Gameplay Design

Game Mechanics: Advanced Game Design

Quite complex but great book from Ernest Adams and Joris Dormans about game mechanics/game economy design.

Game Balance Concepts

Another great game design course from Ian Schreiber about game balance. Content is very useful for beginners, but even more experienced designers can find some parts interesting.

Characteristics of Games

Great theoretical game design book with the creator of Magic: The Gathering Richard Garfield among the authors. Very useful, if you’re interested in deep knowledge about gameplay and different gameplay dynamics. The book has very complex language and might be hard for beginners.

Emergence in Games

Game design book about emergence phenomena in games. Might look outdated for now, but the topic is quite rare and interesting.

Flow: the psychology of optimal experience

Classical book from psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi about ‘Flow’ state, one of the main components of the gameplay experience.

Interesting Decisions

GDC lecture from Sid Meier about his definition of gameplay as “a series of interesting decisions”.

The Psychology of Game Design (Everything You Know Is Wrong)

GDC lecture from Sid Meier about the psychology of game design.

A Systemic Approach to Systemic Design

Great lecture from Mike Sellers about game systems design.

Killer Game Loops in Social Games

GDC lecture from Henric Suuronen about the design of great gameplay loops. This lecture focused mainly on social games, but principles can be useful for many other genres.

Balancing Games

Lecture from Magic: The Gathering creator Richard Garfield about game balance.

Luck in Games

Another lecture from Richard Garfield about luck in games.

Design in Detail: Changing the Time Between Shots for the Sniper Rifle from 0.5 to 0.7 Seconds for Halo 3

First lecture (GDC 2010) about game balance in “Design in Detail” series from Jaime Griesemer.

Design in Detail: Tuning the Muzzle Velocity of the Plasma Rifle Bolt on Legendary Difficulty Across the HALO Franchise

Second lecture (GDC 2011) about game balance in “Design in Detail” series from Jaime Griesemer.

Design in Detail: Identifying the Seemingly Insignificant Decisions which Determine a Game’s Ultimate Success

Third lecture (GDC 2012) about game balance in “Design in Detail” series from Jaime Griesemer.

How I Got My Mom to Play Through Plants vs. Zombies

GDC lecture from George Fan about Plants vs. Zombies tutorial.

Through the Grinder: Refining Diablo III’s Game Systems

GDC lecture from Wyatt Cheng about Blizzard approach to iterations in game design.

The 7 Habits of Breakthrough Innovators

Casual Connect lecture from Amy Jo Kim about innovative products creation and habit loops.

Co-op First: 10 Rules for Designing Successful Non-Zero-Sum Games

GDC lecture from Amy Jo Kim about designing of cooperative games.

Meta-Game Design: Reward Systems that Drive Engagement

GDC lecture from Amy Jo Kim about designing of Meta-Game.