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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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JMauk

Interface Project and usability

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Hi, I am currently enrolled in a game programming degree program.  For my interface class, we have a project where we come up with a game concept, then design a mockup interface for it.  For this phase of the project, we were asked to share some of our interface ideas, particularly those dealing with usability, and get some input from the community at large.

For my game, I came up with a 3rd person stealth-based action RPG featuring a vampire that uses a computer (i.e., keyboard and mouse) control scheme.  I tried to keep it familiar by using many of the staples for movement: WASD for directions, Shift for sprinting, Space for jumping, etc.  I didn't see any point in trying to reinvent a control scheme that has been successful for so many games over the years.  It also reduces the learning curve for the game if the player can simply sit down and start walking around.

The game has a modern urban setting and will involve a certain amount of gameplay indoors.  This creates an issue for monitoring the day/night cycle.  I didn't want to have a constant onscreen display of the time but I wanted it accessible.  I decided on a "digital watch" the vampire wears, accessible by the Tab button.  This allows players the opportunity to check what time it is but only if they are not in the middle of a fight or some other high tension situation.  The main reason I liked this idea is it allows the player the chance to forget that morning is coming and could make for some interesting gameplay when the player realizes they need to drop everything right now and run like mad to find shelter, disregarding any attempt to not look like a vampire trying to find a place to hide.

For most of the action controls, I tried to keep it to a one button, one function scheme.  For console titles and games with lots of options such as MMOs, I understand the use of context-sensitive keys.  However, the keyboard has plenty of keys that are close at hand and most games should be able to limit the amout of context overlap in the control scheme.  I think this helps keep newer players from getting confused or, worse yet, frustrated because the game doesn't respond in the way they expect.

I think i'm going to cut myself off there.  If anybody has any wisdom to share, don't be shy.  Just try to keep criticisms constructive.  Thanks.

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