Game Design Frameworks - Where Do We Start?

O'Shea, Zoe and Freeman, Jonathan. 2019. 'Game Design Frameworks - Where Do We Start?'. In: The Fourteenth International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG ’19). San Luis Obispo, California, United States 26-30 August 2019. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

Attempts to improve our understanding and application of game design principles has seen a rise in the creation of "frameworks" for use in industry and academic study over time. A number of frameworks have come into popular practice and while there exists a "common sense" understanding of what a framework in game design might be, there are limited attempts to formally add to their definition through discourse. This paper seeks to address problems that may have led to this gap in our knowledge about frameworks. We also outline a selection of frameworks that we believe to be of use for developers, and present the questions that arose from early attempts to define and compare these frameworks. To the best of our knowledge, there are no other papers that attempt to address these basic concerns regarding frameworks in game design, and only two other surveys of some of the various frameworks available. Through our discussion and conclusion, we propose that further research should be done in the interests of finding an appropriate measure for comparing frameworks, as well as suggest potential methodologies to use. We stress the value of a process of discussion regarding frameworks, over the output of a strict definition. It is our hope that readers will find this paper a thought-provoking and useful resource for their own research and practice.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Identification Number (DOI):


Games, game design frameworks, survey, player typology, player motivation, involvement

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



26 August 2019Published

Event Location:

San Luis Obispo, California, United States

Date range:

26-30 August 2019

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

08 Oct 2019 14:09

Last Modified:

08 Oct 2019 14:09


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