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

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30. Spreadsheets for Simulation

Get your facts first. Then you can distort them as you please.

—MARK TWAIN

A system designer’s weapon of choice is the spreadsheet. A spreadsheet allows a designer to organize data visually and calculate changes on the fly. A full description of the features of a spreadsheet application is beyond the scope of this book, but this chapter does focus on some basic elements of spreadsheet programs, like Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel, that are fairly evergreen and are compulsory for effective use as a game designer. Even though I don’t spend much time describing spreadsheet programs, a vast number of other books, videos, and websites cover the intricacies of spreadsheet software more fully and these are easily available. ...

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