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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. 0) In the original marching cubes algorithm, there are 15 equivalence classes (which comprise all 256 cases). But why is there no cases when 5 vertices lie inside the solid volume, and 3 - outside (e.g. case 61d = 3Dh = 0011 1101b) ?   1) What is the 'standard' method for automatically constructing a 'good' marching cubes table (fewer triangles, no holes between neighbours) ? Considering each case and writing out the table is laborious and error-prone.  
  2. DirectX 1,2,3 SDKs: http://craig.theeislers.com/2006/03/directx_then_and_now_part_2.php   DirectX 8 SDK: http://www.darwinbots.com/numsgil/dx81sdk_full.exe   DirectX 9.0c SDK (June 2010) http://directx-sdk.soft32.com/   (Ahhaha, yeah...)   btw, where can I get DirectX 4-6 SDKs (just curious) ?
  3.     Hello!       I'm trying to implement a stateless multithreaded renderer as described in the "Firaxis LORE" presentation about Civilization 5 renderer from GDC 2011 and their system seems to be very elegant, clean and simple to use.     Their rendering commands are self-contained and can be submitted in any order which, among other nice things, lends itself to easy parallelization. For example, a 'COMMAND_RENDER_BATCHES' command contains a list of surfaces to render, each with shader constant payload.     The recommended way to update uniform shader constants is to put them into uniform blocks (constant buffers in Direct3D parlance) according to their update frequency (to minimize memory transfers). Besides, uniform blocks can be shared between different programs (conserves memory).     Let's say, I have several global uniform buffers (e.g. PerFrame, PerView, PerInstance and PerLight), which can be updated independent of any shader programs (no need to bind a program). But shader dependencies on global stuff ruin the whole 'statelessness' idea - I can no longer sort the draw calls, because I need to preserve the original update-set-draw order for correct rendering!       Should I abandon the idea of using global uniform buffers and resort to the old OpenGL 2.* way of setting all shader uniforms on each batch submission (which is said to be most inefficient) ?  
  4. yes, after a week of painful debugging and studying tens of skeletal anim samples i'm able to build a basic skeleton, interpolate and display it correctly (one of the problems was with my quaternion math - needed to multiply the .w component by -1).   I'm going to abandon mSkinOffset and instead calculate inverse bind pose matrices myself (after building the 'whole mesh' skeleton with absolute joint positions and orientations in object space).   I will post my code in the hope that it will be useful. Here's how I build the skeleton: I gather all bone names - I use them to prune the skeleton - the resulting joint tree will be same as originally defined in md5 mesh file. // set of all animated bones/nodes typedef std::set< std::string > BoneNameSetT; static void GatherBoneNames( const aiScene* scene, const NodeMapT& nodes, BoneNameSetT &bones ) { bones.clear(); // Loop through each bone of each mesh. for( int meshIndex = 0; meshIndex < scene->mNumMeshes; meshIndex++ ) { const aiMesh* mesh = scene->mMeshes[ meshIndex ]; for( int boneIndex = 0; boneIndex < mesh->mNumBones; boneIndex++ ) { const aiBone* bone = mesh->mBones[ boneIndex ]; const aiNode* node = FindNodeByName( nodes, bone->mName.C_Str() ); while( node ) { bones.insert( node->mName.C_Str() ); node = node->mParent; if( node && node->mNumChildren == 1 ) { break; // don't chase up until the scene root, if possible } } } } } struct BoneDesc { const aiNode * node; std::string name; int parentIndex; aiMatrix4x4 globalTransform;// absolute (world => node) transform }; static void BuildSkeleton(const aiNode* node, const BoneNameSetT& boneNames, const aiMatrix4x4& parentTransform, const int parentBoneIndex, TArray< BoneDesc* > &skeleton) { // accumulated parents => node transform const aiMatrix4x4 globalTransform = node->mTransformation * parentTransform; // P * B int newBoneIndex = parentBoneIndex; BoneNameSetT::const_iterator boneIt = boneNames.find( node->mName.C_Str() ); if( boneIt != boneNames.end() ) { newBoneIndex = skeleton.Num(); BoneDesc* newBone = new BoneDesc(); skeleton.Add(newBone); newBone->node = node; newBone->name = node->mName.C_Str(); newBone->globalTransform = globalTransform; newBone->parentIndex = parentBoneIndex; } for( int childIndex = 0; childIndex < node->mNumChildren; childIndex++ ) { const aiNode* childNode = node->mChildren[ childIndex ]; BuildSkeleton(childNode, boneNames, globalTransform, newBoneIndex, skeleton); } } Here's how I calculate local joint transforms: // The bone's transformation in the skeleton space, // aka the bind matrix - the bone's parent's local matrices concatenated with the bone's local matrix. const aiMatrix4x4 nodeGlobalTransform = boneDesc->globalTransform; //Assert(nodeGlobalTransform == CalculateGlobalTransform(node)); // The transformation relative to the bone's parent (parent => bone space). aiMatrix4x4 nodeLocalTransform; if( boneDesc->parentIndex != -1 ) { const BoneDesc* parentBone = skeleton[ boneDesc->parentIndex ]; aiMatrix4x4 parentGlobalTransform = parentBone->globalTransform; aiMatrix4x4 inverseParentGlobalTransform(parentGlobalTransform); inverseParentGlobalTransform.Inverse(); nodeLocalTransform = nodeGlobalTransform * inverseParentGlobalTransform; // N = P^-1 * B } else { nodeLocalTransform = node->mTransformation; } aiVector3D scaling; aiQuaternion rotation; aiVector3D translation; nodeLocalTransform.Decompose(scaling, rotation, translation); Vector3D jointTranslation = ToMyVec3D(translation); Quaternion jointOrientation = ToMyQuat(rotation); I studied the samples very closely: scenes are animated by interpolating node movement, but I don't want to have the full node hierarchy at run-time with redundant bones (referring to the same node, but having different mOffsetMatrix matrices, as mentioned. http://www.gamedev.net/topic/630903-assimp-and-collada-bind-shape-matrix/?view=findpost&p=4977756
  5. How to construct the 'global' skeleton from a scene imported by the Open Asset Import Library (Assimp) ?   In Assimp, a scene is essentially a hierarchy of nodes, each node can possibly have meshes, each mesh can have a set of bones so it's easy to build a joint hierarchy for a single mesh, but I need to build the joint tree for the whole mesh (as in Doom 3).