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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.

Haeker

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  1. Well, I generally asked #2 because we're evidently new to the business aspect of what we do. I was hoping to receive some tips and methods on the whens and hows of acquiring art or artists. I wanted a general overview of the big picture rather than simply, "Go to the classifieds." Likely as not, I won't use the classifieds unless I know more about some of the ins and outs. I would likely just make a colossal mockery of the whole thing, and I doubt that's what anyone wants. I originally chose Game Design because the heart of my question was about the game design process as a whole rather than just where to hire and what to pay them. It's not a hard-and-fast question, again because I have too little knowledge to benefit from a hard-and-fast answer. I need broad insight. I'll wait for any further answers someone might have for me.
  2. [quote name='Tom Sloper' timestamp='1334328077' post='4930960'] [quote name='JPFortner' timestamp='1334324356' post='4930945'] I apologize if this is the wrong forum for this, but it seemed appropriate. [/quote] I disagreed, so I moved it to Visual Arts. [/quote] Thank you.
  3. I apologize if this is the wrong forum for this, but it seemed appropriate. My question has two parts: 1) Can any image be used as a placeholder? I am developing a card game and would eventually like to put it on Kickstarter, but neither I nor my coworker are artists. I understand that I can use traditional placeholders (or just black images), but I was wondering what the hard and fast rule is for a placeholder image. What constitutes a placeholder? Can I use any image for demoing and prototyping as long as I (obviously) don't use it for production or profit? Or do I have to stick with generic images? 2) When we actually start looking for artists to illustrate equipment, lanscapes, creatures, etc, how should we go about it? I had originally intended to run a contest on DeviantArt and see what kind of talent surfaces, but I don't know what artists are generally attracted to, much less where to go to find them. Where are some good places to start looking? What are some good ways to attract artists? What is the likely going rate for 2-3 square inches of art? Additionally, when should we practically concern ourselves with looking for actual art? I know that there's a lot of questions here, but I've picked up a few of them while I've been trolling the internet for answers. If anyone can link me to acceptable answers or answer any of these questions themselves, I'd be very appreciative. Also, let me know if I can clarify any of these questions.
  4. [quote name='szecs' timestamp='1296075566' post='4765265'] you can do it with "bones" ("system" -> "bones" if I remember correctly), you can do it by simply transforming the "pivot" ("hierarchy" or something tab next to the modify tab in the right menu column) then rotate around that pivot by setting "parent" or "local" in the little drop down menu in the main toolbar. Sorry, I haven't used MAX for a while, so I can't be more specific. [/quote] That's perfectly alright. Your words give me a concept to explore.
  5. I'm attending a school that offers a couple of useful courses for game development. The biggest thing I'm getting out of this is a paper degree that is required as a basis for most jobs - no matter how skilled you are, some companies will never even look at you if you don't have a college degree. I've also discovered a penchant for 3D modeling that I didn't know I had, so college is also a good place to discover hidden talents. It also teaches you how to be professional and function with members of a group - assuming the college is worth its salt. To be a professional, you must learn to put aside your differences and work towards a project. Sometimes, this means compromising for the better good, and sometimes it means standing firm on a concept until it bears fruit. You will get out of college whatever you put into it. A lot of your peers there will be lazy, only interested in obtaining a passing grade and always complaining about class, teachers, lessons, labs, exams, the works. Therefore, you also have the opportunity (if you realize it) to *not* conform to the negative surroundings you may be plunged into. Professionalism and efficiency in the midst of laziness and discord is what you will need to succeed - and even exceed. If you can afford it, go ahead and go to college. Learn to become a communal person and work with others. While there's nothing wrong with plunging directly into, say, a Video Game Design degree (start to finish), make sure you obtain at least one specific proficiency and an understanding of everything you're not specialized in. For example, I know I'm never going to be a coder, but I'll have enough of a grasp of programming to interact with the programming department, and I'll never be a natural artist and be able to draw amazing works like some others, but thanks to Rapid Visualization I will be able to quickly and efficiently express (or flesh out) what is in my head. Remember: Like anything else, what you put into it is what you get out of it.
