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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 160 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Resource: Forrester's Principles of Systems  (Read 2072 times)
David Bapst

Posts: 46

« on: March 17, 2006, 06:16:23 AM »

Hey Forgites,
First off, sorry I've faded out of discussions over the past year. Research in paleobiology has been the focus of most of my attention, but I have been getting some game design in. Hopefully I'll have something to show off in the summer time.

Secondly, while doing fact-checking on Chrichton's recent novel State of Fear, I came across a reference to a beautiful little goldmine known as the Principles of Systems, by Jay Forrester. It's sort of a textbook on system structure (social systems, mechanical systems, economic systems, business systems, ecological systems, you name it) and it can even be applied to gaming systems. A lot of the chapters on flowcharts I found really interesting and applicable to general system design. Some of the deeper ideas, like integration functions creating dynamic system behavior (chaotic system behavior) I found especially interesting. Obviously modeling gaming systems in a computer doesn't work (how do you model a player's narrative choices?), I think currency flow, reward systems and inter-related system mechanics can all be described using the terms in this book.

Well, anyway, I just wanted to let you guys know about it. It's not really in print anymore, but anyone with access to a university library should be able to find a copy. I highly reccommend it as a resource for game system design. I know I'll certainly be using flowcharts even more than before in my designs.

Thank you for your time,
-Dave Bapst
Mark Johnson

Posts: 238

« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2006, 08:21:49 AM »


Are you applying Forrester's Principles to a design you are working on?  How?

Also, you might find John Kirk's Design Patterns useful:




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