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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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3DModelerMan

Selecting passes for lighting system

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So I've finally got all my shaders and blending figured out, and it's time to decide where the heck I'm actually going to do each part of my lighting calculations. I have a temporary system setup right now, where I render the single pass materials first, and for materials that use lighting, I simply render the ambient color in this pass. Then I render my forward lighting passes with additive blending in the next stage. What I'm having trouble deciding though, is what to break up into which passes.

 

I always see examples calculating ambient light in the same shader that forward lighting is calculated in, but that results in the unlit parts of the object being far too bright when more than one light is shining on the object. Is it a good idea to be drawing plain ambient color to the screen in the first pass and blending over that?

 

And for the lighting shaders, I currently have a seperate shader for rendering each kind of light. A shader for rendering a directional light, and a shader for rendering up to 8 point, or spot lights at once. Is there the potential to gain performance by just sending as many lights at once as possible, and then using branching in the shader to determine how to render them?

 

I don't need any concrete answers really, because obviously the "best" approach depends on the kind of scene I plan to render, but I'd at least like to get an idea of exactly what work is usually divided among which passes.

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Okay. Thanks. I'll probably try and limit my passes and pass all the lights at once that way... I never noticed your blog before, there's some pretty good stuff on there for graphics engines that would probably be useful for me to read.

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