Game design is the art of applying design and aesthetics to create a game for entertainment or for educational, exercise, or experimental purposes. Elements and principles of game design are applied to other interactions, in the form of gamification. Game design creates goals and challenges to define a board game, card game, dice game, casino game, role-playing game, video game, war game or simulation that produces desirable interactions among its participants and spectators. Academically, game design is part of game studies, while game theory studies strategic decision making. Games have inspired seminal research in the fields of probability, artificial intelligence and optimization theory. Applying game design to itself is a current research topic in metadesign. Sports and board games are known to have existed for at least nine thousand, six thousand, four thousand years. Tabletop games played today whose descent can be traced from ancient times include chess, go, backgammon, mahjong and pick-up sticks.
The rules of these games were not codified until early modern times and their features evolved and changed over time, through the folk process. Given this, these games are not considered to have had a designer or been the result of a design process in the modern sense. After the rise of commercial game publishing in the late 19th century, many games which had evolved via folk processes became commercial properties with custom scoring pads or preprepared material. For example, the similar public domain games Generala and Yatzy led to the commercial game Yahtzee in the mid-1950s. Today, many commercial games, such as Taboo, Pictionary, or Time's Up!, are descended from traditional parlour games. Adapting traditional games to become commercial properties is an example of game design. Many sports, such as soccer and baseball, are the result of folk processes, while others were designed, such as basketball, invented in 1891 by James Naismith. Technological advances have provided new media for games throughout history.
The printing press allowed packs of playing cards, adapted from Mahjong tiles, to be mass-produced, leading to many new card games. Accurate topographic maps produced as lithographs and provided free to Prussian officers helped popularize wargaming. Cheap bookbinding led to mass-produced board games with custom boards. Inexpensive lead figurine casting contributed to the development of miniature wargaming. Cheap custom dice led to poker dice. Flying discs led to Ultimate. Personal computers contributed to the popularity of computer games, leading to the wide availability of video game consoles and video games. Smart phones have led to a proliferation of mobile games; the first games in a new medium are adaptations of older games. Pong, one of the first disseminated video games, adapted table tennis. Games will exploit distinctive properties of a new medium. Adapting older games and creating original games for new media are both examples of game design. Game studies or gaming theory is a discipline that deals with the critical study of games, game design and their role in society and culture.
Prior to the late-twentieth century, the academic study of games was rare and limited to fields such as history and anthropology. As the video game revolution took off in the early 1980s, so did academic interest in games, resulting in a field that draws on diverse methodologies and schools of thought; these influences may be characterized broadly in three ways: the social science approach, the humanities approach, the industry and engineering approach. Broadly speaking, the social scientific approach has concerned itself with the question of "What do games do to people?" Using tools and methods such as surveys, controlled laboratory experiments, ethnography researchers have investigated both the positive and negative impacts that playing games could have on people. More sociologically informed research has sought to move away from simplistic ideas of gaming as either'negative' or'positive', but rather seeking to understand its role and location in the complexities of everyday life. In general terms, the humanities approach has concerned itself with the question of "What meanings are made through games?"
Using tools and methods such as interviews and participant observation, researchers have investigated the various roles that videogames play in people's lives and activities together with the meaning they assign to their experiences. From an industry perspective, a lot of game studies research can be seen as the academic response to the videogame industry's questions regarding the products it creates and sells; the main question this approach deals with can be summarized as "How can we create better games?" with the accompanying "What makes a game good?" "Good" can be taken to mean many different things, including providing an entertaining and an engaging experience, being easy to learn and play, being innovative and having novel experiences. Different approaches to studying this problem have included looking at describing how to design games and extracting guidelines and rules of thumb for making better games Game theory is a study of strategic decision making, it is "the study of mathematical models of conflict and cooperation between intelligent rational decision-makers".
