From Windows Solitaire to Bejeweled to Wii Tennis, casual games have radically changed the landscape of games. By simplifying gameplay and providing quick but intense blasts of engaging play, casual games have drawn in huge new audiences of players. To entertain and engage the casual player, game designers must learn to think about what makes casual games work, from game mechanics to narrative content. Through the close examination of a number of casual games, you will learn how to inject the necessary game design elements into your casual games and give your designs the complexity and strategy they need to hook gamers. You will learn:
Greg Trefry designs games large and small, from offline games to video games. Greg is a Senior Game Designer at the New York-based studio Gamelab, where he leads design on the Gamestar Mechanic, a large web-based multiplayer game and the popular Jojo's Fashion Show franchise of casual downloadable games. Greg serves as the director of Come Out & Play, an annual festival of big games that brings together designers from around the world to turn New York City into a playground for an entire weekend. Greg also designs and produces big games, from low-tech events like CounterSquirt to large promotional Alternate Reality Games like Case of the Coveted Bottle. In addition to designing games, Greg teaches and writes about games. He has taught classes on subjects ranging from game design to interactive fiction and alternate reality games at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program and Parsons the New School for Design. He has spoken at conferences around the world about games. His writings about games have been published in Adobe Think Tank, Notes on Game Dev and PopMatters. Greg combines practical experience in game design with a background in teaching and theory. As both a professor and the director of the Come Out & Play Festival, Greg works with dozens game designers each year as they move from ideas to fully implemented games. In working with designers he brings a game designer's insight and a teacher's desire to help others produce their best possible work. This has given him a front-row view to what works and what doesn't in casual play and games.