Game Developer Resources

Game Developer Resources


Getting Started

Chess One FAQ (frequently annoying question) – “How do I make a game?”. In general, if you have to ask something so vague, you probably shouldn’t even try it. It’s like asking “How do I cook?” or “How do I play the violin?” You have to do the research, learn the tools, and gain experience.

First, familiarize yourself with the industry. It’s not hard to get a free subscription to Game Developer Magazine (if you don’t mind the constant renewal notices and ending up in the CMP email database – I’ve been trying to get off those lists for years).

Gamasutra, magazine’s sister site features industry news, product reviews and articles on game production and programming. GameDaily has more emphasis on the business side of gaming. And there’s growing interest in so-called serious games for social impact and change. Hopelab designs games for children with chronic illnesses. You can’t get more serious than Darfur is Dying.

Sloperama has tips for getting started. Professional advice is available from the Independent Game Developers Association and Game Audio Network Guild.

There are many sites that have articles and tutorials on game programming such as Dev Master and Flipcode is no longer active but maintains an archive of past articles. Platform-specific game programming sites include Java Gaming, OpenGL Game Development, iDevGames (Mac game development).

For AI, check out AI Depot, AI Gamedev, GameAI, Boids, and AI Junkie.

The Inspiracy offers 400 game design rules. Raph Koster muses on MMO game design.

Many developers maintain informative sits and blogs – some are listed on Fugu Talk.

The game industry is full of adolescent behavior and questionable business practices. Try to be one of the good guys. Technicat supports Get Well Gamers.

Credits and Competition

Award To see who worked on what game, check out MobyGames, the IMDB of the game industry. Game Rankings collects game reviews and tallies the scores.

Once you have something running, you can try breaking into the market by entering competitions such as the Independent Game Festival


A Day at the Fair Everyone knows about the Electronic Entertainment Exposition, the extravaganza showcasing new games for the industry and for retailers. E3 is supposedly reserved for industry members, but any existing or aspiring developer can attend the Game Developer Conference, the premier gathering for game developers. (If you don’t want to pony up for the whole conference, you can still attend the relatively inexpensive expo to see state of the art tools and check out the recruiting area.)

If you can make your way over to Japan, I highly recommend the Tokyo Game Show, similar to E3 but catering to the Japanese market and open to the general public.

For “big” games, see the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions and Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference


Alien Autopsy Nowadays, there are more opportunities to study game development in college, including full-time programs at Digipen, Full Sail, and Guild Hall (a department of Southern Methodist University).

Defense-oriented game research is performed at places such as the Institute for Creative Technologies, the MOVES Institute, and the Naval Postgraduate School.

Some individual researchers have web sites, e.g. David Luebke on level-of-detail, portals, etc. and David Baraff on physically-based modelling.


Shark Jim Charne and Stephen Rubin offer advice on the finer (and brutal) points of game development contracts.

Acquaint yourself with the history of game industry lawsuits, famous game patents, and discussion of game patents. You can search (and register) trademarks and patents registered at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Canadian Trademarks, and domain name policies at ICANN.


Eye in the Sky But even if you’re not ready to go back to school, you can still study. A decade ago, you could count the number of game development books on one hand. These days you can find several shelves dedicated to game development at your local bookstore from publishers such as WordWare, New Riders, Premier Press, and Charles River, which issues the Game Gems and AI Wisdom series.

Books that focus on implementation of 3D game engines include Real-Time Rendering and David Eberly’s books, accompanied by the Wild Magic engine.

For game design, my favorite is enjoy Richard Rouse’s Game Design: Theory and Practice for its succinct enumeration of game design principles and interviews with legendary game designers. Chris Crawford‘s books on game design and narrative are also worth reading. Erik Bethke’s Game Development and Production is the best practical guide to running a game development project and company.

Some of the most valuable texts you can find are not geared specifically toward games. Two “approach” books: Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach and Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach. Game development is one area where C++ is still firmly entrenched, so read Scott Meyers‘ “Effective C++” books. Noel Lopis‘ book is titled specifically for games, but is really applicable for any C++ project.


World Wide Web See Graphics Resources for a list of 3D content creation tools and asset sites.

FreeSound supplies sound samples under a Creative Commons license. Musopen provides public-domain performances of public-domain works. Kevin MacLeod offers royalty-free recordings of original works.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: