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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. Thanks everyone! I don't know if it would be worth the trouble adding the in-game editor from the start (would be quicker to just make a standalone one for me to use), but now I'm really thinking I may add in one for players. It definitely sounds fun! The engine can support it easily, and I wrote it, so either way!   On the subject of the Smash Bros editor, I didn't play much Brawl (played a ton of the original and Melee), but I've been playing the Wii U one. The level editor does not allow for as much "prettifying" as I'd have liked :-(
  2. I'm designing my next game, and I'm almost done designing all the boring super-important stuff like "what is an item?" (it's all highly philosophical) I was writing up exactly how the level editor should work, and I got to thinking that it might be fun to have an in-game level editor. However, try as I might, I can't think of a way in which that would actually be more USEFUL than a standalone level editor.   Has anyone got any experience with both, from a level designing/creating perspective? Has anyone got any opinions on them from a player perspective? Are they potentially super-rad like it sounds right now? Or should I go to bed and design the level editor in the morning, which is in like 2 hours anyway?
  3.   Absolutely. Anything can be fun to the right person.   Agreed. Although I just finished setting up a Linux box to cross-compile my game engine stuff (Windows 32/64 bit, Linux 32/64 bit, OS X 64 bit, Android arm/armv7a/x86), and I had never cross-compiled anything before (not counting running someone's cross compile script to build their project). THAT was... an interesting few bleary-eyed days. I'd like to meet the person who would find that fun. Now that it works I'm having a ball though.
  4. If you are distributing software over the web, then you are pretty much stuck with lowest-common-denominator on each platform, to avoid alienating potential customers.   On Windows that would be Zip or a graphical installer. On Mac it is either Zip or an Apple disk image (installers are possible, but frowned upon for most software). On Linux it tends to be a tar file, using either gzip or bzip2 compression (not zip - a windows-friendly unzip isn't always installed).   OK, that is about what I expected to hear. My current setup is in fact .zip for Windows, .tar.bz2 for Linux, and .dmg for OS X (and .apk for Android :-P). I've been operating on the mostly made-up assumption that this was a good idea, but it's good to hear others agree. Although I sure would prefer to use fancy other formats... guess I'll have to stick with using those fun formats for storing/sending development stuff. (Can a compression algorithm/format be fun?)
  5. If you want to distribute software try to avoid artifical barrier, therefor zip is one of the best solutions (native windows support !).   An other quite common way is to use an installer software which will handle compression and is delivered as out-of-the-box executable. For example take a look at nsis .   Yes, that is why I am still using .zip currently. It's probably the best solution on Windows. I forgot to mention that I have actually used an installer previously for Windows (Inno Setup), and that seemed to work really well, too. I just prefer using archives (both easier to create and easier to use, imo), so I usually use those, especially for non-commercial stuff (releases of open source stuff, etc.)
  6. I currently use zip files to distribute game/software files to users on Windows. I'd prefer to use 7z and use LZMA2 compression, but I'm not sure how widespread use of 7z is. This is why I've always used zip, as at least everyone I talk to has heard of it. Does anyone have any idea (or better yet, some sort of data somehow) how commonly used various archive formats are? I'm curious about the same thing on Linux. I'd like to use xz, but will everyone be cool with that? (I kind of assume less of an issue with the Linux crowd, but still)
  7. Thanks a ton for all this advice, guys. It all actually sounds less scary than I expected. I'll definitely try to get in touch with Valve and just ask how they'd feel about it. I think I might make it even if they don't want it sold, because I think it could be useful to people. But I'd sure not mind making some money off of it, haha! Donations is a cool idea, that might be a good way to go.   I really only had plans for a mobile version, but my prototype is a little C++ Windows program so I could probably do a desktop version if I wanted.
  8. Oh wow, I did not know that API existed, thanks! Heh, I've just been gathering all the info I need from their site. I.e., you give it a Steam username, and it builds a list of your games from the profile page's HTML, then it looks at each game's store page for more info on it. It actually works really well but this might simplify some things :-)   So the only real issue is with the name. It looks like Steam Gauge just has a disclaimer on the page saying that Steam is Valve's thing. Is that enough, or should I be safer/more paranoid and not have Steam anywhere in my program's name? Bear in mind I am thinking of selling it (on mobile, maybe), in case that is relevant.   Also, the number of hours you've played Awesomenauts makes me sad, Servant of the Lord, it's a great game! :-(
  9. That's great news, thank you!   The Apple/Palm thing sounds like a funny story, heh.   What about naming? For instance, could I call it something like "Steam Sorting Thingy"? That seems like it would be problematic, but if so, how would anyone ever know what it was?
