from music/audio for a movie or just to be listened to?
  • Are they knowledgeable about the industry?
  • Are they professional?

    But back to design. Read, have varied hobbies, and make games.

    A Book of Lenses and Rules of Play are both good sources to start learning "What is Design". Also, for more general design principles, study UX and Graphic Design and get a general idea of what the world means by "Usability" in general. For hobbies, try to pull inspiration from everything; if all you do is play games, all you'll do is make the same thing everyone else is. Finally, make your own games. I used to do a lot of game jams, but nowadays its focused on hacking my DnD games, thinking about board games and tabletop RPG games, and even working on my MTG Cube. Having a side project that's exercising the muscles that make you think about balance, systems, and play experience will keep you sharp and let you know if this is the thing for you or not.

    Finally, understand a designers job isn't to have good ideas, but to execute on ideas and solve problems. Designers are problem solvers: "How do I make a progression based off crafting balanced, fun, and engaging?" "How do I make this F2P game meaningfully monetize while being playable for free players?" "How complicated is the character customization tool, and how do I not make it overwhelming for the players, and how do I make it fit in the technical constraints of our engine?" The faster you get away from "whats a cool idea" to "how do I solve the problems this idea brings", the faster you become a Designer.
u/Zaubershow · 1 pointr/gamedesign

I can give you a link to a nice talk that gives a lot of insights on this topic:

It's not about "how to win" it is "what to think about".

You need a problem space that players understand and that is still complex. Chess with its perfect information is also a good example.

And regarding "what is fun?"

Yeah sure, most of the stuff I'm talking about is the fun that emerges from having a game that proves the players strategic and tactical skills with a system he can learn and improve to interact with. This fulfills two big desires why we play games: Growth and agency.


u/TwinfoxDev · 14 pointsr/gamedesign

There are quite a few good book on this topic, that I would recommend, like Jesse Schell's The Art of Game Design, or Justin Gary's Think like a Game Designer. These books describe the process way better than I ever could, but I'll try anyway.From my personal experience I always start from an idea (hey, wouldn't moving fortresses be awesome?), then I start to think about what exactly fascinates me about that idea. Then I try to capture the awsomeness in game mechanics. From there I create a list of what has to be done to test the mechanics, do that (plus some eye-candy because I'm a visual person) so I have something to test. When I have something to test, I try to analyze what doesn't work and fix that (not in code, but in paper). And start the process again.

So basically once I have an idea, it's this loop of creating/refining mechanics, implementing them, then testing and analyzing them. Then I go back to refining.

If you often suffer from scope creep, there are several methods to battle that. Like setting yourself a deadline, always cutting a mechanic when you add a new one, etc. Don't be afraid to throw something out (it's not lost you can use the idea/mechanic in another project). A game is way better when it knows what it wants to be and throws away everything that doesn't contribute to that core experience (I mean they could add RPG elements to Call Of Duty Campaigns, but they don't because that's not what the game is about).

Also if you don't like your code, that's 100% normal. when you look back at something you've made, you'll always be able to spot something that you would do differently now. That's because you've learned new things since you started . I'm programming for nearly a decade now, and when I look back at code that I've written a few months ago I'm always like "Eww, why would anyone write code like that?". So don't be afraid to make mistakes and don't continuously refactor code. Make something, learn from it and do it better next time.

I hope that helps!


EDIT: spelling

u/Bagimus · 2 pointsr/gamedesign

Having a good art or design teacher can help tremendously, but you can get quite a bit out of those classes even if they are bad. It's not graphic design you necessarily want. I was speaking of design itself. You may laugh but, learning interior decorating is pretty important. Color theory from art courses. Eye travel/focal point theory can really help level design. Lighting & exposure theory from photography(used in rendering). Architecture/engineering(gotta build stuff somehow). Geology(so you can make pretty rocks right/better). Animation techniques(omg do this). Biology, cellular structures and how/why things such as leaves grow the way they do. Statistics(Loot tables, enemy spawn rates, hit rates). Graphic Design(UI & any other sign in a game).

I highly suggest reading books on design. The Design of Everyday Things]( is a freakin manual for making stuff actually functional/look functional.

