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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.

thezbuffer

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About thezbuffer

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    XNA/DirectX MVP
  1.   What signs?   I've been an XNA.DirectX MVP for 6 years and I don't see any signs at all. If Microsoft is working on such an API they have either managed to keep it amazingly secret or they have not started work on it yet - in which case don't expect to see anything anytime soon.   I'd say  5) No   If you want to release a game on Xbox One your choices right now are a) DirectX/C++ b) Unity (available at some unannounced time in 2014).   In addition you need to be accepted into the ID@xbox program and be chosen as one of the special few to get a dev kit, otherwise you have to wait till they enable retail boxes as dev kits - also an unannounced date. Meanwhile practise on windows 8 as the APIs are fairly similar.
  2. OpenGL

    XNA is still the only way to ship games on XBLIG for the 360.   Its still fully supported on WIndows Phone 7 and 8 - though on 8 you don't get access to any cool phone 8 features.   It runs perfectly well on Windows 8 too though you cannot make an XNA app that will run in the windows app store. Desktop mode only   Steam fully support XNA (guncraft is 100% XNA and we just shipped on steam) - they auto install XNA3 or XNA 4 and there's several places you can get managed wrappers for the steam APIs we use this one http://www.communityexpresssdk.com/ - its been good for us and the team has been very responsive   If you are learning to make games and you don't want to go the designer engine route (like unity) then XNA is one if the best ways to learn the principles.   Saying all of that Microsoft have not touched XNA for several years now and there's no plans that anyone knows of to start it back up.    So no news on Xbox One support (though Mono.Game will support it if possible), you really can't ship in windows 8 store and who knows about future phone releases. I'd say XNAs time as a platform to ship games is coming to an end. If you can ship on steam I'm sure they will support it for a while yet but I wouldn't be starting any long term (1+ year) projects unless you make sure that your code also compiles in Mono.Game
  3.   They are being pretty generous with dev kits to proven indies apparently but once you have the dev kit you are stuck behind an NDA   There's no news technology wise from them either but of course it supports C++ and Unity will be working there at some point if you have the $$$ too.   There's several mono.game based games been mentioned - but nobody has confirmed if the PS4 versions will be ports to C++ or if Mono.Game is running on PS4 - I am sure they too would be NDAd
  4.   Kodu is so Xbox 360 - Xbox One is all about Spark https://joinprojectspark.com/
  5. As everyone has said the announcement contains no technology news.   The early adopters who are accepted into the program get dev kits so assume that's the same C++ SDK that consoles already have.   Unity have announced they will support it - but no date/price. Typically console unity licenses are not cheap.   There's no sign of any XNA like team so all bets are off there unless its super secret.   There's plenty of rumor of Xbox One supporting HTML5/JS but that would be a strange limit for indie games   And finally we know there's a windows instance on there so its not beyond the realms of imagination that is a target too in which case Windows8/WP8 would seem like something to look at.   The Mono.Game guys would love to support Xbox one so if Microsoft goes the Windows 8 route then I am sure they would support that. I know they have tried to apply in the XboxOne Indie sign up and I'll be letting some folk at Microsoft know that its a good idea. There's clearly a ton of managed code desire from the community since this is now the #1 .Net request http://visualstudio.uservoice.com/forums/121579-visual-studio/suggestions/4233646-allow-net-games-on-xbox-one   Seems like initially its going to be a select group of indies let in - probably already proven people. The masses get let in later - again date unknown. But really Microsoft need to let people know what to start work on. If we all need to move to Unity so be it but let us know. 
  6. As the title says.... http://visualstudio.uservoice.com/forums/121579-visual-studio/suggestions/4233646-allow-net-games-on-xbox-one   We have no idea if it will come to anything but its a good example for us to point to when Microsoft ask what people want.   Less than 500 votes form being the #1 feature request for .Net!! 
  7. MJP wasn't at the summit this year.  But the rest of us gave the feedback to them that the VS tools provided need to be in the free version (and also not hidden under the C++ parts of Visual Studio). They did seem to hear the message but I have no idea how fast they can react even if they agree with it.
  8. Thanks for that hint. I'll look into lidgren and see what it does and if we can make it do that.
  9. We already have instructions for people hosting. So either they are not doing that, or their router is open enough to let some people through so they don't feel they have to change. We actually have a tooltop that appears if they host for more than 2 minutes without anyone joining... I'm not sure I can explain exactly but we have a matching server that sends the nat introduction to both sides (server and client) and then both server and client sent out a NAT punch through to each other. Sometimes the client -> server fails from the client point of view but the server -> client punch through has worked so if we follow up the failure with a connection (as if it worked) then we actually make a connection. We did find some vague explanation of why this might work - and it does. I may be using the wrong terms here so hopefully you can work it all out.
  10. @Scorpie - I like that idea and yes you explained it just fine...
  11. Hello again.. We're seeing higher-than-we-would-like number of people who simply cannot host or connect to games. We're using lidgren which supports some form of NAT punchthrough and all of our user hosted servers are likely behind NAT. For most cases it appears to be client specific i.e. they cannot connect to any games anywhere. We added some tracking and out of about 40k connection attempts we fail NAT punchthrough about 15% of the time. If we then attempt to connect anyway we get though in an additional 6% of the time giving us an overall failure rate of 9% of our user attempts. Not good enough to stop complaints :-) We've checked out code many times (and found/fixed a few bugs) and also wiresharked to show that the packets simply do not make it through the routers. So before we spend even more time digging deep I thought I would ask if 15% seems reasonable or if something is wrong? Many of our users declare they can play other games without problems - we suspect they are playing on servers hosted on machines with no NAT (or very very permissive ones). We tried hosting on AWS and Azure VMs and are seeing about the same 15% - the cloud services are all behind NATs too. Our next step here is to try a server with a static IP/No NAT to see if everyone can connect even if they have a 'bad' router at their end. And finally any other ideas? We don't have the resources to invest in advanced NAT techniques that we've been reading about [url="http://xboxforums.create.msdn.com/forums/p/7092/37670.aspx#37670"]http://xboxforums.cr...7670.aspx#37670[/url] - we've heard that the gamespy library may be better [url="http://docs.poweredbygamespy.com"]http://docs.poweredbygamespy.com[/url] but theres no docs on its Nat traversal abilities. Thanks
  12. Thanks - more great idea for me to think about... amazing how things you didn't think were complex turn out to be quite the opposite eh? I had thought about hiding full servers but right now we don't have a lot of servers so we want the illusion of as many players as possible.. but we can certainly not ping the full ones.
  13. Seems like a vicious circle there... we want to present the best servers to people, but we don't know the best servers until we've given them the list and got them to ping them. So how to decide which servers to show first and in what order... I can see how Geocoding the IP would be one good way to segment the servers - and I know on Xbox Live you often get a seemingly random list back.. i wonder how else that selection happens. [quote name='hplus0603' timestamp='1348694960' post='4984126'] (Btw: The "ping" packet could return information like "current map" and "number of playing/free slots") [/quote] Our master server already has that information.. the game server messages it every so often to update the status. Thanks for letting me bounce things off you all... one of the downsides of being small and indie is the lack of people to talk to about stuff.
  14. I like that - thanks for the idea... I guess I was hoping for someone who had written something similar to say 'here's what we did'.. I don't enjoy looking in the large iD codebases but I guess I could crack one of those and see. I wonder if there's any other large networked games that have source available.