July, 2011

Jul 11

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.

Jul 11

Bossypants, by Tina Fey

Okay, we’ll get this out of the way to start: I would read/watch anything Tina Fey writes, ever, pretty much. So I was pretty much guaranteed to like this book, which I did. Pretty much what you’d expect — memoir with a bunch of jokes and self-deprecating humor. Great stuff. Will leave you with a trio of gems from the book:


“That feeling of ‘I’m pretty sure this next step is wrong, but I’m just gonna do it anyway’ is part of the same set of instincts that makes me such a great cook.”


“Saturday Night Live runs on a combustion engine of ambition and disappointment.”


“…when Oprah Winfrey is suggesting you may have overextended yourself, you need to examine your fucking life.”

So good.