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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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Quantity Brings Quality

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As I suspected, I have an almost insurmountable case of coder's block after a full day at work. Nevertheless, things are getting done. In fact, this might be the best thing that's happened for Lemma because it's forced me to cut a lot out of the design and focus on core things. It's the only way I'll ever finish.

Screenshot below gives an idea of the new direction. I've dropped any pretense that the game occurs in our world as we know it. It was a restriction that existed only to service the story, and it was limiting the gameplay and visual style a lot. Now I'm free to do a lot more, and I'm not precluded from telling a story just because it's fantasy rather than sci-fi.


In order to get this thing out the door, I am now dead-set on eliminating anything that does not contribute to the core gameplay. You won't be seeing any more nifty graphics features. From here on out, I'm determined to churn out two things: enemies and levels. And I do mean "churn", although that's not something that comes naturally. I tend to set out with the goal of creating the best mechanic/level design/widget/mouse trap and spend months perfecting it, before deciding to cut out the whole thing completely.

No more. From now on, I'm churning out crap. I'll throw out the worst and polish the remaining turds until they sparkle.

One of my art professors told a story about an experiment one teacher performed on his pottery class. He told one of the class that their grade depended on their ability to make five perfect pots for the final. He told the other half that their grade depended on the sheer number of pots they created, with no regard whatsoever for quality.

Some of the kids in the latter half made over 300 pots. By the end, they were so practiced that their pots were of higher quality than the students who were tasked with creating five perfect pots.

This might be a no-brainer to you, but it's changed the way I think. As game designers, we're always trying to pin down that elusive thread of fun that runs through every good game. There's no formula or guaranteed method to create it. The only thing to do is try a lot of things and hope that you've picked up enough along the way to make a perfect pot at the end.

So that's where I'm at. Churning out levels and interesting objects to fill those levels.

One thing that's been missing for a long time is physics joints between voxels. Without them I couldn't create things like sliding doors and rotating platforms. Click the image below to see a GIF showing what I mean.


I'm pretty excited about new possibilities this opens up. I've already implemented a few in one of those churned-out levels I was talking about.
One other minor announcement. The website used to be hosted on NearlyFreeSpeech, which charges based on usage. The huge spike following the release of Alpha 1 cost quite a bit, and the whole experience has just been kind of annoying, so I moved the site to Amazon. The whole site is static despite having a lot of dynamic content pulled from all over the interwebs, so I was able to plop it in an S3 bucket for dirt cheap. So far I've payed 50 cents, plus the domain name. No complaints!

That's it for now. Thanks for reading and being patient with this incredibly slow project. Hopefully some of the ideas in this post will help speed it up.

Mirrored on my blog

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Haha. Now [i]that[/i] is some serious "reinventing the wheel". Love the physics. Congrats.


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