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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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SPU based Deferred Shading in Battlefield 3

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Waiting right now for Christina Coffin's talk on SPU based deferred shading in Battlefield 3. I hear they use DX11 compute shader heavily on the PC side, so it'll be interesting to see how they leverage the SPUs.

* Previous DICE games were forward rendered, just a few lights. Mirror's Edge, which they SHOULD be making a sequel to, used pre-rendered radiosity lighting. Goal of Battlefield 3 was to really expand the lighting and materials, and DICE picked deferred.
* Their PS3 implementation uses 5-6 SPUs in parallel with the GPU and CPU.
* GPU does the initial G-buffer fill, and then passes it off for shading by the SPU. Still waiting to see what that means. Are they using SPUs as fragment shaders?
* The framebuffer is sliced into 64x64 tiles, use a simple shared incrementing counter for sync.
* SPUs compute 16 pixels at a time, in SoA format at full float precision
* The GPU is still busy on other shading while the SPUs eat through the deferred shading
* About 8 millis real time on 5 SPUs for deferred shading while GPU does other stuff, equals 40ms total max compute time contributed by the SPUs.
* Light culling is done in two stage tile hierarchy, after whole-camera and coarse Z in light volumes
* A branch is used to skip all 16 pixels if the attenuation makes them unlit. This is a net win despite the branching cost.
* The SPUs are very even pipe heavy due to all of the FPU action, so complex functions can be replaced with a look-up table using strictly odd-pipe instructions, can decrease 21 cycle functions to 4 in case of complex functions.
* There is still a pure GPU based implementation of the shading pipeline that maintain visual parity, in order to facilitate debugging and validation.
* SPU job code can be reloaded into the live game, enabling bug fixes with quick iteration.
* My good friend Steven Tovey gets a call out at the end of the talk! He loves SPUs, so if you meet him you might wanna wear a dust mask.

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