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      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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Random mind dump

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ApochPiQ

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Just offloading some interesting tidbits; I might get around to formatting this into a more interesting post later.

  • Floating point determinism is bloody hard, but not impossible, to achieve
  • Syncing between x86 and x64 code is a nightmare
  • SSE2 is pretty much everywhere, so configure your compiler to use it
  • If you have to interact with the FPU, use /fp:precise (in Visual C++) and set the floating-point control bits to force 24-bit mantissas (i.e. IEEE single precision)
  • Starting with non-deterministic code is a recipe for immense frustration. Before screwing with floating-point determinism issues, start with all your code running on the same machine with the same instruction set and make sure it's deterministic at the algorithm level before diving into the ugly parts
  • Divide-and-conquer is essential. Narrow down on one area that's full of synchronization problems and fix it, then move on to other areas
  • In the same vein, having a way to feed the same exact input into multiple runs of the code (across machines etc.) is so useful you don't want to live without it
  • Beware compiler optimizations; you may spend a lot of time rooting around in icky FPU or SSE2 code figuring out why exactly things differ across builds, for instance. Know how to suppress (or encourage!) your compiler's optimizations selectively so you can get better consistency
  • Work from the bottom layers upwards. Get consistent simulation results for, say, your physics before worrying about higher-level logic bugs, especially latency-related issues. Nothing sucks like banging your head on what seems to be a logic bug when it's just your physics being snarky

    Might update with more as time goes by, or again as above, I might bother to actually write up the reasoning behind all this. For now I'll just dump it here and see if anyone finds it interesting :-)

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Why do you need f[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif][left]loating point determinism so bad?[/left][/font][/color]
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At work I developed a fairly comprehensive image/analysis library. Writing unit tests really threw me for a loop though. Input consistent image data to a function, expect consistent image data out, right? [b]No[/b]. [i]Especially [/i]when your code splits into different optimized branches depending on what instruction sets the user may or may not have.

Even Windows XP does some things different between 32 and 64 bit versions. Blit some antialiased text using built in Windows functionality and the output will be different depending on the system (though the end user may not notice).
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I have had fun floating point issues too: [url="http://stackoverflow.com/questions/10303762/0-0-0-0-0"]http://stackoverflow.com/questions/10303762/0-0-0-0-0[/url]
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