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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

Testing technology to eventually begin a hexagon til based 3D RPG in XNA 4.0

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King of Herrings
To whom it may concern

So, I have spent most of my time relearning Blender and also handling my Wacom tablet. And also realising that I can never pull this off building my own engine; Importing animated models and what not, it is just too much for one man to handle. So I have decided to move this project to Unity.

Fits me perfectly. BUt I still can't figure out a good technique to make the world map. I would like a Civ 5 style map, but I can't figure out how they made it. I will probably post a question about it on gamedev, since I can't find anything relevant on Google.

Some screen shots, since I think this site needs more of it (nothing from Unity):

Male character 008.png




Maybe this you can use to model... feel free to use for whatever:

King of Herrings

First steps

I have started a test a project to test technology for an eventual XNA 3D RPG game, based on maps with hexagon tiles. I am starting a journal (first ever) to help keep motivation up. Progress so far has been pretty good, considering my starting position.

The game would consist of one world map (grand scale, for travel, still same hexagons) and dungeon/cave/event maps (lower scale) where you explore/fight. Lots more to tell on this.

It wasn't easy to get it working. Each hexagon is created separately, then all duplicate vertices it creates are removed so there are none wasted. This means it doesn't have to be a X by Y grid. At some point that seemed important...

Texturemapping is done completely in HLSL, since I found it too hard to calculate texturecoordinates given the nature of the regular hexagon vs. the square (it's probably not that hard, but it was for me). Turned out to be very easy to get a perfect tiling in the pixel shader. This means my vertices don't use any texturecoords in the vertex declaration. Normals are precalculated and averaged so all triangle transitions are smooth.

Importing a heightmap to make it look more interesting, but the goal would be all procedural generation.

Also, it was pretty hard to find info on 3D hexagon tiles. So I had to figure out a lot from scratch, so I don't know about the cleverness of the result... What I have is a bit of a hack amalgamation of stuff right now.

Rambling on... I'm pretty proud of the color picking, although it can probably be done better! It works perfectly though. In the beginning I used a sine function to cycle colors, but it wasn't exact, so now I did a much simpler and better thing. 16.7 M hexagons are possible and each would be pickable with no aliasing (not using alpha channel). I render the scene to a separate RenderTarget with inly color. Then I render the entire textured and lit scene again to the backbuffer. and sample the mouse X and Y from it to get the color and each hexagon has a color field. I then cycle all hexagons until I find the color, that's our hex. This works great with mouse-over detection. It was awful with DrawUserIndexedPrimitives, but DrawIndexedPrimitives made a huge difference.

Directional and point lights working (only directional showing in shots).

But first to try out techs and how to do things. Here below are some screenshots of the graphical side of things. All shots are capped at 60 fps. Without cap, for a 64 x 64 hex map it's currently some ~290 fps (3770K, GTX 670).

That's all so far. Next step is terrain decals, which I got stuck on. I'm probably in over my head. We'll see...

Early shots:



Trying some stuff to solve the problem with texturing; it mirrors around the center of each hex in some offset way:


Now texturing with HLSL! Success! Also new accurate color picking!!!


Last shot showing a sprite drawn for each vertex to show vertex numbers on a 128 x 128 hexagon map (no optimizing in any way), not good for frame rates:

screenshot128x128map2 - drawing one sprite for every vertex.png
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