DW: Prerequisites
Friday, October 10, 2008 at 10:03PM
Richard Terrell (KirbyKid)

As of 2/8/2012 I am no longer updating this page. Please see this page Game Design 101 for the most up-to-date information. The links on this page are mostly broken.

 

Before you start designing your own games, mods, or levels, it is important that you have a firm understanding of the game design basics. This includes understanding the heart of the video game medium, mechanics, interplay, variation, and counterpoint. On top of this, it wouldn't hurt to become familiar with the critical theories I've developed.

So if you're looking for an entry point into the level of discourse within the Critical-Gaming Network, a place to start developing your critical-eye, or seeking a crash course in game design then here is where you start.


First of all, if you can get your hands on a copy of the book Half-Real by Jesper Juul, read it cover to cover. This book jump started my journey into developing Critical-Gaming. The foundation and language Half-Real builds is indispensable. After reading the book, make your way through these articles.

 

Game Design: 101

Mechanics

Introduction

Interplay

Variation

Counterpoint

I also recommend taking the final exam for the Mario Melodies series.

 

 

Game Design: 202

Counterpoint continued

 

Interplay 2

Variation 2

Level Design

 

Game Design 303

Dynamics & Misc. Theory

Dynamics (Time & Decay) 

Dynamics (2D/3D Space)

Misc. Design & Theory

  1. Organic and Inorganic Design
  2. Taking CHARGE
  3. Difficulty Design: A Difficult Endeavour
  4. Interplay....Gunplay
  5. Tension: Threats & Timers
  6. Video Game Climaxes
  7. Inward Innovation
  8. Mulling Over Multiple Goals
  9. Engaging Design
  10. Engage, Challenge, Interact
  11. Spectator Sport
  12. Counterpoint: Functional Blind Spots
  13. Wrinkles in Design Space

 

Game Design 404

Genre Specific

Platformer

RTS

Puzzle

RPG

 

Game Design 505

Skill

Co-op Design

Competition

Misconceptions

Metagame

 

Game Design 606

Complexities

Emergence

Evaluating Combat

Interesting Choices

Digital Truth

Predicting Emergence

 

Game Design 707

 Learning, Motivation, and Behavior

Interpreting the Mind from the Game

Nuance

Simplification

Fun

 

Game Design 808

Story and Clear Communication

Clear Communication

Examples

 

Game Design 909

Back to the Basics

 

Controllers

Save System Design 

  • Save System Design pt.1
  • Save System Design pt.2
  • Save System Design pt.3
  • Save System Design pt.4
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    Stay tuned for the first lesson in the Designer's Workshop where we'll investigate how mechanics, their function, and  level elements are uniquely interdependant. We'll also take a close look at influence, interplay, and counterpoint of Super Smash Brother's Brawl's level design.

    Article originally appeared on Critical-Gaming Network (http://critical-gaming.com/).
    See website for complete article licensing information.