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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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ApochPiQ

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I got tired of having my IRC bot be a plugin to a Chrome plugin, so I started tearing apart the CIRC Chrome extension and stripping it down to serve as a bot hosting platform. The UI already has some tweaks to support bot features, and having direct access to the whole Chrome extension API is very liberating.

On the downside, it's chewing up an increasingly large amount of my free time, and taking away valuable energy from other projects (*cough* Epoch *cough*). But I sort of needed the distraction for a while, and now it's just too much fun to quit without a decent project to show for all of it.


Of course no IRC bot is complete without the ability to converse, so I started writing up a simple order-2 Markov chain sentence generator. These are pretty bog standard in the language generation world for low-fidelity conversation.

The big trick with Markov chains is training data. An order-2 chain requires a pretty substantial amount of English to inspect before it starts sounding even vaguely sensible. Most of the output is just direct quotes from what it was fed, since it doesn't have enough contextual information to "understand" how to rearrange phrases and sentences yet.

I'm currently at something like 75KB of JSON representing the internal state of the Markov chain system, and it still sounds pretty idiotic. I'm confident based on past experiments that it can be improved quite a bit - the only factor is how much data I can feed it.

I'm secretly having it listen to IRC channels and selecting the longer and more lucid-looking sentences to add to the training repository. This should be a fun way to add some flavor to the bot.


If I decide to continue hacking on this, I'll probably start by cleaning up the rest of the CIRC code I... erm... borrowed. Once that's done, I'm considering posting a copy of the extension code on my scribblings site for other intrepid Chrome users to futz with.

As a stretch goal, I kind of want to write a Bayesian classifier to try and get a bit of a stimulus/response thing going, but that's a ways down the road in all probability.

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Sounds fun. Diversion is good and will probably be better for Epoch in the long run.

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Diversions can often remind you why you enjoyed the primary project in the first place.

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