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      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.

Alain Menard

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  1. The fact that Microsoft may be dropping XNA doesn't have any impact on your choice to use it or not. Your game will still work on both Windows 7 & 8... Has it occured to anyone that maybe Microsoft is delaying any updates to XNA until the next XBox comes out (supposedly it's coming for XMas 2013)? No need to fiddle with something that works quite well on actual plateform just for the sake of changing the rev number. That isn't a rant but an honest point that I want to raise. If XNA was totally broken that would be another story. But for what it was released for, which is indie game dev on XBox, PC and Phone 7, it does its job quite well. So, if you know XNA and C# I would stick with it yet, at least for the next year. By then we may get the real deal on wether XNA lives on or die.
  2. How about keeping your fire alive when offscreen minus the graphics... By this I mean, you stop aimating them graphically when they are off screen and you implement a routine that calculate the progression of the fire on affected object keeping, say a ratio, of their burned factor over time. Then when your player scroll back to that portion of the map you use this ratio to draw the affected object. Your computer can crunch number easilly in the background.
  3. [quote name='Endurion' timestamp='1352215422' post='4998056'] Today some game are still developed for it (selfsell: Look at my journal, I'm building a game in several steps [url="http://www.gamedev.net/blog/949-new-old-things/"]here[/url]) It's way easier today with all the cross assemblers and information on your fingertips. (selfsell2: I also recommend C64Studio, a Visual Studio like IDE, that attaches to WinVICE to allow debugging) [/quote] Nice Cthulhu reference in your sig :-) But isn't the unholy one using pure DirectX call instead of SDL?
  4. Almost forgot... If you can get your hand on some way to try those game of yore, maybe via emulation, those are a great source of inspiration for those trying their hands at game programming. Those game, for a big part, were simple, since they had to fit in limited ressources. A big game at the time had to fit into 32k of ram and the data for the game was splitted on one to a couple of floppy sides, which were 170k per side for the C64. This didn't impact the variety of games though, so there is plenty to "re-invent". I would really like a modern version of Archon to be made for exemple. Hell, I may try to make one myself if it comes down to it.
  5. If some are interested, you can read on what was being done and what was available at the time on those 8 bit machine by reading some scanned magazine like the one you can find on [url="http://www.atarimania.com/list-atari-magazines.html"]this site[/url]. Those are for the Atari 8bit computers and Atari ST but they should give you an idea. Note: I'm old enough to have lived through the home computer revolution. I never had the money to buy an Apple 2, but I did owned and used/programmed the following: [list] [*]TRS-80 MC10 [*]TRS-80 Color Computer 2 [*]Vic 20 [*]C64 (still have it!) [*]Atari 600XL [*]Atari 800XL (still have it!) [*]Atari 130XE (Still have it!) [*]Atari ST 520FM [*]Amiga 1000 (Still have it!) [*]Amiga 500 (Still have it!) [*]Powermac G5 [*]iMac 2010 (i3 still have it) [*]PC (XT & up to present day, I have a Dell 8500SE ) [/list]
  6. Games for the C64 were written on the C64, mostly in Assembler except for maybe a few early commercial one in Basic. It was near impossible to emulate a C64 on another machine since the C64 used, like most computer of that time, some very proprietary parts that distinguished it from the other comparable machine on the market. At that time, there was fierce competition by computer maker trying to corner the market. There were no incentive to create something that could be copied by your competitor. Yes they all used the same CPU or some version of it (the C64 used the 6510 variant of the 6502) but their helper chips were all different, like the SID for audio on the C64 or the Antic graphical chip on the Atari 800 computer. Also, the other plateform in existence at the time weren't up to the task when in comes to emulation. Even the Amiga fared poorly when trying to emulate a C64. The early PC's also cost a lot at that time and had limited graphical capability (think CGA 320x200 4 color mode) and couldn't really be used to emulate the colr mode of even those 8bit computers. .
