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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 RivieraKid

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  1. I played Resident Evil 1-3 + Code Veronic to death, making it through them knife only or no saves etc.
  2.   I agree with everything else you said. I would like to see a comparison on the business model of 3rd party games vs 1st party games (i mean the figures/profits and incentives to invest). Supply will meet the demand for great games. Would Halo have been made? Probably not but the developers / creative people behind it would have worked for another studio and something else would have been made. We are not short on 3rd party games or investment.  I would prefer it if consoles producers would focus on great features that the customer wants - keyboard/mouse, custom controller support, mulitple monitors, modability (software), tradable games. I would trade up the slight posbility that we see less flashy inch deep launch title cannon fodder for these features in a heartbeat. I say - support great hardware, support great developer tools, support a fantastic os and features don't support corporate sales structures that restricts consumer choice or you'll just see the same crap released year in year out (oh wait...)
  3. I don't understand the problem with 1080p. I've been pc gaming for 20 years with a resolution of at least 1024 * 768. For a period i ran at 1600x1200 (~2000-2005)  and now i run at 2560*1080. I have never been one to go for the cutting edge gpu's, usually settling on a good value mid-high £200-£250 mark. I've never struggled with frame rate. What is it about consoles that has led to this 60HZ/1080P selling point? Why is this so hard to achieve? It should be easier to target a specific framerate for a console because you know the hardware. I think this move to different version of the same platform will result in 1 of these scenarios for any give game. 1) The game will be optimised for the lowest common denominator and then they will just see how far they can crank the resolution on the beefier version.  2) The game will be optimised for the beefier versions then resolution and possibly quality settings will be lowered on the lowest common denominator until 60HZ is achieved. Both are bad for different reasons. I cant see a developer micro optimizing for both - the QA is too much. Maybe someone could back me up: due to the complexity of algorithms some algorithms will scale upto 4k (LOD draw distances will also change) no problem while others will not and thus different techniques may have to be developed for the low and high versions. Also, I hate exclusives - why should i have to shell out £400 to play games when i already own a computer that can do it. There were technical reason in the past to make games exclusve (radically different hardware is 1) but now is it just a way to sucker people in. Please don't tell me exclusives help great games get made - sure it helps somewhat (debatable) - but it's not necessary. All xbox games are available on windows so comparing PS4 sales to XBOX(x) is not fair - there are customers that are not buying xbox's (and to an extend PS4's) because they have windows pcs (a microsoft product obvs) so I really think a fair comparison is (Windows + Xbox) VS PS4. I think exclusives are the only thing consoles have got going for them now. MS want to sell a great piece of kit, Sony want to sell the right to play certain games - I'm with MS even if it is a losing commercial position.
  4. Chiming in: Many, if not all, of the terror attacks are perpetrated by people born in the country they are harming.  I think the problem is that many people today feel isolated in society. This isolation turns to spite and this gives terror groups the opportunity to turn them against their own country. We need more community centres and things for people to do to help them form solid relationships in their community - they need to be cheap to access aswell. Go to the root cause.
  5. Signs of internet immaturity. When the internet becomes mature, users will stick to their ideologies and values in life rather than be swayed by the opinions of others simply because they are loud.  [Note this is different from the effect of fake news]     that doesnt really work out so well when people (social media is a multibillion $ industry) are interacting with said content from a very young age. Fake news and fake comments are coming from the same source. Mob mentallity is a real thing IRL and online.   Do you know if I am a real person?  Do I know if you are a real person?  Probably both are 'no'.     due to site history, fairly strict moderation (compared to news comments / facebook / youtube) and the fact that AI isnt that sophisticated (yet) I am 100% certain you are a real person with real views.  But in a few years If I  (or an impressionable child) reads the comments section on one of the mentioned social media sites all bets are off and I really think allowing our society, especially children in it, to be mislead by opinions that do not reflect that of actual society is very dangerous.  Fake news, bots / fake accounts - this is all under the same banner of misinformation and manipulating the opinion of the masses. We need to know the source of the information and people need to understand that the source is important.
