This is an excellent resource for anyone interested in thinking about play and games. There is a very broad selection of essays and articles that toucThis is an excellent resource for anyone interested in thinking about play and games. There is a very broad selection of essays and articles that touch upon historical and cultural issues of play, as well as specific games ranging from folk games to board games, card games, and of course video games.
The name might be slightly misleading; you won't find much in the way of tutorials or guidance here if you just want to be a game designer. Instead, this is aimed towards when you are interested in game design, but at the same time want to reflect on what games are and mean in the first place. More theoretical and practical, in other words, but to be honest, I think if you're really serious about game design from a creative direction standpoint, you will want to become familiar with many of the writers and pieces in this heavy tome.
As I haven't read Salen and Zimmerman's earlier collection 'Rules of Play', I can't really compare this to it, but I'm definitely interested in seeking it out now....more
Nice and big, and beautifully illustrated, 'Rogue Leaders' is a fine tribute to one of the most prolific video game studios in the US and the world. TNice and big, and beautifully illustrated, 'Rogue Leaders' is a fine tribute to one of the most prolific video game studios in the US and the world. The large amount of concept artworks and other tidbits make it a feast for the eye.
Nevertheless, textually it might have been better. Smith gives a good overview of the company's history and structure, but the information about the games themselves is slightly cursory and perhaps lacks an element of critique. By the end of the book it's all Star Wars, Star Wars, Star Wars, when it's clear the company was in its heyday with originally developed titles and adventure games from the late 80s till the eraly 90s. Let's face it, howmany truly great games have the studio produced since then? Proportionally, I would have like to see more info and analysis about the games that will truly stand the test of time rather than the umpteenth Lucas-franchise game....more
Now that I'm busy playing the game, I can put the imagery from this book in perspective. Thankfully, the final result of the landscapes and charactersNow that I'm busy playing the game, I can put the imagery from this book in perspective. Thankfully, the final result of the landscapes and characters in the game is just as beautiful as many of the concept sketches in this book. Therefore, the book, a small but sturdy hardcover, is a nice companion to Dreamfall, as a way to get immersed in the atmosphere even more. The introductions are nice, but perhaps some comments on the images themselves here and there would have been nice....more
Beyond the Magic Circle is a fascinating study into the social and network aspects of online roleplaying games, in particular World of Warcraft, whichBeyond the Magic Circle is a fascinating study into the social and network aspects of online roleplaying games, in particular World of Warcraft, which was the case study for this PhD thesis.
Copier paints a picture of the roleplaying elements that are possible within a MMORPG that is mainly geared towards more goal-oriented play (instrumental play), while at the same time, she embeds WoW in a more general history of (Fantasy) roleplaying.
Particularly interesting are the experiences of interviewed players themselves (and the author), as well as the analysis of the way in which the roleplaying experience can intertwine itself with 'real life', thereby challenging theories that emphasise the Magic Circle that is said to separate games and regular life.
This thesis is based mainly on one case study, and it would be interesting to see this perspective applied to a broader spectrum of roleplaying games. There is also more room for theorising, but I think Copier has given the young scientific area of games research a fine impulse with this work. ...more