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Game Mechanics: Advanced Game Design


This in-depth resource teaches you to craft mechanics that generate challenging, enjoyable, and well-balanced gameplay. You’ll discover at what stages to prototype, test, and implement mechanics in games and learn how to visualize and simulate game mechanics in order to design better games. Along the way, you’ll practice what you’ve learned with hands-on lessons. A free downloadable simulation tool developed by Joris Dormans is also available in order to follow along with exercises in the book in an easy-to-use graphical environment.

In Game Mechanics: Advanced Game Design, you’ll learn how to:

  • Design and balance game mechanics to create emergent gameplay before you write a single line of code.
  • Visualize the internal economy so that you can immediately see what goes on in a complex game.
  • Use novel prototyping techniques that let you simulate games and collect vast quantities of gameplay data on the first day of development.
  • Apply design patterns for game mechanics—from a library in this book—to improve your game designs.
  • Explore the delicate balance between game mechanics and level design to create compelling, long-lasting game experiences.
  • Replace fixed, scripted events in your game with dynamic progression systems to give your players a new experience every time they play.

“I’ve been waiting for a book like this for ten years: packed with game design goodness that tackles the science without undermining the art.”
–Richard Bartle, University of Essex, co-author of the first MMORPG

“Game Mechanics: Advanced Game Design by Joris Dormans & Ernest Adams formalizes game grammar quite well. Not sure I need to write a next book now!”
— Raph Koster, author of A Theory of Fun for Game Design.

Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Designing Game Mechanics
Chapter 2. Emergence and Progression
Chapter 3. Complex Systems and the Structure of Emergence
Chapter 4. Internal Economy
Chapter 5. Machinations
Chapter 6. Common Mechanisms
Chapter 7. Design Patterns
Chapter 8. Simulating and Balancing Games
Chapter 9. Building Economies
Chapter 10. Integrating Level Design and Mechanics
Chapter 11. Progression Mechanisms
Chapter 12. Meaningful Mechanics

Appendix A. Machinations Quick Reference
Appendix B. Design Pattern Library
Appendix C. Getting Started with Machinations

Book Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: New Rider (June 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321820274
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321820273
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