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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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About mtemple

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  1. Yes! Please keep me posted if you have the time. I always give game credit for anything we end up using, so I'll keep you posted on that too. I'll let everyone know what approach we ended up using and how we did it. GameDev has saved us again! What did we ever do before the web?
  2. Thanks MJP! I'm looking at the code now and I very much appreciate the hard work you have put in on it. And thanks for the vertex positions...yes...that is exactly what I meant. I think Vilem might have a little more on the subject so I'm looking forward to that. Thanks to all of you for all of your input. It has saved us a ton of time!
  3. So what size cube would you place these 1024x1024 textures on? And which "separate app" did you use offline to generate the cubemap? Forgive me if all of this is in the thread you referenced. I am just looking at that now. Thanks,
  4. Sorry...I should have mentioned that. We're using DirectX 9 (August 2007) and we are importing from MAX 9 using our own importer. But I'll take a look at the tutorial anyway as it may still prove useful. Thanks!
  5. I'm afraid we're new to this so I was just guessing as to which method would produce the best results. We would certainly look at cube maps if they make more sense. I also wanted to be sure we could find artists familiar with the method so there would be as few complications as possible to producing a good looking star field. Isn't some special editing necessary to make the edges of the cube look correct? Is that very difficult? Do most artists know how to do it? I think we will move the environment simultaneously with the ship/camera. The distance of our clipping plane is just something we picked at random currently, but again we don't yet know what would be optimum. We would like to make the sphere or cube as small as we can, but yet large enough to contain a space battle. Unless someone like you can say what his experience was with this, we figured we were going to have to experiment. Generated stars sounds like a good idea, but we want to have fairly rich space environments that are interesting for the player to visit, so I think we'd still need the bitmaps. But maybe generated stars would look good in combination? I'll need to look for that thread to see. Any details about how you approached this problem are HIGHLY appreciated! Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to this question!
  6. Gents, I need to do a spherical environment map of a star field for a 3D Space Combat game, but I'd like to have an idea of how large to make the sphere (and maybe how large to make the texture). Of course, the player will always stay in the center of the sphere so he can never get too close to the edges. Has anyone done this before? I'd hate to have to do it by trial and error as that could be a long messy process. Are there any tricks to it? Any issues to watch out for? Thanks!
  7. The stem is only gray after export, and then only if I make it refer to a blank material, so the gray is to be expected. If I make the MatID's for the triangles in the stem refer to the only material in the mesh, then the stem is red like the rest of the apple. I'm just at a loss for how the stem is being set to brown. But it's probably not that important to get to the bottom of it. Your advice about making sure the artists use the MatID's properly should solve the problem for our in-game models I think. And I'm sure we have some shader issues in the engine as well, so we need to work it from both ends. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply!
  8. Thanks for the help Niko, I had no choice to but to assume these errant ID's must refer to the only material that exists in the mesh. But other cases are more troubling. In the Apple example that comes with MAX 9, the mesh is divided into 2 nodes, and there is only one material (which contains a texture map for the apple). But the stem contains no material Index (MAX passes -1 in the SDK to indicate this). However each of the faces in the stem node have material ID's from 0 to 2. If I make these faces refer to the apple texture, the stem is improperly covered with the red Apple texture, when it should be brown in color. I have tried creating a 'blank' material definition with all zeros to point the stem ID's at, but then the stem looks gray. So the issue here is that I do not know how to make the stem look brown when it's exported. There appears to be no material that would do this. But you mentioned that textures do not need to be materials in MAX. Does this mean there may be a texture stored with the mesh somewhere but not in the materials list? From what you've said, it appears the best course for me is to make sure my artists are very careful with their material ID's and use them only to refer to materials, correct? Thanks again for your time!
  9. Gentlemen, Does anyone understand the relationship in MAX 9 between the Materials (usually textures) and the MatID (Material ID) that each triangle face uses to reference the Materials? I have seen several meshes where there is only one Material with no Sub-Materials, yet there will be Face definitions that have a MatID of 2. How is that possible? Aren't the MatIDs always supposed to reference the materials? If you only have ONE material definition, in what universe does it make sense to reference that one material with an ID of 2? I am PLAINLY missing something big here. Help! Thanks in advance to you experts!
  10. Thanks! I'll give that a shot.
  11. Really?!? Nobody has ever done this before? I'm hoping this means a game like this is long overdue!
  12. I would like to know more about creating starfields for a first-person 3D space game. I am just wondering what size of sphere to use, and then what size of bitmap to map onto the inside of it. I think we could probably figure it out through trial and error, but I would like to know if there is some standard for this that most folks are using. I also want to avoid any traps that might have been discovered by others in this process. As always, your help is greatly appreciated!
  13. Ahhh. I had never really considered that it might sound different. Thanks for the head-up on that!
  14. Thanks Steve, I already have my own software mixing code, so I was just curious if everyone else had abandoned this in favor of just turning everything over to DirectSound 3D buffers. I think it is simple enough to just convert positions in 3D space into pan and fade values. And like you say, I don't have to worry about 3D buffer support. I wonder if it is worth the effort to try doing any frequency modulation in order to simulate the Doppler effect? Thanks again!
  15. How universal is support for 3D sound these days? I was thinking of checking for 3D DirectSound buffer support in our game, and dropping back to a standard DirectSound buffer if the support is not there (and doing my own fadeing and panning). But every article I read on the subject seems to be very old. Can I just assume that 3D support is there and go ahead? Is 3D buffer support universal by now? I think I will need standard DirectSound buffers for other things like ambient sound that is not positon sensitive, but I'm wondering if I need to use my own fadeing and panning code or if I can count on 3D. Thanks,