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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. Hi Everybody,   I hope I'm posting on the correct forum here.  I work at a company that uses dozens of form letters for communicating with customers.  It's extremely archaic, and I'm hoping to make some updates to our methods.  Basically, we have letters in Microsoft Word 2010 that use inserted Field codes to prepare these letters.  Every time a user wants to complete a letter, they have to tab through an Add-In box that asks for their name, telephone number, hours at work, Mr/Ms/Mrs., recipient first name, recipient last name, etc.  If you typo in a box, you have to tab through every option, start from the beginning, and find where you made an error.  Also, when adjustments need to be made to letters, we have to manually go through every letter to apply changes.  As you can probably see from my description, I'm not too familiar with this process, but I've made several adjustments that have improved it to a degree.   What I'd like to do is have a regular word document (or excel sheet?) that the user can either mouse click or just tab through, and then the fields would feed into the actual form letter.  Something like this:   User name: Telephone: Start Time: End Time: Mr/Ms/Mrs: Recipient First Name: Recipient Last Name:   So on and so forth.  Of course, I'm open to other suggestions, but if anyone can make suggestions on how I can best set up a system for completing form letters I'd greatly appreciate.  One other issue in mind is that we have some older employees (50's through 70's) that are limited in their ability to utilize a computer and adapt to new methods.    Thanks in advance! - W
  2. Mercurialol: The idea of the three dimensional array would be an x- y-axis with a z component representing depth.  This was my original thought for creating a three dimensional space that could represent a galaxy.  My concern is that every single [x][y][z] space would represent a Solar System which would include several planets, and each planet includes several territories.  With so much space for the galaxy, this could add up to a lot of memory.   Magnus Westin: This is an awesome suggestion, and I've never heard of octree.  I took some time to read the wiki article you provided at work today, and it definitely seems like it would be more efficient from a memory standpoint.  If I understand correctly, the first octree would be the galaxy, with the eight octants serving as maybe sectors, then subsectors, then planets, then territories.  I'll keep researching!   Poigahn: The level of randomization would strictly be limited to throwing in solar systems for a starting point.  From there, I'd like to have total control as to creating new solar systems of our own invention, as well as maintaining income, etc.  I'm not looking at having multiple users over a LAN, but it's something that might be useful.  Do you have any documentation I could read to research this?   Thanks for the replies!
  3. My friend and I are planning on starting a Warhammer 40K campaign, and I thought it might present an opportunity for me to put my (limited) C++ skill to work.  However, I'm finding it much more difficult to get it started, and I figured I could bounce it off the community for suggestions, ideas, and advice.   Basically, I need the program to simulate the galaxy for us.  I started a program, but I'm not sure my design is capable of what I need it to do.  Here's what I have:   I want Main to start by creating the galaxy.  It will run through a 3 dimensional array and create Solar Systems.  Each Solar System will consist of 2 to 12 planets, and each planet will consist of 3 to 7 territories.  Subsequent uses of the program will allow us to pull specific locations on the galactic map, as well as run through each solar system to determine random events such as planetary catastrophes, invasions, etc.     I figure I'll have at least these classes: A Galaxy class that holds a three dimensional array of Solar Systems. A Solar System class that holds whether the system has been discovered, number of planets, controlling race, and other undetermined details. A Planet class that holds 3-7 territories, a controlling race, climate, environmental details, etc. A Territory class that holds resources per turn, strategic bonuses, and controlling factions.   From a generalized standpoint, do you have any suggestions on how you would go about doing this?  Are there any specific programming practices that I'll need (for example: arrays are obvious, and classes, I can see inheritance being useful, but not necessary . . . ) ?  Is it efficient to have Galaxy holding a 3 dimensional array of Solar Systems (I'm particularly uncertain about the areas of the array that simply don't have a Solar System, wouldn't this setup be allotting memory for a Solar System even though it should be non-existent?)?  Or would it be better to have it hold a bool (true = a solar system exists, false = undiscovered area) and an int (the int would be an index so we know which solar system is there)?   Anyway, I don't want to make the post too long.  I appreciate any suggestions, and, at the very least, hopefully it will bring up some new ideas and challenges for me and like-leveled programmers.    
  4. Some questions about how far I've gone with C++, so I thought I'd include a description of the text game I had worked on for a little over a month I'd say. The game is called Gangland, I imagine most people are familiar with games where you buy a drug from one dealer and try to sell it at a profit somewhere else (I'm still not crazy about centering the game on drugs, and I actually considered converting it to a space smuggler setting or something like that. Anyway, it was just to challenge myself and I never intended it to be public or anything so I kept the drug theme haha). At this point, it has a class "Dealer" which includes the dealer's name, city, and several arrays that include his chances to have a certain drug on any given day, base price, a random price adjustment, quantity of each drug. Essentially, each dealer has a base percent chance of having a drug in stock, and a base quantity. The game cycles through the entire array using a for loop, determines with a random number whether the dealer has the product, and, if so, rolls again to add base quantity with the random quantity. The game has menus that include: Travel (to a city), Visit (one of four dealers within a city), Gas (visit the gas station), Check Supplies (menu of items, money, total car mileage, gas tank, etc), Quit. I figured time by having every action take x number of minutes and breaking minutes into hours -> days -> months -> years. Each dealer has his own trigger for getting a new line of products. The first guy refreshes his stock every day, but others may only refresh every week or so. I also have booleans to prevent the player from traveling to all the cities or all the dealers. Essentially, my plan was for the player to develop relationships with the dealers who would then introduce them to new dealers. Travel between cities takes its toll on your money, the condition of your car, etc. I also wanted to implement law, and I was in the process of adding a city class which would track the local economy and police presence, among other things. All the menus and game options have been checked for errors; i.e. you can't fill your gas tank past full and you can't have less than 0 gallons, you can't buy anything unless you have sufficient money, and you can't buy anything unless the dealer has it in stock. All this is included in 1060 lines of a single .cpp file. When I started the "beta" project, I wanted to have files included in main. However, I'm not sure I really have any idea what should be in my main .cpp and what should be included from another file. I also wanted to implement some inheritance to dealers, perhaps having sub-classes like "Small Time Dealer" and "Cartel Member" and so on. Hopefully this gives a little idea of what I've done with C++ so far. Thanks for all your posts so far. I'm beginning to feel motivated to start learning again.
