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Để trở thành một game designer  chuyên nghiệp, ngoài căn bản về game design  bạn cần liên tục cập nhật kiến thức của mình.

Một trong những nguồn kiến thức về thiết kế game được cập nhật thường xuyên nhất là GDC Vault Free.
Hầu hết các bài trên này đều miễn phí, trừ một số nội dung mới nhất cần có tài khoản Thành Viên.

Mình sẽ cập nhật danh sách tại đây hàng tuần, phân loại theo chủ đề để dễ theo dõi hơn. Các bài được đánh dấu ★★★★★ là những bài nổi bật nhất, bạn nên ưu tiên xem trước nếu không có nhiều thời gian.

Bạn có thể xem danh sách đề nghị của Jesse Schell tại đây .

Game Design

One-Page Designs

2010 ★★★★★

Stone Librande, Creative Director, EA/Maxis

Trong bài nói chuyện kinh điển này, Stone Librande chia sẻ kinh nghiệm viết tài liệu thiết kế (design document) để truyền đạt tốt nhất ý tưởng của designer cho team.

In an effort to communicate more effectively and concisely, Stone has been experimenting with a style of design documentation that he calls a one page design. As the name implies, this is a document that is exactly one page long. After all, why create a document with more than one page if most people only read the first page anyway? During this talk Stone will show numerous examples of one page designs from Diablo III, The Simpsons and Spore. He’ll discuss what works and what doesn’t and explain how you can use similar techniques to communicate key design ideas to your team.

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Design Your Design Team

2015 ★★★★☆

Richard Carrillo, Game Director, Ubisoft Toronto

Làm sao để phối hợp các ‘kiểu’ game designer khác nhau để làm thành một team design tốt nhất? Bạn thuộc ‘kiểu’ nào?

In eight years in the industry, Richard has worked with many designers. Some he has meshed with well, some have challenged him in new ways, and some have brought conflict. The more he explored their intentions the more he saw patterns in the design teams that failed or succeeded. The final conclusion: it takes all kinds and the best design teams are well rounded. This session explores Richard’s theory on game designer types. The talk will describe his experience with the four major types, how to identify them, and how to determine their skill level. Then the talk will discuss which designers are ideal for what positions — which are leaders and which are doers. This talk will help game designers better understand themselves, their growth, and what roles they can play on a design team. Also, recruiters and producers can learn how to build better design teams

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Cùng tác giả

Interviewing for Game Design

Richard Carrillo 2017

Với vai trò là người phỏng vấn để tìm một game designer, bạn sẽ hỏi gì để tìm được ứng viên sáng giá?

Game designers are more than just idea generators. They’re visionaries, salesmen, analysts, and empaths. They develop systems and gameplay loops that drive the player experience. They are a crucial part of the AAA team, and they are the hardest to interview. This session reviews both sides of the interview process to ensure everyone is speaking the same language. As an interviewer, what are the right types of questions to ask and what should you look for in the answers? Can they really do the job or will you get burned? As a candidate, is game design right for you? If so, what should you expect from the interview process? This talk will give hiring managers the tools needed to successfully determine quality talent, while helping candidates strengthen their interview style.

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Beyond Game Design

Richard Carrillo 2019

Là một game designer, làm sao bạn có thể giữ team cùng chung một định hướng và thu phục lòng tin của mọi người?

As the industry moves forward into AAAA games, designers must step up to meet even greater challenges. But the greatest challenge revolves around leading these gigantic teams. The larger the team, the more minds there are to keep focused on a single vision. Even the best designers will fail without the soft skills necessary to lead. Your designs will be challenged all throughout development. Developers will lose faith, ideas will stray. How will you keep the team aligned to a common experience? How will you keep the team’s trust? In a truly subjective industry where millions of ideas could work, why should they believe in yours?

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The Anatomy of Gaming Motivation

2017 ★★★★★

Nick Yee, Co-Founder & Analytics Lead, Quantic Foundry

Phân tích chuyên sâu Mô hình người chơi theo độ tuổi & giới tính. Người chơi ‘Idle Game‘ thuộc nhóm nào: Casual, Core, Hardcore?

Gaming motivations vary across gamers in systematic and important ways. This is a data-driven talk based on over 250,000 gamers who have taken the Gamer Motivation Profile. After a brief review of how the motivation model was developed, Nick Yee will use new data to show how some motivations are much more volatile than others, and how these differences in volatility are related to audience coverage and risk in terms of game design. He’ll present visualization techniques developed around volatility assessment and mapping the primary motivation axes of game genres. He’ll also use a client case study to show how some established game genres may be accidental historical combinations of unrelated gaming motivations, suggesting that some genres are ripe for deconstruction.

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Cùng tác giả

The Gamer Motivation Profile Model

Nick Yee 2016

Mô hình phân loại người chơi dựa theo động lực chơi game sẽ giúp bạn định hình được đối tượng chơi game của mình.

Gamers are not a monolithic group; gaming preferences and motivations vary among gamers in important ways. Using survey data from over 140,000 gamers worldwide, we developed an empirical framework of gaming motivations and a validated tool to measure those motivations. We’ll present the gaming motivations we identified, how they are related to each other, and how they vary by gender, age, personality, and geographic region. This is a data-driven talk where we focus on the surprising findings that emerged from the large data set.

