Game design is the process of creating and shaping the mechanics, systems, and rules of a game. Games can be created for entertainment, education, exercise, or experimental purposes. Increasingly, elements and principles of game design are also applied to other interactions, in the form of gamification. Game designer and developer Robert Zubek defines game design by breaking it down into its elements, which he says are the following:
- Gameplay, which is the interaction between the player and the mechanics and systems
- Mechanics and systems, which are the rules and objects in the game
- Player experience, which is how users feel when they're playing the game
This article includes a list of general references, but it lacks sufficient corresponding inline citations. (December 2014)
Games such as board games, card games, dice games, casino games, role-playing games, sports, video games, war games, or simulation games benefit from the principles of game design.
Academically, game design is part of game studies, while game theory studies strategic decision making (primarily in non-game situations). Games have historically inspired seminal research in the fields of probability, artificial intelligence, economics, and optimization theory. Applying game design to itself is a current research topic in metadesign.