History can help too. For instance, the horse is basically the reason towns are as far apart as they are. It's the distance a rider on a horse can travel in a day. Its for a personal project by I just used that to decide distances between towns for an RPG setting(table top).

The courses themselves may be a sham, the teacher may suck, heck the book may be garbage too, but they should still help you build a foundation on which you can do more research into the subject. I remember a post about an electrical engineer that went into Dying Light and drunkenly posted about how the power transformers made no sense found the article. Now this is clearly a case of the artists wanting power lines, and just making them "look" like power lines, but with maybe a little research or understanding they could have made it just that much more believable.

You don't necessarily need to do any of this, but you can draw inspiration/knowledge from anywhere.

Sorry for the long post.

Keep at it, and good luck!

u/tchuckss · 1 pointr/gamedesign

If I may add, don't just make overly simple games or clones. Those are fine to get you in the mindset of designing games, and learning some basic dev skills; but they don't add anything to your portfolio imo.

One thing that is interesting is designing board and card games. Those games are all about designing systems that work well with each other and play well. If you can design a decent one, it speaks a lot about your capabilities as a designer. I highly recommend Challenges for Game Designers for that purpose.

Good luck!

u/DarQraven · 15 pointsr/gamedesign

One thing you can do to keep these things under control is to purposely limit yourself in your design. Almost any CCG in existence has some sort of underlying design principles that guide what a card can and cannot be, or what a certain faction in the game can and cannot do or be good/bad at. How strong the average creature is, versus how strong the average weapon will be. How many turns you want the game to last, what expected deck size would be and how many cards you want to draw on average per turn.

The magic color pie is an example of one such limitation. Certain colors are good at certain things and not so good at other things. In addition there are the general playstyles that Magic's core design enables such as control, aggro, etc.
There is also some base level balancing for monster cards: a monster of a given strength will typically cost X mana, whereas a monster with a lot of utility will not typically also have high attack.

When you have these core rules in place, it becomes a lot easier to design new cards and get their initial stats right. When a new monster's attack is 3 higher than the average, you already know that it's gonna have to be expensive or have some other significant drawback. You'll already know not to give abilities that are typical of green cards to a new red card unless you have a good reason to do so.

For any given game, what these limitations and guidelines are is going to be radically different, so I can't help you much there. Generally though, you want a decent level of theoretical balancing on these core systems before you even begin to think about designing any detailed cards. Getting into the details before you know how and if your core systems work is a great way to waste a ton of time. Most of all, you need to have a goal for the card you are designing. What is is intended to achieve in the game? What strategies do you want it to enable or counter? From there, and with good core systems, the card will partly design and balance itself.


As for "pre-balancing", there are a couple tools available.

  • Mathematics and modeling. For a given game system, it is usually possible to model it in some way that can predict how it will work. Often these models relate only to an isolated part of the game. For instance, it is possible to model how the amount of lands available to a player in Magic will increase over a game. It is possible to model how economies in a game like Starcraft will generally work. It is possible to model how deck-cycling cards will affect the player's economy. Etc. If you are interested in this kind of model, this is a great starting point.
  • Try to design your game based on the choices you want your players to make. The general flow of the game and the phases you want it to go through. The kind of experiences you want to offer. Create your core mechanics from there. Don't get into "cool ideas" for specific cards, units or maps before you have this absolutely nailed.
  • Lots and lots and lots of playtesting. For every card that you design, someone will find a use that you didn't intend or think of. Sometimes it doesn't lead anywhere, other times it breaks the game. Make sure you have some idea of where dangerous areas in your design space are. Varying between 3cost/2attack monsters and 4cost/3attack monsters isn't gonna break the game. Adding an ability that allows you to re-play another very powerful event might. Be careful with the second and take steps to focus your playtesting effort on the second kind of problem.
  • Analytics, if you have the option. Gather tons of data on what people are playing, how they're playing it and how it's working out for them. If possible, start doing this long before you ever release anything. Something might feel broken or imbalanced to you but be perfectly fine on average. Or vice versa. Only data can really show what's going on on a larger scale.
u/Rexutu · 27 pointsr/gamedesign

I recommend Tynan Sylvester's book "Designing Games" (you can get a 7-day free trial of the e-book on Amazon). A lot of people will recommend A Book of Lenses by Jesse Schell but I personally felt it lacked substance. For the more philosophical aspects of the craft, here are some talks that I think are valuable 1 2 3
4 5 (hopefully ordered in a somewhat logical progression).

