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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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About geolycosa

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  1. Have you thought about "pen and paper" game design? Making board games or pen and paper role playing games are great ways to build your design skills and your portfolio. Modding games is another way to get some programming experience without being overwhelmed by the hard-core programming aspects of making games. When I'm reviewing portfolios for new design hires, I expect to see some modding and scripting experience.
  2. Scripts are also considered "content" by most console manufacturers. Patching content is significantly easier and cheaper than patching the executable once the game is live.
  3. If you want to be a programmer in this business, the single best thing you can do for yourself is learn C++. It's what we make games with (especially console games). Read and grok these three books, in the following order: [url="http://www.amazon.com/Primer-Plus-5th-Stephen-Prata/dp/0672326973/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1309375076&sr=8-1"]C++ Primer Plus (5th Edition)[/url] [url="http://www.amazon.com/Mathematics-Programming-Computer-Graphics-Second/dp/1584502770/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1309375185&sr=1-3"]Mathematics for 3D Game Programming and Computer Graphics (2nd Edition)[/url] [url="http://www.amazon.com/Real-Time-Rendering-Third-Tomas-Akenine-Moller/dp/1568814240/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1309375222&sr=1-1"]Real-Time Rendering (3rd Edition)[/url] When you make it through those, you'll be in good shape.
  4. I would highly recommend the Game Programming Gems series. It's a great catalog of "in the trenches" techniques. Also, David Eberly has written several excellent books on game engine design.
  5. [quote name='rApp' timestamp='1304351855' post='4805502'] I've read some of the different links you have provided me but i still don't really get where I should start... :/ If I wanna start simple, a square that gives you light to a scene. -Is this "easy" to make? If yes, where do i start? I've tried to find tutorials that is 2D and with XnA but i havent found a single one that works.. All the others seems to be working with 3D which i dont wanna get into right now. Sorry for being a pain [/quote] You're not going to find a tutorial on exactly how to do this in 2D (it's not something that's commonly done), but the 3D implementations you're probably looking at are very close to the 2D ones (the math and setup are exactly the same). If you want an XNA implementation of light pre-pass, check out J. Coluna's excellent [url="http://jcoluna.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/xna-4-0-light-pre-pass/"]post[/url] on the subject. If these links don't make sense to you, this lighting implementation might be out of your reach at this point. I would recommend finding some basic XNA tutorials on shader-based per-pixel lighting (even though they are 3D) and figure out how they work. It's simple to take those techniques and use them for 2D.
  6. [quote name='rApp' timestamp='1304349528' post='4805480'] [quote name='geolycosa' timestamp='1304349197' post='4805476'] [quote name='rApp' timestamp='1304348102' post='4805465'] Geolycosa, how are you making the rest of the map black? Are you placing some kind of texture over the whole scene or are you drawing that with a black color if the "light" can't reach? [/quote] I use three maps to compute light at each pixel: a normal map, a specular / diffuse intensity map, and a color map. The specular / diffuse intensity map modulates the specular and diffuse light contribution to each pixel. [/quote] Okey, how are these maps made? I mean like, are there three different textures? (Have they been made by you using a program like photoshop or are they made "on the run"?) If they are made "on the run", do you have any good tutorials for this? As far as i've reached now im only printing a 1x1px texture stretching the whole screens resolution, and then just fades this using COLOR in the Draw-method.. This doesnt feel like im doing it right! [/quote] There are three different textures used per material. I used Photoshop to create the color and light intensity maps. For the intensity maps, I have diffuse intensity in RGB and specular intensity in A. The normal maps were generated in a program called [url="http://www.crazybump.com/"]Crazy Bump[/url]. Crazy bump is pretty good at generating normal maps from organic looking images (rocks and stuff), but not so good at making maps for non-organic surfaces. For that, I would suggest actually modeling the shapes in a 3D modeling application (Google's [url="http://sketchup.google.com/"]SketchUp[/url] will suffice) and generating the normal maps that way.
