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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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Servant of the Lord

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I don't have much to show, so this is just an update of what's going on with me (Trying to stay on my 'at least every 10 days' journal schedule).

I've had a tough couple of days coding... It's just been one of those times were you run into a wall and get discouraged. Partly because of difficulties in keeping the code within their well-defined boundries and keeping them from becoming inter-dependant on one another when I don't have a clear plan for how things will be written.
Class and function-level code design is easy, but overall arcitecture level is harder for me. I guess that's the important difference between a software arcitect and a code monkey. =D

To help myself get out of that head-pounding 'now what do I do?' feeling, I switched focus to hammer on the editor some (since it hasn't been functional for about 14 months or so when I threw out the old code). I've kinda lost focus and got caught up in alot of, "what if I add this...", "what if I add that...", and these are things that the user won't even see. rolleyes.gif

I also intend to work more on the plot to get it down on paper. I think for the next week or so, my priority will be first to the plot, second to code.

I also want to create an action-plan to re-establish some milestone goals for moving the project closer to completion. On what hand, I feel like, "What do I actually have completed? Hmm, nothing. The game isn't playable. You can't even walk around an empty world! It's not even a game yet! How much time have I wasted on it so far?", but on the other hand, I have alot of code written, and I feel confident that it will support the game on top of it... but without the progress you can see and feel, it doesn't seem like real progress, no matter how many lines of code you've written (and tossed out and rewritten).

So, I had a moment of, "Oh, what am I doing?", but I pressed through it after 30 minutes or so and am motivated again. smile.png

I also got the gridlines showing again (20 minutes work), just so I can see some visual change:

seeingthegridlinesagain.png

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[quote][i]I've had a tough couple of days coding... It's just been one of those times were you run into a wall and get discouraged. Partly because of difficulties in keeping the code within their well-defined boundries and keeping them from becoming inter-dependant on one another when I don't have a clear plan for how things will be written.[/i][/quote]

I hear you - it's a bit of the same story for me this week, determining where the functional boundries of new server systems are and working within them.

[quote]It's not even a game yet! How much time have I wasted on it so far?", but on the other hand, I have alot of code written, and I feel confident that it will support the game on top of it.[/quote]

Oh.... don't worry about that. I've written over 400k lines of code creating Toi/Antilia...

I think you're still well within "[i]reasonable effort[/i]".

You do what you have to do.... Keep at it. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
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Thanks for the encouragement. It's funny that I can look at my code one day, and feel on top of the world, and look at the same code a day later and feel the weight of the world.
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"I've had a tough couple of days coding... It's just been one of those times were you run into a wall and get discouraged. Partly because of difficulties in keeping the code within their well-defined boundries and keeping them from becoming inter-dependant on one another when I don't have a clear plan for how things will be written.
Class and function-level code design is easy, but overall arcitecture level is harder for me. I guess that's the important difference between a software arcitect and a code monkey. =D"

Tell me about it. That's my exact problem too.

I can waste hours, days, even weeks on architectural problems. The trick IMO is to not do that. So I allow the odd boundary violation rather than spend ages thinking on a possibly unobtainable architecture (not all problems have solutions). I am fine with an 80% perfect architecture. I might improve it later, I probably won't. I just find a way to live with it. In terms of justifications I tell myself it's good to be more relaxed if you are working on an internal project anyway, otherwise you are missing out on a very big advantage of not working in a team!

In my opinion half the by-the-book stuff on code design is a waste of time for internal projects anyway. For example Notch recently said:
"I still stubbornly believe the whole “private members accessed via accessors” thing in java is bullcrap for internal projects. It adds piles of useless boilerplate code for absolutely no gain when you can just right click a field and chose “add setter/getter” if you NEED an accessor in the future."
[url="http://notch.tumblr.com/post/15782716917/coding-skill-and-the-decline-of-stagnation"]http://notch.tumblr.com/post/15782716917/coding-skill-and-the-decline-of-stagnation[/url]

And he's right. So why am I still writing accessors? Ah....I dunno. I like them I guess. An exception to the exception to the rule.

One rule I violate, although not architectural, is putting an underscore before every private member variable name. A year ago I was venomously opposed to doing that. Why? Because the C# guidelines said don't do it. But since then I've changed my mind (due to being forced to use underscore prefixes at work) because I find it very useful to be able to distinguish local variables in function bodies from private member variables.
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Yea, I'm kinda addicted to unnecessary accessors as well.
I use underscores for private member functions in C++, and prefix things with the 'this->' keyword for private members (unless a struct or struct-like class, everything is a private member... just by force of habit). I suppose one charactor, '_' is better than six 'this->', but I don't find it much a nuisance.
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