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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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So far, I love Blender.

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Kwizatz

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Ok, so in a nutshell I got pissed off at Softimage for pulling fast ones at indies with their "pay the cost of a PS3 for a version of XSI thats just an advertisement to upgrade to the higher end versions every year" policy, you may remember that, if not, you can read the Journal Archives [smile].

So, anyway I decided to force myself to learn the Blender UI, the UI itself is not so great or as intuitive as you may think, but once you find what you're looking for its easier to find it next time you need it.

From a programmer's perspective, the program feels made by programmers for programmers,for example you don't "Freeze" transformations, you instead "apply" rotations, translations and scales, which makes sense when you realize that programatically, what its done behind the scenes is to apply a transformation matrix.

The armatures system for animation is great, I think it DOES beat the one in XSI in most aspects, for example you can use and manipulate individual bone envelopes to set influences, which you can't in XSI, there you apply an envelope for the whole rig and then you weight paint the problem areas, which usually are not a few.
You can also move, scale and rotate an armature and the mesh it deforms independently in object mode without it causing annoying side effects later like when you realize you had your mesh object rotated 90 degrees relative to your skeleton and then to fix it you have to re-envelope your mesh, which, if you had to do too much weight painting to fix, you'll have to do again.

But right now the reason I am rejoicing on Blender is the Python API, its a bit rough, true, but when you manage to rewrite an exporter that gave you nightmares for (still ongoing) months in 2 weeks without any mayor pitfalls, I can only say "BRAVO!", in contrast, my exported animations from XSI refuse to work properly.

And of course is always good to know that if you find yourself in need of a feature or find a problem with the software, you can go and fix it yourself. [smile]

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Yeah Blender and python is great. It only took me 2 weeks to learn blender, python, skeletal animation and writing a exporter.
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