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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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Phobius3D - January Tech Demo Video

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Hi everyone, If your not yet familiar with the projects we are currently working on, the video above will serve as a good reference. My name is Aimee, and I am the lead coder in a team called Xpod Games. Our aim this year is to release two big indie games that we have been working on for the last few months, I can't talk about either in this article, but I can tell you that the first will be a zombie slasher, and will be available for both windows and the Xbox 360.

Before I go into any information about the for mentioned video, I would like to explain how we've gotten to were we are. Last year we started work on a game engine that ran using a new platform called OpenTK. As of yet this engine is not complete, and is taking longer that we first envisioned, because due to the nature of cross platform, OpenTK has it's quirks.

How We Got Here

So during Christmas, I started work on a second engine that would ensure that we could get at-least 1 game out this year. I picked XNA because of it's reliability, and ability to run on the Xbox 360. 5 weeks on, and as a team we are pretty surprised with the results! Thank's to the learning curve of XNA, we've managed to get done in just over a month, what we could not get done in 10 with the previous framework.

Engine Specification

Now that the explaining is over and done with, here is a run down on what the specs for Phobius3D are:

  • Written in XNA 4.0 (Hi-Definition Profile).
  • Provides reliable scene management.
  • Includes an XAML based parser coupled with a fast user interface system.
  • Standard overlay console.
  • Unified 3D world importer (FBX file coupled with an XML description file), which allows you to specify time or condition based triggers to control, translate and animate entities within a 3D world.
  • Skinned models, with animation and entity attachment support
  • Particle system support, with emitters defined as entities, so they can be attached to other entities.
  • A non-clunky real-time point light mapping engine.
  • VSM Shadows (with option to accumulate multiple shadow maps).
  • Box, Sphere and Triangle collision detection support. 3D world's allow for separate mesh to be loaded as collision map.
  • Post processors, including Gaussian Blur, Color Washing, and Depth of Field.
  • An overriding material system for ModelMeshPart objects, allowing you to specify custom shaders for special effects.
  • Sky boxes (spherical).
  • Re-implemented UV texture and normal mapping.

    As of today, all the features above are complete, they are in need of a little more testing, but are complete. This means from now till the end of March, our team is going to be working hard to finish the first game I mentioned before. One of the reasons why we built this engine in the first place, was for the experience obviously. However it was also because we needed something that we were unable to find using google.


    It's our aim to share this engine with other indie teams in the end, in turn asking for a small share in any profit made with it. So if you are looking for an engine like this for your project (or would like to join our team as were still looking for talent of all kinds), then please feel free to either message me directly, or alternatively email me at: aimee[at]xpod.be

    For now take care, and I look forward to showing you more of the hard work we are putting in.

    Aimee Bailey
    Xpod Games.

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