Game Design Theory

This page is meant to provide links to what I refer to as game design theory. What is game design theory? Game design theory is a set of fundamental questions about games, game design and the game designer, i.e. what is a game? What is game design? What is a game designer? The difference between tools and theory is that tools are specific to operational design knowledge, while theory is general game design knowledge.

In the following, I separate relevant links according to my own vision on game design theory consisting of, the game designer, game anatomy, game design process, game mechanics, play-mechanics and game-play experience. Theory about the game designer explores what a game designer does and what makes a game designer. Theory about a game anatomy is concerned with theory that describes core elements of a game or attempts to define what a game is. Theory about game design processes is concerned with how and when of making game design decisions and activities. Theory about the game mechanics describes how systems and mechanics can be designed. Theory about the play mechanics focuses on the interaction between the player(s) and the game. Theory about game-play experience focuses on the player’s experience of playing as well as ideas on how design affects this.