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Best Books on Game Design

Recommendations from 18 articles, Pavel Durov, Dan, Raoul Pal and 7 others.
Best Books on Game Design
35 books on the list
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The Art of Game Design book cover
The Art of Game Design
A Book of Lenses, Third Edition
Jesse Schell - 2008-08-04
Goodreads Rating
This book proposes that the most important skill for a game designer is listening. The five kinds of listening are the backbone of all successful game design methods, which fall into three categories: understanding the psychology of gameplay and entertainment, using techniques from traditional disciplines, and processes for inventing new experiences. With case studies and excerpts from a wide variety of sources, this book provides detailed, practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again.
Recommended by
Ryan Hoover
Game Design Workshop book cover
Game Design Workshop
A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games, Fourth Edition
Tracy Fullerton - 2008-02-08
Goodreads Rating
Learn how to create compelling and engaging digital games with Game Design Workshop, Fourth Edition. Tracy Fullerton provides a non-technical, exercise-driven approach to game design, with examples of popular games and refined exercises to strengthen your understanding of game systems. Fullerton covers everything from game theory to how to land a job in the industry, making this book the perfect guide for beginner- to intermediate-level game designers. This updated new edition is extremely relevant, useful and inspiring to all kinds of game designers, and provides the foundation for a career in game design, producing, programming, and visual design.
Game Feel book cover
Game Feel
Steve Swink - 2008-10-01
Goodreads Rating
Discover the hidden language of game design with Game Feel. Learn how designers create the meta-sensation of involvement with a game and how to affect it. This book covers the role of sound, the importance of metaphor, and how people perceive things, among other topics. With a playset available on the website, you’ll be able to experience each sensation described in the book and apply it to your own projects like creating game feel without programming. A must-read for game designers and anyone interested in understanding the intricacies of game design.
Theory of Fun for Game Design book cover
Theory of Fun for Game Design
Raph Koster - 2014-01-01 (first published in 2004)
Goodreads Rating
Discover the secrets of designing games that are truly fun and engaging with this classic book, now in its 10th anniversary edition and updated with full-color illustrations. Theory of Fun for Game Design explores the multidimensional landscape of game design, covering topics like computer science, environmental design, and storytelling. Whether you're a professional game developer or a young gamer, this book provides insightful and inspiring guidance on how to create games that strike the perfect balance between challenge and reward, order and chaos, and more. You'll learn why certain games are enjoyable while others are boring, and how to ensure your games offer a fun and memorable experience for all players.
Recommended by
Andrew Chen
Level Up! book cover
Level Up!
The Guide to Great Video Game Design
Scott Rogers - 2010-07-06
Goodreads Rating
Design and build cutting-edge video games with expert Scott Rogers! This book covers the entire video game creation process, including developing marketable ideas, understanding what gamers want, working with player actions, and more. It also shares techniques for creating non-human characters and using the camera as a character. Rogers's wit and imaginative style make this book approachable for designers at all levels of expertise and experience. Get ready to put your game face on and start creating memorable, creative, and unique video games!
Rules of Play book cover
Rules of Play
Game Design Fundamentals (The MIT Press)
Katie Salen Tekinbas - 2003-09-25
Goodreads Rating
Explore the core concepts of play, design, and interactivity in the world of gaming with this groundbreaking textbook. Rules of Play offers 18 conceptual frameworks for game design, covering topics such as information systems, cultural storytelling, and ideology. Perfect for scholars, developers, and designers alike, this book is the ultimate guide for anyone interested in the theoretical framework behind game creation.
Fundamentals of Game Design 3/e book cover
Fundamentals of Game Design 3/e
Ernest Adams - 2006-09-01
Goodreads Rating
Printed in Asia - Carries Same Contents as of US edition - Opt Expedited Shipping for 3 to 4 day delivery -...
Blood, Sweat, and Pixels book cover
Blood, Sweat, and Pixels
The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made
Jason Schreier - 2017-09-05
Goodreads Rating
Step behind the scenes and delve into the harrowing world of video game development with this captivating account. Highlighting the artistic and technical challenges, marketplace pressures, and near-impossible schedules faced by teams of underdogs and solo geniuses alike, Blood, Sweat, and Pixels explores the creation of some of the biggest hits in recent gaming history. From Dragon Age: Inquisition and Stardew Valley to Destiny, this journey through development hell is a testament to the incredible dedication and perseverance of those who strive to create the ultimate gaming experience.
Recommended by
Aaron Greenberg
Characteristics of Games book cover
Characteristics of Games
Goodreads Rating
Discover a new way to understand games with "Characteristics of Games." This book focuses on essential traits, including number of players, rules, and degrees of luck and skill needed. Authoritative and informative, this text fills the gap between game players and game designers. It includes exercises and examples from various game genres and serves as an essential reference for anyone curious about the inner workings of games.
Recommended by
Preston Pysh
Game Engine Architecture book cover
Game Engine Architecture
Jason Gregory - 2009-06-15
Goodreads Rating
"Game Engine Architecture" is a comprehensive guide to the theory and practice of game engine software development. This updated second edition covers major components of a typical commercial game engine, including low-level foundation systems, rendering engines, collision systems, physics simulations, audio, character animation, and AI programming. It includes information on new topics such as C++11 and the architecture of eighth-generation gaming consoles. This book is an essential tool for anyone interested in game engine software development.
Game Mechanics by Ernest Adams
Think Like a Game Designer by Justin Gary
Challenges for Game Designers by Brenda Brathwaite
The Gamification of Learning and Instruction by Karl M. Kapp
How Games Move Us by Katherine Isbister
Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Game Programming Patterns by Robert Nystrom
The Ultimate History of Video Games by Steven L. Kent
Designing Games by Tynan Sylvester
Game Over by David Sheff
Real-Time Rendering by Tomas Akenine-Möller
Foundations of Game Engine Development, Volume 1 by Eric Lengyel
Kobold Guide to Board Game Design by Mike Selinker
Programming Game AI by Example by Mat Buckland
Agile Game Development with SCRUM by Clinton Keith Keith
Challenges for Games Designers by Brenda L Brathwaite
Game Design Vocabulary, A by Anna Anthropy
Reality Is Broken by Jane Mcgonigal
Eurogames by Stewart Woods
100 Principles of Game Design by Despain
An Introduction to Game Studies by Frans Mayra
Introduction to Game Design, Prototyping, and Development by Jeremy Gibson Bond
The Game Inventor's Guidebook by Brian Tinsman
Game Design by Lewis Pulsipher