Game Development Reference
A GAME ISN'T AN object that we manufacture. It is a system of knowledge.
It's not a chess set. It's chess.
The hard part of game design is not physically implementing the game. It
is inventing and refining knowledge about the design.
Consider the work of novel writing. The hard part about the novelist's
work is not typing the words—it is the arduous mental work of construct-
ing interrelated characters, settings, themes, and plot turns.
In the same way, the major challenge faced by game designers isn't
implementing the game. It is inventing mechanics, fiction, art, and tech-
nology that interconnect into a powerful engine of experience. It is the
process of creating the knowledge of the design that we are going to imple-
ment. This goes much further than just coming up with ideas. It means
inventing those ideas, refining them, testing them, debating them, and
linking them so that they work together. Doing this means answering
many questions and eliminating many uncertainties. This means we have
to create knowledge.
Knowledge Creation Methods
To create that knowledge, we deploy a variety of knowledge creation meth-
ods . Playtesting, brainstorming, discussion, debate, and daydreaming are
all knowledge creation methods.
Think of each method as a card we can play. Different cards have dif-
ferent effects and consume different resources. For example, brainstorm-
ing uses multiple developers to quickly spawn many unproven ideas onto
paper, while high-skill playtesting uses balance testers to slowly explore
the nuances of an existing design.
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