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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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Efficiency and You!

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Hi there, fancy meeting you here!

Well, today I want to talk about efficiency. This is not, however, about the technical aspects of writing efficient code. That is not my area of expertise. There are plenty of people on this very site and others that can talk at great length about that topic. No, I am here to talk about making the most effective use of limited time in one's life to achieve reasonable goals.

That was a mouthful, so let me say it another way:

I Don't Have All the Time in the World! There, I said it, I apologize for for breaking the illusion that I am a timeless being. I know you were thinking it, don't tell me you weren't.

So how then do I make the most of the time I do have to actually make meaningful progress on a game that unfortunately is not my first priority right now? How do I use a spare half an hour to actually get something done? Well, as with many things it all comes down to planning and thinking.

What I have made it a point to do in the recent past is to actually use a lot of the hidden minutes in my day productively. You will often find me making my 30 minute commute to work in silence. No radio, no podcasts, no music of any sort. I do this because I am then able to think. And rather than the wandering thoughts of showertime, I try my best to focus. I think about my game and what my most immediate goals are. I think about my code and what current problems I'm facing and think through various solutions until I find one I like.

Want to know what else I do? I carry a little notepad, and I often scribble down thoughts in it. There is almost nothing worse in my mind than sitting down to write some code and remembering that I had an idea I had wanted to put in only to realize that I forgot what the idea actually was. It's infuriating, so I solved that problem.

In fact, I have a number of other little habits (most of which would be fairly unique to me, so I won't bore you) that pretty much all come down to pre-planning my next few steps. It's amazing how little thinking I do when I actually sit down to work.

Most of the thinking I do about my project has already taken place by the time I sit down to do it.

Obviously, there are snags. There are eventualities that I didn't think of ahead of time, and these have to be dealt with. But all I'm talking about is a framework. I almost never sit down to work and find I don't know what I'm going to work on. And I'll tell you, my progress is much better as a result.

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I'm no professional, but I have a definite feeling that I've moved beyond the occasional dabbler in game development. Most of my journal is meant to illustrate different tricks, tips, methods, etc, that have helped me make progress. I'm glad to hear from people see value in them. :-)

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This post rings true to me.  I was a long time hobbyist in graphics programming, and I only get sporadic time to work on it.  However, whenever I'm not working on it I am thinking about it every spare chance I get.  It is unbelievable how much more productive you can be when you are consumed in your work.


There have been many occasions where I run out of debugging time, and then think through the problem while I'm away from the computer, only to solve the problem without debugging!  The same goes for design issues - when I am struggling on a design topic, it can often be useful to 'let it simmer' for a day and then the issue usually gets cleared up fairly quickly.


A big part of that is, I think, that your creative side and your technical side are not necessarily always working at the same time.  So by splitting your time up, you can let each 'CPU core' do its tasks accordingly :)


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Good advice thanks for sharing. This reminds me of a presentation by Jonathan Blow along similar lines that deeply affected me a while back. It's easy to get caught up in aspects of the project that don't actually matter, and taking a step back to focus on methodology is never a bad idea.


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