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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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Level Creator Progress!

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Hey guys!

In my last entry, I detailed the requirement for a level creator. This is the first time I actually have something decent to show for my work! I have been putting a lot of work into this, and there is still more to come!


To start with, this is the opening interface. You just have to input the data, and you are free to go. If however, you miss a piece of data, the defaults will be loaded. The defaults are the sizes and tileset that will be packaged with the jar.

At the moment, you can select from any of the tiles in the tileset, and you can then place that tile down. The tiles are placed in miniature if the gridsize is too small, or larger if the gridSize is too big. Essentially the grid size, is the size of the grid on the screen. The editable area is set by the level width and height, and that is set in the initial screen, or defaults to 100*100. If the level is too big to fit on the screen, you can scroll around the map, and it will only show you the area you can edit, and if the whole map is on the screen, you cant scroll. I am planning on adding the ability to zoom in and out, all that is really required to do that, is two keys to assign in and out to, and then to re-initialise the resized sprites each time you zoom.

In my last entry, I also said that I would use a live preview window, to see what was going on. I will still be doing this, however it is a work in progress. It should be relatively easy to add, and will require its own navigation, and it will be updated live, so you can see in real size the work you are doing.

Currently, this is what the creator looks like:

The parameters are: 10 Grid size, and 30*30 level. This is also using the default tileset!


Not too great looking.

However, I am going to get the basics working first, including some basic tools, such as fill, and addLake. Add Lake for instance would be specific to the tile set, and would allow the user to add a lake, which would also organise its border tiles. This particular tool may not be implemented as it is a bit too specific, but I may let the users build the tool themselves, and have it dynamically grab the right tile.

Anyway, the creator is coming along nicely, and my main focus now, is to save and load the map. This is easier said than done, because the image output will be random pixels, or so it will seem. But the pixels are generated on load, and arnt necessarily the same as the last run. So what I am planning is another form, which will load a map config file, which details which x,y coordinate on the tileset is which colour pixel. This way I can save and load maps to allow the user to create huge maps in multiple sittings. This should help me finish off beyond the light's overworld, which will allow me to release a build so people can let me know what they think!

Thanks for reading guys!


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