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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 jefferytitan

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  1. @MJP Thanks for the in-depth explanation! It definitely demystifies a lot of things for me. Do you happen to know whether frame buffers can remain in VRAM between frames? And whether you can copy a buffer to another buffer purely on the GPU? I'm wondering whether a big bank of static security cameras could be rendered on the cheap by keeping pre-rendered low res frame buffers (with depth) and simply drawing dynamic objects on top of them. My guesstimate is that it may work well due to: Low number of meshes Low pixel coverage The majority of pixels failing the Z Test
  2. Hi all, I've written the odd shader but I must admit my overall understanding of the pipeline is lacking. I'm wondering how VRAM memory management works. In particular: Which objects persist in VRAM between frames? I assume textures and vertex info? Can a framebuffer be persisted on the GPU between frames, e.g. if you have a bunch of security cameras in your game that don't need to be updated every frame? Or for temporal reprojection for fancy screen-space effects. What happens if you have too much in VRAM? Does it get paged out, or something worse? If you can answer any of the above it would be much appreciated. Thanks, JT
  3. Thanks for the reply!   Correct. If that's true, it's a shame. I suspected it might be the case. I think we're on different pages here. I'm not going from source photos like a skybox, I want to make an HDR texture from scratch using drawing tools, e.g. circles, boxes, blur, etc.  Maybe that's something engine specific. I'm already using full colour emission maps in Unity. The problem is that using SDR full white isn't very bright.  I want the ability to have brightness levels that cause bloom and have a significant effect on Global Illumination (currently GI is only noticeably affecting objects fairly close to the texture).   Good to know!
  4. Hi all, I want to make animated emission maps, so I'm looking for a tool for creating HDR sprite sheets. Is there such a thing out there? I imagine that HDR isn't a common requirement. The sort of features I'm looking for are: Can clone a frame Pixel editing Image effects, e.g. blur Can choose how they're layed out in the sprite map, I just need vertical stacking Any suggestions would be appreciated! Cheers, JT
  5. Hey all,   I don't know if there's a better place to do this on here. I'm looking to make some contacts who are involved in game or level design. I don't have a specific project on at the moment, unless you count having just had a baby, which is in ways a very significant project! I've been involved in a moderately successful indie project as a developer, and I feel like there are some disciplines we would have benefited from having more experience in.   I'm not trying to get unpaid work out of anyone, what I would like is indie people who enjoy talking and sharing knowledge (both ways) and might be interested if a paid project came up in the future.   Cheers, JT
  6. I feel like they spent too much effort on tech/marketing and too little on game design. Endless procedural landscapes eventually get boring. For a great procedural game of this type I think you need: Deep systems, e.g. people can spend ages mini-maxing combat/economy/whatever and arguing about it online. Procedural generation actually affects the deep systems, e.g. different combat opportunities present themselves on low gravity moons/lava planets/whatever. Procedural storylines/quests, even if it's like Bethesda's accursed Radiant Quests.
  7. Hi all,   Recently I worked on an indie game with procedurally generated levels. Obviously there are pros and cons. At some point I'd like to be involved with something a bit more designed but I have no experience with level designers, so here's my questions: What does a level designer expect, e.g. tools, guidance? What should you expect from a level designer, e.g. complete levels, unskinned but working levels, diagrams? How does the role overlap with other parts of the creative process? How does a level designer work with the rest of the team, e.g. do they directly ask for art assets, leave it to someone else, etc? For example could you say something like the below and expect a reasonable result? Here's a bunch of prefabs for my levels Here's the general theme and background Here are the basic mechanics available in my game Here are the types of challenges I want the player to face I want a level with X rooms, Y entrances and Z exits Here are some gameplay moments that I want, e.g. getting chased down a mirrored hallway by a monster Thanks, JT
  8. Thanks Kasu! Just out of interest, did you have trouble finding the individual sounds, or did you foley them yourself somehow? Also what sort of things would you tweak with hi/lo pass filters?   I've lost the link, but I read an interesting article about creating creature sounds from a simple human voice. Creating a whole bunch of layers, e.g. pitch-shifted, reverse-reverbed, vocodered, etc, then combining them. It sounds quite promising, although with creature noises because they're much longer (and may in fact be continuous) it seems like it would be harder to hide the repetition of the time signature. I'd think you'd need a way to piece different length segments together almost like a dynamic music system.
