Friday, April 22, 2005

The Art of Computer Game Design

Back in 1982, Chris Crawford (Atari alum, author of Balance of Power and founder of the CGDC) wrote a book called The Art of Computer Game Design. Now, the full text is available online. Here's a sample of some of the chapter titles:
  • A Taxonomy of Computer Games
  • The Game Design Sequence
  • Design Techniques and Ideals
Also included in the book is a more recent reflection by Crawford called The Education of a Game Designer, which is basically his advice to young'un's looking to break into the game industry. Of note:
The games industry is like a big building with one entrance and a lot of exits. There are thousands of eager young kids crowded at the front entrance, pushing and shoving to get inside; only a few make it in. But for every person who gets in, another person leaves -- that's what keeps the industry in balance. And the fact that so many of the people in the business are so young demonstrates who quickly people bail out of the industry. Not many survive until their thirties.
This sort of thing might be the salvation of a game development program that doesn't try to drop people directly into the big game development houses. We can perhaps offer an alternative to the millstone.


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