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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.

Magic Card

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  1. Amen to the comment about the textures, 3DRT. If you look at WoW, which is an extremely low-poly game, all the details come from the textures. My suggestion for you, bleachlizard, would be to get rid of the geometric detail in the abs and compensate with a really good bump map, assuming your engine can handle bump maps. Same goes for the inner thighs, biceps, and especially the neck. Bump mapping takes some time to get right, but the end results and lack of polygons make the efforts well worth it. Now granted, if you are using a next-gen engine like Unreal 3, your poly-counts can go pretty high, in which case 7000 polys is nothing. But I'm assuming you're using something more along the lines of Unreal 2 at most, in which case you'd definitely want to stick to the 2,000 - 5,000 poly range. Even then Unreal 2 can push 9 or 10 thousand polys - at least in static meshes - but I wouldn't recommend it for a character, especially one in an MMO where hundreds of characters need to be rendered at once. See what your engine is capable of and then determine what to do with your model.
  2. It really depends on the position you want in the field. For example, a basic understanding of anatomy is good, but you don't need to be Leonardo daVinci if you want to be an asset or environment artist. For those you'd be better off studying objects, plants, and the like. If you want to be a character artist, then you should develop a deeper understanding of anatomy. Read some books, take some classes, draw some naked people. Right now I'm entering my third year at SCAD and have had extensive training in foundation and computer arts. I've easily improved my skills ten-fold just by being there and working so much. My suggestion to you is if you don't feel like paying for schooling, pay for some tutorial DVD's or watch videos on Youtube. It's a slower learning process but it will work in the long run. The beauty about school, though, is that there's people to help you learn, whether student or professor. Whatever your choice, it all comes down to this: PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE! When you're working in this industry you do NOT have the luxury of spending long amounts of time on a model. The last project I worked on this year was a level for Unreal Tournament 2004, and my group produced over 75 static meshes and about 125 textures in 5 weeks. It was an unbeatable and invaluable experience, and that is the kind of practice that everyone who's serious about modeling needs.
  3. Bit of an off-topic post today. Check it out.
  4. New post at the blog.
  5. Thanks man. I can't wait to get it done, finally.
  6. I think the best way to emulate Monkey Ball on the PC would be to map all movement to the mouse. Not by clicking, but by moving the mouse itself. This would afford you the fluidity you'd need to really get Monkey Ball style movement. If you're worried about being able to move in a single direction, you could have it so left click accelerates and right click brakes, while the mouse itself is just used for turning. I know you're not crazy about this kind of control for the game, but for something like Monkey Ball, which actually involves tilting the world and not the ball itself (except in multiplayer), I believe it would be the most appropriate control scheme. Just make sure the controls are tight enough that you don't accidently roll off the world all the time.
  7. Do NOT go to Full Sail or Art Institute if you are really planning on entering the game industry. I go to the Savannah College of Art and Design, which has a highly acclaimed game design major, and so far I'm really enjoying it. The schools that advertise game design on TV usually just plop you down in front of a computer and are like "Make a game and get an A" without actually discussing the intricacies of game design itself, so you're not actually getting an education in it. I'd look into SCAD or other actual colleges with game design. I heard Boston University has a new game design major, and I'm from Boston so I know for a fact that the city is great so that's an advantage at least. What it boils down to is this: do some research and find the school that's right for you. Never settle for the minimum, especially if you really want to get into the business.
  8. Okay I guarantee nobody remembers me, so I'll reintroduce myself to begin. I've technically been a member here for... seven years-ish. Since then I've talked a bit about my upcoming game, NightRise, even though it wasn't going anywhere. Well, now that I am in college and have a team going, production has officially started and I have started a blog to keep progress on development. If anyone's interested, please check it out. There's also some commentary on other stuff, such as major issues in the game industry. So if you're curious at all, give the link a click. Thanks.
  9. Hey everyone, the new website for my team is up. We're now known as DeviateSoft. Right now we're just a couple of students at the Savannah College of Art and Design, but we're opening up to the entire student community. There's not much at the site now but it has a lot of potential for content being added later on, and since I'm doing everything through tables and CSS I don't have to worry about updating every single page when I add something new like I have in the past. Go check it out. www.danavisiongames.com I'll be changing that when I can afford it.