  6. That generates at least another two new serious problems: First, how do you know a social security number is correct? Is there an international standard for these? No. Check digits? Easy to forge, much easier than writing a believeable chatbot. Does the majority of living people on the planet even have a social security number? I highly doubt that. Think of all of Africa and 90% of Asia. Do you want some definitively non-trustworthy random site on the internet to know your social security number? I certainly don't. Heck, I don't even trust Gamedev.net enough to have them execute Javascript in my browser. Apparently, I can't count to two. Assuming the random social media site is trustworthy (which it isn't) what happens in case of a security breach? Stealing your worthless Facebook password is one thing. Stealing your unique human identifier is another. Do I even want to make Police work easier? It has been proven again and again that Police / Secret Service only works against the innocent, good citizen, not against criminals. They rarely, if ever, catch a criminal (and if they do, the judge sets them free the next day). They rarely, if ever, prevent a known hard criminal offender from further harming innocent people even when they have evidence of criminal behavior and concrete knowledge of immediate danger (look at Manchester last week, or Berlin some moths ago). Why would I want to help these people further invade my privacy as an innocent person than they already do? The better solution, in my opinion, would be to simply say "fuck social media". It's not good for anything anyway. This week, it's been on the news that according to some study blah blah 20% (or was it 30%, I forgot) of young people feel isolated, lonely, alienated. Go figure, if they'd just put away their fucking cellphone and scratch posting stuff on Facebook for a few hours per day, they might risk interacting with real humans. Problem solved.   I completely agree with all of your points. The practicalities suck ass. Though the authentication system would not be under the control of the website you are visiting which ticks off some of your points. You would be redirected to a trusted site (probably an internationally recognized non government body) and the site you are visiting would get a token.  My main concern is with exploiting anonymity to falsly represent a loud minority of people to sway public opinion. This was done IRL during WW2, I dont think I have to explain the horrific behaviour of people when it appears acceptable to behave in a certain way. I dont actually care about social media in any other case. Simply have a little green triangle next to the user name to identify posts which are guaranteed free human users. 
  7. [Edit, typo in topic i know :(] Hi all, I have come to the conclusion that with the current rules/systems governing the internet at some point it will become impossibe to determine if an anonymous user is a human user or an automated (AI) user. I think it is already impossible to determine for simple comments on social media. I don't know when but eventually AI will be good enough to hold a basic conversation compared to the average social media user - lets face it, its not uncommon to encounter total idiocy and to discount that as a dumbass user. There are reports of governments using social media to sway public opinion. My wife just texted me that she noticed that NASA get lots of trolls but ESA get very little. Just another piece of circumstancial evidence to throw onto the already massive pile. The only solution I see to this problem is to prevent (and make illegal in some cases) public comments without associating with a social security number  (or some other form of real world identification). This would also cut down on police work which is currently using up valuable time that could be spent investigating real world crimes. As it stands we have a comparable situation to standing in trafalgar square with a loud speaker but nobody can see you - you have some cloaking technology. If you want to use the internet then social media noise is completely unavoidable, in the same way it is unavoidable for school children who are being bullied on social media. "Dont like it - Dont use it" is not acceptable and it is obviously not acceptable to say "well, dont go to trafalgar square if you dont like the invisible people with loud speakers". Yet there are people who claim anonymous public posting is some sort of right - it is not - it is just how it has been until now.  To my knowledge there has never been a public agreement/constitution that declares the right to spout your opinions publicly while the listener is prevented from obtaining your identity. There have been some court cases and ruling but as is clear the government is benefiting from anonymity. In any case it should be clear to the listener if the user has chosen to remain anonymous or not. I think if a private forum like GameDev wishes to allow anomymous posting that is fine but I think most places would adopt the rule "anomymous posting is forbidden" pretty quickly as the most popular sites would be the ones where you know you are talking to humans. The places it would be illegal are news outlets, government press releases, official feeds. It would be clear to the users which parts of the internet are open to anonymous users and which are not. I realise it would take a lot of technical changes to the internet and global agreement but tbh, its going to happen as soon as people start complaining when they realise they have been chatting with bots on youtube comments. There will always be outlets for anonymous posting (in the case of safety) but in general, just like I dont listen to the views of people if I dont know who they are IRL I will stop visiting sites if I can't confirm that I am actually interacting with a real person.
  8. Those are all features of counter-strike, not exploits. Seriously, seeing through smoke and shooting at players who can't see you is a feature of the gameplay. If you don't pre-aim at targets through walls with your powers of prediction or snap aim from one target to the next in as few frames as mechanically possible, then you get vote-kicked out of competitive mode matches by your team after being called a noob...      whatever, sure people play well as ive explained and I have done so (since CS beta 2, yes they had grenades and movement then too) but you cant know where some one's head is before you've seen them. 1/20 active players are getting banned regularly, mostly through overwatch. Savvy cheaters play good enough to come top of the game but not good enough to get noticed.   I dont even know what kind of motive someone would have to argue this way against statistics and the industry response to the problem. Maybe you feel it tarnishes your little niche hobbie somehow - similar to when football fans get annoyed by suggesting the industry is corrupt and its all money. Its been 20 years since quake2. Some people don't have time to play to such lengths but have done so in the past. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, couldn't be arsed anymore. If you dont want to be part of the solution don't join in the conversation. Additional: If i wanted to get good at a challenging game CS:GO would be pretty low on the list. In my past i've never struggled to come consistently top of the game. Other games have proved to be significantly harder.
