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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. A few answers based on how I work, may not be for you, just my two cents on the subject.    1) What is best way to collect and organize a bunch of note's and idea's? A. This can vary but I have found Articy Draft to be a great tool to store your thoughts regarding characters, story, even map ideas, etc. http://www.nevigo.com/en/articydraft/overview/ Prior to this I would use old school pencil + paper in a large notepad and write down any thoughts that came to mind. I would carry this over to a word document which contained a more final version of the story, this step has been replaced with Articy Draft, and I find myself brainstorming using this software now.  *Edit* The Articy Draft tool has student and education pricing as well I believe. Thought this was work adding since it can appear as expensive for someone starting out.    2) How should I put the story together once I have enough notes and idea's for the game? A. This is the part which requires some dedication, it is part creative thinking, and part sit down and just start writing. Set a block of time aside for yourself which is dedicated to writing and use that time to brainstorm and think about how your character(s) will be progressing from event A to event B in your story. Part of this is creative in the sense that you will get some 'cha-ching!' moments when you connect the dots spontaneously with an idea that just jumps to mind. The other half is actually theorizing what is missing from this chapter / story, what obstacles do my characters need, does this make sense. I would reccomend watching this clip regarding creativity from John Cleese back in the 90's. It is old but it is brilliant, and it is also explains why setting a certain amount of time aside for this sort of thing is importnant. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmY4-RMB0YY   3) Should I name the game after the direction the story takes and the story is all written and finalized. Or should I figure out a name then have the story develop around the name I have picked out? A. I have trouble naming things as I am working through them because things about the story change, or how I interpret the meaning of the story changes, I usually end up naming things after they are close to completion. (A lot of my work stays 'open' because I hate finalizing things completely ). Names to me are typically a reflection about what the story meaning is, or a summary of their journey, or even named after the character if the story is heavily focused through the viewpoint of that one character.  4) Should the storyboard be included inside the design document for the game. Or should it be a separate document in itself? A. Story boarding is the act of connecting different story panels together, traditionally used in comics, and animation. It is unlikely you are going to storyboard the entire story, otherwise you would have a lot of panels, but it is not unrealistic for your to storyboard the climatic events in your story, or choices for the dialogue in your story. These junctions can be story boarded in your game design document as more detailed examples of the event in that part of the story. General rule, there is no size constraint for your design document, if you are willing to put more info into the design to clarify things for those on the team then definitely add more information, as long as it does not confuse those who are reading it.   5) Where do I begin after all my other questions have been answered?  A. If your goal is create the story for the game, then begin writing. Even if you are not 100% sure where your story is going, or what the story might be, set some time aside which is dedicated to writing and all things creative and just start. Writing down the story to events that happen at the end or the middle of the story is fine, you don't need to write it from beginning to end, just write what you have, and start somewhere. The important thing is that you START, not how or where you start. 
  2. I agree with Jbadams, not a lot of depth here in this post, but I appreciate you providing encouragement to others and trying to consolidate some basic tutorials for these platforms.    I am not sure what your skill level is at, but your post almost feels like you yourself are trying to break through that learning curve and this is a method you are using to help you wrap your head around the different platforms and methods to publishing a game. If that is the case there are some great tutorial links to some of these platforms like Unity in the forums, one great link since I have it handy is, http://walkerboystudio.com/html/unity_training___free__.html.   Otherwise if you have some experience with one or more of these platforms and are looking to contribute, I would love to see some more tutorials coming from you. Even if you are not an expert, these 'tutorials' can be good for others and yourself as a learning mechanism, as long as the information is accurate of course. 
  3. @Sun, Yeah I was talking about life drawing. I am not at the point where art is required, I am still working out the mechanics in the code, and I am just using blocks and so forth to represent the characters. I understand what you are saying and I don't expect to be able to draw quality character models by the time art is required, this is something I am doing for my own interest to see if it is something I enjoy, and if so will continue to work at it. If I give it some patience and time I think I will begin to enjoy it, I just want a way to express some of my thoughts on paper as I feel artistically stuck. I am dabbling in different mediums, writing, drawing, etc to see what appeals the most. I use to be able to draw somewhat in school but seemed to have lost a bit of that over the years. That is the frustrating part, being able to visualize something in detail but not being able to reproduce that on paper.
  4. Thank you Sun! I have watched a couple artists demonstrate some of Andrew Loomis's techniques, particularly with drawing the heads proportions, and I did find it very useful. I think I have forgot them now, so maybe I should pick up a copy myself!   While it's not my goal to necessarily be able to draw still life (trust me that goal would be far far away anyhow) I have read that in order to draw anime, and other none proportionate styles, it is important to understand the proper physical proportions. Something about drawing anime is a form of abstraction, taking away from what would normally be there, and you cannot properly abstract from a drawing without understand what should be there to begin with.    This scares me since I am a complete beginner, and my motivation is to create my own game art since I am doing a solo game project which has no artist. I support I just have to be patient and practice, and nothing I do right now has to be perfect anyway.   Love anime btw.
