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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.

Spoonbender

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  1. Quote:Original post by way2lazy2care Quote:How does the population make a difference when your service users to capita ratio will always be 1. overhead increases exponentially. Service should be the same, but overall costs could balloon quite heftily. Exponentially? Could you elaborate on that? I could understand overhead growing in the order of something like O(n lg n), but exponentially? I'm having a hard time understanding how it could ever be exponential (or if it *is* exponential, why even small countries are able to provide functional healthcare) Is this just rhetoric to make it sound bad, or can you explain how this works?
  2. Aw, when I saw the thread title I thought it was some overdramatic "C++0x is ruined! We might as well stick with C++03 now" thread. And then it turns out you're just making a perfectly reasonable point about the delay turning it into C++1x. How boring... [grin]
  3. Quote:Original post by Tsakara We're to the stage where we want to start working on programming, getting concept art made, starting to build the world. The problem is no one in our group has the foothold in that field. We need to find programmers, artists, coders, everything. So your group doesn't actually have anything to contribute with? Why should a programmer, or an artist, work on *your* game, when they could be working on *their own* games? That question might sound rude, but it's worth considering. What's in it for the programmer? From the posts in this thread, it's pretty clear that they'll be there as slaves to implement *your* secret ideas, and their creative input is basically nil. You've also made it clear that they'll be doing all the work. Your job is to tell them what the game should be like, and nothing else. You don't actually have any skills to contribute to the project. So what's in it for them? Why would a programmer want to join you? Quote:we just need help finding people who are as passionate about the game as we are in order for it to succeed. Several problems with this one. As passionate as you are? And yet, you are so ammazingly passionate about it that you haven't even bothered to learn any skills relevant to game development. That's not a very high bar to set. To stand a chance of being successful, your team will have to consist of people who are far more passionate than that -- people who have actually been willing to teach themselves everything they need in order to make the game a reality. The other problem is how do you expect anyone outside your secret enclave to be passionate about the game, when you refuse to tell them what the game is? Honestly, be open about your ideas. There are several things that might happen when other people hear about them: 1: Some people will say "that sounds awesome. I'm gonna do the same in my game 2: Others are going to say "that sounds awesome. I'd love to help out". 3: Some are going to say "that's a horrible idea. Here's what you should do instead". Now, you absolutely need #2 to happen. "amazingly passionate" people do not just come knocking on the door. You need to tell them that there is a game to be passionate about. Which means you need to tell the world about your idea before anyone will even consider joining you. #3 is inevitable, and so what? In the worst case, you'll ignore their criticism and make the game of your dreams anyway. In the best case, their response will allow you to improve your game. Seems like a win-win situation. #1 is the one you're so scared of. But think about it. If I were to spy on you and discover all your precious ideas today, then what? Would I be able to make a game as good as yours? Probably not, because while I'd know what you'd written down about the game, I wouldn't know the parts of it that only exist in your heads. I wouldn't have the genius required to flesh it out and fill in the blanks that have not yet been described in text. My game would come across as a poor clone. I might have your design document, but I wouldn't have your inspiration. So even if I had the time, motivation and skills to make your game before you did, I probably wouldn't be able to. But that's a fairly large 'if'. Most people reading your ideas do *not* have the time, motivation or skills to make the game. As others have tried to tell you, a MMO is a huge undertaking. It's not something people decide to make just because they read this idea someone else came up with on the internet. Blizzard is *not* going to throw away WoW and say "damn, this guy's ideas sound awesome. Let's make that game instead". And hobby developers are not going to say "hey, I saw this idea on the internet, let's make a MMO". In short, I can't think of a single case where anyone would 1) steal your ideas, 2) make "your game before you did, and 3) make it better than, or as good as, yours. Sure, you can be as secretive as you like, but the consequence of that is that your game stays a secret. No one hears about it, which means no one is going to want to work on it.
  4. I'm not sure I see the big deal. With properties, you can write "x.y = 42;". Without, you have to write "x.y() = 42". (or "x.y(42)" which is even shorter) A whopping two extra characters in the worst case. Is that really a problem? Why are properties so important?
