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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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Coordinates & Compressed Space

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Having a big universe to play in is going to require some thought into how to locate things.

The Milky Way is 120kly (ish) according to Wikipedia. That's kilo-light years. That sounds big! Ok lets say I want to positiom things with millimetre accuracy. A light year is 9.4605284 x 10^18 millimetres (thanks Google!) So the milky way is approx 1.13526341 x 10^24 millimetres across. 1135263410000000000000000 mm. How many bytes are needed to store a number that big? My calculations put this at 10 bytes. That's a nice chunky number. If we want multiple galaxies or more accuracy we need more bytes too. I'd probably round this up to a lovely 12 bytes.

So I have a super number which can store galaxies to mm precision, except its too big to fit in CPU registers and so all math is horribly complicated and slow. No thanks!

For a game to have a chance of managing this I need to keep the coordinates in a useful form.

There are a few solutions to this problem and I'll outline the one I'm going to try first. I'm going to keep rendering and physics working in lovely floating point numbers. The main reason is that everything is simple when using these, though they lose accuracy pretty quickly. To deal with this I'm going to have reference points evenly distributed across the universe, creating a classic nested coordinate system. All floating point numbers will be local to one of these reference points.

These reference points will have a volume of space defined around them so they overlap the next reference point by 50%. When you move far enough from your ref point the game will switch which point you're anchored too. I need to be careful that these switches dont introduce too much error or performance penalty.

An objects coordinates will be split into a local space floating point position and a reference point ID. The reference points may also need to be put within a nested coordinate space to get extra space, and that can be repeated as many times as necessary.

I'm considering only allowing interactions between objects living in the same reference point, as it will simplify things. We'll see how that plays out.

Finally from a gameplay point of view I'm planning to allow the scale of the generated universe be controllable. I doubt very much that a real size scale for most things will be the default setting. I don't want people dying of old age travelling. I'll aim to reduce how much boring space there is between interesting things without breaking the illusion. This applies to many things, not just the distance between planets. The distance between cities or continents or any feature of interest. Sure people can have 1:1 if they want though! I suspect that space travel will still need FTL drives, stasis pods or wormholes to get around and not die of boredom!

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