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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. I am not a skilled programmer but to answer the OPs question, coders don't always do this because they are being lazy. Also I think we should be clear that syntax mistyping is very different from a bug in the coding world. These are just my definitions your mileage may vary :) :   Bug: A programming error that causes an outright failure of code or a failure of code to produce the expected results.   Syntax Errors: Mistyping code so that it does not function or compile.   Again just my 2 cents your mileage may vary :)   Anyways from my amateur programming perspective I have seen coders trying to hammer through an idea of concept they have and they are typing 100 miles an hour and end up with typos or syntax sloppiness that then takes from minutes to hours to resolve. My experience has been this, work in a powerful IDE. Something that highlights the obvious. The second thing to consider with these "bugs" is the alternative to hammering out great ideas in a hurry which is NOT getting things done. In software development piling bugs upon bugs upon bugs seems like madness but... infact there is a word for this kind of strategy in the development lifecycle and that is call "Agile". Agile is a project style that involves quick execution of small pieces of work and being willing to accept a certain amount of broken. The broken parts are flagged for fixing but potentially by someone more junior or a cheaper $/hr resource that allows the primary coders to stay focussed on the hard bits.   I think I am just rambling now but I wanted to respond to this because it used to drive me nuts until I took some courses in the Agile methodology for project management and realized that if you apply the right methods of handling the bugs and keep delivering slow but steady advances in your project you can cut down the time of delivery for a piece of software by massive amounts.   Anyways my .02$ good luck!
  2. Good luck Raand. It looks like you have chosen a path so give it a whirl and see how it turns out. I just wanted to add in my thoughts to echo what someone else said above. It sounds to me that you are looking for something simple and easy to deliver small games potentially to a mobility audience. If that is the case I urge you to look at Unity. Amazing engine, simple scripting and great and powerful UI. It's cross platform with it's own compiler and allows you to do C++ right in the engine.   Just a thought. Take a look at it but either way good luck to you.
  3.   Haha well thank you for the vote of confidence in thinking I make games ;) I spend a tremendous amount of time developing and designing games but my paying job right now takes up 80% of my free time. I do go through the game development lifecycle fairly regularly I've got it fairly well documented now:   1) Great idea 2) High level design logic and architecture 3) Plan for monetization of end product 4) (And here is where it all goes South) Business case and RoI analysis on monetization vs level of effort and investment required to achieve release 5) Develop game   That being said I do recommend if you love game development always have something on the go. Work on someone else's project or simply set a goal for your self to grab a new tool and make it do things.   In my actual job I do multi-million dollar IT project work so managing deliverables and architecting game design solutions are actually becoming easier and I enjoy the hell out of it. I guess it's kind of like a sickness but like I said before if it's what you love then follow your dreams and keep working at it.   I had the privilege to speak to John De Margheriti a few years back about Aakrana when I was actively developing it. John has been the CEO of several major gaming companies and most recently known for his companies development and release of the Big World engine. (Before he sold the company.) John is a very inspirational speaker and we spoke on the phone for almost an hour at one point. One thing he said that really rang true for me. If you love doing something make the time for it. Learn about it. Develop your skills in an area that you can apply yourself to. The financial rewards will come but most importantly your happiness in what you are doing will pay off in it's own way. John is a great guy. If you ever get a chance to hear him speak at a conference do it. Amazing personality and talented leader.   Good luck Otaku.
