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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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zer0wolf

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[quote name='zer0wolf' timestamp='1305828107' post='4813104']
I worry that those bees with their diabolical grin will haunt me tonight in my sleep.
[/quote]

That was my intention ;)
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[quote name='ryan20fun' timestamp='1305832611' post='4813140']
Thanks it works now, busy playing it.
and it has audio for me.
[/quote]

Glad it worked!
You seemed eagerly determined to play it, which is very flattering.
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[quote name='Servant of the Lord' timestamp='1305833149' post='4813145']
[quote name='ryan20fun' timestamp='1305832611' post='4813140']
Thanks it works now, busy playing it.
and it has audio for me.
[/quote]

Glad it worked!
You seemed eagerly determined to play it, which is very flattering.
[/quote]

Thanks.
i [b]Love[/b] the text on the way up (im only on level 2 now) but the one [i]Cake up Ahead[/i] reminds me of Portal.
:) :) :)
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[quote name='ryan20fun' timestamp='1305834412' post='4813157']
Thanks.
i [b]Love[/b] the text on the way up (im only on level 2 now) but the one [i]Cake up Ahead[/i] reminds me of Portal.
:) :) :)
[/quote]
I referenced Portal in several ways, since I was trying to go for the currently popular Portal-style humor. [img]http://public.gamedev.net/public/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif[/img]
Which is why the next screen says, [i]"The cake is a [s]lie[/s] crystal".[/i]
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Thanks to all the judges for the feedback! This was my first contest entry and I found the feedback quite helpful. Here's my thoughts on how I did:

[b]The Good:[/b]
A majority of my efforts were spent in collision detection, particle systems, and AI.
[b]Collision Detection:[/b] I'm rather proud of this part. I've got bounding spheres and arbitrary polygon collision detection. The levels are defined by polygon regions. I think I did this part of the game decently, though colliding with a wall should cause the colliding object to slide rather than stop completely. Ran into some problems with floating point precision errors which helped to improve my library.
[b]Particle System:[/b] I wrote a decent particle system in my library but haven't had to use it much. Putting it to use showed me some areas & features which were missing.
[b]AI:[/b] The fan girl AI is a mildly interesting implementation of a state machine. I tried to get the fan girls to chase the player if the player was in their line of sight. If the fan girls lost line of sight to the player, they'd run to the last seen position of the player and then re-evaluate their situation. If there was nothing to do, they'd just wander around aimlessly. The AI *could* have been better if I created some pathfinding code so that the fan girls would actually wander with direction, but it wouldn't have added too much more to the game. As a fun little bit of polish, the fan girls throw up their arms in excitement and emit a trail of hearts when they're chasing the player. I couldn't stop laughing when I implemented that.
[b]Design Document: [/b]I spent a few hours trying to plan out my game design. I need to get better at game design though, so I'll have to study this a bit more.

[b]The Bad:[/b]
[b]My level designs kinda sucked as well as my simplistic artwork.[/b] Ideally, I would have liked to give the player additional abilities to use and the levels would have been designed so that you'd have to make use of each ability to get past an obstacle. I'm not a very good game designer (hard reality check) so it's tough to creatively come up with reasonable obstacles and abilities to overcome those obstacles, and then design levels which are challenging enough. The levels should have been presented as rendered hallways, rooms, and stages with the polygon collision areas defining what can and can't be intersecting. My art skills suck, so it would have been a monumental effort to pull it off right.

[b]My game *really* needed sound and a better game play mechanic to sell the game (missing due to lack of time).[/b] I think if you're going to create a game where you're a rock star and you're getting swarmed by an audience of rabid fans, you have to sell the idea by giving a short performance before the audience goes wild. It was in my plans to have spot lights, speakers, and music to give a bit of a delay to the level, but that didn't happen. The requirement for sound in this game was really high and I failed at it. In retrospect, I should have probably chosen a different game idea.

[b]GUI was minimally passing:[/b] There was no menu system. The initial "help" screen was a quick hack. The win and loss screens were existent but really sucked. They should have had a "continue" or "retry" button which triggers the next level or starts over, gives feedback to the player on how they did, and been more visually appealing. The "Game Over" screen was another quick hack thrown together in 20 minutes. After the game ended, the game stops cold.
The "Dance" part of the game was barely evident in its effects -- The star power increased and the fan girls played a little dance animation, but this could have been done much better.
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[quote name='Servant of the Lord' timestamp='1305836095' post='4813169']
[quote name='ryan20fun' timestamp='1305834412' post='4813157']
Thanks.
i [b]Love[/b] the text on the way up (im only on level 2 now) but the one [i]Cake up Ahead[/i] reminds me of Portal.
:) :) :)
[/quote]
I referenced Portal in several ways, since I was trying to go for the currently popular Portal-style humor. [img]http://public.gamedev.net/public/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif[/img]
Which is why the next screen says, [i]"The cake is a [s]lie[/s] crystal".[/i]
[/quote]

well, i like that.
i enjoyed the humor in Portal. and i enjoy th humor in your game.
now just to get to the 4th level...
haveing fun at it.
:) :) :)
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Too bad I wasn't able to run the winning entry at the time (I already played and judged them a few days ago, so I might have missed an update or patch). Great to see so many have been able to make a game in such a short amount of time. Congrats to everyone! :)
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[quote name='CamJackson' timestamp='1305967829' post='4813791']
Totally addicted to this game![attachment=2378:winnar.jpg]
Comma added for emphasis :P
[/quote]

