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      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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Nikke

Ironbane MMO has gone open source!

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Ironbane is an open source action MMO played straight from your browser, using 3D graphics and a retro graphics stylelogo_isolated.png 
The game focus on simple gameplay without leveling, fast combat using swords, axes, daggers, bows and magic staves and intense Player vs Player combat. Our intention is to create a vast alive world where players can interact with each other. The main objective of the game is to defeat Ironbane, a dragon hiding in a castle waiting for a challenger. Future updates will include the ability to buy houses, participate in player arenas, do quests, make use of transports such as hot air balloons, boats and trains and many other things that we are still thinking of.
Screenshots
1.png
2.png
3.png
4.png

We are looking for talented people!

Also ProgrammersArtists and 3D Modelers!


How does this work?

Anyone can contribute something at any time. All you need is an account for Ironbane.

When you add a contribution, you earn reputation (rep), which will be visible on your profile and on the forum. A higher rep allows you to get more privileges, such as becoming a moderator or game master, GitHub access, the ability to give others reputation for their work and more. We want to reward people for their work.

How much rep do I get for a contribution?

This will depends on the quality of work you provide, but here are some generic guidelines:

Generic reputation award table


Action Reward
Forum post 1 rep
Bug report 5 rep
Contributed content (art/music/model) 10 rep (+ Bonus depending on quality)
Accepted pull request 20 rep (+ Bonus depending on quality)





 

What can I work on?

If you were to join, what would you love to work on? Skill is important, but more important is your love for the skill. It doesn't matter if you suck, the only thing that is important is motivation. You must be willing to learn from others.

For Programmers:
code.png


What's the code like?

Ironbane runs on pure Javascript, on both client and server. Javascript is arguably an easy language to work with, and it allows you to program more productively with easy debugging and no need to recompile (atleast on the client).

What am I allowed to work on?

Anything you like! You can work on the game code, the 3D renderer, boss scripts, forum software or even on this page you're reading right now! You must work on whatever you want to work on, to keep yourself motivated. You basically have the power to change anything you like.

All the source code is waiting for you on GitHub. With that said, you need to learn how to use Git if you haven't yet. It's an incredible powerful tool and you will need it at some point in your life anyway.

What's Git? I'm scared!

No need to be. Read this tutorial, it explains Git well and will get you up and running in no time.

How do I contribute?

By making pull requests on the repository you're working on! It's that simple. Make a pull request and one of the lead developers will check it out and give you feedback. If the code looks fine, it will be pushed live to Ironbane.com instantly. In the meantime, you earn reputation!

Start by reading the Getting started pages on the GitHub repository. If you need help, feel free to make an issue there or on our forums.



For Artists:
art.png

What art does Ironbane use?

Our graphics theme: Retro 16-bit steam age




We need Pixel Art! Currently we're in dire need of 16-bit pixel art that fits our game. Our theme is a blend between the medieval and steam age.
What exactly? We need sprites for monsters currently, including one for our main villain Ironbane.
Each monster or NPC in Ironbane uses a 8x3 spriteset. Some examples:

2.png 
26.png

There are not that much work as you expect. Half of the images are mirrors of eachother and can be re-used. 

How do I start?

You need a good painting software. I personally prefer Photoshop, but you can also use Paint.net, GIMP or others.

What can I draw?

Anything you like! New villains, textures, a better logo, stuff for the website. Do whichever you like best.

How do I contribute?

You can either post them in the forums for others to look at, or if you are technically skilled you can also make a pull request with the art in place. See the Programmers section on how to use Git and GitHub.

For 3D Modelers:
models.png

How do I start?

You're going to need a 3D modeling software package. Blender works well, but you can also use others if you are more comfortable with them. I for instance use 3ds Max.

It is also advisable to get your own version of Ironbane running, so you can test out your models directly in-game. To do so, first read the "Getting Started" guides on the GitHub repository for both the client and server.

If you can't or don't want to get a local copy running on your machine, you can still post your model with screenshots on the forums.

What's the model format?

.OBJ, and then it is converted by a script to a .JS file.

First, to get an .OBJ file, you have to use your modeling package's export function and then select the OBJ file format. if you're working with Blender, here are some good settings to ensure your file gets exported correctly:

How do I test out my own models locally?

To really see your own stuff in-game, you will need to have Python 2.7.4 installed. Do not use the latest version of Python, only 2.7.4 currently works with the converter.

Once you've installed Python on your machine, copy your .OBJ to "/plugins/game/images/meshes/". Next, you will need to open a command-line prompt on this folder. In Windows 7, you can shift-click on the "meshes" folder and select "Open command prompt here".

When you have the command prompt open on the meshes folder, enter the following command:

convert_obj_three.py -i file.obj -o file.js

Replace "file" with the name of the OBJ (without extension) you copied in the folder. The command will generate a .JS file for you.
Now it's time to add the model to the game. Log in the game as an admin (the default admin account is "TestUser" with password "test") and click on the Editor link on the navigation bar. Click on "Meshes Editor" and fill in the fields as best you can. For filename, fill in the original full .OBJ filename (e.g. chair.obj)! Press "Add" at the bottom when you're ready. Now go in-game, and check the Model Placer for your newly added model.

My model doesn't show up!

Something went wrong, apparently. Fortunately, you have a lot of example material right next to you. Check the meshes folder for other .OBJ files and open them in your modeling package to see what their scale is like, and try to adjust yours.

General advice

Try to keep your polycount as low as possible. See the other models as a reference. I will post more hints here later.

Link to the game


You can try Ironbane yourself here: http://www.ironbane.com/game.php (Nothing is needed to play)


Contact
You can reach me on Skype, my username is janssen.n
Via e-mail: nikke@ironbane.com

You can also reach me on ironbane.com, simply make an account and start posting on the forums!

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