Many times we come across the fact that young game designers cannot find much-needed information on how to get into the gaming industry or what literature should they read in order to learn about game producing or where to start their career. And even when the initial knowledge is obtained, more specific questions arise in the minds of beginners. Simple questions like “where to find like-minded people for creating a game”, “how to promote the project on a budget” or “how to improve game retention” bother game designers all over the world.
In this article, we want to present you a selection of sources, which are directly related to the design and development of games. First of all, this list will be useful for those who are just starting their game design path and those who are only thinking about choosing it as a profession. But, perhaps, professionals will also find something interesting for them too. So, let’s begin.
This is probably the most useful website, which can be recommended to future game designers. Tom Sloper is a game designer with a lot of experience. He describes all gaming spheres very detailed while answering questions from the readers.
The design of the website itself might shock the modern IT people with its structure and frames. But remember that the information here is very valuable and, most importantly, completely free. In his posts, Tom covers so many aspects that you can easily spend days reading it. He talks about ways of selling the idea, how to write a game design document, the workflow and the stages of creating games, how to prepare summaries and even how to legally protect the project. Beginners will find out how to prepare for a career in game design, how to choose an educational institution and how to find opportunities for career growth. In addition, Tom offers links to useful books and articles, which are related to the game design in one way or another.
GameDev is one of the largest communities dedicated to game design. Here you can literally find anything that is related to the creation of games: tutorials, advice, blogs, reviews, answers to different questions, modeling and drawing lessons, technical details and nuances of programming languages and even job opportunities. As we said – everything!
Gamasutra is another highly popular website among game designers and developers. The website publishes fresh news of the gaming industry, analytical articles, reviews and even job opportunities for game developers. Here you will also find exclusive interviews with game designers and players, which often catch the attention of game journalism authority. Gamasutra offers digital versions of the specialized game design magazines, such as Game Developer or GameCareerGuide.
The website itself was founded in 1997 and now owned by Think Services. Gamasutra is positioned as an online sister portal of the print magazine Game Developer.
GameCareerGuide is related to Gamasutra and belongs to the same company. The content on both sites is similar, but GameCareerGuide is more student-oriented. Here you will find a description of specialized schools, academies and colleges, which you can enter to become a game designer. In addition, on this website, you can download free games, created by students from various schools.
Devmaster is a website with a fairly large community focused primarily on those who work with computer graphics. Here you will find content related to shader programming, rendering and lighting. In addition, there is a forum, where you may most likely get an answer to any question about game developing. Another advantage of this source is its database, where any game developer can find descriptions and links to game engines, 3D software, books and gaming companies.
Extra Credits is storage of short (up to 5 minutes) animated video clips presented by the game designer James Portnow and his team of animators and artists Daniel Floyd, Allison Theus, Elisa “LeeLee” Scaldaferri, Scott DeWitt, and Dan Jones. The series discusses various aspects of game design from video games to wold history. The main goal of the Extra Credits is “to make education as engaging as watching a movie or playing a game”. Nowadays the weekly video lesson series consists of 14 seasons, more than 300 episodes and in 2017 has hit the mark of over 1 million YouTube subscribers. I addition, website authors have a podcast and write articles about game design.
The website belongs to Paul Sottosanti, who is a game designer with 15+ years of experience in the industry. Paul managed to work for Wizards of the Coast, EA and Riot Games and now shares the intricacies of the profession in the articles of his blog. Unfortunately, beginners might not find this source much interesting. A Series of Interesting Choices is more focuses on designers with solid experience due to the fact that Paul Sottosanti does not really explain the basics.
Designer Notes is a game design journal written by Soren Johnson, who was a co-designer of Civilization 3. In his posts, Soren talks about pros and cons of a game designer profession, analyzes games and from time to time puts up interesting articles. In addition on the website, you can find podcasts and videos related to game design.
“3 Minute Game Design” is a video blog about game design. As you might have guessed from the title, videos are very short (up to 3 minutes each). But despite this fact, the blog author manages to intelligibly and intelligently explain all the necessary information. This source can be very useful, especially for those who are just starting to learn about game design.
10. Critical Gaming
The blog author, Richard Terrell is an indie game designer and video game consultant. In over 655 articles you will find essays, interviews, design theory and indie gaming projects. Richard also analyzes the principles of game design using well-known titles as an example. All the content is divided into sections: blog, glossary, design courses and podcasts. One of the sections called “Game design 101” is dedicated to explaining game design basics. Future game designers may read about game mechanics, interplay, variation and more. In addition, Richard Terrell describes the critical theories, which he has developed over the years.