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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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Yas monthly development update: August-September

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[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]Here is our monthly report on the current progress and a short bit on our planning for the next month. We are making good progress in gameplay areas and concept arts. Also some technical features have been added.[/font]

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Progress last month


Last month we have focused a lot on making gameplay decisions and concept artwork. We had only a rough story and a vague idea what we wanted to do with that, but now we have more details, thanks to Yoeri, who works on our game design.[/font]

[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]The storyboard, describing all levels roughly, is complete and work has begun on the details of our first level. We are aware that level 1 is somewhat special, because it introduces the player to the game. Our first design is just a prototype and will probably be changed completely for the finished game. But we have to start somewhere and this just seemed the easiest.[/font]

[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]Yoeri also did a research into different aiming/targeting techniques and slopes in top-down games. This led us to conclude that as long as we have vertical automatic targeting and an indication where your shot would hit (for example: with a visible laser), we can deal with slopes and height levels decently. In our previous game Bloodmasters, this didn't work very well because the game was isometric (the player couldn't see the heights clearly) and the autoaim system always aimed up or down even when there wasn't anything to shoot at. But these issues are not present in our current game.[/font]

[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]Antoine did some amazing work on environment concept art. While we don't have all the details for any of our levels yet, the rough storyboard did help him making some interesting drawings. Here we see an outdoor area where small spaceships (shuttle class) can land and dock. Also a drawing of a broken elevator and some concepts for wall decorations.[/font]

[sharedmedia=gallery:images:2726] [sharedmedia=gallery:images:2727] [sharedmedia=gallery:images:2728]

[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]Pascal has been working on a technical feature that we call 'surface meshes'. These meshes can be used to easily add detail to the otherwise flat walls. The video below shows a mesh and its texture and the combination of those as a 'surface mesh' with a preview showing what it looks like on a wall or on a floor (no this mesh is not very suitable for the floor). After that, the video continues by showing a wall drawn in the level editor with the surface properties configured earlier. Then it shows the resulting wall in the game.[/font]

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Planning for next month


For next month we hope to get a glimpse of our first Level 1 prototype. Also some work has been planned on game controls and camera controls, to get these in line with our gameplay decisions.[/font]
[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]Environment concept art will be supporting the design of Level 1, making drawings of interesting parts once we have more details.[/font]

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