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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. Only 26 hours left until the Kickstarter campaign ends...   [i]"Skull Plant", ©2013 [url=http://kaiseto.deviantart.com]Kevin Chaloux[/url], normal map and dynamic lighting preview of Sprite DLight[/i]
  2. The clock is ticking...  26 hours left to grab the tool at the Kickstarter backer price and to jump in for the beta.   [i]"Skull Plant", ©2013 [url=http://kaiseto.deviantart.com]Kevin Chaloux[/url], normal map and dynamic lighting preview of Sprite DLight[/i]
  3. The final week of the Kickstarter campaign is running and the final stretch goal is smashed:     I am currently redesigning the UI, the flat buttons are gone, there's some shiny new orbs for the map generation tabs:     Any feedback is welcome.   There's 6 days left to grab the tool at the Kickstarter backer price and to jump in for the beta.
  4. Hello everybody,   The final week for Sprite DLight on Kickstarter is running, all stretch goals are met and the project is more than 500% funded.   Sprite DLight is a tool that generates instant normal maps from 2D sprites in one click.  This way, you could create a game featuring dynamic lighting on pixel art characters and objects, simply by processing the existing game art and using the normal maps in combination with a shader.     An animated dynamic lighting preview of a normal mapped sprite sheet:   "Selen Run Animation" from the game Timespinner, ©2014 Lunar Ray Games, animated dynamic lighting preview of the sprite sheet in Sprite DLight   Multiple sprites, re-rendered for different environments, based on the normal map: "Super Aged Warriors Alpha 2 HD Turbo Special", ©2014 AlbertoV (DYA Games), re-rendered for different environments with the normal map and lighting of Sprite DLight     There are a lot more previews and information on the Kickstarter project page, including 3 videos. Sprite DLight is also on Steam Greenlight, every single vote is appreciated.   During the Kickstarter campaign, the tool can be pre-ordered at a reduced backer price, and backers can participate in the beta.
  5. A short update: The third stretch goal has been hit today and the project exceeded 400% funding. The new feature allows you to re-render sprites for different environments or day and night cycles, based on the generated normal map. This enables users of game engines that do not support shaders to customize the lighting of characters and objects, resulting in an atmospheric integration.   "Super Aged Warriors Alpha 2 HD Turbo Special", ©2014 AlbertoV (DYA Games), re-rendered for different environments with the normal map and lighting of Sprite DLight    Four ambient light colors and a directional light can be applied, and users of the Pro version will be able to use this with batch-processing. The diffuse light is reduced to its directional component, allowing for consistent re-lighting of sprite sheets.   "Wolf where?", ©2014 Kevin Chaloux, re-rendered for different environments with the normal map and lighting of Sprite DLight
  6. Hodgman, actually the (monochromatic) specularity factor, based on the specularity map, is added to the ambient light (of customizable colors and intensities) at this time. This is probably not how it should be done, I will look into a proper implementation. Servant of the Lord, congratulations on that, and thanks for backing
  7. Thank YOU for backing, jbadams riuthamus, the intensity of the specularity map cannot yet be set for the lighting preview, that's why it looks a bit metallic.
  8. Happy Thanksgiving! There is a new feature as a gift to all supporters: an animated dynamic lighting preview for sprite sheets.  Click the image for the full update, including a video clip showing the new feature!   [url=https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2dee/sprite-dlight-instant-normal-maps-for-2d-graphics/posts/1064477][/url] "Selen Run Animation", ©2014 Lunar Ray Games, animated dynamic lighting preview of the sprite sheet in Sprite DLight
  9. @TooLz: As long as there is no demo available to play with, you can send me some of your sprites and I can see what the tool produces for them. @augus1990: Yes, Ethanon Engine is a great piece of software and it was one of the first engines to implement this technique. I love it! A small update on the Kickstarter campaign: We have just reached the second stretch goal. That means Sprite DLight will also be available for Mac. This is a screenshot of the first Mac test build:  
  10. Thank you Yes, I know Sprite Lamp, I have backed it, and I think it is very cool, just like its creator, who did a lot of awesome work and prepared the ground for 2D normal mapping integration with various engines (which is something Sprite DLight users will also benefit from). Both tools just serve different purposes. With Sprite Lamp, you have more artistic control and you can achieve a better quality if you take the time to paint everything nicely. Sprite DLight is targeted to projects with larger numbers of sprites, where you just don't have the time to draw everything by hand. Think of animated characters. You would just process the sprite sheet in one click, resulting in quick normal maps that are all calculated with the same settings.
