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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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Part 2 of Developing a Game Idea: Fill-In-The-Blank Game Description

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Fill-in-the-blank description of game's genre and other basic properties from my guide:

[NameOfGame] will be a [2D or 3D or ?D] [optionally name the art style, e.g. anime] [singleplayer or multiplayer] [VPS/RPG/SIM/etc.] game where the player has [a small number or a large number] of [type of pet if you know it already] which which they do [combat or other main activity of the game].

WildWright will be an MMORPSIM game where you fight to build up a collection of pets which become both your army and your workforce, and you can even use one as a mount. Sim elements of the game include your estate, where you tend your pets to produce crafting resources, and which you upgrade to increase your crafting and pet breeding abilities. RPG elements of this game include combat [tactical or real-time?], interactively building your reputation with NPC factions, and building friendly or romantic relationships with specific NPCs. WildWright will take place in a 3D world, beautifully illustrated with 2D anime/fantasy-style sprites. [Full 3D would also be acceptable if creatures can be modeled to look like they have lots of personality.]

More templates and fill-in-the-blanks from my guide:

The player will control/be [number and type of playable character(s)] who will be [profession] who [game's main activity such as fighting, questing, solving puzzles, or crafting] in the [description of game world] world of [world's name]. [Other important activities] will also allow the player to satisfy their urges to [explore/become wealthy and famous/play mad scientist/help someone/be clever/build something/investigate a mystery/save the world/etc.].

Other templates used from part 1. of the guide (only the ones I actually used are copied&pasted here):

2. A game where you fight to build up a collection of pets which become your army or workforce (units in your combat squad, cards in a deck, or part of your home base producing stuff for you).
4. A game where you have a farm or ranch where you raise many pets to sell, compete with, or build up to a complete collection.
5. An interactive story game where you talk to [s]creature[/s]-characters, trying to befriend them or solve problems related to them.

You will create a humanoid avatar who will begin as a member of the WildWright race, just about to reach adulthood. WildWrights are a race of life spirits or fertility nymphs [Call them what exactly?] who have an affinity with life in all its forms, and can develop the ability to command monsters in battle, magically engineer new organisms, and change their own bodies to have more anthropomorphic appearances if they desire. The setting of WildWright is a fantasy universe composed of flat-earth islands floating in a "space" filled with breathable air, which can be crossed on the back of a flying mount or by a magic-powered flying ship. [Possible names for this universe: shardlands, fragments, isles, shattered lands, scattered lands, splintered lands, the wilds, etc.] WildWright will be a ton of fun and highly immersive because it will give you the opportunity to: explore a unique fantasy universe, play mad scientist, help NPCs with their problems and investigate mysteries(questing), fix up dilapidated areas, be a clever combat strategist quick-witted minigame player and mount-racer, collect an assortment of items including pet monsters, clothing, plushies, and NPCs (by building up a relationship with them until they want to come live with you), build and craft creatively and display your creations and collections to other players, play the game's market, and become rich and famous among the game's NPC population (ultimately, players can become god-like).

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Just as a curiosity; if you would be interested in a document-based Game Design Doc, I know of one that originally came from an article here on gamedev.net, that has long since been archived here as item #2 in the list (but there are other examples that work as well). Made originally by Chris Taylor of Gas Powered Games, it was a Microsoft Word document that I took and converted for my own use in OpenOffice, and tweaked the layout quite a bit. I haven't actually used Word in a dog's age; OpenOffice has all the features I need -- such as in the document properties, setting some templatable words that can be insertable anywhere in the document, and follow the changes when you change the text in the document properties' dialog panel.


If you are interested in my version, I can find it tomorrow; right now, I'm heading to bed a bit sore -- had a long day of splitting firewood.


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