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Designing Games - New from O'Reilly Media

O'Reilly Media, Inc. (O'Reilly Media, Inc.) - 28 February 2013

Designing Games—New from O'Reilly Media

A Guide to Engineering Experiences

Designing Games

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Sebastopol, CA—Ready to give your design skills a real boost? Designing Games helps you explore the design structure behind most of today's hit video games. You'll learn principles and practices for crafting games that generate emotionally charged experiences—a combination of elegant game mechanics, compelling fiction, and pace that fully immerses players.

In clear and approachable prose, design pro Tynan Sylvester also looks at the day-to-day process necessary to keep your project on track, including how to work with a team, and how to avoid creative dead ends. Packed with examples, this book will change your perception of game design.

  • Create game mechanics to trigger a range of emotions and provide a variety of play
  • Explore several options for combining narrative with interactivity
  • Build interactions that let multiplayer gamers get into each other's heads
  • Motivate players through rewards that align with the rest of the game
  • Establish a metaphor vocabulary to help players learn which design aspects are game mechanics
  • Plan, test, and analyze your design through iteration rather than deciding everything up front
  • Learn how your game's market positioning will affect your design

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About the Author

Tynan Sylvester first designed games in 2000. His smallest projects were one-man independent games on which he wrote every line of code and painted every frame of art. His largest was four years on Irrational Games' 110-person development team making BioShock Infinite. He has also written several feature design articles for Gamasutra, the biggest game design website.

Tynan believes that much of what we think of game design grows from the metaphors we use to describe it. He likes to work at finding metaphors that create useful answers instead of deadly assumptions. He also enjoys bacon and prefers Picard to Kirk.

Tynan's game design blog is at He likes talking to people, so go ahead and post a comment or email him at

View Tynan Sylvester's full profile page.

Additional Resources
For more information about the book, including table of contents, author bios, and cover graphic, see:

Designing Games Designing Games
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
By Tynan Sylvester
Print ISBN: 9781449337933   Ebook ISBN: 9781449337926  
Pages: 416
Print Price: $29.99   Ebook Price: $19.99

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About O'Reilly
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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