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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.

Sly

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  1. I actually enjoy localization, and one of the reasons for enjoying it is that I avoid Excel spreadsheets at all costs. I've done several games for Microsoft, with up to 19 languages in the one title including Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese and Korean. We use XML or RESX for localized text, one file per language. Microsoft loc teams specifically state that they do not want Excel spreadsheets for localization purposes. The big advantage is that you can easily diff text-based files in source control to see what changed. Spreadsheets are usually binary files that do not diff well, if at all. Our games use the XML or RESX files directly, so there is no copy/paste involved at any stage in the process. If you are copy/pasting text as part of the localization process, you're doing it wrong. That poses a large risk in copying something wrong (so easy to do from prior experience), and because the text is in a language that you usually cannot understand it is very difficult to see which strings you messed up. It is useful to include a short description of the string in the file to put it into context for the translator. This can help them understand how the text is used which may change how they translate it. It may be tempting to re-use the same strings for different purposes in your game, e.g. a screen title and for a button. Don't. Text that may be the same in your language for different purposes may be two or three different strings in other language, depending on the context of use. Provide a fall-back path. If you are supporting French, support the neutral culture "fr". Some strings may be different in Canada, so provide the Canadian-specific strings in a "fr-CA" culture. Strings not in this specific culture should fall back to using the neutral "fr" culture.
  2. We only used ints and floats in our script code on Xbox 360, so we never came across this issue.
  3. We're going through some changes here at the moment (you may have heard of fairly large lay-offs recently), so we won't be sure until the dust settles a bit more.
  4. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole has just been released for Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii to accompany the soon-to-be-released movie. The game uses AngelScript to control the animation selection and blending for animated characters. Congratulations to Cliff Cawley for implementing the animation system with AngelScript that made the animators job so much easier. And many thanks to Andreas for making AngelScript. Game launch trailer Disclosure: I was one of the lead programmers on the game, and am immensely proud of the job done by the team.
  5. We've used AngelCode's BMFont for several commercial titles on all modern platforms. It's safe to say we think it's damn good. Andreas has done very well.
  6. Just found proof for your argument. Recently released on the AppStore was iSplash, an "innovative app counts your poo splashes when you do your stuff, using sound recognition technology. It saves your high score and saves your recorded poo session so you can play it to your friends later." Or just do a search on the AppStore for "poo". Plenty of ammunition for your case.
  7. "...which is why stuff like classic game system emulators aren't available on an iPhone even if they don't use any "third party libraries"." While mostly true, it's not 100% true. After a few attempts, the C64 emulator is now available. "MTV Presents: Intellivision" was recently released for iPhone, along with "VH1 Classic Presents: Intellivision for iPad". You cannot load your own ROMs or disk images into these. You can only purchase games through the app itself.
  8. Having used CodeWarrior extensively to develop PS2, Gamecube and Wii games, I wholeheartedly agree that it is effing useless. Not just in its optimisation attempts, but also in the IDE, user interface, automation, source control integration, and general usability.
  9. Several years ago, we moved from PowerArchiver to WinZip because PowerArchiver used signed integers for the file size whereas WinZip used unsigned integers or 64-bit integers. We hit this bug in PowerArchiver when our game builds exceeded 2GB. No idea if PowerArchiver have fixed that bug yet.
  10. If you make it to Australia, don't bring the knives. It's illegal to carry any concealed knives.
  11. Waste could use a skull and crossbones, like the character N from the Wingdings font.
  12. Heya. Nice work on the physics engine integration. Do you have static collision on the trees? We're doing a multi-platform console title that has a large heightfield landscape with lots of trees. We're currently trying to decide between PhysX and Bullet (the only two choices I've been given). I've found that I have to create/destroy the static collision for trees on the fly for those trees that are close to the player only in order to keep physics CPU usage down to a minimum. In this case (multi-platform console title), Havok is unfortunately a very expensive proposition.
  13. Quote:Original post by dave j So as far as your engine example goes, if you've written your engine in a way that separates platform specific bits into separate libraries there is no reason you cannot release the source to the main engine and the PC specific libraries as GPL and binaries of the engine and NDA restricted libraries under a different licence. If the license mentions GPL, or even hints at one part of the software being under GPL, the legal departments of the major publishers will not allow you to use it. I've been through this process several times as a developer. We have to be careful about what license a library uses. Anything linked to GPL is a no-go zone. It's simple, and there is no middle ground. GPL is the death-knell for any software to be used on consoles, or PC games released through a major publisher.
  14. Quote:Original post by Naurava kulkuri <edit Some clarifications to the text. And for general discussion, Gamasutra article DICE 09: Valve's Newell On 'Using Your Customer Base To Reach New Customers' has an interesting note by Hélder Gomes FilhoQuote:[H]ere in Brazil we have a rampant piracy, not piracy like you know in the US, it is REALLY rampant piracy, 95% of ALL games are pirated (specially CONSOLE games... not PC) the reasons for that, are in first place price... [...] localization, PES is in english, WE is in Japanese, pirated WE comes in portuguese, dubbed in portuguese, modded to have local stadiums, teams and players, and have .pdf manual or a portuguese pamflet with the basic gameplay and has brazillian-version package (that altough lack the same material quality, being just a cheap media inside a cheap plastic with a sheet of printed paper as cover) that attracts more attention than the original. So yeah, this is an important topic. Those soccer fans are just nuts. :)
  15. I've worked on close to twelve commercial titles in over eight years and I have not seen any standards for localization file formats in use. Nothing like XLIFF at least. Each company generally has their own file format. Some go even further, like Naughty Dog who created a tool that the localization team used to enter the translated text direct into their database, no matter where in the world the localization team were.