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  • 38 Essential Resources For Game Developers

    [11.21.17]
    - Jasmine Greene
  •  As game developers - we're always striving to improve our craft whether by finding online tutorials or videos. However, it can be difficult to wade through the large amount of information and tutorials. Whether you're just getting started or want to improve your skills in an area - we've gathered some of the best resources we could find for the many different areas of game development.

    GAME DESIGN

    Extra Credits - Insightful look at games throughout history and why they do or don't work

    GDC Vault - Excellent library of videos from various GDC panels about game design and development. They have a free and paid section.

    Game Design Dojo - While they haven't released a podcast since 2016 - their backlog offers some excellent insights and is hosted by two game industry veterans.

    Lost Garden - Although the author doesn't update often, there are tons of great articles on how to improve core gameplay and even some free art assets!

    PROGRAMMING

    Udemy - If you've got a little extra scratch, check out some classed in Udemy. Almost every month they have a $15 sale on some of the most popular courses so you can quickly learn how to create a game in Unity, HTML5 and more for a relatively low cost.

    Learn Unity - What better place to learn how to use an engine than from the creators of the engine itself? Unity offers plenty of tutorials both standalone and as part of a series where you will actually complete a full game.

    Game Programming Patterns - This free book shows you some common patterns you'll often use when programming a game complete with pictures and sample code.

    Game Code School - You can pick and choose some lessons or take a full course to take you from beginner to intermediate coder here. Even better, you can learn different engines like Unreal, Game Maker and more. While you won't be able to download the sample projects for some of the tutorials, the site does provide you with some written explanation and the final code.

    Envato Tuts+ - Here you'll find a variety of tutorials ranging from programming to art to game design. It updates at least once a week and there's a pretty hefty back log of tutorials. With that said, some of the older ones might not be useful, especially for engines, so be aware of new coding conventions if you choose to use something like Unity or GameMaker.

    Lazy Foo's Tutorials - When getting started with programming you want to learn the best practices and mentality of coding. That way you can easily transfer this to other languages like C#, Java, etc. Lazy Foo's Tutorials has been around for years, but it's still a great starting point for those who want to start good habits.

    Free Code Camp - While it mostly focuses on web development, if you plan on making web games or HTML5 games, then this is definitely the place for some excellent free tutorials. You can even learn about Git and GitHub.

    GAME ART

    2D Game Art for Programmers - Not an artist, but don't have the time/money to find one? No worries! This site teaches you how to make attractive and simple vector art for your game. The author does a great job providing step-by-step guides and occasionally provides the actual files for you to use. Best of all, he uses free programs like Gimp and Inkscape so you can easily follow along.

    Opengameart - If you need some assets quickly (maybe for a game jam or just for prototyping), then this is the best place to go. While the quality of the artwork varies, you can definitely find some that will blow you away. Before using it in a commercial game, make sure to check the licensing and, for good measure, contact the creator if you have any questions on usage.

    Kenney - I can't say enough good things about Kenney. Not only does he provide top-quality assets, he also provides the majority of them for FREE! Kenney also has developed a program - Asset Forge - where you can easily create your own 3D or 2D sprites.

    Spine - If you want to create your own 2D animations - this is the program to use. It focuses on 2D skeletal animation so you can quickly and easily create all of the animations you need.

    Blender - If you're looking to make 3D models and don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on another program then Blender is definitely the go-to program since it's free! There's definitely a learning curve here, so make sure to check out some tutorials and find some sample projects before you get started.

    DragonBones - Similar to Spine, DragonBones allows you to create skeletal 2D animations. However, it's FREE to use, which is even better, and supports both Mac and Windows.

    Krita - A free opens source painting program. The program initially started as a GIMP plugin, but eventually evolved to a fully functioning program. It's easy to use, intuitive and offers a great support community.

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