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      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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wildpins
Really, how do WE get maximum money in a overpopulated genre? It is really easy, and I'm going to explain how to do it. I'm tired of seeing people do it the wrong way, so why not educate them a little bit on one of the many methods to use. First, the game must be distributed through a major distributor. Second, the game must be of AAA quality, hands down none of this 2 bit bull indies seem to pull these days. Now the hard part is, the main game is content heavy at 60 hours of multiplayer madness for FREE. Yes, for free. You do not charge a dime for them to pick up the game and play.

How you will make money is via DLC vanity and starter content packs. You can group a awesome flamethrower with some katana and some awesome green goo grenades, a clown character costume, some maid outfit, and a awesome new map to explore. The maximum you want to charge for that is $5.00. The cheaper you are, the more people will buy if they think it is worth it. Too cheap hurts the market, just right makes you rich. My idea is coming out spring of 2012 for Steam. It is a zombie themed game, bursting with content, and totally free. Everything in the game is AAA quality, with sounding being AA quality. Music will really hurt me on that one, xD. My gift to you is, if you can pull that off, expect to beat the odds my friend.

Now I may have a solid marketing and advertising plan in place that is tried and true, alongside money to advertise, and the knowledge and wisdom to make a sale in any kind of market, but that advantage will only ensure the most money from my work. I encourage you to plan out your game and make sure every aspect of it will FLOW with each other without any slight microsecond of a hiccup. Those hiccups will RUIN immersion and fun. Always remember to incorporate solid Public Relations Data into your game, and make sure that you study what is coming to the market and when it is coming to the market. There are solid times where there will be NO games released, and it will be a perfect time for you to release a game. Just remember, that alongside making fun and exciting games comes the aspects of good business. If one area lacks, then you will fail. Also, don't get weary as a lot of people do and make decisions when you are tired, bored, or just plain worn out. Wait until you are refreshed and then make the decisions, because if you feel like quitting one day, and you end up sticking to it, you might just become the next AAA studio.
wildpins
Ok, for those who aren't familiar with any sort of commercial game engine I'll go over some basics. First of all, when you do see my models, they will be chopped up into groups. Not everything is attached, so when you go in to try and change something, you'll need to see how it fits. Most of it will be attached, but the objects are not welded together. So, if you have any questions, you can just pst them to me, and when I get a chance I'll answer them. I got the finished High Rez model, and the low rez model that will come together. Shouldn't be a problem to change either. I did not uvw unwrap and I did not provide textures. That is up to you, and the easiest way to go about it is Zbrush UVMaster. It is extremely buggy, but it gets the job done right.
wildpins
Yes, sadly they invited me to their Hero Blade Solutions. The sad part is, I just barely read it at 1.00 AM and today for me is the 10th, so it is LATE. I responded with my entry and inquiry about the Hero Blade licensing process. Perhaps if I don't get in via free, I can just buy a license in. My team has moved ahead and started finishing up our games on Steam. We will then start to release free model packs for indie development teams. This venture for model packs was pushed back on our current affairs. I really wish I had time to read my comments or give a real date on the model pack releases, but sadly no. All I can say is that they are for games, so a high polycount version and a low polycount version are released together. I would suggest using xnormal to generate any uvws and to also create the normal and diffuse maps at 2048x2048. 4096x4096 is ok, but it doesn't always generate the best maps for the models. Sometimes in programs like the udk there is unknown stretching that can occur. Then you need to go back, play around, and fix it. I can't count how many times this happens to me on some project models, but it happens a lot. Preferably, making beautiful AAA artwork is a pain in my back, a pain that I gladly endure for the sake of success.
wildpins

