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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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I've been meaning to write about antialiasing for a while, but now I sit down to do that I realize I have too much to say for a single article. So this post is the introduction to a series.

Antialiasing is one of the most important yet least widely understood areas of computer graphics. If I had a penny for every time I heard the developer of a 2D game say "I turned on antialiasing but my sprites still look jaggy", well, I'd be up to six or even seven pennies by now!

The thing is, "antialiasing" is really too vague a term to mean anything at all! The important word is "aliasing", which is surprisingly hard to pin down. Dictionary.com gives two definitions:

  1. Jagged distortions in curves and diagonal lines in computer graphics caused by limited or diminished screen resolution.
  2. Distortion in a reproduced sound wave caused by a low sampling rate during the recording of the sound signal as digital information.
These are both examples of aliasing, but really just special cases of a more generic underlying meaning:

Artifacts created when a source value (which can be either analog or digital) is replaced by a digital approximation.

We perform such approximations in many places when rendering computer graphics:

  1. We approximate the shape of arbitrary objects as a list of triangles
  2. We approximate the shape of a triangle as a grid of dots (screen pixels)
  3. We approximate arbitrary images as grids of dots (textures)
  4. We frequently approximate one grid of dots as another different grid of dots (scaling images, rotating, or mapping them onto 3D geometry)
  5. Our shader programs use many digital approximations, as varied as the things for which we use shaders (ie. basically infinite)
  6. We approximate moving objects as a series of static images (animation)
Any or all of these approximations can cause ugly aliasing artifacts. Antialiasing really just means "a technique used to avoid or cover up an aliasing problem". Since there are many different kinds of aliasing, and many techniques to overcome each of them, it should be no surprise that there are many, many different forms of antialiasing. And of course, they only work if you choose an antialiasing technique that matches the specific kind of aliasing you were suffering from in the first place!

Ok, that was kinda dry. Next up, more theory. Then after that, some practical examples.



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