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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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Working on a new character in the editor at the moment but still developing the editor as I go.

Most recent features include a Groups system that allows you to store and name groups of any selection (vertices, faces, joints) and reselect easily. I took the approach of using an autogenerated ID number and added a Group field to each item so I didn't have to modify existing group data when things were deleted. It also doesn't try to remove empty groups either, just renders the text grey italic when a group has nothing in it. A minor feature but quite useful.

I've also added a feature to Select all Unclosed Edges which is a bit badly named, but basically I was trying to import a model made in Charm into a game project I'm also working on that uses shadow volumes and the previous model was failing in the generateShadowVolume call because it had some edges that weren't shared by exactly two faces. This new feature in Charm selects the vertices that define any such edges, making it quite easy to check you have built a closed mesh.

Another minor addition is a Select Degenerate Faces option. I decided to not autoremove faces when they are made degenerate (most commonly by vertex snapping and welding) but leave them in place, but they of course you have no way to get hold of them. So now you can snap and weld away and when you're done you can just Select Degenerates and delete. I prefer leaving this stuff in the hands of the user really even though it creates extra steps. Eventually I'll have some kind of scripting and/or macro system so you can combine these operations into one if you wish.

The other thing I've done since last time is set up a system so that each joint can be optionally paired to another joint (this is autogenerated when you mirror a skeleton) then there is an option in Animation mode to Swap Joint Transforms. This is very handy for, for example, walk animations where you basically want to reverse the pose. You can now make a good walk animation by just setting up the first and middle frames, then duplicating the first into the correct places and swapping the transforms. Means you get an exact mirror when the legs are at opposite extremes of the animation as well, if you see what I mean.

It's lovely to have got to the point where this is now very usable, because whenever I find something tricky or repetitive I can just write a new feature to take care of it which is a big boost to my workflow. I'm learning a lot about how to make good low-poly models as I go as well. And having a basic game environment already set up to import the models into is good.

So now I need to get this or another basic model finished and rigged so I can start integrating animation into the game project I've started. Its just a room with some objects and basic GJK-based physics working for now along with stencil shadows. At the moment the player is a capsule but once I have a model to work with, I can start moving that forward as well.

Thanks for reading. If anyone wants to give this modeller a try, just let me know. Its not even in a beta state in terms of functionality yet but as long as you can live without texture support and import/export support (the two biggest missing features) its okay.

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