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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 was quite interested in the idea of encoding a depth value [0, 1] to either RG (16 bits) or RGB (24 bits) using GLSL. I found a couple of posts about it, and there seems to be a rather accepted algorithm as well (even though it encodes in the range [0, 1)). After analyzing the algorithms, I found that none of them was fully using the range provided by RG, RGB or RGBA. The most common check is that an encoded value of all 1s is decoded as a number bigger than 1. In other words, the maximum RG/RGB/RGBA encoded value and a bunch more are unused. There was one solution that followed the right path, but failed in the implementation. For reference, here are the links I found in the process: [url="http://www.gamedev.net/topic/492581-glsl-depth-texture-and-glsl/"]http://www.gamedev.n...xture-and-glsl/[/url] [url="http://www.gamedev.net/topic/485186-packing-a-float-value-to-and-from-rgb-in-a-shader/"]http://www.gamedev.n...gb-in-a-shader/[/url] [url="http://www.gamedev.net/topic/486847-encoding-16-and-32-bit-floating-point-value-into-rgba-byte-texture/"]http://www.gamedev.n...a-byte-texture/[/url] Implementing this with integer logic is rather straight forward: [source lang="cpp"]// Encode: R = value &0xff; G = (value >> 8) & 0xff; B = (value >> 16) & 0xff; // Decode: value = (B << 16) | (G << 8) | R;[/source] The trick turns then into converting that to floating point logic that can be used in GLSL. Well, here is the solution to encode it in 16 bits: [source lang="cpp"]// Encode: const float max16int = 256.0 * 256.0 - 1.0; value *= max16int; vec2 result = floor(value / vec2(256.0, 1.0)); result.g -= result.r * 256.0; result /= 255.0; // Decode const float max16int = 256.0 * 256.0 - 1.0; float result = 255.0 * dot(value, vec2(256.0, 1.0)) / max16int;[/source] The same idea can be used to encode the value in 24 bits: [source lang="cpp"]// Encode: const float max24int = 256.0 * 256.0 * 256.0 - 1.0; value *= max24int; vec3 result = floor(value / vec3(256.0 * 256.0, 256.0, 1.0)); result.gb -= result.rg * 256.0; result /= 255.0; // Decode: const float max24int = 256.0 * 256.0 * 256.0 - 1.0; float result = 255.0 * dot(value, vec3(256.0 * 256.0, 256.0, 1.0)) / max24int;[/source] Find attached the results of the same scene where the encoded depth is used as the fragment color. One uses RG, the other RGB. Notice how the plane color seems to repeat in a color band fashion. The farthest red is (255, 3, 0), the next one is (254, 3, 0), then (253, 3, 0). The algorithms also encode 1 as all 1s, so no values are wasted. As a bonus, I include a greenscale version of the scene that uses a very simple sort of encoding that roughly makes the input value linear (again, just roughly), using the following code: [source lang="cpp"]result = pow(value, 128.0);[/source] [b]NOTE:[/b] This way of encoding values does not play nicely with filtering. As an example consider the RG encoding of 0.5 (which cannot be represented exactly) and that of linearly interpolating between 0 and 1 (byte values are used for clarity): 0.5: (127, 255) 0.0: (0, 0) 1.0: (255, 255) 0.5 (interpolated): (127, 127) The real encoding of 0.5 and the interpolation of it are close, yet off (by 128 in G). If "close" is good enough, then you may use interpolation.