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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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Basic Terrain Rendering

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I've finally gathered the time to get back to working on my engine, now that the semester is over. My current dilemma with the engine is what model and terrain/world geometry formats I should use to get accomplished what I need. After doing some research, it looks like I'm going to be rolling my own terrain/world geometry format, which is okay by me. I've actually got some basic functionality of a heightmap terrain renderer up and running as demonstrated in the following screenshots.

Really simple color terrain

Really simple color terrain2

It still needs a LOT of work, but in its basic form, its working. I need to add texturing, smoothing, LOD, and much much more. I'm planning to combine this with a BSP format also, which I'm still working out the details of.

The next half of my dilemma is a model format. I have a very basic (again) static mesh rendering function in place that uses Wavefront OBJ files. I have been researching the MD# model formats and have found them to be interesting at the least. I haven't had much time to spend in this area yet to do much research, so this will probably be my next focus. I'm still not sure which format is going to win out in the end, or if I'm going to end up rolling my own. I'll have to experiment with a few and see what works out best for what I need. The only things I know for sure so far is that I will need a skeletally animated format.

I still need to finish implementing lighting into the engine. I may start implementing shaders for some more advanced detailing as I start to get more features up and running.

I have managed to obtain the Ageia PhysX physics SDK. This will probably take up some of my model researching time to make sure that I pick a format, adapt one, or roll my own that will easily work with the physics code. Many more things to come still... I'm kind of flying by the seat of my pants at the moment, experimenting with all kinds of things, but hopefully I can bring some sane order to it once I'm done playing with things and lock down a solid design and implement it.

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Guest Anonymous Poster


If you need some universal 3d format for development, you might want to take a look at Collada.

It's Open (source), extensible, and has
+ geometry, scene graph, animations, effects (,shaders, physics,...)
+ Max/Maya/XSI exporters
+ convenient interfaces (Collada DOM, FCollada,...)

- files are rather big (due to XML)
- Collada DOM might be too slow

So you would at some point roll your own format for shipping...

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