An alternative term suggested "as a more descriptive name for the discipline" is interactive decision theory. The subject first addressed zero-sum games, such that one person's gains equal net losses of the other participant or participan
Dungeon was one of the two official magazines targeting consumers of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game and associated products. It was first published by Inc. in 1986 as a bimonthly periodical. It went monthly in May 2003 and ceased print publication altogether in September 2007 with Issue 150. Starting in 2008, Dungeon and its more read sister publication, went to an online-only format published by Wizards of the Coast. Both magazines went on hiatus with Dungeon Issue 221 being the last released. Dungeon first received mention in the editor's column of Dragon Issue 107. Lacking a title at that point, it was described as "a new magazine filled with modules" made available "by subscription only" that would debut "in the late summer or early fall" of 1986 and "come out once every two months"; the publication's original editor, Roger E. Moore, elaborated on this basic outline:Dungeon Adventures is a new periodical from TSR, Inc. in which you, the readers, may share your own adventures and scenarios from AD&D and D&D gaming with the legions of other fantasy gamers.
Each issue offers a number of short modules, selected from the best we receive. What kind of adventures do you want to see? We're going to offer as broad a spectrum of material as possible: dungeon crawls, wilderness camp-outs, Oriental Adventures modules, solo quests, tournament designs, Battlesystem scenarios, more; the premiere issue of Dungeon: Adventures for TSR Role-Playing Games was undated, but "November/December 1986" appears on the cover of the subsequent issue, Moore stated that it had been released prior to the November issue of Dragon. The magazine's format consisted of 64 pages of short D&D and AD&D game adventures of various lengths and tones, written by both amateur and professional fantasy role-playing writers. In conjunction with the first anniversary of Dungeon Adventures, Ken Rolston included a brief review in Issue 125 of Dragon. Regarding the modules themselves, he called them "heap and cheerful, full of the basic fun of D&D games", said that they reminded him of "the selection of game sessions you find at gaming conventions or in old-fashioned modules".
Rolston commented on the anthology format, which allowed writers to "publish fine little bits" and provided "great training grounds for new writers" that offered "an opportunity to experiment with offbeat themes and tones". Rolston concluded that "sophisticated gamers will find a lot to snicker at here, but there are some cute ideas", added that the "writing ranges from young and enthusiastic to polished, when compared with some of TSR's current modules...the quality of the layout and graphics is quite decent." With the sale of TSR due to solvency concerns, the magazine came under the umbrella of Wizards of the Coast in 1997, the company printed the next 30 issues. With the release of Issue #78 in January 2000, the long title printed on the cover was simplified from Dungeon: Adventures for TSR Role-Playing Games to Dungeon: Adventures. By Issue #82 it was simplified again to Dungeon. In late 2002, Paizo Publishing acquired publishing rights to both Dungeon and Dragon magazine titles as part of a move by Wizards of the Coast to divest business ventures not related to its core business.
On April 18, 2007, Wizards of the Coast announced that Paizo would cease publication of Dungeon in September of that year. Scott Rouse, senior brand manager of Dungeons & Dragons at Wizards of the Coast, stated, "Today the internet is where people go to get this kind of information. By moving to an online model we are using a delivery system that broadens our reach to fans around the world."Coinciding with the release of the 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons in June 2008, Wizards of the Coast launched a website that included online versions of Dungeon and Dragon magazines for subscribers. In this new format, Dungeon retained its mandate to deliver adventures of varying lengths and levels as well as articles with information and advice for DMs. Mainstay columns such as "Dungeoncraft" were retained, DM-focused articles that appeared in Dragon magazine were incorporated into Dungeon, making it a "one-stop shop" for DMs; the magazine shifted to a landscape format with the intent of making the articles and adventures more readable onscreen.