  5. Assuming you can find an affordable way to get around (interrail?), keep in mind that travel times are actually pretty short. Europe is a fairly small continent, so it probably won't break your schedule to drop by something far away from the direct London/Rome route. Most of the time, you'll have at least one other country a few hours away from you at most. As for "must see"'s, I dunno. Every European country has a good bunch of those, I think, so pick what you're able to. Anything in particular that interests you? Museums, architecture, nature, anything else? I suspect that if this is your first time outside the US, one of the biggest "must see"'s, is simply the old parts of the big European cities. I've lived here all my life, but I still think it's fascinating to walk down some tiny cramped street, and be surrounded by buildings dating back to the 1600's or older.
  6. Quote:And be sure to check out the Enginuity series Well sure, if you want to shoot yourself in the foot.
  7. Quote:Original post by Toolmaker Instead, the EC explicitly wants Microsoft to allow consumers to choose which browser they want to use. And that's a bad thing? Seems a fair goal to me. Which is why the EU is not happy that IE8 gets removed. The goal is to give the user *more* choice, not *less*. Quote:Firefox had a market share of 31% in that period, while Opera had a negligible share of 1.5%. I find the complaint weird, because clearly it shows that the Mozilla foundation was capable of gaining a solid 32.5% share in a market dominated by Microsoft. In other words, the complaint doesn't make sense. Or perhaps Firefox would've had a higher still market share if MS hadn't used their OS dominance to push browsers as well. If Microsoft (or any other company) abuses its monopoly then it's bad, whether competitors manage to get 1, 5 or 32% market share, isn't it? Quote:However, what I find more strange, is that the EC forces Microsoft what and what not to do with it's flagship product. While I agree Microsoft must amend the rules that count for everyone, in a world where you want to promote free market as much as possible, you shouldn't meddle in what a company wants to do with it's products as long as it abides the law. Isn't the entire point that it does *not* abide by the law? I mean, the entire reason that the EU has picked this fight is that it believes that MS does not obey European law. Anyway, "free market" does not mean that each company can do what it pleases. It means the exact opposite, that the consumer can choose what to buy and what not to buy. If Microsoft can ensure that their product and nothing else ends up on 98% of all computers, whether the owner wants it or not, then it's hardly a free market, is it? There is nothing "free market" about a company using their monopoly in market A to gain a monopoly in an unrelated market B as well. In a free market, Microsoft's browser would gain marketshare on its own merits, not on being made by a company who happens to have a virtual monopoly on operating systems. Quote:Personally, Windows without IE is going to be a bitch to use. But what happens if MS is allowing the consumer to select their browser, is that they have to provide support for it as well. And instead of people actually blaming their software, it's all Microsoft's fault when it doesn't work. This one just doesn't really seem to make much sense, given that Microsoft doesn't offer free support on their products as it is. You get what, two free support calls when you buy Windows. So even if people *do* flood them with support calls about Safari, it's hardly going to be a burden for Microsoft. I don't know what the "right" solution is. An OS with no browser is obviously not an option. An OS with one browser gives that browser an unfair advantage. An OS that comes with multiple browsers? Well, fine, but which browsers should that be? Which versions? What about the browsers that are not included? But even with those problems, an OS that comes bundled with, say, the three most popular browsers seems to me to be a better option than one that comes with just one, as determined by the company who developed the OS.
