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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'm afraid I'm going to be waving goodbye to Dolce. It's been sitting, bit rotting, for a while now. Some time ago I encountered two major issues with my Allegro binding in Derelict 2. One, a random (and I mean random) crashing bug, I've been unable to solve. Another, regarding Allegro's interaction with Cocoa on Mac, I don't have the means to test (no Mac), though I do have an idea on how to solve it. However, I'm washing my hands of it all for now. I may come back to the Allegro binding after the Allegro 5.1 branch is complete, but Dolce I think is quite dead.

But I still haven't lost my urge to make a game. In fact, I did make one as a way to get back into the groove. I didn't mention it here because I actually coded it in C. Nothing to brag about, just a simple reimplementation of the A5teroids example that ships with Allegro 5. I wanted to get familiar with the API and get my chops back without the distractions my binding was causing. And that brings me to the topic of this post.

I really, really want to make this game that has been in my head forever. So, now I am. But without Allegro. Instead, I'm going with an ASCII-based approach using SDL2. This is an evolution of the text-based idea I was contemplating a while back. The big difference is that this time, I've got some code to show for it. Also, though it is still in the early stages, it's getting to the point where I'm ready to have a git repo to manage my changes. Rather than just working on a local repo, I decided to bite the bullet and just put everything on github as is. And so, I give you BorderWatch.

One of the reasons I wanted to put it up on github is to give myself a reference to talk about features of D on this blog. Dolce was supposed to fill that role, but I never really felt it was ready for the world. BorderWatch is different, though, and I hope it can serve as a starting point for anyone curious about using D for game development. I can seriously say that after working on even a simple little game like an asteroids clone in C (a language I've used and loved/hated for a very long time), putting one together in D is a much different, and better, world entirely.

Please read the project README before you bother with the code. I'm using my recently implemented SDL2 and SDL2_image bindings from Derelict 3, and no other external libraries. If you want to build the project, you'll have to get the SDL2 and SDL2_image source and compile it all yourself. Also, only DMD and Windows are currently supported.

I do hope to work on this over the coming months as often as I can. I have a lot of ideas for it and it is proving to be a lot of fun so far. It's licensed under the zlib license, so do what you want with it. There's not a whole lot there yet, but what is there allows you to open a 'console' window, print ASCII characters and text strings to the whole window area or specific regions, and there's an effect implemented that can display text strings as a slideshow. Nothing is optimized, nothing is stable. But it's a start.

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