Alumnus Greg Trefry Publishes Book
I just wanted to let you all know that my book Casual Game Design: Designing Play for the Gamer in All of Us was released last month by Morgan Kaufmann.
While the book draws on the general principles of iterative game design laid out in books like Eric Zimmerman and Katie Salen’s Rules of Play and Tracy Fullerton’s Game Design Workshop, it focuses more closely on designing casual game mechanics that appeal to wide audiences.
I try to lay out an idea of what constitutes casual gameplay. Then I explore a series of general gameplay mechanics from sorting to matching to hitting to stacking by looking closely at the dynamics of games from Solitaire to Bejeweled to Wii Tennis to Jenga. I dissect each game in an attempt to find out what makes the game interesting from a game design standpoint. My goal with the book is to encourage game designers to constantly play and analyze games, building up their understanding of the how game mechanics work together. Hopefully they come away from the book with not only an understanding of these casual mechanics, but a toolkit for breaking down and analyzing any game they come across.
The structure of the book is inspired by E.M. Forester’s Aspects of the Novel and the way he highlights interesting formal elements of novels that an author should consider. My book seeks to point aspiring designers, practicing designers and even interested players towards the key elements of a game and say, “Look at that mechanic! What an ingenious idea! Let’s take it apart and figure out why the mechanic worked so well so we can figure out how to use it ourselves.”
Here’s a link to the book on Amazon:
Please write to Morgan Kaufmann and ask for review copies or let me know if you’re interested and I can see if I can get a copy sent to you. I’d love for as many people as possible to read it. And if you do read it, please drop me a line and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear feedback and suggestions!
Hope to see some of you at the GDC and the Come Out & Play Festival this year!