Notes from a talk at the 2003 Game Developers Conference

At the 2003 GDC I gave a one-hour talk covering the basics of puzzle design for computer games. Mark Cerny of Cerny Games, who reviewed my talk submission, guided me toward providing more practical examples of puzzles within larger games that aren't puzzle games per se, and helped me locate good examples of puzzles within action games


The Puzzlemaker's Survival Kit
(PowerPoint slides).


Puzzle Designers mailing list. This list, hosted by Yahoo! Groups, is mainly for people who attended the Art of Puzzle Design sessions at GDC 2000, as a place to discuss puzzle design issues. To join, sign up below:


Ivan Moscovich. 1000 Play Thinks. An excellent collection of mathematical and visual puzzles, with colorful illustrations.

Martin Gardner. The Colossal Book of Mathematics. The best collection of essays in recreational mathematics. Many puzzle games, including Tetris, started from ideas in recreational mathematics.

Rosenzweig, Gary. Advanced Lingo for Games. If you want to program games for the web, start here. Thoroughly annotated code examples, covering a wide range of classic arcade and single-player games.

Games Magazine. The most interesting puzzle magazine, with a wide variety of paper and pencil puzzles, many original. Now features coverage of computer puzzle games.

Crawford, Chris. The Art of Computer Game Design. Out of print. Originally published by McGraw Hill, 1984. Full text is available online at Lays a conceptual foundation for thinking about computer game design issues. Examples are old, but the concepts are still valuable. From the game designer who started the Game Developers Conference.

Copyright 2003 Scott Kim.
All rights reserved.