Some Starter Models

Some of my starter models will possibly be for free. Why are they called "starter models"? These models can be used to start testing your 3D games. Although they might be around 10k~15k polys in total, they are still suitable for games. Mostly, because of armor and facial features, but that isn't much of a concern for us is it? The better it looks, the better it appeals.
wildpins
I will be going into selling game art, pr data, and providing free tutorials to people on the internet. Unfortunately, I will not be providing free game art. The amount of time my studio takes to make it, and the budget and costs of the game art are not refined enough to introduce AAA work free on the internet. As for PR Data, it will be provided with censored sections for our safety and others. PR Data will be provided separately and last, but the game art will be found on here. It will be priced appropriately. With the lack of good Character (oragnic) 3D models + rigs I will be providing some. This is as a side project, I will not be depending on my art or pr data to sell in order to provide more. Depending on how it does sell will result in how I go about future releases of such information sensitive items.
wildpins
This will be long, as in parts of a series. I will be going over how to implement systems that will allow you to meet the psychological needs of your target audience. You will be going into Game Theory, Complexity Theory and Chaos Theory. The details for analyzing such will be based on randomized examples. These examples will be taken into effect, and distributed only as examples. Such radical endeavors of this radical undertaking of using such information as valid will be implied as lunacy. These examples are for you to look over and conclude your own theory, thus sparking you to run a detailed analysis on proving facts that you have about your game and PR Data.

I want to begin with a simple introduction into such a advanced concept. We will begin with a section on public relation data of the United States data. We will be introducing our target audience and what they like and dislike. We can then conclude their most basic needs to meet psychologically. This will result in us building a system of systems to meet their needs, and adapting suck systems to meet their changing psychological needs. I will begin with data and end with a example system structure each lesson. The lessons will conclude also with a analysis statement of whether or not the system will meet the in demand needs of the target audience.

Public Relations Data Section

United States of America


California Targeted Public Relation Data
Caucasian Age: 17-25 Gender: Male Targeted Psychological Status: Horror Lover
Mexican Age: 17-25 Gender: Male Targeted Psychological Status: Horror Lover
Indian Age: 17-25 Gender: Male Targeted Psychological Status: Horror Lover
Italian Age: 17-25 Gender: Male Targeted Psychological Status: Horror Lover
Japanese Age: 17-25 Gender: Male Targeted Psychological Status: Horror Lover
Chinese Age: 17-25 Gender: Male Targeted Psychological Status: Horror Lover
Korean Age: 17-25 Gender: Male Targeted Psychological Status: Horror Lover
Vietnamese Age: 17-25 Gender: Male Targeted Psychological Status: Horror Lover
Russian Age: 17-25 Gender: Male Targeted Psychological Status: Horror Lover
Other Age: 17-25 Gender: Male Targeted Psychological Status: Horror Lover

Actual Public Relation Data
Caucasian 3.45%
Mexican 7.78%
Indian 0.71%
Italian 2.51%
Japanese 2.73%
Chinese 1.98%
Korean 0.34%
Vietnamese 1.39%
Russian 5.80%
Other 23.99%

Creating a System based off Public Relation Data and Psychological needs


The system will consist of target males the age 17+ that love horror. We do not other ethnic makeup, so we can not directly cater to this. We will design a system that will cater to ALL Horror Lovers. the first system will then be called "Choice System".

Choice System

The actions of your choices contain psychological value to them inside the game. As a result, you gain specific outcomes that are calculated based on a point value given from the choices you make. Choice 1 might contain a point value of 4. Choice 1 every time will pertain to a point value that will match up or exceed the value depicted for the reaction of just picking choice value 1 every time. The reaction needs to be fluid, so there can be no hiccups. hiccups would include the wrong interaction or outcome of the choices, like picking I like bunnies and getting a dog ending. We want to match up the choices on the value system as accurate as possible. Based on PR Data, we then will conclude what psychological need we are satisfying or fulfilling as this choice system is being used. Like everyday, we need to simulate the bare subconscious routines and decisions for the player, even if they know that they are psychologically being satisfied by the game (a outsource that the human mind can tell). You can not fool a person's mind, but if you meet that psychological need, it will then in return result in a pleasant experience regardless of character or values at current time.

The choice system will then need a factor. How will people en mass react to the choice system? Complexity Theory will then come into play. We want to know how well will the choice system work in groups, what their choices will be, and what needs we will meet. We will find that majority of the psychological needs will be met, with a factor of 8% of our gamers with a rejection of the current choice values. The choice system redundancy will cause quite a stir the second or third play through of the game, resulting in a increase of 12% psychological needs being unmet.


