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      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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JBEngine: Awesomium User Interface and Artwork progress

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This past couple of weeks I've been playing around with 3ds max a little more and working on creating animations. Using these animations I realised that my engine can't handle FBX files very well, and in fact the example Model Viewer I got couldn't either. This meant going back to the drawing board and figuring out why FBX animations weren't working. I soon narrowed it down that the use of FBX and the
biped objects in 3DS Max were making it really difficult to import into certain pieces of software. Due to this I am not resorting back to using Collada as my main import type as it is the most standardised and it will work for animations as long as I don't use the biped.

This has caused a lot of frustrating as now I am having to create all my bones and animations by hand, in the long run I think It might be slightly easier as the biped can't really do everything I need it to.
[/font][/color] Awesomium[color=rgb(90,90,90)][font=Arial]
I found a piece of middleware called Coherent UI which allows the use of HTML webpages to display GUI's in games and other native applications. This seemed really powerful and from the look of their website appeared to do everything I wanted it to do. The only issue is that their licenses were a bit limited for what I needed it for. I realised afterwards how useful this middleware would be to me as I would then not need to create all the GUI elements for the engine and would increase productivity rapidly, so I went on the lookout for a similar library which i could use. This is when I stumbled upon Awesomium. It also allows application to take a webpage and render it to a texture, more than this you can interact fully with it using JavaScript for callbacks to C++ functions.

I have been playing with Awesomium over the past week and have managed to get something up and running, rendering the google homepage and allowing some interaction with it. There is still plenty more to be done and it does seem that there is a large performace issue with it at the moment. I believe this is due to the texture being overwritten almost every frame and then uploaded to the graphic card again, although I am yet to profile it.

If i can manage to get these performance issues out the way I will proceed further with it and hopefully be able to throw together a new UI for the game and also the level editor. This will give so much flexibility and also the ability for users to mod the game. they can simply create their own UI by overwriting the current webpage with whatever they would like to display.

Plenty to be looking forward to and I will hopefully have a demo usage of the awesomium up soon.


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