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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 allnamestaken

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  1. I had a rethink on the suggestion on naming above, taking away the real world science elements, a few came up like this. Blaster: Pulsing 'laser'. I'm a bit hesitant to call them blasters though. Pulse (Gun): Energy needle rapid firing weapon. Beamer: A 'laser' beam/phaser type weapon. Accelerator: A powerful kinetic weapon. Lance/Lancer: A powerful beam/stream type weapon. Arc (Gun): A sort of lightning generator. Devastator: Fires big globs of energy (Plasma?). Given it doesn't take place in the 'same' universe as modern earth (Although there is a bit of a story of humanity leaving the 'homeworld' several millennia ago, but its name has long been forgotten), some newer more ambiguous naming might work ok.
  2. Yes, hard science is definitely taking a backseat to rule of cool and game play mechanics here. I guess growing up on a plethora of games that have used these scientific terms pretty liberally I've gone that angle. This is why I'm abit hesitant to come up with fictional names to, because well a player sort of knows what to expect with a laser gun or plasma cannon, but why should they buy a fafdsfa thrower for their ship? So I know kinetics would travel indefinitely, I suppose the range was an excuse to also produce a feeling of projectile speed (As in ... well most games, all these effects have been slowed down to be visible to the human player). Also so I don't have to worry about keeping track of a 9mm bullet after its traveled half way across a solar system. I've toyed with a few 'pseodoscience' excuses here and there. 'MacGuffinium' crystals are used to efficiently focus lasers to a worthwhile potency without expending to much energy for example. I had forgotten about nano-weapons and gravity bombs, maybe even bio-weapon loaded missiles that kill a crew but leave a ship relatively unscathed.
  3. So I'm I've been thinking of doing a type of space-sim (lite on the sim part) for awhile and have been toying various ideas of weapons used on my spaceships. I'd like quite a variety with hopefully different types of weapons having unique properties to each other. Most of the ideas have a loose base on science, more leaning towards the art of Space Opera (e.g. Star Wars) for inspiration, so flashy projectiles, sounds, etc. I was wondering how these following weapon ideas sound and if anyone can think of any tweaks or additions.   Ballistic/Kinetic Weapons: Basically equivalent to modern day guns, using a chemical propellant to launch a solid projectile. So far these come under 3 categories on ships: Gatling Guns, Autocannons and Battle Cannons. Their main advantage is being able to operate without energy and being fairly cheap and low tech. Their main disadvantage in this universe is that they do about 50% damage to energy shields (on top of being on the low damage range), limited range and slow projectile speed. (Also not sure there is a better name to differentiate them from say Mass Driver or Missile weapons). May visibly have a 'tracer' round look to them. Pulse Laser Weapons: Working a bit like Star Wars blasters, shooting a short partial beam of laser energy. Where ballistic weapons are more the cheap everyman weapon, lasers are the standard of military forces. They are mostly even across the board, with damage better than ballistics, average rate of fire, low energy consumption with excellent projectile speed and range. Beam Laser Weapons: Rather than a short 'blaster bolt' these lasers fire a constant linear beam. Compared to the pulse laser they have a greater damage output over time, but less range, possibly needing recharging time between beam shots. Ion Weapons: A specialty weapon related to particle weaponry. They fit almost an opposite niche to ballistic weapons, having significant effect on energy shields but minimal impact directly against ship armour. Though possibly if they do penetrate armour they can temporarily 'disable' systems. They may come in pulse and beam versions, firing a white'ish bolt or writhing white (almost lightning-like) beam respectively. Mass Driver Weapons (Rail Guns/Gauss Guns): Using magnetic or gravitational energy to accelerate a projectile to extreme speed. A kinetic weapon that fires with a similar speed and range to the more advanced lasers and such above. They shoot a fast traveling yellow/white (hot/superheated looking) shot. Although like the prior kinetic weapons they are less effective against shields, they are also quite powerful in themselves, their main trait is the ability to penetrate ship armour effectively and may have a sort of 'penetrate' through multiple systems sort of damage, rather than just damaging one system. Their disadvantage is very slow rate of fire and some energy consumption. Plasma Weapons: The main heavy energy weapons of the universe. Of course shooting super-heated plasma at targets over a distance. They have great damage (below Mass Drivers vs armour), good rate of fire but poor range and also big energy consumption. Their unique trait is a sort of 'splash' damage effect. Possibly come in pulse and beam form, pulses being green globule like bolts and beams being green almost liquid like energy streams.   Those are the main ones I've thought out so far, but there are others I'm toying with and not sure what traits they should have.   Rockets/Missiles: Basically very high damage weapons but with a limited resource and adverse to countermeasures. Particle Weapons: Visibly similar to the ion weaponry (more blue tint) but with preferably a different effect. Fusion Weapons: Plasma weapons plus basically (colour switched from green to violet). Others in the back of my mind: Meson weapons, Neutron weapons, Tachyon weapons, Disruptor weapons, Shard launcher weapons, EMP weapons? Not sure how these would fit amongst the others and what unique traits they could have.