  9. most of your points i already know and are easily countered. However, on your last point, I find its more like going to play poker underground and if you cheat you will get your fingers broken but if you cheat in vegas you'll just get thrown out. Private servers usually have admins floating around and also have repeat visitors. There is no sense for cheaters to frequent the same servers. Sticking to a clan server is your best bet to avoid cheaters.
  10. Sure, I've been there done that. Like i said, I used to play a lot, I was frequently at the top of matches. I know all the tricks. The statistics on cheaters are accurate, the price of cheats has dropped due to volume increase. The churn of CS:GO sales is ongoing because of cheaters and valve have acted to address this in the past. I know it is possible to score just as highly as many cheaters (most of which are probably very young and use poor tactics), this is not a rant about sucking, I expect to lose because I'm out of practice and not using M/K. I was encouraged to do some reading around the frequency. Most cheaters are trying to hide their cheats, go read the cheater forums, this is what it is all about. Anti-cheat software isn't effective, a cheat isn't worth anything, lots of them go undetected. BF1 doesn't have any form of anti cheat, just statistical analysis yet cheaters were recorded in the beta and on day 1 of release. Why do you think they didn't bother? Why do we have overwatch if the cheats are detected? Im not going to post links to cheat forum threads on undetectable cheats here but you can google for them yourself. Your attitude is part of the problem, you can take offense to that if you want but maybe if gamers had called out the problem sooner companies developing cheats might have had a tougher market to break into.
  11. it would be interesting to see a mix between turn based and realtime. I can see a couple of systems: 1) Each player makes turne based options and then as the turn plays out you have real time options. 2) Turn lengths are decided by each player. Turns spend points and turns that are larger in scope, e.g. move 10 units across the board vs move 5 (twice) would be more efficient but you would have less control. You could group a series of moves into 1 turn and let them play out. The other player could then react to your large set piece. If your move is interupted by a quicker move your move would be interupted and you would get a free reaction turn. explaining that in more detail. imagine an 10*10 board. Player piece A is at 0,0 opponent piece B is at 5,5 A moves from 0,0 to 0,10 Opponent can see this trijectory and moves B from 5,5 to 0,5. A fight begins. Player can also see Opponents move but cant do anything since his turn is longer. If it was short (like 3 squares, he would be able to make another move after his piece has reach 0,3 before the oponent has reached 0,5. Ofc the oponent would not have made this move if he saw the player moving to 0,3. My head hurts!
  12. Overwatch, Diablo, DOTA, Skyrim, Call of Duty to name a few realtime games with cooldowns. Also turn based games like XCom might have a cooldown to stop you from using an ability every turn.    I took from the OP that he was asking about limited users 'speed' which could put a focus on strategy over age of empires / c&c first to the gold/tiberium rush mechanic that decides a lot of matches (an interesting thought experiment). You have described gameplay mechanics e.g an AOE weapon which you have to wait 30 seconds to use again. Maybe I am mistaken.
  13. Hi all, I don't want to be that guy who comes onto a forum to whinge about getting pwned in cs. I would like to discuss what has really taken me by surprise and alarm. Basically, after quite a hiatus in online gaming I decided to buy CS:GO. The caveat is that I am using the steam controller. I've clocked several fps's with it and I have been getting better though still trouble with the harder bots in ut2k4. Basically, I'm not expecting to win. I've clocked 1000's of hours in my past - basically every fps worth playing ever since 1996. I know what a fair game feels like. 1st game of CS:GO. Getting shot through smoke (actually every game i was getting shot through smoke), watching other players aiming through walls as they approaching their target. Aiming snapping from 1 target to the next while spamming M60. So I did some research on forums - some players laying down some rough stats, tagging everyone them play with and then seeing how many were banned 6 months later.  It would appear that at least 3% of regularly active pc gamers are cheating in some detectable form. That is the lowest figure from these stats. Some guy who did this test has 11% banned 3 months later (certain times of year attract more cheaters and bans usually get sent out in batches before a big release/patch/holiday season). 1 guy said that of the 30 people he reported in the last month all of them were banned.  In a 16 players match you will encounter a cheater every other game at least. In bf4 there will be a cheater in every game. VAC is banning 10,000 cheaters per month.  Note that we are only counting cheaters that are caught. There are ways to limit your exposure to cheaters by joining specific local servers or servers with active admins / clan members. CS:GO is £10, valve has to take CS:GO out of the sale weekends because they were selling far more than expected and the accounts were not becoming active until after a ban wave. Some players have dozens of accounts and they use a different account on a rotating basis so they get less reports and land at the bottom of the video pile (of which there is a never ending amount) and don't rank up too quickly. In CS:GO if a cheater is banned and you played with him on the winning team you lose points, if you played on the opposing team you get the lost points back. The round is declared null and void. When the ban waves are sent out people are gaining/losing points in noticeable quantities automatically. A glossary of words is now common that I have never encountered before. Prefiring and Spinbotting to name a couple.  