Creative Arts Book of the Week, 08/02/16

I’ve just rushed over to Eldon to staff the Library ‘pop-up’ in the Blank Canvas – Lizzie and I have been helping out the Academic Skills team by answering some of the many referencing enquiries they’ve been getting.  Anyway, I’ve forgotten to seek out my book of the week from the shelves, but I’ve had an idea, I’ll find an ebook to review. I’ve chosen Designing games: a guide to engineering experiences by Tynan Sylvester which aims to give an insight into the design structure behind the most successful video games of today. Its main focus is on teaching you the principles and practices for creating emotionally charged, immersive experiences for the players.

Part one: Engines of experience, explains how successful games are the result of combining mechanics and the rules by which a game works, with a series of fictional events which provoke emotional responses,  merging into an integrated experience. Part two: Game crafting explores a range of topics for developing the game. Some of the topics such as narrative, motivation and fulfillment frequently crop up in library tutorials. Part three: the Process appears to offer information about how the game is planned, the decision making processes and the motivation behind making the decisions. Throughout the author refers to the importance of experiencing games themselves, but concludes by saying that he has borrowed many ideas from other books, including Thinking fast and slow by Daniel Kahneman, Story: substance, structure, style and the principles of screenwriting by Robert McKee and Art of game design: a book of lenses by Jesse Schell.

If you are looking for further information on game design, do have a look at ACM Digital Library and IEEE Xplore available from the library website. You will also enjoy GDC Vault which has the latest news from game developers’ conference presented in video, audio and Powerpoint presentations.


Assistant Librarian (Promotions) at the University Library. An enthusiastic advocate of libraries, diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice for all, inside and outside the workplace.

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