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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.

ZachHoefler

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  1. I'll put it this way: 6 months of hard-core coding in C++ won't get you as far as like a week of scripting in Unity.   That said, there is value in doing what's been done before and learning how everything works. I highly recommend the book Game Coding Complete, if you want a breakdown of a lot of what goes into making a game engine. If what you want to do is just build something for the sake of building it and learning how to do it, doing it all from scratch can be fun! Being able to say "I wrote every part of this" is really satisfying.   If your goal is to make a product that eventually gets released, you really ought to just use a game engine. If you want something to do for fun as a hobby, go crazy with learning all of the lower-level stuff that goes on in a game! Though, even if you want to build your own "engine," I'd recommend working with other ones a bit just to see how they work and to get some ideas on how you might structure things.   In any case, the scope of your project idea is way too big as-is for something you would want to do alone. The content alone would take a loooong time, let alone the programming. Start smaller and work your way up from there as you build your skills. Given enough time and practice, you could conceivably achieve some cool results, but obviously whatever you make won't be able to compete with something that had dozens of people with expert knowledge working for years. If nothing else, build small tech demos before tackling a big project; 3D is hard.   Anyway, the only way to really appreciate the scope of work that goes into existing game engines is to try and do it yourself. Play around with different existing ones, and play around with implementing some of the concepts yourself. You may find yourself thinking "man, this is absurdly difficult and boring, I'm just going to use Unity," or you may find yourself saying "wow, this is awesome! I love graphics programming!". The only way to know what you'll like is to try it out and see.
  2. Effective C++'s content is still very relevant and up to date. It references a lot of stuff that was in std::tr1 which ended up as parts of C++11, so it still discusses some of the newer stuff anyway. The only major difference to be aware of is that you should now prefer std::unique_ptr instead of auto_ptr. Just look up new C++11 features at some point after you've read the book, as it doesn't go into e.g. lambda functions.   Also, the sections are generally pretty short, so it's a great book to pull out when you have a 5-10min break.   For the other books (More Effective C++ and Effective STL) I'm not sure offhand, but you're definitely good to go on the first book.
  3. It's only a rather small portion of the book, but the part of Game Coding Complete goes through a bit of project setup before diving into coding (see the start of Ch4). It sets up external libraries, changes output directories for a cleaner solution directory, etc.     So if I were to add foo.lib to my project using that, would I need to move the library to somewhere special? Or could I just do the full path to foo.lib? It just has to be in one of the library directories you specified in the previous step. Not sure how VS handles two files with the same name in different directories, though.   If you want an example of someone including libraries/directories/etc, you could look up an example of including DirectX in a version of VS pre-2012. A quick Google search gives this example.
  4. Generally speaking, unless the function needs to interact with the shared_ptr part of the pointer (for lack of a better term), just take a reference for the parameter. Barring anything too crazy, the function returns to where it was called once it's complete, so you shouldn't have to worry about the object being destroyed.   (NB: If the object might actually get destroyed for some reason while the function is running, e.g. due to threads, then yeah, you'll probably want to pass a shared_ptr)   It's the most compelling reason I have. If I type this-> I can then see all methods and members of a class. Type a few more letters, and see all of them with a certain prefix, like get or set. Saves on typing, checking names, and prevents typos. This cannot work for unqualified names, in part because the set of candidates can be large, and in part because of argument dependent lookup. But when calling a method on a class, you don't want argument dependent lookup.   (emphasis mine)   Just press Ctrl+Space. That's the standard shortcut in most IDEs. =]