- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (December 17, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0134396758
- ISBN-13: 978-0134396750
- Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #895,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Players Making Decisions: Game Design Essentials and the Art of Understanding Your Players 1st Edition
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About the Author
Zack Hiwiller is a game designer, educator, and writer living in Orlando, Florida. He is a department chair for the Game Design degree program at Full Sail University and does consultant work for many large and small companies. Previously, in addition to independent projects, he was a designer at Gameloft and Electronic Arts. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master’s degree in Modeling and Simulation from the University of Central Florida. His writings at hiwiller.com have been reposted by Kotaku, GameSetWatch, and others and have reached over two million readers.
Top customer reviews
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I completed my degree in this field in 2014. I wish this book existed then and was required reading for one of my design classes. Yes, there is a lot of ground covered, and for a topic like this, that is necessary. Zack covers that ground skillfully.
Game design, psychology, game theory, best practices, even spreadsheets (and more) are topics that are covered to use to make our designs better for our players.
This is highly recommended reading for anyone in school for a game career, looking to get into games, or even those just with an interest in games. For those already in our field, I recommend it as well. I picked up new perspectives and new tricks to utilize in my future designs.
Since making a game requires many people from many disciplines anyone involved in the game industry can benefit from reading this book.
Thanks again Zack Hiwiller, if I had a physical copy of your book, Players Making Decisions: Game Design Essentials and the Art of Understanding Your Players would be right next to Jesse Schell's book The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, which I did read in school.
Zack does a great job of teaching the reader instead of telling the reader through use of many specific and clear examples. It's also apparent that there was a lot of research done in writing this book, from behavioral studies to other game design professionals' work. Finally, he has that dry, witty, sarcastic humor that I personally enjoy; the book never reads like a dull list of facts.
The book covers a lot of ground. (In fact, if I had a criticism, it would probably be that it tried to cover too much.) In particular though, I found the sections on behaviorism and game theory not only interesting but one of the most clear explanations I've read on the subject. Additionally, the sections on documentation and presentation should be mandatory reading for anyone who wants to work on a team, not just in games but really any medium+ sized project.
Because of the wide gamut of subjects covered in the book, I believe it is an excellent resource for those interested in getting started in game design. However, even for those with background in game design there is certainly insight to be gleaned from Zack's experience and research.