Ernest W. Adams

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Ernest Adams
Ernest Adams - Game Developers Conference 2010.jpg
Ernest Adams at the Game Developers Conference in 2010
Born Tulsa, Oklahoma
Nationality US/UK dual national
Occupation Game Design Consultant
Known for Interactive Storytelling Research (notability under dispute)

Ernest Adams is a game design consultant,[1] author on game development, founder of the International Game Developers Association,[2] and a regular lecturer at the Game Developers Conference. He holds a Ph.D. from the School of Computing and Mathematics at Teesside University for his work on interactive storytelling.[3] His work on interactive storytelling began in 1995 with the lecture "The Challenge of the Interactive Movie," delivered at the Computer Game Developers' Conference, and continued through a variety of lectures and articles for another 16 years. From 1997 to 2013 Adams was also a paid columnist for the Gamasutra game developers' webzine, writing a regular column called "The Designer's Notebook."

Adams entered the game industry in 1989 as a software engineer, and joined Electronic Arts in 1992. He was lead designer on John Madden Football for 3DO, and served as the audio/video producer on the Madden NFL product line from 1993 to 1999.[4] In 1999 Adams moved to Bullfrog Productions, and for one year he worked on a new game in the Populous series, and Dungeon Keeper 3, but both games were cancelled.[5]

He is also a frequent speaker at Animex Festival held annually in Middlesbrough, UK.


He is a member of the International Hobo[6] game design and narrative consultancy.[1] Adams remains a lifetime member of the International Game Developers' Association, though he no longer has an active role in running the organization, and is on the advisory board of Women in Games International.


Adams is the author of the following works:

  • Fundamentals of Game Design, part of the Game Design and Development Series (2006, with Andrew Rollings)[9]
  • Fundamentals of Game Design, Second Edition (2009)[10]
  • Game Mechanics: Advanced Game Design (2012, with Joris Dormans)[11]
  • Fundamentals of Game Design, Third Edition (2014)[12]


  1. ^ a b "ihobo Services". Retrieved Feb 2009. 
  2. ^ Hoffman, Erin (2 October 2007). "Let's Get Together". The Escapist. Retrieved 17 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "Gamasutra: The Designer's Notebook: Three Problems for Interactive Storytellers, Resolved". 
  4. ^ "Moby Games: Ernest Adams". Retrieved Feb 2009. 
  5. ^ "GameStar.RU: Interview with Ernest Adams. Rambo from the gaming industry". Retrieved Oct 2011. 
  6. ^ "Gamasutra: Ernest Adams". Retrieved Feb 2009. 
  7. ^ Ernest Adams (May 19, 2003). Break Into The Game Industry: How to Get A Job Making Video Games. McGraw-Hill Osborne Media. p. 352. ISBN 978-0-07-222660-7. 
  8. ^ Andrew Rollings; Ernest Adams (May 11, 2003). Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams on Game Design. New Riders Group. p. 648. ISBN 978-1-59273-001-8. 
  9. ^ Andrew Rollings; Ernest Adams (September 23, 2006). Fundamentals of Game Design (Game Design and Development Series). Prentice Hall. p. 600. ISBN 978-0-13-168747-9. 
  10. ^ Ernest Adams (September 24, 2009). Fundamentals of Game Design, Second Edition. Peachpit. p. 671. ISBN 978-0-32-164337-7. 
  11. ^ Joris Dormans; Ernest Adams (June 29, 2012). Game Mechanics: Advanced Game Design. Peachpit. p. 360. ISBN 978-0-32-182027-3. 
  12. ^ Ernest Adams (January 2, 2014). Fundamentals of Game Design, Third Edition. Peachpit. p. 576. ISBN 978-0-32-192967-9. 

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