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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. Unity

    I see. Rayman Legends seemed to have a polygonal tool for creating an area where a light source would be applied. This kind of setup seems to be ideal for allowing an artist to select regions where they want their masks and lighting to be applied. Even if the overlays were generated automatically, do you think such a polygonal creation process is still ideal?
  2. Unity

    Thanks for such an awesome and detailed response! That was extremely helpful. It looks like they do a lot of blending with sprite edges so that they can build more modular 2d art that blends together without having to make rigid transitions between pieces.It would be amazing if the blending amount was easily tweakable for the artist. Then they could determine how much each asset should blend with another.   By this do you mean having preset overlays and effects that someone could quickly setup on a sprite?  I am working on a custom tool for myself that allows more integration between photoshop and unity. The idea is to allow the artist to load a unity scene and have one PS document that has all his sprites at the right location. HE can take a screenshot of any scene and only see those objects loaded into photoshop. Then he can paint on them in context, and even add new layers, which will then automatically import back into unity and create a new object at that location. Using this kind of tool the artist could have a layer that he would paint on to manually blend some of the modular pieces for one final iteration and he wouldn't have to manually place it as it appeared exactly where he drew it in photoshop. I am curious how the artists on ori created their actual art and how they approached painting their modular assets. I am always interested in improving workflows. Also, what kind of blending is done with the sprites underneath to blend the blurry edges?Thanks
  3. Unity

    Awesome! Thanks a ton. So it seems like Ori and Rayman just use textures with shaders on them and blend these colors with whatever is behind them. 
  4. Unity

    I am curious if anyone with more experience than I could explain in a general way how games like Ori and the blind forest and Rayman Legends light their scenes. There seems to be a lot of artistic light that is used just for blending purposes, like in this screen: http://static2.gamespot.com/uploads/original/536/5360430/2562384-ori-screenshot17.jpg All the lighting in the game seems to pulsate, so I am wondering if maybe they just use shaders and a texture to blend the light/color with the diffuse textures behind them? I am not sure though.   I am using Unity and am new to game programming and am just curious if anyone knows or could guess what their workflow looks like for lighting their scenes.Thank you.
  5. Thank you for all of the great replies!   This is exactly what my current mindset was as well in order to make them more meaningful as a pair. Originally I thought of if it was possible to have an "infinite sidescroller" type of thing, which terraria 2 is going to do. But then this seems almost impossible to have "macro" actions and things like wars between 2 kingdoms (as the only relationship is if they are directly next to each other or not on a side scroller map). That is why in order to have more complex macro things going on, like kingdoms going to war on the world map, npcs running trade routes, etc, I was leaning towards a world map, allowing the player to "enter" and interact with any of those macro world events happening(entering a battlefield, attacking a caravan,etc).
  6. I am imagining having a 2d worldmap like FF6, except you can "enter" any tile and be taken to a side scroller procedurally generated terraria style map. I was thinking of how to have multiple terraria maps be coherent in a game world, and that is what I came up with. The player could choose a tile and build a village on it, which would change how the tile looks on the world map. I kind of see the micro actions of the player on the local map level affecting macro things on the world map level.   Do you think this kind of system would be fun? I am not sure if I am over thinking it, or if it needs to be more coherent. I am a little scared that switching from a side scroller view to a top down world map will be too weird(thought I loved the way link 2 did this). I want to make the world map be more meaningful instead of just being a tile placeholder for side scroller levels. I guess I could say I am trying to think of ways to make the world map more fun. Thoughts? Thanks. 
  7. Hello. I have a large tile map(8400x2400) and am streaming the tile data around the player as he moves around(no collision yet, so just a camera). I am debating between using colliders on the tiles that are within a small radius around the player, or any object that can collide with terrain. Are there any advantages to dynamically adding and removing colliders to tiles for collision vs. having all of your collision logic be based around the "solid" tile data of a tile?    I am using Unity, so it is very easy to have the collider logic work for entities with a rigid body. I would just like everyones input. Thank you!
  8. So I am using bones, but I thought it'd be easier to just have one point in the center of the character be the point that is tracked in relation to the wall. This way I can just make the animation look like it is climbing the wall without having to worry about all the limb colllisions etc. The cave walls can curve into an overhang too, so I don't think I can just cast in one direction since the wall you are climbing can vary if it is left, up or right.
  9. I am trying to achieve the following:   http://imgbin.org/index.php?page=image&id=14922     I want to have a point that can "attach" to a mesh and follow its outline, but I cannot for the life of me think of how to do this. Any ideas? Thank you.
  10. So I am working on a 2d game in Unity where the player can climb walls. The climbing is more like what real life climbing would be, not the generic 2d climbing we usually see where the player just sticks to a wall and walks up it. My current design of what this climbing system would be is to have a mesh that represents a wall, and have some kind of system that allows the player to climb the wall by pressing buttons and moving to the next "point" on the wall mesh.    I believe this would allow the player to actually climb along the wall, but I am thinking about how the animation would work, and I am having design issues. I am curious as to some common ways to design animations so that they look "correct" when a player is moving towards a point with his arms and legs. The players body would need to rotate properly as he is climbing the wall so that he appears to be touching the wall, his arms and legs would have to be in the correct positions, etc.    I know my question is pretty vague, but if I have conveyed enough information, and you have any ideas that came to you as you read this, I would appreciate some general guidance or wisdom on this. Thank you very much!
  11. I started living by the adage "Make games, not engines". I would spend months making an engine to make a game in my head, and get burnt out because I wanted to make games, that is why I was writing the engine in the first place. Unity allowed me to save months and start working on a ACTUAL game idea I had the day I had the idea. I am creating levels, writing scripts and gameplay, all on day one. It would have taken me 3 months at least to get to that point in XNA. I think it is still good to have that knowledge to be able to write an engine from scratch(a basic one) to understand how everything fits together, but this can be seen as a side project, not a "I have to finish this crappy engine to make a game" type of endeavor.
  12. You should keep in mind though that Unity has an amazing asset store that will allow you to purchase tools that will shave off months of development time. I spent $100 dollars on a 2d skeletal animation editor, 2d volumetric lighting, a full blown tile editor, and more, which would have taken months to do on my own. "Make games, not engines" as the saying goes, so it depends on if you want to focus on making games or the stuff you need to make games, which you will have to do with XNA(Though XNA is still really awesome). Just my 2 cents.
  13. So basically, the user would draw a curved line over the map, and based on what the curve looks like over a given tile, you would use that tile for that part of the line. That is a pretty good idea, though it would take a decent amount of tiles to be able to have a wide enough range of curves I suppose. Thanks for the idea!
  14. It can't be tiles because you can dig tunnels at any angle, basically any curve you could create with a mouse needs to be tunnelable, and you wouldnt be able to do smooth curbed tunnels with tiles.
  15. Sorry I forgot it is a 2D map. I guess I am trying to think of how to setup the collision mesh. I am basically trying to set up a square map, and be able to draw a line with a mouse, and have that be a tunnel that has collision points around it so a unit can move through it.