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      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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Rebuilding a server

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I've finally gotten off my lazy butt and started rebuilding Milton. Milton was the server for my Tiny KeyCounter project, before one of the hard drives decided it was going to die.

One of the drives was the OS and actual site/database, and the other was basically nothing but a nightly backup image of the site and DB. I have no idea which drive failed - or even if one of them is still alive. I do know that the system is totally unrecoverable on whichever drive is dead, because I wasted several hours with fsck and family with no results.

So currently the easy part is in progress: I'm about 60% done with a reinstall of RedHat 8.0 on a brand new 80GB drive. I'm praying the install I've set up doesn't need CD number 3, because I can't find that disk.

Once the unpleasantries of a fresh Linux install are done, it's time to do a kernel update, pull the latest stable builds of Apache and MySQL, and get a running box going. From there I'll reconnect the drives and see if I can salvage any of the site; I'm assuming at this point that I won't be able to, and I'll leave the TKC project dead until/unless I ever decide I care to finish Version 2.0 of it.

Once the box is live, it'll be come the home of the wiki for the Epoch language project - provided one final piece falls into place.

A couple of days ago, there was a power outage. When the power came back up, the cable modem wouldn't connect. A few hours later, it finally got its act together. Now, I'm on a different IP range than I was before, and for some reason there are some serious problems connecting onto machines on my local network. I'm still not sure if that's because my idiot ISP has done something to prevent inbound connections (probably under the guise of being "for security") or if I goofed up my router settings somewhere along the line.

I really hope this isn't an ISP issue, because I can't afford to colocate this box right now, and it'd really suck to do a complete server build and find out I have a useless machine on my hands.

So... joyful grand fun, all around. IT is just the most excitingest field ever!

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What is this project?

dynamic dns is the general answer, but the vast majority of cable internet providers block a few incoming ports at their end. Generally they want you to shell out for a business line, also your EULA should have all sorts of comments about running a "server" on a basic home line.

Conversly I wouldn't have gotten a colo if Verizon's FIOS was available at my apt complex. Was just as cheap as what I'm paying for colo. While the bandwidth wasn't dedicated, I'm sure I could've done more transfers a month for less.

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TKC was really pointless: it counts the number of keys you type, and the number of mouse clicks you make. That's it. Completely and utterly useless data. It had around 6,000 active and rather fanatical users at its peak. I kept it running mainly out of perverse, train-wreck type fascination with just how obsessive people could get over totally uninteresting numbers.

To be honest I've been running open web servers off port 80 on this ISP for years. Never yet had a problem with it. I suspect the problem isn't that they suddenly locked it down, although it wouldn't surprise me. No doubt I'll end up having to bend over and take the "business level" service if it comes down to it, but I'll have to find some way to recoup the expense.

On the other hand, since I work entirely over VPN now, I get to deduct my Internet expenses from my taxes. So maybe paying a little more isn't such a bad thing after all... [grin]

Anyways, we'll have to see. I have to get the network driver crap sorted first (see recent post).

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