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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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Progress Report: March 2014

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Norman Barrows

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Few progress reports, but lots of progress:

All Improved animal animations done - even the new bunny_attack animation! . The improved animations really bring the animals to life. Sometimes i'll be testing something and its like really being back in a paleolithic world.

Took some time out to finally give Skyrim a thorough evaluation. Oblivion was a major influence on the design of the original version of Caveman. I came away quite pleased with where Caveman is vis a vis Skyrim. Obviously i don't have the manpower to match them in graphics special effects or human generated content. OTOH, I found the changes between Oblivion and Skyrim to be evolutionary, not revolutionary. And it still suffers from the same design flaws as Oblivion (hard coded levels, hard coded spawn points, nothing to spend money on, rat in a maze level design, etc) plus new ones brought on by trying to add random encounters w/o thinking through the consequences (dragons, vampires, etc kill all the merchants!) and therefore not having a complete and balanced model/simulation (new merchants move in to replace those that die). Guess that's what happens when you try to add simulator type stuff to whats basically a level based shooter and don't think like a sim developer.

Spent some time (about week) playtesting and tweaking. Surprisingly little needed to be tweaked.

Implemented encounter ranges based on terrain elevation and vegetation cover.

Did final (?) improvements of caveman models.

Implemented all animations for 3rd person view:
stand
walk, run, and sprint - forward, back, left, and right.
sneak stand
sneak walk - forward, back, left, and right
climb mode stand (hang on) and walk (climb)
weapon ready
attack animations

graphics left to improve:
rain
falling snow
stars
prairie terrain
savanna terrain
cloud and sky brightness (both are a little dark right now)

this will bring all the graphics up to the minimum level acceptable for first release of this major new version of the game.

then there are a number of additional game play features to add, from interacting with snow, to taking rafts upstream, to high end stuff like raiding and inter-band rivalry, mating and offspring, etc. But these largely require just code, which i can kick out much faster than graphics. All the design work and rules have been worked out already, its simply a matter of typing it in. And for that i have Cscript, my secret productivity weapon.

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