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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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Starting again

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speciesUnknown

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Its been a while since I last made a journal post (over a year I think) mainly because development slowed considerably; also, ive been working on physics rather than graphics, until now, so there wasnt much to show.

Here, have some per pixel lighting:
per pixel lighting with point light

However, people keep wanting to see screen shots, so ive decided to work on the renderer for a while. I've set up a nice system for loading / linking shaders, and I've vastly simplified my resource loading system. The previous system relied on loading a single resource, asking it what its dependencies were, and then loading those. This was fun when I was an academic, but now I realise it was overengineered and innefficient.

I have a new system, which took me approx. 1 day to write; whereas the previous one took two weeks. My engine is designed to load from two kinds of data; it can load from intermediate files, in which case it must calculate dependencies (I've hacked this up and its slow, but its not critical for loading intermediate files) and then each resource is stored in a table with a string key. Next, I assign each loaded resource an integer ID, and create a vector of references to each resource; this means I can perform an O(1) resource lookup, and I mean proper O(1), not an ammortised one; and its considerably faster than any kind of hash table. I then give each resource links, through these integer ID's, to all their dependencies.

This is a slow process, but it does have several advantages; once its done, I can index resources without having to give each object a pointer or reference to its dependencies. I can bind dependencies instantly by directly accessing the pointer.

When I serialise my resources into blocks of data, I send the integer ID's along with them; this creates a header file for each block of binary data. I can serialise the entire resource manager, or individual tables. From here on, its the same as my old resource loading system, except without the need for linking resources to each other. Rather than gathering a shopping list, I lazy load every resource, and demand that every resource table provide a suitible fallback resource if a resource that was requested is not currently available.

When the game loads from packed blocks, it first loads the headers of each resource table, which is simply the integer ID, the string name (which is still useful) the block they are within, and the start / end point within that block. When a resource is needed, it will load its data and cache it in GPU memory. There is no need to link resources because they also know the integer ID of their dependencies.

This should make things simpler, and faster when loading from blocks of data.

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