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

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Part 1: Getting Started

Ideas are like stars—numerous and dazzling, but it takes a lot of work to confirm life near one.

—DANIEL SOLIS

I teach game design to students in one of the larger game design programs in the world. I see hundreds of students a year, and I see a fear in them. That fear is that they have a desire—to be a game designer—and they don’t know what transition they will have to go through to become one. The role seems so glorious and fulfilling, so certainly there must be a change between their present, mundane self and their future-inspired “artiste” self. Many seem to believe that a professor will come down from a mountaintop with stone tablets, they will have some divine epiphany, and all will become clear. Even you, dear reader, ...

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