Lewis Pulsipher and McFarland press have published a new book titled, Game Design: How to Create Video and Tabletop Games, Start to Finish. Mr. Pulsipher is the designer of several board games, including Britannia and Dragon Rage, was an early D&D contributor, and is also a long-time game design educator. As he explained to me, the book is…
A practical rather than theoretical guide for beginners/inexperienced designers, based on my experience teaching game design as well as my experience as a game designer. While it is about video game design, it also doubles as a book for tabletop designers because the best way to start to learn video game design is to design tabletop games.
$38? Wow… seems a bit pricey for a book on a subject that’s been covered by quite a few others in recent years.
If you mean, covered by video game design books, they almost all cost more than $38 (sometimes much more). If you mean, tabletop design books, there are no others written by a single person with a consistent viewpoint. There are two collections essays with all the limitations of that format, one a free download (Tabletop Analog Game Design, ETC Press) for which I contributed the lead chapter, and the Kobold Guide to Game Design, which is very short as books go. I recommend you read both. But you’ll get bits, not the whole story.
Or ask your local library to order the book. McFarland’s primary market is libraries.
There is a third one though, very rich and interesting, The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell.
I think Salen and Zimmerman’s Rules of Play would also count. And there are dozens of books on taking your game and trying to get it published.
Although Lewis’ book is probably worth reading. I’d like to see a TOC or first chapter.
Also Game Design Workshop by Fullerton et al.
Amazon???? I like to do the online preview “See Inside” thing before I buy books. Also, I prefer Kindle editions to hard copies.
There’s no need to be so defensive, Mr. Pulsipher. You may disparage anthologies as being inferior to a book authored by a single voice, but that does not change that fact that several books on the subject of RPG and/or board game design have come out in recent years, including several that are not included in your pithy reply, and which enjoy a somewhat lower price-point than your own contribution to the field. Such was my only point; you seemed to take your reply into a tangent which seemed, at the risk of being repetitive, rather defensive.
I will indeed take your advice and secure this book through inter-library loan. Perhaps I shall offer a review on my blog.
Jesse Schell is well-known in video game circles (owns a vg production studio), and his book is for video game design. Some of the “lenses” can be applied to tabletop games, but it is not a book that significantly addresses tabletop game design. List price $59.95. (Rules of Play list price $55, to respond to the “pricey” remark.)
To save space, and knowing there are a few books that address licensing and marketing of tabletop games and lots that talk about video games, my book does not address licensing and marketing. The book is about how to design games, not about licensing, funding, self-publishing, or marketing.
Detailed table of contents: http://pulsiphergames.com/TableofContentsGameDesignetcbyLPulsipher.pdf (case sensitive). You can also get there from a link on the front page of pulsiphergames.com
The book will be available in electronic book form, but I don’t know which format(s) or which sellers, at this point.
Ooo thats a hot cover. With boardgames climbing the growing technology tree we will soon have the greatest crossover of hybrid board/video games EVER! Books like these should be teaching game theory, objective C and self publishing online. This would be a nice one for my kindle.
There are many books that teach programming for video games. But that’s not game design, that’s game production. Video game design books often assume that everybody knows the fundamentals of game design because they play games, and that’s not the case at all. You have to learn to *design* games before you learn to *produce* video games.
Self-publishing also isn’t game design, it’s marketing.
I made a mockup of a hot cover for them, but the publisher sells to libraries and wants to maintain a scholarly tone, hot covers may not apply!