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      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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About SLotman

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  1. And it's live! Get it on your favourite app store: Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.icongames.hvh&rdid=com.icongames.hvh iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/heaven-versus-hell/id955779371?ls=1&mt=8 Windows Phone: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/games/heaven-versus-hell/9nblggh58l87 Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Icon-Games-Heaven-versus-Hell/dp/B019OYV67S/ref=sr_1_9?s=mobile-apps&ie=UTF8&qid=1451040348&sr=1-9&refinements=p_4%3AIcon+Games   [attachment=30049:facebook-xmas-ad2.png]
  2. Game will also be available at the Amazon Store :)
  3.   My latest game, that took me a looong time to finish - Heaven versus Hell will be available on Dec.25 on the App Store (Universal, iOS/iPad) and also on Google Play and WP8 The game is a tower defense (like Plants vs Zombies) - it's the appocalypse and you must defend a small church (and humanity itself!) from the invading forces of Hell. A lot of jokes in the game - and I hope you guys have as much fun playing it, as I did developing   [media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwW6WauVt6M[/media] Game is free, with a few (I think...) cleverly placed ads More info about the game on our Facebook page!    
  4. Chroma Wheel is a new game I've developed for the Indie Game Maker Contest. It's a simple idea (one I dreamt of, woke up and started coding it!): you have to "absorb" the flying colored balls, by matching their colors with the 4 color wheel on the center of the screen. Of course, as the game goes by, there are some surprises along the way The game is in HTML5, so you can play it directly on your browser. Just open the contest page and click on the big "DOWNLOAD NOW" button - the game will open on a new window Please, vote for the game if you like it! It's also available on Google Play, and later on iOS as well. Screenshots:
  5. There IMHO a couple of notes to add:   - scripting languages like Lua for once, which is very much in use on lots of games; - Language "translators" which are also becoming popular, specially in the mobile world. Write your code once, and let it export to Java or Obj-C (and usually other languages)
  6. This article covers the process of remaking an 8-bit game into a brand new mobile game, adapting the game everywhere it needs to fit the new screen and control methods. The Original Game Alcatraz is an old Brazilian game, for an 8-bit system called MSX - a text-adventure game, with a twist: it uses a simple one-screen tile map to show the player avatar and some elements of the game. The premise of the game is quite simple: you're a prisoner on Alcatraz, and you have to escape. Alcatraz game map - the whole map. The game was fairly known at the time, completely made in BASIC, with its listings even published on a MSX games book. One of the special attractions in the game was that the obvious solution for some of the problems never really worked, and you had to think about other means to get the job done. The Remake I always wanted to remake this game - in some form or another, especially translating it into English, so it could reach a broader audience. Seeing the rise of mobile games, most of them very simple in their nature, I couldn't see a better opportunity to bring this very addictive game into the light. So, after choosing the mobile platform, one huge question remained: the original game was a text adventure. You had to type commands to get things done, and this obviously wasn't desired or even feasible on mobile. So a new way to play the game had to be created. This article is all about it: showing how the game was redesigned - with new visuals and improved gameplay, inspired by the old game on an 8-bit machine, to be able to run just about everywhere. Also, please take into account this game was developed just by me, in the time-span of exactly 2 months, so don't expect some AAA quality graphics on the screenshots :) The New Visuals The first thing noticed was that the whole game visual wouldn't work on mobile - having the whole map on a single screen may have worked on MSX - but on mobile the graphics would be too small to be seen. This set the first game decision: the map would scroll with the player - so the game could have bigger graphics. In the original game the map was revealed as you walked by - but you could only see the tile where you were and 1 tile around it. I never liked that about the game, so I decided to make it a little better - the player would have a "view radius", and through some visibility checks (some basic ray casting) I would make the tiles far away fade into the darkness accordingly to their distance to the player - and even taking into consideration some other tiles (light passes through the prison bars, so you can actually see a little bit of the tile behind it, even if your passage is blocked). As in the original game, once you visited a tile, it would remain visible. Visibility comparison: on the left, the original - you can't see beyond your position. On the right, the new version - you can see beyond the bars, the tiles to the left are a little darker, but visible. As you can see by the screenshot above, the graphics style has been kept - but enhanced a little bit so it wouldn't look so outdated. Still the 8-bit style is kept, especially in the game's characters. Then comes the next challenge: a new way to input actions, since there is no keyboard to type commands on mobile games. The first option was a given: a virtual joystick to move the player avatar around the map. The next option was inspired by the old-school graphic adventures: using icons