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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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More Detailed Project Overview

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I've got a few draft posts in the works but first I thought I should do a more detailed overview of what I'm planning starting with a sort of disclaimer. Everything I write about in this journal needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. Until I show actual screenshots everything I've planned has been a thought experiment! None of my planned approaches may work out, so feedback and criticisms on my posts is very welcome smile.png

The Game:
So the game. The premise is sort of simple but the implementation will be a nightmare smile.png I guess you can sum it up as the Star Trek Holo Deck. Or Red Dwarfs' 'Better Than Life' if you want to get creeped out smile.png

My plan is that it's like a customisable first person adventure game. The subject matter and genre can be anything - war, crime solving, drama, exploration, whatever! I imagine a typical user experience will be selecting rough duration of play, high level game world settings and then clicking Start. The game takes care of everything from then onwards. It will give you a unique seed if you enjoyed that particular adventure and want to share it or play it again.

You can be as detailed about what the adventure contains as you like. Whether it contains horror or comedy. Whether the universe contains magic, fantasy technology or is gritty and realistic. Whether it's set in the early days of civilisation or in the distant future. Whether the adventure is contained within one town or spans an entire galaxy.

I'm really trying to let the scope of this thing fly out of control! My first iterations will be confined and simple but I'm planning a framework that can just grow and grow as I add more to it. As I add new procedural object types or narrative structures they will just start to be used accordingly... and if I get it right and people enjoy the game then hopefully it will be simple enough for people to add their own stuff too!

The narratives and worlds will be procedurally filled according to the starting game settings. It will try to react to the player as they play in order to produce an unique experience and keep the narrative on track.
Ok and one last thing. As this will take a while to complete I'm planning for something that would more than likely cripple current hardware! I'm not letting current constraints hold me back. Everything is going to be horribly expensive resource wise so let's hope everything is super fast by the time I'm done. And that I can afford it smile.png

The Engine:
I'm basing this whole thing on my own engine. I think some of the tested frameworks out there like Unity are brilliant and no doubt it would massively speed things up using them but I'm not going to here. I love learning and there is no better learning experience than writing your own engine! Previously I've only done this with the 'game code' but this time I'm going further with rendering and physics too. Not audio though. That's just boring ;p

I'll post details about the engine but in a nutshell it's C++, heavily interfaced and using OpenGL 4+ for rendering. Performance is important as ever but not critical, I just want playable framerates for now. As I'm a one man show I don't have time to really optimise the whole thing. Instead I'm aiming primarily for readability in my code and trying to avoid coding myself into a spaghetti mess.

The engine will be separate to the game - I plan to use it for other projects too. Maintaining an engine/game separation is important to me for architecture reasons and keeping everything 'clean'. As such the game will be a DLL plugin to the engine itself.

Right that's a load of hot air/hype. Next post will have some actual content, promise!

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