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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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Internet is Back

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evanofsky

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I just got internet back after being without it since before Christmas. It was a tearful reunion, to be sure. Turns out, I was actually more productive than usual without internet. There's a one-word explanation for that, and it rhymes with "edit".

ANYway, here's what got done:

Analytics



When you finish a play session, you'll see something like this:

kZ5Hs.jpg

I haven't figured out the server side of this system yet, but all it really needs to do is accept plain text file uploads. Once I have the files, it's easy to load them into the editor, yielding data like this:

H84vJl.jpg

On the right-hand side, you can see how I can view individual play sessions, or select all of them and filter by event type. For example, if I wanted to see where in the map people most often exited in a fit of rage, I could select all the play sessions, then filter on the "Exit" event.

The player's position at the time of each event is visualized as a colored dot. I normalize the first three bytes of the MD5 hash of the event name and use that as the color.

At the bottom you can see I also record graphs of various properties, like the player's health and ammo. I can also just play back the recorded sessions at up to 10x speed. The analytics data also includes crash logs, so now I can see the circumstances leading up to a crash.

TL;DR: The next alpha release should give me a lot more useful information about pacing, difficulty, and bugs.

Headlamp



I'm working on a pitch-black claustrophobic section of the game. Ancient FPS tradition requires that I implement a flashlight.

tIlgvl.jpg

Complete with shadows and everything!

SS-Fail-O



I tried to implement SSAO. This is as far as I got:

8gthvl.jpg

Sad sad sad.

Revamped Player Textures



I know, I'm not a very good 3D artist. I've been getting some complaints about it. I'm trying to go back and re-vamp the player model without throwing away hundreds of hours of work. I've already made one of the easiest improvements, which was to photochop the textures a bit and add normal-mapping.

Here's before and after:

6FP6Cl.jpg

Laundry List



Here's some other things, because you obviously have nothing better to do!

  • I've done a good bit of research and writing for the story in the past few weeks. I feel lucky to have a lot of source material to work from. But oh is it still difficult.
  • Pistol handling animations have been cleaned up.
  • The camera doesn't clip into the environment anymore (for the most part).
  • I keep improving voxel performance. It's pretty smooth at this point. There's one last stubborn piece of code I need to cajole onto another thread though.
  • I wrote a very simple state-machine AI for the snake enemy. It's so much more fun now, it feels like an actual game.
  • I also applied the AI to a new "floater" NPC which will come into play more later.
  • I think the player movement and special ability code is finally starting to settle down. I've narrowed things down to the right number of abilities that keep things simple but also give the player a lot of power. Hopefully it will just be tweaks and bug fixes from here on.
  • Speaking of bug fixes, I've squashed probably over fifty bugs since Christmas. Feels good man.

    Thanks for reading. Hang in there for the next alpha release!

    Mirrored on my blog

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4 Comments


WB. I must admit, I'm having a hard time figuring out what rhymes with "edit" in this context...
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