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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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I've finally figured out how to use the XSI|FTK, and my loader for *.xsi files has come together in just a few days. I'm hoping to write a short tutorial on extracting static mesh data from an XSI file, and perhaps one that shows how to extract a keyframe animated or skinned mesh (once I figure out how to do that :)

Back from the North!

Went up to Leeds for the music festival this weekend (see here for more info). In short, it was great.

Got back to work on my demo, and really made some progress on one of the systems that's been holding me back a bit: user input. I've coded an input reader class and input listener interface, similar to the system employed in OGRE. Classes that want to recieve input information inherit from the listener interface, and hook themselves into the input reader. This gets messages from the OS, packages them, and dispatches them to the hooked classes. This should be finished in the next few days.

Also nearing completion is the hierarchical scene graph manager. I decided to use scene objects to represent things. A scene object class has standard SRT (Scaling, Rotation and Translation) attributes, along with a few base member functions, for adding child objects and performing scaling, rotation and translation. Anything that wants to be in a scene, like an instance of a mesh, a camera or a light, is derived from a scene object. This means that complex objects, like vehicles (with doors which open, wheels which turn and lights that illuminate their environment) can be loaded and manipulated quite easily by the higher level classes that represent actual game objects, built on top of this architecture.

I'm still working on actually loading models, however. The lack of documentation for the XSI file transfer kit has somewhat blunted my attack on that for the time being, and I'm gathering more information to code the whole thing in one go next week. Hopefully. Plus, my trial version of 3DS Max 6 has run out, so I need to buy it if I want to any more messing about with the automatic gun model that is forming the basis of this demo. I shouldn't need to (I saved the model in four formats just in case), but you never can be sure.
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