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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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New background project

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First off, I want to promote another Kickstarter (not mine, I'm still working on getting that up, but it's coming soon): Oozengard.
Not to be rude to the developer, but if you're like me the Kickstarter page may put you off. However, the game itself does look like it would be fun; I'll definitely be chipping in once I get paid this week.

I started working on the assets for chapter 1 of The Mysterious Life of Aaron James while I'm waiting on art. I've run into a few issues, a couple of which will sadly break save files. I forgot to serialize some state values (scale and visibility), which I thought I could work around using save file versioning, but it sets them to false by default. I'm going to continue looking into it to see if I can get around it, but as it is still in alpha stage I'm hoping nobody gets too mad if I end up breaking game saves.

I've also started working on a new engine that I'll be working on in the background. This will give me something to do when I'm bored/stuck on The Mysterious Life of Aaron James. This will be a really fun project too as it has some of my favorite features: shooting, item creation, exploration (please don't take that as I'm not finding The Mysterious Life of Aaron James fun to develop because I am; I love P&C adventure games, but I also love maiming things, creating things, and exploring.)

Anyway, I'm working on getting the new project set up and all tasked out on TeamworkPM and then I'm off to bed.

For those that missed it: version 1.0.5 of The Mysterious Life of Aaron James is out. I've also updated our website and added a project page for the game with screenshots and a download link.

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Couldn't you just add a function that checks if the save file was a prior version, and fix those issues, then replace that save file and reload?

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[quote name='Arthur Souza' timestamp='1350280577']
Heya, just to add, the period ended up as part of the link to the kickstarter project, gotta remove that [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png[/img]
That's been fixed. Thanks for pointing that out!

[quote name='Black-Rook' timestamp='1350282813']
Couldn't you just add a function that checks if the save file was a prior version, and fix those issues, then replace that save file and reload?
Yea, I have checks in there and I may be able to save them; I just need to dig through all of the missed changes and figure out whether or not I can determine that. The problem is that certain state information wasn't saved; for instance when the pool table gets jammed its numeric state value is set to 1, which wasn't saved. The bathroom window sets a state variable ('bathroom_window_unlocked') when you unlock it, which also wasn't saved. Both of these instances I can say for sure that, if the save version is 1.0 or 1.1, I can just set them to the specific value.

The major concern is visibility; there were a few instances where I think I marked object as not-visible, which wasn't saved and it would be kind of hard to say "Yea, this object should be not-visible." However, I know that I ran into some issues initially with just marking them as invisible; this was why I was talking about duplicating characters a few posts back.

Anyway, from what I've found so far I should be able to handle these, but the major issue is I don't want to handle them specifically in the engine. I may put up a "game save updater" utility that can be used to make sure save games are on the latest version (though, this would only be necessary for people playing the alpha anyway.)

[quote name='Black-Rook' timestamp='1350282896']
Your website looks great by the way!!
Thank you very much! I need to get it ported over to a full site as I'm getting tired of editing raw PHP files, but I'm lazy and hate web development lol.

Thanks for the input and comments! I appreciate it :D

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