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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.

cardinal

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  1. I need silence when I'm working. I get too into music and it saps my productivity.
  2. Yes, Frob's answer was more clear. I use the term blending to mean smoothly transitioning from one animation to the next. Looping I use to refer to repeatedly cycling the same animation. Technically either can do what you're looking for, but conceptually it's tricky (at least for my small brain) to figure out how to reconcile the extreme trajectory differences when interpolating two poses that are oriented so differently in the base data. I find it much easier to understand creating a new animation controller using the animation asset launched at the character's current orientation, and blending that animation controller with the one that is finishing. While the orientation of the key frames in data on their respective frames is extremely different, in world space they are similar (each animation controller has a different orientation offset determined by the character's orientation when the animation is launched). I generally use looping (interpolating somehow from the last frame back to the first) for things like idling animations or looping run cycles.
  3. I must not have read you full post when I asked if you considered using unity. Yes!!! Give it a shot. It might not be the best for working on level design as you would need to build a game first!!! If you're interested in jumping right into level design there are lots of games that provide level editor tools (Halo's forge, Warcraft 3, Valve's hammer editor for half-life 2, many more).
  4. Math is a really good degree for game related jobs (usually for programmers rather than designers though). You could take programming courses as electives, or even minor in computer science if you find it interesting. To be honest. I'd personally be very interested in interviewing a math major for jobs if they had a games focused portfolio. Have you considered trying to mess around with a game engine such as unity to implement some of your ideas that minecraft is too restrictive for? This might also give you a better idea as to whether working on games is a good fit for you.
  5. Larger game companies would not use recruitment firms other than for very specialized/upper level positions (headhunting). Applying directly is important. Start ups might use agencies rather than spending money on advertising their positions. Is there a reason you can't do both?
  6. I'd recommend a computer science degree. Ideally your school would have games related courses you could choose as electives such as AI, graphics, or even a game programming course. I'm sure this will change in the next 20 years or so, but I've met 2 people in the ten years I've worked in the industry that have had game focused degrees. I've met far more that have no post-secondary schooling. With that said, I wouldn't personally reject someone based on which school or program they went to.
  7. You really need to talk to a lawyer about specific uses. Fair use is something for the courts to decide. Even if you win a suit against you, can you afford to go to court against big companies with deep pockets. You cite pro evo using fake names when they don't have licenses. EA has recently settled a lawsuit with college football players regarding using their likenesses. They used fake names as well, yet they still were taken to court. While EA technically didn't lose the lawsuit it still cost them millions of dollars in payouts and legal fees. You really need to have a lawyer assess your risks of litigation and you need to be ok with those risks before proceeding.
  8. The root bone's delta translation and rotation (not absolute) will affect your character's pose. You wouldn't usually loop a turning animation, rather you will blend the same animation with itself if you detect you need to turn again. The new turn is always launch based on your current pose. This way you don't blend two extreme poses and you can still have your skeleton in world space if you need.
  9. You often get what you pay for. These people aren't acting professionally because they aren't professionals. Are you all working locally or is your team distributed? Knowing each other face to face often helps. I'm sure you've seen how strangers behave on the internet.
  10. Unity

