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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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tom_mai78101

Relearning how we program in Java: The later stages of program development

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Suppose you're into the later stages of a Java project's development, chances are you probably will see at least 1 Java source containing an object that you probably wish it should either be an abstract class or an interface. If you're the only developer working on this project, you probably will see plenty of places where you might wish they are "abstractable" or "interfaceable", and probably started thinking to yourself that one day, you'll return to this area and start refactoring the codes or do a small rewrite. (Not full-scale rewrite or anything.) This is the area I'm interested in, a thing that just kicks in when you know that something doesn't feel right.

You'll probably hear a few of these rules during your programming sessions (They are probably either not accurate enough, or they are completely false in every way):[list]
[*]If you're seeing common code structures, they are to be restructured into a method. If you're seeing common methods, they are to be restructured into a method placed in a superclass or something static.
[*]If you're seeing objects with a common ancestor (or there appears to have an is-a relationship), they are to be restructured into an abstract class.
[*]If you're seeing common methods declared in a few classes in general, those methods are to be restructured into interfaces.
[/list]
Sometimes, a Java programmer would start off with an interface and expand from there. Sometimes, another dev guy would start from an abstract class, and evaluate to see if it needed interfaces or continue extending the class down. Other times, devs would start off with a basic class extending from Object, and continue to add/pile up additional code until it's ready to be refactored.

What is in your mind telling you and your guts that you should start using the rules mentioned (if any of them are correct)? And what makes you want to segregate parts of certain abstract classes into interfaces that follows the rules (if any are correct)? And while expanding objects (by adding more code to a regular class), when should you trust your instincts that you need to split them into either abstract classes, abstract methods, interfaces, or make them a subclass of another class?

To me, learning and understanding this will allow me to plan ahead in the very-near future of a simple concept of idea implementation in mind.

For example, a flexible bicycle. To make it flexible, I could start off with different interfaces. Then, I could create an abstract class, Bicycle, that implements all of the methods I will 100% use from the interfaces I will also 100% use. Finally, I could extend from the abstract class, and create a few more objects with a common design. Because I start off from creating Interfaces -> Abstract Class -> Subclass of the abstract class, my program design is crisp and clear. If I start off from creating a class, I might end up tiring myself in the future if I were to add a few more similar objects with similar methods.
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I'm not an expert programmer, but I have been reading a lot of books recently on best practices and agile programming, so feel free to take this advice with a large grain of salt.

You cannot plan for everything up front. Think of a city. It starts as a town, with a small town square, and just a couple necessary buildings. Then it expands, adding in a few stores. Eventually some buildings get ripped down and replaced with strip malls. Roads eventually get ripped out and replaced with highways. etc.Coding necessarily has to follow the same progression, as it is a huge task to plan everything up front. Besides, you will always run into roadblocks along the way, and you will need to be adaptable.

My opinion is that your best bet, is to cover as much of your project as possible with unit tests. This way, you can fearlessly try refactoring your code into cleaner structures every time your program needs to evolve. You will know you haven't broken anything if all the tests still pass.

Most of what's above is shamelessly stolen from "[url="http://www.e-reading.org.ua/bookreader.php/134601/Clean_Code_-_A_Handbook_of_Agile_Software_Craftsmanship.pdf"]Clean Code - A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship[/url]". I simply copied/paraphrased to make the relevant points easily accessible. I highly recommend this book.
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