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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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Lunch break review - Early February

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kseh

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I meant to post these reviews last week but my schedule has been pretty busy lately.

I'm hoping to make the time to work on my own projects instead of commenting on other people's work but I'm not really optomistic about following through. I have a couple ideas churning around including one cheesy game that I'd like to throw together for an iPhone game, just for the experience of trying that platform out. Also, at some point I'm sure I'll get something together such that there'd be a player character walking around in the caverns I created with my Lab1 project. If I can fight off procrastinating, I'd like to have something for the iPhone game, which I guess I'll call Chicken Chase, that can at least be executed. Maybe by mentioning it here I'll feel more motivated to get something done.

In the mean time, here's some thoughts on games I played last week. One kept my interest for a bit while the other two quickly got pushed to the side.

Past reviews can be found here.


[size="5"]Into Space
By: Dmitry Kolyesnik
Played 2011-02-02 on Addictinggames.com
[size="2"][sup]K. Helfenstein - 2011-02-04[/sup]

Hedgehog Launch sort of thing but with rockets instead. The objective is to get a rocket to the moon while avoiding obsticals on the way and collecting power-ups and money bonuses. In addition to money bonuses collected, money is earned based on altitude achieved and can be spent on a variety of upgrades.

Will I play it again?
Probably not. I found it difficult to want to play past the first few launches but after awhile I started having more fun with it. Had I not played Hedgehog Launch, I 'm not sure if I would've known that progress would get better after awhile. There seemed to be a variety of things that bugged me about this game the most annoying of which was the "Oh Yeah" sound effect. I've heard it in other games and hated it in them as well. I know free sound effects can be hard to come by but please, everyone, find something else that fits better. Other than that, I had some difficulty understanding what the controls were and how much fuel I had. Nothing that several minutes of trial and error couldn't take care of but some better instructions might've been nice. Also the upgrade system didn't feel like it really flowed with the progress of each launch. Buying three or four upgrades of a specific item on a single turn seems a little unbalanced. None of these things stopped me from enjoying the game but they don't make it feel like a smooth game (for lack of a better way to describe it).

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[size="5"]Super Swingers
By: Mad Science Industries and AddictingGames
Played 2011-02-02 on Addictinggames.com
[size="2"][sup]K. Helfenstein - 2011-02-04[/sup]

A swinging game kinda like There's Two Wires only with more polish. Get your character accross the level by firing a cable into walls and celines and then swinging from the cable. Release the cable and then repeat without falling through the bottom of the screen. This game seems to have a few levels with different objectives including going for time or distance, however I didn't play it in depth to determine how extensive that was.

Will I play it again?
No. The way that ragdoll physics are used here makes this game unenjoyable for me. The character flops around on a number of axes which makes it just difficult enough to accurately fire cables. I think it should've just been applied to arm joints and maybe legs. If I'm swinging on a rope, my hand, neck, and body are going to be more rigid. The flopping around the way the character does in this game makes it look like he's already dead. Appearance aside, it made it difficult to take into account just exactly where the cabloe would end up as well as how the character was goin to be swinging.

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[size="5"]The Endless Tower
By: Nasta Basta Productions
Played 2011-02-02 on Addictinggames.com
[size="2"][sup]K. Helfenstein - 2011-02-04[/sup]

A rapid file puzzle game of sorts using the num-pad. A timed puzzle is present to the player where the solution can be entered by pressing the num-pad keys. Puzzles are things like, which doesn't belong, press keys in this pattern, and press the keys for these things in order of smallest to largest. Once a puzzle is solved, you move "up the tower" and are present with another puzzle. Incorrect entries or spending too much time costs one of three lives.

Will I play it again?
No. I admit I didn't play long but I got the idea and I think I experienced the majority of the puzzles available. I'm not sure if there's any sort of difficulty progression or if it's just an endurance sort of thing but either way, I endured the game for as long as I saw fit to and decided it was time to move on.




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