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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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Math, my old nemesis, we meet again!

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So who would have thought you all that math they told us we needed to learn would actually be useful? Turns out, it is, and since I took Calculus more than a few years ago I'm a bit rusty in getting it (math) to do what I want it to. Here's the dilemma...

My MMO have a heavy focus on PvP, so the combat mechanics have to be pretty balanced or it will die a horrible death. But, as with the vast majority of social MMO's, in order to offer the game for free you have to sell the items in the game for real money to keep the servers up and running. And very few people will purchase in game items unless it gives them an advantage over people without those items. But the people without the means to buy those items will quickly get frustrated if they can't compete with the 1% who do. So they get frustrated and quit. Which is bad for business.

So I came up with a logarithmic equation which I thought would solve my problem, and it does to a certain extent. The equation is based off of the sigmoid function, P(t) = 1/(1+e[sup]-t)[/sup] with t being a function of the proposed attack power. This would be multiplied by the actual damage of the attack (based off of a Guassian function, most likely) and added as a bonus to the attack. This would have the result of an attack being 80% effective at around 55% of the max potential attack power. So even if you had the best of the best, you would only be 20% better than the average player. Furthermore, if a 100% effective player scored a hit with an average base amount of damage, the lesser geared player still has a chance to beat him or her if they achieved a hit with a high base amount.

However, this has led to some unfortunate scenarios. First, there is a limit to the max amount of power one can get. When you get to where e[sup]-t[/sup] = -1, you get an asymptote. Any higher numerical value will return the same amount as a number just less. So if my max limit is 1000 power, a person with 999 and a person with 9999 will get the same benefit. This paints me in a corner in terms of expansions and continued progression.
Secondly, I think 55% of max is too low. I would ideally like to see around 65%-70% of max return an 80% efficiency. So while some people might buy their way to the top, it will still give many players opportunity for improvement solely within the game, which is key to player retention. But, try as a I might, I can't get the function to behave in the way I want it to. It's most likely a property of the function I used, but I'll most likely toss it out on the Math and Physics forum to see what other, more mathematically inclined people feel about it. Plus, I'm not sure if the people who purchase in game items for out of game dollars expect more bang for their buck, so to speak.

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