O'Reilly logo

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

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

13. Mechanics, Dynamics, and Aesthetics (MDA)

This suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.

—OSCAR WILDE

Games have an interesting problem. If you ask someone what a book is about, generally the answer comes in one of two forms: plot and theme. The plot in the Harry Potter series is about a wizard confronting an evil power from his past. Lots of events happen: He gets his invitation to Hogwarts, he makes friends, he fights a giant snake, and so on. The theme of Harry Potter is about learning your place in the world and dealing with death. Both of these (plot and theme) are accepted ways to talk about the essence of what a book is. This works with other storytelling media: You can reflect on what a movie is about by talking about its plot and ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required