  5. Prinz, thank you for the advice, I have already ordered the recommended book through Amazon and should arrive by Tuesday! Your article is amazing, so full of information, it will take a multiple reviews to let some of that sink in.    I was previously familiar with the concept that a typical human proportion is about 7-8 heads in length, how do you utilize that when you are drawing? Are you constantly aware of this while you are sketching, or is something that new artists should be aware of until they are comfortable sizing up their sketches without measuring? Obviously the proportion is based on the look the artist is going for, but if one wanted to keep things proportionate, do they measure each drawing? 
  6. I have been working with Corona for a while and I find the APIs very straight forward, and they are always improving on what is already there, and the forums / community is extremely active and helpful. If you are concerned with costs there is http://cocos2d.org/ which I believe is completely free and uses LUA similar to many of the other SDKs for mobile. Another route would be to go with Unity and utilize the 2D kit that is available, more expensive when you want to go and publish but their framework is tried and true.   I have been enjoying working with Corona, and it is free to start, so my point goes to Corona if I had to choose one. Even when you want to publish the cost is minimal compared to some of the other SDKs out there. 
  7. I reviewed some of the stickies in this section and the drawing resources has a few links to some sites with tutorials but I don't think any of them are a good starting point for me.    I want to learn how to draw adequately so I can start doing some of my own game art. I was hoping someone could provide me with a good source for some real beginner tutorials to help define good habits when getting started. I am not going for full on photo realistic portraits, but in the end I would like to be able to perform some sketched out concepts for art in the game.    Any ideas where I to start, some targeted tutorials would be very helpful.   Thank you!
  8. Isn't C# one of the supported languages for the Unity engine? I am not sure what your goal is, but if it is simply creating a game then you could continue learning C# and leverage Unity's engine using that language to create a game. Finding a project you are passionate about I think is very important to motivation. I never follow through on projects which are purely stepping stones, I learn better working on a project that may seem out of reach but taking the time to learn each step in detail along the way. Takes longer but feels good completing a project which is all yours. 
  9. It's funny you should use Dark Souls as an example as that is one of my current favorite games.    To me a system like that would make sense, I suppose a more complicated equation would only be required if you had need for controlling the growth of the player in a certain way. Leveling faster in the beginning for example, or having a large leveling curve the higher you get, which would be similar to Dark Souls 'cost' to level using souls.   I was hoping to more or less get a math primer geared towards gaming, both for a reference and to brush up on some math I haven't done in a few years since high school :P.   You make up your example on the fly? 
  10. I am just looking for a good starting point which describes how to build your own combat mechanics and player growth mechanics. This obviously varies from game to game, does anyone know any books which covers the match required to build the basic mechanics common rpgs would use, or perhaps a detailed article.    I don't have a lot of math education so I need to cover what aspects of algebra and pre-calculus would help when making these calculations, things like linear vs exponential algorithms for stat / combat calculation.    Anyone know a good article or book to get started? 
  11. Good post, the only thing I don't agree with is discouraging the user of SDKs. I think it depends on what the developer/designers focus is. For instance, I am not a programmer by trade, and I do not desire to be a "developer" of sorts, but I need to know how to program to execute my design and create my game. I am not trying to cut corners or ignore core principles which may cause more memory to be utilized or create a poor design, I am learning as much as I can and soaking up the knowledge, but I find Corona and other similar SDKs to be a very good bridge to help me learn, and receive results. This encourages me to continue learning more, designing more, and at the end of the day I get to compile and build a version of my game which is playable.
  12. I have been reviewing this link along with some tutorials from tutplus. I actually didn't give the programming guide on Lua's site enough of a chance before moving on, but it is actually very good. The tutorials at tutplus below are a good flash introduction for new Lua users who are looking to use the Corona SDK for mobile development. I think getting well acquainted with the language itself is important before trying to build anything with any SDK, so I will continue my reading on lua.org. http://mobile.tutsplus.com/series/build-an-endless-runner-game-from-scratch/
  13. Perhaps I need to be more specific. I am choosing to learn LUA first, does anyone have any good tutorials they would like to share for this language?
  14. Just got a Mac (not the retina version unfortunately) and this looks like a great solution for the cost. It is on [url="http://www.pixelmator.com/#footer"]sale [/url]right now as well for $29.99, down from $59.99.
  15. Hello Everyone, To keep it short so I don't bore anyone with the details, I want to begin creating games as a side project for the iPhone. I am using Corona SDK with LUA as my language and framework to work with. I am not a programmer, but I work with clients every day to assist them with integrating into our APIs for our company (I work for an online payment gateway). I am familiar and comfortable with PHP and MySQL, but I have never been able to comfortably wrap my head around object oriented design. I am asking for some help in understanding this concept and hope that some of you from the Gamedev community can assist me with some good tutorials and explanations. I believe learning a language can be easy, but learning the core competencies which help with developing the framework of the game/application is very difficult and applies to all languages. When I try to think about how I will write the code for a game, I get frustrated because I have no idea where to start. Dazzle me, and test me, I am not afraid of low level languages if you have good targeted tutorials.