  9. Hi all, I'm part of a team that recently released a game on Steam. Personally I wasn't quite happy with the variety of the sound effects. Watching Let's Plays of our game it became painfully obvious how often the same sound effects repeated, e.g. creature sounds and weapons despite having a few variations of each and using simple pitch shifting. Has anyone used techniques or assets to increase variation? For example I could imagine breaking a gunshot into different phases (e.g. click, shot, shell ejection, decay) and vary the individual samples/pitches/timing. Creature sounds seems more complex though because I can't see obvious segments, although I have heard that in movies they often compose creature sound effects from a variety of sources layered and transformed separately.   Personally I work in Unity, but I'm open to hearing about general techniques that you've used with other systems. Any advice appreciated, JT
  10. Can you clarify on "Everybody's Gone to the Rapture"? I was under the impression it didn't have puzzles per se...
  11. Hi all,   I'm trying to come up with ideas for puzzle-like elements to include in a FPS/horror game. The general idea is that the player is trapped in an area with one or two rooms, surrounded by enemies. They need to keep the enemies out by using things like security cameras, automated doors, automated weapons, etc. I want an air of scarcity and making do with what they have, e.g. limited power generation rate, limited wires/fuses/etc. The sort of attributes I'm looking for are: No mini-games, everything is simple FPS movement, timing, inventory and one button interaction. Complexity from system interactions, in the same way that the elements of Portal are simple but the puzzles are complex. Elements are electrical or mechanical, such as an airlock that has a fixed pattern of interaction, but you can pull the power on it while it's half way through cycling to leave it open an expose enemies to space. No single solution, but more trying to min/max a complex system. I'm somewhat inspired by this video by the delightful Many a True Nerd of the game Tharsis, which is a complex dice-based space survival game. Simple elements, difficult decisions. However I don't see any direct applicability to my idea, perhaps there's some genre which is a better match?   Very specific requests I know, any suggestions would be appreciated.   Thanks, JT
  12. Thanks for the options. Norman's style of approach might be a good first order approximation - pleasant results but wouldn't take the building into account (if I understand it correctly). The approaches suggested by Ashaman and Oolala are similar for me. I can't do a full offline calculation because we're using procedural level generation (sorry I didn't mention!). But we can construct a graph in terms of rooms and corridors, so a certain level of precalculation on a graph level may be possible.   Any other options would also be welcome!
  13. Hi all,   I'm looking at putting simple wind physics into our game, e.g. making particles and lights hanging from the ceiling blow around. It's set inside a large building, e.g. 10-30 rooms to a floor. I'm looking for a way to simulate wind without too much performance cost.   What I'm looking for is a combination of randomness and pattern. I don't want all lights swinging together, but in a long hallway it would look silly if each moved independently of the others.   A few thoughts: Fluid simulation: difficult and costly. Perlin noise: only has a magnitude, no vector. Ignores the building structure. Perlin noise times prevailing direction of each hallway. Fine for hallways, not great for rooms or junctions. Any suggestions?   Thanks, JT
  14. I'm interested as well, I'm not doing procedural story per se, but I want variation in the notes that I scatter around my game. So changes like which NPCs are killed in which order, what they're killed by, etc, but without disrupting the flow of the story. Ensuring that any required NPCs survive, time inequalities between certain events are maintained, etc.   The current approach I'm looking into would almost be a grammar, but with large pre-written chunks, conditions, and variables set when you enter certain nodes. Possibly pulling out certain pre-requisite stuff like the characters into a header to avoid emergent logical inconsistencies based upon which nodes are triggered in which order.
  15. I'd also suggest if you're using animated particles with your particle effect varying the speed the animation is played at, either randomly or as a function of smoothed particle speed.