  10. This isn't about a game, but a tool related to games, so I hope that's OK.   I've recently had an idea about a software tool that would provide a new way to look at one's Steam profile.   I'm wondering if there are legal issues to creating such a tool. Is this sort of thing common? Is it totally out of the question, perfectly legitimate, or questionable? I really have no idea, and I've never even considered selling software that isn't a game (my company is called Cheese and Bacon Games!) but if it is an OK thing, it would not take long to create it and try it out (famous last words...)
  11. Thanks for the responses, that is about what I was afraid of, heh.
  12. I've got an engine that I wrote that I use for my games. The GUI stuff (windows and buttons and such) currently just work with the mouse, but I am adding keyboard/gamepad support for all of it. I am trying to decide what to do about text input. I can go a classic route with a big qwerty layout or even just a terrible "line of letters" or something, but I also liked the look of what they have in Steam's Big Picture Mode.   That got me wondering if that sort of thing is patent-able (which it is, as far as my research told me). That lead me to wonder if that could be a problem here. Since I'm writing it all myself it can obviously look and work however I want, so I could make something similar that is "different enough", if I could figure out what constitutes "different enough".   The main reason I want to use something like this badly enough to come ask about it (and Google around for the past few days) is that, since it is a UI thing, I want it to be easy to use and (preferably) recognizable. If Steam popularizes this easy-to-use (at least I think it's great) design, I would much rather use it or something similar to it, and not something much less useful (a big qwerty block).   So, is this a valid concern, or just silly?
  13. [quote name='trotlinebeercan' timestamp='1338115101' post='4943666'] To me, when I think of space, I have images of wide, unexplored, mysterious areas of elegant nature in pristine design. Massive objects of gas, liquid, rock, or pure density, surrounded by vast emptiness and orbiting children scattered sporadically and diverse like speckled drywall on the largest ceiling known to mankind. 3D is the only way, I feel, to completely captivate this experience in even fractions. Not that I'm hating on 2D, 3D would just be exponentially better for a space environment. I understand some self-development project, that's awesome. You just asked for an opinion on estimated levels of enjoyment, I jumped the gun and assumed a straight-to-market kind of game. All aside, yeah, for a slightly less basic more advanced 2D game than normal, this definitely tops on the list of what I would rather play when compared to other 2D adventure games. The engine alone is a good idea for a start. Not to mention the potential you could add in the future; dynamic mapping, custom ships, crafting and resource skills, financial attributes/currency, warfare, etc. I'd check out Universe Sandbox. It may be the feel you're trying to accomplish, but in 3D and without a control ship or first person interaction. [/quote] That's a perfectly fine assumption, and I would definitely want to try to sell it (if it's fun when I prototype it, which it might not be haha), but if I did, I think this would be some kind of niche thing probably. 3D may well be cooler than 2D when it comes to space, you're probably right. I just like making 2D things! Plus they're easier, heh. And I've played Universe Sandbox: awesome game! [quote name='eugene2k' timestamp='1338117541' post='4943673'] I don't think stars orbiting around super massive black holes will revolutionize your gameplay, so it's probably better to add that feature only if you have a need for it. Don't do it for the sake of realism, do it if it's going to make playing the game more enjoyable. [/quote] Ya, that is kind of how I feel, the more I think about it. It sounds cool but I don't really see how it would make the game more fun. I feel kind of silly for even asking, after some more thought. Another idea that sounds awesome but I've cut out (for now) is time. I was thinking about adding some kind of time dilation device, so you could travel far into the future in the game. But neither that nor this are really relevant to the gameplay I'm shooting for.
  14. [quote name='trotlinebeercan' timestamp='1338112554' post='4943655'] So, EVE Online[sup] [/sup]without anything but space travel and an applied realistic global (or universal, I guess) physics engine? I don't know, I'd try it, but I doubt the repetitiveness of the game would have mass appeal. 2D brings down the playability as well. You could have the game map be based off estimated positions of real stellar objects, give it a scientific exploration feel. Would you have any plans for a plot or storyline? [/quote] Ya, I don't think this is a mass appeal type game. Thankfully, I don't care! I don't see how 2D reduces playability, though. How is that? And nope, no story or plot or anything of the sort. That's what the player is for! I DO have ideas for more than JUST "exploring" in mind, but that is the primary focus by far. And just to cement that this is a game no one will want, you don't even get to shoot things! (currently anyway)
  15. I'm playing around with a fairly simple 2D space game, in which you fly about controlling a single ship. There are stars, planets, etc. I definitely want planets to orbit nearby stars, but I'm trying to decide if larger objects such as the stars should move throughout the galaxy. The game is such that you will be mapping it out as you travel, and will possibly want to return to places later on. Thus, my first instinct is that larger objects do not move, and serve as fixed landmarks in the galaxy. However, stars moving about could be really cool, the way I see it, so I am curious if anyone has encountered this in a game before, and regardless, what your thoughts are on the issue? Which sounds more fun?