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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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News about the upcoming release of Plee the Bear

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Dear game developers,

I am quite happy because I have recently finished the drawing of the last sprite I wanted to add to Plee the Bear. It was this beautiful pink flower :


To create this beautiful flower, I started from a 50% gray layer in GIMP in which I quickly drew the volumes using a black or white paintbrush. Then I added tint areas for each part of the drawing (petals and pistil) that I combined with the volumes by applying a "soft light" mode to the latter. In a second 50% gray layer combined in "soft light" mode, I drew the edges of the petals with a white paintbrush in order to emphasis them. Finally I applied a yellow airbrush in "addition" mode to contrast the whole thing. Neat, isn't it?


This work is a partial result of the ongoing fundraising campaign for the game. The finalization of this task has a special meaning; it means that I can now begin the clean up process: I remove the old sprites, I edit the levels to adjust their structure and the decorations, then I will be able to package the game and to share it.

About the graphics, apart this new flower and the fresh decorations you can see on the first screen shot, I ave also reworked the animations of the player walking, running and slapping:



In terms of game play, the main character is now more easily controlled, especially because his speed has been greatly reduced. Also, the first levels are more simple, less intricate, but still have as many secret places. See for example the structure of the very first level (the player is under the little red arrow):


In the previous releases of the game we had several problems with the inclined grounds: either the player couldn't climb, or was sliding on it, or climbing backwards, or he was running without moving…. At the time we met these problems, we found a workaround by using some magic numbers and half-assed computation of the forces. It was a bit shameful… Well, good news everyone!, all this crap has been removed! The smelly tricks are over, now the reaction of the ground follows the laws of physics and this is the main character who adjusts his force according to the angle of the ground on which he is.

Another constraint of the slopes used in the previous release of the game was that they had to be necessarily straight. Well, as a side effect of the integration of the work done on Andy's Super Great Park, you will have in the next release some beautiful slopes whose surfaces are defined by a Bézier curve. As a result, the behavior of the main character when he goes from one ground to another is smoother and it is visually really nicer!

Aside of this I have also worked on the documentation of the engine of the game and I have started a series of simple examples targeted to guide the user into taking the tools in hand. The approach is completely different of what I did before. While I wanted to write complete and precise technical documentations before, emphasizing the level editor, character editor and animation editors, I decided to tackle the problem in a different way by writing short programs to show that the engine is easy to use even without the additional tools. Thus the new developer is now accompanied in the documentation into creating his first window, displaying a rectangle, then a sprite, a text with a true type font, reading the keyboard, the mouse and the joystick, playing a music and some sounds, playing an animation, apply a fragment shader and more coming soon.

For the developers already at ease in the development and who want to start immediately in the game, I have also created a project wizard for Linux distributions which downloads the engine, creates a tree structure with the minimal content for a project, then compiles and runs it. The archive of the wizard is also available out of git

Here it is! I hope I will be able to provide a build of the game the next time smile.png


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