Content was gathered into PDF compilations on a monthly basis. In May 2011, Wizards of the Coast stopped the monthly compilations and left content in single article format. In October 2012, Wizards of the Coast resumed monthly compilations. In the September 2013 issue of Dragon an article by Wizards of the Coast game designer and editor Chris Perkins announced that both Dragon and its sibling publication Dungeon would be going on hiatus starting January 2014 pending the release of the Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition product line; the final online version was Issue #221 in December 2013. The successor magazine, called Dragon+, was subsequently released online on 30 April 2015; each issue featured a variety of self-contained, pre-scripted, play-tested game scenarios called "modules", "adventures" or "scenarios". Dungeon Masters could either enact these adventures with their respective player groups as written or adapt them to their own campaign settings. Dungeon aimed to save DMs time and effort in preparing game sessions for their players by providing a full complement of ideas, plots, creatures, maps, hand-outs, character dialogue
Rolemaster is a role-playing game published by Iron Crown Enterprises. Rolemaster has come in four separate editions; the third edition, first published in 1995, is known as the Rolemaster Standard System. Rolemaster Fantasy Roleplaying was first published in 1999 as a reorganized edition of RMSS, is compatible with that edition; the most recent publication of the Rolemaster rule set is Rolemaster Classic, a republished set of the second edition rules. Rolemaster uses a percentile dice system and employs both classes and levels to describe character capabilities and advancement. Task resolution is done by rolling percentile dice, applying relevant modifiers, looking the result up on the appropriate chart to determine the result. There are various charts to increase the realism of the results, but most of these are optional, many rolls can be made on a small number of tables. For combat each character has an Offensive Bonus, which takes into account one's natural physical adeptness, weapon skill, other factors, a Defensive Bonus, which takes into account natural agility, the use of shields and "Adrenal Defense", the ability of martial artists to avoid blows without effort.
In addition various modifiers for position and other factors are present. An attacking combatant rolls percentile dice, adds his or her OB to the total, adds modifiers, subtracts the defender's DB; the total is applied to a table for the attacker's weapon. The attack total is cross-indexed with the type of armor worn by the defender and the result will be a number of concussion hits dealt, which are subtracted from the defender's running total. If sufficient hits are dealt, the defender may go unconscious, but death results purely from concussion hit damage. In addition to concussion hits, however, a critical hit can be dealt by the result on the weapon table; these are described by severity. Critical Hits, can inflict additional concussion hits, broken bones, loss of limbs or extremities, internal organ damage and outright death. If a crit is inflicted, a second roll is made on the appropriate critical table. Thus, for example, Dungeons & Dragons, Rolemaster describes wounds not only in the number of points of damage dealt, but with specific details of the injury inflicted.
Death occurs, for both player characters and Gamemaster-controlled adversaries through this critical damage, not through loss of hit points. In addition, specific injuries carry with them injury penalties, which inhibit further actions on the part of the wounded part, loss of concussion hits, can bring about similar penalties. All die rolls in Rolemaster are'open-ended', meaning that if a result is high enough, one rolls again and add the new roll to the original result - and this can happen multiple times, so in theory, there is no upper limit to how well one can roll; this means that a halfling does have a chance, albeit slight, to put down a troll with one well-placed dagger strike. However, the fact that one's opponents fight using these same rules can make Rolemaster a deadly game for both PCs and NPCs. Fans of the system maintain that this adds a great deal of realism not present in many other fantasy games, reflects the true deadliness of a well-placed strike from a weapon a small one such as a dagger.
Death from natural weapons can happen but is rare against armored combatants. Unarmored characters may well suffer serious wounds when mauled by animals, but again this allows for more credible confrontations than in other fantasy games, where the threat posed by an "unfantastic" beast such as a wolf, grizzly bear, or tiger is considered minimal; because Rolemaster's approach to combat favors a warrior, properly armed and armored, a character, poorly equipped is decidedly vulnerable. Such characters can have a tough time prevailing against fairly mundane opponents; this can prove frustrating for new players, has given rise to hyperbolic tales of housecats cutting down promising young heroes in their prime. Rolemaster is sometimes derisively called'Chartmaster' or'Rulemonster' for depending upon numerous tables and charts for character generation and resolving game actions, for its perceived vast array of rules covering every possible situation. Supporters of the game argue that many of these rules and charts are optional.