  4. Usually I poke into the creative forums more than anywhere else, but I thought this didn't quite fit as its more ... 'game politics' in nature. I mean there has always been a wave of 'This is a Doom clone' to 'This is a Wow clone' cried out about any FPS or MMO since the 90's, a lot of it I roll my eyes at and ignore. Admittedly there are occasionally blatant clones (although the only one I can think of is the chinese phone version of 'not' Overwatch). I have a ways to go before I really worry about this, I'm still learning the ropes at the moment, but how worried should one be that their project 'infringes' on an existing game? I mean the idea I'm tumbling around in my head is "I like X, but I think X would be better if done with more Y" (In this case Space Engineers and the concept of first person'ish spaceship construction). Obviously I can see the issue if I simply created something that functioned just like (or worse, like an inferior version of) Space Engineers and called it .... Star Technicians, a pure replica so to speak. I would rightly be called out on it. But how close is to close? If I try for the same basic concept with differences in approach am I still 'copying'? I guess what I'm saying is yes, there will always be those who will say Y is copying X, but on the level of developer to developer is there respectful boundary on ideas and concepts that is good to follow?
  5. Sorry, should of mentioned this was more a query of interest/likelyhood? than anything solid at this stage.   As for the scope ... lets say 8 generic bald human faces (younger, older, different ethnicities) which could than be customized with 'hair pieces' 'hats' 'shirt collars' 'facial hair'. Think a sort of Mr Potato head deal ... as for animation and expression, all I'm really after is some mouth opening and closing in a talking like fashion (game will be text based) and some eye movement from side to side with perhaps the occasional blink. Definitely not really going for a colourful cartoon style though.   I'll be honest, I have no idea about budget, most of the project was going to be homebrew ... what sort of cost am I looking at for this kind of thing?
  6. Feeling a bit more confidence in producing (though I'm just starting out) a project. One thing I'm looking for which feels a bit beyond my spriting ability is ... I call them talking portraits? Can't quite place a solid example of them, here is some screenshots of some games that might give an idea.   Solar Winds - Small boxes with a characters portrait, simply enough ... but with mouth and eye animations that go along with dialogue.   Z - Your robot units in the top right corner had similiar.   Battle Isles 2 - The dialogues you get coming up here and there, the portrait box is bigger, but it had (I think at least) very simple mouth and eye movements to an otherwise still portrait.   The following are some more high-end examples - probably not the kind of art I'd be able to afford, but if the above examples don't click these might.   Tie Fighter   Dune   Dune II   In a way I'd quite like a 'modular' portrait, where you start with a base face and it can have different hair/clothes/eye colour randomized ontop of it. A bit like Pioneer or Elite I think? The above examples are an art style I'd quite like to emulate for my project. The portraits have minimum expression and animation ... I imagine you could almost layer the mouth and eyes on top of the face and have it play through a series of frames to animate the talking.   What are my chances of finding some one who would do this kind of art? Is there a good place to find artists of the more retro(?) style of the above?
