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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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AaronWizardstar

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Here I will attempt to chronicle the efforts of creating a science fiction Ultima-inspired RPG.

I'm a hobbyist game developer, and this game will be freeware and open source. I suppose if the code turns out good enough I may follow up with a commercial game, but that's another story.
[quote]
Decades ago, colony starships headed off from Earth. Half of these lost contact with Earth. Today, mankind has invented faster-than-light space travel. A task force of starships are being sent to recontact these lost colonies, or at least discover their fate.

You are an agent manning one of these starships, and you have reached the star system one of the lost colony ships was heading for. You are sent out in a shuttle to survey one of the planets.

You are shot down from orbit. It turns out that space pirates have surreptitiously acquired faster-than-light technology and have taken this world, conquering the lost colony. Now you have to deal with the space pirates, the untrusting colonists, and the hostile native wildlife. Adventure ensues.[/quote]
So far I have this:
space-rpg.png
I figure this art style will be a fair trade-off between attractiveness, required skill, and required effort. If it's going to be programmer art, hopefully it'll be good programmer art.

Gameplay-wise this is a top-down, tile-based, turn-based RPG in the style of the first five Ultimas, only with a science fiction theme. And hex tiles. You have to talk to people, collect items, solve puzzles, and shoot bad guys. All the while you have to figure out how to get off this world, reach your starship and your crew, and maybe do something about those space pirates.

Tech-wise the game going to be written in Squirrel with a C++ core. Squirrel will be used for the main game logic, and C++ will manage the infrastructure of the graphics, resources, and the application itself. The graphics (and audio, when I get to it) is powered by SFML, I'm using yaml-cpp for some of my config files, and RandomLib is providing my game with, well, randomness.

There's still some stuff I need to bake into my C++ core before writing the game proper in Squirrel. For one thing, I'll probably bake in a game state system so that I don't have to worry about it in the Squirrel side.

I also need some kind of GUI solution, which is filling me with trepidation. This I will likely detail in another post, but my project has certain constraints and conditions that limit what kind of libraries I can use, this project being freeware and open source being one of them. I'm also developing on a Mac, so there's that too. Meanwhile, all the possible GUI libraries I've seen seem lacking in their own special way, and building my own GUI system would lead to madness.

Wish me luck.

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