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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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My vacation is over. It's useful to remind myself every so often why I don't travel and hate people. I did take some time and think about what I wanted to use my spare time for. In the end, I decided to use it for whatever the hell I want. So I'm going to try to do a quickie rewrite of Tangent with lessons learned and a renewed attempt at Moe. Ideally, two projects will keep me busy coding and provide enough varied problems that I don't get stuck on one problem where I don't have enough time/intelligence/skill to get through it.

First, a rehash of Moe. Moe is a placeholder name for a game I've had in mind for a little while now. It is a fantasy, turn based, 4x game. The closest game to it is probably Master of Magic. The main differentiator in the game idea is a de-emphesis on warfare.

The idea is to keep warfare viable, but not the hands down best way to win. Push it towards the desperate player or the player who needs might to make up for other failings. The two sides of that goal are fairly straightforward; make war expensive, and make peace an alternative means of conquer.

The key way war is being made expensive is by making units finite. Your population will be born, grow old, and die (and occasionally be raised as zombie labour). Losing population in even a successful war (or the lack of births due to wartime) is a non-trivial cost.

Making peace a means to conquer is more tricky. Civilization tried to push culture as an option, but it was always trumped by war. Too slow, too narrow. Moe aims to push the general concept to a bit more wide-ranging scope. Technologies will flow naturally towards more successful trading empires. Heavy trade increases happiness and desirability of your cities. Technological superiority breeds dissention in your neighbors. Desirability will allow you to siphon off immigrants from neighboring empires. Expansive trade routes allow armies to range farther and fight longer.

Unfortunately, it seems that XNA/SlimDx UI libraries are few and far between. reimplementing a UI isn't something I'm looking forward to. So at least for now, most of my energies are focused on Tangent again.

Mostly, this Tangent rewrite is going to take lessons learned and help make it more solid from the get-go; slim it down. Properties are out. Indexers are out. (just use phrases to implement them). Tuples are out; generics are de-emphasized. Must get users! Error reporting must be there from the start.

The biggest change though is probably going to be actually compiling into something. The last implementation was just way too slow. I spent a bit too much time futzing about reinventing the VM wheel. I've not decided what I'm going to compile into yet. Maybe C# and then recompile that. The DLR seems an interesting option but the docs are poorly written and/or over my head. Straight to MSIL seems to be the least pleasant option.

Multiple dispatch and the funky type system are the biggest things that are out of the ordinary for other VMs. Something I'm going to need to think about before I set to work on that. For now though, the parser(s) have been slimmed down and better (but still terrible) error reporting run through them. A basic compiler shell is there with better (and actually not bad) error reporting. The in-memory type representations are mostly back, with a few decisions yet to be made.

More to come as it gets done.

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I love TBS games! Really looking forward to the first progress report regarding it ^^

I'd love to make one myself some day, so reading about how you approach and solve various problems arising while making TBS game should definitely give me some insights.

*Hits subscribe button*

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