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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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Mike Johnson_112598

XNA 2D solution questions. Any advice?

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Hi. So I have a few questions about an idea and wondering if anyone here might be able to provide some answers or insight. I'm new on this forum so I apologize if some of these things may exist on the forum already.
Ok so, I'm relatively new to XNA and I'm not 100% sure of all the optimization features and support included out of the box.
I'm interested in creating a 2d game with a fair sized world map. I plan on using a customized tile engine to reduce memory consumption and not waste resources on parts of the map that aren't even within the view port.
What I would like to do is make heavy use of layer depth when rendering textures and the idea I'm rolling around right now is the following.
The view port will be a birds-eye view at all times in game. To simulate the effect of a 3d world environment, heavy use of layer depths would be employed. Basically, a base-value would be established (example: sea level would be say 0.5 layer depth). Things rendered in the view port would determine their "world z" value in relation to the base value.
As a player's character sprite (approx 15 layers of textures, also employing layer depth) navigates through the world, basic bounding box collision detection would be used. In the event of collisions, a specialized per pixel collision detection would be used to not only determine if a non-transparent pixel collision has occurred, but to compare the layer depths of the collided pixels. If the players sprite is "higher" than the other texture, the player sprite would be able to pass over, but if the players sprite is lower, it would determine how much lower, and if the "height" difference is of a certain amount higher, the collision would be treated as a collision and the player sprite would not be able to pass.
As the player navigates the world, all of the players characters textures would have their layer depths adjusted accordingly depending on the layer depth of the terrain the players center is currently over.
I'm aware that shaders will be a pain in this type of idea, but at this point, I'm not really concerned about shader's. I'll cross that bridge when I get there.
The layer depth use I'm talking about would be breaking the layer depth value down into hundredths rather than simply tenths. The uppermost layers would be reserved for UI element textures, etc. This doesn't mean there will be thousands upon thousands of overlapping textures lol. It just provides the desired effect of simulating terrain height from a birds eye view.

My questions are:
1. Is this possible? (regardless of how much work it may be...)
2. Is there any engines out there that already do this?
3. What types of optimization should I be looking at?

Also, I don't know if xna has a default method of pixel culling for overlapping non-transparent pixels or if I will have to create my own algorithm for this.

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