Amazon just dropped me a new book, called Beyond Game Design: Nine steps towards creating better videogames. Based on my quick reading of the book, it looks like a good reference on the current industry thinking of how games ought to be constructed. So unless you’re one of the designer types who reads everything available on games (as Richard Bartle discusses on page 119 of the book) and want an update on game design, I recommend you get a copy.
Of note, the fist chapter of the book, Understanding Emotions by Nicole Lazzarro which discusses the role of User Experience Design vs Player Experience Design seems to a useful tool when discussing design prioritization in the future.
Looking at the bleeding edge of game design research, Jesper Juul argued in this year’s GDC just a few weeks ago that the classic flow model presented in page 13 is actually not correct. He had data to support that instead of keeping players in the flow channel all the time, good games make players fail occasionally, which in turn leads to players enjoying the game more. His slides are available online, so go read those too. :)