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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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I Give Credit Where Credit Is Due...

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Gregory Cheyney

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I must point out that, even though I'm starting development of this alone, and even got quite a bit started on my own, I've also done a fair amount of following other peoples' Java tutorial series. This project has been in the works for a couple of months now, but I'm just coming out of the shell for publicising my works. And so, I must also give appreciation and thanks for what is of general interest and help in development.

Most of my ideas in creating my ARPGM have come from the last couple months of playing around in RPG Maker VX Ace, and in reading posts in the web forums for other users' wants and needs from the editor and engine; but probably the largest influence is specifically from a thread titled "Suggestions for the next RPG Maker" or some such. While not optimally organized, this huge listing does show what "seems to be lacking" in the modern maker.
Just a scant few days ago, less than a couple weeks ago really, I also managed to come across an interesting video series on YouTube by ForeignGuyMike, wherein he narrates his development of a Java-based "platformer" game. I know, a platformer seems different on the outside from what is required of an "RPG Maker inspired" engine and an editor infrastructure; but examining the more particular aspects, it did have much of what I was already trying to implement. It's not a cut-and-paste drop-in replacement for what I already have; but the general aspects gained from watching the video series and examining others' code does help.

  • It is a tile-based engine/game, using tiled images in a number of graphics files, which means it also has a basic manner of parsing the graphic images from a tile sheet and keeping them for the next steps.
  • Its tile-based maps are easy to understand how they are implemented; a map in these terms is merely a plain text file with space-separated integer values, corresponding to the tile ID.
  • It also has a class acting as a "jukebox" or music manager -- allowing for playing, pausing, stopping, and even looping the sounds. That class has a boolean field for specifying if the sound is "muted" but it isn't actually utilized so much; it is a mere tutorial series, anyway. That's just one single mute-state for the whole game; an improvement over that would be having muting/volume states for several audio aspects -- for the whole audio system, for the main-music channel, for the sound effects, and for various system-sounds like menu navigation and selection. Of course, there's no options or preferences menu to set that; but yeah, um, that might be a little bit useful.... ;-]
  • The source code linked at the end of the tutorial produces a compilable, playable game, although there was no graceful way in the pause screen to menu-select to end the game or return to the title screen, like is seen in the competition...

    As I mentioned at the start, I have already got the basis for my implementation of an RPG Maker (both the editor and the engine) in the beginning stages; this guy's project does help me understand some more about putting the idea to use, on both counts. Mike's code doesn't have any concept of scripting or eventing in that tutorial, like what is seen in the commercial RPG Maker product, and I do wonder what his take on that would be if he got around to another tutorial series, platformer or not.

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