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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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optimization, ...

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so, not much notable recently...

pretty much the past month it seems has mostly been things like performance optimizing and trying to shave down the memory footprint...

well, and I also added Oculus Rift support...
however, it is still a limiting factor that I can only use the thing for short periods of time before motion-sickness sets in, but OTOH, neither my engine nor Minecraft apparently pulls off the required framerates to effectively avoid motion sickness.

have a few times considered idle ideas for a few things:
possibly moving to a 3D model format with precomputed frame vertices (and deciding between something like ".md3" or "compressed dumped VBOs");
as-is, most of this stuff is computed at runtime, which is kind of expensive, as well as the model loading times being an issue (want to load them ideally without introducing a perceptible delay, which is a problem if it would involve calculating a bunch of stuff during loading);
ideally, I also want to keep the skeleton around in the off chance I later want to add something like ragdoll or similar.

also experimentally moved textures to a package, where converting the textures from PNG to BTJ reduced them from 70MB to 22MB.

also packaged up the audio, taking it from 30MB to 8MB, but there seem to be quality issues with many of my sound-effects and my BTAC codec. (ADD, FIXED: integer overflow, needed to add range-checks and clamping).

I am tempted to look into other possible options, with the goals:
similar or lower bitrates;
better size/quality tradeoff;
supports random-access decoding.

possible options:
messing more with quantized entropy-coded ADPCM-like algorithms (some of my past audio codecs), but granted my past attempts had size/quality issues;
fiddling around with an MDCT based codec (similar to Vorbis or MP3), just designing it more for random-access rather than stream decoding;
hacked random-access-oriented version of Vorbis?;

ADD: a new codec may be unnecessary... it seems the main sound-quality issue I was dealing with was due mostly to an integer overflow, which has now been fixed.

otherwise, had another idle thought related to image and video coding.
BTIC2B was probably a bit overly ambitious of a design (with too many tunable parameters, ...).

I may possibly consider an idea for "BTIC2C", which would mostly aim to be a simpler format with less encoding options.
probably: AYUV 4:2:0 with 8x8 WHT, and a YCoCg color-space, ... (and ideally simpler and faster than JPEG).

would probably aim to include basic video features in it. these would be mostly frame-deltas and block-motion-compensation. (main other options here: work more on video-coding stuff for my BTJ-NBCES format, or maybe consider using something like a hacked version of Theora...).

or such...

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