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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.

Ludus

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  1. I remember playing a chess computer game long ago that was Lego themed. All of the pieces were made out of Lego, and different cutscenes played when capturing a piece (depending on which piece captured which). Is this the kind of thing you're talking about?
  2. Well, if you really just don't know where to begin and you need advice on where to start, then learning C++ is probably your safest bet, especially if you plan on doing game development as a profession. C++ is widely used in game development for everything from small indie games to AAA titles, so there are tons of resources out there for creating games with it. As long as cross-compatibility is kept in mind when creating the code, little effort is needed to compile and run your game on different machines, including Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and more.   For C++ tutorials, here is a video series aimed at absolute beginners: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1D10C030FDCE7CE0   Here is another C++ tutorial which focuses on using it for creating games: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSPw4ASQYyynKPY0I-QFHK0iJTjnvNUys   For written tutorials, here is a great series (which is also great for reference): http://www.learncpp.com/   You'll need to use an API for handling input and rendering graphics, so I recommend using SDL due to its cross-platform support: https://www.libsdl.org/   And here is a tutorial series for setting up and using SDL: http://lazyfoo.net/tutorials/SDL/   After going through all those other resources, you may also want to check out this series which uses C++ and SDL to create a game from scratch: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL006xsVEsbKjSKBmLu1clo85yLrwjY67X   I hope that helps you get started!
  3. In my experience, the best way to improve your speed at composition is to improve your skill at improvisation. In other words, you should practice making up complete ideas on the fly on your instrument of choice - in real-time and without stopping to write it down. A keyboard instrument is preferred for this as it will allow you to improvise a few musical lines at once to fill out the harmony. Once you're pretty good at improvising well-crafted music on the spot, then it's just a matter of remembering what you played, writing it down afterwards, then arranging it for the intended instruments.
  4. The real question is, do you prefix your structs with the letter 'S'?
  5. The primary use of a game design document is to clearly communicate the overall plan for the game to everyone in the development team, as well as to the publishers. It's suppose to cover things such as main gameplay mechanics, story, visual art style, user interfaces, target platforms, etc. Since this is a document used for general communication, it shouldn't include all of the nitty-gritty details (e.g., how much health a certain enemy has, or how much an item costs to buy). Those details would be in a separate document - likely a collection of loose papers, sketch pads, note books, etc. Before you even start creating a GDD you should have already created a prototype of the game, and you should already have a bunch of ideas written down on paper. The GDD is created only when these ideas have gone through some initial testing and the overall plan for the game is becoming more solidified.
  6. The recently released Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze has a fantastic soundtrack which I would love to hear played by a live orchestra. Some of my favourite tracks from this game are Scorch N' Torch, Snowmads' Island Theme, and Funky Waters.
  7. Objective based FPS games such as GoldenEye 007, Perfect Dark, and TimeSplitters handled different levels of difficulty in similar ways. In harder difficulties, there were often more objectives that had to be completed. Sometimes this completely changed the way one would progress through a level - TimeSplitters in particular often placed the level exit closer to the starting point on easier difficulties so there were portions of the level you would only see on the harder difficulties. Also in all of these games, guards were given slightly more health, their reaction speed increased, their accuracy increased, and they did more damage. Pickups also were different - on easy difficulties, ammo is not a problem and guards drop plenty of it, but in harder difficulties ammo becomes a scarce resource that you must carefully manage. Harder difficulties also had fewer body armour placements.
  8.   Have you tried placing the .dll files in the same folder as your header and source files? Placing them in the debug folder will only matter if you run your game from application file in that folder.
  9. I would also recommend looking into GraphicsGale. It's specifically tailored for making sprite art of this sort and it comes equipped with features for creating sprite animations.
  10. It's probably best to vary the length from level to level. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze begins with a fairly long level - around 8 minutes on the first play through, but other levels might be as short as a few minutes. If you wish to have levels that are quite long (about 4+ minutes), then you'll have to find ways to vary the level visually and gameplay wise so it doesn't make the player weary partway through.
  11. I recommend checking out FontForge. It will probably suit your needs.
  12. Funny, I was about to mention the jetpack from Shadows of the Empire as well. The jetpack in that game had a limited amount of fuel. While in use the fuel would deplete, but when not in use it would slowly recharge. Consider using a similar mechanic. It prevents level design from being tossed out the window due to the player having too much freedom of movement.
  13. I suggest choosing the project which is most likely for you to see through to completion. This essentially consists of two things: motivation and scope. It needs to be a project that you really want to see completed, and at the same time it needs to be within your scope in terms of required work hours, resources, cost, etc. Choosing to focus on one project to complete does not mean you have to put a halt to thinking of ideas for other games. Just write those ideas down and file them away for the future.
  14. Unfortunately, that Reconstructing Cave Story series is probably the most detailed tutorial you'll find for step-by-step game creation. Although much more simplistic, you may want to check out the Snake tutorial on this website if you haven't already.
  15. Yes, it seems that pool allocation definitely fits the criteria. I'll look into it.Thanks for the information.   Any other suggestions are welcome.