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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. Hi guys   About 7 months ago I implemented a Git branching strategy at my office (well, technically it was Mercurial, but I've been using it for a Git project recently too) to save us from deployment headaches. It seems to be working well but it goes against a lot of conventional wisdom online because nobody seems to take non-github closed-source projects into account (eg. game development, web development).   Would those who are good at Git and source control in general be able to have a quick read and see if there's any edge cases I didn't think of? I want to make sure my reasoning is solid :)   If anyone finds flaws in my approach or has any feedback I'd be very appreciative.   Thanks guys!   Edit - woops, I thought I got alerts when people responded. Didn't realize people had replied to this. Thanks for the responses though. I'll unpub my article for a bit and try and work in the advice posted here. I found a few videos of the BitBucket team that has a similar flow to the way I was proposing, but with some of the issues raised here worked out. I'll see if I can incorporate both. Cheers!
  2. I barely have enough time to play the games I like, let alone searching through pages and pages worth of text-only subject lines of games that may be in genres I have no interest in. That's why whenever I feel like looking around for something new, I end up going to java-gaming simply because they show preview images in their forum posts. I can scan a huge amount of games until one grabs my attention in a very short amount of time, rather than farting about clicking on text-only links going by nothing but titles like "New flappy bird rouge like on mobile now free play now check out our game now free hotdogs".   I suggested a few weeks back that we have an in-development forum like tigsource, but tigsource is already such a good resource I don't know if just doing the same thing has much worth. I know many more people on GDnet than tigsource so I myself would much rather post here, but I could easily see people just ignoring it.
  3. I was talking to some friends about this the other night and one of them made a comment that had me look completely revolted at their comment: "The only people who play online indie games these days are other indie devs like you". I just kind of stammered for a while trying to think of a counter-point, failed, then grouchily finished my beer in shocked silence.   Reading your post today seems to be coming at it from a similar angle - why are we focusing on browser-based delivery so much? It's a bit of a wake-up question.   I think a lot of it has to do with the generation we grew up in. For a lot of us, the last decade has been the desktop-consumption era: Newgrounds, Kongregate, Weebl, Homestar runner, pretty much every indie game jam,  - growing up in an era of flash meant that we also grew up thinking primarily nothing but desktop. When I think of making a game, my first thoughts are all the flash (and somewhat more recently Unity) based games I grew up playing with a mouse and keyboard, in any browser on any computer, sending the link around to friends on message boards and chat programs. The very game mechanics that I sit around thinking about revolve around having access to things like a mouse and keyboard. Making a mobile game is a completely different thought process that requires considering touch controls, tiny screens, a type of game design I don't often think about.   Not only that, but for me I primarily associate browser-based game as a no-barrier no-entry requirement to playing a game. No exe's/apks to download, nothing to install, just go to this link and play the game. The same friend above then made another statement that me revile in disgust again: "Oh desktop games are much harder to play - a phone game I can download at any time and then play when I get a chance. Desktop games I can't try at work when I have a few minutes waiting for something to compile".   Ugh, what what what? Going to the app store, finding the game, hoping it works on your device and installing it is easier?   So for the last few days I've been re-assessing my thoughts. Maybe browser-based games are just something I still think of as the #1 delivery mechanism simply because I grew up in an era of desktop? There's still some things though that I still think are big problems on mobile like touch controls, difficulty testing on devices you don't own, singular marketplaces that are also over-saturated etc, but is thinking primarily of browser-based delivery just me being an old man?
  4.   Everybody is applauding the death of Flash but there isn't a really good alternative out there yet for web games.  It's going to be a bad time for a lot of indie developers in the near future.  This is going to end up killing the Unity web player (already dead on some browsers) as well.  For as crappy as Flash is you can pretty much expect a Flash game to run the same on any web browser.  Same can't really for HTML5.     I feel like this sums up my current situation. I spent a few years learning Unity and developing a tool kit that I was really happy with, only to have the web plugin killed and the crap-tacular WebGL exporter be the alternative. After a few months of HTML5 engines and all the frustrations of cross-browser support and canvas/rendering/audio/scaling quirks, I switched to haxeflixel.com for it's Flash support. It does have a html5 exporter and I find that when it works it works great, but if you get any errors post-compile you really want a pure-js engine like Phaser to debug.   I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place right now. Use Flash and risk it all going up in smoke in under a year? Or move to HTML5 and just hope it gets better and not worse over the next few years, putting up with all it's annoyances and quirks?
