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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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Goodbye Weekly Update

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Programmer16

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Hi everyone! We're back with another weekly update. For those that are wondering where we've been and what's going on, I'll get to that in just a moment.

But first, let's Kick Start Your Week with Mikeyo:

YouTube Link
We're a little behind with our Indie Spotlights:
For the week of October 25th to November 1st our Spotlight was of Cloaks & Spells, a 2D platformer/metroidvania game:
Beals Software Project Page

YouTube Link

For this week, our Indie Spotlight is Approaching Infinity, a 2D space roguelike:
Beals Software Project Page

YouTube Link
Approaching Infinity has a Kickstarter that is currently running: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/181428952/approaching-infinity-a-space-adventure-roguelike (ends December 11, 2013)

Now, we're really far behind partly due to our day job, but mainly due to working on the prototype for Lord Sen's Battle Arena (it was supposed to be the alpha, but we weren't able to hit that mark.) Basically, early last month I said that we were going to have the alpha for Lord Sen's Battle Arena ready by the end of October, so I put everything aside and focused on that. I realized in the last week/week and a half that I had the project nowhere near alpha ready, let alone prototype. So, I "fell off the grid" to put all of my time and energy into that. The prototype (version 0.1) was put up for download on 11/04, but I didn't really promote it due to the fact that it really is still quite unstable and featureless. Version 0.2 was just put up for download which is less broken, but still quite featureless. It is playable though; you can create a lobby, have people join, change teams and game settings, start the game and play (you can download it from it's project page, but it requires multiple players to "play".)

So, what was the hold up? Well, I implemented the initial system using plain a TCP set up. I know from reading forum posts and many articles throughout the years that TCP isn't the way to go. So, I then converted and refactored our core networking library over to Lidgren. While this was a very smooth process (seriously, if you're doing any networking I highly recommend Lidgren), it did still take a week due to my lack of networking knowledge.

The major hiccup though has been my lack of multiplayer game development experience. In all my time programming, every time I've attempted to develop anything remotely "online", my hold up is usually what to send and where. I've spent countless hours searching, but I have never seen an article that touches on this and trying to decipher it from others' projects (even tutorial projects) is close to impossible. I've come to realise that this is due to the fact that it depends so much on how your engine itself is written. I've also come to realize that using a component based engine wasn't the best choice

Anyway, things are moving along rather well now. We have everything planned out from our current version (0.2) through alpha (0.5) and beta (1.0.) We're going to be posting a new version every Monday (most likely evening), so keep your eyes out.

On other fronts, we've made the decision today to move The Lost Chapters to the background so that we can make room for a different project (Operation D.A.V.E as Mike has dubbed it.) We're going to discuss some details about it in our meeting later, so we should have some more info soon. I do want to say that it is kind of a time limited thing, which is why we are pushing it to the head of the line (well, third in line; Lord Sen's Battle Arena and Seeking Imagination are still leading the charge.)

Now, on to the topic of this blog: I'm not really sure about the future of it. I've come to realize that this really isn't the place for the weekly update; it is meant for game development and that's the content we should be providing here. So, I'm going to be shifting this journal back to more game development related topics, but I probably won't be doing "scheduled" posts. Basically what I was doing before I started the weekly update, but hopefully a little better (I'll obviously plug the weekly update in the blog posts though.)

As for the weekly update, we're kind of splitting things up and "expanding". Since the Let's Play Indie Games idea has expanded a little bit (we're showcasing our videos plus other let's players), we're talking about doing a Let's Play Recap video that would include those. Mikeyo's Weekly Update and Kick Start Your Week videos will continue as normal; we'll probably start putting up a news items for those (he also tweets them from @mikeyothedj.)

Anyway, I think that's all for this week and to catch up what we've been doing over the past couple weeks. I'm not sure what format I'll move forward with for the blog posts, but they'll definitely still be coming. Thanks for stopping in!

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