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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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  1. Hey Everyone, thanks so much for all the replies!   This definitely gives me a lot to think about.  I checked into GameMaker and it does look like a great tool for making 2D games.  Plus it has the added benefit of being on sale right now, so I could pickup two licenses for cheap.   At the end of the day, I would like to progress in the level of complexity of games we make in a logical manner hopefully without learning any bad habits or getting trapped.  I don't want to take on anything too complicated to start so we become discouraged, but also I do not want to rule anything out for future projects.    So if I'm understanding this correctly, perhaps the best direction would be to go with GameMaker and learn that and GML thoroughly and create some cool 2D stuff.  Then maybe a handful of years later if we want to expand into 3D (my wife spent 3 years studying Maya, I'm determined to make her use it at some point! ) look at Unity.  Maybe also I will continue learning programming outside of GML along the way, as it is something I have wanted to learn and enjoyed so far.  Plus knowing how to code could help at my day job.   Again, thanks for all the help!
  2. I know this gets posted here a ton, and I have been searching and reading a lot of the posts, but still have a lot of questions.   My wife and I are interested in game development.  Both of us have been gamers since the mid 80s, starting off on Atari and up to the last gen of consoles (no PS4 yet), and have also been big PC gamers since the 386.   Her day to day is an artist/graphic designer with some experience in modeling and texturing and my day to day is a video/audio guy, so we figure we have a decent skillset to start.   We are interested in learning how to create our own games, primarily targeting the PC at first (since PC remains our most passionate platform in gaming).  At some point, we may want to look at the mobile market and if by some chance we do become a success the console market, but for now, PC it is.  We are not genre limited, so at some point we would like to explore all sorts of genres from 2D to 3D, action to RPG.   Which brings us back to the question.  Where to start?   I have a lynda.com subscription I use for work, so I went through a course called Foundations of Programming.  It was a very 101 style course, which used JavaScript to teach the basic principles, as JavaScript would be cross-platform and easy to see results by reloading the page.  I also came across codecademy.com and am halfway through the JavaScript course there, using it to supplement and reinforce the concepts in the lynda.com course.   But the concern I have is that I may be going down the wrong path with JavaScript.  All of the beginner level concepts seem very easy to grasp and the syntax seems very simple to me, but the lynda.com course stopped short of just a basic 5 minute explanation of object-oriented programming.  I don't know how deep the codecademy.com course goes, so I can't comment there.   Should I continue on until having a deeper understanding of JavaScript, or should I switch to a compiled language like Python or C#?   What learning resources would be the best for our current position?  What supplemental material should we be studying and reading outside of coding to assist with game design and playability?   Thanks for your help!  Also if anyone needs a little help with graphic design or video/audio let me know!  
  3. The problem with going a strictly professional sound card is that it will not support any of the gaming protocols for creating spatial effects, which have become standard practice today (except for Miles which is software based). Another issue with professional audio cards is that they work in a software-only mode similar to AC97. It is for that reason I propose anyone serious about music and sound design for gaming to get TWO sound cards, one for testing and general enjoyment, and the other for actual design work. Basically, you can switch between the two soundcards under Control Panel without any kind of problems. However, I have noticed that SOME games will get confused if you have both soundcards enabled, which will either result in the game defaulting to a software only mode (which happened to me with FEAR) or the game will start producing some audible distortion (which happened to me with Oblivion). But the simple solution is just to go into Device Manager and temporarily disable the professional sound card when you are running a game. My current setup is exactly this same way, with an MBox Pro and Soundblaster X-FI extreme music in the same system. Works like a charm! -Noise