Rolemaster is a skill-based system in which few absolute restrictions on skill selection are employed. All character abilities are handled through the skill system. A character's profession represents not a rigid set of abilities available to the character, but rather a set of natural proficiencies in numerous areas; these proficiencies are reflected in the cost to purchase the skills themselves. Rolemaster characters have ten attributes, called "stats", which represent their natural abilities in such areas as physical strength, self-discipline, agility. Both random and points-based methods for determining stat totals exist, but the final result will be a number on a percentile scale, used to determine the character's skill bonus at actions which empl
Dice are small throwable objects that can rest in multiple positions, used for generating random numbers. Dice are suitable as gambling devices for games like craps and are used in non-gambling tabletop games. A traditional die is a cube, with each of its six faces showing a different number of dots from one to six; when thrown or rolled, the die comes to rest showing on its upper surface a random integer from one to six, each value being likely. A variety of similar devices are described as dice, they may be used to produce results other than one through six. Loaded and crooked dice are designed to favor some results over others for purposes of cheating or amusement. A dice tray, a tray used to contain thrown dice, is sometimes used for gambling or board games, in particular to allow dice throws which do not interfere with other game pieces. Dice have been used since before recorded history, it is uncertain where they originated; the oldest known dice were excavated as part of a backgammon-like game set at the Burnt City, an archeological site in south-eastern Iran, estimated to be from between 2800–2500 BC.
Other excavations from ancient tombs in the Indus Valley civilization indicate a South Asian origin. The Egyptian game of Senet was played with dice. Senet was played before 3000 BC and up to the 2nd century AD, it was a racing game, but there is no scholarly consensus on the rules of Senet. Dicing is mentioned as an Indian game in the Rigveda and the early Buddhist games list. There are several biblical references to "casting lots", as in Psalm 22, indicating that dicing was commonplace when the psalm was composed, it is theorized that dice developed from the practice of fortunetelling with the talus of hoofed animals, colloquially known as "knucklebones", but knucklebones is not the oldest divination technique that incorporates randomness. Knucklebones was a game of skill played by children. Although gambling was illegal, many Romans were passionate gamblers who enjoyed dicing, known as aleam ludere. Dicing was a popular pastime of emperors. Letters by Augustus to Tacitus and his daughter recount his hobby of dicing.
There were two sizes of Roman dice. Tali were large dice inscribed with one, three and six on four sides. Tesserae were smaller dice with sides numbered from one to six. Twenty-sided dice date back to the 2nd century AD and from Ptolemaic Egypt as early as the 2nd century BC. Dominoes and playing cards originated in China as developments from dice; the transition from dice to playing cards occurred in China around the Tang dynasty, coincides with the technological transition from rolls of manuscripts to block printed books. In Japan, dice were used to play a popular game called sugoroku. There are two types of sugoroku. Ban-sugoroku is similar to backgammon and dates to the Heian period, while e-sugoroku is a racing game. Dice are thrown onto a surface either from a container designed for this; the face of the die, uppermost when it comes to rest provides the value of the throw. One typical dice game today is craps, where two dice are thrown and wagers are made on the total value of the two dice.
Dice are used to randomize moves in board games by deciding the distance through which a piece will move along the board. The result of a die roll is determined by the way it is thrown, according to the laws of classical mechanics. A die roll is made random by uncertainty in minor factors such as tiny movements in the thrower's hand. To mitigate concerns that the pips on the faces of certain styles of dice cause a small bias, casinos use precision dice with flush markings. Common dice are small cubes most 1.6 cm across, whose faces are numbered from one to six by patterns of round dots called pips. Opposite sides of a modern die traditionally add up to seven, implying that the 1, 2 and 3 faces share a vertex; the faces of a die may be placed counterclockwise about this vertex. If the 1, 2 and 3 faces run counterclockwise, the die is called "right-handed", if those faces run clockwise, the die is called "left-handed". Western dice are right-handed, Chinese dice are left-handed; the pips on dice are arranged in specific patterns.
