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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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About Ballistix

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  1. C++

    Also, one more thing...   Here is a list of all books you guys recommended. I try to place them into the right tier (T1, T2 and so on...)   Can you help me with the rest of the books I didn't place yet? Just quote and add a T1, T2 and so on, depending on which book you think should be in whatever tier. Also, if you feel as some books are redundant, please mark! Let's remember, we are talking about game programming.   Thanks a lot.   Bjarne's Programming: Principles Practice in C++ 2nd ed. [T1] Jumping into C++" by Alex Allain Bjarne's The C++ Programming Language 4th ed. Jossuttis' The C++ Standard Library Code Complete 2nd Edition Pragmatic Programmer The C++ Programming Language reference book [T2] Lippman's C++ Primer 5th edition Scott MeyersEffective Modern C++, 2014 [T1] Programming: Principles and Practice Using C++ 2nd Edition  [T3] The C++ Standard Library: A Tutorial and Reference [T4] The C++ Programming Language (as a reference) Scott MeyersEffective C++ Scott MeyersMore Effective C++ Scott MeyersEffective STL Scott MeyersEffective Modern C++
  2. C++

    I wanted to thank you all for your input. I ordered a bunch of books and will try to get to them in the right order, right after I am done with my Python stuff - which as many suggested, was the best bet for me to start before getting into C++.   Thanks a lot guys!
  3. Hey guys,   I am quite a noob when it comes to this stuff, but I am trying to understand the visual effect of the game Feist for PC.   Here is the link for the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNg6oAzUbWg   The way the silhouettes move (turning heads etc.) tell me that there is no way this is a 2D sprite. I think these are full 3d animated models simply without any light on them? Same goes with the actual ground, trees and obstacles on the main plane?   Is this how they achieve this effect? Also, if anyone knows what game engine was this built in, that would be nice to know!   Any other analysis of the art style and design of this type of visuals are appreciated!
  4. C++

