The Book

This is the website for the hardcover book:
Morgan McGuire and Odest Chadwicke Jenkins, Creating Games: Mechanics, Content, and Technology, A K Peters, 500 pages, ISBN 978-1-56881-305-9, Oct. 2008 (BibTex)

Creating Games is a comprehensive introduction to the process and theories of game development. It is written for academic games courses, professionals new to the games industry, and and indie development teams. The book includes worksheets and exercises that cumulate in a game design document.

"This ambitious, wide-ranging book succeeds in giving its readers a broad overview of many topics that contribute to contemporary video game design. For someone who has never worked in the field, this book will give a general understanding of how a game is designed, the working of a modern studio, the roles of different departments and the people in them, the tools they use, and the technical issues that are important to them. The exercises at the end of each chapter enhance the book's value as a course textbook. With its wealth of information on many subjects important to game design, the book would serve well as an introductory text for a student considering a career as a game designer." -Andrew Glassner

Creating Games is available in many stores and can be ordered online from Amazon.


(Download detailed table of contents)

  1. Minigame Design Exercise
  2. The Process of Development and Theory of Design
  3. Managing Innovation
  4. Critique and Proposal
  5. The Design Document
  6. Game Technology
  7. Strategic Thought
  8. Choice and Probability
  9. Balance
  10. Mechanics
  11. Creating a World
  12. Art Direction
  13. 3D Modeling
  14. Real-Time Rendering

  1. Physical Simulation
  2. Network Programming
  3. User Input
  4. Artificial Intelligence
  5. Social Issues
  6. Worksheet Forms
    1. Minigame
    2. Overview (1-page proposal)
    3. Technology Plan
    4. Budget
    5. Schedule
  7. The Games Canon
  8. Bibliography
  9. Index