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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.

nwp1993

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  1. Introduction Simply put, 2D animation is movement and transformation of objects on the screen in two dimensions. A good example of 2D animation is classic cartoons - multiple pictures of Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck alternating over time and producing the effect of moving objects. The modern 2D animation software allows creating animation much easier though, without making oodles of frames. Frames and Keyframes Just like with classic animation, computer 2D animation also consists of frames. Frame is a single picture of an object illustrating certain position, size and other properties of that object. Adjacent frames are slightly different from each other, so when the animation is played at the full speed - usually 24 frames per second - the effect of motion appears. This is similar to cartoons and movies. But in computer animation you typically don't have to draw each and every frame manually. Most of 2D animation software allows you to set up keyframes - frames that specify intermediate positions of an object. The motion of the object between these keyframes is built by the software automatically. So you end up with creating keyframes only, while the animation tool calculates and builds the rest of frames automatically. This process is called interpolation. Curve Animation The motion between two keyframes can be different - accelerating, slowing down, steady or even all of these in one move. The simplest way to specify how exactly one keyframe should translate to another is curves. A curve defines how a specific parameter of an object, such as a coordinate or a scale should vary over time. Let's take a look at a simple animation example made in one of 2D animation programs - GameDev Animation Studio. We want to make a ball move from up to down and then bounce back. Basically, this means the vertical coordinate of the object, or simply the Y-coordinate should change from zero (the top of the screen) to the maximum value that corresponds to the bottom of the screen. Then the ball "bounces", i.e. its form gets distorted in the vertical direction and restored again. After that, the ball moves up, which means the Y-coordinate should decrease back to zero. Also note, that due to gravity, the ball moves down with acceleration, while the backward movement must be decelerating. This is mirrored in the slope of the curve: a sharper slope means faster movement and vise versa. Position Curve So the curve describing vertical movement of the ball looks as follows: As you see, the curve here gradually develops from zero to its maximum, and then, after the peak, it goes back to zero again. The highest value of the curve corresponds to the moment the ball hits the ground - this happens in the 30th frame on the timeline. After that moment, the ball starts moving up. Zoom Curve When the ball is just to hit the ground, it starts deforming. Indeed, the ball is elastic, so it kinda must deform. This animation can be done with another curve - the zoom curve. We'll change the vertical scale (Y-scale) of the ball to reflect the way it gets distorted during the hit. Above is the Y-scale zoom curve. As you see, prior the 29th frame the curve is at its maximum. This corresponds to the non-deformed ball falling down. In 29th, the curve goes down, and the ball's image is zoomed down along the vertical axis. Then, after the curve passes the "hit-the-ground" point in 31st frame, the image is zoomed up to normal, so the curve goes up again to its maximum. Note, that the higher the zoom factor is, the more elastic the ball will look. Thus, experimenting with curves in 2D animation tools is an easy way to find the most spectacular and satisfying animation effects. On the other hand, the classic animation approach would require you to discard all the work already done and start from scratch if you decided to change something. Adding Details to Animation Obviously, the ball just moving up and down doesn't look too realistic, that is why we need a shadow. We should place a shadow picture beneath the ball and use curves to make it look real. Overall, the process is pretty much similar to above steps. We'll need to scale the shadow and modify its transparency level in accordance with the ball's movement. Here is the final result of the jumping ball animation. Conclusion Making 2D animation is a piece of cake with proper software. Thanks to automated image transformation between keyframes, curve animation and multiple transition effects, creating an animated picture or a movie can be done in several minutes, even by a beginner.
  2. Hi guys, I would like to present the tool for gamedev. Nothing fancy, but very comfortable for designing animation curves. The result is immediately visible as it will be in the game. And can be used directly in the project. I apologize for the ads, but I think it is really useful for many game developers. The utility is called Gamedev Animation Studio. It is presented in marketplace on this site. More description and screenshots can be found at [url="http://patagames.com/astudio"]http://patagames.com/astudio[/url]