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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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The Scope Problem

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There are people here on Gamedev that have been active for a very long time. I sometimes wish I could ask, or get reasonable data on, exactly how many posts have been put up in the "For Beginners" forum from people who want to make the next great MMORPG. Each one has a million and two big huge industry changing ideas and will not be deterred. They take all advice to start with something smaller generally politely (with some exception), but will not give it up. Each one believes they can do it, that its just a matter of perseverance, time, patience, etc. And after all, this idea is better than all the others, its so good that it is destined to succeed!

I'm sure there are some people reading this and giggling to themselves, but I'm not hear to dump on newbies. We were all there once. That's why the majority of us are here now, as it happens. We all had and still have big dreams and big ideas about amazing games with great features that have never been done before. One of the big steps to learning how to make a game is simply coming to an understanding of the immense undertaking it is to create one from start to finish. One must learn about scope, and one must learn that a scope that is too big will often mean that your game never ever gets finished.

Why am I writing about this, you may ask? Well, I'm struggling with scope myself, right now. The game I am making... its substantial. It's not an MMO or anything crazy like that... but its pretty close to full fledged 16 bit era RPG, and I am all alone. I had some people playtest my game recently, and allow me to quote from one of the more useful feedback emails I got:


So... am I giving up? Scaling back the project? Well... no, I'm not. Why not? Well... because I'm still having fun with what I'm doing, to be honest. My progress continues moving forward, and I'm to the point where I have created something that is almost playable as a game. It's nowhere near being "fun", but I spend a few hours of every day improving, and the iterative process is keeping me going. Every single day, the game is better than it was before, and most of the time its something noticeable. I have a scripted introductory battle (with plans for a brief tutorial). I have in game help menus, battles that can be successfully completed, experience that is distributed, perks that can be selected and added to characters. I'm proud of what I've done so far, and I'm proud of the things I have yet to accomplish but know that I will.

What's the point, then? On the one hand I started this article admonishing newbies for having their head in the clouds, on the other I'm telling people how I ignored the advice of many of the people around me telling me to tone it back. Well, I think my point is that there is a balance point. There is a difference between an ambitious (but attainable) project, and one which is just pretty damned close to unattainable, which is what a beginner trying to make an MMO is.

My point is that scope matters, and trying to run before you can walk will doom your project to failure... But maybe... just maybe, you can run immediately after you walk, no? Maybe you can get up on your feet, take a few steps and say and just start sprinting.

I guess the key is that I'm enjoying myself. If that's true, then just freaking keeping doing what your doing people!

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If you are enjoying your time developing the game than you are doing something very right! :)


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