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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. I disagree. I suppose it depends on how you set up your particular game but in the projects that I work in I have a similar system in place and each individual 'state' responds to input on its own. There is an EventHandler that processes events from the system and translates them into a list of events to which the states respond (e.g., mouse/keyboard input, window events, system events, etc.)
  2. Science in games is how you get Outpost. Don't be a Bruce Balfour. Just make a fun game.
  3. Hey there! I'm usually pretty bad at these types of things so hopefully you'll bear with me as I explain the project and what I'm looking for.   What is it?   Over the last year I've been developing a project called OutpostHD. Long story short, it's a remake of the classic Sierra On-Line game Outpost released back in 1994.        Why a remake?   Outpost was released unfinished. Even with several official patches that added new functionality to the game, the game was still buggy and unfinished. It has never seen a re-release and remains lost to time as one of the most epic blunders Sierra has made. It's also a 16-Bit game that no longer works on modern 64-bit operating systems.   Why should I believe that you'll actually finish this / Why should I help this project?   To sum it up: I've been programming for over 20 years, mostly hobby but some professional. Lots of experience developing different aspects of games. Lots of development time and effort has gone into this project. I am no longer the sole developer. There are several other programmers that have contributed a good amount of the code. There is a large community of users eagerly awaiting a modern remake of Outpost. As of this post, the game is about 70% complete. What do you need?   The original game used 'photo realistic' renderings of 3D models for its visuals. OutpostHD is taking the same approach.   At the moment, I'm using the original graphics. These are intended as place holders. I am not the copyright holder of the graphics and in order to properly release this game I need new visuals to take the place of the originals.   Additionally, the original visuals were done in 256 colors with no alpha blending. These were the limits of computers at the time. With modern computers higher resolution graphics, higher color depths and alpha blending is now possible.   The intent here is to provide redesigned structures, robots, terrain and other visuals that weren't possible at the time.   Where can I get more information / download the current version?   The project is currently hosted and developed with an online community called The Outpost Universe. The official forum post includes all pertinent information including screenshots, videos and the download links:   http://forum.outpost2.net/index.php/topic,5718.0.html   What software are you using for 3D models?   At the moment? Nothing. As stated, I'm a programmer not an artist. I don't really care what program is used so long as orthographic projections can be rendered down into sprite sheets which are then drawn via the game's hardware renderer.   I'm game. Where do I sign up?   You can send me a PM via GameDev or get in touch with me over at Outpost Universe. You can also shoot me a message on Skype (leeor_net). Any of these ways work!
  4. Would like to throw my two cents in here as well.   I understand that people may not be crazy about XML and it was used, overused and abused to no end for many, many years. But, I personally find it a very useful format for encoding basic data that doesn't need to be in binary and is never really intended to be sent over a network. Effectively I use it to define animation states and object properties in games. I also use it to great effect for localization strings.   I find JSON problematic for these cases and frankly, YAML isn't as easy to put together particularly when you have a number of sub objects (not as intuitive, but that could simply be because it hasn't been in as great a use as XML).   Not to mention, you have really great libraries that are well tested and mature. I'm using TinyXML to great effect -- no need for the extra stuff like schemas and validation and whatnot, I just handle that myself because the definitions I'm using are so basic in nature.
  5.    I didn't think it was that old... whoops. Besides, I felt the need to respond to a valid counter point to my original argument.     More good points.
  6. In addition to documenting your intent, const does have a function in this case -- it prevents you from modifying the argument inside the function body.   Very good point. Others have made the argument that it's about documentation. I fail to find that a useful argument. This, on the other hand, does make sense. While I'm personally in the habit of never modifying function arguments myself, I do see the value in this case of helping to identify potential mistakes before they happen.
  7.   Yes, all of the PowerPC-based consoles are big-endian (Xbox360, PS3, Wii).     Good point. I'm not a console developer so I never considered the case of consoles, only computing platforms (PC's and Mac's) and common mobile platforms.
