Chapter 13

The Discipline of Game Design

“The best games are not those in which all goes smoothly and steadily toward a certain conclusion, but those in which the outcome is always in doubt.”

—George B. Leonard

Every year, I meet hundreds of prospective game design students who come through the university where I teach. Often, they are younger and have their parents in tow. These parents tend to look at me askance and ask me what exactly it is that a game designer does. I have a stock answer ready, and it tends to satisfy the interested. But at the same time, I feel like a physicist who is asked about gravity. The stock answer is good enough for most people, yet it is an incomplete approximation of the truth. This chapter is meant to show examples ...

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