  5. [quote name='BeerNutts' timestamp='1323636040' post='4892880'] The problems you are having aren't related to language, but of setting up a project. You want to get SFML working in a code::blocks project, which isn't too difficult IF you know what you are supposed to be doing. Let me point you to a project I made using SFML in my blog: [url="http://2dgamemaking.blogspot.com/2011/10/smashpc-is-started.html"]http://2dgamemaking....is-started.html[/url] You'll see some snapshots of where I setup the compiler settings and the linker settings for SFML (and other libraries). I use SFML, but I would suggest you stick to SFML 1.6 since it's fully stable. The main points from the link above is making sure, after setting up a simple console application, in the Project->Build Options window: In the linker setting, you want to make sure you include, in other linker options the -lsfml options I listed. What this means is, your project will be using the SFML libraries when it links. Compiling is the act of taking a single source file, and compiling it into machine code, but linking is the act of taking all the compilers output (including libraries, which is a combination of many compiled files) and tying it all together into a single binary executable. In the Search Directories, under the Compiler tab, you want to make sure you include the folders that hold the include folders for SFML. This is so the compiler knows where to look for the files you #include Also in Search Directories, under the Linker tab, you want to point to the directory where the SFML libraries are located. Typically it's in the bin/lib folder, and the libraries end in .a or .dll (occasionally you'll see .lib extensions). Once you do that, continue in that post, and there's some example code of setting up a simple SFML window. Good Luck. [/quote] OMG! I remember playing SmashTV! I used to play the 1-player/2 controller setting on Nintendo. Good stuff. I'm going to take a look at your link and give it a shot. Though it might be a couple days, I'll post back with results. Thanks for the link! I do need to learn how to set up projects. I imagine that will be an issue regardless of what language I use. The text game I wrote was all in one .cpp file, which might suggest how limited my knowledge is when setting up a program. I started to re-write it using .h files for my classes, but honestly didn't have the motivation to re-write the whole thing. Maybe something worth re-visiting?
  6. [quote name='Telastyn' timestamp='1323633179' post='4892871'] I'd look into C# or python. You've learned enough programming that the jump won't be too much of a step backwards and you'll quickly appreciate how much pain C++ has put you through. [/quote] I've been wondering about this. I actually don't think of C++ being hard, but I'm starting to think it's because I don't have anything to compare it to. Just as you said, I might make a switch and then realize how rough C++ can be. It seems like Python is really popular, but would C# be an easier conversion considering my C++ experience? On a side note, major noob question, is C# pronounced "C number"? I was reading about Roguelikes, and I did see quite a few of them are written in Python. I think I'm really leaning towards a switch here. It's not like I couldn't switch back to C++ in the future. In fact, my understanding is that Dwarf Fortress was written in C# and converted to C++. Does anyone have suggestions for learning programming? I really learned a lot from writing my text based game. Did anyone try using a specific program idea to help learn the skill?
  7. Hello everyone, New to the forums here. I've been self-teaching myself C++ for a little over a year now (off and on, unfortunately), and I thought it would be best to get involved in a community of some sort, mainly because I don't know anyone who actually programs. I'm mainly posting because I've run into a predicament that I thought some more experienced programmers could help with. As I said, I'm self-taught to this point. I've been using Teach Yourself C++ in 21 days and C++ Without Fear, and I've covered variables, loops, some arrays and pointers, references, classes, and a little inheritance. I then programmed a text based game based on those old graphing calculator drug-running games from high school. The game was heavy on loops and arrays, and it actually worked for what I had programmed. However, I essentially stopped the project because I felt like I had learned what I wanted to learn. Having no project in mind, I took a hiatus for a month or so. Lately I've been trying to get allegro or SFML to work in code:blocks, and I've had some horrible defeats recently. I'm finding that I have little to no knowledge of how directories work. I keep running into outdated tutorials, nondescript tutorials, or terminology I'm simply not familiar with. Directories, linkers, environment variables, libraries, so on and so forth. I'm not sure if this is a direct result of how I've approached programming, or it's simply unfamiliarity with Windows 7, or something totally different. I have no grand intentions to program the next minecraft or angry birds. I actually really like the idea of starting a roguelike. I have also been kicking around a mix of Call of Duty Zombies, Dwarf Fortress, and Tower Defense. I don't even mind if the game is actually represented by graphics or ASCII characters. However, this block with Allegro and SFML has really stumped me even though it seems like it should be incredibly easy (seriously, I just want a window to open, that's it). So, I've been researching and putting in the sweat, and now I'm questioning whether I should switch languages to Python or C#. Any suggestions the community could offer with setting up a graphics library, how to approach the task of learning to program, whether switching to a new language is a good idea, tutorials on including libraries, etc would be greatly appreciated. Best wishes, W.