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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.

longshorts

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  1. Thanks very much for the replies guys, all of it is usefull. Lithander, Ive always wondered if that was true, or if I should just focus on gaming jobs, but yeah, will act on your advice for definite.   On the subject of portfolios, is it a bad idea to include projects from game jams such as ludum dare? Providing they are finished of course. Thought it is good to show what you can acomplish within a short amount of time, but god forbid if someone looks at the source code lol.
  2. Hi forum, I've spent a lot of time here reading FAQs and old threads, but still cannot seem to find an answer to my current dilema. I am a programmer, looking to take my skills into the gaming industry. I graduated with a Masters in Software Engineering in 2012, and a BSc in Computer Science in 2009. The town I work in has very little programming opportunities, and I currently work as a retail consultant in a phone shop.   My current occupation I know is odd, its a job to pay the bills which Ive been stuck in for several reasons (mostly due to refusing to travel long distances, which I realise is crippling me). That aside, I've been stuck to not applying for game industry jobs even if I find some available. Why? Take for example a position as a Server Application Engineer. They require the applicant to know SQL, PHP and Node.js. Brilliant, I know SQL and PHP, but I have never touched Node.js in my life. I suddenly feel Ive fallen short of the job's requirements, and dont apply for fear of wasting the employer's time.   So my first question is, how often do people get into jobs where they are hitting around half of the position's requirements? The few that I have replied for I tend to not get a reply. But as a programmer, and with so many different languages out there, I find it very difficult to hit 100% of an employer's requirements.   My next question is, what path should I take towards hitting these requirements to break into the industry? I currently have a few options. Do a Masters in Game Development. I'm extreemly reluctant to do this, because I feel having three degrees is overkill. I do realise however it would alow me to network well with other people in gaming and teach me some good specialist skills. Continue building my portfolio. I enjoy doing this, but don't think its giving me the necessary skills. I'm currently working on a strategy/survival android game which is built in Java with LibGDX, and I would like to finish the project. But hardly any employers seem to be looking for Java game developers, so perhaps I should make better use of my time? Widen my skillset. Probably the hardest path as I would have to self motivate myself with only the small amount of time available to learn technology like Node.js; something I feel nessesary to meet the requirements for a job, but other than that have little interest in knowing. All of these paths I know are benificial to break into the industry, I'm just looking for the best place to focus my spare time at the moment. I seem to find so few graduate jobs available in the gaming industry, so it seems I need to work that much harder in order to compete with experienced game developers. Any advice is appreciated, and thanks in advance :)    
  3. Ive read that and its simple to understand, but for what Im trying to do pure A* is simply too costly. For a rundown on jump point search read http://harablog.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/jump-point-search/ which gives a quick overview on it. It seems to be a lot faster version of A*.
  4. Thanks for the help guys, I had a feeling I was overcomplicating the problem! I wasnt sure how ray casting was implemented so that pseudo-code is very useful. Ill give it a shot in the near future, using this answer for the line rectangle intersection logic: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/99353/how-to-test-if-a-line-segment-intersects-an-axis-aligned-rectange-in-2d On another note, can any of you point me to a easy to understand guide on A* Jump point search? Seems the most efficient method for working out the enemy's path to the player. But I could be wrong, how else would you work that out in this scenario? (bearing in mind the path should be constantly recalculated as the player moves).
