Game Design

5 min. read

Game Design

Not to be confused with Game Development, Game Design Patterns, Game Level Design.
What is Game Design?
What does a game designer do?
Much like architecture design

Designer Programmer Artist

Experience planners

Markus Persson - Minecraft

Define rules

Rules become game design documents
Which becomes prototypes
Which turns into games/MVG
Types of game designers
Lead Game Designer (Game Director)
Define the game
Establish game core
Define feature set
Determine how the project is documented
Level Designer
Level by level play

How to become a game designer?
Play a lot of games, both good and bad so you learn what to do, and what not to do. You also come up with your own ideas, character, stories, designs, rules – and make your own games!
Progression Systems

Avoid Skinner!

Talent tree (old school RPG games)
Respec skill points
Study other games
Find the games you like and play them
Keep a notebook of the games you play and what you like or don’t like about them
Branch out into genres you don’t normally play t learn about new play mechanics
Don’t play to win, play to understand the mechanics
Document the experience, how it improve, take videos
3 Things they do well
3 Things they can improve on
Look for postmortems on other games

Game Design Courses
[Designing Mobile Games with a Game Design Document]

Game Design Frameworks
MDA Framework
6-11 Framework

The Four Elements of Game Design

Game Design Resources
Game Maker’s Toolkit:

Design Doc

Learning Resources


(A Pattern Language - Christopher Alexander)

(Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.)

[Urban Dynamics - Jay W. Forrester]

Maps of the Mind: Charts and Concepts of the Mind and its Labyrinths - Charles
Hampden-Turner. Collier/Macmillan

The Ants - Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson

Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth - James Lovelock.

The Ages of Gaia, James Lovelock.

Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World, Jane McGonigal.

The Medium Is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects, Marshall McLuhan.

Thinking in Systems: A Primer, Donella H. Meadows.

The Society of Mind, Marvin Minsky. Simon & Schuster,

Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, Jason Schreier.


Game Design - Wikipedia,Achievers%2C%20Explorers%2C%20and%20Socializers.

Sid Meier’s Psychology of Game Design

Why is it so hard to make game design decisions?