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Profiling Casual/Core/Hardcore

Nick Yee 2018

Phân tích Mô hình Động cơ Người chơi Casual/Core/Hardcore.

Despite their frequent usage in the gaming industry and community, the terms “casual gamer” and “hardcore gamer” are highly contested and context-dependent. Instead of being prescriptive, Quantic Foundry will slice a large data set of 350,000 gamers using different assumptions and present the outcomes in terms of gender and age differences along with the resulting motivation profiles. For example, they can slice the data by self-identification with the labels such as “casual”/”core”/”hardcore”, by gaming frequency, and even by different engagement levels within a specific game. The findings will complicate any simple definition of “casual” and “hardcore” while surfacing many unexpected relationships between demographics and gaming motivations. This is a data-driven talk where the Quantic Foundry team will leverage a large data set collected via the Gamer Motivation Profile that allows them to pivot between demographic variables, gaming motivations, and preferred game titles and franchises.

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A Deep Dive into 12 Motivations

Nick Yee 2019

Phân tích chuyên sâu Mô hình Động cơ Người chơi.

This is a data-driven talk based on survey data from 400,000+ gamers. Quantic Foundry’s Co-founder and Analytics Lead, Nick Yee, will take a deep dive into each of the 12 motivations in the Gamer Motivation Model to
1) describe their psychological underpinnings,
2) identify specific game mechanics/features they are linked to,
3) provide specific game examples along the spectrum of the motivation, and
4) surface idiosyncratic aspects of the motivation (e.g. gamers in China are much more driven by this motivation).

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Game Balance

Rewards in Video Games

2017 ★★★★☆

Travis Day, Senior Game Designer, Blizzard Entertainment

Vai trò của phần thưởng, chúng giúp gì cho người chơi và cái giá phải trả nếu lạm dụng. Kinh nghiệm thiết kế từ World of Warcraft & Diablo 3.

Over the past 12 years Travis has worked on reward systems for both ‘World of Warcraft’ and ‘Diablo 3’. He will share some of the hard learned lessons about how reward systems can guide or harm player experience. He will talk about the role of rewards in video games, what they do for players and the cost of using them. Travis will also discuss some of the ways they have gone wrong for Blizzard games and how Blizzard tried to address the problems rewards created.

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Quest for the Healthy Metagame

2017 ★★★★★

Stefan Engblom, Game Designer, Supercell

Nguyên lý và nguyên tắc cân bằng quân lính trong Clash Royale.

Gameplay balancing is a fundamental design challenge in any multiplayer game. Persistent and continuously changing multiplayer games that evolve over the course of several years are particularly challenging to keep in a balanced state. However, that is an essential part of providing a good experience for the players.
Stefan Engblom, game designer on the ‘Clash Royale’ team, will talk about the philosophies and principles used for balancing cards and gameplay in Supercell’s ‘Clash Royale’. In his talk he’ll share lessons learned from successes and failures that the team encountered both pre-launch and through the first year of the game being live.

Balancing Cards in Clash Royale

2017 ★★★★★

Stefan Engblom, Game Designer, Supercell

Cân bằng game PvP

Rules of Engagement: Blizzard’s Approach to Multiplayer Game Design

2008 ★★★★★

Rob Pardo, SVP of Game Design, Blizzard Entertainment

Rob Pardo chia sẻ cách tiếp cận của Blizzard trong thiết kế game cho nhiều người chơi: PvP và Co-op cần chú trọng những điểm gì khác nhau? Cân bằng, phân cấp kỹ năng người chơi, bảng xếp hạng, giao tiếp, khác biệt giữa các class nhân vật?
Hình ảnh

Imperfect Balance: Why Unbalanced Design Create Balanced Play


Extra Credits

Multiplayer games like League of Legends design content with specific strengths and weaknesses. When one strategy or “meta” becomes dominant, the counters to that strategy balance it out.

Counterplay and Teamplay in Multiplayer Game Design


Tom Cadwell, VP Game Design, Riot Games

This lecture discusses how single-player design approaches must be modified for multiplayer experiences by including the creation of counterplay (gameplay for the opponents of a player) and teamplay (gameplay for the teammates of a player).

Throughout the 40-year history of video games, most core games have had a single-player focus. Great multiplayer games appeared from time to time, but they were usually the exception rather than the rule. Today, most core games include some multiplayer component, and many game designers must be able to design for single-player and multiplayer experiences. This lecture discusses how single-player design approaches must be modified for multiplayer experiences by including the creation of counterplay (gameplay for the opponents of a player) and teamplay (gameplay for the teammates of a player).

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Metagame Balance


Alexander Jaffe, Data Scientist, Designer, Spry Fox

This talk introduces a principled approach to understanding the strength of asymmetric options, grown from the speaker’s work balancing PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.