Asian style dice bear similar patterns to Western ones, but the pips are closer to the center of the face. One possible explanation is. In some older sets, the "one" pip is a colorless depression. Non-precision dice are manufactured via the plastic injection molding process; the pips or numbers on the die are a part of the mold. The coloring for numbering is achieved by submerging the die in paint, allowed to dry; the die is polished via a tumble finishing process similar to rock polishing. The abrasive agent scrapes off all of the paint except for the indents of the numbering. A finer abrasive is used to polish the die; this process creates the smoother, rounded edges on the dice. Precision casino dice may have a polished or sand finish, making them transparent or translucent res
A role-playing game is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making regarding character development. Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines. There are several forms of role-playing games; the original form, sometimes called the tabletop role-playing game, is conducted through discussion, whereas in live action role-playing, players physically perform their characters' actions. In both of these forms, an arranger called a game master decides on the rules and setting to be used, while acting as the referee. Several varieties of RPG exist in electronic media, such as multiplayer text-based Multi-User Dungeons and their graphics-based successors, massively multiplayer online role-playing games. Role-playing games include single-player role-playing video games in which players control a character, or team of characters, who undertake quests, may include player capabilities that advance using statistical mechanics.
These electronic games sometimes share settings and rules with tabletop RPGs, but emphasize character advancement more than collaborative storytelling. This type of game is well-established, so some RPG-related game forms, such as trading/collectible card games and wargames, may not be included under the definition; some amount of role-playing activity may be present in such games. The term role-playing game is sometimes used to describe games involving roleplay simulation and exercises used in teaching and academic research. Both authors and major publishers of tabletop role-playing games consider them to be a form of interactive and collaborative storytelling. Events and narrative structure give a sense of a narrative experience, the game need not have a strongly-defined storyline. Interactivity is the crucial difference between traditional fiction. Whereas a viewer of a television show is a passive observer, a player in a role-playing game makes choices that affect the story; such role-playing games extend an older tradition of storytelling games where a small party of friends collaborate to create a story.
While simple forms of role-playing exist in traditional children's games of make believe, role-playing games add a level of sophistication and persistence to this basic idea with additions such as game facilitators and rules of interaction. Participants in a role-playing game will generate an ongoing plot. A consistent system of rules and a more or less realistic campaign setting in games aids suspension of disbelief; the level of realism in games ranges from just enough internal consistency to set up a believable story or credible challenge up to full-blown simulations of real-world processes. Role-playing games are played in a wide variety of formats ranging from discussing character interaction in tabletop form to physically acting out characters in LARP to playing characters in digital media. There is a great variety of systems of rules and game settings. Games that emphasize plot and character interaction over game mechanics and combat sometimes prefer the name storytelling game; these types of games tend to minimize or altogether eliminate the use of dice or other randomizing elements.
Some games are played with characters created before the game by the GM, rather than those created by the players. This type of game is played at gaming conventions, or in standalone games that do not form part of a campaign. Tabletop and pen-and-paper RPGs are conducted through discussion in a small social gathering; the GM describes its inhabitants. The other players describe the intended actions of their characters, the GM describes the outcomes; some outcomes are determined by the game system, some are chosen by the GM. This is the format; the first commercially available RPG, Dungeons & Dragons, was inspired by fantasy literature and the wargaming hobby and was published in 1974. The popularity of D&D led to the birth of the tabletop role-playing game industry, which publishes games with many different themes and styles of play; the popularity of tabletop games has decreased since the modern releases of online MMO RPGs. This format is referred to as a role-playing game. To distinguish this form of RPG from other formats, the retronyms tabletop role-playing game or pen and paper role-playing game are sometimes used, though neither a table nor pen and paper are necessary.
A LARP is played more like improvisational theatre. Participants act out their characters' actions instead of describing them, the real environment is used to represent the imaginary setting of the game world. Players are costumed as their characters and use appropriate props, the venue may be decorated to resemble the fictional setting; some live action role-playing games use rock-paper-scissors or comparison of attributes to resolve conflicts symbolically, while other LARPs use physical combat with simulated arms such as airsoft guns or foam weapons. LARPs vary in size from a handful of players to several thousand, in duration from a couple of hours to several days; because the number of players in a LARP is larger than in a tabletop role-playing game, the players may be interacting in separate physical spaces, there is less of an emphasis on maintaining a narrative or directly entertai
Miniature wargaming is a form of wargaming in which players enact battles between opposing military forces that are represented by miniature physical models. The use of physical models to represent military units is in contrast to other tabletop wargames that use abstract pieces such as counters or blocks, or computer wargames which use virtual models; the primary benefit of using models is aesthetics, though in certain wargames the size and shape of the models can have practical consequences on how the match plays out. A miniature wargame is played with miniature models of soldiers and vehicles on a model of a battlefield; the primary benefit of using models as opposed to abstract pieces is an aesthetic one. Models offer a visually-pleasing way of identifying the units on the battlefield. In most miniature wargame systems, the model itself may be irrelevant as far as the rules are concerned. Distances between infantry units are measured from the base of the model; the exception to this trend may be models of vehicles such as tanks, which do not require a base to be stable and have rectangular shapes.
