Game Design Encyclopedia Volume 1: The Foreword

Role-playing survival game is willing to take risks


In this first of many series for Game-Wisdom, we’re going to go down game design memory lane. Examining games that have an important impact on game design.

Over the years I’ve played a lot of games and with each one, I’ve studied their game design. Looking at what elements worked, and which ones clashed with the design. This study has been critical for me in developing my analytical nature both for blog posts, and for my game ideas.

From that, I have a pool of game design to wade through when coming up with mechanics; either seeing what has been done for the particular genre. Or taking elements and modifying them for a brand new idea.

A problem that I realized was that using games to help convey mechanics runs into trouble if the people you’re working with have never played them, or even knew about them to begin with. Of course games like Halo, Mario and World of Warcraft are ingrained knowledge in anyone who has an interest in the industry. But there are so many other games that have become important milestones in game development.

As the popularity of the game industry continues to grow, more people are going to join without understanding where we came from.

And that leads us to this series; I’m going to go through from A to Z examining games and their design that should be preserved. Now, this is by no means a complete list, as I know that I left a lot of big name games off of it. If the series becomes a hit, I’ll be more than happy to do additional volumes. But as it turns out while writing up the list, for future installments I may have to cheat on a few of the letters as there just aren’t a lot of games in some cases.

Besides the front page, I’ll be updating this page with links to each game to keep things organized.

A: Alone in the Dark

B: Baldur’s Gate

C: Castlevania

D: Deus Ex