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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 think you ought to play these games more times, and google for how such game is done. Like @menyo said, it's procedural. Accurately speaking, Tiny Wings is procedural graphics, Jetpack is just randomized sprite placements. Procedural graphics is maths, if you think it's fun, refer to [url="http://www.raywenderlich.com/3888/how-to-create-a-game-like-tiny-wings-part-1"]http://www.raywender...ny-wings-part-1[/url] . Collision detection and game logic is another story though. Jetpack is much easier to do. You define your endless (well, might not be really endless, just very long) run with obstacles at intervals. Use obstacle sets, each item in the set has the same difficulty. Place set - interval - set - interval. And when a set is encountered, you place sprites by randomizing obstacles in the set. You can draw up a map using xmind or something to figure out the hierarchical structure of the scene. Though I should mention that there are already way too many games in this genre. And many of them are in 3d, and have extremely strong graphics, such as Rushing Alice. It might not be easy to gain tractions. And if you think about it, Temple Run is in the same genre too.
  2. What are the incentives? Are you aiming to create the next silicon valley? That'll need a lot of money, and politics. A mere piece of land isn't good enough. But what if, say, if you build a game company there, it'll be tax free? Better yet, all game developers get 50% discount automatically at all supermarkets there. Or, if you came from another place, and try to settle, free house. But I figured even the homeless wouldn't want to come to a town full of shelters. So a clear objective is important. Having said that, I think the important factors are funding, and government backed policies.
  3. Most RPGs have linear story lines. I recall several articles I read mentioning alternative paths are designed for replayability (or replay value). And if you look at games like World of Warcraft, its character race design is very typical. It tells the player that even after you get bored with your character, you can still create a new one as another race to get a new game. I also recall reading from somewhere that games should not be like movies. The view argues that a game should be more of providing an interactive decision making environment to the player, and less of just telling the story. In that sense, alternative paths also serve the purpose of having more varieties, which makes the player feel like he's in control, rather than having to do something he's told to. Nonetheless, I figure nobody hated Call of Duty because of its linear story setup. So if it's done right, linear story can also be great.
  4. I agree with you on the point that freemium is only suitable for MMOs. If people and their friends are hooked together on an MMO platform, they are likely to stay and purchase power-ups. The recent rise of freemium games seemed to have lots to do with the success of Farmville. In the old days, there simply weren't that many similar games. People didn't move from game to game because they didn't know there were others. But it's a different story now. Take iOS for example, you'll see its free game chart constantly moving. It's a very high competition area. I tried purchasing coins in games like Jetpack Joyride, Chasing Yello, Rushing Alice. What I discovered is that these coins are pretty much wasted, and have no major effect on gameplay. They only makes you look better or luckier. If you look closely, the majority of purchasable items on iOS free games are consumables. Unlike MMOs, where you typically purchase for a permanent item, such as a weapon. And because in such small games, mechanics are too simple to be altered by coins. It leaves you the exact same feeling when playing with purchased items. In a game like Jetpack Joyride, purchasable items seemed to be a part of the game design from ground up. But for most others, it's like a last minute job. They didn't think of why the player needs purchasing. In the end, it's very difficult to keep the player hooked with a free version, and make him wanting more at the same time. There are a lot of well designed free games, which made moving from one to another an easy action. And to be successful, it's not about designing a good game. You'll have a better chance if you can reach the people who have the habit to purchase a lot of items even though they are useless.
  5. There are quite a few games with this mechanics on iOS. To name a few, Jetpack Joyride, Temple Run, Agent Dash, Chasing Yello, Rushing Alice, Tiny Wings, Ski Safari. And there are others I can't recall the name, the one with gingerbread man, and the one with birds. Most of them are free, with in-app-purchase based power-ups. And the operations typically involves jump and dunk only. And for Jetpack Joyride, Ski Safari, Tiny Wings, they only involves one operation. It's not typical to have something to "shoot at". You can also consult Doodle Jump, which is constantly moving, but at controllable progress. In the end, you are asking whether it's a good idea. I have to say there are already many hits in this genre. So people are familiar with it. How they are designed, I have to agree with @slicer4ever on pacing. Some games are bad because they are too slow or fast. But you have to play the existing hits to get the idea.
  6. In a map like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Maps-for-free_Sierra_Nevada.png , they typically use a spectrum of colors to indicate the height. Its shadows are a bit more complicated than just laying a blurred square. It shows the light direction. Thus its representation of height is much more realistic. I think it can be only achieved by rendering the map in a 3d application in orthographic projection.
  7. First of all, Angry Bird is essentially a clone of Crush the Castle. A lot of games are based on the ideas of others. It's not a bad thing. It's like scientific discoveries are all based on previous work. Likewise, if you read the book named "Cracking Creativity", the author tells you that a lot of brilliant ideas are just combinations of other ideas. They are not some sparks of wise people. Having said that, I don't think cloning is a viable road. Great ideas are carefully worked. Especially if you think the game is good, you shouldn't clone it. Take a game you considered average, try and see if you could make the mechanics even better. Then combine it with another theme to get a new game.
  8. Besides technical obstacles, I think sync games are rare because of the ways people are using mobile devices. If the game is fun, people are likely to sit in front of TV screen or computer for hours. They are looking for some serious entertainment. Thus they'll ask their friends to join, like watching a movie together. You take 15 minutes waiting for all people to arrive, and 15 minutes to setup before playing. Mobile entertainment has a much shorter time slice available. Games tend to be casual and single player oriented because people are more likely to play it for several minutes rather than hours. If the game is pretty good, they'll come back but the game play time is till sliced into minutes. So it'll be a big job to ask your friends when all you want is 5 minutes of game time. The design of a few word arrange games and games like draw something almost proved mobile games are more suitable in an async way. MMORPG can still be fun though.