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Polished Game Development: From First Steps to Final Release

Book Description

Learn the things you need for a complete game, such as translations and tutorials, and improve the things you've already written to raise their standard to a professional level. This is a practical guide covering every discipline: art, music, writing, and code. In the case of the latter, code examples are included to demonstrate how to implement functionality to make the game shine.

Polished Game Development acts as a comprehensive checklist of everything your game should, and should not, do, in order to be as good as it possibly can. It is more than just a book on theoretical game design principles.

  • Explains the difference between a pet project, and a professional one.
  • Covers how to test for the problems and bugs you don't know you'll have.
  • Details simple, but effective, visual improvements that can be done with very little effort.
  • Regardless of platform (web, mobile, or console), or language (C++, C#, JavaScript) there is a wealth of common (and specific) tips within these pages that will enable you to make the most professional games you can.

    Table of Contents

    1. Cover
    2. Title
    3. Copyright
    4. Dedication
    5. Contents at a Glance
    6. Contents
    7. About the Author
    8. About the Technical Reviewer
    9. Preface
    10. Acknowledgments
    11. Chapter 1: Introduction to Game Polish
      1. Planning to Polish
      2. Developer Roles
      3. No Golden Rules
        1. The MVP
        2. Incremental Changes
        3. Planning Ramifications
        4. Consistency
        5. The Foley/Newton Method
      4. Pragmatism vs. Perfectionism
      5. First Impressions
        1. Title Screen
        2. Level 1
        3. The First Minute
        4. Unique Selling Points
        5. Of Old Age
        6. The Pragmatic Approach
      6. Everything Is Possible
      7. Summary
    12. Chapter 2: The Essentials
      1. Before You Start
        1. Know the Device Conventions
        2. Know Your Own Conventions
        3. Design Guide
        4. Technical Requirements
        5. Legal and Licensing
        6. Third-Party Material
      2. The Game Flow
        1. Loading Screen
        2. Licensing Screens
        3. Title Screen
        4. Main Menu
        5. Instructions
        6. Credits
        7. Other Main Menu Pages
        8. The Game Itself
      3. Summary
    13. Chapter 3: Gameplay
      1. The Design Approach
      2. Worked Examples
        1. A Theoretical Example: Hangman
        2. A Work Example: The Quiz Game
        3. A Practical Example: Space Bounce
        4. Elements of the Game
        5. Feature Creep
      3. Summary
    14. Chapter 4: Game Balancing
      1. Balancing Is About Level 1
        1. The Fluidity of Training and Levels
        2. A Training Level
        3. The Other Levels
      2. Balancing Is About Education
      3. Balancing Is About Progression
        1. Difficulty Factors
        2. Difficulty Scales
        3. By Design
        4. Balancing by Implementation
      4. A Process
      5. Summary
    15. Chapter 5: User Experience
      1. Basic Principles
        1. Before the Game
        2. Game Flow
        3. Branding
        4. Interface Conventions
        5. Visual Dynamics
        6. The Curse of the Web
        7. Testing
      2. Coding for Design
        1. Separate Draw and Update
        2. Auditory Effects
        3. Pretty State Machine
      3. Game Screens
        1. The Title Screens
        2. Main Menu
        3. Instructions and Credits
      4. Summary
    16. Chapter 6: In-Game Visuals
      1. The Game Framework
        1. Room with a Viewport
        2. Of Image and Collision Data
        3. About a Player
        4. Object Metadata
      2. The Game Interface
        1. Removing the Interface
        2. Relocate the Interface
        3. Represent the Interface
        4. On Different Devices
        5. The Input Interface
      3. Gradual Changes
        1. Interface Buttons
        2. The Background
        3. Scoring System
        4. The End Game
      4. Summary
    17. Chapter 7: Audio
      1. Content
        1. Music
        2. Sourcing Music
        3. In-Game Effects
        4. Voice Acting
        5. User Interfaces
      2. Preparation
        1. Normalization
      3. Playback
        1. The Mixer
      4. Summary
    18. Chapter 8: Writing
      1. The Nomenclature
        1. Creating a Nomenclature
        2. Game Words
        3. The User Interface
        4. Abbreviations
      2. Beyond Words
        1. Style Guide
        2. Prose Style
        3. The Game Bible
      3. Getting Text into the Game
        1. From General to Specific
        2. Requirements of a Text System
        3. The File Format
        4. Processing Code
        5. Workflow
      4. Not an English Lesson
        1. Avoiding Typos
        2. Avoiding Grammos
        3. Words that Sound Similar
        4. Basic Style Hints
      5. Summary
    19. Chapter 9: Coding Practices
      1. Preparing the Development Environment
        1. Application Structure
        2. Build
        3. Cross-Platform Considerations
        4. Using Databases
      2. The Development Process
        1. The Prototype
        2. Designing the Flow
        3. Implementation
        4. Testing
        5. Version Control
        6. Code Reviews
        7. A Typical Review Checklist
      3. Summary
    20. Chapter 10: Testing
      1. Prevention
        1. Static Code Analysis
        2. Dynamic Code Analysis
        3. Data Testing
        4. Input Sanitation
      2. Bug Reporting
        1. The Team
        2. The Bug Life Cycle
        3. Change Requests
      3. Reproducibility
        1. The Cheat Screen
        2. Seeding Random
        3. Input Logging
        4. Network Abstractions
      4. Summary
    21. Chapter 11: Final Thoughts
      1. More Design
        1. Easter Eggs
        2. More Money
      2. Increasing Assets
      3. More Writing
        1. Selecting a Language
        2. Word Order
        3. The Case of 0, 1, and 2
        4. The Definite Article
      4. Improved Code
        1. Preloaders
        2. Custom Cursors
        3. Optimization
        4. Applying Code Conventions
      5. Better Build Systems
        1. The Build Process
        2. Deployment
      6. Moving Online
        1. The Client Problem
        2. High Scores and Achievements
        3. Facebook Integration
        4. A Website
      7. Collateral
      8. Summary
    22. Appendix A: Space Bounce
      1. Loading Page
      2. Title Screens
      3. Credits
      4. Instructions
      5. Main Menu
      6. The Main Game
        1. Preparing the Level
        2. Drawing the Screen
        3. The Audio
        4. The Winch Sequence
        5. The Player Descends
        6. Bouncing from Left to Right
        7. Scoring
        8. Health
        9. The In-Game Menu
        10. Ending the Game
    23. Index