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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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Imagining a Game

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Nyphoon Games

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Originally posted on http://nyphoon.com/

[font=georgia]In the introductory blog post about this new series of articles, A Game Developer's Experience, I talked briefly about game development. As promised, every now and then I'll be tackling a new aspect of building a game. This week, I'll be taking a closer look at the very first stage of game development - the concept stage.[/font]



[font=georgia]Game development deals with the inner workings of a game and the process to publish a video game, but before any of this happens, there has to be an idea for a game. A very general idea which answers an essential question - what's the game about? But why is this stage so important?[/font]



[font=georgia]The time when a developer is brainstorming for a game concept is crucial for any studio. Since development takes months, the wrong idea could often be a breaking point for a professional studio. There are also certain ideals which should be reached - for example the developer has to be sure that he has the expertise needed to finish the game.[/font]



[font=georgia]We've all played games which have previously-undeveloped mechanics to thank for their success, as was the case with Braid. Others, such as Minecraft, were the catalysts for new, emerging graphical styles. In fact, there doesn't seem to be a general formula which determines or predicts a game's future success. So what makes an idea stand out?[/font]



[font=georgia]Innovation is an important aspect in indie gaming. Many indie games' success is attributed to the way they pick a basic mechanic and give it a personal twist, or perfect it in a unique way. On an even more fundamental level, the basic mechanics have to be fun and engaging for players. Although the game is still just an idea, these points have to be examined and, if possible, added to the basic idea as early as possible.[/font]



[font=georgia]Coming up with fresh ideas could take time, and inspiration plays an important part. You might remember Nyphoon's barren spell last year after I dropped The Ark: Relaunch. So how do indie developers come up with ideas for their next project? As I wrote last year for IGDA, inspiration can be rather elusive. There are many aspects in indie game development which make it rather tricky for developers to come up with distinguishing ideas.[/font]



[font=georgia]The concept of Winter's Coming came about in one instant, but before that there had been months without any form of inspiration. Playing video games certainly helps fuel inspiration, yet everyone has his own methods of capturing ideas. Before finalizing an idea and deciding whether to take it up or not, I find it helpful to analyze each one - sometimes it's just a mental exercise, other times I feel the need to put pen to paper. And when an idea finally hits home, it's time to build upon it.[/font]



[font=georgia]As was the case with Winter's Coming, after the general idea is chosen it's time to lay down the basic mechanics - the foundation of the game. You have an exceptional idea, yet it's often a fragment of a game's concept. At this stage, the mechanics are the bare minimum, but it usually determines what the player's goal is in the game. In the next post, I'll be examining the thought-processes and exercises to change an abstract idea into something more practical.[/font]



[font=georgia]P.S. Big things are coming next week to commemorate Nyphoon's 6th birthday, so remember to follow Nyphoon on Twitter, Facebook or by subscribing to the RSS Feed![/font]


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