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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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Interface Design Feedback for Class

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I’m currently taking an interface design class and would like some feedback on a few of my interface concepts that I’ve been working on. The concept is for a game to be created for Xbox so all controls would be mapped to that controller. These are just concepts at the moment as I am not currently working on this game yet. These are just ideas for how the interface might be designed. Any feedback and thoughts on this concept would be greatly appreciated.

The game takes place on a planet called Talla. On this planet there is a group of people known as Seekers who are hunted because the belief is, the use of their abilities will drain the life force of the planet, leaving it desolate and uninhabitable.

The player will have a menu option in the start menu for customizing what the two attack buttons ( X and Y) do. These are universal among all three character choices available in the game. The player will eventually be able to work up to dual wielding. So the left and right trigger buttons will control attacks with the left and right weapons respectively. Dual wielding does not necessarily mean the player will be using only two of the same weapon type. There will be instances where a one-handed melee weapon will be used with a one-handed ranged weapon. When using melee weapons, the left and right bumpers are to block with that hand. When using ranged weapons, the bumpers are to reload.

There will be three character choices when starting out in the game. The first of the choices would be to use a seeker. The seeker is a character that uses the life force of the planet, contained in Sheilan crystals, to locate a person, place, item, or feeling. These characters may also be part of the Carderone soldiers (palace guards) or the hunters. In this capacity they will be undercover, infiltrating the military to gain a better chance for their people to escape detection from the military. The main goal of the seeker is to locate the second in command of the seeker council, and keep them safe from detection and/or capture.  Otherwise they will be able to take part in side missions in order to help others around the planet since each seeker’s ability is unique. They are mainly melee based, using weapons such as sticks, swords, knives, etc. as well as mental abilities such as telepathy and telekinesis. But that is not to say that they cannot use ranged weapons. Any character choice will be able to use any weapon if they train in that weapon.

The second choice would be to play a Carderone soldier. These are the people who guard the king. Seeing that the seekers are hunted, the instances of threats against the king’s life are a very real possibility since he’s the one who initiated the hunt for seekers. However, other missions besides thwarting possible threats against the life of the king will definitely be something that the player will take part in.

The final choice would be to play a hunter. These are the ones who go out and track the seekers. When one is located, they are to be brought back to the palace and questioned about the location of their leader before being executed.

The Carderone soldiers and the hunters, while both being members of the planetary military group of characters will have some differences. The Carderone soldiers will be dressed in something resembling SWAT gear and will be trained extensively in ranged weapons, close quarters hand-to-hand combat skills, and interrogation tactics. The hunters on the other hand, will be dressed in tactical gear appropriate for tracking. They will be trained in ranged weapon and hand-to-hand combat as well, but their most prominent training will be in tracking, locating, and capturing seekers.

Another concept that I thought would be useful in this game design would be the idea of proficiency points. The proficiency points will be given for the amount of time the player uses an item. The longer the player uses a weapon, the more proficient they become with that weapon type and that specific weapon. If the player loses that weapon they still have proficiency with that weapon type, but when they gain a new one of the same type, they have to get a feel for that specific weapon again. For example, if a player mainly uses a two-handed sword, they will have proficiency with two-handed, bladed weapons, but will also gain proficiency with that specific weapon. If they lose their sword, they still have proficiency with two-handed, bladed weapons, but must gain back some of the proficiency with the new weapon.

These are a few of the concepts that I’ve come up with for the game design I had in mind. Again, any feedback, preferably positive, would be greatly appreciated.


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