    A lot of high end engines are moving to node based approaches. The new Ubisoft Snowdrop (is that the right name???) does judging by the videos they've released, UE4, and most of the proprietary AAA engines use such an approach these days.   The most time consuming aspect of making a AAA game is content creation. You need to empower content creators (artists, designers, etc.) to build simple behaviours. You need to spend your SE time on difficult technical problems to set your game apart, not on grunt work scripting simple behaviours like windmills spinning and AI behaviours.   What are your goals with this? If you want to make money, you will probably need to find a niche. Maybe UE4 is more comprehensive and powerful, but if you can find a niche, like "much easier to use" for simple games or apps you could steal a segment of the market.
  11. I don't remember it being very dirty at all. I mean, De Jong should have been red carded for drop kicking a player in the chest, but other than that...   I've tried to watch some games but between my daughter and my job, I have the game on in the background while working and only get to flip back to it when something exciting is building up. It's a bit tougher for me to watch now that it's roughly in my time zone as well. Lot's of fun games and surprises so far.
  12. I think both are important to different people.   I also don't think games are getting shorter in general. I think the genre of the average game has changed over the years. PS1 and PS2 tended to be the era of the 40 hour RPG. The industry since then has been trending more towards shooters which last around 10 hours. Shooters in the past were much shorter though. I could finish Goldeneye on the N64 in a couple hours if I took my time. The statistics in that link are much too simple to analyze the trends of game length.   I don't think the length of a game should determine its price point either. That makes no sense. I could add hours to an RPG by tuning the experience points or the random encounter rate, but making a shooter longer without affecting the difficulty would require adding levels and story (audio + animation). It's not a fair comparison.   One thing I do agree with from the article is that there should be a varied pricing structure for games that aren't quite AAA... But don't we have that already? Nothing is stopping a studio or publisher from releasing the game on the PSN or Xbox Live marketplace (or steam/origin/etc.) for a lower price point. However, I don't see this being feasible for a game being sold through retailers requiring manufacturing and distribution networks.   I think the article is misleading and stuck in the past. There is no way a game like Bulletstorm gets made to  be a packaged good in today's world. It came out too early for publishers to get on the downloadable title bandwagon and therefore resulted in a shorter game at a higher price point.
  13. It definitely looks like super mario world, especially with the white text on black screen with dashes framing the company name. That's the - Nintendo - Presents screen. All you need is the mario coin sound effect!!!   I think you can get away with two of the following four items: -Title lettering -Presents screen -Copyright notice placement -Border -Game running in background     If I would change anything, it would be the first screen from the video, the title lettering, and the copyright notice.
  14. You'd really need a lawyer to advise you on this. From what I have seen in the past:   Games often will parody existing characters or other IP(not a true representation), and usually get away with it. Likely covered under Fair Use: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use#Fair_use_and_parody   This Fair use is an exception to copyright, and likely won't cover accurate representations.   EA ended up attempting to do so in Battlefield 3 using real world helicopters without licensing them. They were sued and used the defense that it was Fair Use and also covered under first amendment rights. EA eventually settled the lawsuit, so we don't exactly know what the outcome would have been.   A lawyer experienced in intellectual property could advise you better on whether they think your usage would be covered under fair use. But remember, even if your lawyer thinks it's ok, you may still have to defend this in court which you probably don't have the money for. In EA's case, they have the money for that, and they likely intended to set legal precedence in such cases which would have greatly impacted what game companies could and couldn't do moving forward.
  15. I'm not a game designer by trade (I'm a programmer), but I have held the hybrid role of programmer/designer on a few games. I'll try to answer from a designer point of view since that is what you asked for.   I played a lot of video games growing up. I was always facinated about how they worked, and I was always thinking of ideas for worlds, mechanics, stories, characters, etc. I think the game that first really gave me the itch to pursue this as a career was Chrono Trigger.   I personally had a bachelor's degree in computer science as I am a programmer by trade, but designers can have varied backgrounds. Skills such as marketting yourself and your ideas (i.e. selling yourself), clear communication, and solving problems are beneficial, and any degree that teaches these is useful. There are also game design specific courses available, but I can't speak for the quality of them. I work in Canada, and they seem to be more popular in the US. I've only ever worked with two people who have graduated from game development schools (one of which previously had a bachelor of computer science). The most important thing is to research the programs you are interested in pursuing.   While designers generally don't have to know as much in-depth math knowledge as programmers, you still need a working knowledge of a lot of areas. Games are huge these days, if you are working on an experience system, or earning currency, you want to be able to calculate how long it will take you to earn a certain number of points, or reach a certain level, without having to play through the whole game. This way you can get your initial numbers entered knowing that they will roughly be accurate saving yourself and QA a lot of time on playthroughs to get it right. You also need to understand how changing settings will affect the game. Understanding basic algebra and arithmetic will let you understand what changing settings will do, and allow you to understand what the heck engineers are trying to tell you.   My experiences as a designer aren't typical as I was also an engineer. When designing, I would usually go through my emails and respond to anything important. Work on design documentation, this would include feature descriptions, menu/HUD wireframes and flow, reviewing engineers' tech documents related to my features, meet with engineers and artists to sign off on their tech plans (to ensure they understand the feature, that their plan is reasonable, and nothing was overlooked), review features that are ready for submission, and most importantly, play the game to evaluate the current state. This lets me tune settings if things aren't perfect, or identify areas that need to be redesigned or tuned. I would do this for half of my day, the other half would be to do my programming work. Full-time designers would do more of what I described above (they own more, or more complex, features), and they would usually have more meetings with executives.   Shorts and T-shirt. I'll throw on a nice shirt and some khaki's if I'm presenting something to execs though.   Solving problems, and seeing my visions realized on screen. Contributing to a field that I have a passion for.   Sports games for the most part.