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Game Mechanics: Advanced Game Design

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  135 ratings  ·  12 reviews
This in-depth resource teaches you to craft mechanics that generate challenging, enjoyable, and well-balanced gameplay. You'll discover at what stages to prototype, test, and implement mechanics in games and learn how to visualize and simulate game mechanics in order to design better games. Along the way, you'll practice what you've learned with hands-on lessons. A free do ...more
Paperback, 353 pages
Published June 25th 2012 by New Riders Publishing (first published June 1st 2012)
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Nenad Cikic
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Really liked this book. As an avid gamer and board game collector. I really enjoyed practical examples that enabled me to put formal knowledge on the game mechanics and behaviors I am already familiar with. Furthermore, I actively started pursuing game design as quantifiable effort and therefore machinations tool introduced here is one of the most interesting tools offered to game designers. One thing I specifically lacked was the mathematical viewpoint on game design. Therefore, some at least s ...more
Michal Domanski
Oct 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books on the topic of game design. The title is pretty much the content of the book, so if you're interested in practicable advice in improving your mechanical skills: This is the book to get.

What I consider one of the biggest advantages of this book might be a disappointment to some people though: This book focuses 99% of its effort on conveying its core topic: game mechanics. You won't get any kind of business advise, how to work in a team, how game feel emerges, how to
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: game-design
A complete guide to the game design, and a must-read for beginners.
Though the approach of the book toward the game design itself is primarily focused on game economics, the way the authors explained almost every aspect of the game design through this approach is admirable.
The tool introduced in the book (Machinations) is a simple but truly powerful mean for designing the economics and even some of the progression of the game; and this book is a good reference for learning to work with this tool
Özgün Kaya
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My complaint about most game design books is that they mostly remain on the surface level. They do not give you anything that you don't know if you are playing games most of your life. This book however, succeeded in giving in-depth knowledge on not only design but games as a whole. ...more
Victor Debone
May 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
I like that the book makes a good effort of formalizing a language for talking about game design. I was surprised by the amount of information and it’s density. It’s probably better used as a reference guide in the long term, when needed.
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book provides machinations framework, which is an essential point of view on games, for game designers. Even if you won't use it, knowing about its existence is very beneficial. ...more
Jun 19, 2020 added it
Like a flier of the software Machination. Set the simile aside, it provides a few "design patterns". ...more
Scott Lewis
Feb 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the best book about game design that does not deal in gross generalities. It teaches a toolset of how to design systems and how to understand the player's input and decisions into that system. The toolset is not generally applicable to all games or situations, but I feel like all game designers should read this book to be able to help visualize and understand their game loop and the decisions that go into it. ...more
Sergey Bir
Dec 22, 2014 marked it as gave-up-on
Shelves: skimmed
Liked the chapters about systems and emergence. Machinations tool breaks games into economic systems and i might use it some day.
Style: 2/5
Density: 3/5
Relevancy: 5/5
Aug 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A bit slow going in places, but the patterns and the Machinations framework are well worth the price of admission alone. It has already made a difference in my practice as an applied game designer.
Grant Lovelace
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Ernest Adams is founder of the International Game Developers Association, a game design consultant and author on game development.

He started out in the game industry in 1989 as a software engineer and holds a Ph.D. from the School of Computing and Mathematics at Teesside University for his work on interactive st

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