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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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Back Into A Groove

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Jason Z


Back Into A Groove

After being a little bogged down for the past few weeks (or months I guess) it seems like I am finally starting to find my stride again. I am beginning to become productive in my writing again, and Hieroglyph is coming along too. Some of the topics that I am writing about are actually being implemented in Hieroglyph, so I guess there is some 'synergy' going on. In any case, I'm happy to be moving forward again instead of floundering on the same project for a while. Come to think of it, I think the vertex skinning is what was taking so long (exacerbated by the fact that I moved to Germany)...

For fun, I have decided to work with one of my friends on a Unity game project. It will be interesting since he is still back in the U.S. while I'm over in Germany, but I think it will be fun nonetheless! I've decided to do the game with Unity due to the rapid development and its robustness (a couple hundred thousand downloads can't be a bad thing!).

I have admired the simplicity of Unity for quite some time, and now that they have made the entry level engine free (mostly) and they are adding support for so many platforms I really do think they are heading in the right direction. With that said, I had somewhat of an open ended question come to mind earlier today, and I figured I would see what the opinions out there are:

While refreshing my knowledge with some of the basic tutorials in Unity, I found myself thinking "Wow, its really easy to get things moving and on screen". But when comparing some of the things that I do in Hieroglyph to what is done in Unity, I realized that there is a hidden cost to such rapid development: I don't think the engine can handle an extended amount of complexity in a project. Since all of the application level code is written in scripts, how complex can you really make your game subsystems? In Hieroglyph, I use render views for special rendering operations - which are fully re-entrant, recursion safe scene rendering operations, that rely on material and geometry configurations for detailed instructions on how to render everything. When thinking of how to do that in Unity, I just scratched my head and ended up stopping thinking about it...

And I think that is the rub - you give up compiled C++ for a scripting solution, and you are certainly giving up some of the power in the language. I am wondering if anyone else has found a similar limitation, or if using javascript for Unity is more flexible that I think it is... Don't get me wrong - I am a fan of Unity and will be using it for my little side project due to its ease of use, but I also don't think it can stack up to another engine with native code flexibility... What does everyone out there think? Have you brushed up against complexity issues with Unity?

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