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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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Weekly Update # 16

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Mikeyo and I were quite busy last week with our day jobs, so I missed out on my tasks and Mikeyo's had to take this week off for his. So, the Kick Start video below is for last week and we'll be back on track next week.

As usual, Mikeyo kick started our week with some crowdsourcing projects:

YouTube Link

He follows that up with his weekly update:

YouTube Link

Let's Play Indie Games

The indie games that we played last week were:
Savage XR

Black Ice

Castles in the Sky

We've got quite a bit going on over at www.letsplayindiegames.com. I'm working on getting dedicated hosting for it, rather than routing to a subdomain on our main site. Also, the contact page has been fixed (again; every time I make a change I manage to break that page even though it hasn't been touched since the launch of bealssoftware.com's new layout.)

We've also added a ton of Let's Players that play indie games to our wall; 30 of them at the time of posting. To help promote them (and also because I apparently am too busy at the moment to be able to work in recording and editing a video every day), we're going to be highlighting one of their video on days that we don't post one. In the future, when I'm able to hand the project off to someone else, we may change it to one of our videos a day and a video from one of the Let's Players. I'm not sure, this is the part where the fact that I shouldn't be in charge really comes to light: I'm too indecisive to pick between a couple videos, let alone 30; the entire point of the site is to help promote everyone, how am I supposed to pick a single video a day? We'll see though, maybe a good idea will pop up.

Another idea is having the Let's Players sign up for a mailing list and then dev's can submit their game's information through the site and we'll send it out. Not really sure how effective it would be; some improvements have been offered up (like allowing the Let's Players choose a genre to receive notifications for.)

Kind of a spin off of that idea - I know I plan on putting up a notification for our games that anyone and everyone can make a let's play and monetize it. So I'm contemplating adding a page to the site that will basically be a collection of authorizations from developers for let's players to make videos (and possibly monetize them.)

So, we have a lot of stuff in the works for it. The whole idea is to help promote indie devs, Let's Players that play indie games and to help bring them together. I personally think that let's plays are one of the best forms of advertising (I don't know how many games I've bought simply because I saw the guys from Rooster Teeth having a blast playing it), so I'm really putting a lot of time into getting that off the ground.

Indie Spotlight

The indie spotlight for this week is Black Ice. You can find out more information about it on the project page: http://bealssoftware.com/?module=project&id=10.

Lord Sen's Battle Arena

Last week I showed off screenshots of the multiplayer lobby that I through together for Lord Sen's Battle Arena. However, know that there was a fundamental difference between TCP and UDP, I decided to dig deeper before moving forward. Lots of reading later, I decided that it would probably be best to switch to UDP before moving forward. So, I took our core library, ripped out all of the TCP stuff and integrated in Lidgren.

We're now back up and running and moving forward. I've added a screen for entering the settings when creating a lobby (your username, the port number and the lobby password):

I've added a screen for entering the setting when joining a lobby (your username, the host, the port number and the lobby password):

Here's a shot showing some different teams:

Here's a shot that shows actual map files and map previews working:

And finally, here's a shot showing the host in game:

At the moment the client doesn't actually get "in the game", he just sits at the lobby, but the host can start and move around. I'm hoping to be doing some connection stress testing this weekend. Following that, I get to try to figure out network prediction.

For anyone looking into networking - I definitely recommend Lidgren. It is super easy to get set up and the library itself is just really well laid out.

Well, that's all for this week's update. I'll be back next week, on time and with more info. We're quickly approaching the alpha, so there will be lots of screenshots and some videos coming out. Keep an eye on my twitter, @Programmer16, or check back here next week. Thanks everyone!

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