  5. I am currently trying to devise a good algorithm to test if point A is in line of sight of point B. It is for use in a 2D Tank game I am developing in C++ using SFML. Here is a video showing how my algorithm is currently functioning: [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qwv_c1Oc78w[/media] The problem I am trying to solve is that I want many (30+) enemies to track the player's location and react accordingly when the player is in line of sight (for example, fire at the player). Therefore the alorithm needs to be quite efficent. Currently what I am doing is making a sprite at the enemy's location, then fire it towards the player's location. As the sprite moves, it samples it's current location to check if it has either collided with an obsticle (where the method returns false) or it's target (returning true). In the video, the points at which the sprite is sampling is represented by yellow dots. I am wanting to then ask two questions: is there a more efficient way of working out line of sight? Also, if someone could check my maths that would be extreemly helpful. The tracers dont seem to hit the player's center always so I know Im calculating something wrong. Thanks for any help you can give, Im probably getting into stuff way too complex for me. This is in fact my first game and first C++ program. Yet I still need to go on to figure out how to do A* Jump point search! Argh! The code for working out LOS is below: [code]#include "stdafx.h" #include "Pathfinder.h" #include "Game.h" #define PI 3.14159265 //Returns true if target is in line of sight bool Pathfinder::LineOfSight(float startx, float starty, float endx, float endy) { //Load tracer image if(!_isLoaded) Load("images/tracer.png"); _tracer.SetPosition(startx, starty); //Get the angle between the start and end point float angle = GetAngle(startx, starty, endx, endy); //Calculate movement in x y coords depending on rotation float xvel = 1; float yvel = 1; if(angle >= 0 && angle < 90) //q1 { xvel = (angle/90); yvel = 1 - (angle/90); } if(angle >= 90 && angle < 180) //q2 { xvel = 1 - ((angle - 90)/90); yvel = 0 - ((angle - 90)/90); } else if(angle >= 180 && angle < 270) //q3 { xvel = 0 - ((angle - 180)/90); yvel = ((angle - 180)/90) - 1; } else if (angle >= 270 && angle < 360) //q4 { xvel = ((angle - 270)/90) - 1; yvel = ((angle - 270)/90); } float increment = 15; //Distance traveled before sampling float error = 10; //Max error when targeting end point //While tracer is not at goal while(((_tracer.GetPosition().x < endx - error) || (_tracer.GetPosition().x > endx + error)) && ((_tracer.GetPosition().y < endy - error) || (_tracer.GetPosition().y > endy + error))) { //Move the tracer to next sampling point _tracer.Move(xvel*(increment), yvel*(increment)); if(_isLoaded) //Draw tracer at this location Game::GetWindow().Draw(_tracer); //Check if the tracer collides with a impassable //object on the tilemap if(Game::GetGOM().GetTileMap()->Collision(_tracer.GetPosition())) { return false; } } return true; } //Get angle between two points float Pathfinder::GetAngle(float startx, float starty, float endx, float endy) { float mX = endx; float mY = endy; mX = mX - startx; mY = mY - starty; return atan2(-mY,mX) * (180 / PI) + 90; } void Pathfinder::Load(std::string filename) { if(_image.LoadFromFile(filename) == false) { _filename = ""; _isLoaded = false; } else { _filename = filename; _tracer.SetImage(_image); _isLoaded = true; } } sf::Sprite Pathfinder::_tracer; sf::Image Pathfinder::_image; std::string Pathfinder::_filename; bool Pathfinder::_isLoaded = false;[/code]
  6. Thanks for the reply Tom, had a good read of the FAQ now. All very good work So lets say then I have built my own personal decision grid for this problem. I have put my own "values" into it. However I am struggling to fill in some rows. Most important of these is "What would an employer value?". Finding the answer to this question was the original purpose of my post. I am after all looking to work on whatever would give me a good foundation for game development, at this stage I'm not necessarily worried about specialization or what "kind" of games I want to make (maybe I should ask, should I know already?). For this reason, I am more inclined to pursue whatever will develop my C++ skills as that is the most common skill I find is required by employers. However I could be incorrect with this conclusion. Again, this is why I am seeking advice.
  7. Hey there forum, I am currently studying a masters degree in Software Engineering, and I am struggling at the moment to decide what dissertation I should do. As I do not have a degree directly relevant to Games Programming (what I would like to do in the future) I wanted to pick a dissertation which would give me a good skill set for the gaming industry and would also look good on my CV to potential employers. I am currently deciding between two projects: 1) Develop a tank strategy game in C++. I currently have very little experience programming in C++ (only one year experience in C) so I believe this could be quite beneficial in order to learn the language that pretty much every games company wants you to program in. I of course would love to program in Java instead for the likes of an Android game as I have nearly five years of experience programming in Java, but it just doesn't seem to be in demand. The problem I see with this project is that it doesn't seem to be very interesting as a dissertation. 2) Develop a puzzle game in Java for Android distributed for free over the Android Market. The puzzle game would monitor how quickly a user can resize, drag and rotate objects around the touchscreen while attempting to solve the puzzles the game presents. The resultant data would then be sent back to a database over a wifi connection from the android device for analysis. The idea is that this data could be studied in order to figure out what a wide range of users find easy and quick to do on a touch screen, possibly resulting in a model which can be used in the future to influence good UI design. This project seems highly interesting, but my fear is that it may not develop valuable skills required in the real world for game development. So I ask those who are already in the gaming industry; which should I choose? What would be more valuable for me and my potential future as a game developer?