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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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Paper Cowboys Dev: Almost alpha time!

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Gamieon

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Updates have been few and very far between; mainly because most of the work I've done doesn't directly result in new stuff to show everyone. I'm over that part now, and papa's got a brand new bag!

Special Weapons


Special weapons get spawned at random when players shoot barrels. If you're one of those people who plays Diablo 3 and never gets a legendary drop; don't fret. The game is designed to guarantee you a special weapon if you shoot enough barrels. Three special weapons that players can use have been implemented so far:

Airstrikes


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Nothing says "old time western" like an F-22 Raptor using laser-guided munitions to destroy outlaws. I know some purists out there will say "what is this!? why do you have an airstrike in an 1800's themed platformer!" Why? Because it's my game and I said so! Besides, how many other online western platformers have airstrikes? HOW MANY?!


Hawk


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Why stop at having cowboys kill outlaws, when you can have animals do it too? The hawk will blissfully perch atop its owner's head until it gets the command to attack. The hawk will search for the enemy farthest from the player, and dive after it. Any enemies it intersects along the way will either die or take a lot of damage.

Here is the enemy using it on the player.


Beans


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Beans beans the magical fruit...makes outlaws run and makes you toot. When you activate a can of beans, your player farts both visually and audibly. All enemy projectiles will reverse course, and all enemies will run away.



One of the proudest moments of my development career would have to be witnessing the purchase confirmation screen on audiojungle.com for the farting sound effect.
fart1.png
Followed by writing the code for it.
fart2.png


New hat drop rules


It used to be that you had a chance of getting a hat each time you kill an enemy, and one of the features I wanted to add later on was a bonus for headshots. I got an idea just a few days ago that combines both: Now you get hats by shooting the hats off of enemies. When you do, their hat flies off and falls to the ground. The player who shot it off can pick it up and put it on. If you're playing with others over the Internet, the hat will only fall off on your screen. Everyone else still has a chance to shoot it off on their running instance of the game until the enemy dies.


General content cleanup


I played through levels 1-3 and studied ways to improve all of them. I recduced the field of view slightly; this resulted in everything looking bigger and I think better. I also added more barrels to increase everyones chances of getting special drops, and shuffled some of the level 1 content around a bit. As for the rest, well, you can see for yourself in this video.


What's next?


The next update will be the announcement that I'll be calling on developers and only the most seasoned testers to help me play test the first three levels of Paper Cowboys. As it is the first alpha, it should have the most bugs. I'm therfore making it a general first-impression look-for-any-annoyances testing session. I'm sure I'll get a wealth of feedback since I've mostly worked on this project alone.

I'm also thinking about an extremely important question: When should I submit to Greenlight? I'll have to research other dev blogs and solicit other developers for answers.

As I may have mentioned before: I am very interested in getting Paper Cowboys on Steam and in a Humble Bundle. Even if I don't break even in sales, I'd like to earn my place in the "family." After two decades of casual game development without achieving that level of success, it would mean a lot to me.

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