Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Computers General

The Game Designer's Playbook

An Introduction to Game Interaction Design

by (author) Samantha Stahlke & Pejman Mirza-Babaei

Oxford University Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2022
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2022
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


Video games have captivated us for over 50 years, giving us entire worlds to explore, new ways to connect with friends, thought-provoking stories, or just a fun way to pass the time. Creating games is a dream for many, but making great games is challenging. The Game Designer's Playbook is about meeting that challenge. More specifically, it's a book about game interaction design; in other words, shaping what players can do and how they do it to make a game satisfying and memorable. Our time with a game is built on interaction, from basic things like pushing buttons on a controller, to making complicated strategic decisions and engaging with the narrative. If you've ever felt the adrenaline rush from beating a perfectly tuned boss fight or been delighted by the fanfare of picking up that last collectible, you've experienced good interaction design firsthand.

The Game Designer's Playbook is about learning what makes for great (or terrible!) interaction design in games, exploring things like controls, feedback, story, and tutorial design by analyzing existing games. It also looks at how newer and still-developing tech like VR and streaming are changing the ways we play, and how you can bring great interaction design to your own games.

About the authors

Contributor Notes

Samantha Stahlke is a Researcher at the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Ontario Tech University, Canada. Her research is focused on understanding how people play games, why people enjoy playing games, and how we can use artificial intelligence to make games even better. Outside her research work, Samantha teaches courses about game design and development, and works on independent game-related projects.

Pejman Mirza-Babaei is an Associate Professor of Game User Experience Research at the Faculty of Business and Information Technology, Ontario Tech University, Canada. His research encompasses many different aspects of the game experience, including game interaction, accessibility, and developing for novel technologies.

Other titles by Pejman Mirza-Babaei