  10. I agree with Jotaf. That seems like a really neat idea. When you start the game, you start off with a really weak, one seater ship. As it goes on, you can get more powerful ships or just choose to upgrade your original. When you reach the level cap, you can pilot your own Starcruiser or whatever you want to call it, which would basically be a mobile base, and the missions you play throughout the game will be the same ones everyone else on the cruiser has. Planets could be done not as individual worlds but, instead, more like dungeons. You fly down and play each one with your individual away teams, Star Trek style. The actual "world" you explore is space, although some planets could be done just as like individual cities you can resupply at if no stations are around to dock at. In order to prevent the Starcruisers from getting boring, not only could they go much MUCH faster than regular, individually piloted ships (we're talking hyperspace here) but you could also upgrade it to add in different rooms, like Holodecks where you can level up your character, or have message boards with job listings to see if there are any freelance jobs available in the current sector. You could also just play the game as an individual, which would be much harder but you'd reap more rewards since you don't have to share them with anyone, versus living on a Starcruiser which would afford you more of a community experience and allow you to visit more worlds than you could just playing as an individual. Just some thoughts.
  11. This sounds EXACTLY like the game Crimsonland. I'd suggest you check it out for some ideas on what you can do different. http://crimsonland.reflexive.com/crimsonland/
  12. Oh believe me I know that. But I've seen some really good networking code in the last year (World of Warcraft and UT2004 to be precise). It can only get better. Plus internet connections will be better, and before you know it DSL will be slow. As for Jet Set Radio, yeah I was thinking of something like that, but I don't want the cartoonish effects. I want, for example, explosions to look like real explosions, not just star bursts, but still cell shaded. I wonder how I would do this...
  13. Exactly. Also, the turf nodes (probably flag poles with the gang's flag on it) would be inside buildings and probably would be hidden, like deep in the basement, up on the roof, or in the back room of a store. They would never be out in the open for anyone to take over. You're definitely going to have to work for control. Thus you would usually need more than one person to attack a Turf Node, assuming the gang keeps their nodes well protected. You have to fight for control, and that's what's going to make the game so damn excited. Imagine you're in a meeting at one of your most important Turf Nodes (controls, like, 4 square blocks instead of just 1 or 2). Suddenly, 20 members of an opposing gang burst through the front door, take out all your hired guards, and head towards the node. Assuming this node is in a place like... City Hall, say, the resulting firefight would be magnificent, and whoever is victorious either keeps or gains a significant hold on the city. Only problem? Lag. Hopefully by the time I actually make this game someone will have an engine with very solid network code to which I'll be able to afford a license.
  14. It's true I consider myself a designer, not a programmer. Not by any definition of the word. But this is why I'm going to college: to learn how to program. In the meantime, since none of my programmer friends can do anything TOO complicated, I decided to keep things relatively simple though refreshingly challenging. Nothing anyone will get stressed over, but at least it'll make the game worthy of being played. That's all that really matters you know. It's not how well you can create a 100+ hour long open ended MMOFPSRPG in a month with no experience at all. Put that design aside. You can't do it. The idea of this biz is not to stress out but to entertain. I mean look at Bejeweled. As long as you know how to play around in Photoshop and you can / have a friend who can program, you're in decent shape to make a fun game, as long as you put your heart into it.
  15. Quote:Original post by rtw1701 HA. Why only the driver cant shoot? In real life I see drivers trying to drive talking and smoking and who knows what. And in plenty of movies they certainly show it. Now if we could only shoot drivers that drive like that. Just my rant :) Because that would take too much coordination, especially if you end up buying weapons for your car, like caltrops or a chain gun. If you were to get those the driver could shoot, but otherwise you'd be driving at 60 mph with no idea where you're going and suddenly BAM! You crash into a building an all 6 people are dead. Remember, friends don't let friends drive drunk... or with an Uzi in hand.