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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 have torn my poor modules into pieces and brought them back together again as a "single game plan" (rather than a "plan to form multiple different games from assembling modules in different ways"). Doing so allowed my to get rid of a whole 4 files. Hooray! So far I've been concentrating on the menu, and making it as robust as possible. The way I see it, a game and it's menu (while obviously connected) are sort of two different things. Once I get the menu running really well, it's as simple as a call to openMenu().
And speaking of a menu running really well, so far so good! I didn't really realize how much would have to go into a robust menu! So far, this is what I have:

*Characters, items, spells, and menu options can be added and removed on the fly. The menu(s) will automatically accommodate them.
*Current menu options : Item, Magic, Equip, and Status.
*All menus are navigated with a scrolling cursor (no "type a number" here!) by using the up and down arrow keys and enter.
*All menus have an option to display "command keys", specialized for each individual menu.

*Items: Shared by all characters.
-"Basic" type can be used, anything but "Key" type can be discarded.
-Items stack if you add one you had already, and automatically decrement when used or discarded.
-Pressing left or right will cycle through displaying: # held, type, description, pow, and def.
-Sort inventory based on name, type, pow, def, or manual sorting. (Select the same sort option to reverse the sort. Each sort option preserves the last one as much as possible).

*Magic: Shared by all characters.
-"White" type can be used.
-Spells can use MP or have a set number of uses, mix and match is OK!
-Pressing left or right will cycle through displaying: cost, type, and description.
-Sort inventory based on name, type, mp cost, # of uses, or manual sorting. (Select the same sort option to reverse the sort. Each sort option preserves the last one as much as possible).

*Equip: Dynamic, the number of equip slots and what they hold is set when giving a character their initial equipment.
-Redirects to a character selection menu.
-Displays what the character has equipped currently.
-Selecting a slot displays available equipment for that slot, including the item's pow and def.

*Status: Dynamic, the number of stats and what they hold is set when creating a character. Stats can modified easily using a single call.
-Pretty simple, redirects the the character select menu and displays the selected character's stats.

When I type it out, it looks a little... lackluster ...but as with most code, there is more going on behind the scenes that I can't really accurately or concisely record here. I don't claim to be doing things elegantly, or the so called "correct way", but for now... I'm pleased.

Current task:
*Actually selecting an item from the equip menu and equipping/unequipping it (thereby removing or re-adding it to the inventory).

Other Immediate Plans:
*Character classes
*Equipment subtypes (different kinds of weapons/armor for different classes)
*Skills (character independent, unlike magic. Related to classes and/or weapon subtypes)
*Update aesthetics (even plain text can be beautiful!)

The going is slow, but the progress is undeniable. I'll keep at it!
Thanks for reading!
Here I am.
My name is Phil Manning and I am a video game designer/programmer.
I am still unknown, and I've only been programming for a couple years, but I plan to walk this path to its end.

I started with HTML back in high school, but we really didn't have any other hard core computer courses then. To be honest, HTML isn't really a big interest of mine anyway. In junior college I focused primarily on general education, and getting my life on track. Once in "real" college, I started programming with C++ and Java. I had other encounters with Flash, HTML5/php/Javascript/AJAX, Python, Prolog, Scheme, and LISP (I think that was all of them). After running the gauntlet, I took a class in C programming and wound up planting myself firmly back into C++ to attempt some OpenGL.

During all of this, I've tried my hand at some game programming, but always found myself lacking in some area.
Well no more.
I'm set to graduate in a few months, and it's time to get this DONE! Or started. Whichever.

Enough about the personal story that nobody cares about though.
On the 14th I started a C++ project that aimed to create modules that could be assembled together in any combination. The goal was to make a sort of "engine" where one could create a game (on the console) with a very small amount of effort. About a week into the projects, I found I had roped myself into circular dependencies and, just last night, I decided to abandon the "module" idea. I didn't do enough planning from the get go, and there are several things I had to do that locked the modules into a Windows system. If I'm going to make modules like that, I'd rather they not only be for a specific environment.
So modules is being pushed back, and I'm using what I have to make a Rogue-like game in the console window. I say rogue-like, but that only covers the visual style. This game will have separate battles like an RPG, along with equipment, magic, party members, stats, etc. In that sense, it's more like a simple RPG. Anyway, that's what's up for the moment. I'll be gutting and combining .h and .cpp files this afternoon, so when I actually get something to show, I'll show it. The menu is pretty much all done, but I'd jut like to get everything into it's "Normal Config".

Anyway, thanks for reading. Sorry for a long post with no payoff, but I'll have something for you within a few days!

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