Another thing -- find out what kind of games you want to make, find out who makes that kind of game (a few examples: Jonathan Blow for puzzle games, Raph Koster and Project Horseshoe for MMOs, Tom Francis for whatever the fuck he makes, etc. -- and "kind" does not necessarily mean genres), and study what those people have to say, figuring out what you agree with and disagree with. Standing on others' shoulders is the easiest way to get good and the best path toward making games of true quality.

u/dwapook · 1 pointr/gamedesign

aye.. storne gave a pretty good answer.. o.o;

Also, there's this awesome book called Challenges for Game Designers and it breaks up the various aspects of game design pretty much exactly like this.. They all seem pretty essential to me..

World Design
: Backstory

  • Setting
  • Theme

    System Design
    : Rules and underlying mathematical patterns

    Content Design
    : Characters
  • Items
  • Puzzles
  • Missions

    Game Writing
    : Dialog
  • Text
  • Story

    Level Design
    : Layout of maps
  • Placement of Objects and Challenges within maps

    : How player interacts with the game
  • How players receive feedback and information

    I really recommend reading that book sometime if you're interested in getting creative with game design rules..
u/KenFlorentino · 2 pointsr/gamedesign

Ah yes... the positive feedback loop. There are many ways to address this. First a book recommendation:

The section on feedback loops (both positive and negative) is worth it by itself.

So for our game, we have a similar challenge. It is a mini-RTS where you get resources and those resources allow you to use mechanics that can give you an advantage which can aid you in getting more resources and so forth. Additionally, we have fighters that are produced. Resources can help make more fighters, or by taking additional planets (the sources of both fighters and resources) you can create more. Hopefully this make sense.

To ensure the game doesn't have win-switch runaway leader situation, we've added a number of negative feedback loops. For example, after a battle on a planet, the player who loses the planet (and who will also end up losing the fighter/resource production) gets a "rebate" in the form of some "fighter that escaped" and "resources they took with them".

This slows down the runaway leader situation and widens what we call "the valley of struggle".

Another way we manage this is having powerful mechanics that can, if timed well, disrupt the runaway leader. One mechanic we have is "doomsday". If the aggressor sends many fighters to a planet, the defender can activate a "doomsday" on the planet which will eat lots and lots of fighters, closing the gap between the loser and the winner. By using price and cooldowns, we limit this from being abused by the leader while still allowing well timed usage by the loser to reduce the gap. We have several mechanics like this.

The final mechanism that has had the most effect is cooldowns for mechanics. This ensures that even if the leader gets a fighter/resource advantage, they can't abuse any of the mechanics to widen their gap too fast. In fact, because the cooldown can be long, it requires being very picky about when to use some of the mechanics otherwise you could leave yourself defenseless.

There are other tricks we've used such as diminishing returns on production (thanks /u/waterlimon!) so that as the leader accumulates more planets, he gets diminishing returns on the fighters/resources produced on each planet.

Finally, lots and lots of playtesting between me and the artist testing game length, tipping points. We have a replay mechanism that allows us to view all the stats of the game and the "balance of power" as we call it, an algorithm that lets us determine who is winning at any given point. We watch that balance to see if we are seeing the type of game we want... with lots of tension, some back and forth, and hopefully around the 5-10 minute mark, the tipping point is reached by one side or the other.

Hope that helps!

u/testudoaubreii · 7 pointsr/gamedesign

You want to be a game designer, right? As opposed to a game programmer? They're very different.

And just to get this said up front, playing a lot of video games does not necessarily make you game designer material. Playing and designing are two entirely different things.

Okay, that said, here are some of the things you need:

  • basic programming
  • perceptual, cognitive, and social psychology
  • basic statistics
  • calculus and linear algebra are a really good idea too
  • anthropology
  • theater and/or film studies
  • creative and technical writing
  • public speaking
  • at least one drawing/art class
  • a game design class (or minor, or major) if you can get it

    Oh, and watch this video for anything I might have missed.

