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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. Personally I'm more a fan of 2D jRPGs over 3D ones so I'll say more about that side, but most times the world gets boring to look at and explore after a while since tiles are reused. What really makes me want to explore is a reward for doing so. Random items, chests, optional (special) monster encounters are all things that would make me want to explore the world in both a 2D and 3D game. I don't quite remember the game's economy in terms of item costs, but Eternal Eden was a great 2D jRPG in that each map screen did have a hidden item that you could get from exploring the whole screen. Instead of something like Dragon Quest's multitude of drawers, barrels, vases, etc that you would check for items, Eternal Eden simply shows an exclamation mark above the player's head to denote an unseen item tucked in a corner. Sometimes the item is a generic potion or herb, but for the harder to reach places, it could be a great weapon for the area you are in. In short, I personally think the only way for exploration to be "fun" is if there is something to explore. Something to find and discover. Exploration implies risk, I believe, and with risk, you most certaintly should have a reward at the end. Otherwise it's more of a walk through the scenic route which may get the player to the same place longer than the normal way, something that won't resonate with most people.
  2. A focus only on genres wasn't my intent, but it's simply the easiest term to deal with for expectations of gameplay and such. I do have to agree that genre mashups work particularly well when they are of opposite paces. Also, the games I mentioned earlier while they do have two different halves to their gameplay, they aren't equal halves. I think all genre mashups have to have one that's the primary genre, with the other as the auxillary. As for Reccettear, I felt the shop simulator was fully developed for what the game was aiming to achieve, while the action RPG was the auxillary portion of the game, thus more simplistic and not quite as important. However if they scrapped either of the portions, it would be an entirely different game, not necessarily better or worse simply due to more effort, time, and resources put into a singular genre instead of 2. It seems that some think genre mashups are seen to be two halves that should have been wholes by themselves because then they would be better games. But again, (and this is what I really meant by the whole is greater than the sum of its parts) is the overall experience the same? No, it wouldn't be. I can't imagine playing 40 hours of just the Reccettear Action RPG portion, or just the shop simulator, even if both were better realized to their potential having barred work on the other type of gameplay. Part of the charm and allure of Reccettear and other genre mashups are because the two halves work together well. It may not be the absolute best the individual parts could have been, but I believe it is more the combination of the two gameplay styles together where genre mashups succeed or fail.
  3. A lot of good points brought up. There are plenty of current games that take elements from other genres, for sure. Usually in those cases the elements are integrated enough so that it becomes one seamless experience. What I'm talking about specifically are games like I mentioned in my first post, games that can be considered two different game experiences. Mini-games are indeed a smaller example of that. In Final Fantasy X, you have a small sports game (and a few other mini-games) placed inside of a huge RPG. However I suppose it isn't required by necessity to play them which helps the marketing aspect in case RPG players don't like sports games. A bit on a tangent here, I know most gamers have their preferences towards game genres, so what different genre combinations would possibly hold as much of the market as possible? (Visually, which genre combinations would have the center portion of a Venn diagram largest?) What would you think about an action/adventure and town building hybrid game in terms of market?
  4. New poster here. I'm just wondering what do people think about games that combine two or even more genres together? I'm not talking about simply mashing up elements of genres, but actual gameplay can be said to be Genre X and Genre Y. I don't see too many games like this often, but for me, they are some of the most fun I've had. A few examples of games like these are ActRaiser (a platformer/city building game) for the SNES, Dark Cloud (an action RPG/town building game) for PS2, and Reccettear (an action RPG/item shop simulator) for PC. Is it because the whole is greater than the sum of its parts? ActRaiser was a critically acclaimed game, but ActRaiser 2 was mediocre as it had scrapped the city building part of its gameplay. I'm not sure I'd play just the platforming parts or just the town-building parts myself. I do understand genre lines have largely become blurried but the games I've mentioned above are ones that combined two genres that are not thought of to being mixed together well, yet they work very well. I can't think of others like them, but they games like these work? If so, why do you believe there aren't more games to mash completely different genres together. If they don't and these three are part of the exception, why do you think that is?