  7. [quote name='rApp' timestamp='1304348102' post='4805465'] Geolycosa, how are you making the rest of the map black? Are you placing some kind of texture over the whole scene or are you drawing that with a black color if the "light" can't reach? [/quote] I use three maps to compute light at each pixel: a normal map, a specular / diffuse intensity map, and a color map. The specular / diffuse intensity map modulates the specular and diffuse light contribution to each pixel. I don't compute a "ray" so to speak. The lighting process is detailed on Engel's blog, but essentially it works by rendering in these passes: Geometry Pass (out: gbuffer) - Encode position and normal vectors into a gbuffer Light Pass (out: light buffer) - For each light, sampling the gbuffer, render light color * N.L * attenuation in R, G, and B channels, then the specular contribution in the A channel. Render with additive blending. Material Pass (in: light buffer) - Forward render each object and compute light by sampling the light buffer. Again, if you're really interested in the nuts and bolts of this, I would encourage you to study Engel's work on the subject.
  8. For my 2D games, I wrote a light pre-pass renderer as described by Wolfgang Engel [url="http://diaryofagraphicsprogrammer.blogspot.com/2008/03/light-pre-pass-renderer.html"]here[/url]. I wrote it as if I were writing a 3D renderer, but was able to take some geometric shortcuts because I knew the game was a 2D platformer. The image below shows the results (light pre-pass + tone mapping + bloom). The material on the tiles use normal and specular maps in addition to their diffuse color. The characters are rendered without light. [img]http://dev.willrmiller.com/BurgerQuest/BurgerQuest10.png[/img] Using this approach, my engine supports hundreds of dynamic lights at very high framerates. Most 2D engines that have lighting aren't this complex though. You can get acceptable results by simply rendering your lights with additive blending after you've rendered the rest of your scene. You should check out a game called [url="http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=18578.0"]The Archer[/url] which is being developed over at TIGSource for an example of this.
  9. Publishers very rarely take unsolicited game ideas or game design documents from the public. They do this for liability reasons. If you send in a game idea, and they reject it but later make a game that is very similar, it's grounds for a lawsuit (even if they never read your pitch). This has happened in the film industry a couple of times, and is why film production companies don't accept unsolicited screenplays. Best of luck with your game idea. Female gamers are extremely underrepresented (especially core female gamers). Somebody needs to make games for them!
  10. Were I teaching a realtime shader class, I would probably give an overview of popular lighting techniques like deferred rendering and light pre-pass rendering.
  11. You could compile the C++ as a DLL using Visual C++, GCC, or something similar, then link it at runtime. Just know that there are much better and more practical approaches to this. Consider a scripting language like Lua or Python. Or have your engine generate XML or JSON when storing level data - these are much easier to load up and use.
  12. You can't compile C++ at runtime. That being said, I have seen the Tiny C Compiler (found [url="http://bellard.org/tcc/"]here[/url]) used to compile C code at runtime and execute it. It's reasonably fast, but still not a popular solution when programming games. I'm still not quite understanding this code generator you have made. Did you write it yourself, or are you referring to the "designer view" in Visual Studio .NET (or something similar)? Both [url="http://www.unity3d.com"]Unity[/url] and the [url="http://udk.com/"]UDK[/url] are free to use. You will not be able to take whatever C++ code you're generating and run it in either of these engines. Unity is programmed using C#, JavaScript, or Boo. The UDK is programmed using UnrealScript and Kismet. I would advise you to check these engines out and learn how to use them before you try to write your own engine (if you write an engine at all - you should be writing games instead). Both of these engines have large communities and great resources to help you learn. They are both suitable for commercial and small-scale projects.
  13. Unity has an embedded Mono runtime, which JIT-compiles .NET bytecode. The UDK uses UnrealScript, which is compiled to bytecode, and interpreted by Unreal's virtual machine. I'm not really understanding what exactly you have made. A code generator? Please elaborate.
  14. Also [url="http://www.scaleform.com/products/gfx"]Scaleform[/url]
  15. Linus Torvalds (somewhat angrily) on the subject: [url="http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.comp.version-control.git/57643/focus=57918"]link[/url] EDIT: Also [url="http://www.realworldtech.com/forums/index.cfm?action=detail&id=110618&threadid=110549&roomid=2"]here[/url].