The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses

The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses

Anyone can master the fundamentals of game design – no technological expertise is necessary. The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses shows that the same basic principles of psychology that work for board games, card games and athletic games also are the keys to making top-quality videogames. Good game design happens when you view your game from many different perspectives, or lenses. While touring through the unusual territory that is game design, this book gives the reader one hundred of these

List Price: $ 59.95


US $614.26
End Date: Saturday Feb-25-2012 5:46:17 PST
Buy It Now for only: US $614.26
Buy it now | Add to watch list
US $651.64
End Date: Saturday Feb-25-2012 5:47:22 PST
Buy It Now for only: US $651.64
Buy it now | Add to watch list
This entry was posted in Frisby Dual Vibration Pc Computer Laptop Usb 2 0 Game Pad Controller and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses

  1. Ethan Kennerly says:
    70 of 71 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Book of the Year, January 3, 2009
    Ethan Kennerly (Los Angeles, CA USA) –
    This review is from: The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses (Paperback)

    Jesse Schell, game design professor at Carnegie Mellon University, wrote an introductory book that was published in August, titled “The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses.” The back overleaf quotes Will Wright saying, “Easily the most comprehensive, practical book I’ve ever seen on game design.” I will try to briefly state why I agree and offer details to help you decide if this book is for you.

    Each chapter of the book adds a node to a network of relationships between the designer, the game, and the player. Throughout, Schell boxes 100 tips, with questions that induce a novel perspective on the design. He calls these lenses. I applaud the volume of diverse traditions, such as: psychology, storytelling, engineering, business, and management. They are so diverse as to change not only perspective, but also target. “The Lens of the Puzzle” looks at the mechanisms of the game; whereas, “The Lens of the Team” looks at the developers of the game. This is an eclectic approach that distills many abstract tips on what to consider when designing. Some experience and diligence with most of the 100 lenses would almost guarantee the reader is a competent designer.

    Most lenses seemed crystal clear and provoked thoughts. Oftentimes, Schell deploys the wheels that others have invented. Many lenses refer to prior literature, such as Barry Boehm’s spiral model of development (82), Scott Kim’s thoughts on puzzles (209).

    Furthermore, Schell gives us some original gems on the psychology of games that expanded my mind. He touches on the tactile aesthetics of the Rubik’s cube (213), the learning curve of a jigsaw puzzle (215). He has some tips on personal communication that, upon reflection, exposed mistakes I have made, and would be more likely to continue to make had I not read Schell’s advice. For example, in “Coping with Bad Suggestions,” rather than agree or disagree, he advises to “understand why the client is making the suggestion” (417). He gives similarly important advice for playtesting (389).

    Perhaps the inevitable danger of writing a comprehensive book is that one’s own rough facets become apparent when placed side-by-side with one’s brilliance. In a few spots, I would like to see wheels being reused rather than reinvented, such as mathematical graphs (132), epistemics of players (139), military tactics (141), risk and return (181), interface affordances (212), models of human-computer interaction (225), and plotting interest (247). I don’t disagree with what Schell wrote there, but would rather dive deeper by leveraging prior literature (as he did in other lenses).

    The book is well-presented with modest illustrations and easy to read from beginning to end. On an editorial note, although I affirm Schell’s eclectic approach to game design, after reading the book, I wish it were easier to find the information I wanted to refer to. The table of lenses at the front of the book was not enough for me. The lens titles are not always evocative and distinct.

    To summarize:
    * What you will find in this book: informal habits of a professional game designer.
    * What you will not find in this book: details or examples of designs and their implementation.

    Game Developer magazine nominated The Art of Game Design for the Book of the Year. It got my vote.

    Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 

    Was this review helpful to you? Yes

  2. Stephane Bura says:
    31 of 32 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A Book of Paths, October 4, 2008
    Stephane Bura (Charleroi, Belgique) –

    This review is from: The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses (Paperback)

    I’ve been designing games for more than 20 years and I’ve read a ton of books on the subject.
    This one is unique.

    Most game design books focus on teaching you how to make a good game, detailing what techniques and processes one must master to understand an audience, to design a product that will satisfy their needs and aspirations, and to work with a team to produce it. “The Art of Game Design” goes beyond that: It teaches you how to become a better designer.

    Here’s an excerpt from the Deck of Lenses’ instructions (it’s the deck of cards sold separately that illustrates the 100 design “lenses”):

    How to Design a Game
    Step 1: Think of an idea for a game (it’s easy, it can be anything!)
    Step 2: Try it out (no really – try it out – you have to play games to see if they work)
    Step 3: Figure out what’s wrong with it, and change it so it is better. Then go back to Step 2!

    That’s what game designers do, over and over again, until they’re satisfied with the game or they run out of time or money. However, if there are lots of books out there that explain how to increase the quality of whichever aspect of the game you want to change, it’s the first one that so directly and so thoroughly addresses the problem of “figuring out what’s wrong” with a game at each iteration.
    In the book, Jesse Schell presents one hundred ways of looking at your game in order to figure this out, one hundred lenses. Even if this number seems big, it really isn’t, because the book covers every domain touched by design: from the nature of the playing experience itself, to understanding the player, the game mechanisms, interface, story, technology, theme, etc.
    For instance, here’s the sum-up of a lens taken at random:

    Lens #82: The Lens of Inner Contradiction
    A good game cannot contain properties that defeat the game’s very purpose. To remove those contradictory qualities, ask yourself these questions:
    - What is the purpose of my game?
    - What is the purpose of each subsystem of my game?
    - Is there anything at all in my game that contradicts these purposes?
    - If so, how can I change that?

    The book doesn’t give answers but helps you ask the right questions. I think of this book as the Tao of Game Design, a path toward understanding, each step its own path that can be explored and perfected. The one hundred lenses are one hundred design domains in which a designer can become more proficient. Jesse Schell’s knowledge, experience and talent are obvious when he clearly explains how to consider all these questions, why they are important and how they are linked together.
    This book makes and helps me think. To me, that’s the best things a book about design can do.

    Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 

    Was this review helpful to you? Yes

  3. ProducerDev says:
    22 of 22 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    2.3lbs of game design joy, August 11, 2008
    ProducerDev (Pittsburgh, PA USA) –
    This review is from: The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses (Paperback)

    The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses Is an awesome addition to the library of anyone, not just in the game industry, but in the themed entertainment industry as a whole. Chapters are clearly laid out, full of useful and most importantly practical information. Jesse’s many years in the industry are evident as most sections of the book reference examples from his own experience. The tone of the book is easy going and open-minded, Jesse never “preaches” game design theory but rather explores it with you, the reader, and allows you to reach your own conclusions.

    Perhaps the best part of this book is the lenses (which are detailed in the book and can be purchased separately in a handy “deck of cards” format). Particularly after you’ve read the book, these cards become a wonderful distilled version of the book’s main design lenses. These lenses allow you to view your design in 100 different ways, many of which I promise you’ve never would have thought of. This is a very valuable tool kit for any designer.

    Noobs and veterans’ alike will find plenty to discover with in his book. When I have some free time I often find myself cracking the spine and simply picking a chapter at random, I always learn something new when I do.

    Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 

    Was this review helpful to you? Yes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>