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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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Entries in this blog

BensBucketGames
The full version Training for Aliens: UFO is now available (free!) on Windows computers via IndieDB:

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There's a new machinima intro, shown in the gameplay video: Click here to view the video on Indie DB.

And a few other changes. Thanks to everyone who tried the game and left comments!

I've released the game for free so lots of players can enjoy it. If you like the game, please let your friends know! If you share the link to the IndieDB page above/below, I'll be able to see how many people have tried the game. That's the only reward I get from this, apart from positive comments.

I'll be releasing further levels and patches over the coming months, so like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter for updates!

Here's another download link:

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Enjoy!

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BensBucketGames
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Last chance to provide feedback before I release the game next weekend! Here's the link to the latest version:

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I made so much progress in the last week that I skipped to version 0.9! Here's a screenshot of the new Pasture level:

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And here's the new Highway level:

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It's a hard level! To catch the cars, you can't wait until you see them on screen.

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I've also added a tutorial level and tweaked a few things.

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Please post any feedback here on my developer journal or on the IndieDB pages during the week and I'll include any changes in the release version next weekend. Here's the link again:

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Thank you so much to the testers who have provided feedback so far! It's a better game thanks to your input.

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BensBucketGames
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More progress! As promised last week, I've added sounds and polished the GUI. First, here's the link to the IndieDB page, so you can find the new download:

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I've also added multiple captures with the one beam. Here's a screenshot:

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Based on feedback, I tweaked the beam so it stays down (capturing) for a moment. Here's another screenshot:

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Finally, I added difficulty settings in the new options menu, improved the scripts, and made a few minor changes in other areas.

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Unfortunately, I've been having some trouble with animations I bought, so no progress on that front. I'm pursuing fixes and refunds, and will soon look for alternative suppliers.

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Apart from that, the only things left to add to the game are other levels! The plan for this coming week is to add a tutorial level, a first level and possibly a final level. I have two other mid-range levels planned, plus some post-release holiday-themed levels.

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As with last week's post, please post feedback comments here on my Gamedev.net developer journal or the IndieDB game pages.

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Thanks to everybody who has tried the game and provided feedback. It's great to know people are enjoying my work!

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BensBucketGames
New in this update: animated victims, fancier beam graphics, updated GUI, menus and a beta download link!

First, a screenshot:

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The beta download is hosted by IndieDB:

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If you find any bugs or issues, let me know:

  • what happened
  • how to replicate it, and
  • some specifications for your PC and monitor (just in case that matters).


    Use comments here on my developer journal or on IndieDB. I'll make changes based on tester feedback, as well as a few more improvements, and then upload a fresh build on the weekends.

    I still need to put in more variety in victim movement animations, some sounds, and polish the main menu and closing screens. I also have plans for a number of levels, each with slightly different gameplay.

    It's exciting how quickly I can create the game using Unity. I'm hoping to release it by the end of this month!
BensBucketGames

Beaming Victims

Victims are randomly generated, walk across the footpath (in T-pose) and can be beamed up! Here's a screenshot mid-beam:


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I also moved the buildings around, too. I was previewing the game in Unity's 'free aspect' view, rather than 16:9 or 5:4, but I now realise that there is less screen width to fill.

I tried CamStudio to record my screen, but the quality was terrible. Does anyone have a good (free!) alternative suggestion?

Next step: animating the victims! I need to make some adjustments to the beam when the UFO is at the extreme left or right. I'll also set up an IndieDB account and upload a beta version for testing.
BensBucketGames

UFO Sighting

A quick progress update. As promised in my last entry: a UFO, which the player can move left/right, with a semi-fancy beam. I'll try to get a screen recording for my next entry, but for now here's a screenshot:

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It's not polished yet and I'll probably need Unity Pro to get the effects that I want (e.g. glow), but I'm trying to get a working version of the gameplay running first. Also put off for the polishing stage is a fancier GUI.

Next on the agenda: add moving victims on the footpath and make the beam capture them. I might also tackle animations, or the models might just move in t-pose!
BensBucketGames
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First, the game outline: like the arcade claw crane games, but the player is an alien in a UFO, trying to abduct pedestrians.

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I haven't come up with a name for the game yet, but I have ideas for a full series of mini-games based on training for aliens. The idea was inspired by Pixar's short film, Lifted (YouTube) and a few simple video games I played when I was a kid.

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I'm using Unity which is unbelievably easy to use, especially compared to coding in C++ with DirectX. The animation system looks like the most complicated part, but the user manual is very clear. I'll worry about that when I get to animating the pedestrians.

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Minor problem: I can't think up names. At least ones that aren't already taken. No names for the game, no name for the alien race or their home planet... even my game studio name is based on a hobby project of mine. I'll need suggestions from readers, playtesters, friends and family.

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Next on my to-do list: Adding in the UFO, hooking it up to player controls, and then doing fancy graphical things with the beam.

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BensBucketGames
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Recipe for game development success: I'm a tax accountant, it's busy season, and my wife is 5.5 months pregnant with our first child. Oh, and I'm studying. Wait, did I say 'success'?

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A little about me and game development: Apart from a few simple games in BASIC or C++, most of my decade of experience has been as a contributor, reviewer and/or administrator of Ancient Anguish, a text-based MUD. There were a number of very helpful and patient people who taught me how to code, and a number of brilliant programmers whose work I learned from.

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Unfortunately, the lack of graphics in Ancient Anguish made it really hard to explain to friends and family what I spent all my time on, despite my assurances that a lot of players enjoyed my work. Also, graphics should present more of an intellectual challenge, and I like intellectual challenges.

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So, I'm working on my first 3D-graphics game. The goal is to launch a game properly, get it on Steam and have at least a few hundred players.

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Progress so far: After actually doing some work on the game I created BensBucketGames.com, tied it to Facebook and Twitter, and started a developer blog on GameDev.net. I'll talk about the game more in my next post and include some screenshots.

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There is lots left to do on the website. But! It's important to actually Get Things Done, so I'm going to balance 'studio stuff' with actual work on the game.

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Wish me luck!

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