  6. I'm still learning - still "playing with it" for lack of a better term - but I'm learning to develop models for games. That is, I want them to be functional in a game. I guess mechanical would be the best term for it? Am I looking for a broader spectrum of training? I've just began to delve into modeling this last month.
  7. Just wanted to know if anyone that has experience using Autodesk 3DS Max could give me a few pointers on how to make a wing that either deforms, slides, or retracts - like the A-wing of an F-16, for example, or the retractable wing-flaps on one of the NX-01's shuttles (from Star Trek: Enterprise). I have been unable to locate a tutorial on the fundaments and wouldn't exactly know what I was looking for. Thanks in advance to anyone helpful!
  8. [quote name='ObsidianBlk' timestamp='1295878860' post='4763881'] [quote name='JPFortner' timestamp='1295870967' post='4763848'] [quote name='ObsidianBlk' timestamp='1295842348' post='4763732'] GPUs crunch a LOT of polys, but you also should know what the "lowest" possible spec machine would be for your game. Sure, todays cards can push quite a lot, but older cards, not so much, so, there is definitely a constraint on poly count to consider. Even for a space game, if it's massively multi player, then there could be hundreds or even thousands of players in a given location, each with a ship, then every visible weapon burst on the screen has some poly data to deal with (yes, extreamly little per weapon, but depending on the zone's activities... ) not to mention any planets, debris, space stations... particles... a lot of data is getting pumped to the card, so, yeah, you should have a general idea of an upper poly limit for your ships. If you're intending this game to be played on only computers from within the last couple of year, then maybe 100k polys isn't bad... maybe even more. If you're intending this game to be played on computers as old as ten years, then you may want to limit them to 20k or so. One thing you may want to look into is getting your hands on models for current games (for instance, you can extract Fallout 3 models with the various tools available for modders) and load them in to see the average poly count is for those models and you can get a rough estimate of the sort of detail you can get away with. Even if you're limit is very low, however, you can still "cheat" high detail with normal maps (and other advanced techniques). The quick info on normal maps are, you can rough out the major structures of your ship (the "low poly model"), then, in a separate file, continue building up ALL the details you want for your ship... small vents, rivets, seams, etc, etc, and then render a normal map of that high poly model (google is your friend here). Give your game engine the normal map as well as the texture map for your low-poly model, and, BOOM... your low poly model suddenly looks a LOT more detailed because the engine is using the normal map to cheat a lot of the details. [/quote] It's good to know that I don't have to worry about poly count at the moment. I've also been looking at different rendering styles and found that there are ways to make distant objects have only so many polygons (or otherwise be only so graphically draining) while having close ones be more fluid and intense. As far as normal mapping... You're referencing making the model's "frame", and then modeling every fine detail of the model and turning that detail into a material that gives the illusion of such fine detail on a flat 2D plane that is applied to the original model - kind of like they do to add realistic features and etching to modeled guns, for example? Or did I miss the concept? I'll neve be much of a programmer, but I do understand that it's important to have a grasp of every aspect of the game's design so as to make everything flow. [/quote] Normal mapping isn't really a programmer thing beyond it being implemented in the engine. Once the developer implements the feature, all normal mapping (the creation of them, so to speak) is in the hands of the modeler. I did a quick google and came up with what looks to be a good read on normal mapping and it's concept. Once you understand the concept, the process of creating the normal map is a little different depending on the 3D modeling package you use... [url="http://wiki.polycount.com/NormalMap"]http://wiki.polycount.com/NormalMap[/url] Hope that helps. [/quote] You're the best. Thanks, guys!
