How to understand Game Design

Author and project

Dominik Łasiński
Quantum Enigma (2021)


Before and during the course, I was heavily motivated by gaining a better understanding of what game design is, and how to use it in your game. Throughout the course, I have explored a variety of books and videos that helped me grasp a better interpretation of game design. One of the problems that I have encountered was that many of the resources try to go really deep within the theoretical field of game design, which (for a newbie like me) was difficult to understand and apply in my own project. However, some of the resources (listed below) can explain you the design of games in a more practical manner, with many examples that allows you to immediately apply these design patterns onto your own project.

Youtube – Game Maker’s ToolKit

Personally, one of the best youtube channels that can introduce you to the Game Design world. Generally, a video (10min to 20min long) will give you a deep analysis of a specific design pattern, mechanics, ideas and interactions in a variety of different games.

Book – Theory of Fun for Game Design;

Theory of Fun for Game Design is one of the few books that I had a chance to read during the course. What I loved about it, is that it gives a lot of different -practical- patterns that you yourself could use in your project. It is also not necessary to read all the chapters sequentially, thus you can easily jump between pages, in case there is something specific that you would like to learn.

PS. You can get a free O’Reilly (that’s where I was reading it) subscription with your Aalto email

Book – The Art of Game Design

This is another great book from the O’Reilly library. Approach of this book is more theoritical than practical, however, it includes a variety of examples and open-ended questions that can (really) put your brain in the ‘Game Design Mode’.