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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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Without further ado, the magic of Subversion changelogs will reveal what I've been slacking err working hard at since my last (and distant) blog post.

/Usual disclaimer of being too busy goes here, but it's been 'crunch' time at work (2 games released in same month!) Yadder yadder.

  • Implemented a whole new system of debug variables to make runtime tweaking automatic and much easier. Should save me weeks in the long run.

  • Added a physics & game model material system and linked it in with Blender physics prim specification and export. The Collada spec is still rather grey about user-specified data so I've bunged the info in the object name string with the requisite switch id. Now if only Blender allowed names longer than 23(?!) chars... hmmm maybe time for a little edit to the Blender source..?

  • Added damage system for physics object collisions and tied it in with object subsystems (via a multitude of archaic model primitive mappings.) Newton gives some information about collisions but AFAICS there's more work to extract useful data from them.

  • Started work on vehicle autopilots (again!) as a precursor to orders/docking/launching etc. This had already been written for the old 'non-physical' movement system - now it's a whole lot harder to tie in with the physics. Initial experiments using PID controllers looks promising. Nothing quite so demotivating as rewriting whole chunks of stuff again though :(

  • Added static damage decals via the particle system. Need more work but the basics are in there now. Also need to attach them to moving objects in the future - link them in with the dynamic damage point thingies.

  • Added scripting functionality to allow the user to easily set up the world island map and resource network.

  • Added a 'mod' mechanism to hopefully allow the user to setup most aspects of a game via Lua script. The first C2 Mod has been made already: it kicks you off in the archipelagos from the original game :)

  • Refactored, amongst other things, my World class (it was resembling a big bad 'God class') - needed some loving care before proceeding.

  • Implemented some more optimised and lower detail shaders so we can run on somewhat lesser gfx cards ;)

  • Experimented with some different normal maps for the sea - Perlin noise mainly, which looks ok, but still looking for that illusive 'crumpled tin foil' effect which can apparently be realised with 'Fractal F1 Worley noise'. Apparently.

Phew, rather longer list than I expected really.

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Yeah - Blender took me a while to get into, but once there I find it better than Maya & Max in most respects. My models in Max are embarrassing compared to what I've managed with Blender!

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