  9. [quote name='ObsidianBlk' timestamp='1295842348' post='4763732'] GPUs crunch a LOT of polys, but you also should know what the "lowest" possible spec machine would be for your game. Sure, todays cards can push quite a lot, but older cards, not so much, so, there is definitely a constraint on poly count to consider. Even for a space game, if it's massively multi player, then there could be hundreds or even thousands of players in a given location, each with a ship, then every visible weapon burst on the screen has some poly data to deal with (yes, extreamly little per weapon, but depending on the zone's activities... ) not to mention any planets, debris, space stations... particles... a lot of data is getting pumped to the card, so, yeah, you should have a general idea of an upper poly limit for your ships. If you're intending this game to be played on only computers from within the last couple of year, then maybe 100k polys isn't bad... maybe even more. If you're intending this game to be played on computers as old as ten years, then you may want to limit them to 20k or so. One thing you may want to look into is getting your hands on models for current games (for instance, you can extract Fallout 3 models with the various tools available for modders) and load them in to see the average poly count is for those models and you can get a rough estimate of the sort of detail you can get away with. Even if you're limit is very low, however, you can still "cheat" high detail with normal maps (and other advanced techniques). The quick info on normal maps are, you can rough out the major structures of your ship (the "low poly model"), then, in a separate file, continue building up ALL the details you want for your ship... small vents, rivets, seams, etc, etc, and then render a normal map of that high poly model (google is your friend here). Give your game engine the normal map as well as the texture map for your low-poly model, and, BOOM... your low poly model suddenly looks a LOT more detailed because the engine is using the normal map to cheat a lot of the details. [/quote] It's good to know that I don't have to worry about poly count at the moment. I've also been looking at different rendering styles and found that there are ways to make distant objects have only so many polygons (or otherwise be only so graphically draining) while having close ones be more fluid and intense. As far as normal mapping... You're referencing making the model's "frame", and then modeling every fine detail of the model and turning that detail into a material that gives the illusion of such fine detail on a flat 2D plane that is applied to the original model - kind of like they do to add realistic features and etching to modeled guns, for example? Or did I miss the concept? I'll neve be much of a programmer, but I do understand that it's important to have a grasp of every aspect of the game's design so as to make everything flow.
  10. [quote name='Antheus' timestamp='1295806316' post='4763525'] [quote name='JPFortner' timestamp='1295710779' post='4762992'] but I still want to find a reasonable size to keep this object.[/quote] Between 100 and 500,000. Same question was [url="http://www.gamedev.net/topic/593239-max-healthy-polycount-per-frame-in-rts-games/"]recently discussed[/url]. [quote]the more polygons on a model, the more of a drain, yes?[/quote]No, not really. Raw number of polygons is probably the lest interesting metric. It's possible to run smoothly with 500k or lag with 1000. [/quote] That blows my mind. Wish I understood more about this so that I could properly design models.
  11. [quote name='szecs' timestamp='1295770263' post='4763326'] Look into "level of detail Look into "normal map"/"parallax mapping" (the second is a rendering technique) [/quote] And where would I do this? On this forum, or somewhere else?
  12. No takers, huh?
  13. I'm working on models for a space-based MMO. I've been putting a lot of effort into a fighter model in 3DS Max, but as I keep an eye on the polygon count, I'm starting to grow worried. I don't know what a good poly count is for a large-scale game. I understand that it really matters a lot what kind of engine you're using, but I still want to find a reasonable size to keep this object. I say all of this because I would imagine up to a couple dozen of these little buggers being on screen (in, say, a hectic dogfight), not to mention whatever frigates, cruisers, battleships, carriers, and capital ships are engaged in the fray. On a side note, I actually expect to have only slightly more poly count with the bigger ships, since the polygons will be much larger in scale and be more spread out, so it is probably the "high" detail fighters that I'm designing that might really clog up a system (because, as noted, there will be plenty of them flying around). I don't know if there are methods to "blur" or limit detail at a certain range from the camera, or to allow smooth rendering for such things as they move into and out of range. I'm really just needing a good idea of [b][u]when to draw the line[/u][/b], because - unless I'm mistaken - the more polygons on a model, the more of a drain, yes? Below is a snapshot of the model I'm working on, without NURMS, and I don't believe I put TurboSmoothing on it, either. I've included a few edge loops around the cockpit and the rear engines so far. [img]http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2011/022/5/8/ztr_models_by_haeker-d37rq3z.jpg[/img] Any help, encouragement, or direction would be appreciated. <Edit> Forgot to mention it, but this current model is at 1,365 polygons.