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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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Day... ah, screw it, I have no idea what day it is

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Well, my car is dead. There's a rod broken loose in the engine that's pretty much destroyed things, and the timing computer has tried to "compensate" by downtiming the engine so much that it barely runs. It currently sits, dejected and stripped of all my belongings, at a local garage.

They want to make me pay $25 to have it "impounded" and removed, which is total B.S., because there's a good $500 worth of salvageable parts and goodies left on that car, all of which are in perfect condition. Heck, there's four perfectly good door panels on the thing which I know from bad experience are worth a pretty penny. So I'm looking for a way to get some cash back out of it without having to actually do the work of dismantling the usable parts and selling them myself (which I have neither the time nor tools to do).

Incidentally, if anyone knows of any services that will pay for such cars, please let me know - especially any in the Atlanta metro area.

Random thought for the day: why hasn't anybody written a book on software engineering and production methods for games? Anyone with any real world experience knows that different types of software have very different constraints and requirements, and yet it seems like all the good engineering-practices books out there are aimed at business logic or shrinkwrap products. Seems like a prime opportunity for someone to come along and fill that void.

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why hasn't anybody written a book on software engineering and production methods for games?

Game Architecture and Design

That said, a man more cynical than I might suggest that there are no books on the subject because there is no software engineering or formal production methods in the games industry [wink]

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I'll admit to not having read the book cover-to-cover, but from what I understand (and my flipping through the Old Edition in a bookstore a few years back) GA&D is all about design and not about production. There seems to be some stuff on project management in there but that's hardly useful in the real world; every house will have a different management style, and different teams work differently. I definitely recall from my skimmings that it came across as "this is The One True Methodology" which is just bad. The problem with things is over-generalization, and as far as I can tell GA&D is contributing to the problem, not solving it.

I guess what I'm really looking for is something like "The Pragmatic Game Developer" that has some generalized and open-ended advice, specifically aimed towards the realities of game development. Heck, maybe someone should just take The Pragmatic Programmer and edit up all the bits that are questionable from a game industry perspective, and rerelease it [wink]

There's plenty of formal SE in the industry. The problem is, it isn't the same calibre (or on the same scale) as in other fields, like business apps. I think the problem is a lot of people look at business-SE stuff, realize fast that it won't work in games, and chuck the baby out with the bathwater.

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What I'm really looking for is something that doesn't specifically advocate a single methodology. Those two titles look great in their own right, but they still seem to focus too deeply on a single "One Right Way" - at least from what I can see by reviews and sample excerpts.

I guess what I'd like to see is some cold, hard, in-the-trenches stuff that compares various options, especially in light of team dynamics. Team dynamics seem to come into play in game development more than any other kind of software development - at least any kind that I've been involved in. I've read scores of articles and books about software engineering that just don't work if you break some fundamental assumptions about team dynamics; and I daresay most teams will do so.

I'd love to read something that takes the usual methodology advice, and looks at it in the light of adapting it to an existing team. Adopting a One True Methodology is all well and good for a startup team, but that kind of massive change simply isn't practical for long-established teams, where experience, convention, and library code do not lend themselves to massive philosophical overhaul.

Basically, when it comes down to it, what I'm after isn't so much of the standard "do all these things and your project will go well" but more along the lines of "here's some stuff you can adopt in your existing infrastructure to get some benefits."

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