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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. Check out an old game called STARS!. There used to be a fairly decent demo of it floating around. The neat thing about STARS! was the ship building and the automation abilities. If you haven't ever played it (and you can stand looking at WIN 3.1 era graphics) then go try it. It has spawned many ideas for me over the years.
  2. Quote:Original post by adam4813 How about this http://www.invizimals.com/? Ahhh. I didn't know about that. I see they went the camera route. I wonder if the PSP had GPS capabilities if they would have done that instead. Quote:Original post by kseh Actually, I think that's a pretty cool idea. I have this image in my mind of a game tied in with something like google maps. If you could even just analyze the player's location relative to those little marker things that tell you that a library is right here or a restraunt is over there, that might be enough. If there's one area where things could go wrong though it's the players that insist on trying to get to dangerous locations. I had this same thought with regards to my example of Old Faithful. I can just imagine a kid saying "just a little closer" as he falls into a boiling mud pit. That is why you make the location somewhere nice and safe like the parking lot. (and make the location a bit bigger, too) Quote:Original post by lithos You could always use bar-codes. Bar-codes have exactly the same problems as QR codes while containing less useful information. What would stop a website from gathering and posting all of the codes in one spot? Suddenly your special pets aren't so special.
  3. Strong sexual content is generally a bad idea.
  4. There are various mobile versions of virtual pets popping up in the smart phone arena. But none that I have come across have the charm of Monster Rancher's unlocking mechanism. For those who are too young, too old, or just didn't play it- Monster Rancher worked like any other virtual pet game including being able to breed your pets and make new ones. However, you could get special pets by unlocking them with CD's. To do so, you would start the game and then tell it you wanted to use a "disc stone" to create a new pet. It would prompt you to put in your CD and then analyze the CD. For the vast majority of CD's it would spit out a randomized pet based on whatever info it found- BUT- (and this is the important part) for certain CD's it would give you a special pet. These special pets were a bit like easter eggs and almost always related to the CD used (such as receiving a Santa for putting in a Merry Christmas album). Now, to take this over to the smart phone world, you need a way to unlock specials. There are various problems though: -CD's are obviously a no-go. In fact any physical item is a no go due to lack of a interface with the phone. -Cameras would be possible but anything you could reliable translate via the camera (such as a QR code) could easily be replicated. -electronic anything could also be easily replicated. -the same goes for passwords. So what is left? One of the new things with smartphones is their great location abilities. I hope you see where this is going. Use the phone location to randomize each new pet. Lat and Long would translate into the needed integers for seeding the randomizer. But for certain locations a special pet would be formed. For example: You stand in front of Old Faithful and you will find a steam elemental egg. If you are close to the location it will tell you the distance to go and general direction. Its a game version of Geo-caching. Phones using coarse location could get random pets and would be told when they were near a special spot, but GPS would be needed for special finds. On the bright side, this turns a family vacation into a treasure hunt as well. Any ideas for locations/pets? For the most part it should be a place that is free to access, or commonly visited on a vacation. Mammoth Caves - Cave Wyrm Disney World - Happy Mouse (using Mickey would probably be a licensing nightmare) Time Square - Chronos Olympic Peninsula - Banana Slug Thoughts?
  5. Quote:Original post by sunandshadow ...I pay attention to the peons to make sure none of them are standing around uselessly...Just wait until they form a union! Then your productivity will really drop.
  6. Well to help with the first issue look here.
  7. I always have trouble balancing simulation versus gameplay. I am fine watching a simulation of things play out but most people want to interact with their games and control units and stuff. Freaks... all of you. Anyway- I am fine simulating the vast majority of the battle field, but i would like the gameplay to mostly exist in the design and tweaking of the units. Perhaps where I should start is a 1 dimensional playfield that takes the unit numbers question out of the picture and focuses more on the design of units issue.
  8. I want to make a hockey MMORPG using HTML with variables.
  9. Quote:Original post by Wavinator I don't know how aesthetically pleasing it would be but Civ IV's approach of a single unit being composed of multiple characters *might* work if you could limit the number of possible unit combinations. Part of my over-arching design goal is to have unit types be designed by the player and then tweaked to become more effect versus the current enemy. (imagine a slider on a shooting unit that traded damage for range or another that traded armor for speed). This would end up creating many types of units some with the same basic design and only slight differences versus others with completely different designs. So I don't see this working well. Quote:This would force you, though, to set arbitrary limits on what constitutes a unit-- it would not simply be a matter of adjacency. (A big flaw would be what happens when you mash two of these together? Could there be a restriction in terms of physical movement so that 10 type of can't occupy the same "square"?)I have a feeling that I will be forcing some type of limit due to space in each tile. A tile based approach seems more feasible and less processor intensive. Each type may end up having a size based on its cost as well. perhaps not. Quote:Two other possible approaches: Allow the player to filter so that you can see either the top N units or units of a specific category, allowing cycling or maybe represent units with special markers which function like tooltips, exploding extended information either in a callout or separate window. Or what about layers of the various soft body blobs for each type? Would getting a cohesive formation interaction be more difficult or would the various layers of blobs stick on top of one another? Quote:If your game was very hardcore, one other (admittedly left field) idea would be to come up with a sort of symbolic shorthand / number combo that IDs strength and number of every unit within a certain range. I'd question, though, whether you really want players relating to something like "AFV 1175/Art 1262/INf 3338 etc etc" when they look at a unit marker. I know, i know. Even worse, since the players will be constantly producing new types of units without bothering to name them themselves, the unit names will become even less coherent. Its a mess that becomes even stickier with each unit added to the area. Most of your comments here address the visual representation of the units which I agree is an issue. A greater issue to me is the computational representation of the units. If I can not figure out a way to lump units together computationally, then I will never be able to have the vast number of units that I imagine.
