freedom in the galaxy board freedom in the galaxy board jpg 11/24/2014 18:49:46

Game Design

Pulsipher, Lewis. Game Design: How to Create Video and Tabletop Games, Start to Finish.

Salen, Katie and Eric Zimmerman. Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals. MIT Press, 2003.

Schell, Jessee. The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses. CRC Press, 2008.

History of Game Design

I've included this section chiefly in response to my extreme annoyance at the MDA article, which I think is not only not novel, but markedly inferior to the design methodologies and terminologies devised by boardgame designers decades earlier. I was challenged to find documentation of this, and here is some of it (more on the way!).

Jim Dunnigan's Home Page

James F. Dunnigan is probably the most prolific and prominent designer of board wargames (he has designed over 100), and has also developed five computer wargames, including a massive multiplayer online wargame. (He has also written a number of pretty well-regarded books.)

Debate: "Battle of the Game Designers"

A fascinating 1997 debate on game design between Alan Lenton (designer of Fed a massive multiplayer space trading game launched in 1986) and Jim Dunnigan (founder of SPI, designer of many seminal board wargames, and designer of an online game called Hundred Years War).

Dunnigan (mainly, I suspect, to be entertaining) lays out a very cynical view of game design, and emphasizes the importance of making games "addictive" to be successful, but his description of addictive qualities is much more in terms of things that (at least in my opinion) make games enjoyable vs. things that make a player feel obligated to play.

The Complete Wargames Handbook

The Complete Wargames Handbook, 2nd Edition

This book was originally published in 1992, and reprinted in 1997. It discusses the history and design of wargaming among other things, how to design a wargame, and goes blow-by-blow through the design process including a complete game design. He also covers computer wargame design in somewhat less detail.

Greg Costikyan's Obituary for Redmond Simonsen

From the obituary:

I'll explain why you should know Redmond’s name, even though you probably don’t: Redmond coined the term “game designer.”


With a partner, James F. Dunnigan, Mr. Simonsen founded Simulations Publications Inc., known as S.P.I., in New York in 1969


The company released more than 400 games in a little more than a decade, and by the mid-1970's, Mr. Dunnigan said, it manufactured more than half of all the war games sold worldwide.

The New York Times obituary for Redmond Simonsen

Questions on Game Design

Q&A with Alan Lenton designer of several early MMOGs, notably Fed (1986).

design markdown 07/19/2017 11:42:05


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