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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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MessiahAndrw

Character/Avatar library/SDK?

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As a lone developer, I find one of the most hardest parts of prototyping a new game is creating the player's character model.

I can whip up simple static programmer art - walls, chairs, crates, trash cans, simple tanks, guns, etc but I cannot make a somewhat barely recognizable 3d representation of a human for the life of me - let alone animate one so it walks or holds a gun.

In have briefly encountered XNA on Xbox 360, and I loved being able to call:

AvatarDescription avatarDescription = AvatarDescription.CreateRandom();
and quickly populate my world with random characters of all shapes and sizes that can walk, run, crawl, etc. I love the simplicity of the Xbox Avatars - and I have seen many indie games on XBLA use avatars mixed in with simple programmer art that still looks polished while allowing the developer to focus on other aspects of the game.

I would love the ability to do a similar thing on the PC. Does such an SDK or library exist for the PC?

I'm not talking about a full on character customization system, just a quick CreateRandom() equivalent to populate my game worlds with. If there isn't, how do you populate your game world characters when you don't have the art resources/talent to do so?
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I believe avatars work on PC aswell with XNA.

XNA deploys to xbox, windows and windows phone.
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