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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.   C++ for everything programming related and Blueprints (gameplay scripting, actor archetypes seem to be replaced with this as well.) Everything else seems to apply from UE3 to UE4, just learning how the editor works and the various tools available in it will get you far enough to make prototypes without going too deeply. I've been toying around with it for the past couple of days, and the tools are nice for 20$. You can plop down $19 for one month and then cancel if you would like, they let you keep the source and all you lose by not continuing your subscription are updates and marketplace access (which isn't even available as of yet). Some of my friends have decided to go with 19$ every six months, since that was about how long it took to get UDK updates anyway.
  2. You have to remember that SQL Server or whatever DBMS you use will have its trade offs, but more importantly you have to think about how your application uses and serves this data to its clients to truly nail down what those trade offs will be.  At my current job we use a 2 layer stack, the first and more permanent storage are SQL server database instances that are built on a CQRS (Command Query Read Segregation) model and the most recently/frequently accessed data is cached in RavenDB. The cool thing that we implemented recently was segregating the data into "components" to get a higher probability of hitting something in our RavenDB store. An example of what I mean by this is, instead of storing the player's entire save in the cache, you store pieces of it (their items, pieces of their skill tree, etc) separately so when you go to fetch a different player's save, most of that information is already cached and can be rebuilt without even hitting the database. The power of permutations will play in your favor this way, allowing you to load 90% or more of players' information from the fast NoSQL cache instead of having to do costly queries on the SQL DB. CQRS is basically a way to scale your database queries (reads) independently of your database write operations (writes/updates). Yes, tweets come in at large volumes, but 90% of the time a client is fetching data. This goes more in depth: http://martinfowler.com/bliki/CQRS.html Hope this helps!
  3. So do you just run those functions on the texture data once as a preprocessing step if I'm understanding correctly? This looks like it could be achieved in real time, but maybe you chose to do it this way for some special reason??
  4. Really loved the video.. this vastly simplifies how to layout game designs.
  5. If you want to get your hands on Autodesk 3DS Max, Maya, or Mudbox and you happen to be a student then you should check this out: http://students.autodesk.com/   Under free software are tons of products by Autodesk. I've used the latest 3ds max from here for various student game projects when I was in college. The best part is you can experiment with Maya and all of the great tutorials for it on 3dBuzz.com.
  6. [quote name='Daaark' timestamp='1358483465' post='5022768'] 3D modeling is fun, addicting, and easy once you get the hang of it. [/quote]   This.   It's easy to get started and once you do making things like scenery objects, guns etc is all very easy. The hard part is finding good reference images or coming up with original ideas. Also, I had fun doing 3D animation because it gave me an excuse to buy foam swords and swing them at stuff to get an idea of how things should look. The hard part is modeling things with intense detail at high polygon counts, or making very detailed/long animations.    Just like anything else, it takes time to get the hang of, but once you do it's a valuable skill to have as a programmer. It gives you a glimpse into how artists work and what kind of workflows they expect, among other things.
  7. [quote name='TheSasquatch' timestamp='1358375909' post='5022329'] I'm working on a 2D tile engine and looking for some general design and/or programming advice from more experienced programmers. What I want is an engine capable of handling both essentially limitless transition-free tilemaps (i.e., broken into chunks, loading the chunk the player is in and pre-loading adjacent chunks to make sure the player never sees an empty abyss at the edge of the screen) and Castlevania/Super Metroid style "rooms" of set size (for instance, an open overworld and segmented interior spaces). [/quote]   So you want "infinite" scrolling 2d tile map levels (procedural generation??) akin to Minecraft, or are you talking streaming in custom maps in real time that are pre-made in an editor. Or are you talking both?
  8. [quote name='Kurask' timestamp='1358024739' post='5020845'] I don't know how I'd get started on binding input to the source, or even getting input to appear on the screen instead of using it to control the camera, as nife87 said above.  [/quote]   I just added my console as one of the states in my game's state management system. That way it intercepts all of the inputs from the user while it's up, and when you're done you just pop it right off the state stack and go back to the game. You can use your game's internal logging system as a backing store for the console output also, which makes implementing it a bit easier because now your console window is a very watered down input parser/command execution host and log viewer. 
  9. The real trick is to avoid throwing everything out and starting over, and instead learn to apply refactoring rules to your existing code base. When you become a professional developer you refactor code about 10 times for every 1 time you write something totally new (and usually you are refactoring someone else's work).  This should also help keep you motivated, because by doing this, you'll always have something working to look at and tweak. Nothing sucks more than working for 3 weeks straight just to draw a triangle on screen.   This brings me to the next point, always try to get whatever your working on up and running as quickly as possible. This way, you always know if what you're doing is worth the effort (plus you actually have something to show off). In the industry, I believe this is called "Vertical Slicing".. correct me if I'm mistaken.   Lastly, the reason why programmers are paid so well is because we use our heads. Before you start blindly typing away in your IDE of choice, take a minute to conceptualize the system you're developing, what pieces make it up and more importantly how they fit together. See the pieces, see their relationships and then the implementation takes care of itself. Weigh the pros and cons and contrast the different ways of building the application to find the one that fits your needs best. You don't have to know every single way to design an application, just be aware that there is more than one, three or even fifty ways.