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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.

JVEA01

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  1. Hi guys,   I would like some advice on starting a kickstarter campaign. Our indie team is a casual collaboration of currently 4 people, the programmer and myself as game designer and artist being the owners of the IP, and 2 sound engineers who are in another state. The project we are currently working on is at the alpha stage and we are currently having people play test our vertical slice of the game, which has been getting some generally positive feedback.   We would now like to get some funding to hire more graphic designers/sprite artists to help with the project and a kickstarter campaign seems like a good way to do that. we are aiming for, at minimum, $10,000 - $20,000, but more is obviously better.   How should we go about starting our kickstarter campaign; what do we need to prepare for it, and what other things should we be aware of?        
  2. Hi guys,   I would like to know the general cost of hiring a freelance programmer to work on an indie game, and what factors affect the cost. Thanks :D
  3. Hi everyone,   Would appreciate it if you gave me some tips in designing levels for a game I'm designing. It's a top down competitive multiplayer game. Players fight in an arena using projectiles and can acquire pick ups to assist them. The idea I had for the level design is something similar to fps multiplayer maps like halo or counter strike where the levels enhance the competitive experience. I'm really just looking for general level design tips, like a sort of check list of what i need to have in there, pit falls etc. Thanks in advance :)      
  4. Hi guys,   Can you give me some advice on running an effective playtesting session? I assume I should give them some sort of document with certain questions about their experience that I would like to know about, and maybe give them a test script as well for them to record any bugs. Well, basically, what things should I prepare for a playtesting session, and what sort of information should I aim to get out of it? And feel free to let me know of anything else I should be thinking about, or any useful resources you have found in the past. Thanks in advance guys, this is really important to me lol >_<     Josh
  5. Hi guys,   I am currently working on a platformer game with a friend, and I have been given the responsibility of creating the 2D sprites. While I do have experience in creating digital artworks, I have very little experience in creating sprites, in terms of 2D animation. I have recently finished an 8 frame run cycle as a placeholder asset, but I would still like to refine my creation process to help it become more quick and accurate. I would appreciate any tips that will help me refine my process, especially on these areas:   Character position within each frame: My first attempt at a run cycle had the character's body changing positions, from the center to further to the right, between each frame. My partner suggested that I keep the body positioned at the center for each frame. Is this the right thing to do, and, for other actions such as tripping over and jumping, how can I know where to position the character within each frame?   Sprite positioning within game world for each frame: In cases such as jumping and tripping over, each frame captures each step of the action. However, the sprite is also moving within the game world. For example, in the trip animation, the first frame would position the sprite in front of the object it is tripping over, but the following frames would likely have the sprite positioned on top of the object.In my mind, I find it hard to imagine how I should draw each frame to account of these changing sprite positions.   I look forward to hearing your tips :)      
  6. Hi everyone,   I would just like to ask what legal concerns I should be aware of when working as part of an indie development team. I am currently working with a friend on a game and we plan to sell the game. There is also the possibility of more people joining in as partners in the future, and we may be hiring some freelancers.   Some things that come to mind are how the ownership of the game is decided, and how we split up the money. Can you let me know how to write up a contract to handle these things, along with any other legal issues that a contract should cover? Can you also let me know of any other legal aspects that I should be aware of? Thanks a lot.     Regards,   Josh
  7.   I'm not really too familiar with algorithms, specially those for games. Can you let me know what algorithms I should go and learn? Also, XNA is no longer supported by Microsoft, so should I just familiarize myself with Unity3D since it also supports C#?
  8. Hi guys,   Can you guys let me know what I need to learn for an entry level games design job? I've done a degree in games design but I still feel somewhat unprepared. I know how to write a design document to certain degree, I can write stories, I'm good at drawing, and I'm currently studying programming, but in terms specific details on the skills and knowledge I need, I'm not too sure. For example, in writing design documents, designing levels and coordinating play testing, are there specific things I need to know about them? Feel free to mention anything else that you think is important. Thanks
  9. Hi guys,   I'm currently doing a diploma in programming where I am learning ASP.NET MVC 4. I'm familiar with C#, a bit of java, HTML, javascript, and I know some basic software design techniques and patterns. I want to know how well can these skills and knowledge translate to games programming, and what else would I need to know if I want to enter the industry as a games programmer? So, like, what engines I should be familiar with, what languages I should know, algorithms, and anything else you think is necessary to know. Looking forward to your replies :D
  10. Hi everyone,   I would like your help on how to effectively write a game design document. From the templates and examples I have seen, the style of writing and the sections included can vary. I would like to know what sections you think are compulsory, such as, maybe core game play, levels etc, and any important sub sections within the sections you identified. Feel free to include any other relevant advice in writing a game design document.   For me, sections that I find important are, the mechanics section for defining how the game plays, the AI section to explain how the AI-controlled characters behave, and the contents section for defining any items and objects that the player can obtain, utilize or interact with in any way. I look forward to reading your replies :)
  11.   Haha, I definitely agree with removing the 10 second splash screen at the beginning lol. For the game I'm designing, I was thinking of something in between the ff13 paradigm system and the phantasy star mechanic you described. Where the player can create a sort of party command, composed of specific commands for each party member, but the player has the choice on how specific the commands are, for example, heal the most damage, or heal this specific character. the player can define a fixed number of these party commands outside of battle, and swap between them during battle. But apart from this, the player only has control of the main character. Thoughts?
  12. Hi guys,   What are your thoughts on only allowing the player to control the main character during battle and let the AI control the party members? In particular, I want to know your thoughts on the Final Fantasy 13 battle system. The player basically takes control of only one character, and the allies are AI controlled. The player can change the ally behavior during combat using the paradigm system, where allies are given a particular role to play during battle, the combination of those roles being a paradigm, and the player can switch between a couple of preset paradigms during battle to change how the who party behaves. This is coupled with a modified Active Time Battle System where actions consume a certain amount of the ATB bar, which slowly refills itself.   The reasoning I heard for this kind of battle system is that it makes the gameplay more fast paced and tactical. I'm thinking of designing something similar, where I want to make the battles more fast paced while not become real time combat. I would like to hear your thoughts on whether it is a good idea to give the player less control of allied units, and any suggestions on how to make an RPG battle system more fast paced while remaining tactical. Hope to hear from you soon :)
  13. Hi guys, I would just like to know what your interpretation of games are; what makes a game a game? I would like to refrain from providing my own interpretation since it might influence what you will write . Try not to just post something you got from the dictionary, wikipedia or google lol. Looking forward to your definitions, God bless
  14. Hi guys, My question is, what should I do to ensure that my design caters for my target audience; what should I research and how? I'm assuming that I will have to research the top competitors for my target audience, and understand what players expect from the genre my game belongs to. But I don't know of effective ways for conducting such research; what things should I look for and where can I generally find the information I need? Also, are there others things I need to know when designing to meet my target audience's expectations, rather than designing for myself? Hope to hear your responses soon, God bless
  15. Hi guys, I would just like to know what you guys do to try and predict whether a game concept and initial design will lead to a fun game, before it is prototyped and play tested? Are there any key things that you think is essential to have, any paper/document based playtesting methods you employ to test out the gameplay etc? I have heard, and also believe that developing a game heavily involves testing and refining, but it would be great to have some sort of metrics during the start of the design phase to skip straight to a semi-decent design before a prototype is made. Looking forward to hearing from you, God bless