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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.   Agreed. It's a great concept but it feels like it's only a small piece of a much larger world. Are there any known problems or anyone who opposes the idea? Can it be modded or hacked? Start asking questions and really start to flesh the world itself out. Then start creating conflicts.
  2. This is my first post, just going to throw it out there. I've been reading a lot of articles and came across a few posts about character creation and thought I'd come up with a rough draft of what a character should have. I've been writing for a while and I often do round-robins with a few friends and one of the most common things I see with new writers or people who are trying to break into writing is stale characters. It's happened in movies and it has happened in video games. We can spend a lot of time naming titles, but the main point is that the story falls short because the main characters, or in some cases the entire case, have either yet to capture our interests or lost it somewhere along the way. I don't want this to be a "This is my guide" type of post. If you have anything to add, please feel free to comment and see what needs tweeking or adding. [b][u]BackStory:[/u][/b] The backstory plays two main roles for you character. The first is that it's what makes your chracter what them unique. A character's backstory is one of the most important, if not the most inportant if they are a minor character, aspects of building you character. The backstory is what shapes and molds your character into the person they are when the game begins. Think about a past event in your life that had a lasting impact on you that changed the way you thought or the way you acted. These are the types of things that need to be in a character's backstory. Were they once a bad apple but got turned around by a mentor who saw potential? Was there a sudden or tragic death that forced them to take up duties they didn't want to? Remember, even if your character had the most bland life, he must still react to his surroundings and portray himself as if his life had been bland. The second role is that it gives you wiggle room to flesh out your character in the game. If there was some tramatic event that hadn't been resolved in their backstory (let's say that our chracter is aquaphobic), we have a chance to explore how our chracter will react to the unresolved conflict and let the player decide if the conflict gets resolved or remains unresolved. Remember that the character's backstory is what makes them what they are. They are the cumulations of their past events. [b][u]Looks:[/u][/b] This doesn't not only mean what they look phsyically, but what phsyical features stand out immediately. If they are part of the main cast, give them something that someone on the street could immediately point out. You can take the obvious approach and go for the outragous, which is not bad, but it had to reflect upon your character in some way. Did they get that scar from a fight with their older brother who was tough but loved them or from a mugger that they finally stood up to? What your character wears, what kind of distinguishing features they have, are all relfections of who they are at their core. Of course don't go overboard either. Not every single peice of clothing is going to have a sigificant meaning. Their pants just might well be what they found on their floor, but the fact that they are ripped may indicate that your character's a slacker and not willing to drive out and buy a new pair. [b][u]Personality:[/u][/b] This is the big one and the one people like to focus on most. This will be the meat and potatos of your character, what makes them unique and sets them apart from everyone else. It's becomes a lot easier to think of a character's personality once you have a solid background to base it on. Most people look at the big picture and onverlook the subtle details that will make your character more fleshed out. The easist approach to finding out what a character is like is to do a mental interveiw with them (or a pertend one if it works). Think of yourself as a psychologist and your character has just walked in with a problem. What is it? How do they react to it? Trying to ask everything from "What's your favorite color" to "Have you ever had any traumatic experiences?". Also remember that if you do use this method, you are playing the role of a character within the story. Does your character have a tendency to lie when put under pressure? Do just jot down the answers to the questions, but also about how they react. All of this is what creates a fully formed personality. Another approach is to think if your character was old and writing a relfect about their life. What would they include? What would the Exclude? What would the emphasize? [b][u]Arc:[/u][/b] Your character's story arc is the exact opposite of their backstory. This is where you plot out your character's future events and how to unfold them. This should be at least, if not the most exciting story, compelling. That doesn't mean that your character fights, or even comes out on top in the end, or even comes out the good guy. Having a compelling arc for your character means that your character will undergo some growth, good or bad, and this growth should draw the audience in. TheStar Wars KOTOR series is a great example of having a good arc for your character. You could choose to be either good or evil, but either way the choices you made were compelling and made you want to play more and more to unraval the mystery behind your mysterious past. [b][u]Relationships[/u][/b] This doesn't just mean romantic relationships. What relationship does your character have with their best friend? Their parents? What about them actually trying to get into a relationship with another character. Did they have a bad experience with their first love that had callused them? How do they deal with forming new relationships? Try creating a link to everyone in the main party, even if it's something as simple as two people met and one of them needs something from the other that the other is not willing to give until they complete a task. Also remember that relationships do not have to be forever. Do not be afriad to have a temporary party member that goes off and dies from the main villan. [b][u]Other Stuff[/u][/b] Don't just write down everything that is important about your character. Are they left-handed or right-handed? Do they drink coffee or tea? What's their favorite book/ movie? Remember that even the unimportant things will have some effect on your character's personailty. Remember that this is not a "this is my guide" post, if you can think of anything, anything at all I could put in or tweak, please comment. Thank you for reading.