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Characteristics of Games [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

George Skaff Elias , Richard Garfield , K. Robert Gutschera

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18. September 2012
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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Characteristics of Games + David Perry on Game Design: A Brainstorming Toolbox + Game Mechanics: Advanced Game Design (Voices That Matter)
Preis für alle drei: EUR 109,10

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"Many books have been written on the subject of game design over the years, but Characteristics of Games is one of the few that forgoes breadth for depth and takes readers to the next logical step in game design thinking and study." -- CHOICE

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

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. K. Robert Gutschera is Lead Designer at Secret Identity Studios. 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.

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Buchdeckel | Copyright | Inhaltsverzeichnis | Auszug | Stichwortverzeichnis
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.5 von 5 Sternen  12 Rezensionen
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent book for game desingers 28. Januar 2013
Von Michael Iachini - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I received Characteristics of Games as a birthday gift from a fellow game designer, and I fell in love with it. The authors strike a very inclusive tone with their review of games, ranging from classic games like chess to traditional board games like Monopoly to modern board games like Puerto Rico, plus "games" as diverse as poker, Magic: The Gathering, basketball, StarCraft and crossword puzzles.

Their goal is to describe the characteristics of these games rather than prescribe the "right" way to build a game. Some of their best insights include:
- The importance of heuristics, at both an entry level to help new players get going and at an advanced level to help experienced players stay engaged
- A discussion of player elimination in games, from strict elimination to logical elimination (no chance to win) to effective elimination (no realistic chance to win), and the way these make players feel
- Fantastic analysis of snowball effects (the winner builds on a lead) and catch up effects (trailing players get an advantage)
- An excellent insight about Monopoly, not widely regarded as a "great game" by modern standards, but one that does a good job of keeping you interested on other players' turns since that's when the best thing for you can happen - another player landing on your property and paying you money

Characteristics of Games takes a scholarly tone and would be excellent as a textbook for a game design course, but it's highly accessible to anyone who loves games and is interested in their design.

If you're looking for a gift for a would-be game designer, Characteristics of Games is a winner. And if you're a game designer yourself, this is a book you really should read.
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen For Serious Gamers, Designers, and Reviewers 17. Dezember 2012
Von Fulminata - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
This is not a text on designing games, rather it's one on understanding them. It goes about this by establishing a common framework for discussing games, and examining the different characteristics that games can have.

Overall, I found it very interesting, and as a result of reading it some characteristics of games that I formerly considered to be either "good" or "bad" I now recognize as having both benefits and drawbacks. That alone was worth the read.

It is a textbook, but it's a fairly well written one, so not that difficult a read. There were a couple of times that discussions involved mathematical models that were beyond my rusty math skills, but failure to fully understand the math did not keep me from understanding the point at hand (rather, understanding the math would have likely simply made it easier to understand the point under discussion).

I'd recommend this book for anyone interested in serious game design or review, but probably not the average gamer.
5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Groundbreaking theoretical analysis of games 25. November 2012
Von Timothy Chow - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Most of the academic literature on games is either mathematical, focusing on finding optimal strategies, or sociological, focusing on the role that games play in human society. Characteristics of Games is neither. Its intended audience is the community of game critics and game designers—people who have studied hundreds of games closely and are faced with the task of evaluating them and determining what would make them better. Even though games have existed throughout human history, our vocabulary for discussing games is surprisingly primitive. Characteristics of Games plugs this gap by introducing a powerful set of concepts for thinking about, analyzing, and discussing games.

As an example, consider the common misconception that a game is simply a set of rules. Though it is undeniable that the rules of a game are absolutely fundamental, they do not by themselves determine everything about the game. How seriously the players attempt to win, how much work it takes to become an expert, and even how quickly the game is played depend more on the community of players of the game than on the rules themselves. Characteristics of Games provides the vocabulary for this distinction by introducing the adjective "agential" for the aspects that are player-dependent and the adjective "systemic" for the aspects that are not and depend only on the structure and rules of the game itself. Armed with this distinction, we are immediately better equipped to analyze a question such as, "Is poker a game of skill?" Naively, most people assume that the answer to this question depends only on the rules of poker; i.e., they assume that skill is a systemic characteristic of a game. However, the authors argue that skill is largely agential. Whether or not you agree, it is clear that having the right concepts to work with automatically raises the level of the discussion.

The authors identify a large number of important characteristics of games: downtime, spectation, kingmaking, standards, metagame, and many more. These concepts are not arbitrary but have been carefully selected based on the authors' long experience with, and profound thinking about, the key features of games of all types, from classic board games to sports to computer games. Whether you are a professional game designer or have a leadership role in a community that plays games or are someone who simply enjoys thinking deeply about games, Characteristics of Games will provide you with the cognitive tools to take your thinking to the next level.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen 3 authors sometimes diverge 18. Juni 2013
Von Geraldo XEXEO - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
This is a good book and probably a must-have in game design. It discuss some very important topics, however without a real organization or difficulty progress. Sometimes the text pass the impression that the authors disagree.
Not a first choice for a textbook in game design, but since it goes deep in some topics that are not common on other books, and also with a different view, I recommend it.
4.0 von 5 Sternen decomposes the elements game play 12. Mai 2014
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
The authors present a useful and workable taxonomy of the dimensions of game-play that is independent of whether the game medium is digital, table-top-paper, miniature or board-game.
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