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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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The Circle of GDC Life

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So another GDC has come and gone - my fourth, personally - and it seems that the same old patterns held true yet again this year that have dominated the GDC experience so many times before:

  • Count down the weeks, then days, then hours before GDC
  • I fail to sleep properly the night before flying out
  • Something goes wrong with the flight out (this time, one of my connections was cancelled; no big deal, thankfully)
  • Arrive in San Francisco a day or so early, relax, prepare for the chaos of the coming week
  • Kick off the partying right on Sunday night
  • Stay up way too late and feel terrible on Monday morning, but full of adrenaline anyways
  • Repeat this process 4-5 times until it is time to depart San Francisco
  • Something goes wrong with the flight home (this year, we tried to collide with another plane while landing in Houston)
  • Eventually get home at some unholy hour, drive the long trek back from the airport, proceed to become unconscious for several days
  • Wake up with some kind of hobovirus from the conference and feel like crap for the next week
  • Start counting down the weeks until we can do it all over again

    As so many others have rightly pointed out, GDC isn't really about the conference itself all that much. Sure, the sessions can be educational, inspiring, and entertaining; the parties are unquestionably worth a week trip in and of themselves; and the swag (although it seems to get lighter every year) is always fun. But the real win of attending GDC is the other people.

    In my personal situation, I contract for a German company while living in Atlanta, GA in the USA. I literally know no one else in the area in the games industry, partly because the industry barely exists around here in the first place. I get precisely one week a year to talk shop with fellow industry professionals, and that is at GDC. So to me, the conference is a tremendously exciting outlet for all the technological, motivational, and personal gibberish that clogs up my brain tubes from the preceding year.

    It's also pretty much the only way to recharge my batteries for the following year.

    GDC 2011 was no exception to this rule, just as it was no exception to the many other patterns that have always held true of GDC for me. And I've come away with not just the customary three-inch stack of business cards, but with some genuinely fascinating contacts and opportunities that will no doubt heavily shape the year to come.

    I've talked to people about how to further my career; how to improve my working process within that career; how to do more interesting and entertaining things during the course of performing my job; how to further my own personal interests both in and outside of computing; and as always there were a handful of folks that are just great friends to have around.

    GDC is like a massive family reunion, except with less drama about that One Really Weird Uncle and substantially less crappy picnic potato salad. The games industry is truly a microcosm of humanity as a whole; there are people from all aspects of life, perspectives, beliefs, opinions, and feelings represented. What makes that slice of the species so powerful to me is that we're all there under a common banner - to make and enjoy great games. Nowhere else in the world have I found such a diverse crowd of folks all willing to set aside differences for something singular and common; nowhere else have I found so many people all willing to learn from each other instead of simply disagreeing vehemently (or violently).

    It may seem melodramatic - especially if you've never had the privilege of immersing yourself in that sea of nearly 20,000 souls - but GDC is magic.

    As is customary I'll be providing some coverage of the whole shebang here on GameDev.Net over the next few days, primarily focusing on the AI summit. Stay tuned for more sentimentality and drivel about the Event You Shouldn't Have Missed.

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