Casual Game Design. Designing Play. Gamer in All of Us. for the. Gregory Trefry. TL'CHNiSCME HANNOVER. INFO R iv'iat io N S o i B L i OT H E K

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1 Casual Game Design Designing Play for the Gamer in All of Us Gregory Trefry TL'CHNiSCME INFO R iv'iat io N S o i B L i OT H E K UNI VERS ITATSBISUOTHEK HANNOVER ELSEVIER AMSTERDAM BOSTON HlilDELBERC LONDON NEW YORK OXFORD PARIS SAN DIEGO SAN FRANCISCO SINGAPORE SYDNEY TOKYO Morgan Kaufmann Publishers is an imprint ofelsevier 14 MORGAN KAUFMANN T1B/UB Hannover

2 Acknowledgments xi Introduction Mechanics xiii xiii Know Your Audience Piggyback on Neuroses Delivery Is Everything Conceiving and Iterating The Promise of Casual Games The Value of Thinking Casual i ii Chapter 1. What Is Casual Gaming? 1 12 it Started in Solitude 2 Bedazzled 4 The Next Swing in Casual Gaming 7 Casual Queens versus Genre Kings 10 Why Now? 11 Chapter 2. The Game Mechanic at Work 13 The Role of the Game Designer 13 Video Game Designers 17 Board Game Designers 17 The Responsibilities of the Game Designer 18 WorkasPartoftheTeam 18 Generate the Concept 19 Craft the Rules 26 Be Concise and Exact 27 Be Firm 27 Can't vs. Must 27 vii

3 Instructions Are Rules Too Avoid Too Many Special Cases State the Game's Goal Upfront Tell the Rules Like a Story Give Examples Organize Play into Phases Write Game and Software Specifications General Table of Contents Story/Theme Information 31 General Look and Feel 31 of Gameplay 32 Information Architecture 33 Specifications for Specific Features 35 Guide the Implementation 36 Playtest the Game 3? Refine the Concept 41 Design the Levels 41 Be Empathetic 42 If You Can't Beat Your Level, then It's Waaaaaaaay too Hard 43 Design for the General Audience, not the Hardcore 43 Ease Players into the Game 43 Don't Forget to Challenge Players 44 Build Levels Around a Central Concept 44 Teach Players to Play the Level 44 Give Players Room to Explore 45 Occasionally Break Your Own Rules (With Care) 45 Create a Plan 45 Vary Your Levels 46 Refine, Play and Refine 46 Playtest 46 Becoming a Game Designer 46 Becoming a Professional Game Designer 49 Why Be a Casual Game Designer ^ Chapter 3. Play Is the Thing 51 The Liminal Moment 52 The Rush to Complexity 53 The Push toward Simplicity 56 Patterns of Play 57 Tapping Play for Games 59 Physical Play 59 viii

4 Playing with Others 62 Playing with Things 63 Playacting 66 Daredevilry/Push-Your-Luck 70 Defining Games 72 A Designers Definition 73 Intrinsic Qualities 74 Governed by Rules 74 Uncertain 74 Extrinsic Qualities 75 Voluntary 75 Boundaries Chapter 4. Matching 79 Bejeweled-.lhe Casual Ideal 79 LEGO Fever and Luxor.The Necessity of Constraints 88 Snood: Matching as Means to an End Chapter 5. Sorting 101 Klondike Solitaire vs. Spider Solitaire: More Choices, More Complexity 102 Drop 7: Foiled by Randomness 109 Wurdle vs. Boo/cworm:The Replacements 112 Jojo's Fashion Show: Sorting the World Through Play Chapter 6. Seeking 129 Mystery Case Files: Huntsville: Simple Seek-and-Find 132 Azada: Introducing Logic to Seeking Chapter 7. Managing 139 DinerDash:Spinning Plates 140 Cake Mania: Managing and Matching 145 Managing Attention 146 Insaniquarium: Overwhelming Yourself 147 Flight Control: Being Overwhelmed ix

5 Chapter 8. Hitting 155 Natural Feedback 156 Scaling with Skill 157 Whac-A-Mole: 30 Seconds of Primal Pleasure 159 WiiTennis:Vne Swing Is the Thing 163 Chapter 9. Chaining 167 Diner Dash: Pushing Your Luck Chapter 10. Constructing 177 Tetris and Crayon Physics:Two Approaches to Building 179 Creative Construction 185 Line Rider. A Toy for Self-Expression 186 Top Chef. A Game for Self-Expression Chapter 11. Bouncing, Tossing, Rolling and Stacking 197 Bow Man 2: Experimentation and Repetition 198 PaperToss: Simple Choices with Unclear Outcomes 201 Jenga:The Inherent Drama of Gravity 204 World of Goo: From Toy to Game 206 Peggie: Balancing Mystery and Legibility ^5 Chapter 12. Socializing 215 Apples to Apples: Reading People, Not the Game 217 Rock Band: Becoming a Band 220 What to WeorTapping the Wisdom of Crowds Index 235 X

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