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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. I am working on a side scroller akin to Golden Axe, TMNT, and the old Shadows over Mystara games.  I'm looking at several ways to create my levels and was wanting feedback on anyone who has created a similar side scroller and was wondering what you used to create your levels?   I can use Unity itself, though I'm not sure if that's the route I want to take.     I can use Blender to generate a model of the level.   I could use the asset store and get Pro Builder but that costs $100.     Any advice would be welcome.
  2. It is important to note:  XNA is not a language.  It is a framework.  And it is not going away... it is just not being enhanced.  It is still perfectly viable to use XNA to develop your games in.   However if you do not understand C# (the language that you use to make XNA go) then you wouldn't understand XNA anyway.  You don't mention any goals or anything really.   I moved from XNA to Unity because Unity gives me an engine that I don't have to monkey with as I am not interested in programming engines, and I can also use C# to develop with, which is my primary language.
  3. http://baelsoubliette.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/project-genesis-adding-target-reticle/#comment-12
  4. Your first step is to learn the language.  You can't learn to sprint before you even know how to stand up, let alone walk.   Patience is the key.  Learning the language and then setting your sights on cloning some basic games like Pong, Tetris, etc... are what I would recommend.  XNA is fine to develop in.  It is a stable platform that will work for a long time to come.     Best of luck
  5. My advice is to pick a language and get comfortable with it.  At that point, scripting in Unity will be much easier (assuming you are picking up either C# or javascript... both are similar and both have great real world applications that can be used with it)   Don't try to sprint before you even know how to stand up.
  6. Fantastic article
  7. I second the above.  EVE ONLINE is good inspiration for a solid design in a good interactive MMO design.   The game has been going a long time as well which is a solid indicator that its designers did something very right.
  8. Link is up now.  I'm looking at some.  I appreciate that they show what they are supposed to be doing, but again its a matter of being able to read and understand why they are doing the things that they are doing that always get me.   I think I just need people to write shaders for me lol and then I can apply them and work with them.  
  9. I haven't yet.  That'll be for an upcoming blog post     That's the part I'm having difficulty with.  When we say to alpha blend the sun into the background, I kind of understand that to a point but not fully.  Also I am using the Unity engine so not sure how much control over alpha blending I have (I'm sure there is a degree that it lets me work with but I also don't have the $1500 full version so my rendering tools are limited)
  10. When I remove the lens flare I don't like how the scene looks, so for now I'm keeping it in.  My ability with shaders etc is extremely limited (one of the things that has kept me out of 3D programming all this time) and I can't find any good tutorials written in english for it, so I'm having to use what I know and build up from there.  If I can figure out how to render a sun better, I'll be sure to try it.  I'm going for what looks cool right now vs what is more realistic.   Added a bearing compass last night in relative postiion to the compass.  Last step is making the sun stay in the same relative position as the ship which I am hoping to knock out today.  
  11. For my sun I'm rendering it like a billboard now.  I'm dealing with some lens flare issues trying to make it look right... but we'll see how that goes.  
  12. From a professional standpoint, a lot of businesses still use xml as their data markup language.  I think that carries over into the gaming industry as well simply because of the sheer number of objects that support it.
  13. Well most of the objects in the system that you would want to visit should be selectable via the interface and bracketed.  If you are looking for a ship or an asteroid, once you are in the area of that object, you should be able to select it from a targeting array and bracket the object to help identify it.  Space flight games from the 90s did this and that's also how EVE works.     Loading screens and rooms are not how I want to design the game, because it creates a suspension between the game immersion.  I conducted a couple polls on this very thing and the vast majority preferred seamless movement.  This is not always possible, and I plan on having a warp screen for moving between systems but between planets its very doable simply because the engine speed is not moving as it would today.  No one would want to play a game if they had to go to the moon base to collect ore and it took three days of actual time to get there.   When having to travel to a location, there will be beacon objects that the user selects from the nav computer and then the engine drives can be engaged to travel to that beacon.  I haven't figured out a good system time of travel yet but I would like it comparable to eve.  So zipping from the earth to mars should take no longer than say 10 seconds.  I *could* use a room which would mean I have some kind of transition screen and then mars appears based on the scene I create but me personally would find this implementation chincy after getting used to games like EVE that move you around the system visibly.  As I write games mainly to entertain myself, I don't want rooms.   I'm not seeing the user interface conventions I am rejecting so I am a little confused to the comment.  I would not in a million years dream up a system where the player has to rely on computer dots to navigate or find an asteroid in a field of thousands to land on without the aid of the system to identify the asteroid and go into an "orbit".  I'm not interested in making a 100% realistic simulator of space, that would probably frustrate most people than it would be entertaining.