Multiplayer Complexity Theory


How will people react to decisions, actions, interactions, and game mechanics in multiplayer? We can deduce that most of the players will react the same until a event triggers the meltdown of the multiplayer match. The system we will develop to match a chaotic uncontrollable factor will be a system designed around meeting and predicting the players psychological needs during each match. We can then create a ai, with randomized effects such as unpredictable events. We can therefore change the map, create special unique events such as lightning striking a window or window blowing flames through a important part of the map. we want the ai to determine the data of choices that the players made. Based on that alone, we want the best possible system solution. Gun customization, perk mechanics, layout of maps, special economic values based on guns, points, fair trade, and match up factors including match types, rewards, length and duration, and time of event. Do we want raffles and gambling inside the game? Do we want to link each system fluidly together? This all depends on how people will react with each other. On the internet, it is absolutely predictable.

Any questions? I'll be creating a journal update every X days. I might also amend this article when I'm less sleep deprived.
wildpins

My Citations

My dear acquaintance has been babbling on about citations, and therefore to share with you where i gathered 1% of my information here is my list I have provided for him to look at. May your endeavor on the life long journal to learning a little about everything start here and now. Enjoy the reading, and post any comments if you wish about questions or concerns you might ask.


To further our conversation on your learning experience which should be of top quality are these provided beginner articles with links for your reading pleasure.

how to search google for "psychology and games"

http://www.google.co...biw=990&bih=568

http://www.psychologyofgames.com/ article ramblings of someone who reviews games and disects what is missing, mostly indie games.

http://www.gamasutra...ehind_games.php a favorite article of mine. It briefly descirbes games and the functional use pf psychology in games. It doesn't go into much detail about layering your game properly though.

http://www.sirlin.net/ ramblings of yet another reviewer. This time he dissects the most random analysis of games and life and puts it into his blog. A good read to get started in dissecting video games by pyschological design.

http://www.revleft.c...index.html?amp; this wouldn't really be considered a great topic to review, but none the less the responses and insight are top notch for this subject. You can begin to see some insight into the general psychology and predictions of video games. I'd go as far as throwing in Chaos Theory as well.

http://blog.cogswell...mes-part-three/ this is a article discussing some theories behind game design. I am missing part one and two, so the article may tend to get a little confusing.

http://www.gamepro.c...f-horror-games/ brief description of the pyschology behind horror games. Rough details.

http://altdevblogada...replytocom=2991 Game AI psychology. Although written by a indie developer, there is small insight into developing your ai to be based around a actual human psychological standpoint.

http://en.wikipedia....ki/Chaos_theory this is a great starter. If you really want to get into theories about how people will behave and act, and how to protect, expand, and profit on it, you will find it in here.

Effective Advertising Techniques

http://www.google.co...biw=990&bih=568

http://www.adcracker..._Techniques.htm A great small insider look from someone who studied advertising. You will begin to see major psychology here as well as those addictions I mentioned in my reports. Sounds familar right?

http://buzzmarketing...ing-techniques/ Small information on how to effectively advertise and market on the internet. Small do and don't list with some small insider information.

http://www.entrepren...ticle66236.html very brupt take on marketing and advertising and how to use it effectively.

http://www.buzzle.co...rtisements.html inside tips on how to do basic advertising and marketing for a target audience.

Regional Marketing
http://www.google.co...x=1&oq=regional
+marketing&aq=0&aqi=g5&aql=&gs_sm=&gs_upl=&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=116a3ca570808e30&biw=990&bih=568

http://www.yourmaind...l-marketing.asp brief description of regional marketing.

http://www.upshot.ne...onal-marketing/ web firm dedicated to region marketing, don't use them since it costs money to apply their data.

http://www.internetb..._techniques.htm small regional marketing review of how to effectively reach your targets.

http://www.wisegeek....ing-manager.htm describes what a regional marketing manager does and is expected to do.
wildpins
For indie or commercial it's the same. 98% of all businesses fail in the first 5 years due to one area lacking. 98% of those businesses fail in the next 10 years because of multiple areas crumbling. So I will show you the proper model how to setup and operate as a business and explain it to you in simple terms.

businesstriangle.jpg


Mission is important, and without a clear mission or "vision" of where you want the company to go and finish at, you fail.

Around mission you build a team, and without a solid team dedicated to success again you fail.

Finally we close with strong leadership, and without that leadership from you and others, you fail again.

