A Theory of Fun for Game Design
A Theory of Fun
|Publication date||November 6, 2004|
Authored by Raph Koster, Chief Creative Officer of Sony Online Entertainment, this brilliantly illustrated book is a storyboard filled with inspirational ideas for all designers. As Will Wright (co-creator of SimCity 2000 and SimCopter) states in his foreword, "Raph forages across wide intellectual landscapes and then returns to share what he's discovered with the rest of us... . He has filtered out a treasure trove of useful and relevant nuggets from a career's worth of his own research."
A Theory of Fun for Game Design features a novel way of showing interactive designers how to improve their designs to incorporate the highest degree of fun. This book will truly inspire and challenge game designers, as well as artists and designers from all segments of the industry. The unique format of A Theory of Fun, with engaging text and thought-provoking illustrations, will ensure that this book becomes a classic text for designers. Already endorsed by major players in the gaming world – such as BoingBoing, Noah Falstein, and Henry Jenkins of MIT – A Theory of Fun covers such essential topics as:
- Why some games are fun and others boring
- Why making a game too hard — or too easy — is a mistake
- Why games have to balance deprivation and overload, order and chaos, silence and noise
- The difference between designing content and creating an experience
- Why both adults and children like to play games
- How playing a game and learning are connected
- The ethics of entertainment
From the Publisher
A Theory of Fun for Game Design is not your typical how-to book. It features a novel way of teaching interactive designers how to create and improve their designs to incorporate the highest degree of fun. As the book shows, designing for fun is all about making interactive products like games highly entertaining, engaging, and addictive. The book's unique approach of providing a highly visual storyboard approach combined with a narrative on the art and practice of designing for fun is sure to be a hit with game and interactive designers, At first glance A Theory of Fun for Game Design is a book that will truly inspire and challenge game designers to think in new was; however, its universal message will influence designers from all walks of life. This book captures the real essence of what drives us to seek out products and experiences that are truly fun and entertaining. The author masterfully presents his engaging theory by showing readers how often designs are! lacking because they are predictable and not engaging enough. He then explains how great designers use different types of elements in new ways to make designs more fun and compelling. Anyone who is interested in design will enjoy how the book works on two levels--as a quick inspiration guide to game design or as an informative discussion that details the insightful thinking from a great mind in the game industry.
"Does for games what Understanding Comics did for sequential art. You'll never look at fun the same way again." -- Cory Doctorow, Author of Eastern Standard Tribe and Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom; co-editor of Boing Boing
"I expect this book to become an instant classic, fascinating to anyone who has ever made or played a game." -- Noah Falstein, Freelance Game Designer/Writer/Producer
"Raph Koster offers a road map for how to make games an even more expressive medium." -- Henry Jenkins, Director, MIT's Comparative Media Studies Program.
"Raph's focus on finding new ways to communicate complex design issues has been an incredible benefit to game developers" -- David Perry, President Shiny Entertainment (Atari, Inc.)
"You've written a wonderful starting point for research and many future dinner conversations!" -- Cory Ondrejka, VP, Linden Lab
A book about fun which is actually fun to read. It reminds me of Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics. -- Henry Jenkins, Director, MIT's Comparative Media Studies Program
A thoughtful take on how and why games are fun (and important)... chock full of insights, jokes and asides. -- Robin Hunicke, Northwestern University
Does for games what Understanding Comics did for sequential art. -- Cory Doctorow, Author of Eastern Standard Tribe and Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, co-editor of Boing Boing
Everyone from professional game developers to those who want to understand why we play games will enjoy this book. -- Cory Ondrejka, Vice President, Linden Lab
About the Author
Raph Koster is the Chief Creative Officer for Sony Online Entertainment. For many years he has served as a lead designer for teams building online virtual worlds. His first job was as a designer working on persistent worlds at Origin Systems, where he was the creative lead for Ultima Online, opening the online persistent world market to the general gaming public. At Sony Online Entertainment, he was the creative director for Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided.