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      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.

lithos

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  1. Add a new high score ranking based on accessing nodes.     Maybe tie in some non-combat related bonuses it like being a requirement to start some quests, getting better NPC results if you've activated nodes related to them in some way, maybe provide a title to people who maintain high scores for X hours of game play, and a title to the people who have achieved the highest number of nodes(max not current) in a period of time.     You travel to a totem/holy spot/site/node/whatever.   Activate it   Then are given hints to where the next closest one is.       Every time you die your "nodes" activated score goes back to 0.  
  2. If the player visits a certain area more often you could consider having your main story characters move there as well.   Essentially designed so the player will notice something unusual about the area(for a story line example you could always think of something like "howl's moving castle").   Or if you really want to get the player to do something the classic RPG "BURN IT DOWN"(the whole town).
  3. Try plotting X = 20Sin(t) and Y = 20cos(t).   t = time/tick, X,Y are points.       You'll find yourself drawing a nice little circle, and by being a Circle that means that every point is the same distance from 0,0.   Which you could use as your speed.   The hard part is finding the angle you want the player to move at and how to plug that into the trig equations.   But still basic trig, and even with minimal understanding you can still get it to work(I did in early highschool for a missile command game).  But the end result will allow you to move at any angle and similar.    __________   if you just want to be able to move at 45 degree angles than the distance the character will move along x and y is just Sin(45 degrees) Or Sin(1/4 * Pi) which will be around .707107 * velocity.    
  4. Visual basic.  First semester final project:  shoot bouncing balls.   Second semester final project: winsock/multiplayer tank game. Java.   First semester final project: Missile Command, ended up making it multithreaded without knowing that I did...   Solved a bug by adding extra explosions outside of the play area and other such magic.   Second semester: IRC chat client
  5. I've had a similar idea to this but far more limited in scope.   Essentially players designed and programmed plants and how they would grow.   Though I was planning on taking queues from something like a web empire building game.   Just give the players a giant grid with each box having 50 spaces.   Process everything over an hour and show the new world after the "game tick".   Didn't even have plans for having a "real login" system, just give the players a rapid simulator for testing AND if they release a plant in the wild they get a tracking code.
  6. You can't really go ImperialConflict in the browser game space anymore(one programmer, working on hobby time and using clip art and commissions for other parts).   Games around that concept generally only ever see 3 to 20 people online at their peak times(unless they're a member of the old guard), before the developers give up.   It's just too competitive of a space now for new users.      You're going to need to be pretty awesome developer and friends with a couple of other awesome developers to try to compete for users against professionals at their day job.   At least in a genre that is defined by player time investment figures that start at hundreds of hours over a time period of months or years.   Which is why most indy games are short single player.   ___________   Lets be honest when it gets to hobby time a lot of people really just aren't all that motivated, especially when you consider that for someone to be skilled enough to be useful probably has the same task as their day job.   This means that you're going to need to be the major driver(IE the programmer, artist, or similar) to keep everyone motivated.  Further more if it comes to hobby time people really don't care about your game till you're at the 90% point(IE: properly functioning, playable, and a little polished) and looking to get the last 90% done.  After this point if you do nothing you'll get a person or two offering to help every couple of months.   Next you've been working on this for half a decade, which means you see this as "your project".   Which puts it pretty much in the doomed category since that's not how hobby time really works(the closest thing would be people in the same hobby showing off their "baby", which you don't have).     So you've accumulated pieces over half a decade, that's a really really really long time especially after you consider someone can get working games from something like Eclipse (http://www.eclipseorigins.com/community/index.php?/page/index.html/homepage.html) in a few weeks, or artists(IE: people who are trained the opposite way programmers typically are) can make something like dust (http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/180520/) after 3 years(with minimal previous programming experience).   Someone design minded will be able to pick up programming a lot easier(thinking through a concept in a step by step process, finding failure points, and putting it in a communicable form(which actually describes how some do art so go figure)).   You also want to lead a team in a space where you have no contacts, those lack of contacts likely means you have never been a part of another team, and if never having been a part of another team means you have no experience.   So logic would dictate you kind of need to first be a part of "someone else's" team so you can learn from their mistakes and successes, which actually goes pretty fast considering how fast most hobby teams fail.  Being a part of someone else's team also means that you're introduced to a lot of people and their friends of similar interest and how useful they all are.   Considering most indy teams fail it's not even poaching.   I would also say your timing is pretty horrible.  If you've had asked a few months ago it'd be pretty easy to point you to someone of every game development discipline looking to add one last project to their portfolio for graduation.   The last thing you need to ask yourself is "would more than one of me even be useful to a team of 3 to 5?", if the answer is no you need to find a way to make it yes.