  10. Quote:Original post by sunandshadow Could you describe specifically how the resource gathering works in those games? I take it there aren't little peons harvesting stuff and carrying it back to the base? Usually I find buildings that generate resources to be really boring, it's more interesting to see little workers scurrying around like ants carrying loot home. Specifically, they do it with buildings. There is nothing that prevents you from doing it with units. Its more about how things are built. When you queue up 15 soldiers are those resources all removed at once or as they are built? If you build a house do you need all of the resources for it first or is it ok to start with no resources on hand as long as you know they will be brought in quickly? Does your resource meter show that you have 500 food in stock or does it show that you are producing 40/sec and using 38/sec?
  11. doomhascome: I really enjoy Supreme Commander. It and Total Annihilation were what got me interested in mass unit attacks. The problem I see with that is the unit limit. SC has a unit limit somewhere around 1,000. And that really taxes the system. What if you could take your group of 10 assault bots and combine them abstractly into one unit. What if you could take 10 of those groups and combine them into a larger group. And so on. In the typical sci-fi gray goo scenario, it is goo because you can't see the individual units from one another. That is the effect that I am going for. Now being able to zoom in through each layer would be awesome eye candy, but that is for another post... Wavinator: That is somewhat along the lines of what I was envisioning (especially if you could zoom in and get more and more detail. At the closest zoom would be individual units fighting.) The holographic projection would have to hold the information of everything that it contained as far as how many of each type of unit. If I had a mixed company of units, what would the holograph show? Each type with a damage bar over top? How could I abstract even further and combine multiple holographs together. At some point, I start losing valuable information about the individual unit locations. How important is this? If I zoom out and then zoom back in and my units have changes position dramatically, that would be a problem. Somewhere along the way, I need to keep position and type information to keep things real on an individual level and yet discard it to allow for a much larger number of units. Perhaps what is needed is a jpeg instead of a bitmap metaphorically speaking.
  12. I personally prefer the resource gathering style of Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander over the style of most others. Most games require a unit to go out an dig up a resource and bring it back. The game becomes a balance of "do I have enough resources to make this?" TA and SC use the flux model where the question becomes "Are my resources coming in fast enough to continue producing this?" It is a slight but important change in the resource model. Absolute versus Flux.
  13. Well it has been a long time since I have posted in here. Here goes: In a competing gray goo scenario, how do you represent the units so you don't need to model each one separately. I am looking to represent large numbers of units in an abstract sense. I have several ideas already: Large representative units on grid: Each large unit would represent the same number of individual units and would move on a tiled grid. Examples would be table top strategy games, Civilization, or even to some extent the Age of Empires Series (depending on whether or not you believe that a single archer in the game represents one archer or a platoon). I would like to have the units created on a much smaller scale than what this implies and I don't care for the set size of the unit grouping. It also seems like the path that most games have taken up to this point. Soft body blob that changes in size The blob would change up in size with additional units, and deform when meeting an enemy blob. This is currently the idea I have been batting around in my head. As long as there were significantly more units in the blob then points needed to create it would behave realistically. An example of a soft body blob would be Blobular and example of an expanding group unit could be Nano War (which didn't seem to be working on Kongregrate last time I looked). My issue with both of these is that I don't know how I would represent formations such as melee in front and range units behind cover. Simplified individual units My last idea is to show as many units as conceivable by simplifying them down to points like sand in a sandbox game. I like this because it best shows the enormity of all of the units on the field. I don't think that I would be able to show as many as I would like though. The falling sand game has a max of 40,000 points which seems to get used up very quickly. I would like to represent 10 or 100 times that. The other problem I see with that is that each unit is simplified down so much that you can lose some of the nuance of the unit types. Any suggestions or critiques?
  14. Non-standard advice point 3: Ellipses, while frowned upon when used excessively, are valid punctuation. That is the one instance where tripling a normal punctuation mark is valid. Others such as question marks(?) and exclamation points(!) should be used singly when asking people for help. When you are responding and mocking someone simultaneously, sometimes exceptions are made;;;
  15. Quote:Original post by Oluseyi Quote:Original post by Programmer One <unbridled idiocy, as usual> I love that you do my work (making you look stupid) for me... I think what he is saying is that for every rock song with crystal clear lyrics he could find 10 where the lyrics were garbled to the point of being unitelligible.