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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.

Dragonfly3

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  1. @David Neubelt Thanks for the link!!! That was so cool to see because I used to play S.C.A.R.A.B waaaaaaay back before EA ever picked it up. I was was working for a web design company at the time and during lunch and after work we would do LAN sessions and SCARAB sessions lol. I was a leader of one of the clans (KOR) that played regularly and was sooooo addicted to that game. I had heard that it was still running but could never find it. If it were still available today I'd play it! Graphics weren't the best in the world but it was incredibly fun! It was also an excellent article to read and made some great points. Thanks again for the link
  2. Minions of Mirth was not always the large game & team it is today. It originally started as a small indie game developed by a husband & wife team. Just 2 people. It grew in success allowing them to turn it into what it is today. It wasn't always a big team of the best gaming experts in the field. It's indie success allowed them to grow it. So yes, it can be done. There are talented people out there who do not work for game companies. These gaming companies did not always exist and they did not always support the MMO world. They took notice of a small industry that they recognize they could capitalize on. MMOs today with EA & Blizzard are what they are BECAUSE of garage geeks. DAoC was made by a relatively small team (compared to what is typically used on a commercial game today) who had never made a game with some of the mechanics it had, and had outdated equipment-they only expected about 5,000 people upon launch but got 20,000 and their server crashed. It wasn't always owned by large companies. It started small. That's what successful businesses do & what makes them successful-starting small and growing. Now you just proved my point about the sour taste in developer's mouth by knocking me & suggesting I have no plan because I am using a game engine that is not commonly used & that you obviously don't know much about. You know absolutely nothing about the work I've done, what my plans are, what my GDD looks like, or what I've invested. You also haven't seen the games made with Esenthel. I, on the other hand, did quite a bit of research (8 months worth) & testing before choosing a game engine. Esenthel has been around since 2007 but only recently started adding MMO capabilities. It may not be the most popular engine used in america but it has been used & is a proven success in Japan. It's a very powerful engine & those of us who use it know it. Just because I'm not using UDK or Torque like everyone else doesn't mean I don't have a plan, as you suggest, nor does it mean my game is doomed to be an instant failure. I've worked with it almost a year. I know what it can do. I'm also active in it's community and have seen the projects that others have done with it. It is a proven engine, it's just not an engine that all of the not-so-serious "teams" use. Again, you just displayed why it's so difficult for any serious developer or project to have a difficult time-because we are always lumped in with the 13 year old kids who have an idea, no skill, no money, & want to be boss; because we are always put down, ridiculed, and assumed to be unintelligent with no grounds for such assumptions. I was contributing to this journal, like you, & it turned to knocking me. Why does everyone always resort to this instead of having a cordial discussion? Regardless, I know what my project is & where it's going and that's all that matters.
  3. I'm developing an "MMO" and there are three key things that I think hinder the serious multiplayer game developer (this post is key in what most definitely hinders the non-serious developers and people who have no idea what they're jumping into). First is that the term MMO has been misused by all of us. I believe that most serious indie "MMO" game developers (like myself) don't truly expect to make a game that thousands of people play (although we all have our wishful thinking-it's not our logical goal), but to make a game that a handful of people, maybe even a hundred or two at max wishful thinking, will play. So when we say "MMO" we're all forgetting that some of us don't truly mean "massive." Perhaps more of us need to label our projects "MO" instead of "MMO," and that needs to start carrying forward for more indie MO developers to be taken seriously. The other thing I've discovered sort of coincides with what DogmaDZ said: "...they are not actually planning to complete the game. They just come online with a cool idea, request a team of 10 programmers, 10 artists, etc.. They don't actually invest a lot of time themselves in the project" This ruins it for serious developers who actually DO plan to complete the game; who DO actually invest an immense amount of time, effort, skill, and money into it; and who DO genuinely understand what goes into it and aren't under any delusions; who DO have a plan. I, for one, DO, and I can't tell you how many times people have tried to grill me and discourage me to GIVE UP after they have seen all of the hard work, money, time, plans, etc. put into it, even after telling me things like, "you're a lot more serious than most people I've met on Gamedev," or "wow, you've thought out a lot more than most other people." I can't quite understand why anyone would tell someone who they feel is actually showing signs of progress to give up, other than this disease of good ideas with no direction leaving a horrid taste in everyone's mouth. The third thing is quite perplexing to me. One of the biggest problems I've run across seems to be a catch 22. It's not the problem of finding people who are willing to volunteer or sign contracts or agree to profit sharing. It's this: People don't want to work on a project that isn't serious or going anywhere...yet people don't want to work on a project that is, because it's "too big." Well then, why are any of them in the game development business in the first place? When did this illusion of game development being a small project come to be? Any game, whether it's an emulator, a reboot, 2D, 3D, FPS, RTS, MMO, or even a basic calculator app for iphone is a big project. The thing that's even more perplexing is that every single one of these people I have come across has worked on previous projects that "died." Well, why did they die again? Because they weren't serious and they weren't advertised as big. No one is ever going to be successful if so many of these skilled people keep hunting for that unicorn in the woods called a small, 2 week MMO blockbuster project. Perhaps more serious indie games would be successful if the talent out there who claim they want to work on a game (paid, volunteer, profit share...all of it is affected) would actually commit to working on a real game and not a dozen fly-by-night projects a month. So this all leaves me with a question: Where and how do you find those talents who are actually serious and understand that game development is a "big" project? Because it's certainly not on Gamedev. By the way-small teams can very well produce successful MO games. It has been done. One of the best success stories is Minions of Mirth. The problem is finding people who want to actually invest the time it takes to do it, and to actually want to WORK at it. I've come across lots of people who think it's going to be all fun & games; who just want to talk about what cool things they think the game should do, but once they come across their first bug or their first task that takes a week to complete they toss in the towel. So yes, we do have talented programmers, artists, etc. but I have only come across TWO in the past 4 months who truly realize the scope of the project and are willing to commit to it. I've lost count of how many people seemed enthusiastic, were very talented, then jumped ship when they realized the scope of the project and the work that needs to be done on it. Wise of them perhaps? Well, everyone wants to make a game, but no one is going to succeed if they keep jumping ship.
  4. Short and sweet: Art is a creation from the imagination Games are a creation from the imagination They're just plain facts.