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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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CipherJonathan

The Matrix Unplugged [Matrix-Themed MMO] Now In Public Beta!

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Alongside a small group of alpha testers, I've been improving and expanding the alpha version of a game I've been working on for a while now - The Matrix Unplugged (a text-based MMOPRG in which you control a redpill who's been freed from the Matrix), and today, I feel that the game has achieved enough balance and stability for me to feel comfortable putting it into public beta.

The game has a working missions system, in which you can perform tasks in exchange for money or experience points, a training system, where you can train your core stats (Combat, Coding, Hacking and Tactics), a combat system, where you can initiate combat against other players (PvP), or against one of the 13 in-game NPCs, and gain money or experience if you're successful, a Hovercraft Crew system, similar to a gang/clan system in many games of this type, which allows you to found your own hovercraft crew or join another player's, converse privately with your crew, plan organised missions, declare war against other crews, earn respect for your crew, and be promoted through the ranks of "Driver", "Operator" and, ultimately "Captain". There are also a multitude of other features, including Item Markets and Training Programs, which are currently available and which have been heavily tested.
As such, I welcome any of you who are interested in playing the beta version of the game to sign up for free here: [url="http://www.matrixunplugged.co.uk"]http://www.matrixunplugged.co.uk[/url]

Here're two screenshots I dug up (the sidebar and design have been altered quite a bit since then, so rest assured
that in the current version of the game the text is a bit more readable [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/tongue.png[/img] ) The first screenshot is of the Explore page, where the majority of the game's features can be accessed, whilst the second is a snapshot of the current version of the combat system (me attacking an NPC - Morpheus):

[center][img]http://i.imgur.com/6h6uW.png[/img][/center]

[center][img]http://i.imgur.com/CGljm.png[/img][/center]

[left]I hope to update this thread periodically as new features are added to the game. As I said before, it'd be awesome if you could sign up and perhaps give us feedback on how we can make the game better - we welcome and encourage any and all input which you may have![/left]

[left]And, most importantly - have fun![/left]
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Just a few minutes ago I released a feature which we've been testing for a while now - the Friendship System. Essentially, you can now click "Friendship Lists" in the sidebar menu to bring up the list of friends who you've added. From there, you can add friends, interact with existing friends, see who is most liked and see how many people have added you. Here's a screenshot of the initial friendship interface:
http://www.i.imgur.com/8kBsK.png .

There's still a lot of work which I plan to do on the friendship system, but this is pretty cool for a first step. The friendship list also allows you to view your friends' profiles, send them money or contact them via in-game message, all in just one click, which should save a lot of time for the more social players.

If you're interested - I'm also finishing up developing the Enemy List system, so that you can add other players as your enemy and even prevent them from being able to communicate with you (basically a blacklist). That'll be unveiled within the next couple of days, hopefully.

Have a great day!
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Okay, I've been working quite a bit today; I finished off the Enemy/Blacklist system, and made some decent progress on a secret feature which I hope to reveal next week ;)

Anyway, the Enemy List system works in practically the same way as the Friends List system: you click a link in the sidebar to bring you to your enemy list, where you can view who you've added as an enemy, how many people have added you as an enemy, and who the most hated players are at that time. When you've added a player to your enemy list, you then have one-click options to mail them or attack them and you're even given options to blacklist them completely, so that they are unable to contact you (useful if a particular player is spamming/bullying you). Here's a snapshot which I took of the blacklist system as it is at present:
http://i.imgur.com/Jfb9J.png

I plan on adding a couple of new features which should make the game generally more social, and which will hopefully make it more pleasant and fun to interact with other players. It's weird how whenever I release a feature, I always find that there's... like... 3x more development work to do afterwards.

Anyway, have fun playing and testing these new systems. I hope to see you in-game!
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I've spent pretty much the majority of my waking hours working on adding new stuff to the game this week. I've added countless new items, weapons, missions and training programs. Just now, I unveiled a fairly major new feature - the Organizations System. Organizations will work in basically the same way as jobs or companies in other games of this type; in that you gain money and stat bonuses by joining an organization, and can be promoted through organization (hence earning higher rewards) the higher your stats are. There are currently 3 organizations in the game (but more will be added soon): Zion Military (mainly combat-based), Machines (mainly intelligence-based) and Merovingian (mainly tactics-based).

To check out how the basic interface looks and works, check out this screenshot: http://i.imgur.com/3L56P.png

I've been working on a ton of other stuff as well, including a massively improved training system, and an AJAX-based chat system, but they're not quite ready to be shown off yet.

There're still a few kinks in the organization system which will hopefully be resolved in the next day or two. Nevertheless, I hope you have fun using it!
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