Best Game Design Books 2020 | Create Profitable Games

best game design books

Game Design is the most important part of successful game development. If you fail to make a good design for your idea for a game, your whole project will be a loss.

But don't worry! There are a lot of books out there to help you to learn great game design. In this article, I have curated several best game design books in 2020, So hurry up check the list and pick the right book for you!

The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition
Author: Jesse Schell
Published at: 08/11/2014
ISBN: 1466598646

The Art of Game Design teaches you useful perspectives to design better games faster. It describes the most basic principles of game design and presents 100+ sets of different questions or lenses for viewing a game's design.

With practical instructions, it demonstrates how you can use various proven tactics in designing different games.

What You'll Learn From This Book:

  • Understanding the basic skill requirements for a game designer
  • How to design a perfect venue
  • Essential components of a game
  • Relating game components with a theme
  • Brainstorming ideas for games
  • Improving a game through iteration
  • Giving the player a challenging and enjoyable experience
  • Understanding the game mechanics
  • Building a compelling story for the game
  • Merging stories with the game structure
  • Balancing art and technology for your game
  • Realizing the value of successful teamwork
  • Understanding the technology behind the games


The Art of Game Design: A Deck of Lenses, Second Edition
Author: Jesse Schell
Published at: 06/11/2014
ISBN: 0692288872

This is the companion book to The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses mentioned previously on the list. It further extends the contents of its companion book with vividly illustrated lens cards.

These cards contain key questions that will make your game great. With clear instructions that explain how to use the card to design board, card, and video games.

What You'll Learn From This Book:

  • Developing stories for your game idea
  • Understanding several game mechanics
  • Picking the best technology tor game development
  • Understanding the aesthetics that underlie in your game
  • The user's psychology about the game
  • Getting the best result from your team
  • Understanding the business issues


Game Programming Patterns
Author: Robert Nystrom
Published at: 02/11/2014
ISBN: 0990582906

Game Programming Patterns offers you the tricks and techniques to tackle the exact problem with your game project. It covers practical patterns that you can use to untangle and optimize your game.

This game design book is organized as independent recipes so you can choose the just pattern for your game. If you are a game programmer and overwhelmed by the complexity of your code, then this is the right book for you.

What You'll Learn From This Book:

  • Fundamentals of design patterns
  • Understanding sequencing patterns
  • Programming double buffer
  • Writing a robust game loop
  • Understanding behavioral patterns
  • Working with bytecode and subclass sandbox
  • Designing decoupling patterns
  • Developing components and event queue
  • Working with optimization patterns


Coding Games in Scratch: A Step-by-Step Visual Guide to Building Your Own Computer Games
Author: Jon Woodcock
Published at: 01/12/2015
ISBN: 1465439358

This game design book is a different book in this list. Coding Games in Scratch is written for kids with little or no coding experience.

It provides fun graphics and easy-to-understand instructions to teach your kids how to build their own computer projects in the Scratch programming language.

If you want your kids to start learning to program at an early age, then this is the perfect choice for them.

What Your Kids Will Learn From This Book:

  • Basics of computer games
  • Introduction to Scratch
  • Building Star Hunter game
  • Developing Cheese Chase
  • Developing Circle Wars
  • Making Jumpy Monkey game
  • Building Dog's Dinner and Glacier Race
  • Developing Tropical Tunes game


Level Up! The Guide to Great Video Game Design
Author: Scott Rogers
Published at: 28/04/2014
ISBN: 1118877160

If you are a video game developer and looking for a book that will give you a kickstart in designing successful video games, then this is the perfect book for you.

With clear and proven examples, it demonstrates complex theories with charmingly illustrated concepts and solutions.

Covering all the concepts of video game development from pre-production to post-production stages, Level Up will surely help you to develop profitable video games.

What You'll Learn From This Book:

  • A detailed discussion about the game genre
  • Brainstorming ideas for the game
  • Writing the story
  • Developing characters for the game
  • Understanding the camera and control work
  • Designing game levels
  • Understanding the elements of combat
  • Working with multiplayer games
  • How to monetize your game


The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and Design
Author: Flint Dille,John Zuur Platten
Published at: 08/01/2008
ISBN: 158065066X

The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and Design focuses on creating games that give an involving and emotional experience to the players.

It goes beyond the basic concepts of game design to advanced topics such as writing the game script, creating the game design document, and putting together the game script.

With this book, you'll get complete visionary ideas about game design and apply them in your game.

What You'll Learn From This Book:

  • Understanding the influences of storytelling in a digital universe
  • Working with video game story structure
  • Video game construction strategies and techniques
  • Building characters for your game
  • Several steps to the game concept and script
  • Working with the high-level design document
  • Going inside into the creative process of gaming


Explore Like a Pirate: Gamification and Game-Inspired Course Design to Engage, Enrich and Elevate Your Learners
Author: Michael Matera
Published at: 05/12/2015
ISBN: 0986155500

This is another great game design book on this list. Explore Like a Pirate will help you to design funny and educative games to teach your students in the classroom.

