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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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The Fallacy of Gray and Deciding What's Best

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I had a discussion with a fellow Hacker News dweller named Loup on the Fallacy of Gray and how it applies to programming. After looking at his assertive, yet intriguing blog, I was motivated to continue the discussion.

Since gray is often visualized in the spirit of avoiding extremes, being a "gray developer" might conjure up images of flexibility. However, Loup reminded me that even "Grays" can be dogmatic about the chaotic nature of programming.

The problem Loup mentioned can be illustrated if Alice says to use tool A and provides the appropriate evidence to suggest it is better for the job, but Bob refuses because most languages are general purpose enough to suit their needs, and he is more accustomed to B. Bob's central argument is: "What does it matter?" The attitude effectively says "everything ultimately does not matter, but don't question me".

Although it is silly to get caught up in the countless zealous A vs. B wars around the net because we know that each tool has its pros and cons, it is equally silly to look at the chaotic nature of it all and refuse to defend tools that are obviously better for a job than others. Loup continued by pointing out there exists an underlying double standard in some corporate environments when considering a new, better tool (that could carry risk) along with an old, inferior tool that the staff is familiar with:

Assume that you had a job that could be taken care of with only one language. If you found that Lisp was better than C++ for a job, when Lisp is largely unknown in the company and you are the one who suggested it, the chances of you getting fired for a project failure is far greater than if you had suggested C++. But, if Lisp WAS better for the job, blame could only rightfully be assigned to people for misusing it. Still, a bias against Lisp might develop as a byproduct of the project's death! People should be disciplined appropriately for acts of stupidity, but should the discipline act against their good contributions as well? This is not to say that any tool choice is 100% objective, but context allows us to sort our options from best to worst based on our experience.

What I learned from Loup is that everything is gray, everything is chaotic and everything is uncertain in reality, but that should not stop me from feeling justified in calling someone out for taking a plane down the street instead of walking. Timidity is no excuse for not doing the best possible job, especially when you use chaos as a back door out of an argument you are losing.

When do you feel confident that in the midst of all the nuances of your field, your choice might be best?

Happy 4th!

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