Notice Cash Flow is on the bottom, the FOUNDATION of the system. Without cash flow, you fail.

Communications is next, and is vital. Without proper communications your business WILL FAIL, even with cash flow.

Systems is necessary, but not all businesses have good systems. Making a proper system is not so vital to success, but it will boost your business chance of survival and making money if you have a awesome system.

The legality of the business isn't as important as the others, but you will FAIL if you are operating illegally. Try to make sure that what you are doing is legal.

Product is the LEAST important, but it is still there none the less. Most indies FOCUS only on product, but what they really should do like commercial companies is FOCUS on cash flow and communications then introduce their product. I can't tell you how many games made 30k sales when they could have made 900k sales. All because their business structure FAILED.

I didn't go into much detail here. I will if a lot of people ask questions. Fundamentally, indies can have a lot of cash flow as well. How though? The internet is productive and useful, and majority of my capital comes from it. I don't scam or hack people, but I do know how to use a the internet. I'll give you the secret to making money. Solve someone's problem on the internet, charge them for the service or product on a very nice competitive rate, and then go from there. With good business ethics, you can generate capital for your game funding in no time. On of my ways of making money was to sell my advertising services to others for a dirt cheap fee. Now, it took me little to no time to create traffic and feedback to their website, and the amount of work was less than 4 hours, and I made a quick 60$ for it. Sure, it didn't beat working at a place, but I did make money for actually doing almost no manual labor at all.
wildpins
I want to go into this a bit. Some people just can't seem to grasp anything about game design. So I will go over something very simple, and for this reason you might miss it. Don't worry, grown ups and kids like to miss the simplistic things because they want over complicated formulas and junk. You simply plug and play information you gather and just design your game around it. Nothing hard to do, but some people are like "WHAT!?!"

Your game has to be a problem solver. That doesn't refer to puzzles, that refers to solving real world problems that are in demand for solutions into your game. Your game has to solve a problem, and the more common and larger that problem, the more money you will make. People like immersion, so your game can be dsigned around a specific PR Data about a region of players for that type of immersion. You can then go as far as adding depth or levels of the mechanics, visuals, and sounds into your game to provide that "feeling" people want. You can make it "friendly" to everyone by allowing them to be able to "ease" or "welcomed" into it. What? Subconscious and conscious levels of coordinated design into your game. Why PR Data? You want to make sure you are providing a solution to what that certain "pr data" wants. That's how you invent money, you provide a solution at a reasonable price for people to buy.

Nothing is easier. Let's do another example of how this works. I want a hot dog really badly, but I don't like mustard or sour cream. So I go to a place that provides me that hot dog the way I want it. I don't go to McDonalds because they don't serve hot dogs. I go to a restaurant that solves my problem, and pay for their solution which is the hot dog I wanted. Now let's see, how can this be applied to games? Isn't there already so many games out there that I can't compete?

Wrong! You can compete as long as you take it back to the core of solving people's problems. You want to make a adventure game? Add depth of adventure to it, incorporate your PR data into the core of the game, and then deliver the quality they want it at. As long as you solve their problem, you can make money. Now the trick is to gather up data on every other adventure game and find out what you can innovate on. You can take the small things, revamp it, and as long as it doesn't create any problems or doesn't fit into your design then your fine. If it does, don't add it and don't try to change your pr data to add it. You want to be able to add a depth of 3 levels to your games visuals, mechanics, and sounds. This will add immersion and quality to your game.

You don't have to be a psychological major to know what people want. You just need a good eye and a awesome mind. If you let fear or sloppy work ruin your goal and dreams, then don't bother. Games should be made of quality, and no matter how many 3d or 2d games online publishers or stores get, your game can always be on top of everyone else. Remember also, that as a indie, your word of mouth and advertising data is needed. There is a big difference from letting big pr firms spread word of mouth for you, and just letting random people do word of mouth.
wildpins
Independent Example

You just hurried together to make a game. You made the design document, and boom. Now your working on making your game. Ironically, you finish it late, who thought? You put as many of your ideas into the game, and truth be told you made it look good. Market day, and all your dreams swell up. BAM, your dreams die because you forgot something apparently. Your game "lacks" something. You think it is because you rushed it, but not entirely. You just forgot to make a few changes in your plans ...

