While video games are the most glamorous of the electronic arts, splashy graphics and amazing sound aren’t the defining features of games. Games are the world’s only interactive medium, and good interaction needs to be designed—the master crafters of engaging interaction design are game designers.
Jonathon Manning, Tim Nugent, and Paris Buttfield-Addison teach you how to design games and gameplay, demonstrating how to apply the art and science of constructing enjoyable, engaging games. This workshop is entirely nonelectronic: we’re not talking about programming, game engine development, or how to approach a publisher with your totally rad idea that’s “like Mario, but with explosions.” Instead, Jonathon, Tim, and Paris lead a deep dive into game design theory. Everything you’ll work on will be done with pens, paper, and human brain meat.
This workshop is based on the Mechanics-Dynamics-Aesthetics framework (as devised by LeBlanc, et al) and uses a series of small exercises in which you’ll rapidly iterate on game designs.
Jon Manning is the cofounder of independent game development studio Secret Lab. He’s working on the critically acclaimed award-winning adventure game Night in the Woods, which includes his interactive dialogue system Yarn Spinner, and Button Squid, a top-down puzzler. He’s written a whole bunch of books for O’Reilly about iOS development and game development. Jon holds a PhD about jerks on the internet. He’s currently writing Practical AI with Swift for O’Reilly.
Tim Nugent pretends to be a mobile app developer, game designer, tools builder, researcher, and tech author. When he isn’t busy avoiding being found out as a fraud, Tim spends most of his time designing and creating little apps and games he won’t let anyone see. He also spent a disproportionately long time writing his tiny little bio, most of which was taken up trying to stick a witty sci-fi reference in…before he simply gave up. He’s writing Practical Artificial Intelligence with Swift for O’Reilly and building a game for a power transmission company about a naughty quoll. (A quoll is an Australian animal.)
Paris Buttfield-Addison is a cofounder of Secret Lab, a game development studio based in beautiful Hobart, Australia. Secret Lab builds games and game development tools, including the multi-award-winning ABC Play School iPad games, the BAFTA- and IGF-winning Night in the Woods, the Qantas airlines Joey Playbox games, and the Yarn Spinner narrative game framework. Previously, Paris was a mobile product manager for Meebo (acquired by Google). Paris particularly enjoys game design, statistics, blockchain, machine learning, and human-centered technology. He researches and writes technical books on mobile and game development (more than 20 so far) for O’Reilly and is writing Practical AI with Swift and Head First Swift. He holds a degree in medieval history and a PhD in computing. You can find him on Twitter as @parisba.
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