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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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Project Collaboration Tools

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Jason Z

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Over the course of approximately 1 year, Matt, Jack, and I have been working on 'Practical Rendering and Computation with Direct3D 11' (or PRaCwD3D11 for short ;)) at varying levels of intensity. Matt is currently living in California, Jack lives in the U.K., and I'm currently living in Germany. Anyone who has worked on an international project has likely had to deal with large time differences, making the use of good communication tools a must. This post is all about the tools that we used to work on our book, and some background on what worked well and what didn't work so well.

[subheading]Tools We Used[/subheading]
As usual, email was the primary means of us communicating with one another. As long as we keep both other team members in CC, then there is a record of all discussions that is fairly easy to archive and/or search when looking for older information. Since email is so wide-spread, I won't continue talking about it... everyone knows how to use it already!

The next most important tool when working on a book is the actual text authoring software. Here we also stuck with the standard tool: Word. Since all three of us are (or were) MVPs, we all have access to some level of Word which makes the choice fairly easy. In addition, Word has many features for authoring content, such as citations, footnotes, links, comments, edit tracking, etc... Many people don't use these features in everyday use, but they are really quite handy when working on a big project. In many instances, we could just throw some comments into each others respective documents, and they can easily be viewed by the other members and take action on them.

To ensure we stayed in synch with each other and to allow us to work more or less independently of each other, we split the book into separate documents for each chapter. The thought was that if we used a text based file format, then we could use a source control tool like Mercurial to manage our various chapters and keeping up to date with one another. Many people find Mercurial hard to use at first, but with the help of a simple GUI interface to it (such as TortoiseHg) then it makes things much easier. Since all three of us are familiar with source code revision control, it was more or less painless to utilize these tools.

[subheading]The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly[/subheading]
That is more or less the communication and/or collaboration tools that we used. In general, some things worked quite well and some didn't. Of course, with our geographic separation and time zone differences, it was quite slow to communicate by email. Usually during the week we could manage to exchange one batch of emails amongst ourselves. The weekends were much better, but we still had a finite amount of time during the day to communicate. We could have tried using instant messaging, but for most of the time we weren't online at the same time. We could also have set up some private forums, but that wasn't In general, email did pretty good, but it certainly isn't fast...

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