  7. [quote name='achild' timestamp='1351794256' post='4996256'] [quote name='LennyLen' timestamp='1351644036' post='4995638'] Another suggestion is [url="http://alleg.sourceforge.net/"]Allegro[/url]. It's similar to SDL, but gets updated more frequently and has a (IMO) more supportive community. [/quote] (Wow, I can remember using Allegro "1" back in its DJGPP days) If you decide to use SDL, it's worth nothing SDL 2.0 gets updated almost daily if you get it from the repository. [/quote] Hey, I started with DJGPP too... and with RHIDE (Old Borland text GUI IDE clone) for an IDE [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png[/img] Those were the days...
  8. [quote name='jbadams' timestamp='1351756980' post='4996107'] Unless you do something unusual you'll be working with a Linux distro on the Raspberry Pi. Someone shared some tips for getting SDL working [url="http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=13789"]here[/url] if it helps -- they're using C++, but the SDL parts are the same. Lazy Foo's tutorials should help with using SDL itself. Allegro is also a really good library with a [i]very[/i] helpful community, but outside of the official documentation I haven't seen as much in the way of tutorials and reference materials. You can probably also find some good information in the [url="http://elinux.org/RaspberryPiBoard"]RPi wiki[/url]. Hope that's helpful! [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] [/quote] You can find a great video tutorial on Allegro [url="http://osrebel.com/www.fixbyproximity.com"]here[/url].
  9. [quote name='Spike E' timestamp='1351736026' post='4996043'] [quote name='AMenard' timestamp='1351734955' post='4996038'] [quote name='Spike E' timestamp='1351731665' post='4996015'] [quote name='AMenard' timestamp='1351524129' post='4995082'] The best advice I can give you, is to set realistic goals. Making a C&C clone as a starting project for someone who has yet to learn how to program may be a bit over the top. I'm not saying that you should forget about it, just that you should instead make it a goal to reach in the long term. The recommended path on this site is to start with something really simple, like Tic-Tac-To then move to more complex game like Break Out or Space Invader type, then plateformer and then on to more complex, multiplayer games like C&C if you still have the interest. I find a good source of inspiration is the emulator scene. Get yourself a nice C64 or Atari 8bit computer emulator and some games. Look what they did and try to make a better and modern version of those games (there are thousands of arcade, strategy & rpg to chose from and most where made to fit in 32k of ram!). This will be helpful in boosting your confidence before you move to more complex games. [/quote] But would I base the starter games on a console app or some gui app? [/quote] Start by the basics. Try to do some simple text console game, then when you feel up to it, move to a graphic game, maybe by using a library like allegro, some simple arcade game maybe. By then, you'll have an idea of what it takes to even make a simple sprite based game. If you are still up to the challenge, you can try to modify your game to make it multi players. Then, if you intend to make your game a networked one, you'll have to learn that too. Also, keep in mind that writing code is only a small part of game creation, albeit an important one. If your future rts project has dozen of different type of units and building, someone will have to draw those also, and if they are animated then each type of unit will need many frames of animations also. Then there is the audio part. Will it have music and SFX? You'll also need to create those. And finally, your RTS will also need some missions/campaigns. Those will have to be scripted and balanced... As you can see, you have to consider the scale of the job. I'm not saying that in due time you'll be able to create your dream rts, but you may need the help of a few friends or a lot of time. One thing you should do is look at what is being done in the indie market and check how many people worked on those project. [/quote] Well, I was hoping to make a Pong game with full networking so a friend and I could test it. Also for Sound I was hoping to have a noise every time the ball hit the paddle an maybe have a speed setting for how fast the ball goes. Would a console app be sufficient for that? [/quote] If you use a game library like Allegro to make your game, it won't be a text/console app. You'll be using the graphics routine and making a real game with animated sprite and sound. I recommend this video tutorial on the subject: [url="http://fixbyproximity.com/2d-game-development-course"]http://fixbyproximity.com/2d-game-development-course[/url] . It is well made and it show you how to use Allegro to make a game, from game loop, to sprites, to sound. Try it out. You can get Allegro [url="http://cdn.allegro.cc/file/library/allegro/5.0.7/allegro-5.0.7-msvc-10.0.zip"]here[/url] and the first chapter of the tutorial is on how to install it into [url="http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9816768"]Visual Studio Express 2010/2012 (Free!)[/url]. I linked the 2012 version .iso file. You'll be using Visual C++ for the tutorial. The .iso also include C# and VB.Net if you want to try them also.
