These sidebars, edited from earlier editions of Game Design Workshop, range widely in topic–from a timeless discussion of the core mechanic by Eric Zimmerman, to a description of some of the earliest game jams from Justin Hall. Some of them, such as the game jam piece, might seem dated in a world where we have the Global Game Jam, bringing together thousands of game makers world wide every year. But looking back at those early jams, which weren’t so long ago really, can help us understand where the jams of today started and the initial frustrations with the industry of those who created them.
Similarly, understanding the tabletop industry or business opportunities for independents have enduring insights alongside more dated references. And the criteria for choosing an academic game program remains virtually unchanged today, even as game programs have become a more widely recognized academic field.
I offer these sidebars not as breaking news, but as access to important thinking. By moving them here to the website, I’ve been able to add new sidebars to the latest editions such as Directing Games for Emotion by Ian Dallas, Game Loops and Arcs by Dan Cook, Mobile Game Design by Adrian Hon, Experimental Game Design by Richard Lemarchand, Metrics in Game Design by Dennis Wixon, Tuning and Balance by Stone Librande, Designing for the Oculus Rift by Laird Malamed, Opportunities for Indies by Sam Roberts, a Primer for Playtesting by Eric Zimmerman and Nathalie Pozzi, and The Mechanic is the Message by Brenda Romero. I hope you enjoy both the new pieces in the book and the ones available here.