to represent the actions the player could take. And since I can't just throw a huge number of icons on screen (the player would be lost) - I had to think about the whole game solution, and reduce the icons on screen to just a few selected actions. What those actions are? I managed to reduce all game commands to 6 actions (7 if you count the one used to pause the game): look (used as an 'examine' command), get, drop, talk, use and give. With this, you can take every action in the game, and it actually works pretty well. To examine the bed, you touch the look icon, then the bed icon, and it's done. The new game interface: 6 possible actions the player can select with a touch. Of course, sometimes you need to interact one object with another - this was done in a two-step process: you select one action (ex: "Use"), then you touch the first object (ex: a mug). You will see the selected object to the right of the selected action, and the game will wait for you to select another object (ex: the cell bars) to use the first object on. Sounds complicated, but it's really simple. The game is waiting for you to use the mug somewhere. In the original game you had to press a key to see the objects on your current position. The same was true for your inventory items. This was also changed with two panels on screen: one that shows objects on your position, and another that shows what you're carrying. And just for the sake of it, you can also select objects that are shown in the map. So touching a door in the lower panels or touching it on the visible map has the same effect - in fact, there is a part of the game where an object doesn't show in the panel, and you have to touch it on the map. One of the problems that appeared later in development: the game was intended for the mobile world, but still, it should be ready to be ported to desktop - so the Virtual Joystick had to be optional. The whole GUI was re-designed to be "moveable" - if the Virtual Joystick is enabled, the GUI Icons and objects are placed more to the left, otherwise they are centered on screen. The interface, without the Virtual Joystick The New Gameplay The original game was very fun - but probably due to memory restrictions (less than 32k!), it was rather short and the ending was a little abrupt. To improve things, the story was changed and expanded into three levels - the first one in the prison itself, and a second one, on the sewers below and a final third just outside the prison, but still on the island. Some parts of the original game were kept, so if you played the original, you will recognize some puzzles. But beyond that, the game got other improvements, especially regarding the NPCs. You could barely interact with NPCs in the original game: most of the time you could only give them something. This was changed, and now you can actually talk to them, and they react to a number of actions. Not only the possible interactions increased, but you also have more NPCs: in the original you were the only prisoner on Alcatraz (or if there were others, you never saw them) - now there are others which may or may not help you in your escape, and in some cases you won't be able to progress in the game without talking to someone. Besides NPC interaction, the game has now more interactions with the level itself: You can break a wall, blow up stuff, events occur when you step on certain positions, or over an amount of time; the level now can have some animations, and even trigger some effects according to player actions. The game, which took place entirely on a single map - now it's expanded into 3 levels, which gives more depth to the story and the way you escape. In order not to alienate players with lots of texts, all dialogs were kept as simple as possible. Later during development, some other ideas popped up: the best of them was the high score list. The game has no points, but the high score will store the name of players who finish the game. The first 10 to win the game (per platform) will have their name on the "eternals" list - their name will be held there forever, or as long as the server is online ;) The game high score list, showing fake player names during testing :) The high score list has also a top 10 for daily players, monthly and yearly. Those lists are reset every day, month and year as their name implies, so even players who don't get a slot in the "eternals" list, still can see their names listed. Another idea that made it into the game was to have 2 different endings. It's not something very elaborate, just the ending text that changes a bit if you do (or didn't do) something during your escape. Conclusion As in most games, one plague haunted me: the feature creep. Even as I'm writing this article, new ideas for the game are popping up in my head. Some of them were implemented in the game (like the high score, the different endings, some new objects to interact with, even some jokes...) but there is a point when you must say: "that's it. It's done". When I first started this remake, the idea was to do it almost like the original, and in just a month. But so many ideas appeared, I couldn't let them all slip away. So what was supposed to be a 1 level game, became a 3 level one, with tons of extra stuff... and it took 2 months to get everything done. If you are curious about the game, you can play it for free on your Android device, and on iOS. You can check other games I've developed on my site: Icon Games. The primary tools used to develop this game were Photoshop for graphics, and for the programming, I used a language called "Monkey", which is free for HTML5 games and allows a game to be easily ported to several platforms. Article Update Log 31 May 2013: Initial release 1st June 2013 Changed article image and added Wikipedia link to MSX 7 June 2013 Fixed links on article. 11 June 2013 Added iTunes link for iOS.
