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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.

Will F

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About Will F

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  1. Demon's Souls. It grabbed hold of me and wouldn't let go - if I wasn't playing it I was probably thinking about it. I can't remember the last time a game did that for me. Having said that, i'm not sure if i'd recommend it - it's difficult, takes a lot of patience, and has some unorthodox design decisions which I could see many people not liking - but that game really spoke to me.
  2. Quote:Original post by Alpha_ProgDes T-Mobile has a unlimited plan for 79.99 (web, text, and voice) But with the Nexus, T-Mobile is forcing the buyer to get a phone plan that has 500 minutes voice, unlimited text and web for 79.99 The Nexus is being bundled with the Even More plan which is a 2 year contract but does not give unlimited Web, but does give unlimited Voice and Text. The Even More plan for the Nexus One requires the unlimited web/text services on top of the minutes. My understanding is that once you get your subsidized phone T-Mobile will let you switch from 500 minutes to the Even More unlimited plan ($99 + taxes, etc. per month I believe, when you factor in the required data/text plan). Quote:If you go to T-Mobile's website, the unlimited plan is month-to-month no contract and is called the Even More Plus plan I would think it wouldn't be that hard to make everyone get Even More Plus plan but make it a 2-year contract. In either case, I may just get the unsubsidized version and get the 80 full unlimited plan. But for now, I'll be saving up for it. Can't buy it outright. The Even More Plus plan is only for unsubsidized phones, the reason it's cheaper per month is because you paid the full $529 for the phone rather than $179 (and make up the difference with a higher monthly bill). I really wish Google would allow T-Mobile to directly sell the phone. T-Mobile has EIP (Equipment Installment Plan) which allows you to buy a phone with a down payment and 20 monthly payments (0% interest) - which is handled separately from your monthly phone bill. Doing it that way means you can use the Even More Plus plan and don't have to sign up for a 2 year contract. I don't want a contract and can't justify/afford spending $529 in one payment on a phone. However if I could put $200 down and have 20 monthly payments of about $15 i'd be much more likely to convince myself to pick one up. Quote:So what do you think of the Google Phone and how they are selling it The new phone looks really nice, but the lack of a hardware keyboard is a downer for me. The software keyboard is fine for short text messages, twitter/facebook updates, etc - but not so great for things like sending longer emails or chatting on IRC (which I tend to do alot on my G1).
  3. Quote:Original post by nilkn Crysis actually sold fairly poorly, and I believe a major reason for this is because the game was simply too demanding. Gaming is becoming an increasingly expensive hobby, and the rapid development of advanced graphical techniques has contributed to the commercial failure of a lot of otherwise phenomenal games like Crysis simply because too few people could run them properly. According to EA's Q3 2008 conference call Crysis "exceeded expectations" and went platinum (over 1 million units sold). I do agree with the sentiment though. The engine may scale down and play decently on lesser systems, but I don't see myself buying the game until I get around to picking up a new computer closer to the recommended specs.
  4. I usually point people trying to decide if they want a CS or game development degree, or are in your situation to The joyful life of the lapsed game developer.
  5. XNA

