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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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Zoltar26

Is it a good choice to practice the old skool programming methods ?

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Hi,

I would like to consult with you if it's a good choice to learn c / c++ game programming in the old DOS environment fashion ?
Is it a waste of time in our days or rather a good practice to sharpen my programming skills ?
Thanks in advance.
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It really depends on what you mean by "DOS environment fashion". I don't really recommend trying to get any of those old libraries running, or even coding a game as a console project (unless it's a text based game), as none of the libraries and such are really going to teach you anything that you couldn't learn from modern libraries. I [b]DO [/b]however recommend training yourself to be very frugal with memory and cpu consumption, as I've seen too many programmers nowadays taking advantage of modern computing power, and they forget just how quickly those resources can dwindle. I've found it's much more beneficial to really learn good programming practices *before* you try to get into game development, because knowing how to create proper, efficient object oriented code is the best foundation, not necessarily the game coding practices themselves. Get a good library like SDL, or microsoft's XNA, so you can focus more on the coding practices and less on the mechanics of how a game works to get started, then you can move up to opengl or directx coding when you feel more confident in your abilities. I can't stress enough efficient coding practices though, I like to program on an old laptop with limited memory and processing power, because if I can get a game running without any hiccups on that, then I know it won't have any problems on more modern machines. + 2 cents
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It is rarely a good choice to learn c++ if you're posting in for beginners.

It *is* a good idea to get a solid programming foundation before starting in with graphical libraries.
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Console mode programs are useful things even when you've got some experience under you're belt. I've an entire library of test programs for various scenarios, and I'd guess that maybe 75% of them are console mode.

The big advantage of console mode for beginners is that it lets you focus on the important stuff - algorithms and program structure - without being distracted or confused by having to also deal with UI code. An incredible amount of commercial console-mode programs still get released every year, and many of them are even fairly large (and expensive!) "enterprise-class" tools. So console mode is most definitely far from dead, and it's difficult to see it ever being so.

The advice about being frugal with memory and CPU is good, but don't make it a religion. In a real program you'll often find yourself in situations where you're doing what looks on the surface like it's "wasting memory", but in reality it's part of a tradeoff, the other side of which is increased performance elsewhere. A more balanced approach is best IMO, where you view memory as a resource that's there to be used, but you don't go unnecessarily nuts with it (same applies to CPU).
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[quote]The advice about being frugal with memory and CPU is good, but don't make it a religion. In a real program you'll often find yourself in situations where you're doing what looks on the surface like it's "wasting memory", but in reality it's part of a tradeoff, the other side of which is increased performance elsewhere. A more balanced approach is best IMO, where you view memory as a resource that's there to be used, but you don't go unnecessarily nuts with it (same applies to CPU).[/quote]
This is very true, a classic example being large precomputed tables. A novice programmer will go "this is faster, it's just a memory lookup, memory is there to be used", whereas somebody with more experience will actually realize the table will be too large to fit in the CPU cache, causing cache misses to occur a lot more and introducing memory latency in the equation, which may negatively impact other areas of the program in a way which might not be immediately obvious. Same deal with spending hours optimizing away a part of the program which only represents 1% of its running time...
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