Jan 25, 2017

free educational resources for game developers

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The Internet is full of content creators, and everyone wants to attract attention. But, oddly enough, a good training package is not easy to find and free – even more difficult. We publish material transfer, in which the author has collected links to the most authoritative and useful training grounds.

As an entrepreneur I like to look for helpful resources and select those that really deserve time and attention. We all love a long list of references, but often flick through them, add a couple of favorites, and more than ever they are not open.

I act differently: carefully filter lists of resources and stop at one or two that seem to be the most accessible and effective. As for me, the book “The art of game design» (The Art of Game Design) Jesse Schell (Jesse Schell) is much better than a random selection of 50 sites. And one detailed instructional videos from the library Ctrl + Paint is worth a dozen surface Gumroad clips on the site. I prefer quality courses created by reputable authors – less “water” and more specifics. You too? Excellent! Then this article is for you.

To make a list, I rummaged through a bunch of sites and selected the best of them, and in addition free. This is not an exhaustive list, but it should not be that way. In any case, the proposed information you should last a long time!
Some resources may be well known to you. But other developers will see them for the first time. To please everyone, I have listed both popular and lesser-known sites and organized them into categories. It is also worth clarifying that in this article the word “developer” is used in the broadest sense.

Game design

1. Free the Vault section GDC site contains many of the participants of the conference GDC (Game Developers Conference). Here you can get valuable advice on the creation of games from the most experienced and well-known developers. While Gamasutra published mostly text content, GDC Vault focus on videos and presentations. Archive GDC materials can also be found on YouTube-channel. Every week there are fresh performance gaming industry leaders.

2. the Pixel Prospector – an excellent source of resources for creating games. In addition to the resources themselves, conveniently arranged by category, you can find a detailed free guide marketing indie games. In addition, the Pixel Prospector has several minor projects, including Big a List of YouTubers – obzorschikov list of games on YouTube and the languages and favorite genres, and VideoGameJournaliser – a large list of sites dedicated to video games.

3. the Extra Credits – popular YouTube-channel with short videos about the game design theme. In addition, it has a slot guidance and educational lectures on the history, which will soon appear in the Khan Academy. The rollers Extra Credits are always a lot of interesting facts and often presents the latest trends in the game, so it’s a great resource for those who want to keep abreast of the development of the industry.

4. the Three Hundred Mechanics – a very worthwhile site that I suggested to a friend of mine developer. The creator of the site, Sean Howard (Sean Howard), set out to create a 300 game concepts. He gives a detailed description of each idea, algorithms and implementation stages. Mechanics, represented on the site belong to different genres and of themselves quite original. I especially like the section on procedural generation – good content on this subject is not as common. Online partner, the Three Hundred Prototypes , you can download a few games to test HTML5, demonstrating some of these concepts.

5. Donjon – is highly specialized website for the creators of RPG-games. It contains special programs that generate text content and the numerical values in order not to have to do it manually. With their help, you can create caves, shops and other locations with occasional descriptions, character names, chronology system, and so on.. In addition, you can find useful tools for games based on the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing system, as well as fantasy and science fiction universes. Despite the fact that the site is designed primarily for board games, it is certainly useful to the creators of RPG.

The next item will interest fans of platformers.

6. Theory and practice of the implementation of cameras in side-scrollers – the article on the site Gamasutra, dedicated to the design of controllers for a side skrollingovyh platformer. Material is a detailed study of the controllers, and examines ways to implement them. This paper is unique in its kind, and I would love to see more often such publications.

Bonus. The site of the Game the Accessibility Guidelines , as the name implies, is dedicated to the problem of access to video games for people with disabilities. Where you can find a variety of universal recommendations to improve the ergonomics of games to expand the gaming audience. Information is divided into 3 categories depending on the complexity of the implementation and scope of the target audience. More on this topic can be found in my article.


I am a novice developer, so when choosing materials for this category, I turned for help to his more experienced colleague.

7. the Game Programming Patterns – free book on programming patterns within the context of game development. Each chapter describes a separate template and provides a concrete example of its use. This is perhaps the main advantage of the book: it always shows the dignity of a template. The author also points out limitations of various patterns and tells the story of how they have evolved. All examples are written in C ++, but they are short and easy to read. Another advantage of this resource – a column with additional comments of the author, eliminates any gaps that may have been in the original book.

8. Ludum Dare to be called a purely educational resource. Many of you have probably heard about this site several times a year are held here geymdzhemy – competition in fast developing games. For developers, this is an excellent opportunity to practice and gain valuable experience, but free content here. Why we have included this site on our list? It’s simple: open access to the source code and resources for each game, taking part in the competition. For example, based on the work of developers Deepnight can learn haxe-structured code. Each contest presents many original concepts, and you can see how they are implemented.

9. Github Education Pack has a special place in the list, because it is intended for pupils and students. This package contains paid services for developers, which can be obtained free of charge by presenting a valid student ID or email-address on the school domain. Among the proposed resources can be found very useful and costly solutions, such as cloud hosting or private store on GitHib. If you have friends, students or schoolchildren, which it is useful, be sure to share with them a link!

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