Wow, a score of 10144 is pretty impressive. I'm glad you liked it and found it addicting. I'm still working on it, trying to add more enemies and powerups, while keeping the basic feel the same. Any new versions that I make I will post to my site here: [url="http://joedev.net"]http://joedev.net[/url] as well as posting on this thread. Do you have any suggestions or feedback for what could be improved?
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I'm ashamed to say I spent most of yesterday night trying to break 2000 points :) Love the game, but my reflexes are non-existent :P


One thing I really like is how each game is different -- almost genetic! It all depends on the sequence of powerups you get. And of course, it was a very polished entry; congrats again!

Some ideas for new power ups:
- Bubble size reduced (perhaps the bubble could also start off bigger than it is currently)
- Life meter (Start with 1 HP max, with an increasing allowance as you move forward)
- Companions (bubbles that rotate around you like the shells in mario kart and can protect you, popping if they hit an enemy)
- Bad luck (spawns tough enemies around you)
- Enemy recoil (your shots knock enemies back)

Suggestions:
- Servant of the Lord already mentioned this, I believe; it would be nice if Esc paused the game instead of closing it
- On-screen display of current powerups (could be little icons in the corner)
- Don't know if this should be another game type entirely, but how about announcing the waves (wave 1, wave 2, etc)... And perhaps allowing the player to restart from a wave that was previously cleared (starting at score 0). The game could be like 100 waves deep, and the ability to restart would allow us to train for certain enemy types!

(You'll notice most of those suggestions are to make the game easier... lol :))
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Hmmm. At one point I thought it could be cool to be able to choose your upgrades, cos I like those kind of games. But on further thought, I think it would ruin the flow of the game, and would probably kill the hectic arcade vibe it has going on. It would be good to have some kind of indication of where you're at with your upgrades, but it might be tricky to do without cluttering the screen.

My only other suggestion would be to maybe tone the spinning spikey things down a little bit. Whether it's to make them slightly slower, or weaker, or just to limit how many can be on screen at once, I'm not sure. But a few times when I was starting to get up into the 3-4k+ range, I felt like the only thing determining just how high my score would get was how long it took for a nasty spawn of 6 or so spikeys to happen. And once it did, game over!

Edit: I like pretty much all of kiwibonga's powerup suggestions, except that I can't say I like the idea of 'bad' powerups. Kiwibonga, did you discover that space pauses? Much easier to hit than Esc.
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Thanks for the suggestions, I agree with most of them. Here are some things that I was thinking:

-Red spinning enemies are a little to difficult in certain scenarios
-Not a huge fan of having health, but I think I might add a shield powerup that allows you to be hit without dying
-There needs to be an intermediate enemy after the green bubbles, so the beginning of the game is a little more exciting
-Special power that shoots bullets in all directions (Cooldown based perhaps)

I'm also hoping to implement some graphical improvements.

Kiwibonga, what all are you planning to do to your game?
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[quote name='j0mich01' timestamp='1306004409' post='4813930']
Thanks for the suggestions, I agree with most of them. Here are some things that I was thinking:

-Red spinning enemies are a little to difficult in certain scenarios
-Not a huge fan of having health, but I think I might add a shield powerup that allows you to be hit without dying
-There needs to be an intermediate enemy after the green bubbles, so the beginning of the game is a little more exciting
-Special power that shoots bullets in all directions (Cooldown based perhaps)

I'm also hoping to implement some graphical improvements.

Kiwibonga, what all are you planning to do to your game?
[/quote]

i like those ideas :)
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[quote name='j0mich01' timestamp='1306004409' post='4813930']
Thanks for the suggestions, I agree with most of them. Here are some things that I was thinking:

-Red spinning enemies are a little to difficult in certain scenarios
-Not a huge fan of having health, but I think I might add a shield powerup that allows you to be hit without dying
-There needs to be an intermediate enemy after the green bubbles, so the beginning of the game is a little more exciting
-Special power that shoots bullets in all directions (Cooldown based perhaps)

I'm also hoping to implement some graphical improvements.