    Then read this paper to give yourself an idea of some of the depth involved in game design. Check out some of the better game design books too (Art of Game Design, Game Design Workshop and others).

    Finally, go make a game. Don't wait. Copy someone else's game if you have to while you're learning the ropes, but then make your own game. Make a small, crappy game. Then make it better. If it's any good, then make it bigger -- but not until then.

    And then, get ready to either be a starving indie, or to get a job in QA, or if you're really lucky, to get a job as a very junior designer. Then you're off to the races.

    Good luck!
u/adrixshadow · 2 pointsr/gamedesign

You basically have no game design education and have absolutely no idea on anything.

Luckily for you I have collected some resources that is the distilled essence of game design that makes a complete noob to pro game designer.

Read/watch this:

Bookmark this:

Subscribe to this:

and this:

Troll and read all the articles from this:

Good books on game design I recommend:

Now my personal advice as a indie game designer.


You have to specialize on one domain where you devour any information available.
Her are some domains I know about that you can take on as an indie on a budget.

CRPGs: Info on:

JRPG: Look also at japanese hentai rpgs because they are some game design jewels there, RPG Maker community

Action Games and platformers : Understand game feel and juice/impact, somewhat saturated indie scene

Puzzles and board games: Do not buy into f2p as it kills your creativity

Roguelikes and survival: Saturated indie scene

Narrative: Visual Novel style games and adventure games, great if you have a good writer and artist, some overlap with JRPGs,
VN community: ,

Server Multiplayer: Games like space station 13

A forum where you can find information on games of the above types:

Do not do 3D, without a astronomical budget you won't get far.

Congratulations! Now you are better game designer then 90% of inde developers!

u/mflux · 8 pointsr/gamedesign

The citybound guy has been putting out daily blog posts of his city sim game programming. Wildly ambitious:

Not directly city game design but I highly recommend Rimworld creator's book Designing Games: Engineering Experiences for game design. I've emailed him a few times and he's very responsive and forthcoming with his wisdom.

I'm designing a city game myself right now. My theory on these games is that while they are experience engines in the sense that, for example, Sim City triggers your emotions with poverty, wealth, crime, health -- SC tends to be more like gardening: you plant seeds, water them, and see what comes out and much of the enjoyment of playing the game comes from that.

As far as programming goes, I went with a custom entity component system and am using an off the shelf engine (Unreal) to avoid the hard work of optimizing drawing tons of stuff (and lights) on screen.

u/Kenark · 3 pointsr/gamedesign

I highly recommend Designing Games: A Guide to Engineering Experiences.

It's a hard to describe book but it's worth a read. For one, he defines a video game as a series of mechanics to interact with one another to create an experience. Something unique to our medium. Storytelling through mechanics interacting with one another and creating a fiction within your own head.

The game he's creating right now, Rimworld, applies that concept and simulates a living breathing colony with pawns that have likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. They have jobs they want to do, will do it if they have to or certain jobs they won't do at all. You set a list of priorities for your colony and let things play out with no (practical) way of controlling individual pawns directly.

They also simulate relationships within the game and the pawns will remember interactions with one another. They will dislike one another if they're insulted and they'll break if a loved one dies. They'll visit the graves of people who died years/seasons ago.

All these mechanics interact with each other to create a story in your head that's different with every colony you start. That kind of storytelling is unique to our medium, he says. So that's how I can best describe the first half of the book.

The second half of the book is more about the iterative process of creating the game itself. Creating iterative loops where you add in features, polish and then loop again until release. It's a more complex half to describe shortly but just as important as the design process itself.

u/IggyZuk · 11 pointsr/gamedesign

The Aesthetic of Play:

Play takes place in the mind of the player. The book offers heuristics for analyzing the playfulness of a game. This allows you to create intrinsically engaging games – playful games.

Advanced Game Design: A Systems Approach:

Games are essentially systems – parts that interact with each other in complex ways that generate interesting gameplay. You will learn to observe systems, and start to see them everywhere. You will also learn to create them, harnessing complexity and emergence.

Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques:

Not a game design book, but it greatly improved my ability to think creatively, come up with non-obvious solutions, and alter my daily life mindset towards ordinary things. Which is relevant to designing games.

u/chuan_l · 1 pointr/gamedesign

"Formal Abstract Design Tools"
Doug Church [ Gamasutra article 1999 ]
This is kind of like ground -zero for thinking on
games, language and discussion of aesthetics.

"Rules of Play : A Game Design Reader"
Eric Zimmerman, Katie Salen [ MIT Press 2003 ]
The accompanying reader volume is also great and
collates historical, cultural perspectives including
Huizinga | Callois.

"MDA : A Formal Approach to Game Design"
Robin Hunicke, Marc LeBlanc, Robert Zubek [ 2004 ]
A clear and lucid framework for analysis of game
design, and how different aspects work together.

"Influences Talk"
Raph Koster [ Project Horseshoe 2006 ]
Personally got a lot more from this than his
"Theory of Fun", kind of pertinent given recent
popularity of "Flappy Bird" ha -ha.

"Game Feel : A Designer's Guide to Virtual Sensation"
Steve Swink [ Morgan Kaufman 2008 ]
Really great in -depth look at interaction design.
A must read for all gameplay programmers.

u/ya3ya6 · 2 pointsr/gamedesign

actually i tried about 5 engines , and construct 2 is easiest and fastest one.
and there is some tutorials on card game also:

actually it's better to design and prototype card games in paper and cards, even if it's too fancy, you can make a simplified version with cards.

i read some chapteres of this book and it was amazing, read it if you had time.

good luck :D

u/leaves_of_three · 1 pointr/gamedesign

My favorite game design book: A lot of what follows can be found in there.

Unity is what I use when making and prototyping games but that's only because that's what I happened to learn to use first and I have a decent programming background. You're probably better off with Game Maker or something else just starting out.

There are several approaches to conceptualizing and making games but my approach involves using a list of game mechanics and combining them to see if something interesting pops into my mind. Here's the nicely formatted Board Game Geek website list: and my own personal sloppy list with extra mechanics, my thoughts on them, as well as misspellings galore! A lot of the ideas are board game specific but they can all be applied to video games if you consider them in an abstract sense.

Any game idea I come up with I then subject to a validation test to make sure it's actually something that's a game an not just an interesting idea. I ask myself, does this game include:

  • Challenge
  • Decision-making
  • An action that the player takes
  • Purpose that the player takes that action
  • Ultimate Goal

    If the idea has those properties then it can probably be made into a game.

    More important than any of that, though, is to start simple in concept and small in content. No one's a game designer, developer, or maker until they actually make a game.
u/wizardU2032 · 4 pointsr/gamedesign

The best book by someone who's been commercially successful is Designing Games, by Tynan Sylvester of Rimworld:

It is the best at actually applying all of the navelgazing people tend to do when talking about game design and art and theory and so forth towards actually creating compelling structures and content for games.

u/Chowderman · 2 pointsr/gamedesign

I agree with others that you should just start trying to make games, even if they're clones of other games to get you started. Stay small. Smaller than you think you can handle even. Don't make your first game your massive 100 hour JRPG epic.


A great book is A Theory of Fun, also. Good luck! And don't get discouraged when it gets tough!

u/enalios · 2 pointsr/gamedesign

If you want to be a game designer, just first accept that you're training for a marathon not a sprint.

Start with small exercises, not a full game just, like, quick sketches of game mechanics or ideas.

Do lots of tutorials, like "how to make a shmup in [whatever game engine]" and then when you finish the tutorial just add one or two things to make it your own, then move on to another tutorial.

After a few of those, start participating in 48 hour game jams.

There's a site I participated in for a bit called 1 Game a Month in which the idea was simply to finish one game a month. Not a masterpiece every month, just something finished every month.

It really is worth it to invest time in learning how to actually finish a project as opposed to always thinking about finishing it.

I recommend reading the following short articles:

The Chemistry of Game Design

Understanding Challenge

And I recommend the following books, not necessarily to read cover to cover but to read until the content doesn't seem to interest you, then just kinda skip around to the interesting bits:

Challenges for Game Designers by Brenda Braithwaite

The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell

And finally I recommend reading this book from cover to cover:

A Theory of Fun by Raph Koster

u/againey · 11 pointsr/gamedesign

That sounds like a "kitchen sink" way of development. Keep adding features whenever the play testers sense a gap. It'll never end.