    Thanks for the feedback, haven't really looked in depth into it, those are just my first impressions of PC web based distribution. Though for me one of the biggest worries is the dependency on the .NET Framework 2.0, not only just the download, but the install can take quite awhile as well. There's not really much you can do about that if you are targeting XP - I would be curious to see some numbers of how many people actually have it installed. I'm going to take a look at SlimDX (still have that dependency though) and Python too, the thought of having to continue using C++ for smaller personal projects just doesn't appeal to me anymore. Anyways, I found an interesting thread over at the XNA forums with some discussion of the issue between the Zman and Stephen Styrchak (XNA team). Couple highlights from it: Quote:Quote:Various setup technologies (including ClickOnce, which is free with the .NET Framework 2.0 SDK) include a bootstrapper setup.exe that will check for, and optionally install, prerequisites. In ClickOnce, for example, there is built-in support for installing the .NET Framework 2.0..... We would ALL love to see a white paper on how to get click once working with an XNA app... there's been a couple of people in here tried and as you say I think one person was successful back in the beta or 1.0 days but I think this is the one where the wizard gets confused and will include the XNA DLLs (breaking the EULA) directly unless you go and edit the XML files by hand. Quote:Okay, all that being said, I completely agree that making an installer is too hard. Yesterday and today, I looked more deeply into some of these issues. To be honest, I've never looked at a lot of this stuff before. So today I spoke to a couple people, and I think maybe we can make some reasonable, low-cost improvements in the v2.0 release. No promises yet, but for starters, I wondered why our runtime redist doesn't install its own DirectX dependencies. Well, I found that I'm not the only one on the XNA team that thinks it's strange, so we're going to look into fixing that. Ultimately, the runtime redist would be bigger, but currently that would still be under 6MB total (I found our v1.0 Refresh DirectX dependencies listed here). We also intend to document how to check if the XNA Framework is already installed or not. That means if you use a bootstrapper with a link to the redist, then you won't ever need to download it when it's already on the machine. If you do, then you only need to install the one dependency and you're done, without you or your users ever fussing with DirectX. I think that alone would be a big improvement. In addition, I'm going to look at improving the behavior of the Publishing wizard so that it doesn't include your source content, and doesn't package the runtime assemblies. We still will not officially support ClickOnce publishing, but if I can improve its behavior enough, then at least the workarounds will be easy enough to explain. Quote:The ZMan: Bottom line is that right now on windows its just too hard, Yep, you're right. I wanted to keep people from being discouraged from trying, but it might be more frustrating than it's worth.
  6. Have some free time so I started learning C#, so far i'm really impressed, and coming from a C++ background am finding it easy to pick up. I don't see myself using it for projects in the immediate future, but as I grow more comfortable I wouldn't be surprised if a large amount of my coding is done in that language. I've also been playing around with XNA - very neat stuff there. I was able to throw together a 3D "hello world" app amazingly fast (a simple heightmap). Unfortunately there is one very big problem with it - distributing a game. As far as I can tell there are 3 ways of doing so: 1) Published on Xbox Live Arcade This is pretty awesome and could potentially be a great revenue generator, but the process of getting it greenlighted by Microsoft seems pretty daunting for a independent game studio, or even worse a "hobbyist" programmer team or individual. 2) Xbox 360 via content creators club Nice that you can play it on a 360, but your potential audience is rather small. Though I can understand why Microsoft wouldn't want wide distribution of these games to the general 360 population, and do not blame them at all for requiring a content creators subscription to be able to play them. 3) PC Absolutely horrible, the end user has to have The .NET Framework 2.0 Redistributable, the XNA Framework Redistributable corresponding to the version your game was built against, and a number of files from the DirectX 9.0c Redistributable installed. A few years from now when Vista has become more widespread the .Net Framework requirement shouldn't be as much of an issue, but expecting a user to have the other 2 installed is a bit much. If you're making a commercial game your customers are not going to be happy about having to download all that extra stuff - they just want a 1 click installer (and if you've made a casual game only a few megs in size the total amount potentially needed to download jumps in size exponentially). Chances are people will download a demo of the game, then when they realize everything else they have to do just to play it will probably not even bother with it. As it stands now I can think of 3 good reasons to use XNA - Rapid prototyping of a game concept (which I think is an excellent use of it). Having a publishing deal for live arcade (which I would think twice about if I already had an established codebase in another language from previous projects, or didn't have anyone with extensive C# experience on the team). And finally, if you are just learning programming and want to make games. From what i've seen so far C# is a much better language for a beginner (compared to C++ anyways), and XNA seems fairly easy to use.
  7. Bungie released the Marathon Trilogy for free - though I believe you need to use Aleph One to play it if you don't have a Mac.
  8. Quote:Original post by chessnut Regardless of whether you want him to run or not, do you think he will? I seriously doubt it. We're something like 6 or 7 months from the first primaries/caucus - I don't see how he could possibly raise enough money or put together the infrastructure in that amount of time to be a viable candidate.
  9. Quote:Original post by maximAL what were the criteria for a city to actually be considered for the list? Quote:What foreign postings are most coveted by expatriate executives? To find out, Mercer Human Resource Consulting, which provides advice to multinational companies on international assignments, has come up with a global ranking of the world's most livable cities based on 39 key quality-of-life issues. They include political stability, currency-exchange regulations, political and media censorship, school quality, housing, the environment and public safety. Having lived in both Switzerland and Vancouver i'm not at all surprised that they are at the top of the list - awesome places to live.
  10. You might want to also take a look at this Guru of the Week article: Uses and Abuses of Vector. There are a lot of very subtle things in C++ that can cause you problems if you aren't aware of them.
  11. Master Foo and the Script Kiddie
  12. Quote:Original post by Zahlman 2a) To take advantage of this, don't reinvent the wheel. Instead, use boost::array. Linkified. Alternatively, if your compiler supports it you can use std::tr1::array - though i'm not sure how long it will be until TR1 starts seeing widespread use - so if you need your code to be easily portable, boost is probably a better option for now.
  13. Liked your story more than I thought I would, but for whatever reason the first thing that came to mind after reading it was this video (language NSFW). [wink]
  14. Quote:Original post by BeanDog 1) Steak fajitas with sweet red onions, red and orange bell peppers, jalapenos, cilantro, and fresh limes. Unbleached spanish rice and refried pinto beans on the side. Plenty of fresh pico de gallo. Tortillas must be freshly-made flour tortillas, 1-to-3 whole wheat to white flour mixture. Cran-raspberry juice to drink. Very complete multivitamins and distilled water for dessert. 1) Same as above - minus the cran-raspberry juice. 2) Hydrogen Cynanide - between the thought of having to eat just one meal for the rest of my life, and the lack of access to a doctor/dentist/etc I think i'd rather just get it over with [wink]
  15. Quote:Original post by lethalhamster And from what I heard they are charging $20 for every 3 episodes which is realistic and doable by most people. IIRC the PC version of episode 2 will cost US$40 - though for your money you also get Portal and Team Fortress 2.