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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've seen tons of examples on the net about how to get a DebugDevice in SharpDX, and then how at the end, to call ReportLiveDeviceObjects( ). Yet every single example shows a stack of still-instantiated objects. The ID3D11Device always has at least 2 external refcounts on it, and the rest have internal refcounts, but no external refcounts... This seems unclean.   I'd like to know if there is *a* way to "clean up" the DebugDevice so that the DebugDevice knows that ALL of the D3D objects are gone and cleaned up. Kinda like a way to call DebugDevice.SetD3DDevice( null ), or DebugDevice.DisposeYourReferenceToD3D( ), and THEN call ReportLiveDeviceObjects( )! I want a clean log! I haven't seen one example where the log is clean.   I know enough to flush the context, and clear it's state, by the way. This still-having-entries log file is after doing all that.   Possible!?
  2. I'd like to have a master HLSL file, with some functions in it, but these functions require a lot of variables to be passed in. It'd be *nice*, but not absolutely necessary, if my master .fx file could reference "extern" variables, and at compile time, resolve those to the ones in my cbuffer in the non-master file. Is this possible?   to restate, I have two files, "master.hlsl" and let's say "blur.hlsl". I want blur.hlsl to reference master.hlsl with a #include. I want blur.hlsl to define a cbuffer  with some varaibles (let's say float fBlurSizeH and float fBlurSizeW), and inside master.hlsl, it defines these variables as "extern float fBlurSizeH" (etc)... Maybe I'd have a function like void DoBlur( Texture2D image ), which references fBlurSizeH. When I try this, it tells me my variable is defined twice. Stupid compiler! :-)   I don't see any reason why this couldn't happen, but I don't know the syntax of how to do it. It just seems cleaner.   One problem I have is that I have multiple HLSL files wanting to reference this master HLSL file, so I can't reference a specific constant buffer from within the master HLSL file, I need the variables it references to be "generic".   thanks  
  3. I want to animate some synthetic video bits to fullscreen w/o tearing at a precise vertical HZ frequency. Can I set up D3D 9/10/11 in exclusive mode, and have it present a series of buffers that I'm writing to? I know how to copy system memory bits into a texture, then draw that texture as a fullscreen quad, but it seems like overkill. Why should I use the triangle rasterizer when I want to do something so simple? I don't know what i'm doing, but all I want to do is set up a long (4-8 buffer) swapchain and set the bits of the back buffer that is about to be displayed. Or, I want to allocate 4-8 RenderTargets, and on each frame, copy the bits from system memory to the RenderTarget, then somehow, get that RenderTarget to display on the screen. I realize a RenderTarget is normally used to draw to as a pre-step then use it as a texture in a successive step. Whatever the case, i want to blast system memory bits into "something that is about to be displayed next" and have D3D drawing one thing while I'm blasting bits to the next thing. I don't know why I should have to use the triangle rasterizer with so simple a task. I've never seen or heard about anybody doing this, but it seems it should be so dead simple! thanks in advance...
  4. Why is the depth calculated per vertex instead of per pixel?
  5. I need to calculate shadow maps for 3 lights at once. Instead of using 3 shadow maps, I'd like to calculate all of them in one pass, using one shadow map, each light stuffing it's depth value into a single R, G, or B channel. I know, this gives me only 256 bits of precision per channel. Is this even possible?
  6. To the first guy who asked the question, I figured it out. For a point-light, you simply duplicate the exact same projection matrix as you use for the camera. In other words, move the "eye" to the point source's location (the view matrix), and calculate the projection matrix to be the same as you used for the camera. Then calculate the shadow map. Be careful that the light is not too close to your model, or the shadow map won't contain all of the model, and you'll get STRANGE shadows.
  7. That wasn't the most informative reply. Why represent it as six spot lights? Why can't I find a HLSL example for a point-light shadow routine where the point light simply uses a perspective transformation instead of a orthographic transformation? Are there any examples online of a point-source shadow mapping (SIMPLE) example?