  8. Quote:Original post by TylerMoore We have a fully functional working copy of Visual Studio 2008 (the express editions have been giving us major problems), however, compiling on that platform seems to cause a lot of issues with the directX libraries with regards to this code. DirectX works fine with VS2k8 (whereas VC6 is no longer supported by DX, I believe). So fix your code. If your excuse for using a broken compiler is "our code is broken too", then, well, you should probably make it non-broken. ;)
  9. Quote:Original post by loufoque Making dying just a misstep makes dying something trivial and unimportant. This inherently reduces immersion, but also challenge. Just a quick note, but there's nothing immersive about dying either. Death will, pretty much by definition, always destroy immersion. No matter how you handle it. I think they're separate issues: "How to make the game challenging and keep the player on his toes" (the threat of dying and having to start over is one way to achieve that, but is it necessarily the only/best way to do it?) is a completely different question from "What should happen when the player dies". Of course there's some overlap. "Harsh death penalties" can be used to answer both questions, but there's no reason why the answer to both questions have to be the same. That's what's always annoyed me about the "permadeath-clique". They lack imagination, refuse to think outside the box. They want their actions to be meaningful, but refuse to even consider other ways to achieve this than the "good" old one of deleting your character and being forced to start over if you make a misstep. In particular, they're so blinded by this permadeath-obsession that they forget that they're only really interested in half of it. Your actions are meaningful if you can permakillothers. But if others can permakill you, how does that make your actions more meaningful? And of course, the good old "permadeath allow meaningful actions and involvement" only really makes sense in the context of a MMO. It's not a general answer to "how to deal with death in games". In pretty much every singleplayer game, the main character makes a pretty meaningful impact on the world, without having to be threatened with permadeath. So a question: Wouldn't it be more immersive if the player just didn't die? Any time the player dies, you ruin immersion. Whether you start over, rewind time or lose a life, neither option is realistic, every one of them remind you that it's just a game. So perhaps you shouldn't put the player in this situation in the first place. Heroes don't die (at least not until *after* they've saved the universe). So why should the game even portray a situation where the hero died? Would Monkey Island have been a better game if Guybrush had been able to die? Of course, in adventure games it's probably easier to arrange things so that death situation simply don't arise. But perhaps it is something other genres could still learn from. Go and watch a typical action movie. The hero regularly screws up, experience setbacks and so on, but they don't die. They might have to start over from scratch, get booted out of the police force or whatever else. They get punished, sure, but they don't die. Perhaps games should do the same thing. Rather than killing the main character every time they screw up (and then ending up in a situation with no realistic/immersive way out), just let them, well, screw up.
  10. Quote:Original post by Erik Rufelt Antheus, I tried your timing code and added std::fill and std::fill_n, where fill_n was significantly faster, almost exactly the same as the baseline for several different sizes. I think that std::fill has some bounds checking or something in VC++.. did you turn all such things off, if it's present in your compiler, or try fill_n in your later tests? It seems strange it should be so much slower than the baseline. Ah, good old SECURE_SCL, perhaps?
  11. I agree that a major difference between Google and TPB is that the latter makes no attempt to police their site. That certainly makes a difference. On the other hand, *how* do you police a torrent site? Just go by the name? (If I make a torrent of some infringing content, say, a copy of Spore, and name it "definitelylegal.torrent", what should TPB do? Assume the name is accurate? Email me to ask? Download the 4GB of data to find out? And can they legally do that, even if they had the bandwidth and time to do it? Or would it be enough if they simply allowed users to flag content as illegal? (and if so, what should they do about flagged content?) What would it take for a torrent site to be legal?
  12. Quote:Original post by tstrimp You can't create a service on a website and then justify any content that goes on it by saying, it's not me, it's the users that are putting it on there. Yes, that's probably the weakest point in their defense, I agree. The refusal to take down illegal torrents even when notified of them probably hurt their case. But it seems like a harsh punishment for failing to moderate your users actions. Another question is *how* a torrent site can be moderated. How would the site's maintainers verify that a torrent named, say, "Dawn of War 2" actually *contains* that game? If it doesn't it, it may not be illegal. And to check this, they'd have to download the files, which is where it *definitely* becomes illegal. But going back to the popular example of users posting links to child porn on your site, you can't really find out whether it *is* child porn without following the link. That's easy enough to do if we're talking about a single url. If we're talking about a torrent referencing 6GB of data, it's less easily done. Quote:That's a deliberately simplistic and childish argument. You know full-well that Google is just a way to find links by running a search algorithm based on your input. Whereas PB deliberately sets out, with no attempt to hide the fact, to provide links to downloads they know full-well are illegal. So what you're saying is that it's basically the name that makes the difference? Calling a site google.com doesn't imply anything illegal, but calling it thepiratebay.org suddenly makes the same site illegal? TPB deliberately set out to provide links to user-submitted files *regardless* of what these files are. There is plenty of legal content on TPB as well. Quote:On the whole "we were just linking to it" argument, oh come on. Say I host a HTML page with lots of <img> tags linking to pornagraphic images of children. By that argument, all I'm hosting is a few hundred bytes of text, which sick people can use to find child-porn. But you're the one posting that HTML to your website. TPB did not post the torrents themselves. It's not quite that simple, and I don't think it's common sense.