I'd contend that the healthier process would be to have a very clear concept of what the game is about at its core. With NMS, a plausible core could be "exploration". Then, whenever there is a perceived gap, the first question is if filling that gap will contribute strongly to the core. If not (or sometimes even if so), then ask a second question: What is causing the feeling of there being a missing feature? Is it possible to actually cut the feature that leads to the wish for the missing feature? Trim the fat, leave only the leanest meat clinging to the bones, so to speak.

I'm pulling pretty heavily from Jesse Schell's The Art of Game Design, in particular "The Lens of Unification":

> To use this lens, consider the reason behind it all. Ask yourself these questions:

> What is my theme?
Am I using every means possible to reinforce that theme?

u/RaphKoster · 7 pointsr/gamedesign

"A Theory of Fun" is literally based on my readings in psychology and cog sci, including a dose of evo psych. Bear in mind many of the claims of evo psych aren't really well validated or are overblown (but the same is true for most of psych these days!).

You might also like the Scott Rigby book based on SDT:

Scott has several articles out there for free, and some presentations as well.

Game designer Jason VandenBerghe has been doing presentations for years on applying the OCEAN model of personality to game mechanics and game system preferences. Google for his name or The DarkLorde.

Nicole Lazzaro is another source of psych-based stuff.

u/cislunar · 1 pointr/gamedesign

Yeah, I saw that in your post.

Now that I read it again, perhaps you could try you hand at writing? There's lots of copy and story required for games nowadays and someone has to write them.

If your heart is set on design and you want to break into the industry, getting a minor in game design isn't going to help you; It's the work you'll be doing for the classes, in the form of a portfolio, that will help the most.

So, on that note, here's a very good starting place for an academic look at game design:

Tracy Fullerton wrote the book and she's had a strong hand in directing the industry via her USC alumni (e.g. thatgamecompany). Follow the lessons and you'll pick up a good understanding of how to approach game design.

I feel like I should also state that game design isn't like math or programming where you can insert XYZ component and have it work. Game design is art, aesthetic, math, psychology, design, organization, writing. You can learn and memorize methodologies for development but they don't guarantee anything. When educational institutions offer to teach you game design... caveat emptor.

u/tyrrexx · 6 pointsr/gamedesign

Don't let it stop you! You can do it by yourself in your freetime, here's some stuff to get you started.

I'd recommend learning either Unity or Gamemaker or something for actually making the game.

Unity2D Tutorial:

Unity2D Playlist:

Unity3D Channel:

Gamemaker Studio Playlist:

Extra Credits, show on game design and game industry:

As for books, I really recommend checking out The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lens by Jesse Schell. He does a good job at explaining the basics of game design and game mechanics.

Look into Trello for management software.

u/OldSchoolIsh · 2 pointsr/gamedesign

Have you read Characteristics of Games Design by George Skaff Alias, Richard Gardfield, K. Robert Gutschera and Peter Whitley ?

If not it is well worth a read, it covers similar topics and fairly clearly too :

In particular it has covers the difference between, Toys, Puzzles and Games really well and concisely.

Good work on the videos, I've been enjoying them so far.

u/__o0__ · 3 pointsr/gamedesign

When I first commented I did not notice you had written a book on this topic.

In my experience people who ask for feedback after having created something are 9 time out of 10 looking for validation and/or compliments.

Sorry, no compliments or validation here. As a game designer I cannot see how your system of forms matures the game development industry. I feel this idea is severely lack in substance and applicability. The theory as a whole, is based upon definitions which are confusing, easily misinterpreted, and grossly under-explained.

There is nothing present in this system of forms that isn't already explained elsewhere but more elegantly. Jesse Schell concretely demonstrated that these things should not be categorized, in his book The Art of Game Design where he explores the differences between toys, puzzles and games.

Your new definition of a GAME as Decisions is eeriliy similar to Sid Meiyer's own more elegant definition as "games are meaningful choices".

