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      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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More Epoch overload!

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It always amazes me what I'm capable of debugging in my sleep. For instance, I had a nasty problem with infix operators in the Epoch parser that I just couldn't sort out last night; grab a few hours of shuteye, and bam, I woke up knowing exactly what to do about it. Got to love being productive and lazy at the same time!

So now infix operators work, sort of; there's still no precedence rule support in the new parser, which will be a righteous pain in the backside to reimplement. Instead of tackling that straight away, I've decided to go back to fundamentals and figure out why functions are no longer capable of returning anything. (In case you hadn't guessed, in a language that aspires to support pure functional programming as richly as possible, return values are kinda important.)

In the process I decided to sacrifice one of the oldest sacred cows in the Epoch toolbox, which is multiple return values. Epoch's first incarnation allowed functions to return multiple values via a tuple mechanism; unfortunately, tuples and structures became extremely similar, to the point where the distinction between them was largely academic and historical and not really practical at all. Since pragmatism is the guiding rule of the Epoch project, I figured it makes the most sense to axe tuples and collapse everything of that nature into structures.

Which brings us back to multiple return values: there's no point in having them anymore, if one can just return a structure instead. I may end up implementing some syntactic sugar support for anonymous return structures if it ends up being useful (God knows I love Lua's multiple-return system... well, sometimes). It shouldn't be too hard to add sugar to the new parser structure, because the goal of the new parser is basically to make everything syntactic sugar.

Anyways... I could ramble for a bit on how the new architecture will basically turn Epoch into a programming language generator rather than a strict language itself, but I should probably organize those thoughts a bit more before splattering them all over the page. So more on that later.

For now, back to making functions useful again!

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I find its always the most bizarre bugs that sleep solves. I don't pretend to understand how it works, but my unconscious mind is clearly superior to my regular one...

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You're lucky. I tend to solve my bugs just before completely falling asleep. Which wakes me back up, and leaves me trying to decide whether I should get up to implement the solution.

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