- Series: MIT Press
- Hardcover: 688 pages
- Publisher: The MIT Press (September 25, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0262240459
- ISBN-13: 978-0262240451
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 58 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals (MIT Press)
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Rules of Play is an exhaustive, clear, cogent, and complete resource for understanding games and game design. Salen and Zimmerman describe an encyclopedia of game design issues, techniques, and attributes. In particular, they analyze the elements that can make a game experience richer, more interesting, more emotional, more meaningful, and, ultimately, more successful. It should be the first stop you make when learning about game design.(Nathan Shedroff, author of Experience Design)
Rules of Play makes a monumental contribution to the development of game theory, criticism, and design. It will instantly become a standard textbook in the field on the basis of its rigor and scope -- yet it is written in such an engaging style that many will read it for pleasure. Salen and Zimmerman do for games what Sergei Eisenstein did for cinema -- offer an expert practitioner's perspective on central aspects of the aesthetics and cultural importance of an emerging medium.(Henry Jenkins, Director of Comparative Media Studies, MIT)
This is the most impressive book on game design I've ever seen. Broad in scope yet rich in detail, Rules of Play sets a new standard for game analysis.(Will Wright, Game Designer of Sim City and The Sims)
About the Author
Katie Salen Tekinbaş is Professor in the School of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University and Chief Designer and Researcher at Institute of Play.
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It focuses a huge amount on giving "definitions" for things. In fact, it not only gives you the definition, but it gives you multiple definitions to allow you to follow the other's reasoning until he concludes, "yeah so if you just look at all these definitions that's the basic flavor of it." Oh yeah and usually the "definition" has the word "system" in it.
Don't buy this book.
Mostly, reading the preview would have prevented those issues some of us had. Ironclad was fun but if you wanted to make your friend go into game design then I would agreed that certainly buying a gamer's manual on staging and playing one's game won't help. In fact, I would never take a class for anyone else, even in re-certification, just because someone buys me a book. Buying a gamer a book on how to play is likely to be taken the wrong way, but reading other people's design can lead to wondrous stimulation of the imagination and flight of fancies on weekends.
I'm a system programmer by trade and knows designers think different than I do - I do low level so I just enjoys gaming, for role reversal. As if to paraphrase the rulebook after chapter 2, as "Gamers [I] want to… micromanage limited resources by calculating recalcitrant probabilities," but designers would think high level stuff and make a living from high level stuff. Not sure why, as one reviewer said, "anti-consumer author," is relevant to you people buying this or not as we know who, "Katie Salen" is beside her pen name. Title said, "Rules of play: game design fundamental" not "How to be a game designer" and the forward said it wasn't a manual but, and is in fact "To those who the game is made." So my position was just because I bought this book because I play the games in it (almost every one, I'd think).
Pros: 1) Every game included (between the chapters) had attached backstory, premise, and an author's bio (not the book's author, I meant, the creator (sometimes also designer) of said games. 2) Every chapter show you a few things on how to be a better gamer, and each chapter tells a different aspect of this, like getting higher scores (optimizer), playing a game vs. gaming it (192 pages on this), and playing nice (ideal rules) or cheating - as in how to cheat - not dishing the table, and systems theories (but I skipped those because that's what's done work-a-day in trade).
But: as a casual gamer (you know), I got a lot of old news comments about this because maybe it's an already read topic. Well, not everyone is a hardcore gamer.
Cons: 1) You know this isn't a fancy 4-color printed manual right? But: to be fair look how much the Skyrim hint book cost, look how much this cost you get what you paid for. 2) As others rightfully pointed out no computers are required to play any of mostly cards and board games provided, so nothing to develop there, a pity. BUT (Big one): I play Ironclad CRPG online now. A new orthographic 3d-capable version came out on RPtools' CRPG virtual tabletop (but we are not allowed to show this here), and runs these games very well on most computers (not every old PC's, memory reasons), so it's still a pity for those who can't.
In summary and overall: This is good reading for gamers and those who want to get into gaming. Not always a great gift nor substitutes collage education. This book does lives up to teaching how to set up games, play characters (not the best coverage on role-play, but always there's better: Virtual Interaction: Interaction in Virtual Inhabited 3D Worlds), But: Then again this stood the test of time for my group: games form this book had so far been a blast for ten years is looking to be going strong for many more years. So maybe a bit cheap but if you are looking to hobby, and needed some helpful hints for something trendier than 'playing shop' (which my friends doesn't enjoy as much, but again: opinions, to 'make you happy') vs. professional advice which no opinions can comprehensively provide anyhow, from it, then maybe it can be good for you too!
About this book. I have to read it for a class I'm taking and the books is very broad, vague and not concrete at all. The funny thing is that this books takes into account ALL types of games like board games, video games, etc. and try to combine all this into one. My biggest problem is that you cannot possibly teach video games and talk about how board games is not like video games and is like video games. My sentence right there is similar to how this book is written. VAGUE. Good thing there is a free digital copy on the internet I'm sure you guys can find. If it wasn't for this class I'm taking, I would have skipped this book the first chapter of reading.