Some miniature wargames use the dimensions of the model do determine whether a target behind cover is within line-of-fire of an attacker. Most miniature wargames are turn-based. Players take turns to move their model warriors across the model battlefield and declare attacks on the opponent. In most miniature wargames, the outcomes of fights between units are resolved through simple arithmetic, sometimes combined with dice rolls or playing cards. All wargames have a setting, based on some historical era of warfare; the setting determines. For instance, a wargame set in the Napoleonic Wars should use models of Napoleonic-era soldiers, wielding muskets and cannons, not spears or automatic rifles. A fantasy wargame has a fictional setting and may thus feature fictional or anachronistic armaments, but the setting should be similar enough to some real historical era of warfare so as to preserve a reasonable degree of realism. For instance, Warhammer Age of Sigmar is based on medieval warfare, but includes supernatural elements such as wizards and dragons.
The most popular historical settings are World War 2, the Napoleonic Wars, the American Civil War. The most popular fantasy setting is Warhammer 40,000. Miniature wargames are played either at the tactical level. At the skirmish level, the player controls his warriors individually, whereas in a tactical level game he controls groups of warriors—typically the model warriors are mounted in groups on the same base. Miniature wargames are not played at the strategic or operational level because at that scale the models would become imperceptibly tiny. Miniature wargames are played for recreation, as the physical limitations of the medium prevents it from representing modern warfare enough for use in military instruction and research; these models were made of tin or lead, but nowadays they are made of polystyrene or resin. Plastic models are cheaper to mass-produce but require a larger investment because they require expensive steel molds. Lead and tin models, by contrast, can be cast in cheap rubber molds.
Larger firms such as Games Workshop prefer to produce plastic models, whereas smaller firms with less money prefer metal models. Wargaming figurines come with unrealistic body proportions, their hands may be oversized. One reason for this is to make the models more robust: thicker parts are less to bend or break. Another reason is that manufacturing methods stipulate a minimum thickness for casting. Odd proportions may make the model look better for its size by accentuating certain features that the human eye focuses on. Wargaming models are sold in parts. In the case of plastic models, they're sold still affixed to their sprues; the player is expected to glue them together. This is the norm because, depending on the design of the model, it may not be possible to mold it whole, selling the parts un-assembled saves on labor costs. After assembling the model, the player should paint it to make it more presentable and easier to identify. Understandably, the time and skill involved in assembling and painting models deters many people from miniature wargaming.
Some firms have tried to address this by selling pre-assembled and pre-painted models, but these are rare because, with current technologies, it's hard to mass-produce ready-to-play miniatures that are both cheap and match the beauty of hand-painted models. The other options for players are to hire a professional painter. Historical miniature wargames are designed to use generic models. It's not possible to copyright the look of a historical soldier. Anyone, for instance, may produce miniature models of Napoleonic infantrymen. A player of a Napoleonic-era wargame could thus obtain his models from any manufacturer who produces Napoleonic models at the requisite scale. It's difficult if not impossible for a historical wargame designer to oblige players to buy models from a certain manufacturer. By contrast, fantasy wargames feature fictional warriors, fictional characters can be copyrighted. By incorporating original characters into his wargame, a wargame designer can oblige the player to purchase his models from a specific manufacturer, licensed to produce the re
Dragon was one of the two official magazines for source material for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game and associated products. TSR, Inc. launched the monthly printed magazine in 1976 to succeed the company's earlier publication, The Strategic Review. The final printed issue was #359 in September 2007. Shortly after the last print issue shipped in mid-August 2007, Wizards of the Coast, the publication's current copyright holder, relaunched Dragon as an online magazine, continuing on the numbering of the print edition; the last published issue was No. 430 in December 2013. A digital publication called Dragon+, which replaces the Dragon magazine, launched in 2015, it is created by Dialect in collaboration with Wizards of the Coast, restarted the numbering system for issues at No. 1. In 1975, TSR, Inc. began publishing The Strategic Review. At the time, roleplaying games were still seen as a subgenre of the wargaming industry, the magazine was designed not only to support Dungeons & Dragons and TSR's other games, but to cover wargaming in general.
