Review: “Designing Games” By Tynan Sylvester, O’Reilly Media
GAME DESIGN isn’t in code, art, or sound. It’s not in sculpting game pieces or painting game boards. Game design means crafting the rules that make those pieces come alive.
In Designing Games Tynan Sylvester presents all those pieces step by step.
Designing Games consists of three parts: Engines of Experience, Game Crafting and Process. In Engines of Experience author covers emotions, things which trigger them and how to construct experiences. In the second part many aspects of game crafting are covered such as: elagance, game balance, narrative, motivation, and many more. It gave me better understanding of some techniques used in games I played (e.g. balanced units in StarCraft II and its influnce on different strategies). Last part is about the process. Author explain why underplanning and overplanning is harmful, how bigger are dependent and how organize whole process to work better. There is also chapter about motivation: intrinsic & extrinsic rewards and how they affect on quality of work.
Tynan Sylvester wrote the great book. He included many tips, personal experiences, insights which make the book even more valuable. I started reading Designing Games and immediately I got absorbed into this book. It is clearly written, well explained, uses real games as examples. Designing Games is more universal than it seems — there are many tips/advices which can be applied in general software development, working in groups (mostly third part).
I can really recommend that book.
Product page: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920026624.do