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My new book on game design is available today

by Keith Burgun on 08/10/12 06:18:00 am   Expert Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


Hello, Gamasutra!  You might know me as the guy who writes those fun articles that get nearly 150 comments, such as What Makes a Game and Establishing Functional Theory.  I also write for my own blog, over at

I'm also a game designer, and I'm responsible for the design of 100 Rogues on iOS.  I'm currently working on another cross-platform game called AURO, that's sure to be a surprise for people when they finally have the chance to play it.  Here's a picture of me I took with my new web-cam.

Me and my main man, Gandhi

This here is a picture of me and Gandhi.  I hope you like it

Anyway, I wanted to let you guys know that *today*, August the 10th, my first book is coming out.  It's called Game Design Theory: A New Philosophy for Understanding Games.  In it, I lay out the results of about ten years worth of study and fine-tuning of a very simple, clear philosophy for making and analyzing games.

Game Design Theory

The book's cover

In it, you'll find all kinds of crazy claims about games, and you'll be like "really?  what??? Did he just say that?"  And then you'll read on and you'll be like "well, that makes sense I suppose, but I don't know, do you have any charts?" and then you turn the page and just, CHARTS.  Charts just all over the place.

"Okay, these are some pretty nice charts", you say.  "I don't know, though..." your mind wanders to the topic of diagrams, and whether my book has any.  "Do you have any d-"

DIAGRAMS.  Just... diagrams.  So many diagrams, I can't even remember what anything looks like anymore.  What's that an image of in my mind's eye?  Is that my father's approving look as I take my first NOPE ITS A DIAGRAM.

There's one diagram showing why 3D platformers are a bad idea, for example.  That sounds crazy, right?  But only because you haven't seen my diagram.

So yeah, this is a book that every game designer should at least read once, I think.  You may end up disagreeing (despite the diagrams), but you will not come away from it feeling like I haven't made a statement.


Reiner Knizia

Oh, phew, it's only Reiner Knizia, the guy who is the best guy at designing games. 

Seriously, he's like the best game designer of all time.  He has designed like 700 games and he isn't even stopping.  Like 30 of his games are in the top 200 over at boardgamegeek.  He's a monster.

What's he doing here, in my post?  It must be because HE WROTE THE FOREWORD TO MY BOOK, GAME DESIGN THEORY!  That's right - this is a book on game design with a foreword from the greatest game designer who has ever walked the earth.

Your resistance to purchasing this book is on its last legs now.  All it would take is for me to scold you a little, and BLAMMO, you're doing all of my thoughts!


~ * ~

Thanks for reading my post!  I'll be here waiting if anyone has any questions about the book.

Also:  Do you (or someone you know) run some kind of game-designey school program?  This book would be great for that!  Don't worry - the tone of it is not silly and outlandish like the tone of this post.  For examples of what the book is like, check out my articles, linked near the top of this post.  If you want to contact me directly, email me at

Note:  A lot of people have asked about an eBook format edition.  I'm fighting for this at the moment with my publisher.  For now, you can help to get one created by clicking that button over on the left side of the amazon page.

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