In short order, the popularity and growth of Dungeons & Dragons made it clear that the game had not only separated itself from its wargaming origins, but had launched an new industry unto itself. TSR canceled The Strategic Review after only seven issues the following year, replaced it with two magazines, Little Wars, which covered miniature wargaming, The Dragon, which covered role playing games. After twelve issues, Little Wars ceased independent publication and issue 13 was published as part of Dragon issue 22; the magazine debuted as The Dragon in June 1976. TSR co-founder Gary Gygax commented years later: "When I decided that The Strategic Review was not the right vehicle, hired Tim Kask as a magazine editor for Tactical Studies Rules, named the new publication he was to produce The Dragon, I thought we would have a great periodical to serve gaming enthusiasts worldwide... At no time did I contemplate so great a success or so long a lifespan."Dragon was the launching point for a number of rules, monsters, magic items, other ideas that were incorporated into official products of the Dungeons & Dragons game.
A prime example is the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, which first became known through a series of Dragon articles in the 1980s by its creator Ed Greenwood. It subsequently went on to become one of the primary campaign'worlds' for official Dungeons and Dragons products, starting in 1987; the magazine appeared on the cover as Dragon from July 1980 changing its name to Dragon Magazine starting November 1987. Wizards of the Coast purchased TSR and its intellectual properties, including Dragon Magazine, in 1997. Production was transferred from Wisconsin to Washington state. In 1999, Wizards of the Coast was itself purchased by Inc.. Dragon Magazine suffered a five-month gap between #236 and #237 but remained published by TSR as a subsidiary of WotC starting September 1997, until January 2000 when WotC became the listed de facto publisher, they removed the word "magazine" from the cover title starting with the June, 2000 issue, changing the publication's name back to Dragon. In 1999 a compilation of the first 250 issues was released in PDF format with a special viewer including an article and keyword search on a CD-ROM package.
Included were the 7 issues of The Strategic Review. This compilation is known as the software title Dragon Magazine Archive; because of issues raised with the 2001 ruling in Greenberg v. National Geographic regarding the reprint rights of various comic scripts, printed in Dragon over the years and Paizo Publishing's policy that creators of comics retain their copyright, the Dragon Magazine Archive is out of print and hard to find. In 2002, Paizo Publishing acquired the rights to publish both Dragon and Dungeon under license from Wizards of the Coast. Dragon was published by Paizo starting September 2002, it tied Dragon more to Dungeon by including articles supporting and promoting its major multi-issue adventures such as the Age of Worms and Savage Tide. Class Acts, monthly one or two-page articles offering ideas for developing specific character classes, were introduced by Paizo. On April 18, 2007, Wizards of the Coast announced that it would not be renewing Paizo's licenses for Dragon and Dungeon.
Scott Rouse, Senior Brand Manager of Dungeons & Dragons at Wizards of the Coast stated, "Today the internet is where people go to get this kind of information. By moving to an online model we are using a delivery system that broadens our reach to fans around the world." Paizo published the last print editions of Dragon and Dungeon magazines for September 2007. In August 2007, Wizards of the Coast announced plans for the 4th edition of the Dungeons & Dragons game. Part of this announcement was that D&D Insider subscriber content would include the new, online versions of both Dungeon and Dragon magazines along with tools for building campaigns, managing character sheets and other features. In its online form, Dragon continues to publish articles aimed at Dungeons & Dragons players, with rules data from these articles feeding the D&D Character Builder and other online tools. In the September 2013 issue of Dragon an article by Wizards of the Coast game designer and editor Chris Perkins announced that both Dragon and its sibling publication Dungeon would be going on hiatus starting January 2014 pending the release o