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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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Revamped animation and a sweeeeet new control scheme

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My animation system needed rethinking, as it didn't quite fit the gameplay, plus it was overcomplicated. So I let that stew all week until I had something worth coding in C++ yesterday.

First step was to ask: what controls do I want? A: Simple ones!
Just gamepad Dpad+ABXY or keyboard WASD+arrows. Nothing analog. Aim by moving around, emphasis on timing.

hmmm.... 4 attack buttons, 4 arms and legs.
Not QWOP-style though - running's instinctive! So, A=left jab, B=right cross, Y=kick... or hold the button to grapple... X to pull your opponent toward you. All kinds of *natural* combos emerge. Down-up-B=uppercut. Y-B-X=trip. A+B=head grab, X+Y=knee smash... awww yeah!

With this scheme, animation makes sense. Originally, I had a stack of animation cycles - stand, run, jump, sword swing, sword thrust - which could each control any combination of bones in the skeleton. Now there's ONE looping "base action" cycle (stand, run, fighting stance) for the whole body, and ONE temporary override cycle (punch, kick, etc) for each arm and leg and the head+torso. Temporary overrides correspond directly to the attack buttons... although some attacks control 2 or 3 limbs. For instance, the torso leans forward to give right-hand attacks the same reach as left-hand attacks. Realistic? Hell no - but it *feels* realistic. I take that as a damn good sign I'm on the right track. smile.png

Next: collisions...

In the demo I made for LD26, I did line-intersection tests between all bones of each character. Weapons dealt damage, and *any* collision caused a 50-pixel knockback. You can't walk past each other. It's also too easy to impale yourself on the enemy's sword with them even trying. So... now I'll *only* do collision tests on *attacking* weapons (including hand/elbow and foot/knee)... and I want more body hits, so arms will only protect you if you execute a well-timed block (X+A?)
Then... gore!

I just remembered... in HTML5 Canvas I showed cuts as red dots because I couldn't draw accurate cuts without killing performance. If I just drew a red line across on arm, it'd stick out into the air. Now, with the OpenGL rendering technique I'm using in C++, I've got this lovely stencil buffer to crop it. So that's cool. And if I can be a really productive coder... a powerful slash delivered to a wrist, elbow, neck, etc, will sever said appendage and blood will spurt out of the stump -- in the adult version with the badassery knob cranked up to 11. ph34r.png

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