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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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Of Large Levels and Small Devices

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Posted by Ian Wagner, Programmer at Demergo,[/font][/color]
"I suffer from short-term memory loss. It runs in my family. At least I think it does..." Speaking of which, one of the fun things we get to deal with while developing the Fixbot game engine is management of the device's short-term memory. iDevices have a very small amount of short-term memory compared to desktop computers or consoles. While it is not uncommon for a PC/Mac game to require upwards of 1GB of RAM these days, iOS apps are hard pressed to get 20MB without running the device out of memory. This presents a slight problem for games like Fixbot, whose levels can exceed 10,000 x 10,000px. As you can imagine, an image this size would consume quite a bit of memory.[/font][/color]
In addition to the sheer memory usage of this image, there is another problem that needs addressing. Fixbot, like most other iOS games, used OpenGL to handle rendering. This imposes a texture size limitation of 1024x1024 or 2048x2048 (this limitation is device-specific). In order to handle levels up to 10 times this size, we specially designed our level editor to split the levels up into multiple images. The location of each "chunk" is then written to the level file so that the game engine knows where to draw each piece.[/font][/color]
As previously noted, we don't have enough memory to keep the entire level loaded in memory, even if it is chunked up into manageable textures, so the engine has to be smart about which textures it keeps around and which get unloaded. We're still deciding on the proper balance for each device, but the game engine basically checks where the player is periodically and then makes sure that all chunks within about a 3x3 screen block (with the player in the middle) stays loaded. Everything else is "forgotten" as quickly as those random facts after the history test :)[/font][/color]
Reposted from Fixbot Blog: http://demergostudios.com/fixbot[/font][/color]

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