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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.

xaver

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  1. Glad to hear that it's not just another MMO. Though I was kinda wishing for a Diablo 3. I'm hoping that the release date doesn't keep getting pushed back like many other Blizzard titles.
  2. Quote:Original post by Brickman Game: Most "exploration" type games such as Castlevania and Metroid, or any game where you learn new abilities as you go. Feature: Abilities that are really keys. Comments: This is just plain false advertising here. I have nothing against finding a key after beating the boss, but I feel cheated when I find an ability like "Push heavy blocks", "Break cracked blocks", "Go through something painful like lava without taking damage", and so on. Maybe they threw in a requisite and terribly annoying and pointless block pushing puzzle, but otherwise this "ability" just lets you enter the next level and a couple siderooms with powerups. At least be honest with us and don't call them new abilities. If you ask me, the only thing they should call abilities is if it is either usable in some concievable form in combat (an attack, an air dash, a roll, etc), usable in some kind of other skill-based area (hmm. . . a magnetic item that lets you pivot around certain preset magnetic tiles to cross gaps? I guess double jump and dash count both here and in the combat category) extremely helpful/useful in getting around quickly (the requisite endgame flight item, double jump, air dash, phasing through enemies for a second so you don't have to slow down and fight them), or used in a large number of extremely good puzzles (if your name is not Zelda, you will not get this category so just skip the timewasters). If it isn't one of those, it's just a key. And please, let us start with the run boots and double jump; they're everywhere, you win no creativity points including them. And I'm really looking at you, Zelda-games-where-you-need-an-item-to-jump. Agreed with the above. Especially in Castlevania:PoR, there were certain abilites that allowed you to push blocks, and they just unlocked the path to the next part of the castle. Those abilities were rarely used again. The same goes with the hop-on partner jump ability; why not give me the double-jump at that point instead? This just felt like an extra "key" to obtain. On a related note: Game: Metroid Prime 2 Feature: Abilities which are acquired so late in the game that there are never that many chances to use it before the game is completed Comments: I was quite excited that the screw attack would finally appear in a 3D Metroid game. However, you've gone through practically 80% of the game before finding it. I think it was used for one or 2 puzzles (this kinda fits into the "abilities as keys" category). Game: Various Feature: Excessive fetch quests, especially those that are multi-staged Comments: I don't mind a fetch quest once in while, but the game shouldn't be loaded with them. The worst are the ones that when you finally collect the item(s) that are needed, the quest giver asks for more, and goes on and on... Examples: A certain side quest in FFXII in the desert, and in Paper Mario: 1000 Year Door (you wanted me to buy one of item X which is not sold nearby, I bought it, came back to you and now you said that you wanted 2 of item X and now I gotta go all the way back and buy another! Why didn't you say you wanted 2 in the first place ?!?!) Game: Various Feature: New Game+ features, except that certain key items/abilities are taken away from you Comments: I always like the New Game+ feature, it allows you to start a new game with all of your equipment that you had previously. It is useful if you want to play through a game a second time but don't want to do the grinding or ability collecting. Except that certain games take away various things that you've already acquired in your first playthrough. Example: In Castlevania:PoR, you no longer have key abilities like double-jump and the super jump when starting a New Game+. These would speed up successive runs significantly. Who cares if it allows me to do things out of order? I've already beaten the game once and know where everything is located at anyway.
  3. Sounds like an interesting idea, but actually implementing it may be difficult. Are you considering a turn-based system or is it in real time? Plus how would you make the limitations known to the player? How does one know if you are giving yourself too much of an ability, or what abilities are actually available at the time? I think that a more "visual" language may work, instead of it being all text-based. For example, if players used pictures and arrows to depict certain attacks and such.
  4. I think I will enter, but I won't have as much time to work on it since I am in the middle of another project at the moment. It will probably be a much simpler game than my entry for 4E4. I do agree that the elements are much tougher than last year's, you really have to think of an idea that uses all the elements without having them feel like they're tacked on.
  5. Just bought some new hosting for my site, since I was tired of using a free host. I decided to go with siteocity hosting; it is relatively inexpensive: $24 per year for 5GB of monthly bandwidth. I know there is probably cheaper hosting available but they've got some good reviews according to other webmasters and they also respond to support emails. I've given my site a slightly new design, changed the background color of the logo at the top to a more bluish color instead of grey. I don't have any projects planned currently, I want to take a break for a bit after just completing Cognizance. I may write some quick prototypes of games that I would like to make, just to make sure they are viable ideas.