  5. After the recent security kerfuffles with Flash, there's been a lot talk about killing Flash. Like, the head of facebook security saying we should kill flash. Or Mozilla having to release emergency patches just to block Flash from getting it's grimy hands on your computer. This is causing more people to start banging the drum to hunt down Flash like a vampire and burn its corpse at the stake (or do you put the stake through the vampire...does it need to be on fire?) and it's starting to seem like a lot of people couldn't be happier to see it gone.   So we kill Flash - is Html5 and WebGL in any state to replace it just yet? I've had a very tough time trying to get games to work cross-browser in Html5 (with it's limited feature set compared to Flash) and WebGL still seems to be in it's infancy (see Unity5).      What about all the historic content like Newgrounds, Kongregate, heck the majority of online games made for the last decade? If Flash is killed off, how much of internet history goes up in flames overnight? I can't imagine many people would (or even could) port their games away from Flash.    I don't know what the right answer is, but I feel like we have at least some responsibility to maintain the history of the internet. Blocking off a decades worth of content with no alternatives is a scary proposition.     
  6.   You can export from Haxe to Flash directly, but I don't think there's many people doing that? Part of it's power is that because it's outputting several different languages, you can plug it into libraries like OpenFL and target a bunch of other platforms like desktop, mobile etc as well as Flash. For example, because Haxe can generate javascript some people have started working on projects like HaxePhaser (based on the JS engine Phaser).       learnhaxe.org could be a great resource, I'm looking forward to it! I've found it difficult to find Haxe tutorials that are aimed at games, so most of what I've learnt so far has been reverse-engineering open source projects.
  7. I've been playing around with Haxe a lot lately and I'm finding it to be a really interesting toolkit/language.    On a whim I decided to see if there were any development jobs around using Haxe and, at least in my area (Toronto) there was zero results. For such a cool toolkit I was surprised to see that nobody seems to be using it (or at least, not hiring for it).   So I was curious, is anyone out there using it professionally? Assuming it's not just my area and it's not used that much outside small projects does anyone have insight on why that might be? 
  8. I should be cooking more. I should be cooking. I should probably just buy groceries...   but it's so haaaaard, uuuggghh.   First there's the part where you have to decide what to cook. Then you have to treck half a mile to the closest damn shopping center in our area and only bring back what you can carry, which is usually only just enough for that night. But by the time you get home your too tired so you put it off and pay a man to come to your greasy house and throw fat greasy pizza at you while you roll around in your grease pool sobbing that you should have cooked instead!    I'm jealous of people who just cook every night. I don't know how they fill their magical freezer box every week. When the shopping center is a pain in the ass to get too it's surprising how much it screws up your plans.
  9. Ah well, no worries then. It would be nice to keep stuff on here since it's easier to get feedback from people I know, but the developer journal might be a good place also.   Cheers,
  10. Every good idea is just a tweak on an existing idea. If someone used your idea before you did, just add a variation on top of that idea. Nothing is truly new, it's just tweaks to the formula of something that already exists. Often the fact that someone stole your idea is a good thing - they did all the hard work of making the first version! Now you already know if the idea works or not, and if it does add your own twist to it.    In the latest Zachtronics podcast they talk about this - there's nothing wrong with just taking an idea that is already proven to work and then just adding your own variation on top. So treat your idea already existing as a good thing, it's like a free beta test of your game.
  11. I was thinking specifically on GDnet. We have an announcements forum, but that's mostly for final releases. There's the Indie Projects forum, but it also seems to be final releases.
  12. Despite being on these boards for all these years, I'm still not sure of this - Where is the best place (on GDnet) to get game demo feedback? I'm working on a few projects that are not released yet, but I'd love to post some early demos for user feedback.   Tigsource has a "Playtesting" forum which is separate from the Announcements forum - does GDnet have somewhere like this?
  13. Superpig is beating me in every level 
  14.   That's a really good idea - I don't need to preview it in-game all the time, I just want to preview the spritesheet running as I save. I hadn't actually thought of it that way. I'll poke around online and see if there's anything closer to that.   Edit: So I ended up finding FlxSpriter. You give it a PSD file, setup some frames in XML and then you can play your animation on loop. It even live reloads! It took a bit of effort to get it running though (it depends on a few libraries that the readme doesn't mention) and the fact that you have to manually update an xml file is a bit of a pain. But, this is much better than my current system. I also found Spritesheet Preview which has a much nicer interface (no XML files) but it doesn't support live reloading and can't read PSD files.
  15. @Servant: That sounds pretty close to how I worked before hand :D The only reason I stopped doing that was I found it difficult to add or remove frames. Oh the number of headaches I ended up with from the file-preview flashing white until the wee hours of the morning.   @kburkhart84: The timeline is what I'm using now, and it's ok, but since all my sprites are in individual positions (like a regular spritesheet), it makes it hard to visualize the frames animating until I get it in game. I've never quite figured out a way to preview the animation in photoshop when the images are in a spritesheet style format.    I keep thinking, surely someone has a system but maybe everyone is just cobbling together the tools they have.