There is nothing seminal here.

u/maltezefalkon · 10 pointsr/gamedesign

The best high-level advice I've found on how to make a game comes from Magic: The Gathering's head designer, Mark Rosewater, called "10 Things Every Game Needs":

On the more practical side, you might want to look at Brenda Brathwaite's Challenges for Game Designers:

And in terms of local resources, Toronto is somewhat famous for its board game cafes, especially "Snakes and Lattes". You can try out all different kinds of games there:

Hope that helps!

u/morrison539 · 3 pointsr/gamedesign

Nice rundown. Here are some other books I would recommend OP check out:

u/kyuubikid213 · 7 pointsr/gamedesign

I don't have any games under my belt just yet (working on one for class with a group), but Level Up!: The Guide to Great Video Game Design by Scott Rogers was a solid read.

The guy worked on God of War and the Maximo series among other 3D games, so that'd probably be helpful for you.

u/LtKije · 3 pointsr/gamedesign

I wholeheartedly recommend Introduction to Game Design, Prototyping, and Development by Jeremy Gibson.

It's a really hands-on book and focuses a lot on the iterative cycle of design -> prototype -> test -> redesign.

It also gives a really good intro to Unity development so you can get stuff moving right away.

Disclaimer: I was Jeremy's TA for several years while he taught at USC, so I'm a little biased. But I saw him take students with no design or programming experience at all and - over the course of a semester - get them to create some pretty compelling games.

u/BenSS · 1 pointr/gamedesign

Work through the exercises in "Challenges for Game Designers" - Both of the books you referenced have a lot of theory and exploration, but CfGD has plenty of actionable exercises. There is a ton of value in prototyping and exploring the space non-digitally, even if you're more focused on making digital games.

u/jlapegna · 3 pointsr/gamedesign

Run through the exercises in this book: They are all non-digital games, but that's they best way to start to understand how to design games. Each chapter goes over some key concepts and then presents challenges that enforce them.

u/MrsWarboys · 2 pointsr/gamedesign

I don't see Game Mechanics: Advanced Game Design get enough credit around anywhere;

If you've ever played with Machinations, you'll know how cool it can be. This book goes into really deep mechanics that you can actually play with.

It's a bit dry, but it's the most comprehensive mapping of actual game systems I've come across

u/SandorHQ · 1 pointr/gamedesign

Level Up!: The Guide to Great Video Game Design by Scott Rogers
Tons of good, thought provoking content. Explains the most common roles in the game industry, then goes into detail about probably all the aspects of designing games. Also has useful sample documents (e.g. how to design maps, how to pitch your game) and various lists (e.g. enemies, level themes).
Has a Kindle version too and content can be inspected on Amazon.

u/dancthesexyduck · 1 pointr/gamedesign

Most of these boil down to:

Resource loops: This view looks at the internal economy of a game. See Joris Dorman's Machinations and Game Mechanics: Advanced Game Design.

Interaction loops: This view looks at learning processes that occurs between via the interaction of the player with the game. Chris Crawford (Art of Interactive Design), Raph Koster (Theory of Fun), Steve Swink (Game Feel) and my work reference these processes. For a brief overview see Loops and Arcs.

Once you've got a good grasp on those, you can start building almost any interactive 'loop' structure you desire. It is the difference between A) slavishly copying an existing bridge design and wondering why one end sinks into the water and B) studying mechanical engineering. And then building a bridge.

u/MaxPlay · 1 pointr/gamedesign

Game Design has nothing to do with programming. Familiarize yourself with the different roles in development and you will find books for the right topics. r/gamedesign is nice on its own. Depending on your use of technology, you might want to look into the corresponding subs aswell.

Good reads on game design are Level Up! and The Art of Game Design.

u/Jnotay · 1 pointr/gamedesign

"Glued to Games" was recommended at the last GDC I attended (2014). Amazon Link. It's still on my list of books to read though. Also, as mentioned in another post, "The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses" is a great read.

u/keith-burgun · 2 pointsr/gamedesign

I wrote a couple. Check out Clockwork Game Design, which lays out a specific vision for ideal game design, or Game Design Theory: A New Philosophy for Understanding Games for a more broad look at games.

