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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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graphic card

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i have really crappy cards now that wont let me run XNA programs... what do i need? it dont have to be the cheapest, something pretty good but not overly expensive. i want a dual card for sure. just wondering what card would be best?
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XNA 4 requires a DX10 GPU therefore any GPU in the market should be ok. In this generation AMD and NVIDIA are very balanced, both have good GPUs.

Don’t buy a GPU for the amount of the memory, instead look something like the number of stream processors (5 AMD stream processors equals (more or less) 1 NVIDIA stream processor), the bandwidth of the memory interface, reviews, benchmarks, etc.
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[quote]XNA 4 requires a DX10 GPU[/quote]
Are you sure on this? Pretty sure XNA is limited to DirectX 9 because of the XBox compatibility.

Don't buy dual GPU's because it doesn't make sense if you didn't build your computer for it (dual GPU's require a particular motherboard to get the most out of them, which implies buying a new motherboard, and possibly a new CPU, and then two graphics cards produce more heat which will require you to add more fans to dissipate temperature). And besides, you probably don't need two of them to do XNA work (unless you also want to play the latest games, in which case... up to you).

It really depends on your budget, there are crappy XNA-compatible GPU's for as cheap as $50 USD, but the decent ones are between $150 and $200. Over that you get the mainstream cards $200 - $300 and the ones above that are the expensive, top of the line ones.

It wouldn't hurt to buy a DirectX 10 GPU though if you ever intend to move beyond XNA (besides, DirectX 9 is going down and you can expect it to be deprecated in 2-3 years).

I personally recommend the HD6950 (obtainable in 1GB or 2GB versions, the price difference is tiny so I suggest go for the 2GB), or the GTX 560 Ti. They are fairly mainstream and are not too cheap but not too expensive either, and will last you long (they support DX11). If you're got more money to spend than that, you can go for the next step up, the HD6990 (really expensive), or the GTX 580 (really expensive too).

Whatever you do, do not buy an AGP graphics card. It's quite possible your motherboard doesn't support that (it's a fairly old standard) and you will kick yourself if you buy an incompatible graphics card.
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[quote name='Bacterius' timestamp='1334325995' post='4930953']
[quote]XNA 4 requires a DX10 GPU[/quote]
Are you sure on this? Pretty sure XNA is limited to DirectX 9 because of the XBox compatibility.
[/quote]

XNA 4 requires a DX10 GPU for HiDef profile, and DX9 for Reach. ([url="http://blogs.msdn.com/b/shawnhar/archive/2010/03/12/reach-vs-hidef.aspx"]http://blogs.msdn.co...h-vs-hidef.aspx[/url])

DX10 standardized several hardware incompatibilities, like filtering in floating point textures. When XNA 4 was developed DX 9 GPUs were losing their presence, so it was a good call.
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