The techniques described in the book will guide you to apply them to enhances your curriculum. If you are a teacher and looking to learn a creative teaching approach, then this is the right guide for you.

What You'll Learn From This Book:

  • Plotting your courses
  • Building stories for any concept or theme
  • Why game-based learning is more effective
  • Understanding game mechanics
  • Working with the tools that are needed for your story
  • Developing mini-games for any concept of your course



A Game of Thrones / A Clash of Kings / A Storm of Swords / A Feast of Crows / A Dance with Dragons
Author: George R. R. Martin
Published at: 29/10/2013
ISBN: 0345535529

The perfect holiday gift for fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones—a boxed set featuring the first five novels!

An immersive entertainment experience unlike any other, A Song of Ice and Fire has earned George R. R. Martin—dubbed “the American Tolkien” by Time magazine—international acclaim and millions of loyal readers. Now here is the entire monumental cycle:
 
A GAME OF THRONES
A CLASH OF KINGS
A STORM OF SWORDS
A FEAST FOR CROWS
A DANCE WITH DRAGONS
 
“One of the best series in the history of fantasy.”—Los Angeles Times
 
Winter is coming. Such is the stern motto of House Stark, the northernmost of the fiefdoms that owe allegiance to King Robert Baratheon in far-off King’s Landing.

There Eddard Stark of Winterfell rules in Robert’s name. There his family dwells in peace and comfort: his proud wife, Catelyn; his sons Robb, Brandon, and Rickon; his daughters Sansa and Arya; and his bastard son, Jon Snow.

Far to the north, behind the towering Wall, lie savage Wildings and worse—unnatural things relegated to myth during the centuries-long summer, but proving all too real and all too deadly in the turning of the season.
 
Yet a more immediate threat lurks to the south, where Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, has died under mysterious circumstances.

Now Robert is riding north to Winterfell, bringing his queen, the lovely but cold Cersei, his son, the cruel, vainglorious Prince Joffrey, and the queen’s brothers Jaime and Tyrion of the powerful and wealthy House Lannister—the first a swordsman without equal, the second a dwarf whose stunted stature belies a brilliant mind.

All are heading for Winterfell and a fateful encounter that will change the course of kingdoms.
 
Meanwhile, across the Narrow Sea, Prince Viserys, heir of the fallen House Targaryen, which once ruled all of Westeros, schemes to reclaim the throne with an army of barbarian Dothraki—whose loyalty he will purchase in the only coin left to him: his beautiful yet innocent sister, Daenerys.
 
“Long live George Martin . . . a literary dervish, enthralled by complicated characters and vivid language, and bursting with the wild vision of the very best tale tellers.”—The New York Times



The Gamer's Brain: How Neuroscience and UX Can Impact Video Game Design
Author: Celia Hodent
Published at: 16/08/2017
ISBN: 1498775500

The Gamer's Brain is an essential guide to learn how to make games that engage and retain players in the long term.

It demonstrates how user experience (UX) and human psychology make an impact on a game's success. With this effective guide, you'll understand how to design your game that gives the players a wonderful experience.

It also teaches you how to meet business goals by making your games' user-oriented.

What You'll Learn From This Book:

  • Overview of the human brain
  • How human perception works
  • Understanding human memory, motivation, and attention
  • The importance of emotion
  • A detailed explanation of game user experience
  • Understanding the usability
  • Design thinking
  • Doing game user research
  • Working with game analytics
  • Several UX strategy



Theory of Fun for Game Design
Author: Raph Koster
Published at: 02/12/2013
ISBN: 1449363210

Now in full color, the 10th-anniversary edition of this classic book takes you deep into the influences that underlie modern video games and examines the elements they share with traditional games such as checkers.

At the heart of his exploration, veteran game designer Raph Koster takes a close look at the concept of fun and why it’s the most vital element in any game.

Why do some games become boring quickly, while others remain fun for years? How do games serve as fundamental and powerful learning tools?

Whether you’re a game developer, dedicated gamer, or curious observer, this illustrated, fully updated edition helps you understand what drives this major cultural force, and inspires you to take it further.

You’ll discover that:

  • Games play into our innate ability to seek patterns and solve puzzles
  • Most successful games are built upon the same elements
  • Slightly more females than males now play games
  • Many games still teach primitive survival skills
  • Fictional dressing for modern games is more developed than the conceptual elements
  • Truly creative designers seldom use other games for inspiration
  • Games are beginning to evolve beyond their prehistoric origins


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