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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. DX12

    C# is kind of the more common thing for UWP. You can certainly code it in C++ as well but you'll have to rely on the MSDN and online tutorials as there are currently no books on it that I know of. Here is a tutorial specifically for UWP with DirectX and C++. If your goal is to write games that run on Windows as well as Windows Phone, have you considered Unity? You'd have to use C# but you can definitely make 3D games with it and get them to run on those (and a gazillion other) platforms. I think they even added DX12 support recently. If you want to write and sell games then that may be a good way forward, as with DX12 you'll have to basically write at least three separate rendering engines from scratch (one for AMD, one for NVidia, and one for whatever the GPU used in Windows Phones is).
  2. I recommend that you pick up a copy of Stroustrup's "The C++ Programming Language" as for me it was a very nice introduction to C++11 (I had a background of some 10 years with Java and it was very easy to pick up C++ thanks to this book). I'd first focus on the core "modern" C++ first if I were you. Boost has some nice libraries as well but they're more situational. I quite like their File I/O so since you mention it you might want to take a look at Boost.Filesystem and Boost.ASIO. For SQL, it depends on your needs, but if you just want to get some configuration store going then sqlite is a nice package and in the public domain. If you want to connect to native databases you'll want to take a look at whatever driver they're offering, so for instance Connector/C++ for MySQL. Visual Studio 2017 Community now has Linux cross-compilation as a first-tier citizen (along with Android and Unity/Unreal support and many other useful things like ant and Git), but I haven't actually tried it yet so can't comment on the quality.
  3. I'm a bit late to the party but wanted to say that, based on my experience with startup lawyers, those prices are reasonable for USA. More, and you'll be getting ripped off. Less, and I'd be worried about how serious the counsel is. It may seem like a lot but the cost of mistakes down the road is higher. You should expect to pay more though if you're in the EU or elsewhere.  General advice: always negotiate, and always work out a flat fee or capped quote (which means hourly rate but capped at some pre-agreed amount). Lawyers default to hourly rates and as an indie you cannot afford to pay lawyers by the hour (which can cost anywhere from $100 to $500 per hour and adds up very fast since you'll be charged for every email, phone call, and even research time). Especially with stuff like setting up companies and contracts, those items are well understood and standardized and your counsel has the necessary template documents ready to go, so getting a good quote is not a problem. 
  4. I think most of us here, or anyone involved in gamedev for that matter, judge games solely based on their merits. But the world is generally not such a rosy place. So it's a legitimate marketing tactic to get around preconceived notions. It's also very easy and affordable to set up and run a US company without ever establishing a physical presence in the US, or in fact even without ever visiting the US.
  5. If you want to comply with the terms of the license, then yes, you do.   The point is to comply with the license and to attribute the parts of the code you used to the people who wrote it. Conversely, by not disclosing the use of the open source code, you are falsely claiming that you own the copyright to your entire code, and that does create confusion (and opens you up for potential litigation).   For mobile apps, where the file system is not normally freely accessible without using other third party apps, I would suggest something within your own app (like a credits page). Here are some ideas. These games may or may not be complying with the license terms of the open source software they may or may not be using. The important question is, do you want to comply yourself or do you accept the legal risk of non-compliance. That's a decision you have to weigh for yourself, but IMHO there is literally no reason not to comply. These people wrote great code that you make use of and the only thing they ask for is that you give them credit. It doesn't cost you anything and it's the morally correct thing to do, so why wouldn't you?   a) Your program should have its own license, ie for a game something like boilerplate EULA. b) Wherever you list the third party licenses, just indicate that "this program uses X library, here is the relevant license of X library..."
  6. In Qt, QListWidget and probably also QListView can be configured for similar functionality (rearranging list elements with drag&drop). But while it can be styled with CSS, I don't think you'll be able to make it look as pretty as jQuery.    Otherwise I would also consider embedding CEF or Awesonium, depending on how far you want to go with imitating javascript UI.
  7. That's a rather generic question and answers will vary a lot depending on what you want to do. But generally speaking Lua would be a safe bet for many use cases. I'd go with C++ rather than C for making games (or with a different language entirely, if your goal is not working in the industry), and I'd go with learning one language at a time in order to not get confused. For any game project you'll also have to learn a bunch of APIs, adding a scripting binding on top of that may just be overkill unless you have a specific reason for it (for example if you are working with non-technical artists and want them to create gameplay functionality).
  8. OpenGL

    Also the OpenGL SuperBible, 6th edition.
  9. You mentioned DosBox but I can't think of many DOS-era games written in .NET :)   And you don't need .NET to program C++ applications in Visual Studio, it works fine without it.    Having to install fifty different versions of the MSVC Redistributable to play different games is a pain point though. Especially since none of them clean up their temporary files and just dump it into your partition root.
  10. Sounds like some sort of z-buffer trashing problem. Are you by any chance doing something like adding more and more objects at the exact same location without removing the old ones? Also, try drawing the layers at an offset to each other (ie object layer few units higher than tile layer on the z-axis).   As for the crash, sounds like you're running out of memory (which is why I suspect that your object generation is out of control). Try monitoring the memory consumption.
  11. I've always used visual assist x for intellisense, the c implementation has always been terrible compared to their c# in my experiance. I'd love to drop visual assist if 15's been signifigantly improved.     I've been using Visual Studio 2015 RC for a while now and while I have no experience with prior versions, coming from the Java world, the C++ Intellisense and refactoring capabilities of VS are extremely lackluster compared to what Eclipse and IntelliJ are capable of. To some extent it may be due to limitations of the language or runtime model, but I'd definitely recommend getting something like Visual Assist. It may not be free but it's quite cheap for what it offers (obviously check out the trial first, it may not click for you).
  12. You can do quite a lot in RenPy (see Sunrider for instance, notionally a VN game but also a tactical space combat sim) and VNs are not computationally complex so I would actually go with RenPy as first choice of engine if I were to write a VN. There are some other interesting tools available for VNs as well - TyranoBuilder, Twine, Novelty, Belle, I've even seen some VNs made in Unity (and they have a plugin called Visual Novel Toolkit now). Probably there are many more out there, especially in Japan.   As for rolling your own, when I tried using XML in my projects it always ended up as a convoluted verbose mess. I would consider JSON or Lua (or any other scripting language but Lua is indeed the first that comes to mind) as good formats. I've never done a VN but conceptually I think on the C++ side I would create some sort of command buffer (like a tree structure, or a linked list if your game does not have any branching) which is populated with nodes based on the JSON/Lua input. Then you can step through it back and forth (so you can support the common VN feature of log/history replay) and also keep track of your current state/flags and position (to support saving/loading).  
  13. I use a (physical) whiteboard as well, I set aside a wall of my home office for it a few years back and found it invaluable both for my day job and for game dev.   With all due respect to ModernToMe, I think he is solving a problem that doesn't really exist. If your GDD fails to be of use to you it will definitely not be because you forgot to include the company name or team size. And like braindigitalis said, you need to keep it flexible because the design can and will change.
  14. So far, Witcher 3 really blew everything I saw this year out of the water. They promised a lot, I had sky-high expectations having previously played the prequels, and they managed to deliver above and beyond those. That almost never happens.    But we've got half a year left. Looking forward to Tales of Zestria.    As for new and easy games that kind of went under the radar - try Life is Strange.