Game Design Workshop

2nd Edition

A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games

Authors: Tracy Fullerton
Paperback ISBN: 9780240809748
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 8th February 2008
Page Count: 496


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Table of Contents

The Role of the Game Designer; The Structure of Games; Working with Formal Elements; Working with Dramatic Elements; Working with System Dynamics; Conceptualization; Prototyping; Digital Prototyping; Playtesting; Functionality, Completeness, and Balance; Fun and Accessibility; Team Structures; Stages of Development; The Design Document; Understanding the Game Industry ; Selling Yourself and Your Ideas to the Game Industry


Master the craft of game design so you can create that elusive combination of challenge, competition, and interaction that players seek. This design workshop begins with an examination of the fundamental elements of game design; then puts you to work in prototyping, playtesting and redesigning your own games with exercises that teach essential design skills.

Workshop exercises require no background in programming or artwork, releasing you from the intricacies of electronic game production, so you can develop a working understanding of the essentials of game design.

Key Features


  • A design methodology used in the USC Interactive Media program, a cutting edge program funded in part of Electronic Arts.
  • Hands-on exercises demonstrate key concepts, and the design methodology
  • Insights from top industry game designers, including Noah Falstein, American McGee, Peter Molyneux


Game development students and aspiring game designers


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© Morgan Kaufmann 2008
Morgan Kaufmann
Paperback ISBN:


Game design is something of a black art. The trick to doing it well is retaining the black magic but training oneself to control it. There are a lot of books on game design out there, but "Game Design Workshop" is among the very few that develops a wizard rather than a drone. -Ian Bogost, professor of digital media, the Georgia Institute of Technology and co-founder, Persuasive Games

About the Authors

Tracy Fullerton Author

Tracy Fullerton, M.F.A., is a game designer, educator and writer with fifteen years of professional experience. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Interactive Media Division of the USC School of Cinema-Television where she serves as Co-Director of the Electronic Arts Game Innovation Lab. Recent credits include faculty advisor for the award-winning student game Cloud, and game designer for The Night Journey a unique game/art project with media artist Bill Viola. Prior to joining the USC faculty, she was president and founder of the interactive television game developer, Spiderdance, Inc. Spiderdance’s games included NBC’s Weakest Link, MTV’s webRIOT, The WB’s No Boundaries, History Channel’s History IQ, Sony Game Show Network’s Inquizition and TBS’s Cyber Bond. Before starting Spiderdance, Tracy was a founding member of the New York design firm R/GA Interactive. As a producer and creative director she created games and interactive products for clients including Sony, Intel, Microsoft, AdAge, Ticketmaster, Compaq, and Warner Bros. among many others.

Affiliations and Expertise

Award-winning game designer, educator and writer with 15 years of professional experience (SIGGRAPH 2007 best paper AWARD for Tracy’s game project “Night Journey”). Assistant Professor at USC School of Cinema-Television where she serves as Co-Director of the Electronic Arts Game Innovation Lab. Based in L.A.