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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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kablammyman

climbing the ladder

8 posts in this topic

Hey Guys, this is my first post on this site...after YEARS of lurking in the shadows. Anyway, I'm a game programmer that has been in the industry for about 3 years. A quick rundown of my experience: - a lil less than 1 year scripting/entry level programming for a ps2 game (contract job only) - 1 year of cell phone dev with j2me (got laid off when company closed bay area office) - my most recent experience is 1 year of a Nintendo DS title (got laid off when company ran out of money) Anyway, since I'm on the job hunt again, I noticed its getting harder to find more "entry" level positions, but the amount of "senior" level positions are amazing! As you can see, I haven't done anything major in my brief time in the industry, and I dont have enough expirence to even qualify as "senior level." Also, most of my jobs (except the ps2 game)I do a lot of work on my own. So, in other words, I don't the to soak up knowledge from a lead programmer. This can be good and bad. Its good since I can learn by doing by myself. It can be bad since I may use or create bad habits. Also, since I'm working on my own, I don't do things much differently than I'm used to (for better or worse) nor get exposed to different types of thinking/problem solving. With that said, I'm asking myself how to "step my game up" or in other words, improve my skill set. I know this is a tough question to ask since you guys have no idea what I can or cant do, but I'm just looking for some general things to focus on improving/learning to really make sure my career takes off. So, I don't need advice on the "basics" of getting into the industry, but becoming a more desirable candidate for bigger and better things. Most of my experience is with 2D graphics, so obviously, in regards to graphics, getting up to speed with OpenGL and DirectX is a must. But, what about the non-graphical part of game programming, like algorithms? Program structure/design? Memory management? Debugging techniques? What types of topics should I start learning about? What types of skills should a person whos been in the industry for a few years be able to show? Any advice is much appreciated. I'm gonna go back to reading this directX book now.
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Original post by kablammyman
... what about the non-graphical part of game programming, like algorithms? Program structure/design? Memory management? Debugging techniques? What types of topics should I start learning about? What types of skills should a person whos been in the industry for a few years be able to show?

Which ones do you WANT to learn about?
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What type of programmer do you want to be?

Some generic books to get you going:
Code Complete
Effective C++
C++ for Game Programmers
Game Coding Complete
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Thanx for the replies. I used to like doing game play programming, but, I find making the systems behind the game to be much more rewarding. So, I guess I want to be good with developing game engines. With that said, I'll see what kind of books and info is out there. LOL, now that i think about it, I want to be good at all those non-graphical things I mentioned....I got a lot of work ahead of me! :P

Also, thanx for the book recomendations. I have code complete, but have yet to really read it, so I guess I know where to start.

Thanx again.
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Original post by yaustar
You might be interested in reading "Game Engine Architecture" then.

thanx! Your book recommendations have been great.

I also noticed in your original list that there is a game version of code complete; I had no idea this existed. Since I first started this post, I really dove into code complete...and I now understand why the book is recommended so much! To think there is a game version, really gets me excited!!

So, thanx again!

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If you want to beef-up your technical design, why not explore design patterns. For a C++ programmer, knowing the STL and modern design techniques is kinda manditory before you can really call yourself a subject matter expert in the language. The book that started it all (refering to design patterns) is "Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable-Object-Orientated Software". The book was published a long time ago, so there are probably better books out there now. Also, why not build something? Something small that relates to the kind of programming your interested in. Doesn't have to be a full-blown game, it could be something simple like a tool or a plugin.

If your feelin frisky, volunteer on a project. You may not earn any money, but you claim to part of the ownership the title. Despite wether or not it sells, at least you can show it off.

As far your situation goes, its the sign of the times man. Game companies aren't stupid. Unemployment is pretty bad right now, and not just for us. They are looking for the older, more experienced people because they know that they are out there. If you've got less than seven years in and haven't really worked on anything big, its tuff. Hang in there man, you aren't the only one going through this.
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Original post by jmau0438
If you want to beef-up your technical design, why not explore design patterns. For a C++ programmer, knowing the STL and modern design techniques is kinda manditory before you can really call yourself a subject matter expert in the language. The book that started it all (refering to design patterns) is "Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable-Object-Orientated Software". The book was published a long time ago, so there are probably better books out there now. Also, why not build something? Something small that relates to the kind of programming your interested in. Doesn't have to be a full-blown game, it could be something simple like a tool or a plugin.

If your feelin frisky, volunteer on a project. You may not earn any money, but you claim to part of the ownership the title. Despite wether or not it sells, at least you can show it off.

As far your situation goes, its the sign of the times man. Game companies aren't stupid. Unemployment is pretty bad right now, and not just for us. They are looking for the older, more experienced people because they know that they are out there. If you've got less than seven years in and haven't really worked on anything big, its tuff. Hang in there man, you aren't the only one going through this.


awesome. Thank you for your advice.

STL, eh? I've always thought STL was "too slow" for games. Now, I know better. Also, thanx for the encouraging words. Its good to know I'm not alone in this.
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STL, eh? I've always thought STL was "too slow" for games.


It can be, and C++ haters love to champion it. However, STL is customizable, and is mostly creating in the spirit of "Coding to an interface, not an implementation", an idea championed by most modern C++ designers. To every plus, there is a minus. Just make sure what you get out-weighs what you don't.

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Its good to know I'm not alone in this.


You can fall down seven times, as long as you get up eight
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