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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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monkeykoder

How do I get that first project off the ground?

3 posts in this topic

Programming is simple enough or at least there are plenty of resources available on here and other places to get you started there. The bigger problem in my mind is "How do I actually get a project started?". Let's just assume I have all the relevant coding background* and I am ready to hit my first game. I still have hundreds of questions on how to actually get started.

1) The ever present "What do I actually want to code" question.
A) It has to be simple enough to get something fun to play with in a month or two being a first project to keep the motivation going for the
next one.
B) It has to be somewhat entertaining or you don't get any sense of accomplishment.
C) You generally only have a couple of friends working on the project so your design somehow has to make up for the lacking skill sets.
D) If it turns out well it should be a good transition into project 2.

2) How to choose a framework.
A) It has to be useful in your game making future.
B) It needs to be relatively easy to work in or you will lose motivation to continue.

3) How do you control feature bloat.
A) You have to figure out which features you want that are in conflict with the requirements of 1.
B) You have to keep bugs to a minimum due to the low number of developers.

For those of you with successful projects how did you answer these questions?

I am beginning to see why there are so many game engines projects out there
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That's why your first project is almost always a clone of an existing game. What you want to do and the featureset are fixed. All you have to worry about is implementation. Once you get comfortable with that you can expand into the dicier problems.
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Your questions all lead to one answer: Planning. You have to make a plan in which you decide what game are you making, what are the features, etc. Once the plan is done, that will determine which framework to chose, which tools and so on. Then you just implement it and see how it works. Now if it is not fun, you can try to change stuff and evolve mechanics, but careful not to get into feature creep. Generally in order to avoid feature creep, you really have to go through a process for every feature and ask yourself what does it bring to the game, is the effort worthy or not.
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[quote name='monkeykoder' timestamp='1332511587' post='4924626']
Programming is simple enough or at least there are plenty of resources available on here and other places to get you started there. The bigger problem in my mind is "How do I actually get a project started?". Let's just assume I have all the relevant coding background* and I am ready to hit my first game. I still have hundreds of questions on how to actually get started.

1) The ever present "What do I actually want to code" question.
A) It has to be simple enough to get something fun to play with in a month or two being a first project to keep the motivation going for the
next one.
B) It has to be somewhat entertaining or you don't get any sense of accomplishment.
C) You generally only have a couple of friends working on the project so your design somehow has to make up for the lacking skill sets.
D) If it turns out well it should be a good transition into project 2.

2) How to choose a framework.
A) It has to be useful in your game making future.
B) It needs to be relatively easy to work in or you will lose motivation to continue.

3) How do you control feature bloat.
A) You have to figure out which features you want that are in conflict with the requirements of 1.
B) You have to keep bugs to a minimum due to the low number of developers.

For those of you with successful projects how did you answer these questions?

I am beginning to see why there are so many game engines projects out there
[/quote]

You need to be able to manage the project. Developing a game is not about writing code, it is about managing a project from end-to-end and meeting your users' desires and needs (that is, to be entertained).

Answers to 1 and 3 are simple enough: learn Scrum, and apply it to the Agile development methodology. I leave this as an exercise for the reader to learn more. ;) Learn [i]and use[/i] the appropriate tools to manage your project.

Answer 2 is also simple enough; choose tools that let you [i]get stuff done[/i]. You [i]need [/i]a "studio"-esque IDE to manage large numbers of source files and library dependencies. You [i]need [/i]a debugger. You [i]need[/i] a source revision control repository. But most importantly, you [i]need[/i] to learn how to use all these tools effectively.

Doing anything less is setting yourself up for failure.
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