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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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bjgamer

Creating a Console from Scratch

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A couple of buddies and I wanted to see if we had what it takes to make a small video game console from a Nexys-2 FPGA board.  We have some experience with C and assembly, but we're not really sure how to get started.  Does anyone have any advice or links they'd recommend?  Thanks in advance! 

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Why that particular board? There are a lot of options out there for very little money that integrate things like display controllers and GPUs which you will probably want...

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Start learning VHDL and be ready to think in ways that neither C nor Assembly have taught you. Be prepared to to diagnose and fix bugs that have to do with signal propagation latency. Be prepared to design a CPU, GPU, and to generate a proper video signal.

 

After that you get to program it in not assembly, but machine-code -- or you get to write an assembler. When there's a bug in your application, it might not actually be in your application code, it might be a flaw in the code that defines the system. And you won't have a debugger for any of this, so get really used to debugging from memory-dumps.

 

Its certainly doable -- people have done it. But to say you and your friends have "some C and assembly experience" is basically equivalent to saying you and your friends have a dream and some gumption. Realize that you've got a long, long road ahead of you. This project is on the scale of a thesis project for an Electrical Engineering degree, except without the benefit of 3+ years of said degree program to get you running.

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Are you trying to learn to build electronics, or are you trying to learn to build a software OS/platform? Choose your hardware carefully based on what you want to actually be learning.

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