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 Secret Lab and has worked on apps of all sorts, ranging from iPad games for children to instant messaging clients. He frequently finds himself gesticulating wildly in front of classes full of eager-to-learn developers. Jon has written a whole bunch of books for O’Reilly (and previously Wiley) about iOS development and game development. He recently completed his PhD, where his research studied how people manipulate the ranking systems of social media sites; this means that he literally has a doctorate about jerks on the internet. He wrote Yarn Spinner, an interactive dialogue system, which was used in the 2017 indie game Night in the Woods. Jon can be found as @desplesda on Twitter.
Tim Nugent pretends to be a mobile app developer, game designer, and PhD student, and now he’s even pretending to be an author. (He cowrote the latest update to Learning Cocoa with Objective-C for O’Reilly.) 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 this tiny little bio, most of which was taken up trying to stick a witty sci-fi reference in. . .before he simply gave up. Tim can be found as @The_McJones on Twitter.
Paris Buttfield-Addison is cofounder of Secret Lab, a mobile development studio based in beautiful Hobart, Australia. Secret Lab builds games and apps for mobile devices, including the award-winning ABC Play School iPad games, and the Qantas Joey Playbox. Paris formerly worked as mobile product manager for Meebo (acquired by Google) and writes technical books on mobile and game development for O’Reilly (most recently Learning Swift, 2nd edition, and The Kerbal Player’s Guide). He holds a degree in medieval history and a PhD in computing; he is currently studying law. Paris can be found on Twitter as @parisba online at Paris.id.au.
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