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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. Your idea isn't bad. As a matter of fact, it is the one of the main combat mechanics of Fallout 3. The idea that guns can't fit in RPGs was populated by the fact that most designers either didn't create their RPGs in a setting where guns would fit, or they couldn't find a way to meld it seamlessly with the rest of the weapon mechanics in the game. You could make it so that each weapon type has a certain set of attributes, and guns would be able to do piercing damage and were very weak. Final Fantasy XII is a good example where guns make sense -- you can have different types of ammunition, each with stat effects and bonuses.    Hope you find a method that works for you.
  2. Start off by making lots of little programs. Trust me, when being guided by book, everything feels easy, but when you have to make a program by yourself, that is what challenges you. Making something like a Roulette where you can place bets and a random number generator determines if the ball rolled into your place. Or maybe a mini dictionary where you can place entries and descriptions for words, export them to a file, load the file, and the read the entry -- that would give you a good grasp with arrays/vectors, data types, file i/o, classes, etc.    When you know you have a good grasp on the basic concepts, THEN move on to either text based gaming or 2d stuff. Pick OpenGL or SDL, it doesn't matter, both have lots of support, but SDL is a bit easier. From there it is all up to you.    What sets a basic programmer from an expert programmer is how well they understand and implement the basics. You already know the layout of C++, now you have to explore the nooks and crannies in the floorboard. good luck
  3. The best protagonist is one that is 'real'. I don't mean they can't do things like magic, or can't spawn random tentacles on a whim, or pop brains from afar. Rather, a real protagonist is one whose motivations are clear, and if I were to know what they're motivation for doing something is, then their story would make sense -- even if it was batshot idiotic.    I'll use an anime as an example (forgive me for my niches). In GunXSword, Van the protagonist accompanies a girl, Wendy, on her journey to find her brother who has gone missing. Van could care less, as his motivation is to find the man who killed his wife. Thus, knowing his motivation, everything that he does relating to this plot should be caused because he is looking to find the man who killed his wife. For example, The only reason Van allows Wendy to accompany him is because they are going the same way. The only reason Van meets the people he does is because he is looking for this man. If he wasn't, none of this would be happening, and that makes him real.   A bad protagonist would be someone who 'saves the world just because'. Someone who goes on an incredible journey just because someone told them to, while their motivation would be something akin to 'chilling at home and eating pizza'. These protagonists don't feel real and there are so many of them, but the good ones are the ones we remember, like Lara Croft, Solid Snake, even Link has motivations -- his only wants to protect Zelda. Before that, he's basically nobody.    So, to sum up, the real protagonists are the best protagonists, and the best protagonists are the coolest. Hell, even Ocelot is cool and he's an antagonist, but his goals are clear and he feels real and someone, somewhere in the world, should relate to him.
  4. You don't absolutely HAVE to utilize the mouse. If you have the smarts to design an ingenious auto-aiming system combined with an automatic camera, you would be a fool not to. Take a page from the majority of PSP Action RPGs that only use the D-pad for switching between items and weapons. Since PCs use keyboards you could do something like this:   WASD - Movement J,K,L, and N,M, < - Attacking   Of course, using a mouse is not a problem at all, anyone who uses a PC is okay with using a mouse and the keyboard at the same time, but if you want a control scheme without the mouse, then auto-aiming and an auto-camera are the only two tools I can suggest.