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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. I'm relatively new to c++ programming, but I feel like I got the basics through various tutorials and practice. I've gotten to the point where console programming has become less interesting, and I've just started to scratch using OpenGL. I'm using SDL as my base and OpenGL through that, to simplify the learning process somewhat. I've gotten started and things are working nicely, but I find that I continue to run into not coding questions but design questions. I'm purely focusing on 2D at the moment, simply building quads and texturing them. The results are coming out as I had planned, which is good, but it has led me to question what the most efficient way( both in terms of performance and general code organization) of doing this might be.For instance, do I keep the drawing code in my game/graphics class and iterate through UIelements/gameobjects to get coordinates/textures and draw stuff that way, or do I add the actual drawing code to the gameobject classes themselves, then iterate through and call it in each of them? What about the textures? Do I keep them in a separate container in the main class, thus allowing me to use the same texture for several objects, or do I store each object's texture inside the object thus leading to duplication but no time spent searching for the texture? Maybe just store a pointer to a place in a container? I'm also struggling with some more general stuff. For instance, what would be a good way of only calling the writing function for stuff that will actually be visible? I could just check the coordinates, but that would definitely add a lot of overhead every time I'm rewriting the screen. As of right now, I haven't even started on the actual game. But in that regard, should I make a game class/object that is separate from my current main class which currently just contains SDLstuff/graphics/eventhandling and such?Or do I just keep it all inside one huge main class? Anyway, I'm not necessarily looking for detailed answers to each and every question, but general advice and maybe some links. I've been through a few tutorials obviously, but they all seem to focus more on the code-typing part instead of code management and design. At least they don't seem to go very far in explaining why things should be as they have set them up. I know there's rarely a 'right answer', but any input from someone with actual experience would be good. Thanks!
  2. I see what you're saying, but from what I can tell GDI is still supported, even with hardware acceleration. It was even 'fixed' from Vista, where it was solely CPU-based. See: [url="http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/ff729480.aspx"]http://msdn.microsof...p/ff729480.aspx[/url] [quote] Availability of Hardware Acceleration GDI is hardware accelerated on Windows XP, and accelerated on Windows 7 when the Desktop Window Manager is running and a WDDM 1.1 driver is in use. Direct2D is hardware accelerated on almost any WDDM driver and regardless of whether DWM is in use. On Vista, GDI will always render on the CPU.[/quote] So while Direct2D would obviously be preferred, it definitely seems as if GDI should at least make use of some hardware acceleration once the prerequisites are met. That's why I'm kinda at a loss as to why it's not using the GPU at all. *edit* Looking around some more, it seems only a few GDI features have HW-acceleration in Win7. And obviously not the ones the game is using. So no luck there I guess. Scratch that, now I'm even more confused. Just read through an article on Tom's Hardware about 2D GDI acceleration and Windows 7, then downloaded their 2D benchmark. Checked it with Dependency Walker and it's using User32 and GDI32 just like the game. Difference is, their benchmark is showing significant GPU acceleration( upwards of 40% depending on which test I run) yet the game is consistently showing 0% GPU usage.
  3. Well, I know it uses DirectSound, as mentioned. I think it also uses it to display the opening movie. But I don't see any indications of it using any DirectX API for the graphics. Just can't figure out why it won't run with hardware acceleration. Here's the dumpbin log for DistWorldrez.exe, the other one was uninteresting.
  4. Thanks for the help. None of them showed anything significant on the main executable(Distantworlds.exe), just Kernel32, but I did find GDI32.dll in another executable( DistWorldrez.exe). Couldn't find much else graphics related. However, I thought GDI was hardware accelerated on Win7 given WDM was running and you had WDDM1.1, yet I'm not seeing any GPU activity at all, nor am I able to monitor fps. Any ideas? Also found User32, Ole32, OlePro32 and some others of less interest.
  5. Hi, I'm having some performance problems with a game. I'd like to find out which graphics API it uses( DDraw, Direct2D, etc.) to see if there's something I can tweak in windows, or otherwise, to make it run better. It's purely a 2D game, called Distant Worlds. On my system(Win7 64bit) it's not using my graphics card at all, just the CPU. People on XP are not reporting graphics slowdowns however. This initially led me to believe that it might be using DDraw, since I believe they removed hardware acceleration support for that API with Vista/7. I once had a similar problem with the DDraw game Space Empires 5 which would run great on WinXP but not on Vista or 7. The only .dll files in the game directory is couple of lua5.1 and interop files. The game requires DirectX( it uses DirectSound ) but I don't know if it's related to the graphics. It also requires .NET framework. Anyway, if it really is DDraw then I suppose there's not much that can be done about the performance. But I'd like to know for sure. Is there an easy way to do this?