    Hey guys,   I'm looking for some of the best online courses (paid of course) as well as books for learning C++ game programming. We are talking for a complete noob.   Any other efficient ways of learning are also appreciated.   Thanks a lot!
  5. Hey guys,   What would be the best game engine for a non military RTS city builder/economic game?   I was leaning towards Unity or UDK. The game will be a fairly a low poly graphics, so I will not be utilizing anywhere where near the power these engines are capable of.   Thanks!
  6. Hey guys,   I'm hoping to learn how to program games for PC. So far, I have read and researched that C++ is the way to go, but for a complete noob such myself, it is not the best language to start with.   I've been told that Python should be my 1st programming language and after a while it would make it easier for me to start learning C++.   Do you agree with this statement? Or would you suggest a different language or maybe go right into C++?   I can devote about 25-30 hours a week for learning.   What I am looking for is the most efficient way of reaching that ultimate goal of ability to program a PC game. For now, I would like to have enough skill to make a simple prototypes to test game mechanics and at least be familiar enough with coding to be able to modify already existing code written by someone with more experience.   Any other advice on the topic would be appreciated!
  7.   You never know when a language can become useful down the road, and as long as you just see it as a stepping stone for greater things (like to learn programming basics preparing you for a smoother transition to C++), learning python first is not the worst idea.     Thanks for such elaborate reply man.    So, why don'y you finally finish something and release it?! I mean, games like Terraria or damn FTL sell millions of copies.    You know, I wish I started learning all this stuff even 10 years ago, it would have been such a different situation right now. I bet I would have my own studio by now.   The trick is, I can either start learning now and hope for the best, or find myself 10 years from now saying the same damn thing I'm saying now.
  8.   Now, how would you use the money to make your ideas to life?   It's not only an engine...it's an RTS engine it gets you alot closer to your goals than a generic engine.     As to how to use the money... I would make two threads: 1. In the game design forum - do I need to know how to program/script in order to be a game designer?  If the answer is no ask how to pursue your goals. 2. In the business forum - Ask how much money it takes to bring an idea/design to life and what kind of companies handle such requests.   Also you should really try to put a team together with you as the game designer.  You should get some experience under your belt.   The RTS game I designed is purely economic with city building elements. There is no shooting whatsoever.   As to experience, I think game development school would be my best bet. They have some good projects where they get together as a team and create simple games etc.   Thanks a lot for a good advice.
  9. Okay. Then, given all the foregoing, the answer to your initial question is: no, it's not realistic.     Tom, I see where you are coming from. Certainly trying to create such a big scoped game as your first is a bad idea. Certainly trying to found your own studio is only realistic when you factor in that it might take you 10 years or so to get there...   Certainly both goals are hard to plan for, neither a game that is way to big to finish in a sensible time frame nor founding your own studio from nothing is something you should make a 5 year plan for.     Still, if he really is interested in it, and ready to work hard in his free time on both goals, I wouldn't go as far as calling it unrealistic. A long shot maybe, goals that have a 50-50 chance being reached ever, something that will eat up lots of lifetime. But very realistic as long you continue to work on it and don't let failures along the way drag you down...   Well, my 1st game is not really complex nor it is big. I bet an experienced programmer could make it happen in a matter of a few months (depending on how many hours per day he is willing to work on it).    As to the whole owning studio deal, this is the ultimate goal, not something immediate. I don't have eternity, no one does. If I was 20 years old, sure... time would not be an issue, but since I am pushing 33 already, it changed the whole perspective and it forces me to really come up with not necessarily the quickest, but most efficient way to move in that direction.
  10. I understand what you're saying and I agree. In my case, I can't program nor I can make a professional looking models, therefore the only choice that made sense to me was to hire people who know how to do these things.    In my situation, it's all about figuring out which route is less disastrous. First one is, spend money to make demo by hiring people who do it, and have zero to minimum control over the project since I can't code. Second choice, start leaning how to code and hoping for the best, in this case, after spending two years minimum and have ability to make a terrible demo. I honestly don't know which one is worst.    I can spend about 30 hours a week to learn how to code. So, that's 720 hours in six months. I guess the only way to find out whether I have enough brain to make it work is to try it.
  11. Learning programming languages is MUCH easier than learning a new natural language like Japanese or English. Most programming languages have VERY few rules to remember, and almost no exceptional cases to memorize. IDEs and compilers can quickly tell you when you're wrong and often suggest fixes. They're designed to avoid the stupid inconsistencies that natural languages have. They are all based off of the same core ideas, and this makes it very easy to switch once programming "clicks" for you. Recommending Python instead of C++ is based out of complications specific to C++. When you learn C++, there are a lot more occasions where you be on a roll, learning something, and then a tedious detail of C++ (usually a compile/link/template issue) rudely interrupts your train of learning. This doesn't happen as often with languages like Python or C#, which is why lots of people recommend starting with those languages. It's easier to learn if you don't have to stop and fight with the language. Different languages come into favor or fade into twilight over time. COBOL used to be a Pretty Big Deal, Way Back When. You don't hear about it much lately. Luckily, unless you plan on being a full-time professional programmer, you don't have to invest "all-in" with any single language. Most of your knowledge will lie not in the language details but in the *strategies* you use when you convert your ideas to code. It's like ordering a hamburger in English or Japanese. Once you know what to do, actually doing it is the easy part. This makes it easier to adopt different ones as time pass.     Very interesting. So, let me ask you this. If you had to guess, or perhaps if you know this for a fact... Given three years of total learning, one person starts out with Python for say, 1 year and then switches over to learn C++ for another two years. Another person starts out with C++ as a first language and spends the entire three years learning it. Both guys are beginners. Who would be better off in the end and why? Let's keep in mind, game programming is the main focus here.   I'm just trying to figure out what will be the most efficient way for me to learn this. I really don't want to waste time on language which I won't even use later on, especially if it will not help me in any way.   Your reply is much appreciated.
  12.   I think finding the right engine will be the least of a problem. It's the fact that I personally can't do anything with it. It would have to be the person I hire, in this case, a programmer.   This engine does not fit what I would need it for, but thanks for the link.   Now, how would you use the money to make your ideas to life?
  13.   Look, the first thing you need to remember is this: Game development is hard work. A lot of it. Its an unforgiving market for games, and way to many people want to work on games.   So, there really is no easy way in, and working in the field also does not seem to be easy. Reality is, yes, creating the game you dream of is completly realistic, it could even be done by yourself alone given enough time. But as Tom put it much better than me, this all comes at a price, and the end result might not lead to the money and fame you think of.     If being a game dev is such a big dream of yours, make it a reality. Just be realistic about your career goals (becoming lead developer ONE DAY is completly feasible... but you will have a long way to get there), and about what you can expect out of it (lots of work, working late, banging your head against the wall for little pay and a high risk of failure, but a lot of wonderful new things to learn, the occasional big success when something works against all odds, the smug feeling of doing something others think is "impossible").   If this really is such a big dream, and you are ready to work hard on making it a reality, do the most sensible thing, and PLAN ahead. What is your goal, what is your preferred way to get there?   You can "just do it", pick up programming and art learning of the internet and starting to create small games and concepts yourself... this will take a lot of time, and of course there is a limit to what you can do alone, but if you stick to it, you will get much farther than you ever imagined. End goal could be to build up your own Indie studio, and make enough money with it to survive.   You could go back to school if you have the time or money, and become a programmer or artist, trying to get into the industry and work your way up. You could also try the level design / game design route, might be harder to get your first job though.      As I mentioned above, I am not interested in pursuing a job, just to be in the industry. Maybe if I was 18 years old, it would be an option, but being almost 33 years old and having a good career definitely changes things a bit.    So, the only way that would make sense to me would be, signing up for Game Development programs at Columbia College here in Chicago. They have a really nice selection.   Also, I could start learning a programming language.    Bottom line is, I am not willing to drop my current career just to work in a game industry. I can spend the money I make now on learning things which I really need.  I did a little research and it seems that experienced programmers say to learn Python first, since I have no coding experience.   Then, why do they say Python, if nearly no one even uses it for production games? At what point do I stop with Python and switch over to something more complex (C or C++)?   I guess I am looking for the most efficient way of even having a crack at making it happen. Apparently, without knowing how to code, I can forget about the whole deal. Thing is, what if I spend 2-3 years learning how to program and I still won't be able to make a game (which will most likely be the case). All this money and time, absolutely wasted. Sure, hiring a programmer will not give me the exact results, but neither will my weak programming skills even after spending who knows how many years learning.
  14. It all boils down to this, does it not? I boiled the rest of the words away into vapor. Some of your words that I snipped were that you want to be part of "a great development team which makes the best games ever made." There are 2 ways of doing that - indie, and "job." Is it fair to assume that you're shooting for the former, and not the latter?   Yes, it is fair to assume so.    I'm not interested in working for somebody, that's for sure. My goal would be to have my own studio.
  15.   I really appreciate your time and writing this. I read it twice, just to be sure I understood everything as it was intended.   I was hoping not to see some (if not most) of the things your wrote, but I guess I knew it was coming. Being realistic is a hard thing to do, and so painful, too!