Worthwhile Online Resources For Game Devs
One of my biggest, current set backs in regards to being an independent developer is that I have done very little networking with other people in the industry. It really hasn’t been easy for me to do, for in fact; I have never actually met another person that does this sort of thing. I’ve lived in the Midwest my whole life and have only taken residence in small towns, so I’ve only been able to connect to the industry via email or other digital chatter and even then I tend not to use this medium very often as I don’t want to be viewed as bothersome.
What do I do instead? Well first of all, I clearly need to get better at networking. My poor networking skills are no one’s fault but my own and I need to be more active in the many available communities and I need to eventually muster up the cash to attend something such as the GDC or FGS (although I should probably start making money before I do that). So in the mean time I’ve found several online resources and dev blogs that have (for me) been incredibly useful and I want to share them.
I started following the Lost Garden blog about 2 years ago and there hasn’t been an article that has failed to hold my interest all the way down to the last line. This is a blog written by Spry Fox’s Daniel Cook, and he seems like a pretty awesome dude. His essays are well written, thought provoking and are based off of his personal experiences in the indie game industry. Lately, his essays have been focused rather closely to his Spry Fox happenings, but everything there is solid – I highly recommend following this blog if you don’t already.
If you ever feel like you’re out of the loop or simply in too small of a loop, then this site is a great resource. If you’ve ever heard of Gamasutra.com (also a great resource), this is the indie version of that. Updated daily, you have easy access to news and projects from very talented indie developers from many different communities (not just Flash). I've found a lot of great interviews with some of my favorite devs from this site as well as some really amazing games that I probably wouldn't have discoverd otherwise.
Iain Lobb’s Blog
He doesn’t write as much as he used to (darn), but there are some really interesting articles in that blog. I was really excited to see his Gamepad project, which is an awesome tool for accurate arrow key (or WASD) movement – which I’ve seen way too many developers screw up. He also has some really good practices for building Flash projects, like his entity approach. He used to have a cool game example in .fla form (Wizardry, I think) but I can’t find it *sadness*.
Other Notable Sites
- TIG Source – A big community of indie game devs and players, I should visit this site more often.
- Andy Moore's Blog - He's done a very interesting and inspiring postmortem on his game Steambirds.
- MJW's AS3 Tutorial - A good starting point to the question, "How do I make Flash games?".
- Mochiland - Mochi Media awards and interviews Flash developers that create games for their portal.
- Super Friendship Club - A small forum created specifically for indie game developers.
What Am I Missing?
I bet you $1,000,000 dollars that there are some other great resources out there that I didn't include (probably because I don't know about them). If you have anything to add to this list please send me an email using the contact form below - 68% of the reason I wrote this article was to find more of these worthwhile resources so help me out!