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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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Strife: Character screens and persistance

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I have finally decided what I want to call this game. Well... I called it Strife from the start and I'll continue calling it Strife when referring to it but up to now it lacked a full name. Which is now 'Legends of Strife'!

Now onto more useful things...

I've done a lot of back end server and database work to extend what I had before into a functional account and character system. A character create screen allows you to create characters by choosing a name and a class (eg. warrior, mage etc) on the account you logged in with. All character information is saved to the database every 5 minutes or when the characters logs out. Every character saves itself on its own clock, which starts ticking the moment he logs in to spread the load on the servers database thread. Name, class, position, orientation, HP, item and quest information is stored on the database. Name and class is only stored once when the character is first created.

Also worth noting is that I made some improvements that allow an entity that's in range of the player to load its resources on the client without freezing the client by not rendering it while it's loading. Of course if you zone into an area it can cause you to be attacked by something you can't see yet, but that's better than not even knowing that you're being attacked because the client is frozen while its loading the hostile entities model :D

My wife (who does all the art and models... not sure if I ever mentioned that :D) has finally replaced the last of the place holder terrain tiles that I ripped from WoW. And she's hard at work doing creature and npc models. Most of what she has made isn't in game yet since I'm still focusing mostly on creating the back end. Although at this point I feel confident enough to start with "more fun stuff", maybe I'll start with spells and abilities next ^^

Here is a video demonstrating what I was talking about.


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