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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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Angus Hollands

NPC / AI should they be abstracted?

2 posts in this topic

Hey everyone! I've finally come close enough to considering networking a game. My question is this:
For a traditional FPS, whereby there may be AI *teammates*, one could use the same class (UserBase) as the other real clients, but replace the networked inputs with simulated ones.
However, this particular game (no surprise here) involves zombies. I originally intended to implement them as a separate team, and network them in the same way as normal players. However, this gives rise to the fact that many packet entries for zombies wouldn't require all the same data as that of a normal player (weapon type, ammo, clip). Do you think that this would be an acceptable solution to take?

My other option would be to split the packet into two parts; Base information and then specific information, but I don't like the sound of that very much
Thank you everyone!
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Either will work.

Also, you can split packets into separate subtypes, and include a bitmask up front of what subtypes are included. A single byte gives you 8 possible subtypes. Thus, Zombies simply would not send weapon and clip information... unless some zombies have some kinds of weapons ;-)

It's common in "deep inheritance" hierarchies, to marshal the parent class first, then add your own information in the serialized stream. If you use this mechanism for networking, having some parts (movement) in a superclass, and specifics (player vs zombie) in a subclass would work out alright. But I personally don't like deep inheritance -- I much prefer composition.

In a composition system, you pretty much get the same thing, though -- add a "gun and chip" component to players with guns and clips, and a "ooze and brains" component for zombies, or whatever. Marshal (and de-marshal) components in order, and you have the same effect. Use the bitmask to tell which components have updated data, perhaps. Edited by hplus0603
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Thansk Hplus. After finally reading through some well described OO patterns, and reading about entity systems using composition, I can see the merits in this. 

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