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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. [font=Verdana, sans-serif]I am a beginner-to-intermediate C++ programmer in the process of teaching himself SDL, using a series of decent tutorials by Lazy Foo[/font][font=Verdana, sans-serif]. I got through the first lesson just fine, but then when I got to lesson two, "Optimized Surface Loading and Blitting[/font][font=Verdana, sans-serif]," a small amount of the terminologies started to confuse me, as some of it was over my head.[/font] [font=Verdana, sans-serif]The program is supposed to display a tiled background with a message in the center, delay for two seconds then quit. But when I went to run the program it compiled just fine, with no errors and no warnings, only it just exits as soon as it starts, and I don't see the images loaded or anything. I want to make it very clear that 'sdl.dll' [i]is[/i] in the program's directory, and so are the files 'img_bg.bmp' and 'img_message.bmp' so it's not a matter of missing files. [/font] [font=Verdana, sans-serif]My only theory as to why it's not displaying the images and waiting for 2000 milliseconds is because it ran into an error and one of the [i]return[/i][/font][font=Verdana, sans-serif] statements (see my code below,) and as such returned a one to exit the program. I don't know what else it could be, and I would love some help debugging my program.[/font] [font=Verdana, sans-serif][url="http://www.lazyfoo.net/SDL_tutorials/lesson02/index.php"]http://www.lazyfoo.n...son02/index.php[/url] - Here's the tutorial I was following[/font] [font=Verdana, sans-serif]My code is below, but it's rather tl;dr at the moment, so if you think you can help me without looking at the code, be my guest. I had to include the whole file because I don't know what line is causing the crash[/font] [font=Verdana, sans-serif][b]PROTIP:[/b] If you are going to be a sarcastic prick and tell me something like 'rtfm' or 'lrn 2 debug' then I will not appreciate it. Instead, say it nicely and I will gladly go out and research what I need to in order to solve my own problem, at is, if you are disgusted with a beginner who is utterly lost and does not know where to go next (even some pointers, not the programming kind, to what I can do next on my own would be most helpful) and prefer to take your disgust out on me, it will not be tolerated.[/font] [CODE] /***************************************** * OPTIMIZED SURFACE LOADING AND BLITTING * * by Nick Hagen * * 6/3/2012 * ****************************************** * * Followed Lazy Foo's SDL tutorial here: * http://www.lazyfoo.net/SDL_tutorials/lesson02/index.php * * Made with SDL 1.2.15 * and Code::Blocks 10.05 */ /// *** INIT SECTION ************************************ // Required headers #include "SDL/SDL.h" #include <string> /* 'string' included because Lazy Foo prefers 'string' to 'char' */ using namespace std; // Screen attributes, as global constants const int SCREEN_WIDTH = 640; const int SCREEN_HEIGHT = 480; const int SCREEN_BPP = 32; /* In all of Lazy Foo's tutorials, 32 BPP will be used */ /* I can sorta see how putting these constants into functions would be preferably to typing '640' and '480' and '32' over and over again. */ // Now we're declaring all the surfaces we will be using SDL_Surface *message = NULL; // Foreground image SDL_Surface *background = NULL; // Background image SDL_Surface *screen = NULL; /* Wait...I thought declaring global variables was bad programming practice! I guess not in this case... */ /// *** FUNCTION DEFS *********************************** /* Apparently 'loadImage()' is already a taken function name. I will have to settle for calling it 'loadImages()' instead. Also, notice the asterisk. I think that means that the function 'loadImages()' returns a pointer to a variable of type 'SDL_Surface', but I could be wrong. Anyways onwards! */ /// -- loadImages() ------------------------------------- SDL_Surface *loadImages(string filename) { // The argument 'filename' will hold the path of the image to be loaded SDL_Surface* loadedImage = NULL; // This pointer stores the first loaded image SDL_Surface* optimizedImage = NULL; // This one is for the optimized image // Load the image (not QUITE sure about the '.c_str()' at the end of 'filename' loadedImage = SDL_LoadBMP(filename.c_str()); /* My guess is that the '.c_str()' appends a filetype which is a C-string to the end of the 'filename' string variable, but I could be mistaken. */ // If nothing went wrong in loading the image if(loadedImage != NULL) { // Create an optimized image optimizedImage = SDL_DisplayFormat(loadedImage); /* What 'SDL_DisplayFormat()' does is convert whatever BPP the loaded image was to the BPP of the screen, in this case 32 BPP. Otherwise if you don't convert the image's BPP when you load them here, SDL tries to convert on- the-fly, which costs you speed and processing power. This, it's a much better idea to convert images when you first load them.THAT is what 'optimize' means, by the way. */ SDL_FreeSurface(loadedImage); // Get rid of the old, non-32 BPP image from memory } // End 'if' statement return optimizedImage; // Return the new image, optimized at 32 BPP } // End function definition /// -- applySurface() ----------------------------------- void applySurface(int x, int y, SDL_Surface* source, SDL_Surface* destination) { // Takes in the coordinates of where you want to blit the surface, what surface to blit, and what surface to blit to SDL_Rect offset; // 'SDL_Rect' is either a struct or a class. This instance will hold the offsets offset.x = x; offset.y = y; // Actually blit the surface SDL_BlitSurface(source, NULL, destination, &offset); /* The fourth argument holds the offsets to where on the destination the source is going to be applied. I'm not sure why it has a '&' in front of it though... */ } // End function definition /// *** MAIN FUNCTION *********************************** int main(int argc, char* args[]) { /// -- Initializations ------------------------------ /* Initialize all SDL subsystems (I guess putting it in an 'if' statement still works...) NOTES: