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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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Paper Cowboys Dev Update - Level 1 and more!

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It's been a while since my previous update, but I finally have some content to show off for the new level 1 in Paper Cowboys full! The reasons it took me so long:

  • Procrastination: I simply didn't have that creative spirit and motivation. I've been rather busy at my full time work and exercising lately.
  • Overdesign: I spent at least five hours worth of time figuring out that the game play of the 48 hour build was just fine.

    I'm still a few weeks behind; by now I wanted to have three levels finished! But now...without further delay...video of level 1 WIP!


    Some of the noteworthy changes:

    • When an enemy dies, they become a stick figure ragdoll and fall to the ground.
    • Barrels and drums are subject to "regular" physics. If you shoot them they rock a little bit. If an enemy hits them they do the same.
    • Tumbleweed!
    • New buildings
    • Cleaner camera movement
    • New environmental obstacles (rocks)
    • Items will drop from enemies and barrels "randomly" with a twist: You are guaranteed an item drop after a number of failed attempts. Furthermore, you must have a hat before you can have a different weapon.

      And these under the hood changes:

      • All of the old animation classes I coded for the old version have been deprecated. I now use Unity 4's animation objects.
      • I made new objects for most everything; including players and enemies. They're easier to maintain and more versatile (One prefab can now manage the behavior of four different kinds of enemy instead of having four prefabs).

        I've also made some design decisions:

        • I'm not going to let players buy equipment with money. That would just result in players farming for cash, and the better players will always have the best gear leaving the little people behind.
        • I'm not going to have character leveling. This game needs to be kept simple...I will however consider achievements.
        • If using RPC's to indicate players firing or starting and ending their moves is too slow, I'm going to turn to an unreliable model where every player has a single game object with a network view that streams an integer where the bits indicate button presses.

          What's next?

          I haven't done network testing in weeks, and I have much catching up to do. I also need to add the transitions between levels and the end-of-level sequence.

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