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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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Screenshot Saturday 170

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evanofsky

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[color=rgb(85,85,85)][font=Arial]Hello and welcome to another week of Lemma development progress updates![/font][/color]

[color=rgb(85,85,85)][font=Arial]This time I did a lot more work on the player character. I spent a ton of time in GIMP working on the texture map. I didn't skimp on memory space, it's a full 4096x4096. The GIMP file is over 150MB.[/font][/color]

[color=rgb(85,85,85)][font=Arial]I also split the model into three distinct materials: a shiny one for the chest, neck, and pants, a less shiny one for the hands, and a completely dull one for the hoodie. I stored the mappings for these materials in the texture's alpha channel.[/font][/color]

[color=rgb(85,85,85)][font=Arial]Finally I cut the triangle count from almost 60,000 down to about 26,000 without noticeably decreasing the visual quality. I did this by removing an extraneous subsurf layer from the hands and baking the high-res data into the normal map. Here's the final result:[/font][/color]
[color=rgb(85,85,85)][font=Arial]eDFb3NIl.png[/font][/color]

[color=rgb(85,85,85)][font=Arial](Ignore the shadow hole near the shoes... it's a geometry issue)[/font][/color]
[color=rgb(85,85,85)][font=Arial]I also did a ton of work on the animation system. I was using linear matrix interpolation, which can result in a lot of weird squashing when blending between animations:[/font][/color]
[color=rgb(85,85,85)][font=Arial]DefenselessVerifiableBluefintuna.gif[/font][/color]

[color=rgb(85,85,85)][font=Arial]Now I decompose each bone matrix into its scale, rotation, and translation components and blend them individually. The result is much more natural:[/font][/color]
[color=rgb(85,85,85)][font=Arial]WelltodoPleasedAvocet.gif[/font][/color]

[color=rgb(85,85,85)][font=Arial]I also now use quadratic easing to blend between animations. Before, the model would move to the target pose at a constant speed and then instantly stop, like this:[/font][/color]
[color=rgb(85,85,85)][font=Arial]MeagerBeneficialIncatern.gif[/font][/color]

[color=rgb(85,85,85)][font=Arial]Now the model accelerates and decelerates much more naturally:[/font][/color]
[color=rgb(85,85,85)][font=Arial]PleasantTanArrowworm.gif[/font][/color]

[color=rgb(85,85,85)][font=Arial]Finally, I implemented a nifty technique to improve the shadows even more. Normally you bias your shadow map samples by a constant amount, or perhaps you scale it by the "depth slope", so that more problematic triangles facing perpendicular to the camera get more bias.[/font][/color]

[color=rgb(85,85,85)][font=Arial]Shadow map bias is a necessary evil because it causes Peter Pan artifacts, where the shadow becomes detached from the shadow caster:[/font][/color]
[color=rgb(85,85,85)][font=Arial]Q35Wf0Ol.png[/font][/color]

[color=rgb(85,85,85)][font=Arial]I was researching all this when I stumbled on normal offset shadows. It's simple: offset your shadow map sample in the direction of the normal. It works beautifully:[/font][/color]
[color=rgb(85,85,85)][font=Arial]TTjOGI4l.png[/font][/color]

[color=rgb(85,85,85)][font=Arial]It also has the added benefit of simulating a bit of depth in your texture if you use a normal map.[/font][/color]
[color=rgb(85,85,85)][font=Arial]That's it for this week. Thanks for reading![/font][/color]
[color=rgb(85,85,85)][font=Arial]Mirrored on my blog[/font][/color]

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New model looking great.

 

Thanks for the link on normal offset shadows, looks like a very useful technique.

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I like the lighting. Add more of it and you can have a very good-looking game.

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