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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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Where I am now

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CC Ricers

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Here be a new journal... so what's it about this time? Recently I've been getting back into the GameDev community while I'm sleuthing for answers to my problems, and I've been in the hobbyist game for years now. I currently run a blog with the same name, for about two years, so if you would like a feel for where I am you can go there for my older articles.

Over several years I've coded in C++, Java, some Processing, HTML, PHP (which I do for a job right now), and currently C#. I got into the XNA when it was entering its middle years, and my first game with that framework is still a goal that's not close yet. So I am not sure how I would feel about releasing an Xbox Indie Game well into the twilight years, but for now I'm sticking to XNA. I've already managed to build a basic graphics framework while learning DirectX 9, and moving to XNA helped me approach more advanced concepts without a lot of the low-level fuss.

With that said, I'm building a graphics engine and a game to go with it. They will be worked on at the same time, so if there's something my game needs from the engine, for now I will give that feature a priority for the engine if it helps on finishing the game.

Engine thingies include:

  • Component-based rendering system, meaning each rendering step is contained in its own class. The steps are chained together with inputs and outputs, just in code for now.
  • Mesh instancing and frustum culling by instance (I plan to add quadtrees eventually but brute-force culling isn't a botteneck right now)
  • Blended cascaded shadow mapping for directional lights
  • Post processing effects like FXAA and soft-focus DOF (again, as discrete rendering step components)

    Without further ado here are some screens of my engine at work:

    screen24-1.jpg screen24-3.jpg

    I plan to make an off-road racing game, which will be more quick arcade-like action than sim racer. Think MotorStorm with a bit of Excite Truck. I have already started a separate project for the game, but for now it's nothing more than an empty terrain with a first attempt at getting the physics engine (BEPU Physics) working with the graphics. Here's the current list of my important things to do.


    [color=rgb(51,51,51)][font=Georgia, 'Times New Roman', 'Bitstream Charter', Times, serif]

    [font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Racing game[/font]

    [/font][/color]

    • [font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]EVERYTHING!!! (but especially starting on the physics)[/font]


    • [font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]A rudimentary level editor (at first), will not have a very visual interface at first[/font]


    • [font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]A controllable physical body, just as another way to move the camera for now[/font]



      [color=rgb(51,51,51)][font=Georgia, 'Times New Roman', 'Bitstream Charter', Times, serif]

      [font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Engine[/font]

      [/font][/color]

      • [font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Easier manipulation of mesh instances[/font]


      • [font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Forward rendering[/font]


      • [font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Impostor/billboard drawing[/font]


      • [font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Easier-to-configure shaders[/font]



        [font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]That's all for now. I will probably explain more about how I will tackle the issues that come from making my first 3D level editor. This will be the biggest challenge, but my productivity should skyrocket from there.[/font]


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Thanks for the comment. This has been from almost a years and a half of using XNA (but I took breaks for a few months sometimes). I don't know much about Unity's stock graphics features, but my project is probably not as flexible as theirs. There's still a lot I need to learn about rendering, like global illumination, BDRFs, etc. But for now I want to focus more on a level editor for my game.


Incidentally, I presented this over email to a company that uses Unity at work, and they're interested in having me for an interview.

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That is sweet. A custom engine can offer some serious advantages if the designed tailors it for a set game. Best of luck and I hope you continue to post more images.

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