  7.   Edit: Never mind, found the accompanying youtube tutorials, thanks!
  8. So I feel like a roguelike is something I might be able to do, or at least attempt. I'm wondering if there are any good beginner resources? May a good open game thats easily modifiable that I can get some ideas of how to go about my own?   I'm choosing roguelike partly for a low graphical requirement and an ability to have layers of complexity of game interactions (which I think is simpler to do and for players to grasp in this format?).   Where would I begin?
  9. Well I've tried just going with a blog. Its still very tricky to put things into words, I made an initial post for it which I'm not sure is very gripping.   https://andydesigndoc.wordpress.com/
  10. I might try an ideas blog. I've tried boardgames ... but they don' really capture what I seek, thanks for the suggestion though.
  11. So I always feel I'm out of my depth at gamedev.net ... I'm one of the many many who really, just has a host of ideas (usually to big and over ambitious for an individual to take on). I have limited coding ability (I once programmed a rough battleships simulator, thats about it) and no experience with art and modelling.   I just like to share ideas ... and I don't really think that entirely fits in with the gamedev forums, if nothings going to come of your ideas I feel like its wasting peoples time posting about them here. Don't get me wrong, you guys are great and I've got plenty of helpful feedback on various queries on gameplay mechanics I've thrown out here and there.   So I guess I'm asking if maybe anyone knows of a forum that might be a better fit? An active forum for sharing indepth ideas to almost a semi-design doc level of detail? Where feedback might be more orientated towards the idea of how something plays rather than the behind the scenes technical aspects that maybe required of it?   Appreciate any suggestions, thanks all.
  12. Some enjoy the trial and error of procedural games 'is this area safe? is it dangerous? I'll just have to go in and find out' and next time they will know that say, a cave is a place thats to dangerous for a novice, and a castle needs them to really build up their strength, but these locations hold what progresses them in the game/story?   Plus many top down games still have the vertical element, like old Roguelikes would have stairs up and down and the higher or deeper you got the harder things got, this would mean having your world generate some areas in different levels though (This could also provide a nice divide of difficulty and hence progress).
  13. Yes, I'm kind of getting a feeling now. The ship construction is only a portion of the game, if I where to make it the entire focus I might go for more what your saying Luckless. Space combat I wanted to be more external, it wouldn't be like FTL where you are concentrating partly on whats happening inside, you would be concentrating more on maneuvering and shooting, only after the battle might you drop into a zoomed in internal view and see what needed repairing.   I hadn't even thought about ammo movement actually.   This might be an area where I need to trim the fat rather than try and implement all my ideas.
  14. I suppose primarily its two mindsets of play. A few (probably the lesser) are highly inclined to design and function, while I expect most are inclined to simplicity and quick learning.   Simple - Pros Accessible Quick Easier to Learn   Complex - Pros Strategic Design Possible extension to destructibility, placement of conduits will determine the effects of damage 'cutting' off certain resources to parts of the ship   Simple - Cons ... pass?   Complex - Cons Possibly frustrating to new players Time consuming Requires more complex programming if the above damage system was implemented   Possible Compromise? Some kind of auto-generation systems that generates the connections for you, but a player could choose to do this manually if they preferred ... at the expense of being even more complex to implement than either of the above I imagine.
  15. I am toying with an idea for a 2d top-down perspective space-sim where you build your own ships.   I have run into a small dilemma. How complicated/realistic do I make the logistic needs of your ship.   Take this for example. The position of the cargo hold within your ship, in many spacesims this is pretty abstract, you buy/collect cargo and it appears in your cargo hold, you use/sell cargo and it disappears from your hold. The complexity comes from the internal design aspect I'm aiming for, so should a crewman/lifter robot need to exit the ship via its entry point (airlock/landing ramp) collect the cargo from say the station's cargo hold, travel back to your ship, return through the entry and make their way to your cargo hold to deposit it? This does to me add a sense of including efficiency in your ships design when building it, but not sure if it goes to far. (For an idea on how I imagine the construction, think sort of like Dungeon Keepers square by square passages/rooms)   Should some space be taken up by fuel pipes? power conduits? air vents? or should all that just be implied in the ship as long as it has fuel tanks, generators and air processors?