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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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Writing and reading and listening and money

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Wow, it's the first time in 12 years that I went an entire calendar month without blogging. I've actually been finding myself with less to say as the years go on. I'm reading more, writing less, and almost never listening because there's very little worth listening to. My TV viewing is now pretty-much restricted to Breaking Bad (which is gonna be a problem because I'm almost caught up and new episodes ain't coming out for six months) and reruns of iCarly.


I actually do have a couple of mentions money-wise. It's now the end of the year, which means that you should read my blog entry from last year about getting your credit reports. Suffice it to say that there is one way that is actually free and a dozen ways that pretend to be free but will end up charging you a lot of money. So don't be stupid.

Next is a little discovery that Shelly and I found, and it's really only useful if you have kids. Paypal has a "student account" that you can get at https://student.paypal.com. Basically it's a sub-account of your own paypal account. It has its own login and password and it works very similarly to a standard paypal account, except that rather than link to an external bank account, it links to your own paypal account and it exists as a "child" of your account.

It's also got a few handy features:

1. You can set your "main" paypal account to make regular automatic payments into it, ala allowance.

2. You can get a debit card for it.

3. It's got parental controls, so you can decide if your kid can send and/or accept money without your permission.

4. You ultimately have control over the balance, so you can yank your kid's money right back outta the account if they're abusing the privilege.

And that's worked brilliantly for Maggie as far as teaching her to be responsible with money. We have it set so it'll deposit a few bucks for her allowance every Friday. She can (and does) go to paypal.com, log in, and check her balance whenever she wants. If she wants to buy something online, then she can talk to me and we'll buy it together (responsible parent that I am). And if she wants to buy something locally, then she can buy it with the debit card (which I keep in my wallet, thankyouverymuch).

And it's really doing the job of teaching her about money. For example, last week she found some "Silly Bands" (funny shaped rubber bands) at Wal Mart that she wanted, but she decided that it wasn't worth it because she was saving up for some better stuff and just spending her allowance on frivolous junk sets you back from getting something really cool.

It's also a good pride thing. A couple of months ago, she finally got enough cash to buy a Nintendo handheld. She'd been keeping an eye on prices, so she knew where they were cheapest and who had pink ones available. And you can bet she told everybody in the freakin' store that she'd been saving up and she was buying this expensive toy WITH HER OWN MONEY!

And it also helped on a recent trip to Disney. Rather than have her pestering me to buy T-shirts and toys when we got to Disney, I paypal-ed her a few extra dollars "vacation cash" and told her she could buy anything she wanted. And she did spend some time looking for exactly what she wanted.

And what did she end up getting?

Yep, a mouse-ear hat with her name embroidered on it.

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Thanks for the PayPal tip. Been looking for a way to get a debit card in my kids hand that I could monitor. Sounds ideal.

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