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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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Procedurally generated frustration

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Hello gamedev! I thought I'd share some thoughts on my current project for my first journal entry biggrin.png

I've always been enchanted with tabletop roleplaying games, and it is sorta what got me started in game development. And while I've done several medium sized projects by myself, I have yet to tackle something as massive as an rpg. So I figured it was time to get back to my roots, and in the interim learn a bit about procedural generation. Enter The Stories of Edar: The Second Age.

From the outset, I wanted this project to teach me as much as possible. Thus far, it hasn't failed in doing that. I also wanted to capture the essence of immersion you feel when reading a good book, or that feeling of exploration you got as a kid just imagining and playing pretend. But I didn't want to create a static world that I made myself, and wanted the computer itself to carefully craft a dynamic universe ripe with adventure. So I've basically thrown out any idea of a real design document and just said "procedurally generate everything possible!" And by everything, I mean everything from the level maps, the background music, the world map, terrain features, cities, monster stats, the various puzzles in the game, the world's history and flavor, the NPC personalities, even the story of the entire game, everything - and all at run-time.

This is easier said than done. Actually, that list is pretty long, so it's probably not that easy to say to begin with! But I like a challenge. And there have been plenty of challenges, let me tell you that! Everything from actually figuring out how you'd make a random dungeon (without going into an endless loop!) to the entire program just crashing because of my sloppy code. I'm not even gonna bother listing off all the difficulties I've had so far.

But one piece that has been more fun than frustration has been working with ways to make the background music. At first I just tried piecing together little bits of music randomly, but it doesn't sound right half the time, and then gets really old after hearing the same bits over and over. So then I tried Markov Chains, which was a little hard setting up, but after it was working it was so much fun to play with! Right now I really like what it does when I use it to make some chord progressions, and then build a melody on top of that. You can get a lot of control over the style and genre, and it makes some really good sounding stuff. I might try and add some more to this, but as it stands now I'm already proud with what it can do.

I still have a lot of stuff to work on, like finishing the game mechanics for combat, fixing up the inventory system, polishing the random dungeon generator, and plenty of other things. But I'm gonna keep working at it! Anyways I hope you enjoyed reading and that you have a great day (or evening or whatever)! smile.png

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