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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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Which [X] Should I Use?

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What {programming language | API | toolkit | operating system | etc. } should I use?

A fairly frequent source of discussion in the General Programming forum is the infamous "X vs. Y" thread. Put simply, this type of thread is basically asking which option the poster should choose out of a list of options. Sometimes it's more like "X vs. Y vs. Z vs. Q vs. ..." but the general format is almost always the same.

The Good News
On the positive side, you're likely to get a very large number of responses, all with varying opinions and perspectives. So if you're looking for more information to digest, this will work out nicely!

The Bad News
On the negative side, you're likely to get a very large number of responses, all with varying opinions and perspectives. So if you're looking for someone else to make a decision for you, this is probably not going to end so well.

Answer #1: It Depends
There is a common pattern in the "X vs. Y" threads: those with the most experience and perspective to offer tend to answer with "it depends." It depends on your desires, your own previous experiences, your current skill level, your ultimate goals, your resources, your motivations, and so on. Note that all these "dependencies" focus on you. This means that the person who is most informed to make the decision is yourself! Whether you feel like it or not, you know your own situation better than anyone else in the thread, so it ultimately comes down to you settling on something. The best anyone can offer you is some generalized guidance based on the context you provide.

Because of this, if you absolutely must ask an "X vs. Y" question, please provide the following:
  • What research you have done on your own (doing some of your own footwork is mandatory)
  • How much experience you have in the subject matter
  • Any relevant skills/experience you have in related options
  • What you are trying to accomplish
  • How much time/money/effort you are willing to invest

    Answer #2: It Doesn't Matter
    This is typically the correct answer for "what language should I learn" or "what should I do next" type posts. In reality, there are innumerable options open to you, and the magic of programming is that you can choose any of them that you like. Nothing is stopping you or holding you back, so go with your gut: do what seems most appealing and interesting and rewarding. If it stops being appealing, interesting, or rewarding, feel free to switch gears.

    At the end of the day, what matters is that you're doing something you enjoy and find fulfilling. If you're miserable, you chose wrong, no matter how many "internet experts" told you to do whatever it is you're doing. So aim to have fun. Use your imagination, chase something that looks exciting, and stretch yourself as much as you comfortably can without getting in over your head.

    Keep things balanced and keep enjoying yourself, and everything will work out fine in the end.

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