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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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A beginning

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Hello GameDev,

Arhim here starting a new journal. First of all I will make some things clear:

  1. I am a hobbyist programmer who works on projects for fun and learning purposes
  2. English is not my first language so there will probably be grammatical errors

Having cleared that up I will, for my first post, talk about the current project I am working on with two of my friends. The basic goal for us is to make a clone of the Advance Wars game for the GBA which is an excuse for trying out an entity system for managing units. (We already made a clone of asteroids where we used hierarchy for game objects). On this project I will be mostly working on the supporting classes and system, one friend will work on the GUI and the other will be working on the entity system.

We are using SFML for the window and event handling and OpenGL for rendering in C++ with the help of CodeBlocks as the IDE. We will try to write as much of the engine and game ourselves. Because of that, this journal will be more about engine implementation than game play development. The game will be written for Windows and Linux simultaneously.

Starting of that I will write about some of the helper classes needed for the engine.

  1. Config manager - mainly responsible for reading and editing config files, but will be used for loading levels, writing game states, etc.
  2. Asset manager - responsible for handling loading of textures, sounds, texture maps, as well as unloading and keeping track of already loaded assets

1) The config manager accepts files of this format:[section1] name1 = value name2 = other_value[section2] name1 = value3 name4 = some_other_value[window] width = 800 height = 600 fullscreen = 1 // or on or true
The section name goes into brackets and everything following it up belongs to that section. The name-value pairs have to be unique for each individual section and they will be stored as strings. Because of that the ConfigManager should supply a way for reading values as other types like int and bool.

Example of use:ConfigManager myCM;int width;int height;bool fullscreen;myCM.parseFile("config.cfg");width = myCM.getInt("window","width");height = myCM.getInt("window","height");fullscreen = myCM.getBool("window","fullscreen");
Similarly to parsing config files, ConfigManager will also be able to write configs to files.
I had written a more complex version of the ConfigManager which could read in tree-like structured config files, but that was a complete overkill on my part for a test project. Following that experience this time I settled on making it much simpler.

2) The AssetManager is pretty straightforward. It implements functions for loading textures and binding them with OpenGL, for unloading textures and it keeps track of when assets need to be released.

Behind the scenes it uses SFMLs interface for loading image data from files, binds the data with OpenGL and then stores the index returned for later access in a map with string as keys (name of the file) and int as the texture index.

For fonts the AssetManager again uses SFMLs interface. For now we don't need to load any sounds or something else because we are working only on the bare core (but if the need shall present itself we will implement it).

Hope you had an interesting read smile.png

For future entries I will be writing about managing states, a bit about the GUI and the Entity system and how we plan to implement it. I hope on getting some pictures in this because it looks dull.

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