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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 prefer a tutorial that's integrated with the main game.  Making death impossible makes it dull and, well, tutorially.   Handle death the same way you do in any other level of the game.
  2. Battle Cry's quite a cool game! It isn't super clear what you're looking for.  Lots of modern games have collectible elements, e.g. the numerous gun unlocks in Call of Duty, ship variants in FTL etc.  The collectable mechanic is used a lot because it tends to keep people coming back for more!  However these games lack any kind of 'deck building' component. I'm always quick to recommend Spectromancer, a game with creatures, spells and moment to moment gameplay a bit like a CCG - but no deck of cards and no deck building (at least in a standard duel). Also feel free to ignore this self-promotion, but I love CCGs so much I developed my own, The Trouble With Robots.  It does have conventional cards and decks, but is a single player game where you fight waves of enemies rather than participate in online duels.  It also has real time elements and ditches the mana system for something simpler.
  3. I've thought about this a lot and I think Minecraft has three important ingredients: (1) You make your own story.  You're free to decide what to do, where and when.  The procedural world really helps to make this work out. (2) You become attached to the stuff you make.  It's easy to start building, but what you make is unique to you.  This fosters a sense of attachment and pride in your work. (3) Working towards an accomplishment.  Once you've got the hang of the basics you can plan and build something impressive, and this is the sort of 'satisfying hard work' most people wish real life was about.   I don't think the specifics of the crafting system, mobs etc are important - these are just incidental details.
  4. 0.5% conversion at $30 per copy seems optimistic for most indies (maybe not for AAA mind you).
  5. Also msg isn't initialized, and it isn't guaranteed to be set by PeekMessage, so it could happen that msg.message == WM_QUIT by coincidence (in practice you will almost certainly have a WM_CREATE message or some such on the first loop iteration which renders this bug somewhat theoretical).
  6. You'd probably be better off having a ball.velocity with separate x and y components (initially +1, +1), rather than the self.direction string.  This will greatly simplify your code in ball.move.   Also, it's maybe not essential in a small program like this, but some comments would be nice.
  7.   Nice demo.  My method was to substitute the problem for an equivalent one that's easier to reason about:   Suppose there are two guns with six barrels each, and a bullet is put into a randomly chosen barrel of one of the guns.  You then play Russian Roulette with just one of these guns, again at random.   This is equivalent to the original problem because there is still a 50:50 chance that you're playing with a loaded gun and the location of the bullet if present is still random and fair.  However the intuition is now that there are 12 equally likely places that the bullet can be (2 guns x 6 barrels).  Having ruled out five of them (the barrels already discharged) we have seven remaining locations where the bullet could be, no information about which of these is more likely, hence a 1 in 7 chance of blowing our brains out.     That's interesting, though in this case I think such a practical consideration would further improve your chances on the 6th shot (better than 1 in 7) as it's near the top again.  Another practical consideration is that one could possibly detect the presence or otherwise of the bullet by it's weight.
  8.   Fairly sure it's 1/7.
  9.   But we don't generally encounter evolving situations like this much in education, so most people aren't really equipped to accept the counterintuitive result (I know I wasn't, the first time I saw it).  This is exactly why it's such a good problem, because it teaches young mathematicians that their intuition can be wrong.  If you got it right the first time, congratulations, but maybe one day something else will come along to keep your ego in check.  :)
  10.   I agree with what you said about mathematics being based on assumptions, but I think you've got this one confused.  The Monty Hall problem isn't about absolute probabilities (which are simply 1 for the door with the prize behind it, 0 for the other two doors) it's about conditional probabilities given the information available to you.  Initial that is nothing so they begin at 1/3, 1/3, 1/3, but when the presenter opens one of the doors you did not choose this affects your probabilities in an asymmetric way.  If you aren't convinced, draw up all nine possibilities (3 positions of the prize and 3 possible guesses) and see how often you do better by changing!
  11.   That assumes a naive model for the universe in which we live. The distance between two atoms is not a number that can be determined with arbitrary precision, so it doesn't make a lot of sense to ask whether it is rational or irrational. I am not a physicist, but my understanding is that this is not just a limitation of our instruments, but a feature of nature.   The way I think of the world these days, everything that matters is discrete. Real numbers are a convenient approximation in situations where the numbers are large enough. This is often the case in physics; but there is nothing "real" about real numbers.     Yeah, fair point, I was assuming a simple Newtonian / Euclidian universe - just trying to build up some kind of intuition about what irrational numbers are.
  12.   Like so many parts of mathematics, irrational numbers seem a little unwelcome at first but there are plenty of beautiful things to discover about them.  I suggest you learn a bit more, but understand that it is up to you to decide what kind of arithmetic you will use to solve any particular problem - for example, most of computer science only really requires you to use the integers.  Like fractions, complex numbers and even negative numbers, you can think of irrational numbers as an optional extension.   So what's beautiful about irrational numbers?  They aren't just a special exception for awkward numbers like e and pi - there are actually more irrational numbers than rational numbers (look up Cantor's diagonal argument).  Yet between any two irrational numbers you can always find a rational, and vice-versa, between any two rational numbers you can always find an irrational.   When you think about it it they come up in real life as well, just you aren't necessarily aware of them.  Wouldn't it be strange, for example, if you measured the distance between two atoms and it turned out to be exactly 1 metre?  Or an exact fraction like 1.4 metres?  Or even a long fraction like 1.453162343055682m?  It seems much more likely that the number would be an infinite series of random-looking digits, which would make the distance an irrational number.   Pi is actually an extraordinarly organized irrational number.  Although you cannot express it as an exact fraction, you can express it exactly as the limit of an infinite series such as:   pi = 4/1 - 4/3 + 4/5 - 4/7 + 4/9 - 4/11 + ...   I think I'll stop there.  I encourage you to find out more, and I do hope I've make this better for you not worse...