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Players Making Decisions: Game Design Essentials and the Art of Understanding Your Players by Zack Hiwiller

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2. Problem Statements

A problem clearly stated is a problem half solved.

—DOROTHEA BRANDE

Often designers are working from a completely blank slate. What game do you make? When do you know you are done? How do you know if you have succeeded? One way is to make a problem statement. The problem statement is a simple way of asking what the designer or team is trying to do with the game. By identifying the design problem you are looking to solve, you eliminate situations in which you are simply copying the work of others and making something dull and uninspired. One way to formulate a design problem statement is by starting with “What if...?” This allows the design that follows to be an exploration of that question.

Defining the Problem

During the ...

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