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Man, I'm glad I'm not the only person who doesn't love what Koster has to say about game design.

I was willing to give the dude's ideas a shot even after he royally boned SWG (great economy toy, terrible game, well, while I played anyway), but everything I've ever read by him reeks of "The Game is supposed to be fun for the designer, not the player."


I didn't think Koster's book was bad... vague and meandering yes, not bad.

I didn't see anything too enlightening in the Halo article either; except possibly for emphasizing play testing is important.

I think one of the most enlightening things I've ever read on game design is still Bartle's ancient paper 'Player's who suits muds'.

The large scale sophisticated testing process described in the article is just how a huge project tries to get back to the days of small projects, where one person could do iterations of play, tweak, design all by themselves, and create the game along the way.

i.e. Refactoring > Design.

This is sorta the impression you can get from the recent talk by the ICO developers. They had an initial vision and design, but created the game and the puzzles along the way.

Back to Bartle's paper; At the base, games are all about motivation.

Now whose vague and meandering... me.



"I'd like to find out more about research on what humans find 'fun' and how we should go about quantifying and qualifying 'fun'."

Can I (indulgently) suggest our book 21st Century Game Design? It's is about research into what people find fun (not just our own research) and the many different ways people have fun, along with how to apply these ideas to the game design process.

Best wishes!

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