  4. UE4 is an amazing engine. The fact that it is free makes it easy to start learning. The answers you are getting here though are very true. Developing a game takes a tremendous amount of skills. The days of a coder and a graphix guy hammer out an amazing RPG or 3D game are long behind us. That being said.. It truely depends on your goals. Now if you want to start learning game development my strong recommendation is to grab a mobility development API. Something like Unity, also free, and tons of tutorials with a massive community. In Unity make a simple project (Myself I took one of the tutorials and just kept adding to it as I learned new things) and use that to develop your scripting skills and novice C++ skills.    It's great to see you not disheartened by the feedback. People are just being honest. Starting with a massive game engine like UE4 as a blossoming new game dev talent could lead you down a path of discouragement and disappointment. I have been doing game dev work since... well pre-2000. I have worked on pretty much every major engine out there and my work inside the indie game dev community has been so rewarding. I had the opportunity to work (unpaid just to be clear) with some triple A MMO devs as they were working through their games and it has been so rewarding.  That is 16 years of amateur game development in a nutshell for me :) I have not released any commercial games. I have a few projects on the go at any given time. I have a corporation (registered with financials and everything omg!) and haven't seen a penny from game development. That being said, the journey you go on is up to you to find the rewards in.   You are doing the right thing. Ask questions, read but most importantly, do something. I have offered this advice to hundreds of people and I leave it with you as my closing remark...   "The difference between indie game developers who make it work and those who don't is 99% effort". Don't wait for someone to hand you a free MMO that you can release :) Any game is going to take hard work, money, and a whole lot of learning and compromise.   Good luck my friend!
  5. I work pretty hard in my 9-5 job. (Yeah right. I wish it was 9-5, more like 7AM to 6PM *bleah) But don't we all these days... Last summer, out of the blue I get a call from a marketting director at Big World Games. "Hey Mark, how's it going? This is so-and-so from BigWorld Technologies in Australia. I was wondernig if you have some time to talk about Aakrana..." Well needless to say that was like a bolt of lightning from out of no where. We chatted for a good 30 minutes about Aakrana, indie development, Big World's new moves into the indie market etc.. I walked away with the opportunity to look at the BigWorld engine (Which was cool but just not modular enough for an indie in my opinion) and sort of chalked up the encounter as very cool but now let's get back to my real work.. Fast forward 6 months and I get an email from IF Studios about HeroEngines new indie offerings.. "Hey Mark, how's it going? Cooper here, lets talk..." I have to admit the opportunity to work within the HeroCloud technology is pretty intresting. Anyways after a bit of back and forth and a clear understanding that I am in no way ready to step into a full development re-launch or engine migration, Cooper hooks me up and I am now developing in the HeroEngine. I've spent the last week or so kicking myself to make sure this all wasn't some wierd twilight zone thing but nope it's real The site I havent touched in 2 years.. The code I dabled with a bit last year but really it's got layers of dust on it at this point.. Am I really ready now, some 9 years after I set off on this great adventure to make the next great indie MMO, to embark on a full relaunch of development?? Really?! Uh ... no I was honest with myself and honest with Cooper from IF Studios. I know what kind of work is involved. I know the odds of success based on the lack of dedicated indie developers. I know the lack of dedicated developers is compound by the utter plethora of star struck dreamers who can't figure out even where to start in game development never mind what kind of chaos ensues when you add the acronym MMO infront of it. Aside from all of those challenges though I also happen to know what a person is capable of if they set their mind to it.. One small step at a time. Aakrana was a fantasy based MMO. I had some great features built into the game (Dynamically controlled AI to create a non static MMO world.) but in the end it was simply YAFMMO. (Yet Another Fantasy MMO) Fantasy MMOs still have a following, but the market is saturated. Social Gaming is the next BIG thing. Hell even that is already blosommed pretty hard. Truth is though, simple social apps (Facebook, twitter,etc) integrated into a simple but fun and kitchie interface are all the rage. 100 million people all paying you $1 a month is a hell of a lot of dollar bills.. Although I love fnatasy MMOs and the stories and worlds that drive them, social gaming is what pays and if you want to be in game development you better the heck know what is going to bring in the paychecks. Getting the last swift kick in the pants from IF Studios may have been just what I needed to get off my lazy backside and see what the heck kind of crazi awesomeness I can create in The next 3 months. Think I can't do it? Dare me Mark
  6. From the album Aakrana

  7. From the album Aakrana

  8. From the album Aakrana

  9. From the album Aakrana

  10. From the album Aakrana

  11. From the album Aakrana

  12. From the album Aakrana

  13. From the album Aakrana

  14. From the album Aakrana

  15. From the album Aakrana