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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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Looking forward

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From the Kickstarter, a quick status update before I talk more about Lemma:

  • At the current rate, we are just minutes away from 4,200 yes votes on Greenlight! 56% of the way to the top 100.
  • A big thank you to our new backers! There are now 174 of you lovely people (wow) and we're over 32% funded.
  • Rock Paper Shotgun covered Lemma yesterday! And with that headline, we've added Bastion to the incredibly long and disparate list of games it's been compared to.
  • Kill Streak Media posted a fairly in-depth interview.
  • Death By Beta also ran a nice little article.
  • In case you missed Caitlin Clark's comment earlier, Lemma was her top pick for Kickstarter games that are "Worth the Wait", along with several other promising-looking games!
  • Another great "let's play" video from YouTuber Shake4ndbake.

    Okay, let's talk about future plans!

    Enemies and systems

    Be ready for GIFs. You can click each one to see the faster, shinier HTML5 version.
    If you missed the livestream yesterday, I showed off a few features that I already built but didn't have time to put in the demo. One is a glowing block enemy that can rip out pieces of the environment and fling them at you.
    Another variant on the same idea is an enemy that builds up a structure of red blocks, then explodes.
    All the enemies in Lemma change color based on a simple color-coded stealth system. Lemma is not a stealth game, but this system makes it easy to tell when you've been spotted: white means the enemy is idle and doesn't see you. Yellow means the enemy sawsomething and they're on alert. Red means the enemy will actively chase and attack you.

    One feature that's still in the experimental phase is something I call the "expander" block, which is a block that expands outward when you touch it. It's inspired by a similar feature in the incredible Starseed Pilgrim (play that game, it will change your life).
    Again, it's still very experimental and may change a lot, but it's a good example of the kind of interactive systems I'd like to build into the game.

    Level design and story

    Yesterday on the livestream I started work on another level (or world). Here it is in action:
    It's a valley that wraps around in a square shape. The valley is mostly empty, so it's up to you to fill it with structures to make it navigable. In the center of the square will be a giant structure with machinery that needs to be put in place and activated. The square design means you can approach it from any angle and move through the level however you want. This is pretty much my level design manifesto: you can beat it however you want.

    Furthermore, the machine in this world will be only one of many, which can be activated in any order. There will be portals to other worlds, each with their own challenges to overcome before they can be activated.

    I can't really say too much about the story except that it has a lot to do with these worlds and why and how they're being "activated". I will say there's a pretty big finale planned for the end.

    That should shed some light on my future plans for Lemma. If you have more questions you'd like to see answered in the next update, sound off in the comments!

    Mirrored on my blog

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