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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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Towards The Pantheon Devlog #17: Wastelands, Battle System Refactoring, and Teamwork

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It's time for Towards The Pantheon's 17th devlog! You can find previous ones at http://www.towardsthepantheon.com/index.php/development-history/.

Let's start with Leandro's recent pixel art videos. Since the previous devlog he has released 3 of them which cover his work on Villager NPC Portraits, Cyberpunk NPC Portraits, and new Wasteland tiles!

Leandro is currently working on more pixel art for Chapter 4 of the game and once that is done I am going to begin recording and editing footage for a new trailer.

Our promo artist Maerel has finished up new artwork of our cyborg protagonist Mishima. She has also worked on new artwork of Bam the cat which we will be showing in the future!

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In my previous devlog I mentioned that I had planned to finish up a demo of Chapter 1 for the rest of the team by the end of January. I managed to finish the demo ahead of time and even begin work on Chapter 2 before January ended. So far the team has given me 14 pages worth of feedback, suggestions, and bugs to fix. All but one minor suggestion (which I will get to later in development) have been resolved or changed, and already the game is much better for it!

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I also spent a day refactoring the battle system. Hard coding has been removed where possible, and it is much simpler to add new attacks, items, enemies, and combos. The amount of lines of codes has decreased by over a thousand. Now that I am working on Chapter 2, it only took a few lines of code and a few minutes of debugging to add all of Bam's attacks and battle mechanics. I'm glad I took the time out to rework the battle system as it will be much easier to use and debug throughout the rest of the game's development.

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I'm currently working on completing Chapter 2 of the game by the end of February so that I can send another demo to my team members. My plan is to complete one chapter a month until May when the game can then be played from start to finish. After that, I can spend the rest of the year testing, fixing bugs, polishing up everything, adding details (hidden areas, special items to find, etc), reworking dialog, balancing the various systems in the game, and getting more useful feedback from the team. I love how I am still finding bonus areas and secrets in the original Donkey Kong Country trilogy after decades of having played those games, and I want Towards The Pantheon to also be full of secrets and interesting areas to explore. A small example of this is having different phrases randomly occur when talking to an NPC. Here's a temporary example that has a 10% chance of occurring when you talk to a Llama merchant in Garrius:

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I'm also happy to say that I've kept my promise to stream development of the game regularly on Twitch. I am averaging about 6 hours a day on week days, and have also occasionally streamed speedruns and casual gaming. Leandro has been joining the stream regularly so that viewers can see pixel art, programming, and level design progress all at the same time. Our team member Nicolas joined me today and we played through a good portion of Resident Evil: Dead Aim together. Be sure to follow my Twitch page as well as our social media pages to get updates as to when we go live so you can come hang out, chat, and listen to tunes!

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I'm really happy with how development of the game is going these days. I've been putting in ~15 hour days regularly and the results are very rewarding. I look forward to beginning work on the new trailer soon, releasing it, and then preparing for a Steam Greenlight campaign! Thank you all for your support!

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That's it for this devlog! If you enjoyed it please share it around, and if there are any topics about the game and its development that you'd like me to cover in a future devlog be sure to let me know!

Follow Towards The Pantheon on: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Soundcloud, IndieDB, Twitch, Google+, Imgur, Pinterest

Follow Lead Developer Connor O.R.T. Linning on: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Youtube, Soundcloud, Twitch, Bandcamp


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