  8. As interesting as this article is (and it really is interesting with good information), is byte ordering actually still an issue today on modern platforms? As I understand it just about everything is in LSB ordering (x86, ARM, etc.). Or are there popular devices with cross-platform applications where this can still be an issue?   EDIT: Just answered my own question -- turns out it could still be relevant particularly when it comes to network traffic and legacy file formats. As I understand it network byte ordering is still big-endian so that ought to come into play when considering endianness issues. It also appears that Oracle's byte ordering is also big-endian which may play into how it handles files (don't use java much so someone more experienced could fill that in).
  9. 'Stealing' an idea is almost meaningless in this context. Everything is a copy of everything else on some level.   It's called competition. If one person makes a game/app/whatever, and does a poor job of it (regardless of the reason, be it inexperience, lack of motivation, whatever), and someone else takes the idea and provides a much better implementation, why is that such an issue? I know I wouldn't like it if someone took my idea like that but I would just have to deal with it. Someone else did a better job than I did, that's my problem, not theirs. Just my humble opinion.
  10. Short answer, Yes.   Longer answer, yes, at some point in the future after we've implemented a few other features (proper shader support, optimized OpenGL blitter, more complete interface, etc.) and more thorough testing/documentation.
  11. I would actually suggest that, instead of paid freelance work (you don't yet have enough experience and your portfolio is very limited) that you try helping out project (like mine, shameless plug I know but hey, it's worth a try!) and joining pixel-art sites like PixelJoint and Way of the Pixel. Both sites have forums where you can post your WIP's and ask for advice... most of the community members are very helpful and will even give you visual examples of how you can improve your technique. They're also much better at critiquing work than I could ever be.   You could also try a website like OpenGameArt.org -- lots of freely available resources and and they could always use more AND there is also a forum there with several members that are very good at what they do who are willing to provide advice to pixel art beginners. Plus, once you've completed a WIP and are satisfied with it you could release it for programmers (like myself) to make use of.
  12. I would start by using code that's already available under an open-source license. It truly pains me to suggest it, but one notable source base available is the MMO project Mana World. The developers are not very helpful and were outright hostile toward me (this was years ago, they may have mellowed out some) but the code is available, it mostly works and there are source forks that make considerable improvements.   That's assuming that you're looking for a 2D top-down view (jRPG style) type engine. If you're looking for a 3D engine, PlaneShift seems to be pretty good. I've played it a little bit way back in the past (something like six years, and a lot can happen in six years) and it seemed decent.   If you want to try to do this from scratch, you're already way in over your head. Reel yourself in and back into reality and learn a bit more about MMO's and what's actually involved in creating them. They're not small or even simple projects and a great deal of expertise in a variety of areas is needed in order to succeed. Another really good option is to join one of the many open-source MMO projects that are available. You can learn from existing code and developers who have already been through the trials and tribulations and that's one of the best ways to gain valuable experience.
  13. Join an existing project that has the same or similar goals. It's really hard to build a game, and it's even harder to build one if you've never done anything more complex than pong. Joining an existing project that needs help is a great way to learn from other, more experienced programmers and to see how someone else has done it. Not that their method is the best or most correct, but it gives you a general direction of where to go with it.   I personally really like opengameart.org -- LOTS of free resources (graphics, music, sound, 2d/3d art, etc.) so it should be very easy to get some good resources to start with.
  14. Based on the way you posed your question, without looking at anything at all, I'd say move on. Pessimistic views like that will get you in trouble in the long run and if you hold on to that you're just going to get run over by others with more confidence but potentially less skill/talent.   To answer your question directly, your work (what you posted anyway) isn't bad, but it's not great either. It's a start. But just like anything, you can only get better with practice. Pixel art, like any other medium, takes time and practice to get good at.   So, keep at it, study the work of others (that's an important one), read various tutorials and how-to's, draw draw draw, and have some confidence in yourself.