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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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Syzygy Update

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jwezorek

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So, looking at the early entries of this blog, I must have started working on Syzygy around the beginning of the year 2012 because by March 2012 I had the Win32 prototype done. At that time, I didn't own a Macintosh, didn't own an iOS device, had never heard of cocos2d-x, and, professionally-wise, was still writing image processing code for a company in Seattle. Since then that company was killed, and I moved from Seattle to Los Angeles ... but anyway as of today, about a year later, I have the primary functionality of Syzygy running on my iPad, re-using the source code, mostly, from that prototype. I haven't really been working on it the whole time -- there was a lot of moving-to-California in there somewhere, but here's a screenshot (click for full-size):

syz_screen_shot_SMALL.png

There's a common question in the mobile games forum of gamedev.net: "How can I make a game for iOS only using Windows?". The answer to this is either (1) you can't or (2) write your game to Marmalade or cocos2d-x on Windows and then when you are done get a friend with a Mac to let you register as an Apple developer, build under Xcode, and submit to the App store. I always say (1) is the serious answer and if you are unserious, or want to develop a really simple game, then go with (2). Basically I say this because you need to run your game on a device frequently and early, and I'm seeing the truth to this now.

Now that I have Syzygy running on a device I'm seeing issues with input which are artifacts of running on an iPad. The prototype implemented mouse input as a stand-in for touch input. It turns out touch screens and mice aren't the same thing. The game plays on the device, but when you drag tiles your finger is in the way of the tile visually. You can't see the tile you are dragging -- this seems like it wouldn't be a big deal, but it kind of is. ... this sort of thing is the reason, in my opinion, that if you are not testing on a device during primary development then you are not being serious... (However, I'm under the impression that you need a Mac to even deploy to a device; there was a thread on Gamedev in which someone was saying that you can deploy to an iOS device from a PC, so YMMV...)

So not sure what I'm going to do about this, I'm thinking of making the tile the user is dragging larger and offset upper-leftwardly while the user is dragging it. The problem with this is to make it look nice I'd have to have large versions of all the relevant art and some of it I don't even really remember how I rendered in the first place...

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I like that you are sharing the lessons you learned. I thought writing apps for non-iPhone would be the same as writing foe and iPhone. It was not. You have to take into account all of the different screen sizes out there when not on an iPhone.

I like the idea of showing an enlarged version of the tile.

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You could also run OSX in a virtual machine on a windows box. I had this working a long time ago, the only thing I couldn't seem to get to work was the audio. This was years ago so I am sure someone has figured that out now though.

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I have a Mac Mini now that I can switch over to with a KVM that I pretty much only use for development, so this part of it isn't a problem for me anymore. I was just making the general point that there is a lot more to getting a game working correctly on a mobile device then getting a prototype working on Windows.

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I would agree that a project needs to be tested on the hardware it is designed for in order to catch issues early in development.

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