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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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Story-Driven Game Framework: an Enterprise Approach

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capn_midnight

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I've been talking with a couple of guys here at work about game development. We're all avid gamers across all different types of games (i.e. electronic, board, pen-and-paper), and we are all fairly successful enterprise software developers. So, I'm trying to take the results of our discussions and formulate them into a general software design for character driven games, as distinctive from sports games or puzzle games, etc.

The basic idea is that the resulting game framework should be suitable for developing open-ended worlds with story-centric interactions. The emphasis is really on story telling, then game play (which may include multiplayer). Only after these aspects have been fulfilled will graphical quality be considered.

As what we really care about is the gaming system itself, not the means in which the user interacts with it, the Game Client portion of the design will be relative thin compared to the Game Server portion. In this case, "client" and "server" are relative terms. If possible, sinking the server into the client and removing the network stack should be sufficient to make a single-player game. So, such considerations as graphics and sound will be of little interest. Arguments over "DirectX vs OpenGL" are unnecessary, because in all reality, the first client will probably be text-based. UI considerations will only be "that which is enough to demonstrate the capabilities of the framework."

I have a ton of notes on paper, and still a ton of research to do, but I have been able to build a basic outline thus-far. Much of the project will be filling in the blanks from here.


1) Introduction
a. Purpose
b. Document Conventions
c. Intended Audience
d. Suggested Reading
2) Scope
a. Define
i. Need
ii. Goal
iii. Objectives
iv. Business Case
v. Assumptions
vi. Constraints
b. Operational Concept
c. Known Risks
3) Requirements
a. Overview
b. Game Network
i. Topography
ii. Encryption
iii. Data
iv. Performance
c. Story Telling
d. Physical Representation
e. Game-Play
f. Server
g. Client
4) Game Server System Design
a. Overview
b. Server Environment
c. Game-Play
d. Story
e. Mapping
f. Physics
g. Scripting
h. Artificial Intelligence
i. Networking
j. Database
5) Game Client System Design
a. Overview
b. Expected User System Requirements
c. Networking
d. User Input
e. Graphics
f. Sound
6) References
7) Appendix A: Glossary
8) Appendix B: Areas for Further Research


I don't really need to complete these sections in a linear fashion. In fact, a linear progression would probably be stifling to the process. Continuous refinement and parallel implementation will be necessary to fully account for all features and pitfalls.

I realize that what I'm undertaking is pretty much the software development equivalent of putting a man on the moon... with tools from my garage. However, I think the goals of the project and the milestone goals (unpublished as of now) will set me up for having some sort of useful results even if they don't make it into one system.

Incidentally, my journal writeup here serves as a pretty good start for the intro bullet.

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