u/RodeoMonkey · 3 pointsr/gamedesign

I recommend Designing Games: A Guide to Engineering Experiences 1st Edition by Tynan Sylvester. He worked on Bioshock, and is the creator of Rimworld. It has a good balance of theory and practical focus.

u/JabawaJackson · 1 pointr/gamedesign

I actually got this one for one of my classes and was surprised by how much I enjoyed reading it. I even finished it before my classes started.

u/JRhapsodus · 1 pointr/gamedesign


I would also recommend a book called Designing Games, A guide to engineering experiences by Tynan Sylvester:

u/swivelmaster · 1 pointr/gamedesign

A much faster read, with pictures, but will give you a good framework for thinking about design.

u/HealPlzDev · 7 pointsr/gamedesign

I really enjoyed Designing Games: A Guide to Engineering Experiences by Tynan Sylvester. (The dude behind Rimworld.)

He gives you a lot to think about without ever coming off as pretentious or preachy.

u/Broxxar · 2 pointsr/gamedesign

There's more than likely a happy medium here. Does floaty feel too floaty and inhibit the players ability to aim? Do tight controls feel to rigid and break the feeling of being a spaceship in free-flight?

You just need to nail down the feel. Flying should feel like flying but also still give the player all the control they need.

u/SebastianSolidwork · 1 pointr/gamedesign

Its hard for me to grasp what you are looking for. I'm even not sure if even you are (in extend of Frasca).

I have worked on a improved differentitation: Ludonarrative Synthesis

Additionally i prefer the differentitation (on the ludo side) into the four interactive forms. Paidi matches to toy.

Simulation is to me anything that tries to be realistic as it can be. Which is mostly boring. An interessting system or narravtion is never realistic.

About boredomness i recommend Raph Kosters Theory of fun.

Most words i used here, are meant in a very specific way. Not in colloquial language.

u/Seto_svk · 1 pointr/gamedesign

If you want be game designer, it's your job to come up with such systems and it's fun doing so... Tutorials and books can help you, but sometimes you must do thinking... And general design rules apply.... For instance

u/Wh0_The_Fuck_Cares · 2 pointsr/gamedesign

A lot of people have already talked about going to university for computer science, design, etc... but make sure you're also reading (The Art of Game Design), watching video series (Brackeys), and try participating in clubs or local meetup groups to get to know the industry and get your name out there.

u/brentknowles · 1 pointr/gamedesign

For an examination of game design at its core, I'd recommend The Rules of Play

I would offer caution about going "too big" on your first outing. Pick your tool to build your first game (or even just mod an existing game) and try to create something small.

And if you just want to prototype rapidly, I was using Scratch for a while before I got up to speed on Unity ( even though I hate visual scripting languages...

u/stdev17 · 1 pointr/gamedesign

    Game Feel by Steve Swink gives a ground-breaking insight to game design. Since video game is all about delivering immersive sensory stimulation to the player, this book teaches you how to give these in a technical, organized way instead of error and trial.

    I also love the Lense book and Level UP book, so you can check out these first.
u/TheMartyr5 · 1 pointr/gamedesign

Definitely will do, geometry wars 3 should be on the Xbox store soon I think, and I currently have this book just haven't read it yet Although I'm against using unity because I like coding the entire low level engine up to high level stuff I will give it a try and Also get the books you recommend.

u/partybusiness · 1 pointr/gamedesign

Like, if you read this book, Game Mechanics:

It does primarily look at games through that lens of resources. I think there's a limit to that lens, and it works better for some genres than others. But it does come up a lot.

If a game has a shop and loot from monsters, someone had to decide what the prices in the shop are, someone had to decide how much loot you get from what monster. And less obvious, but how much damage should a certain sword do, how much health should a monster have, etc.

u/VBlinds · 2 pointsr/gamedesign

This is the book that describes these concepts. I literally ordered this book a few days ago.

u/andersgamedev · 1 pointr/gamedesign

Brenda Braithwaite (Romero) wrote an entire book on this.

Challenges for Game Designers

u/peterpunk99 · 2 pointsr/gamedesign

To the classics by Schell and Koster I would add one that goes from game design to working prototypes (and one could argue that prototypes are constitutive parts of game design):
Introduction to Game Design, Prototyping, and Development: From Concept to Playable Game with Unity and C#