  11. Hey everyone,   I would like to introduce the tool for game developers I am currently running a pretty successful Kickstarter for (funded within 17 hours, now more than 500% funded, all stretch goals smashed): Sprite DLight on Kickstarter The tool generates bumpy normal maps for dynamic lighting effects in games, based only on already existing 2D sprites.          A quick comparison of normal maps generated by common tools/plugins to those of Sprite DLight:   1: Original "Sprite DLight Title Art", ©2014 by the amazing artist AlbertoV from DYA Games 2: Normal map created by the GIMP plugin (same as PS plugin) 3: Normal map created by a common normal map generator with the original sprite used as height map, followed by shape enhancement 4: Normal map created by Sprite DLight in one click 3. is the best result you can achieve with current automatic normal map generators combined with clever techniques, although the result is still pretty poor, it's more of a bevel effect, which is randomly concave or convex, particularly at the edges of the shape.   In the "Updates" section, there is already a pretty straightforward guide for the technical integration with Unity, including a step-by-step video. "Ghost Pizza", ©2010-2014 AlbertoV (DYA Games), normal map generated by Sprite DLight, dynamic lighting preview recorded in the Sprite Lamp shader   There is less than a week left to get in on the beta and to get the tool at the Kickstarter backer price. I would love to get some feedback on this, and I can't wait to see your 2D games with dynamic lighting!
  12.   Unfortunately that's true. Maybe, in this case, it's also the fact that people want a bundle of all characters at a low price. If I have to do it again, there will most likely be just one product, allowing you to create any individual toon.
  13.   I will see if I can provide a trimmed version of a toon for people to try out. As I am doing this all on my own without having a budget to spend (that's why I'm taking the approach with kickstarter), I try to get in touch with people personally. Although I enjoy connecting people, this of course takes a lot of time that could be spent to create more artwork.   You are right, The whole body points a bit towards the player. This is done on purpose to make the characters look more natural when moving towards or away from the player (as there are no front and back views).   Oh, I think I misunderstood you. Of course, adding cat ears and tails to the characters would be no problem at all. Separating the levels of commission is a good idea, however at the current state of confusion and way too many different pledge levels, it would make things more complicated. If the project does not get funded and if I have to relaunch, these three rewards will be a good thing to add, with simplified theme packs of toons and a low priced bundle of all characters the at the same time.    
  14. Thank you for the feedback. In the first version, I had the iris moving, but with the new customizations, this isn't possible anymore. But I will look into the breast issue, this should be easy to fix. As I am quite focussed on characters, there is only a high-level perk offering a commissioned character in terms of apperance and animation, so I'm afraid adding something completely different like cat parts, would cause confusion. However, I am of course open to commissions.   Four directions would be a nice thing to have, but doing this with my approach would require me to create two additional versions for each skeleton, each animation and each body part, and I am not sure if this stands in relation to the extended range of users it would attract.   I wasn't sure about what caused the project to be less successful than I expected it to be, so it could have been the art or some business or market related things. As people share their art and look for art for their games in this section, I thought it would be a good place to ask for feedback so people interested in art could maybe take a look at it and tell me what would make it more attractive for them, just like you did. Thank you for the nice words and great feedback.
  15. The funding goal was set very low (1600$), still there's less than 10 backers after 12 days of the campaign. The feedback I got so far was that many people don't want non-exclusive characters. I have reacted to that by adding huge customization options within a few days (and by reducing the cost of some reward tiers). This brought me about 4 new backers so far - I expected a little more ;) The feedback on the quality of the art is throughout positive. Is 20$ for a fully animated character that can be customized with a lot of different heads and skin colors too much? (not even the early bird tiers with reduced costs are sold out)