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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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About this blog

Inane ramblings of a programmer

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Game projects

Game projects are hard, especially for me. I tend to reinvent the wheel for absolutely everything.
In the later years I have seen the error of my ways and used libraries such as for sound, networking and compression. I did learn alot though.

Most of all I have learned that I'm not a good programmer.. Programming is my creative outlet, I suppose. My track-record on finishing projects is good, not a single one being abandoned in my 15 years. I've simply been using time in my favor. There are a million "half-assed," excuse the term, projects out there, that for better or worse shouldn't have been abandoned. After all this time, I find myself learning the most, understanding the best, and enjoying the most the "other half" of my project development cycles. It's after all in the end that my creation takes form, and some of my ideas put together create interesting forms and combinations of gameplay.
I'm most proud of my "legend of zelda" engine, which had really only the gameplay part from the franchise we all know. I wrote it in a dinosaur language, and decided it was finished after 5 years.
Now, I have steered myself towards C/C++, and I feel confident enough to write just about anything in C. C++ is relatively unknown, although I have no problems coding in Java. I'm sure in time that I will be refactoring pieces into C++ classes. I'm not a big fan of abstracting everything. I suppose I just have that algorithmic bone in me, that I can't get rid of. I'll end this by saying that I think programmers who are more object-oriented in thinking will be more effective programmers than me.
Suffice to say, I should stick to my hobbyist roots. After all, I'm doing this for me, and sometimes at the end, for others to enjoy as well. Although that is only a goalpost you can set when that all-elusive fun-factor is present. smile.png

So, what am I doing now? Well, 2 years ago I played minecraft; something my brother forced me to play. We played it quite a while, and it was awe-inspiring. I have been a long-standing LoZ open-world man. So much so, that it's almost keeping me up at night. I just had to write a uniform voxel-block game. It turns out it was a very complicated affair. Some part of it because I never make compromises, other parts because drivers are tuned for connectable terrain (and rightly so). It's almost unfair, how millions of blocks are uploaded _and_ rendered faster as QUADs instead of triangles, which are native to the hardware. It was late until I learned that OpenGL 3.x (forward) had deprecated quads. Oh well.

I have a funny way of making games. I am an engine programmer.
I spent a year writing only an engine, with no gameplay. My trusty band of testers saw to it that I knew full well how much pain they were in; not having good gameplay, not having fluid movement, crafting and other things. It just so happens, that all these things are belong to minecraft. If I were to write "minecraft - just better," then am I not wasting my time? I am only an engine programmer though. And it really is my say, what my time is spent doing. I ended up adding all the minecraft basics in the end. It was a simple affair, and no effort were spent doing it. Without much fanfare the game took shape, simply because it was playable. We added a single-server, and later discarded it for a mesh-network node system, written by my masterful friend remorse.

Yes, I have a few friends who delve into programming. One of them taught me the art, by putting me into the fire. I wrote my first IRCd at age 18, and now im 27. I feel old, but compared to some of my friends, I really am the amateur programmer in the project. Writing the critical part. There's some pressure involved, and many times I have taken breaks. Unfortunately, I am the obsessive kind, and nothing unfinished can be let go of.
I digress. A generator was written by the best programmer I have met; hideki, who wrote the original ProTracker back in the day. He was busy making a stereo-microscope, of all things. He took some books off his shelf, and with his ingrained signal theory knowledge, which is his greatest passion, he put out worlds that made my eyes humid territory. It made me up my game substantially, and by the time I caught up, he had moved on to something that interested him more. If anything, I wish I wasn't obsessive. We worked day and night for half a year, and he never complained. The truth of the matter is, I don't have a right to ask anyone to do that, and especially not complain when they feel like they want to move on. I didn't, thankfully. Later on he has helped me with many small things, simply because he has ideas too. Expectations, ideas and solutions. Wouldn't have it any other way. It would be a lie to say "anything" can be done, but it's close enough with my present company.

3 months into project:

After a year, it would look like this:
http://fbcraft.fwsnet.net/flowers2.png experimenting with voxel objects

And these days it looks something like this:

Here's a video I made in the beginning of December 2012:
Video of me just flying around

Maybe I'll writer more on the project itself later. Maybe.
Most of all it lacks direction, I suppose. Someone to say what the final picture will be like. I tried hiring a game designer. He started writing story and dialogue, and wanted me to add a rope-block (or something). That's not design, as far as I'm concerned.
That's details, that I don't need to know. Anyways, perhaps I wasn't clear on what I wanted him to do. Perhaps he had his own ideas of what a game designer should start out doing. For all I know, he was right.
Truth be told, my LoZ engine (for lack of a better name) had its issues. But I kept on hammering down code, refactoring. It turned out a monster engine, that had so many features that I don't think anyone would have wanted to make a game with it. It used a scripting language with my own API. Unfortunately, that's my kind of endgame.
I guess I need a designer.
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