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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.

Ravich

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  1. Disclaimer: I am not speaking from professional experience. If that leads you to discount my opinion, that's alright. I think this might be more similar to basic management and leadership than you're implying. It is important that whatever the end product is, that it is a cohesive product. Whether or not it represents the "core vision" that the development process began with is less important because the player is generally unaware of such things. That means that everything going into the project needs to be heading towards the same goal, which obviously becomes a struggle when you've got a number of people working on the same project-- especially creative projects. What this means is that a leader (director), calls shots and prioritizes. Of course, some people put in this decision will do poorly. They will fall in love with ideas and lose sight of practicality, and fail to prioritize with an end goal in mind. Creativity is a slippery devil of a creature that can go all over the place, and it takes discipline and experience to know when to let ideas go. Similarly, independent of the team of developers, an executive might come in with a business decision that overrides everything else, that compromises the project in some way. ie: "(in the interest of mass appeal) this character needs a more heroic voice" and you end up with a cartoony sounding main character in a game that has a gritty/realistic setting or tone. I am not under the impression that the creative head of a project really has any control over these sorts of issues. I could be very wrong, but I have come to assume that the video game industry is simply too young and changes for too quickly for *most* people to develop any legitimate level of expertise. Chances are that the people that get the jobs are going to be the ones that can show that they'll get it done. Not necessarily the ones that have potential or talent. I'm sure we've all seen it with AAA titles where the story is both written and directed by someone who obviously has no experience with writing or cinematic storytelling, and you end up with utterly mediocre content. There's something to be said for the fact that expecting a story to even make sense or be well told in a current gen video games is still a luxury. Anyway, I seem to have gotten slightly off track. I think what it comes down to is good decisions from leadership. Is the progression of development focused, or is a haphazard collection of disjointed ideas? If the leadership does have a focused vision, are they even good enough with management to pull off the project from a practical standpoint? Do they keep tabs on progress and diagnose problems before resources are wasted and entire subsections need to be scrapped? It's an incredibly similar situation to most office workspaces. Managers usually dont get to where they are because they are good at management.
  2. Well, good storytelling is always a good motivator to replay a game for the experience itself. Another motivator would be for a challenge if the gameplay is good, since you could play on a higher difficulty. Something that is incredibly important that seems to have entirely abandoned console gaming is variety. If I play the game a second time will anything be different? Will I be able to customize my character in different ways? Will I experience events in different ways? Will I be able to choose different paths? Will I learn things that I might have missed the first time through? And then a small aspect that I find to be incredibly overused and rarely well executed is new game plus. The only game I have played where I found the feature to be worthwhile was FFX-2, because the level and stat mechanics actually retained balance despite equipment and abilities carrying over.
  3. As others have stated I'm sure, an in between option is display damage numbers. By simply paying attention to these, the player can get an idea for how much health an enemy has, and in some ways, allows the player to gauge the usefulness of an attack/ability better than health bar displays, since they dont indicate amount of health, only overall %. Granted, number displays definitely affect immersion on some level and shift the focus of the gameplay. An interesting game to bring up here would be Lords of Shadow, since it allows the player the option of turning on health bars and damage number displays. I personally found the game much more enjoyable with number displays (including exp) turned on, but perhaps that's just my personal taste.
  4. Given my experience with what WoW aims for, it seems to me that this makes sense for Blizzard to do. There's no doubt that the potential for customization goes out the window with this decision, but it's not like WoW ever really encouraged it. Right from the start, talent trees were always full of useless talents that no one would ever want to put points into if they ever sat down and thought about it, and while balancing those sorts of things is all that difficult (at all really), Blizzard never, ever prioritized it, and the useless talents remained for months and months until a class redesign occurred. What I can say is that maybe if there are fewer options, there will be less of an excuse for uselessness, and each choice that the player does make will actually hold weight. So while I dont like the concept applied to customization in general, it might be the right direction for what WoW is and tries to be.
  5. Aiming for a QA audio job as a starting point seems like a good idea for me. Do you have any advice on how to go about finding one? Should I actively seek out and contact developers, or just keep an eye out for postings on their websites? Thanks!
  6. Hi, I am a composer with the goal of eventually writingsoundtracks for video games. Currently I am refining my skills and becomingcomfortable with my creative output, but I think it would ideal if I could getsome experience with being a part of projects in the industry in the audiodepartment. Are there any entry level positions that anyone could recommend forme to seek out for this purpose? Thanks
  7. Hi, I was wondering if anyone could recommend someorganizations that would be a good starting point for networking with peopleinvolved in game development but particularly the audio/music side of things.I’m looking primarily for local opportunities, although anything works as astarting point. I’m based in Oregon, by the way, so Portland is great ifpossible
  8. Hi everyone, just doing a bit of research. I guess I'll just throw my questions out there? -Should the music being sent out be copyrighted? -If so what is the best what to go about doing this? -Should it aim to encompass a range of mood and styles, or can it stick to something more specific? -Visual elements: Would it be a good thing to have a demo of your music set to a video/animation? How about still frames or concept art? -What would a rough target length be? Rather, what is "too long"? -Does it need to be a medley, or can it be a collection of separate tracks? I think that covers what I was wondering. Thanks!