  10. [quote name='Spike E' timestamp='1351731665' post='4996015'] [quote name='AMenard' timestamp='1351524129' post='4995082'] The best advice I can give you, is to set realistic goals. Making a C&C clone as a starting project for someone who has yet to learn how to program may be a bit over the top. I'm not saying that you should forget about it, just that you should instead make it a goal to reach in the long term. The recommended path on this site is to start with something really simple, like Tic-Tac-To then move to more complex game like Break Out or Space Invader type, then plateformer and then on to more complex, multiplayer games like C&C if you still have the interest. I find a good source of inspiration is the emulator scene. Get yourself a nice C64 or Atari 8bit computer emulator and some games. Look what they did and try to make a better and modern version of those games (there are thousands of arcade, strategy & rpg to chose from and most where made to fit in 32k of ram!). This will be helpful in boosting your confidence before you move to more complex games. [/quote] But would I base the starter games on a console app or some gui app? [/quote] Start by the basics. Try to do some simple text console game, then when you feel up to it, move to a graphic game, maybe by using a library like allegro, some simple arcade game maybe. By then, you'll have an idea of what it takes to even make a simple sprite based game. If you are still up to the challenge, you can try to modify your game to make it multi players. Then, if you intend to make your game a networked one, you'll have to learn that too. Also, keep in mind that writing code is only a small part of game creation, albeit an important one. If your future rts project has dozen of different type of units and building, someone will have to draw those also, and if they are animated then each type of unit will need many frames of animations also. Then there is the audio part. Will it have music and SFX? You'll also need to create those. And finally, your RTS will also need some missions/campaigns. Those will have to be scripted and balanced... As you can see, you have to consider the scale of the job. I'm not saying that in due time you'll be able to create your dream rts, but you may need the help of a few friends or a lot of time. One thing you should do is look at what is being done in the indie market and check how many people worked on those project.
  11. Hi! In my search for knowledge I stumbled across a great video tutorial for 2D game programming in C/C++ with Allegro 5. I thought it would be a nice thing to share it with those starting out in game programming. Here is the link: [url="http://fixbyproximity.com/2d-game-development-course"]http://fixbyproximity.com/2d-game-development-course[/url] I worked with Allegro in the 90's with DJGPP but I completelly forgotten about it since I moved to VB.net for my work. But lately I've been researching what to use to program a couple of remake of old 8bit classics. I've started studying Directx 11, which I still intend to continue, but I remembered that I was using Allegro in the past with great result. So I went and downloaded the 5.0 release for Visual Studio (I'm planning to move to the 5.1/5.2 branch soon) and for the fun of it, I've search on Youtube for some video on the subject. And boy was I surprised to find this. It is well explained and quite detailed but in a no nonsense, non pedantic way. Kind of like the great C++ tutorials by [url="http://www.youtube.com/course?list=ECAE85DE8440AA6B83&feature=plcp"]TheNewBoston[/url] that are equaly great if you want to learn about C++.
  12. The Tannenbaum "Modern Operating System" book includes the listing of Minix in C. I never had the guts to type it in [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/tongue.png[/img]
  13. If you know javascript, you should look into using a game engine like Unity3D. Plenty of games use it and you can use Javascript to script your game.
  14. The best advice I can give you, is to set realistic goals. Making a C&C clone as a starting project for someone who has yet to learn how to program may be a bit over the top. I'm not saying that you should forget about it, just that you should instead make it a goal to reach in the long term. The recommended path on this site is to start with something really simple, like Tic-Tac-To then move to more complex game like Break Out or Space Invader type, then plateformer and then on to more complex, multiplayer games like C&C if you still have the interest. I find a good source of inspiration is the emulator scene. Get yourself a nice C64 or Atari 8bit computer emulator and some games. Look what they did and try to make a better and modern version of those games (there are thousands of arcade, strategy & rpg to chose from and most where made to fit in 32k of ram!). This will be helpful in boosting your confidence before you move to more complex games.
  15. You could also use a library that gives you some higher level function over directx text rendering like [url="http://slimdx.org/"]SlimDX[/url]. According to the [url="http://slimdx.org/docs/"]Docs[/url] they have example for C++.