Casual Game Design

Designing Play for the Gamer in ALL of Us


  • Gregory Trefry, Greg Trefry has designed everything from web-based MMOs to hit casual games to alternate reality games. Prior to co-founding the independent game studio Gigantic Mechanic, Greg was the Creative Director on Gamestar Mechanic. Before that he was a Senior Game Designer at Gamelab. In 2006 he created the Come Out & Play Festival, a festival of street games that brings designers and players from around the world to New York City every summer for three days of play. He teaches game design and development at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program and Parsons The New School for Design.

From Windows Solitaire to Bejeweled to Wii Tennis, casual games have radically changed the landscape of games. By simplifying gameplay and providing quick but intense blasts of engaging play, casual games have drawn in huge new audiences of players. To entertain and engage the casual player, game designers must learn to think about what makes casual games work, from game mechanics to narrative content. Through the close examination of a number of casual games, you will learn how to inject the necessary game design elements into your casual games and give your designs the complexity and strategy they need to hook gamers. You will learn:
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Game designers and developers.Secondary: students of game design. Level: All levels of game designers/developers.


Book information

  • Published: January 2010
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-374953-6


"Gregory Trefry defines the attributes for casual games in his book "Casual Game Design" as follows:

- Rules and goals must be clear.

- Players need to be able to quickly reach proficiency.

- Casual game play adapts to a player’s life and schedule.

- Game concepts borrow familiar content and themes from life.

I believe he has made a good approach in trying to define common aspects in casual games…"

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction; What is Casual Gaming?; The Game Mechanic at Work; Play is the Thing; Matching; Sorting; Seeking; Managing; Hitting; Chaining; Constructing; Bouncing, Tossing, Rolling and Stacking; Socializing; Index