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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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New Additions

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There's been a few new additions at the Wootanga Infosite. The first addition we have is a new member to the team, who'll be working alongside us creating artwork for Wootanga. You can already see some of his colouring work below.

Some concept art for Wootanga

We now have a ShoutBox on the front page of the Wootanga Infosite. Here you'll be able to leave comments about the game. You can read more news about Wootanga here.

There's also a new blog in the Developer Diary. You can view the article in full below.

Gaining Pace


As mentioned in the previous Blog, the focus this time is on our Non-Player Characters which, unlike most conventional bots, come equipped with Agent Technology.

Over the last few days, our NPC framework gained so-called constraints, which are conditions that are applied to certain dialogue paths. So, in effect, if you keep repeating yourself, Oraluki might get upset. He'll also remember you the next time you return to him, whether it be an hour, day, week or month.

In addition, the framework was connected to some real world and virtual world information. So it's now theoretically possible for our NPCs to know which town you're from, what time it is there and what the weather's like outside.

The nicest bit at the moment is the mode in which NPCs really communicate with each other, exchanging new information about people they like - just like real people. It may also be that one NPC isn't in the mood to talk with another. It's a really exciting aspect of the library...

As you can see, this project is much more ambitious than the usual bots in online games. Today I even went to the local Graduate School of Dynamic Intelligent Systems for a short chat about agent technology and their different scientific classes.


As you will have noticed, the Infosite has now got a shoutbox, where visitors can leave us comments and feedback.

Although this is a rather small addition in appearance, there is of course more going on behind it. In actual fact, this module might well make an appearance in our final site on House pages (Houses being what Guilds are in other games).

Serious backend work has been done on the shoutbox library, allowing export in XML as well as subscribing to shoutbox newsfeeds in more than a dozen variations (not enabled on the Infosite, sorry...)

Bad word filtering

Oh the pain! Why didn't anybody tell us that writing sophisticated bad word filters isn't fun? The code is rather straightforward, but the main problems come up with the data on which they work.

So it wasn't really possible up to now to find some nice lists of dirty words with associated severability. ;)
The simple solution to this is to come up with some lists of our own. Problem solved.

For now I won't be giving any implementation details on this "Ansarra" component so, for the moment, you can pretend it works by magic. I can tell you it's not one of these cheap "if message contains 'bleh' replace that by dots" systems. It's a much more flexible system which will be expanded into a formal text classification system during further development. Science strikes back once again!

Further plans

The next part will be about the technical side of the Avatars along with Inventories and Items. So this will become a rather boring time as it won't require much science... but who knows? ;)

Thomas Heinen
Lead Developer"

Don't forget to visit http://www.wootanga.com and register your email address to receive news and updates about Wootanga and be invited into the Beta once launched.

Wootanga - Play Life, Live The Game(TM)

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1 Comment

They're cute, but the cartoonish look makes the whole four arm thing even more of a puzzle.

Can your artist pals make a reasonable bulldozer?

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