SIGIA-L Mail Archives: SIGIA-L: summary of gaming replies
SIGIA-L: summary of gaming replies
From: Jane Austin (jane_at_deepend.co.uk)
Date: Fri Sep 21 2001 - 09:08:14 EDT
Thanks everyone for your help. I've summarised the answers below, in the order I received them.
Have a good weekend!
>From a colleague:
Whitney Quesenbery :
Rob Houser and Scott DeLoach of UserFirst in Atlanta did a paper a few
years ago on "what we can learn from games" It may be the opposite of what
your friend is looking for, but could still provide insights. I remember it
as a good presentation. Their URL is http://www.userfirst.net, and papers
are linked from http://www.userfirst.net/res_fr.htm
Marc Rettig :
Here is the best resource I know of for this kind of thing:
Game designers and developers talking to each other. Lots of stuff on design and psychology, project post-mortems, and so on.
I use material from Gamasutra as readings in my graduate interaction
CMP, the folks who bring us Gamasutra, also sponsor the annual Game Developer conference, which is THE gathering place
for people who care about the questions you're asking. I'm not sure, but it
might be possible to obtain past proceedings from the conferences by pinging the good folks at gamasutra.
Aditya Johri :
There is a book called the art of computer game design by Chris Crawford
which is used a lot by game designers. Its available on the web:
Also, you might want to look at the course syllabus of a course offered
A while back I found a whitepaper on the IBM site about applying some of
the characteristics of successful games to software and web design. You
might find it useful...
Whitepaper (24k PDF):
s h a w n s m i t h
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T. +1 925. 817 6739
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George Olsen :
As far as the psychology of game design...
Chris Crawford's seminal "The Art of Computer Game Design" is long
out of print, but available used.
It has some great thought about various games and their appeal.
While it's about movies, not games, John Boorstein's "The Hollywood"
is also available used and has one of the best discussions of the
three major appeals -- intellectual, emotion and visceral -- that
I've seen. While the examples are from various movies, the ideas can
easily be applied to games.
Chris also wrote about these issues for a decade and it's available
on his site.
<http://www.erasmatazz.com/Library.html> and he's current book is
"Understanding Interactivity" <http://www.erasmatazz.com/book.html>
(I've ordered it, but haven't read it.)
Even if you're not interested in game design, Chris is well worth
reading since 1) his focus is really "interactive storytelling, 2)
he's given years of thought to the issue of interactivity, 3) he's
brilliant and has literally been years ahead of his time.
As far as the usability of games, don't know of anything. However,
all the usual books on usability are apt -- Steve Krug's "Don't Make
Me Think" is great -- with the obvious caveat that game design often
*intentionally* makes the interactions difficult as part of the
game's challenge. However, understanding good UI design will help
make sure difficult interactions are indeed intentional. So I'd also
recommend Mullet and Sano's "Designing Visual Interfaces," which give
a good overview of graphic design principles applied to software UI
Scott Kim has a good presentation on "The Art of Puzzle Game Design", that
addresses the formal aspects of game design, what works, what doesn't.
Eric Zimmerman is a noted game theorist who has published a bunch of essays:
Gamasutra is a great magazine for game developers that often touches on game
Christina addressed this a bit back, and got some good responses:
Not my area, but try cross posting this request to the UTEST list. Many of
those folks are much more closely associated with this type of work, and the
focus is much more usability oriented. Good Luck,
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