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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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Being a Lone Professional

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latent

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I have a friend who is a full-time author, publishing multiple novels a year. From the outside it would seem he has an inhuman ability to focus - to spend every waking hour at his profession, focusing on a single outcome, writing his novels in irrepressible fits of creativity.
The reality is a little different. He'll spend a certain number of hours each day writing new material for next years book, some time researching the book he's thinking of writing the year after that, a couple of hours editing the book that he's planning on releasing later this year, an hour reading (again) the galleys for the book his publisher wants final approval on. After which he'll be updating social networking sites, blogs, accounts and other business tasks related to his job.

There are abundant similarities to the indie developer - and maybe a little hope, too. If we need a break from the coding, there's always art needing to be done, or music, or sound effects, or web design, or marketing. Maybe we're doing it ourselves (and does 'programmer art' really need to be a pejorative?), or maybe we're incorporating art and services created by a third party, but either way we're forced to switch tracks regularly.

I take a measure of reassurance from the author's approach. Like the author, we find ourselves switching mental tasks - we are analytical, then creative, then critical, then business, then social... To an outsider I suspect it looks like we're suffering a multiple personality disorder. But I beg to disagree - it's simply part of being a professional. And, I gotta admit, it's also a bit of fun.

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I agree there are a lot of similarities, but I think the author has it a little easier than the indie developer doing everything themselves as a lone wolf. I'm talking about skillsets here.

The author can teach himself the subject matter taking on board the prerequisite knowledge from multiple sources. He then uses that knowledge for his skill of writing.

With an indie developer you also need to take on board the knowledge, but there isn't just one skill required to produce the final outcome: the game. There's design, programming, art, and then the business side. So I'd argue it's a lot harder for the indie, especially when some of those skills may be out of reach, or at least in a manageable timeframe. I'm talking producing art for someone who really can't draw, or a designer who isn't great at coding. At that point you get help, but then you stop being the lone professional I guess.

I'm in agreement with what you say above, I just think its important to point out the differences in complexity and skills between the two disciplines.
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I agree, ukdm. It's just that, as I sat down to the computer one evening after a prolific day at the office and thought 'I really don't have it in me to do any coding tonight', I pulled up my art program and started working through my tasks there. And I just felt it was a bit like that author who switches tracks regularly during his day/week - when one part of the brain is tired it can take a break while the others get their work done :)
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