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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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Oh Noes, My Code Is Teh Crash!

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My Code is Crashing. Help!

A common request for assistance in the General Programming forum involves code which is crashing, often for mysterious reasons. When posting a thread discussing a crash, there are a few important things you should do.

1. Understand what the crash really means
That scary-looking message with all the strange numbers is actually remarkably useful in figuring out what has gone wrong. You should read this article to understand what the numbers mean and why the error message is significant and not just arbitrary or random. In fact, that article has great tips on solving some of the most common crashes, so take a look at it before posting - it may solve your problem for you!

2. Catch the crash in your debugger of choice
Knowing what code crashed is just as important as knowing how it crashed, and both will lead you to the why. If you are not familiar with using a debugger, it is strongly recommended that you brush up on that skill before posting. This will almost certainly be the first thing someone asks you, so be sure the answer is, "Yes, I've caught the crash in a debugger." Answering "yes" to this question will enable you to successfully complete the rest of the recommendations in this FAQ.

3. Include a complete copy of the crash error message
In case the article linked under Point 1 above didn't make it clear, the error message is very important. Include a complete copy of the error in your post: all the numbers, codes, scary-looking gibberish, everything. This information will go a long way towards helping an experienced programmer spot the problem.

4. Provide a call stack and the code of the crash site
Obtaining a call stack for a crash is Debugger Usage 101. You should be prepared to provide this in your thread; in fact, if you can provide it up-front in the initial post, so much the better! Call stacks give important context as to how the program got to where it's at, and what has potentially gone wrong.

Call stacks are mandatory if you are posting about a crash that doesn't appear to be directly in your code.

Even better, provide the line of code (and possibly the lines leading up to it) that actually triggered the crash. If the crash is in your code, provide any context about what you're doing that you think might be useful. More information is always better than less information. If the crash is in someone else's code (e.g. inside a library or API call), provide the code of the crash itself and the code of the first place in the call stack where your own code is running.

For example, if you have a function MyCode() in which you call FooAPI() and it crashes, provide the line of code (if available) from the Foo code that crashed, and the code in MyCode() where you originally started out. This gives important context and might illuminate ways in which you have accidentally misused the API.

5. Always detail what you have already tried and what didn't work
Before posting, it is good etiquette to try and solve a problem yourself. When doing so, please provide a rundown of all the things you tried to do to diagnose and fix your problem. This will help others zero in on the real source of the issue as well as avoid offering you options that you already know won't work. Everyone wins!

Happy Bug Hunting!

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That article you linked to "How did I crash in that function?” was very interesting and easy to read. Plus the power-point linked from there was awesome again! Cheers.

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That article you linked to "How did I crash in that function?” was very interesting and easy to read.



Unfortunately, that link has now gone 404.


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