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Game Design Essentials

ISBN: 978-1-118-15927-9
320 pages
March 2012
Game Design Essentials (1118159276) cover image
An easy-to-follow primer on the fundamentals of digital game design

The quickly evolving mobile market is spurring digital game creation into the stratosphere, with revenue from games exceeding that of the film industry. With this guide to the basics, you'll get in on the game of digital game design while you learn the skills required for storyboarding, character creation, environment creation, level design, programming, and testing.

  • Teaches basic skill sets in the context of current systems, genres, and game-play styles
  • Demonstrates how to design for different sectors within gaming including console, PC, handheld, and mobile
  • Explores low-poly modeling for game play
  • Addresses character and prop animation, lighting and rendering, and environment design
  • Discusses the path from concept to product, including pre- and post-production
  • Includes real-world scenarios and interviews with key studio and industry professionals

With Game Design Essentials, you'll benefit from a general-but-thorough overview of the core art and technology fundamentals of digital game design for the 21st century.

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Introduction xix

Chapter 1 Game Design Origins 1

Chapter 2 Gameplay Styles 25

Chapter 3 Core Game Design Concepts 43

Chapter 4 Visual Design 81

Chapter 5 Detailed Development of Visuals 111

Chapter 6 Navigation and Interfaces 139

Chapter 7 Designing Levels and the Game Design Document 165

Chapter 8 Sound 185

Chapter 9 Job Descriptions, Game Tracking, and Legal Issues 203

Chapter 10 Distribution and Marketing 225

Appendix A Answers to Review Questions 249

Appendix B Education, Training, and Working in Games 255

Appendix C Game Design Document 275

Index 289

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Briar Lee Mitchell is a partner in the gaming company Star Mountain Studios, as well as a creator of the successful adventure game Apparitions, made with SyFy's ghost hunters, Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson. She was previously a lead artist at Universal Studios Games Division, overseeing the art for K-6 edutainment computer games. Her career began in the 1980s with Lucasfilm and the Smithsonian on their first interactive laserdisc, The Life and Times of Albert Einstein. Mitchell has a master's degree in medical and biological illustration from the University of California, San Francisco, and she has worked for Johns Hopkins, Harvard, and Yale medical institutions producing medical/forensic illustrations and animations. She has also taught courses in visual effects, animation, and game art design at the college level.

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