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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. About the Game Granny Wars is a 3d, cell shaded fighting game similar in look to Guilty Gears Xrd.  The game is an obvious parody, which aims to be hysterical to watch and play, but still one with all the complexity and richness fighting game players expect. About the Progress All 8 playable grandmas and a 9th end boss have been modeled, sculpted, UV unwrapped, etc.  In addition, dozens of facial morpher targets / blend shapes have been completed for each character as we're not relying on facial rigging for expressions and phonemes.  For the head, we just need eyes and the jaw rigged. About Payment This should probably marked as Rev Share, but since rigging will be finished so early in the process, and so many things can go wrong in trying to get a game finished, that it's best to just assume no money.  Hopefully, the game does get finished and we can back pay the rigger that worked on the project. About Stigma Games We're an unfunded game studio based in Sacramento, California.  We've dabbled with working with non local people in the past, but a stubborn lack of talent in the area is forcing us to take online collaboration more seriously.  We're also currently in the process of finishing an update for Wells Fargo who hired us last year to create a game for their Sacramento based museum. About Contacting US Anyone interested in applying, asking us about exotic Sacramento, or sending us pictures of their cat, can do so through our website www.stigmagames.com   
  2. I'm not sure how useful this might be, but I posted a series for last month on my blog about building fictional cultures from the ground up. I know 99% of all fantasy / sci fi games just exactly duplicate a pre-existing Earth culture as a back drop, throw in some speculative elements(magic / high technology) and focus on story events without bothering to do anything new or creative with it. If anyone wants to check it out, it's the 4 part series from last month http://brianlinvillewriter.blogspot.com/
  3. I agree that two or more heads are better than one in terms of brain storming. In the writing world, I meet once or twice a month with a critique group of fellow writers, and we go over each others' stuff. I've been doing that on a regular basis for over a decade now. Even famous writers still have critique groups such as this. Critique groups are invaluable. My friends and family all think everything I write is amazing. It takes another experienced writer to be able to catch all the issues in it. But in terms of writing for games, I think a design team as a whole can brain storm, and these don't have to be fellow writers. Conceptual artists, Creative Directors, Level Designers, etc, are equally qualified to throw in their opinions on how to build a unique IP for a new game. I agree with sunandshadow that these "non writer" people should not be editing a writer's work though. I worked for a magazine for a few years with an editor that didn't know she was supposed to actually edit the articles we sent her before they went to print(despite being paid to do so), so I had to edit my own work. I *hated* that. It was journalistic writing, so not as hard as Creative Writing, but still, I always missed typos I made. One of the things I would be worried about with multiple writers is a mismatch of writing styles. That might work if the writing assignments were broken up into dialogue, technical game info, character background information, etc. Otherwise, I think having more than one writer tackling those same assignments could get messy.
  4. Hi Tom. I've read your lessons about breaking into the Game Industry and found them pretty helpful. I've been sending out resumes to game studios that post writing related positions that I would be good at, but so far, no call backs. I've only been doing that for a month now, and I know studios sometimes take several month before they start contacting people(friends in the industry have told me that they've waited months after applying). I imagine about a hundred other people doing the same for each job listed, only some of them have industry experience, so a "newbie" like me gets pushed to the back right away. So I might need to just work on small, unpaid(or low paid) games for a while. I don't mind paying my dues so I'm fine with that. I didn't get published after the first query letter I sent to a magazine. I still have (and cherish) my pile of rejection letters I collected before I started selling articles I wrote. The game project I'm currently working for is unpaid, and thus not professional(though it's very organized and well run). I am a professional / published author, but obviously not through the medium of games. You're right. I'm hoping to use this game project as something to look good on a resume and to add it to my portfolio of work. And who knows? The game could turn into something successful and the studio could afford to hire us all for another one. But back on topic, I did read that post about using a different writer for each character. Yeah, silliness. Again, that's a case of 10 different mediocre writers < one good writer. A good writer is better able to make sure each character has their own dynamics and separation in the game story. Really, my question is more towards a lot of the hobby / indie projects I see mentioned in the help wanted section of these forums that have more than one writer on a project. Has anyone found that helpful, distracting, chaotic, or more productive?
  5. So I'm a professional writer looking to switch into writing for games. A month or so ago, I decided to go for it. I found a project here through the help wanted boards, and now I'm working for a very promising project with about 25 other people on the team and getting experience. The rest of the team is working pretty hard and doing great stuff, but words are easy. I have no problem keeping up with them. I'm the only creative writer on the team, and I've shifted to additional roles just to try and keep me busy. I notice that in the help wanted section, just about every project has multiple writers on it. I just can't understand what you would need more than one creative writer for. Only the really huge budget AAA rpgs are going to have enough work to keep one writer working full time. So adding more writers to small projects just means more cooks spoiling the pot. Is it just a matter of writers being a dime a dozen so Project Managers feel sorry for them and sign them on even when they already have a writer? Or do PMs not realize that a good writer can far out pace an entire art and design team?