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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.

BensBucketGames

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  1. Thanks! I'll keep an eye out for your journal.   Ben :)
  2. The game keeps looking cooler every post! :)   I feel your pain on the dark screenshots. Note to self: make a lighter game next time.   The colour wheel idea is good. Do you pick a particular starting point, before applying the angles?   Looking forward to the beta!   Ben
  3. Now released: click here!   Ben :)
  4. The full version Training for Aliens: UFO is now available (free!) on Windows computers via IndieDB: There's a new machinima intro, shown in the gameplay video: Click here to view the video on Indie DB. And a few other changes. Thanks to everyone who tried the game and left comments! I've released the game for free so lots of players can enjoy it. If you like the game, please let your friends know! If you share the link to the IndieDB page above/below, I'll be able to see how many people have tried the game. That's the only reward I get from this, apart from positive comments. I'll be releasing further levels and patches over the coming months, so like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter for updates! Here's another download link: Enjoy!
  5. Sorry, I forgot the API question in my obsession with AI. ;)   Not that I have anything helpful to add, as I have no experience with adding a scripting language. I've programmed in a scripting language before, on a MUD. However, there's bound to be a few helpful posts/articles here on GameDev.net. Let me/us know if you find anything particularly well-written?   Alternatively, you could just ask for the help in your actual language. Your helpers might need you to add some querying/setting functions into your existing code, but it shouldn't delay you quite as much as learning and implementing scripting.   Ben.
  6. No problem!   I might pick your brain later about finding and working with a 2D artist. I have a game planned for next year that will need some custom UI buttons, and I can barely draw stick figures.   Great to see more progress!   Ben. :)
  7. The car headlights were spotlights, angled slightly down and with a wider-than-expected radius.   Which flash game?   I wanted to get one game done, so I kept it simple. I have a few ideas for more complicated games, but they'll have to wait until some time next year (my first child is due in late November!).   Thanks for the comment!   Ben :)
  8. New update released: final beta version!   Ben :)
  9. Yes, you're crazy. As someone who can't code in low-level languages, I'm curious to see how you go! :)   Good luck!   Ben
  10. [color=rgb(51,51,51)][font='Helvetica Neue']Last chance to provide feedback before I release the game next weekend! Here's the link to the latest version: [/font][/color] [color=rgb(51,51,51)][font='Helvetica Neue']I made so much progress in the last week that I skipped to version 0.9! Here's a screenshot of the new Pasture level: [/font][/color] [color=rgb(51,51,51)][font='Helvetica Neue'][/font][/color] [color=rgb(51,51,51)][font='Helvetica Neue']And here's the new Highway level: [/font][/color] [color=rgb(51,51,51)][font='Helvetica Neue'][/font][/color] [color=rgb(51,51,51)][font='Helvetica Neue']It's a hard level! To catch the cars, you can't wait until you see them on screen.[/font][/color] [color=rgb(51,51,51)][font='Helvetica Neue']I've also added a tutorial level and tweaked a few things.[/font][/color] [color=rgb(51,51,51)][font='Helvetica Neue']Please post any feedback here on my developer journal or on the IndieDB pages during the week and I'll include any changes in the release version next weekend. Here's the link again:[/font][/color] [color=rgb(51,51,51)][font='Helvetica Neue']Thank you so much to the testers who have provided feedback so far! It's a better game thanks to your input.[/font][/color]
  11. I haven't posted a comment before, but I really like seeing the results of your random terrain generations. Keep it up!   Ben :)
  12. The dominoes are fascinating! I can't tear my eyes away to read the text. :)   Sound effects suggestions: xylophone/glockenspiel, celesta, bells (high-pitched), etc for the dominoes colliding? Or maybe synthesized versions of those sounds, to go with techno background music?   Techno seems slightly more 'purist' than metal, so might make a better choice to go with the clean, sparkling gem look?   I recently discovered freesound.org as a good source, though you have to search sometimes.   Ben :)
  13. I put a comment on the forum thread. I hope it's not too late! I should check journals more frequently...   Ben
  14. When making AI, I always try to remember not to over-complicate it, because it only needs to be viewed from the player's perspective. They often can't tell whether the AI makes a choice because it's clever, random or stupid. It's the same with a real opponent.   I might have lots of fun setting up a complex decision-making system based on needs analysis, 'thinking time', etc. Ok, I *will* have lots of fun doing that! :)   However, there may be a simpler way. For example, there may be a handful of different AI styles that could be simpler to program, then your game randomly chooses which style to use when assigning opponents.   The styles might be: Scrooge: the AI never spends big money on a tape (or anything), but instead tries to accumulate money without losing it. Ratings, ratings, ratings: the AI takes whatever action will get it the most ratings, in the short term. So, it might buy a great tape and then not have much money for a while. Steady as she goes: the AI buys mid-range tapes and has all settings to mid-range. Jackpot: the AI 'saves up' for one big move. You could even give the AI a particular name when it is using a particular style of play, so the player can get used to the strategy over time just like with fighting real regular opponents. And players can talk about their success and strategies for particular combinations of AI opponents, which makes the game more enjoyable for certain players.   AI is usually the most fun for me when simple systems produce unexpected and complicated behaviours. In the case of this system, the player will be facing two AIs with one of a large number of combinations of styles, which can lead to a very wide variety of game experiences if everyone is competing over the same resources.   When designing styles of play, the idea is to make the AI always do the same simple behaviours, so your CODE (your effort) isn't complicated, but the GAMEPLAY (effect for the player) is.   I should probably terminate my waffle there. I tried not to make this a long reply, and just give the general principles, because I think that's what you're looking for. I hope this helps!   Ben :)
  15. I've recently been trying to decide how to do an intro cut scene for my game, to explain the concept/background/story/etc. The motion comic is an interesting idea, and I'd like to see the final version when you're done. :)   Ben