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Game Development Tool Essentials

Book Description

Game Development Tool Essentials provides must-have tips and tricks from industry professionals for strengthening and streamlining your game tools pipeline. Everyone knows the game tools pipeline is important, but in the current environment of shrinking budgets and increased time pressure, developers often have to settle for inefficient, ad hoc, messy pipelines.

This unique book will break you out of that cycle. The practical, expert insights contained within will enable you to work faster and more efficiently, so you can spend more time making cool things. Game Development Tool Essentials pools the knowledge and experience of working developers over four critical aspects of the game tools pipeline: asset and data management, geometry and models, Web tools, and programming. Within those sections, you will learn cutting-edge techniques on essential subjects such as COLLADA rendering, exporting and workflow; asset management and compiler architecture; and moving tools to the cloud. If you're a game developer, you need Game Development Tool Essentials.

  • Covers readily available tools and tools developers can build themselves.

  • Presents 96 code samples, 81 illustrations, and end-of-chapter references.

  • Special chapter on moving tools to the cloud.

  • What you'll learn

  • Set up and code a plug-in-based asset compiler that can help convert a variety of asset types.

  • Create a complex polygon pattern (Voronoi diagram) using MAXScript.

  • Learn how to use the Khronos COLLADA CTS to build a rock solid 3D content pipeline.

  • Discover powerful tricks for using OS X Scene Kit to render COLLADA assets.

  • Build full-featured online game development tools easily with Django.

  • Move companion tools out of the game engine and into Web applications.

  • Who this book is for

    Game Development Tool Essentials is for working and prospective game developers. It will help software engineers, systems programmers, graphics architects, technical artists, 3D artists, software architects, and 3D modelers involved with the game development pipeline.

    Table of Contents

    1. Title Page
    2. Dedication
    3. Contents at a Glance
    4. Contents
    5. About the Authors
    6. About the Technical Reviewers
    7. Acknowledgments
    8. Introduction
    9. PART 1: Asset and Data Management
      1. CHAPTER 1: Plug-in-based Asset Compiler Architecture
        1. Design
        2. Example
        3. Conclusion
      2. CHAPTER 2: GFX Asset Data Management
        1. Folder Structure
        2. Naming Conventions
        3. Conclusion
    10. PART 2: Geometry and Models
      1. CHAPTER 3: Geometry and Models: 3D Format Conversion (FBX, COLLADA)
        1. The Sample Game
        2. Exporting from 3ds Max
        3. Exporting from Maya
        4. Exporting from Blender
        5. Other Formats and Exporting from Other Tools
        6. FBX SDK
        7. Optimizing for Mobile Devices
        8. Final Tips
        9. Conclusion
      2. CHAPTER 4: Building Procedural Geometry Using MAXScript (Voronoi Polygons)
        1. MAXScript and the Sample Code
        2. Voronoi and Delaunay
        3. Conclusion
      3. CHAPTER 5: A Uniform Geometry Workflow for Cutscenes and Animated Feature Films
        1. Technology
        2. Workflow
        3. Conclusion
      4. CHAPTER 6: Building a Rock-Solid Content Pipeline with the COLLADA Conformance Test Suite
        1. Things You Need to Know About the Tests
        2. Getting Started
        3. Integration
        4. Creating and Running the Tests
        5. What to Do When a Test Fails
        6. Troubleshooting
        7. Documentation
        8. References
      5. CHAPTER 7: Rendering COLLADA Assets on Mac OS X with Scene Kit
        1. Integrating Scene Kit with Xcode
        2. The Scene Kit API
        3. Relationship to COLLADA
        4. Conclusion
      6. CHAPTER 8: COLLADA Exporter for Unity Developers in the Unity Asset Store
        1. Introduction
        2. Understanding the COLLADA Exporter for Unity
        3. The COLLADA Exporter in Depth
        4. Conclusion
    11. PART 3: Web Tools
      1. CHAPTER 9: Introduction to Utilizing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to Create Rich Debugging Information
        1. Utilizing Web Technologies
        2. Generating HTML Logs
        3. Improving Log Readability with CSS
        4. Intelligent Reporting and Interactivity with JavaScript
        5. More on JavaScript: Live Reporting with AJAX
        6. Visualizing Data
        7. Other Third-Party JavaScript Libraries
        8. Conclusion
      2. CHAPTER 10: Moving Tools to the Cloud: Control, Configure, Monitor, and View Your Game with WebSocket
        1. Foundation
        2. Examples
        3. Technical Details
        4. Future Work
        5. Conclusion
    12. PART 4: Programming
      1. CHAPTER 11: Programming: Decoupling Game Tool GUIs from Core Editing Operations
        1. Editor Ecosystem
        2. Editor Core C++ API
        3. Plug-ins
        4. Commands
        5. Putting It All Together
        6. Events
        7. Conclusion
      2. CHAPTER 12: Building A Game Prototyping Tool for Android Mobile Devices
        1. Getting Ready for Development
        2. A Game Prototyping Tool
        3. Scope
        4. Purpose
        5. Tools
        6. Code Structure
        7. User Interface Implementation
        8. GPTActivity
        9. GPTJNILib
        10. Scene Editor and Script Editor
        11. Scene Player
        12. Native Script Engine Implementation
        13. Building GPT’s Native Library with Android NDK
        14. GPTScriptEngine
        15. Test Drive
        16. What’s Next
      3. CHAPTER 13: Engineering Domain-Specific Languages for Games
        1. What Are DSLs?
        2. What Does a DSL Look Like?
        3. A Categorization of DSLs
        4. Why Should You Even Care?
        5. How to Use DSLs
        6. Conclusion
    13. Index