A Theory of Fun for Game Design, by Raph Koster

I liked reading this — gave a really strong point of view on one way to think about building fun & great games. Some of it is strongly supported by recent trends in gaming, other parts look counter indicated by some.

But (especially) the first half was really good in talking about how game mechanics work, how story elements layer on top of them, and how humans crave learning — games are essentially pattern learning, and if the pattern is too simple, or too noisy, we’re just not that interested.

Very good overview, I thought, and a super-quick read.

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