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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.

Extrarius

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  1. [quote name='ApochPiQ' timestamp='1299691168' post='4783624'] You do realize that the people who have left aren't going to actually [i]respond [/i]to this thread, right? [/quote]Not entirely true. The new design causes me serious eye strain (whether using the white or dark+flashbangs theme) so I've "left" but I check back every few weeks to see if there is a theme I can actually use to read the forums for any period of time without getting a headache or worse.
  2. I'm disappointed to see the black theme is still significantly broken. I'd like to be able to occasionally browse GDNet without serious eye strain, but the new website still doesn't offer me that option.
  3. [quote name='ChurchSkiz' timestamp='1294677452' post='4756697'] [...]So you like the old site better, great. Complain about it. But if you're leaving over it then you're here for the wrong reasons.[...] [/quote]The reason I'd guess people are leaving is exactly because they are here to enjoy technical discussions with competent developers. The new design looks largely targeted to draw in younger, less experienced people that will contribute more questions than answers and (based on my experience with other social networking sites) more soliloquies, snark, and sass with a significant shortage of serious science and other interesting-to-me topics. If the community makeup switches so such demographics match that description, it will not have the same kinds of content that such people are interested in. Also, it makes my eyes hurt in a way that feels very similar to a migraine. I'm not sure how GDNet has always managed that, considering that most sites on the internet used black-on-white, but somehow onl this site has ever continually caused pain. I could easily see why this alone would cause people to leave at least until a less painful theme is available.
  4. [quote name='Mike.Popoloski' timestamp='1294608269' post='4756238'] I have to say that I'm unhappy with the new site. I liked the old one, and while it definitely needed improvement, I wouldn't call what we have now anything more than a step in the right direction. 1. De-emphasis of the forums - For some reason the forums feel even more hidden away than they were before. It takes an extra click to go through the drop-down menu now, and the recent topics menu has been moved all the way down the main page. So much emphasis is being placed on the Careers and Articles sections, even though GDNet does not excel in those areas. Looking at the Careers page is pretty pathetic, and the articles section hardly ever has real technical content. I thought the new site would focus more on the forums, which are GDNet's strongest feature. 2. Web 2.0 - I think it's easy to see that they went way overboard in this area. Every page feels cluttered with tons of junk that isn't even that useful. Why are there sharing buttons all over the place? Why is so much space wasted? What is the point of friend lists? Why are there status updates next to the forum listing? It's like all this stuff was added just because they could. GDNet is not Facebook, and it is not Twitter. I don't see why it should be trying to emulate them either. 3. Death of GDNet+ - I think you guys are really shooting yourselves in the foot here with this one. You've cheapened GDNet+ significantly by giving everyone journals and avatars, when instead you should have been trying to add as many new things to GDNet+ as possible to make it more attractive and a more viable source of revenue. I mean, this is now listed as a primary feature of GDNet+: "Up to [b]500[/b] personal messages ([i]10x more![/i])" Seriously? You're touting an increased MAILBOX SIZE as a selling point? I've been subscribing to GDNet+ for years now, but I think when the renewal comes around again I'll be dropping it. 4. Widescreen Users - Why have we squished everything together, when everyone and their mom is moving towards widescreen monitors these days? It just makes no sense at all. So much horizontal space is lost, which in turn increases the vertical space required to read anything. Very frustrating. 5. Losing the Rating System - I know the rating system has always been controversial, but what you have now is completely pointless and should not even exist. No more down voting removes any incentive to keep your posts to community standards. As long as you don't do anything explicitly bannable, you can get away with whatever you like. Additionally, voting on posts and not users leads to run-away inflation for users who post a lot. Want more reputation? Just post more! It emphasizes quantity over quality, which is never a great idea. Finally, the rating is so hidden now that it might as well not even exist. The way I see it, you should either do it properly, or just remove the feature entirely if you feel GDNet users shouldn't be worrying about ratings at all. One or the other; not this middle ground. 6. Sane Defaults - I like that notifications are now very customizable, but someone wasn't thinking when the defaults were set. I started receiving emails for all sorts of useless events here, such as a user adding me as a friend. So much so, in fact, that GMail started putting everything coming from GDNet into the spam folder. Another questionable default is that of allowing people to be friends with you; apparently the default is to let them add you as a friend without you having any say in the matter. Now that they're friends, I have no way of getting rid of them, so they're not really friends as much as they are fans at this point Some of these problems are expected from a new software product, and I'm sure some will be fixed in the months to come. Unfortunately, I think a lot of them are explicit design decisions that have already been made. Hopefully not everything is set in stone at this point. [/quote] I entirely agree. I don't really like this new direction at all. I have enjoyed the forums here for a long while, but the new look completely turns me off from this site. I'm enduring a strong headache from the theme just to type this, and I'll likely not be back until I'm given a theme that doesn't burn my retinas. Even once that is changed, I'll probably drop this from my reading list if the community moves in the direction that the new site seems to be leading. I don't visit social networking sites for a reason, and if this site is walking away from its competency in technical discussions, it doesn't have a purpose for me any more. I can understanding wanting to target younger generations, but it'd be a shame for that to come at the cost of the experienced professionals that make up the foundation of these forums. The old forums had a subtle yet significant selection of layout where the post was the only element to take up significant space with all the other information being squashed into a tiny space proportional to it's importance in discussions.
