Now that the major parts of my degree are over and done with it is time to step things up a notch on here!
Let’s start things off with a list of awesome game design, game design theory and smart game journalism websites that every would be game designer needs to check and use regularly.
These are some of the sites I use regularly and if you have any more suggestions please feel free to mention them in a comment or note on this post or by dropping them in my Ask Box. I’ll have a look at them and then add them to the list. The plan is that I’ll repost the list every couple of months with new additions and updates.
So let’s begin!
The Game Design Tag on Tumblr
Our quite little corner of Tumblr is slowly growing and every day I am impressed by the ideas and quality of work on display. From people showcasing their work, to people posting links and production images from games both old and new. The game design tag is always an interesting place to check out. Hats off to you guys! Seriously, I mean it.
A website my tutor shared with us all. It may not be updated regularly but when updates do come they are usually really good. Pitch documents, presentations and game design documents from some of the industry’s most well known games and franchises. Go check it out and loose a day or two reading all the documents and presentations!
Game Development StackExchange
It may mainly be a haven for games programmers and the more technically minded among us but game designers need to have at least a passing knowledge of programming and how it works to get by. Just spend an hour or so every week exploring the StackExchange and you’ll be surprised how much you’ll pick up.
The Psychology of Video Games
Not a website I check regularly but when I do they always have some interesting articles on how games and certain game systems effect the player and their engagement with a game. It will give you some major food for thought both on mechanics and the morals of them and game systems in general. Well worth checking out.
This is one that everyone should have bookmarked already. The key here though is not just to check out the Design section. Explore the whole site; Programming, Art, Audio, Production and Biz/Marketing all impact on game design. Keeping up your knowledge of these areas even on a basic level is a must.
The Brainy Gamer
Michael Abbott’s blog is always a good place to go for higher level discussion and discourse about the games we play. Some great recommendations on books to read and other places to visit. It is also now home to The Smart Game Catalogue which you need to check out.
It may be a big news site but The Escapist’s contributors constantly throw out interesting points of discussion. If you just go their to check out the videos you are missing out on loads of interesting articles and content relating to game analysis.
If you live outside of the USA like I do the Game Informer website is a godsend. In the past year or so they have started putting up more and more content from and related to the monthly magazine. (WHY NO INTERNATIONAL SUBSCRIPTIONS?!) The area of the site that has the greatest interest is the Monthly HUB pages that tie in with the big focus, Cover Stories, of the latest issue. These are more than just slowly teased out previews. There is always a lot of content related to the game’s production and design process. Game Informer is also home to this wonderful piece of inspiration by Ken Levine from 2010.
The online arm of the UK’s game industry focused magazine. Lots of content from the magazine, lots of links and news articles that are actually relavent and lots and lots of job listings!
I cannot stress the growing importance of Penny Arcade as a hub for all things gaming enough. The team that run the various elements of the business know what they are doing and do it extremely well. It is not just because you have video series like Checkpoint and ExtraCredits finding their home on PATV. Or the brilliant webcomic that started it all. You also have things like the slowly growing PA Report which is quickly becoming my new favourite gaming news and discussion site.
So that’s it from me, for now. So do you guys have any suggestions that I can add to the list?