Overwatch - the latest social anti cheating tool where you can report recorded video for banning. This has come about because anti-cheat software isn't effective and cheating is a big problem. TL:DR Cheating is quite widespread, its not just noobs moaning.  My big questions is, what can we do? It seams like an unwinnable situation. I think I could write a packet sniffer / man in the middle proxy and get a working wallhack overlay with about 10-20 hrs of dev, I could also route mouse commands through the OS to make an aim assist. This would be completely undetectable by any anti cheat. As long as I didn't obviously stare through walls I would never get banned. Anticheat isn't scanning your machine for other programs, even if it was it wouldnt have a clue what they were doing. You can run screen capture with framerate overlay and it isn't flagged as a cheat. You can really only detect sloppy DLL hooks, binary modification and obvious aimbotting. Herein lies the problem. Reading plain characters from a port is completely insecure. I would propose that a custom network card is developed that has hardware decryption (they can make the key untracable right??). If a packet is flagged as such the first X bytes (encrypted) get written to memory and then the game directly talks to the NIC, each read is hardware decrypted. The remaining bytes pass through as normal to the port. I'm not big up on security and drivers, maybe someone here could tell if this is possible. I doubt it would ever happen and if it did it would take a long time for hardware vendors to adopt it, it would need to be a special deal between valve and a manufacturer, and then incorporated into match-making - some servers require the device. To cheat with this you would need to know the key and modify the driver which I think could be detected though I'm not sure, its probably possible to spoof anything when you have full control. I think when games are patched to stop cheaters they are really just breaking the cheats. If the order of the packet data changes or memory is in a different order then the cheats will break until the cheat developer corrects it. I think this is interpreted by the gaming community as improved anti cheat protection and more bans but I don't think that has been true for a long time. TL;DR. How the hell do we stop them?
  14. I feel like there's this weird sense of WebGL + Canvas + HTML5 not being capable of delivering games, but I'd argue that's not true anymore.  WebGL support has grown enough in the last while that I'd feel confident using it to make some pretty decent games- and there's a reasonable amount of stuff done with Unity or Unreal's web players (or Phaser etc. or from scratch) to show that it's doable.  There's a very low barrier to entry, and you get multi-platform out of the box (given your game gets along with different browsers). The real issue, IMO, is that there's not really any money in it.  If the goal is for the game to be a direct source of income, then web isn't really a viable platform - but advertising games, kids games, content associated with other media or something, stuff to drive traffic to your website, etc. make a lot more sense. I think we see fewer web games in the sense of what you'd see on newgrounds mostly because mobile has hijacked that market, and because indie devs have a lot more options now.   I understand that there are ways to make good games that run in the web. Any plugin can be installed that can give you a desktop experience. The problem is that these alternatives are not backed by the big companies and they will never get proper support on mobile / xplatform. This is why there are no web games, because the mobile apps don't work in desktop browsers and desktop browser plugins (is webgl on mobile?) don't work on mobile.   I just find it ironic that people slated Silverlight and Flash for being proprietary and made arguments like "no one wants to install silverlight" (meanwhile firefox popup asks for updates every 2 weeks) or "you'll be locked into M$!!". But people are willing to pay $600 for the latest phone which by most accounts is only so fast so it can play the latest games. And the devs are lapping up the proprietary single platform tools like its going out of fashion. Understand me, I'm not a fan of javascript, any junior dev that attempting to write a scripting language interpreter writes javascript by default, its inception was a hack. I prefer modern tools/languages. I would much rather there be a single well designed stack from a couple of big companies shared across all platforms but I understand that people dont want to beholden to the man - its just that that freedom stops when the money starts (as app stores) so I'm generally annoyed that great solutions have been killed off in the name of open standards only to be replaced by worse solutions down the line. Nothing is cross platform, if they were your desktop browser would have access to every game on ios/android/windows phone and the OP wouldnt be asking this question.
  15. there is currently no incentives for web technology to improve. Infact there are many reasons the big firms (apple, google, microsoft) dont want to see any form of desktop/native experience in a web browser. 1) They want you to use their proprietory technology to build an "app" as you have to pay for this and you'll get locked into their dev system which encourages you to continue making apps for their platform. 2) They want to lock their customers into their eco system (though not as much a problem as it was the feeling amongst users is still "i cant switch to PlatformX because i have all these apps on PlatformY") 3) They want to sell apps through the app store and not allow apps to be accessed through the web. Only text/video is encouraged here. and the dev tools / code are different between each platform. Fab... Of course this is the exact opposite of what all of those people championing HTML5 wanted, we were told canvas and opengl would deliver games.  We are having the wool pulled over our eyes, W3C is a total farse.