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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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I have decided to enter the GDNet 4E4 contest. I will attempt to create a roguelike game in Objective Caml, probably with ASCII graphics. It will feature Ninjas and Pirates as character classes, as well as Robots and Zombies as character species.

A quick brainstorming led to some "catchy" skill names for the characters, such as "Plundering Aura" or "Scurvynator" pirate skills, "Additional arms" robot special upgrade, "Thousand knives raging lightning storm rush attack technique" ninja technique, and "Spare Parts", "Climactic break-in" and "Vomit Maggots" Zombie attacks. And some more that I won't be mentioning (I have 18 skills for each of RZNP, total 72 skills).

My quick brainstorming also led me to creating four player abilities to replace the traditional "Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence" ones:

Brutality - The ability to deal huge amounts of damage to anything in your path, blindly bashing anything however hostile. You also become (obviously) less stealthy. Whenever you strike someone, your brutality increases (and returns to its initial value when you stop fighting), so a good strategy for Brutality-heavy characters is to always be fighting. Brutality is a main skill for Pirates.

Equanimity - The ability to keep one's concentration during a fight. Equanimity-heavy characters are able to strike with a very high accuracy and inflict high damage. Equanimity decreases as one keeps striking, so a good strategy here is to cease fighting and flee, only to return when one is concentrated again. Equanimity is a main skill for Ninjas.

Rapidity - The ability to move quickly, whether to run, to dodge hits, or to strike with a weapon. Rapidity helps for surprise attacks and for characters that do not want to get hit often. Rapidity is a main skill for Ninjas. Rapidity decreases when tiring actions are performed.

Stability - The ability to withstand hits, and not take too much damage from them. Stability is also required to be able to strike or move under straining situations (such as being hit by multiple opponents). Stability decreases as the character is hit.

Robots have natural Rapidity and Brutality, while Zombies have natural Equanimity and Stability.

Robot characters get bonuses from the many upgrades they can use on themselves (additional arms, increased ability values, and even the possibility to use hundreds of weapons at the same time). Zombie characters get much more resilient as they level up, and will be able to call on hordes of undead for help at the highest levels.

In the end, there are four possible character strategies here:

Pirate Zombie: A nearly indestructible, stupid warrior that, given enough time, will be able to kill just about anyone.

Pirate Robot: A killing machine able to kill anyone with one hit (of its six swords).

Ninja Zombie: A stealthy killer, with a still mind (or whatever zombies have for a mind) and able to relentlessly strike at maximum efficiency.

Ninja Robot: The fastest thing around, this martial artist runs, jumps, turns invisible, slices and dices.

Back to work...

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Zombie Zombie = the zombie equivalent of refried beans. A zombie that's been killed and then is raised from zombie death, so he's now a zombie twice.

Zombie zombies are twice as slow as ordinary zombies, but are twice as hungry for brains.

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So Zombie Zombies would actually move backwards? Argh...

As for the ASCII graphics, I guess I could adapt sprite rendering on top of the engine I plan just as easy as ASCII art. Besides, I could even decide and use models, but in general ASCII art is the most readable/detailed solution you can get.

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