  13. Quote:Original post by borngamer I for one am extremely happy to see the guilty verdict. It still amazes me how morality has declined so much that people can say "I'm not hosting the pirated software, I just give links on where to get it" is ok. It's not a question of whether we condone piracy. It's a matter of consistency. Is it a crime to provide infrastructure that can be used to carry out crimes? If so, then we have to apply this consistently, and not just to get rid of evil filthy pirates. Then why is Google legal? I can find more torrents there than I can on the Pirate Bay. They're guilty of making services available that users can use to commit crimes. Why are streets legal? Consider how frequently they're used to carry out crime. Every single burglar uses them to get around. People often get assaulted on them. Jaywalking takes place on them, and almost all crimes involving cars take place on the things. Considering how easily streets can be used to commit crimes, why is it legal to create or maintain the things? They're guilty of making services available that users can use to commit crimes. Quote: So, running a torrent site should be considered a crime. But torrents are not illegal. Torrents can be used for legal content as well. I also don't believe it is illegal to torrent games I already own (I've done that on several occasions, because I couldn't find the disc, or just because I was lazy and it was faster than installing from the disc. So even making copyright-protected material available does not automatically mean it is used for piracy.) Quote:Let's use an example of something more people would feel strongly about. If someone posted up a website of people's credit card numbers but doesn't use the numbers, are they comitting a crime or is it just the people who go to the site and use the numbers? Where did they get the credit card numbers? Anyway, that is different. The Pirate Bay people do not actively post *anything*. They simply run a site where others can post data. So your example only works if they ran a site that allowed people to post text for the public to see (say, a forum, or pastebin.com), and *users* then started posting credit card numbers. Quote:I'm not going to argue on the details. Linking to pirated content is just as bad as hosting it in my opinion Google links to pirated content. Anyway, they didn't. That's the entire point. The Pirate Bay people did not themselves post a single link. The sites users did. Should Gamedev.net's staff get jailed if I started posting torrent urls to this forum? If you run a website, can you be held responsible for what your users do? That seems a dangerous slippery slope. Should Youtube be sued every time a user uploads a copyright-infringing movie?
  14. Quote:Original post by Durakken I can't agree with that with what I said previously. Yes it's the job of the designer to put everything where it should be easy for the person to find it all like that, but I'm not talking about bad design. I'm talking about players that blatantly disregard those things. If they do that, it is bad design. They're not doing it to spite you, but because you haven't made it convenient/obvious enough. You're not the judge of whether your game is well-designed. The idiot players who blunder around and have no clue what they're supposed to be doing are.
  15. Quote:Original post by CodaKiller As I understand 90% of people who played World of Goo pirated it and I know a lot of people pirated Audiosurf just from YouTube comments, so how can we as indie game developers prevent our games from being pirated? You're asking the wrong question. It doesn't matter how many people pirate your game. What matters is how many buy it. You're better off if 10 people buy your game and 100,000 pirate it, than if 5 people buy it and no one pirates it. Hell, even if 10 people buy it in both cases, you're still better off when it gets widely pirated. That means you've got a big fanbase who'll be keeping an eye on your next game. It means a lot of people have heard of the game, and are interested in it, at least. And it means you've got a large group of people who may decide to buy the game later. So the real question is, "how can we as indie game developers ensure that as many people as possible pay for our games?" Screw piracy, it doesn't matter. It only matters indirectly, in how it influences sales. But at the end of the day, it's the amount of sales, not piracy that's important. And that suggests a good starting point, at least. Treat potential customers as that, potential customers, rather than potential pirates. Make them want to buy the game. Simply making them not pirate it doesn't gain you anything. That's obviously not a recipe for success, but it's a starting point.