Characteristics of Games

ISBN-10: 026201713X

ISBN-13: 9780262017138

Edition: 2012

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Description: Characteristics of Games offers a new way to understand games: by focusing on certain traits--including number of players, rules, degrees of luck and skill needed, and reward/effort ratio--and using these characteristics as basic points of comparison and analysis. These issues are often discussed by game players and designers but seldom written about in any formal way. This book fills that gap. By emphasizing these player-centric basic concepts, the book provides a framework for game analysis from the viewpoint of a game designer. The book shows what all genres of games--board games, card games, computer games, and sports--have to teach each other. Today's game designers may find solutions to design problems when they look at classic games that have evolved over years of playing. Characteristics of Games--written by three of the most prominent game designers working today--will serve as an essential reference for game designers and game players curious about the inner workings of games. It includes exercises (which can also serve as the basis for discussions) and examples chosen from a wide variety of games. There are occasional mathematical digressions, but these can be skipped with no loss of continuity. Appendixes offer supplementary material, including a brief survey of the two main branches of mathematical game theory and a descriptive listing of each game referred to in the text.

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Book details

List price: $49.00
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 8/24/2012
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 336
Size: 7.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.716
Language: English

Richard Garfield, mathematics professor and game designer, is the creator of many card games, including Magic: The Gathering, as well as the board game RoboRally.

Eric Zimmerman is a game designer, game design theorist, and co-founder and CEO of gameLab. He has taught at universities including MIT, the University of Texas, Parsons School of Design, New York University, Rhode Island School of Design, and the School of Visual Arts.

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Basics
Characteristic: Length of Playtime
Characteristic: Number of Players
Characteristic: Heuristics
Multiplayer Games
Characteristic: Player Elimination
Characteristic: Interactivity
Characteristic: Politics
Characteristic: Kingmaking
Characteristic: Teamwork
Infrastructure
Characteristic: Rules
Characteristic: Standards
Characteristic: Outcomes
Characteristic: Ending Conditions
Characteristic: Positional Asymmetry
Characteristic: Sensory Feedback
Games as Systems
Characteristic: Abstract Subgames and Essential Games-
Characteristic: Snowball and Catch-Up
Characteristic: Complexity Tree Growth and Game Arc
Characteristic: Game Balance and Strategic Collapse
Indeterminacy
Characteristic: Randomness
Characteristic: Luck and Skill
Characteristic: Hidden Information
Player Effort
Characteristic: Costs
Characteristic: Rewards
Characteristic: Downtime
Characteristic: Busywork
Characteristic: Reward/Effort Ratio
Superstructure
Characteristic: Metagame
Characteristic: Conceit/Motif
Characteristic: Spectation
Characteristic: Game Customization
Characteristic: Misbehavior
Characteristic: Play Lifetime
Appendixes
Von Neumann Came Theory
Combinatorial Game Theory
List of Games
Bibliography
Index
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