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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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At the very beginning

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Arjan B


This is a journal about how a young student decided to start implementing a path tracer.

I'm Arjan, a 23 year old CSE master student from the Netherlands. Having worked for Triumph Studios [size=2](the creators of the Overlord and Age of Wonders series) and starting a one man software development company [size=2](without many projects, I can tell ya wink.png), I do have at least some work field experience under my belt. So to spice up my humble portfolio, I decided to implement a path tracer.

Why? Because this whole physically based rendering thing seems awesome! No more cheating and hacking to approximate real world visual effects. Instead, let's try to simulate the behaviour of light as closely as possible.

So I got my hands on a copy of Physically Based Rendering: From Theory to Implementation. However, after the first 2 or 3 chapters, I felt like I was just copying how someone else had written his path tracer. I'd much rather be explained the basic concepts, implement those, see pretty pictures and then just improve from there on. This is why I put down the book and fired up the internet. I try to get familiar with the basic concepts and implement them. Whenever I'm stuck, I ask the lovely GameDev'ers around here. smile.png

Now, it's image time! Every body loves pretty images! Or, well.. my first attempt wasn't all that pretty:

Turns out I messed up my intersection code. You can imagine my joy when I fixed it and came to this:

Now, a couple days later, I had found my time to implement a mirror material and anti-aliasing. Just look at how pretty those spheres are:

Well, that's all for now! In the future, I plan to implement more features and keep the world updated through this journal. Some of those features would be:

  • An extra direct lighting sample instead of just one random sample in a hemisphere
  • Dielectric material
  • More primitives, so far I only have triangles and spheres.
  • Camera with a lens instead of a pinhole camera
  • Some tree structure to speed up the intersection check
  • Support for participating media
  • Subsurface scattering
  • Run it on the GPU, with those fancy CUDA core thingies

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I've yet to see something in physical based rendering or ray tracing or whatever they're calling it that looks better than just bump and specular mapping. Maybe I'm just jealous other people are doing something that might be better that I don't understand and might not understand for a long time.

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Well, I guess accurate global illumination is done way better in PBR than the usual route. An ambient term and post-processing effects such as ambient occlusion do make up for something, though. Soft shadows, color bleeding and area lights would be yet another thing that are far more accurately approximated. I'm not sure about this one, but I rarely see actual refraction happening in rasterized applications. Let alone caustics. The same for sub-surface scattering.


But I'm new on the subject as well, so I'm free to be corrected. smile.png


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