Characters, factions, classes, and decks: we embrace asymmetry in competitive games, yet one overpowered option can wreak havoc on a community. Such metagame imbalances need not be evaluated solely through intuition. This talk introduces a principled approach to understanding the strength of asymmetric options, grown from the speaker’s work balancing PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. The method uses game theory and matchup charts to describe the possible metagames that can form among expert players. Through examples from modern games, this talk shows the value in carefully reasoning about – and even quantifying – metagame balance.

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Balancing League of Legends for Every Player, from Bronze to Bengi


Greg Street, Lead Designer, Riot Games

Design in Depth at Supercell

2018 ★★★☆☆

Touko Tahkokallio, Lead Game Designer, Supercell

Touko Tahkokallio chia sẻ kinh nghiệm cân bằng kinh tế trong Hay Day & cân bằng combat trong Boom Beach.

In this presentation, Supercell veteran Touko Tahkokallio (‘Boom Beach’, ‘Hay Day’) will share his game design philosophy and present many practical examples of granular “design in detail” around aspects of the company’s games. Great ideas and bold visions are sometimes seen as the pinnacle of game design and development. While they are important, game design in practice is mostly about finding solutions to concrete problems. This talk will delve into specifics such as how the economy of ‘Hay Day’ was created, concrete examples of combat balancing in ‘Boom Beach’, and plenty more.

Level Design

Ten Principles for Good Level Design

2013 ★★★★★

Dan Taylor, Senior Level Designer, Square Enix Montréal



The content describes 10 principles for good level design in video games. These include creating intuitive navigation, telling stories through the environment, constantly teaching the player new things, empowering the player, allowing flexible difficulty, reusing assets efficiently, evoking emotion, and showcasing mechanics through the level design. Examples are provided from games like Halo, Bioshock, and Batman Arkham City.


  • 🗺️ Design intuitive navigation with clear visual language
  • 📖 Tell stories through the environment, not words
  • 🎓 Constantly teach the player new mechanics
  • 💪 Empower the player to feel their impact
  • ⚖️ Allow flexible difficulty with risk/reward
  • 🔄 Reuse assets efficiently for bi-directional gameplay
  • 🎭 Evoke emotion through level design
  • ⚙️ Showcase mechanics through the level design

A Ramsian-style breakdown of how to create world-class levels, which distills the art and science of level design down to a concentrated set of fundamental principles for innovation, engagement, and immersion.

  1. Good Level Design is Fun to Navigate.
  2. … does NOT Rely on Words.
  3. … Tells What… But NOT How.
  4. … Constantly Teaches.
  5. … is Surprising.
  6. … Empowers the Player.
  7. … is Easy, Medium AND Hard.
  8. … is Efficient.
  9. … Creates Emotion.
  10. … is Driven by Mechanics.

And last but not least: No Rules is Written in Stone.

Level Design Saga: Creating Levels for Casual Games

2016 ★★★★★

Jeremy Kang, Principal Game Designer, King Digital Entertainment

Thiết kế màn chơi hay là yếu tố quan trọng nhất trong game casual, giúp tạo nên sự khác biệt của Candy Crush Saga và đối thủ. Bài này sẽ tập trung vào quy trình thiết kế màn chơi 4Ts: theory, thought, tools & testing.

Level design is often a key building block in designing a game, which is especially true for King “Saga” games. This session will define the moment-to-moment (or in King’s case, turn-to-turn) gameplay that helps shape the overall player experience. It will explain how good level design is a vital pillar for King to keep their casual players engaged across hundreds of levels.

This talk will focus on the design process used when creating hundreds of levels for a brand new King “Saga” game. Focusing on 4Ts: theory, thought, tools and testing, the talk will cover design considerations, how level design principles are applied, the workflow for creating levels at King, tools King uses, and how data drives the tweaking and balancing of levels in their “Saga” games.

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THEORY | Level Design Overview

  • Level Design is a Composite Role, which brings together art, design & coding
  • Game Designers create rules & systems, Level Designers implement them into Gameplay Experiences

THOUGHT | Level Design Principles

  • Concept ➡ Layout ➡ Creation ➡ Balancing ⟳ Testing
  • Identify Building Blocks in Candy Crush Soda Saga
  • 4 Level Design Principles by Ed Byrne
    • Difficulty: keeping Players Challenged
    • Rhythm: varying Players’ Experience
    • Flow: keeping Players moving toward the Goal
    • Hooks: making levels Different

TOOLS | Building a Saga

  • The Saga Envelope
    • Linear Progression which drives retention
    • 100s – 1,000s levels, New levels every 1-2 weeks
    • Light social elements for casual audience
  • Roller coaster experience: high, low, twist, turn
  • Level Library & Beat Chart
  • Ki – Shō – Ten – Ketsu

TESTING | Tweaking and Tinkering

  • Level Balancing
    1. No. of Objectives
    2. No. of Moves
    3. Mastery Star Value
    4. No. of Colors in the Level
    5. No. & level of Blockers
  • Self-Testing ➡ Internal Testing ➡ Qualitative User Testing ➡ Playtest Releases
  • Retention ➡ Progression ➡ Difficulty ➡ Monetization
  • The Most Difficult Level in Candy Crush Saga: Level 65
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