  5. Depending on what kind of reading you enjoy, you might find some good books at E23. E23 is the e-store for the makers of the RPG called GURPS, but they've signed up many other producers of RPG materials. I really love their download system (unlimited downloads if you register, no DRM, etc) and feel it really treats me like the paying customer that I am. I don't know how well the kindle will handle RPG pdfs, though, as the tables can be quite complicated.
  6. Personally, I stumbled into an internship after my first year of college. The first year was easy, because the internship only lasted for the summer and I wasn't planning on taking summer classes anyways. Starting with the second year, the internship started in the summer but lasted until I got hired at the company (after graduating several years later). They were rather understanding to start with, but I had to also convince them to lower their requirements further so I could work only a few hours a week while also taking a low-to-moderate class load. It took me 6.5 years to get my baccalaureate, but I graduated debt free and gained a ton of "Experience" (mostly just the kind you can put on resumes, but also a bit of the kind that aids and improves learning).
  7. I don't know if it is still open, but in my hometown, in a rather run-down mall, there was a "Dollar Theater" ($1 admission) that only showed older movies. Generally, they showed movies that were released 6 months to a few years ago. If such a model worked (which it did for a several years, at least), then it'd probably also work to show arbitrarily old movies as well. I imagine a big part of their semi-success, though, was due to extremely low cost of space and the fact that they weren't trying to compete with large theaters at all - all of their theaters were rather small with rather plain seating etc, so they would have lost if they competed directly. In my current place or residence, a couple of theaters have regular viewings of older movies, but they turn it into an event by not always showing older shows and by only showing a particular show for a few days when they are showing such shows. They have also done things like show the world cup games when the world cup was being held.
  8. APITITE Application Programming Interface Technology for Interactive Three-d Entertainment
  9. I've always wondered how a 4x game with randomized conditions equal for and displayed to all players would work out. Imagine that on the loading screen, the game displays a graph showing a tech tree, building requirements, unit requirements and abilities, etc, and each time you play the options available are randomly chosen - the game could have a kind of behind-the-scenes "point buy" system that it uses to build random units and cost them out - advantages like '5x base health' would raise "points" and 'requires tier 2 building' or 'costs double gold' or 'takes extra time to build' or 'takes 2 food' could reduce "points", with all units generated to have a given point value (randomizing this per game could be interesting - some games you're playing superhuman ubersoldat with 50 point units and the next you're playing a peasant uprising with -10 point units). Of course, such a game could not be as complex per play as other games are because the randomization would take a lot of work to understand and take advantage of, but averaged over the long term, such a system might still lead to a kind of deep gameplay. On the other hand, having a 'build your own units' with the same 'point buy' system used for randomization could provide an interesting alternate game mode - instead of seeing the random data on the loading screen, you'd see the choices your opponent made for their units/tech/etc and they would see your choices. Everybody would have to create a diverse set of units to allow them adapt to different opponent choices (all the pointing being done before game, you have to have a counter for at least a few strategies built into your set of units/etc)
  10. C and C++ make very few guarantees about things like the behavior of volatile, which is why I'd guess many people suggest against it. To be sure things will work as expected, you'll need to use whatever conventions your compiler and platform require. Using MSVC with windows, I typically use the intrinsic _Interlocked* functions for performing atomic operations along with the barrier intrinsics when I need to ensure ordering.
  11. What calling convention do the functions in the dll use? Are you calling them using the correct calling convention? Also, have you tried initializing all your variables to some value, even the ones you are not required to initialize? It's a good habit to get into (I typically initialize status variables to "critical failure" and everything else to 0).
  12. The page (and, presumably, the DB entries) for Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools is still broken after this and this.
  13. I haven't used VS 2010 extensively, but I _really_ don't like the number of things it installed and how much CPU it used. I was planning on using it on my laptop, but VS 2010 kept the CPU usage very high, whereas VS 2008 idled at the appropriate 0% low power mode. My laptop isn't beefy, but a core i3 mobile w/ 4GB RAM should be plenty to run a fancy text editor. Komodo Edit can do intellisense on dynamic languages (python, javascript, etc) better than VS 2010 did on C++, and the former also leaves my CPU at 0% (after a second or so of loading). Visual Studio hasn't honored the windows themes since at least VS 2005. Other Microsoft products stopped honoring themes long before then.
  14. Quote:Original post by Talroth [...]I don't see how making it easier for a larger number of people to get stoned off their asses every weekend (or every day) is going help things.I would argue that putting people in overcrowded jails, giving them a criminal record, and potentially ruining their lives for getting caught using a relatively harmless drug is worse than letting more people have access to it. I'd also argue that criminalizing relatively harmless drugs encourages potential users to become involved with the larger criminal underground and puts them in a position where they're more likely to be exposed to extremely dangerous and harmful drugs. Thus, while I don't think giving everybody of age legal access to relatively harmless drugs is helpful to society, I definitely think that providing legal access is far less harmful to society than criminalization and the "war on drugs".
  15. You mention that walls store which sectors are on each side. Do sectors store which walls make it up or which sectors share walls with it? Another approach I thought of is to use a simple breadth-first search to choose which sectors to process, starting with the one the player is in. Something like (semi-python):sectorsToRender = [GetSector(player.location)] while (not bAllColumnsFull) and sectorsToRender: nextSector = sectorsToRender.pop(0) if not InView(next): continue Render(nextSector) sectorsToRender.extend(nextSector.linkedSectors) The "InView" check being optional, of course, and you'd need some way to check whether a sector was already processed. For the latter, you could use a bitmask for speed, but for the actual list of sectors to render, a pointer or index list (cyclic to make popping free and to avoid multiple allocations) would be better so you can maintain order.