  7. Heh, I actually didn't remember that screen - even if I've played Wolf3D until my eyes bleed :)   I just had the idea to put the player escaping, hiding on a wall, while he's being 'lighted' by a spotlight, and a guard comes closer - to put enphasis on the "escape" part of the game.
  8. Thanks for you compliments   Where did you get stuck? Maybe I can give you some hints   As for a "tip system", that was one of the ideas I had during development - but maybe a little too complex for a simple game. I'm on the fence on this one, but I'm still considering it for a future update.
  9. Well, once you publish the article, it shows a small message that "this article was set to be published on future" (or something like that) - instead of making it automatically disappear, put a little bit more text explaining that this is how it's supposed to be, and an "ok" button to make the DIV go away   And BTW:thanks for the reply!   Edit: Another idea for this - what about the articles someone writes being listed on their user control panel (Under 'my content')? Makes it easier to find and edit them, instead of hunting them down on all the other articles. (If there is a faster way to find an article written by yourself, I couldn't find it) Nevermind, I found it under "resources".
  10. I don't know if anyone is having the same problem... I just tried writting my first article, all was well, until I published it. I can't, no matter what I try, change the date from January 18, 2038. Is it supposed to be this way, or it's a bug? (Tried on Firefox and Chrome, both latest version)
  11. Hi everyone, I've just completed my first 3D Game, called "Virtual Marbles" ("Bola de Gude" in Brazilian Portuguese). The game is both in Portuguese and English, and it's about the traditional marbles game. You can see a in-game screenshot here: The game has 3 different playing modes, 5 levels, up to 4 simultaneous players, offline/online playing and more than 30 marbles to choose from. To visit the website and download the demo, just go to http://www.ICONGames.com.br - the full game is also available right now. Game requirements: PC with 500Mhz processor, 64Mb of RAM and 3D graphics card with 32Mb compatible with Direct-X 7, 30Mb of free hard disk space, Windows 98/ME/2000/XP. (that's for the full game, the demo needs much less disk space) [Edited by - SLotman on December 21, 2005 6:50:37 AM]
  12. OpenGL

    Promit: Sorry, it's not that I don't want to learn pixel shaders (I do!), but my game support geforce1 and up, so pixel shaders are out of the question. _DarkWIng_: I cant use textures at all.. the game may run at any resolution, from 320x240 up to anything the card may support - and the game even runs on a resizable window, so the resolution can be absolutely anything! If I start using glViewport+glCopySubImage (and I tried that), the higher the resolution I use for the game, more detail I loose. For example, my Geforce4 ti4200 doesnt seems to like a glViewport bigger than 512x512... and I am used to run the game at 1024x768. So rendering to texture and then applying it on a surface is no good also.
  13. OpenGL

    First, thanks to everyone who took the time to help me! But after some time trying to achieve this effect, I'm still kinda lost... Pixels Shaders: well, a little too advanced for me yet ^_^ and also, not all cards support them, so, pixel shaders would be the last resource. I tried to render the whole screen to a texture for latter using it on a mesh - but a lot of details were lost (even using a 512x512 texture), so that was no good. And then, glReadPixel... the effect worked out great, but so slow, it kills the game performance, even in lower resolutions... So, I ask again: there's no other way besides those 3? I'm not an OGL expert, but common, an effect that could be done on DOS cannot be done by modern graphics cards? There's no other way to retrieve the pixels on the screen that is faster then glReadPixel?
  14. I was talking to a friend about Quake 1 the other day, and then I remembered Quake used to do an effect like this when you go underwater: I was just wondering... is there any way to do this in opengl? It is obviously direct manipulation of the video buffer - but how do I get access to it on ogl?