CHAPTER 3

FOUNDATIONS OF GAMES AND GAME DESIGN

This chapter provides some definitions of game, according to philosophers and designers. These definitions are then used to describe the structural, functional, architectural, and thematic elements of games in systems terms. This systemic view acts as a foundation for game design in later chapters.

Having examined this foundation of games, we look briefly at the development of game design from its hobbyist beginnings to current more theoretically informed approaches.

What’s a Game?

In some ways, defining game seems like explaining a joke: you can do it, but you risk losing the essence of it in doing so. Nevertheless, because the topic is game design, you do need to know what is meant by the word ...

Get Advanced Game Design now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.