SDL subsystems are things like the video, audio, timers, etc that are the individual engine components used to make a game. */ if( SDL_Init(SDL_INIT_EVERYTHING) == -1){ return 1; /* If SDL can't initialize, it returns -1. In this case we handle the error by returning 1, which will end the program */ } // End 'if' statement SDL_SetVideoMode(SCREEN_WIDTH, SCREEN_HEIGHT, SCREEN_BPP, SDL_SWSURFACE); // Set up the screen if(screen == NULL){ return 1;} //If there was an error in setting up the screen, end the program SDL_WM_SetCaption("Hello, world!", NULL); // Set the window caption /// -- Load and Apply ------------------------------- message = loadImages("img_hello.bmp"); background = loadImages("img_bg.bmp"); // Apply the background images! Tile them! applySurface(0, 0, background, screen); applySurface(320, 0, background, screen); applySurface(0, 240, background, screen); applySurface(320, 240, background, screen); // Apply the message image! applySurface(180, 140, message, screen); // Flip the buffers, and update the screen if(SDL_Flip(screen) == -1){ return 1;} // If there's an error then end the program SDL_Delay(2000); // Wait 2 seconds /// -- Finishing Up --------------------------------- SDL_FreeSurface(message); SDL_FreeSurface(background); SDL_Quit(); // Quit SDL return 0; // End of the program } [/CODE]
  2. [quote name='Serapth' timestamp='1318876650' post='4873574'] [quote name='DASH Project' timestamp='1318876371' post='4873573'] [quote name='Serapth' timestamp='1318875602' post='4873570'] [url="http://www.ogre3d.org"]Ogre3D[/url] + [url="http://www.ambiera.com/irrklang/features.html"]irrKlang[/url] [/quote] Wow quick reply! Hmm...Ogre 3D does 2D as well? Or perhaps do you mean use Ogre for my 3D bits and some other 2D engine for the rest? I'm not quite sure what you mean by this. But irrKlang looks amazing! Anyways, keep 'em coming, I'm sure other people may have some suggestions as well. [/quote] Well, any 3d engine can do 2d. In the case of OGRE [url="http://www.ogre3d.org/tikiwiki/SpriteManager2d&structure=Cookbook"]http://www.ogre3d.or...ucture=Cookbook[/url] [/quote] I dunno...using a full-fledged 3D engine just to do 2D seems kinda bloated imho...but if it's THE ONLY way then I guess I have no choice. Is there any other way?Are there any other 2D game engines that work with irrKlang?
  3. [quote name='Serapth' timestamp='1318875602' post='4873570'] [url="http://www.ogre3d.org"]Ogre3D[/url] + [url="http://www.ambiera.com/irrklang/features.html"]irrKlang[/url] [/quote] Wow quick reply! Hmm...Ogre 3D does 2D as well? Or perhaps do you mean use Ogre for my 3D bits and some other 2D engine for the rest? I'm not quite sure what you mean by this. But irrKlang looks amazing! I seem to recall SDL Mixer supporting module/tracker files as well, but that could be an older version that has since been discontinued. But please clarify on whether or not Ogre can do 2D stuff or not. I'd like more in-depth responses than just a couple of links, if that's not too difficult. Anyways, keep 'em coming, I'm sure other people may have some suggestions as well.
  4. Hey all, I've been looking for a game engine that supports the following things: [list][*]Sprite scaling and rotation[*]Alpha transparency channel[*]Rudimentary "vector" style 3D (flat-shaded or wireframe, like in old Amiga demos or the SNES's FX chip)[*]Tracker music format (*MOD, *XM, *IT, etc...this is [i]extremely[/i] crucial!)[*]Needs to be written in C or C++[*]Needs to be cross-platform (PC, Mac and Linux)[/list] I have not had much luck. I [i]did[/i] find Haaf's Game Engine, which supports tracker music as well as 2D scaling and rotation, but it's Windows-only as it uses DirectX. I found a lot of 2D game engines available, but not a whole lot of cross-platform ones written in C/C++, which is a shame because C is the language I have been teaching myself, on-and-off since early 2009, and I really want to write a game in that language. I cannot stress enough how [i]crucial[/i] it is that this game engine must support the tracker music format, preferably *IT (Impulse Tracker.) This is for several reasons. First-off, I intend to write some or all of the music for this game, and I am most comfortable composing music in Modplug tracker, using the *IT format because it gives me the most freedom and the least amount of technical limitations. Second, I want to be able to use code to speed up or slow down the tempo of the music, or switch between sections/patterns/parts of the song, which is easiest with a realtime-sequenced format like MIDI or tracker, as opposed to a prerendered format like *OGG or *MP3. Third, filesize is a bit of a constraint, as I want to challenge myself to see how small I can get the total size of the game and its assets. Finally and [b]most importantly[/b], I want my games to make a statement by using the more elegant (in my opinion) realtime-sequenced music like how older gamed from the 90s did, going against the grain of modern games, most of which seem to just use prerecorded *OGG, *WAV or *MP3 music, which to me seems bloated and inefficient, especially for retro-style 2D games. Finally, I can see how the retro "vector" style 3D might be a pain, as I'm not sure modern computers can even do 3D like that in the first place anymore. So I guess the 3D bit is optional, at least for now. Initially all these points might not seem that important, but bear in mind I intend to start working, with help from a commissioned programmer, on a rather ambitious 2D game project hopefully at the beginning of next year (which is around the time when I foresee being done with the design doc for it,) that will hopefully use all of the above features. I need to write the tech specs for this game in the design doc, including what engine the game will use, and having to resort to saying the game will use its own scratch-built engine just doesn't seem like a good idea, as it may scare away potential programmers. Plus in the meantime I want to use this engine to work on smaller game projects myself as practice. Does that make any sense? Thanks for reading, and sorry for the length of this post.