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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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Change of plans

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Change in plans

Well, after 3 weeks of working on work for uni, and making one of those rediculously long job applications, I've not done anything related to spawning characters.

Instead, I spent the last week making a GUI lib. This was a big change in plans, but the mood struck me, and I need a GUI of some kind eventually. Currently implemented are buttons and surfaces to put buttons on. I'm in the middle of creating text box widgets, although for them to be of a production standard I'll need to redo my font rendering system, which currenly draws nicely kerned and antialiased text, but by brute force, with no caching of glyphs.

Building this screen took only the following code to do:

gui_manager = new GUI::Manager(0, 0, 500, 400);
GUI::Button * exit = new GUI::Button("butnExit", "Exit", 100.f, 40.f);

cmd_history = new GUI::TextBox("txtdHistory","",20,8);
cmd_line = new GUI::TextBox("txtCmd","",20,1);

gui_manager->addWidget(500 - 110,400 - 50,exit);

I'm quite happy with this for a weeks worth of work (less than 10 hours of actual work all told) and am actually surprised at how quick it was to do this. Having done it twice before may have helped.

All the widgets are drawn using vector art, generated from within OpenGL. I can customise the colours, but apart from that its pretty fixed. However, there is no reason I can't make other appearences than a coloured border, thanks to my skin system. The round corners are a mesh, and the lines between them are a single quad. I've had a lengthy discussion about alternatives to this method and ive decided that im right and everybody else is wrong... at least for now. I'm hard coding the details of each skin, with some of the properties loaded from a file such as this:

BACKGROUND Colour 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.7
NORMAL Colour 0.0 0.33 0.71 1.0
ACTIVE Colour 0.0 0.63 0.91 1.0
CLICK Colour 0.3 0.4 0.9 1.0

BACKGROUND Colour 0.3 0.3 0.3 1.0
MOUSEOVER Colour 1.0 0.0 0.0 1.0
CLICK Colour 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0

Once again ive decided against XML and am rolling my own.

I've also refactored my game once again, removing all traces of the old event system. I'm now using a combination of two event systems; for the GUI communicating back to its owners, I'm using an EventListener system, where the object recieving the events must inherit the interface ButtonListener, TextBoxListener, etc.

To recieve the input from that button, I need to override ButtonListener::listenButtonClick, like so:

void ZFrenzy::listenButtonClick(GUI::Button * sender, int x, int y, int button)

And there it is, a button that exits the program. Basically this is a cut down version of the observer pattern, since only one observer can be attached to each widget. There is no reason I couldnt make this more than one, but this is just a prototype GUI system, build from previous experience building GUI systems.

In the next 3 days I hope to have the font rendering sorted out enough that I can have a decent text input box, and will then create a console; this console will allow me to make interfaces for various parts of the game which are currently hard coded, and form the basics of an in-game editor.

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