Kiwibonga, what all are you planning to do to your game?
[/quote]

Those sound good :)

I'm honestly thinking of going commercial... I hope the people who said "I would totally buy this if it was a full game" were serious! It seems like it would be a good project to learn about mobile programming, if I can somehow acquire a mobile device and license. I would have to rework it a lot though, and that could take some time; the bitmap level format was convenient to get levels out quickly, but definitely not flexible enough for a "serious" application (bouncing, for instance, requires different pixel colors depending on whether the bars are horizontal or vertical, and the bugs are hard to fix when platforms aren't 100% level -- the file sizes are not worth the trouble).

Wanna assemble an "indie bundle?" :)
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I agree that the game is probably better without health. A one-time-use type thing could be good. And everything else you said sounds good too.

One other very important thing: an online leader board!!! Just look at the crazyness around games like N. So much more satisfying getting an awesome score if you know you just beat someone else out of the top 10 or something.

Kiwi, I hate to be an evangelist, but have you considered unity? You would only have to write the game once, and with very little tweaking, be able to deploy to web, desktop (mac and windows), and for $400 each, iPhone and Android. The only limitation being that you would probably want iOS and android devices to test on, and that Mr Jobs demands you buy a Mac to develop apps on. But there's nothing to stop you from building the game, make some cash from a desktop version, and then reinvest that in getting it onto mobiles.

Might make it easier to do some things too. Collision is as easy as:
Drag and drop Collider and Rigidbody components onto your GameObjects.
Tick the boxes to set them as kinematic and triggers.
Write OnTriggerEnter() functions for each type of object.

Again, sorry to spruik it so much, but I can't help it, Unity is teh awesomes.
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It does sound like an interesting option for fast deployment, but I don't have the budget for it now... I'm most likely going to publish for desktops/netbooks first, and then take it from there. My C++ framework is cross-platform in theory, so the only non-trivial port would be to iOS...
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I'm planning on making an XBLIG (Xbox Live Indie Game) version of my game. In the past couple years, I've been working on two different games that I hoped to release on that platform, but I never finished them because they were a little too big in scope than I was ready for. This game is much smaller and much simpler so I shouldn't have much of a problem finishing it. I've already got it running on the Xbox, so now I'm just adding features and content. It probably won't sell super well (the dual stick shooter genre is quite saturated on the Xbox, so there is lots of competition), but it's been a goal of mine to release something on that platform for a long time and I'm happy with BubbleTime, so it seems like good idea.
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Hi there,

Here's a little reworked version of my entry: [url="http://www.kiwibonga.com/TunnelJumperv1.0.zip"]Download[/url] (ZIP, 15 MB)

I fixed a few bugs and added a (big) level... Also you can change the resolution of the game by editing the ini file; see readme.txt.

Stay tuned for a commercial release... Hopefully by the end of the year!
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Why don't we assemble all of the games together into a 'humble bundle' type thing?
By the way, I'm still wroking on my airplane game, and it's nearly reached the level of completion the rest of you got during the actual competition. :(
I need more hours in a day...
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Hey, sorry for the late reply... I typed up a response before, but I guess I probably got sidetracked and closed the tab before submitting!

I think it would be nice to consider doing a bundle together, maybe also bringing in other people from the GDNet community, but it's important to look at the business model behind a bundle. It's pretty much like selling a $15 cake made with $100 worth of ingredients... That's a lot of money going down the drain for everyone, especially if the titles are strong enough to stand on their own.

A bundle seems like a smart move to extend the lifespan of existing games, as opposed to an introductory offer... How about we meet back here when everyone's got a game published? :)
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Hello everyone, I hope your game development has been going well. I was side tracked with work for a couple months there and not able to do any game development myself but my schedule has cleared up the last couple weeks so I was able to "finish" my robber game to the extent it is going to get to with my limited artistic and sfx skillset I posses.

This release contains many bug fixes, as well as more content and some of the gameplay mechanics that didn't make the competition release due to time. This should satisfy most of the complaints I got from people who played it and voiced what they felt sucked with the exception of voice overs. I, aswell as others (only saw 1 complaint) really enjoyed them so I did not want to remove them all. I have however, replaced several that I did not care for or needed some work.

As with the original link I posted, I am not able to upload most file types to the site so you have to rename the .txt file to .rar and go from there. Depending on where you extract the rar too you may have to go into your Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs and uninstall the competiton version. The XNA installer seems to get stuck if they are installed from different places and doesn't appear to have a uninstall option.

[attachment=5620:Robber_2_0_0_20.rar.txt]

Hope you enjoy it!
**TIP** One important thing to note if you played the original, the collision point for the player is now around your feet and about half way up towards your body instead of surronding your character. This was done to resolve the fact that it was difficult to navigate door frames. This may take a bit of getting used to but it is working quite well.
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Hey all,

I'm currently working on a revamped version of my game Bubblez! and it will actually be available for purchase (for the modest price of 99p) on www.indiecity.com when the site goes live in a few short weeks.

Everyone should check out IndieCity.com as it could potentially be really great for us Indie developers.
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