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About A Theory Of Fun For Game Design Pdf Download
A Theory of Fun for Game Design is not your typical how-to book. It features a novel way of teaching interactive designers how to create and improve their designs to incorporate the highest degree of fun. As the book shows, designing for fun is all about making interactive products like games highly entertaining, engaging, and addictive. The book’s unique approach of providing a highly visual storyboard approach combined with a narrative on the art and practice of designing for fun is sure to be a hit with game and interactive designers.
At first glance A Theory of Fun for Game Design is a book that will truly inspire and challenge game designers to think in new ways; however, its universal message will influence designers from all walks of life. This book captures the real essence of what drives us to seek out products and experiences that are truly fun and entertaining. The author masterfully presents his engaging theory by showing readers how many designs are lacking because they are predictable and not engaging enough. He then explains how great designers use different types of elements in new ways to make designs more fun and compelling. Anyone who is interested in design will enjoy how the book works on two levels–as a quick inspiration guide to game design, or as an informative discussion that details the insightful thinking from a great mind in the game industry.
Excellent start for someone who has no idea even where to start when it comes to game design. The style in witch this book is written is quite casual and it doesn’t go too much into details (as I said, good for absolute beginners).
I found this book very inspiring and deep, especially the parts where the author tries to connect games and arts and fun. Some parts of the book are abstract and a little bit hard to grasp as the book includes many metaphors. Nevertheless, many paragraphs still give me goosebumps as they are so true and profound. The author has many strong arguments and also very has high ideals when it comes to game designing. A game is designed not only for entertainment, but also for educating and helping players overcome their weaknesses. He has inspired hopes in readers that one day, games will be no longer considered meaningless and trivial, but will join literature, music, dance and theatre as a form of “the arts”.
My favourite quotes include:
1. Contrasting games and stories: “Games are good at objectification. Stories are good at empathy. Games are external – they are about people’s actions. Stories (good ones, anyway) are internal – they are about people’s emotions and thoughts.”
2. How players prefer to wander in their comfort zone: “Look at the games that offer the absolute greatest freedom possible within the scope of a game setting. In role-playing games there are few rules. The emphasis is on collaborative storytelling. You can construct your character any way you want, use any background, and take on any challenge you like. And yet, people choose the same characters to play, over and over.* I’ve got a friend who has played the big burly silent type in literally dozens of games over the decade I have known him. Never once has he been a vivacious small girl”- Players tend to choose the games they’re already good at, will they one day go out of their zones to play the game concentrating on enhancing the skills they lack? If they do, they’ll improve many skills and become a more rounded person.
3. People like to master and learn things in a safe and non-pressure environment, which is game: “That’s what games are, in the end. Teachers. Fun is just another word for learning.”
4. Brain needs stuffs (stories, information) to process all the time- notice how your mind never stops thinking and wandering from one place to another; however, it does not prefer challenging and complicated stuffs; it prefers familiar patterns: “Based on my reading, the human brain is mostly a voracious consumer of patterns, a soft pudgy gray Pac-Man of concepts. Games are just exceptionally tasty patterns to eat up.”
5. And finally: “We often discuss the desire for games to be art- for them to be puzzles with more than one right answer, puzzles that lend themselves to interpretation.” To become arts, a game must be thought-provoking, revelatory, forcing us to reexamine assumptions, forgiving and encouraging misinterpretation. What’s left behind after you finish playing a game? Will the puzzle already stops bugging you once the boss’s dead and the princess’s in your arms?
If I ever teach a class on video games this will be the first book I add to the syllabus. A must-read for gamers, casual gamers and designers of interactive digital environments. More importantly, I think this book is a must-read for parents and teachers. Koster does a great job of explaining what it is about games that eat up so many hours of our kids’ and students’ lives.
It’s an incredibly insightful book, and genuinely useful for people trying to create games. Having said that, its basic premise is that all satisfying play is learning and I just don’t buy that. The logic seems very flawed to me in this area. It seems to me quite plausible that play or certain kinds of games can be seen as highjacking the satisfaction that you would ideally be getting from an actual accomplishment in real-life, diverting your mastery and craft and intellectual stretching from things that would advance you or create some value into diversion. I’m not saying that is a bad thing—not everything in life is about productivity—but it isn’t something Raph is prepared to engage with at all. Essentially, amid all the great insight, there is a nervousness and a defensiveness about the value of games. I think that’s unnecessary and a shame, and it’s the reason I wouldn’t give it five stars.
While many reviews call it simplistic, it’s clear that Koster has spent a lot of time thinking about the topic—there are many references to be followed and explored, and I’ve lifted a couple of thoughts from the book that speak to me personally.
Yes, you probably can’t use it as a step-by-step guide to make your game fun, but that is outside the book’s goals.
My only peeve is that footnotes take up a whole quarter of the book (and they’re all at the end) and you have to constantly flip back and forth while reading.
An original, and provocative yet persuasive analysis of what “fun” is, and how all “fun” involves “learning”, and “learning” involves “pattern identification”. I have thought this for years, especially upon seeing how obsessed about improving gamers can often be, to the point of spending money on an arcade game they can’t really afford – it’s because they’re after the rush that *mastery*, i.e. learning, brings them. What we need to do now is figure out how to motivate learners in a similar way in schools, with apps, and by other means. Recommended.
introduction into games and into computer games. Why games exist, how they are developed in terms of design – the underlying theory. The book is not tactics but about the underlying theory of games: why some games have high retention and others are not. Why some games are boring and others are not.
About A Theory Of Fun For Game Design Author
Raph Koster is a veteran game designer who has been professionally credited in almost every area of the game industry. He’s been the lead designer and director of massive titles such as Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies; and he’s contributed writing, art, soundtrack music, and programming to many more titles ranging from Facebook games to single-player titles for handheld consoles.
Koster is widely recognized as one of the world’s top thinkers about game design, and is an in-demand speaker at conferences all over the world. In 2012, he was named an Online Game Legend at the Game Developers Conference Online.