Intended Example


You took some time out and compared older games. Your design document includes layers of your game. Your visual layer is pleasing to most of the mature audience, with blood, gore, and a lot of stunning visual special effects. Your sounds make immersion as people play. They become in grossed in the sounds of battle and war. Your game mechanics flow with ease into one another. These mechanics allow almost infinite game play and unlimited play styles. When you introduced your game into the industry, word of mouth fired an all out barrage on potential buyer wallets. You made bank and now have a crown of 48 carrot gold.

What do these examples show? How can you learn from them? It's obvious some people will say " I need to take time to put my game together." That is not the point of these examples. You must incorporate your target audience into 3 levels of the 3 areas of the game.

Level 1 Conscious - Design a game that is consciously introducing visuals, sounds, and mechanics to the target audience.
Level 2 Subconscious - Design a game that is subconsciously introducing ideas, sounds, visuals, mechanics, and addictions to the target audience.
Level 3 Subconscious Introduction - Design a game that includes a subconscious introduction to the game, allowing players that normally don't favor your game to "grow" into favor with your game.

Visual, Sound, Mechanics

You must choose based on your PR Data for your demographic region. Games of immersion offer cater to one group of individuals or more. Often times they forget to loop a subconscious introduction to the game, and players feel disconnected. Final thoughts on such a process should include major marketing data incorporated into the game.

Why do indies fail? They lack such level of design. Why do commercials fail? They lack a level of design.



wildpins
What? An indie is suppose to know that, let alone do that. Well, in this day and age indie doesn't mean 50% half baked worked but rather independent studio. It was never to refer to level of work, but rather if the studio had a publisher or not. Funny, today most indies believe it is work level and cash flow, but sadly in fact it was not meant for that reference.

Marketing and YOU

I doubt 98% of you can even tell me how to market your video game. Marketing is the key compilation of regional information such as gender, ethics, level of education, trends, styles, likes and dislikes, psychological standpoints. Providing results in a more "addictive" 3 in depth levels of conscious, subconscious, and subconscious addiction developed content for your video game. Marketing isn't about words per say, but how you present the words to your target audience. Most will never go this far, and this is the difference between thousands of sales and millions of sales.

Advertising and YOU


This is where you choose your words to sell. Also you might want to choose how to represent your game to your audience through visuals like videos and images. Advertising will allow you to choose a budget, and how far you can get with that budget. You want to draw the crowd, but be specific. You would rather have a tight niche elite set of gamers spread your game via word of mouth than everybody just generally talking about your game with little to no sales. The tight niche elite gamers will stop at nothing to hype your game, will be your best asset and investment in the long run.

Psychology For Your Games


I really should omit this article. It's not like 98% of you would even use this, let alone understand it. This is the big league that separates the games that get the recycle bin from the games that keep getting bought ages past. Psychology for your target audience. Every choice, visual art, event, dialogue, emotional thought, and sound must be designed specifically to addict your target audience. Lacking in visual, sound, or mechanics layering addiction will result in people saying your game "feels lacking" "empty". Really, come on cynics and prove me wrong here. Take a look at all the blockbuster games of old and new. Compare the psychological levels of the games. The ones that are mega hits for ages are psychologically layered for addiction. The ones that aren't get trash bin status. Layers should go as deep as 3 for each. Layer 1 should be any conscious area of addiction. Layer 2 should be subconscious area of addiction. Layer 3 should be your attempt to create a new subconscious layer of thoughts and addictions you want the player to experience and accept as truth. Layers for visuals should include your demographic target PR data. Layers for sound and mechanics should equally include your target pr data. You should go one step further by subconsciously creating a deep psychological layer of introduction to the game allowing players of all aspects to be introduced to the game, and being able to connect. Konami did this well with the metal gear series. I need to give them kudos for what they did. If you don't get it, this will mean BOX SALE DIVE BOMB.

We will continue to add to the selected topic elements in another article. Please look forward to part 2 for game development and a example of how to implement these features into your game. If you simply don't understand or don't care please ignore this article. Questions asked will be answered, if deemed answerable and proper, in a timely manner. Contribution is appreciated. Thank you for reading.
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