  6. Nice twist on the platformer genre, congrats on completing your first game! :) I think the difficulty is a bit on the high side, as I was having trouble with level 3, even on the easiest setting. Another suggestion would be mouse control, but that may be difficult for this kind of game.
  7. Do you think that is it absolutely required to be innovative? I think it is a bit overrated, that maybe the overall fun of the game is more important than innovation is. I do have a list of zany/weird ideas that I want to implement, but most of the time they are not turning out to be that fun in the end. After all, gamers are continuing to buy the titles with huge roman numerals after them, and you seldom hear complaints that "this game isn't innovative enough". Although one should avoid direct clones of other games, there maybe is a such thing as trying too hard to be innovative and not worrying about the fun factor.
  8. Wow, that really is a weird theme, I might check this one out. It seems that competition may be fierce though, the entry list for their last contest had over 100 games! Wonder how strict they will be with judging the entries, and seeing if you fit the theme into the game well.
  9. Cognizance is a 2D horizontal shooter game that combines a traditional shooter with puzzle and RPG elements. Get through all of the phases and defeat the boss at the end to win! We have entered it in shmup-dev's horizontal shooter contest. Gameplay: In the first phase of the game, some enemies will have numbers on them. Kill these enemies to add that number to the empty boxes at the top of the screen. Some of these boxes will have stats underneath them. Placing a number in that box will increase that stat relative to the value of the number. In the second phase, some enemies will have words on them. Your goal is to kill enemies that have misspelled words! Enemies which do not have words are safe to kill. If you do kill an enemy that has a valid word, it will counterattack. During the boss phase, stand on the elemental tiles for an additional attack. The boss gains different attacks depending on the difficulty selected. Controls: WASD or arrow keys: move player Spacebar or Ctrl: shoot You may also use the mouse to move your character and left-click to shoot. Esc: Pause game and see current stats Alt+Enter: Switch between full screen and windowed mode. Download (4.8MB) Showcase Entry
  10. My next project, Cognizance, is now complete! I have uploaded it to the showcase here. About the game: Cognizance is a 2D horizontal shooter game that combines a traditional shooter with puzzle and RPG elements. In the first phase, you build up your stats by killing enemies to fill up empty blocks at the top of the screen. These blocks can contain stats, the amount of stat increases depends on the number that was on the enemy. In the second phase, blast the enemies that have misspelled words! Be careful though, killing an enemy with a correctly spelled word will cause it to counterattack! The final phase is a boss, there are certain elemental tiles you can stand on to aid you in defeating it. The controls are simple: use the WASD or arrow keys to move, and Ctrl or spacebar to shoot. Mouse control is also supported. It was also entered into www.shmup-dev.com's horizontal shooter contest.
  11. I have used autosaves in some of my games, but not that frequently. It also depends on what kind of game you are talking about. I think it is best to auto-save after a major event has happened (like completing a level). Players will use ways to get around them anyway, such as backing up old save files before launching the game.
  12. An interesting variation of the falling block games, but I find myself not using the "cache" element since I am often trying to complete lines and not having enough extra room to plan out the colors. Still a polished game nonetheless, congrats on completing it Fullscreen worked okay for me, no problems there.
  13. I'm about done with my current game, I am busy tweaking various numbers to balance the difficulty levels and other things of that nature. Sometimes the boss was very difficult and had too many hp, so I toned it down a bit, and then it became to easy, and so on. It really is a more difficult process than one might think, I didn't think that "just tweaking numbers" would take as long as I thought it would! On a related note, I think the music I chose for the boss is pretty catchy (it isn't composed by me BTW). The boss also gets different attacks depending on the difficulty level selected, which I think gives the game some variety and replay value. Some of the attacks on higher difficulties are pretty weird though! Anyway, I should have the game complete sometime this week, and I'll upload it to the showcase at that time.
  14. Currently working on the boss phase now. I haven't really done any bosses before in games, so this is somewhat challenging to do. Actually implementing each of its attacks is a pain, and I have used some "hacks" to make the boss act the desired way. Since it got kinda boring just fighting the boss using your regular shot, I have added "elemental" tiles for this phase that you can stand on to perform an extra kind of attack.
  15. I've seen a lot of initial planning being done when it comes to game design. What if, after you actually implemented what you have planned, the game is not as fun as you thought it would be? Sure, it sounds fun on paper, but it can end up completely different than what you expected. I have gone through several gameplay revamps with my current game, and testing them after each iteration to see if players are actually thinking it is fun. Thus, the final game will end up quite different than planned. Any thoughts on this matter?