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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.

WertleSaysHello

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  1. Ahoy! My name is Lisa Brown and I'm a designer with Insomniac Games 1) What initially interested you in game design? Though I've always loved playing games, I didn't figure out I wanted to do game design until well into graduate school, after I'd done some design as part of the projects and classes I was involved in. I made some games and discovered that I REALLY liked the problem set. I got that far because I have a background in art, computer science, and theater, and I was looking for something that would use my skills from all of those. Game design ended up being a perfect blend for me. 2) What is the education/training needed? I think the education side of things is entirely personal. I went to a liberal arts college and double majored in art and computer science, and I found studying the liberal arts to be invaluable to my work as a designer. Later on in graduate school (Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center) I was more narrowly focused on game design. This isn't to say I think people need to go to graduate school to get into game development at all, I just think everyone's educational path is going to be very personal and very different. Some people go to games-specific schools like Digipen or the Guild Hall for their bachelor degree, some people study more traditional disciplines in things like computer science, art, communications, psychology, etc. Others don't pursue higher education at all, but are self taught. The thing is, getting into game design is very much about having a strong portfolio. How you get the resources and knowledge to create a body of work is variable. I will throw in that I think nowadays having some ability to script or code will really help you get started in design. 3) What are you responsibilities as a game designer? This varies from company to company and project to project. My own responsibilities have included level design, systems design, creating design documentation, team management, leading brainstorming sessions, implementing setups via scripting and proprietary tools, prototyping mechanics and features, organizing and running playtests, and so on and so forth. Your responsibilities also vary depending on what stage the project is in. In preproduction I do way more prototyping and visual documentation to try and convey ideas from brainstorming. Late in production is more about implementation, fixing bugs, etc. 4) What are the advantages of being a game designer? I touched on this before, but for me the biggest advantage to being a game designer is that the problems I have to solve as part of my day-to-day work are incredibly diverse and broad in the topics they touch. One day I might be tackling a very technical problem about my level not fitting into memory at a certain point and figuring out how to divide up the regions so we can get the framerate back up. On another I might be trying to figure out the visual red herrings that are getting a player lost in one area, and coming up with other ways to visually guide them on the correct path. Another day I might be messing around in Illustrator trying to put together a visualization of a feature idea I'm pitching. Or I might have a day of playtesting where I have to observe players and identify causes and solutions for frustration. It is constantly shifting and changing, and I really enjoy that sort of problem solving. 5) What are the disadvantages? At times you can feel like a jack of all trades. Your responsibilities can be so nebulous that you have a difficult time explaining what exactly you DO for a living to other people. So, it can be challenging to figure out exactly how to measure yourself, since a lot of design skills are soft and tricky to pin down. 6) How do government laws / regulations effect your career? I wasn't sure on this one. I guess working as a game designer is no different than working at a normal office, so those sorts of rules and regulations apply. There are also non-government regulations that we have to contend with. For example, making sure the game meets a certain ESRB rating, or adheres to certain rules for international releases. 7) Any advice you would give for someone trying to become a game designer. Make games, even simple ones. Being able to show that you have made a few simple games from start to finish carries a lot more weight than a giant epic game idea that is only half realized. Get involved in the community - participate in game jams, see if there are local IGDA chapters you can get involved in, volunteer at conferences, etc. The network of game developers is a great resource if you can get involved with them. I'd also recommend [url="http://gmo.chronus.com/p/main/about"]Game Mentor Online[/url] for one-on-one mentoring with an industry professional.