  7. I made multi threaded code without even knowing I was doing it before...  that was many years ago.
  8. If you don't see more than 1 of yourself being useful to a 3-5 member team(Meaning 1 to 3 other people with different skill sets).   You're not going to be a designer for a small team.   Look at joining other teams.   There is a positive side about this that small-indy/hobby games fail frequently, and often.   Which means you're going to be able to get onto 2 to 5 of them in a year of time.   So this is going to get you two very valuable things: first you can learn from others mistakes, you also meet people that are actually useful(so you know who to contact later).
  9. Every game tick I'd bring the velocity closer to zero.   Then have different reduction values for not touching the ground and touching it.   I'd probably ignore everything else like inertia, would probably even ignore how friction changes with speed(it doesn't but you're covering more distance).    To get things like terminal velocity if I needed it I would probably just "word of god" say you won't go faster than X speed.   EDIT:  A Lot of programmers even cheat a lot worse and just use look up tables for where a character should be in a jump in some cases. ______   It actually makes a lot sense why the Internet isn't being helpful to you.   Physics equations have all those exponents to keep track of totals/positions.   However you the programmer are already keeping track of the those totals by always knowing the exact position of your character at all times(well most times, and depending).   So if you want the 100% right and correct answer you should go looking for the derivatives of the physics equations you're looking at.
  10. I'm not sure how to approach this. And what level of control over military to give to the player (the game is about being a space emperor, so military can't preoccupy you fully).   Should there be different kind of fleets (units composition)? Or should the player just decide what percentage of fleet (where each fleet has identical composition, just different amount of ships) should be positioned in a sector?     If I were playing a board game I'd expect there to just be a simple token that says +10% bonus to an attribute of the fleet(number of units, attack/defense power, or just changing how the AI will approach/flee the fleet).   I personally would limit the player to having only one of them(that can be rebuilt/reclaimed after making a new fleet).   Essentially you'll make it more valuable, and don't get false optimizations from the player getting more than they should.
  11. We need to know a lot more about your game to do anything useful.   Is your game tile based?  Are they rectangles on coordinates?  something else?
  12. If you can't see a second of yourself being useful...   You have a lot work ahead of yourself to prove your usefulness to a team, especially since you said you didn't want to use monetary incentives.   Game design/production really isn't easier to learn than any dozen of other things you don't want to (programming/art/sound/whatever).   If you don't believe me when I was looking at Link pushing a boulder in Windwaker I only noticed 7 things going on, someone I'd call a designer readily pointed out 4 or 5 more (and annoyed me the rest of the night with other things they started to notice about rocks).   That's just pushing a boulder, sure it's a core+frequent mechanic but it's still just pushing a silly rock.  Essentially argument started from my programmer self declaring designers useless in small teams.
  13. Right now is actually a great time to hire the 20-25 somethings.   Lots of people just getting out of college looking for some freelance work to keep them occupied and fed while they work on job applications.   Which means that you're looking at people who have never been proven, required to be paid before milestones, and are less prepared than their peers(depending on how late in the school year it actually is).    So it's pretty hit or miss. _________ As for your questions I need to just say something worth being said for these types of questions.   If you don't know where to start you're not ready to, you should start by joining another team.   The bright side about joining a hobby/pre-indy team is that most of them will fail in a short while.   Meaning you could go through 5 or 8 in a year, which means you get a lot of chances to learn from other's mistakes AND know the most productive people who are willing to work on hobby/pre-indy teams.
  14. There is A LOT of helpful advice around.   http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/business/breaking-into-the-industry/advice-for-aspiring-indie-game-developers-r3231  And other articles on this site. http://www.gamasutra.com/  So many articles here and other advice, and many sister sites to help you even more.
  15. I thought the test was "idiot in a hurry" or at least described as such.