Playful Design
Creating Game Experiences in Everyday Interfaces
By John Ferrara
Publisher: Rosenfeld Media
Final Release Date: May 2012
Pages: 245

Game design is a sibling discipline to software and Web design, but they're siblings that grew up in different houses. They have much more in common than their perceived distinction typically suggests, and user experience practitioners can realize enormous benefit by exploiting the solutions that games have found to the real problems of design. This book will show you how.

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oreillyPlayful Design
 
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(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Solemn Resign

By fogus

from DC

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Pros

  • Concise
  • Easy to understand

Cons

  • Not comprehensive enough
  • Too basic

Best Uses

  • Novice

Comments about oreilly Playful Design:

This book has a bit of an identity crisis. The first sentence in the "Who should read…" section states:

> written for designers of conventional software,
> websites, mobile apps, and other computer-
> mediated user experiences who are looking for
> novel approaches …

This sounds promising to me since the premise is that the novel approaches come from the application of design techniques found in the gaming industry. This is a worthy goal I say, however the book reads much as a primer for game design definitions. In very few spots did I see parallels drawn between game design practices and "conventional software" design practices. Likewise, I rarely (if ever) saw guidelines for applying the game techniques for practical purposes.

As a book for expanding one's techniques this book falls far short. As a way to expose oneself to the lexicon of the game industry and some (sadly thin) discussion regarding gamification this book is, well, just OK. I was hoping for a book that could guide me in applying game design techniques, but instead got a book that was filled with jargon. On the bright side, the jargon was mostly defined (eventually). I suppose if you're interested in breaking into the game industry or using its design techniques for your greater good, then you're on your own.

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