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.


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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