Along with Gamasutra of course, I frequent a bunch of different game design/dev blogs and websites looking for inspiration, tips, and techniques I can implement in my own projects. I recently stumbled into reddit's game design and development sub's and found some interesting stuff.
These are three threads I found particularly interesting/helpful. If you have any others you'd think would be helpful, let me know.
1. The Reward Of Game Development
Hidden in Plain Sight is a local-multiplayer stealth party game designed by Adam Spragg. This unique indie game has players try to eliminate each other while blending into groups of non-playable characters in order to sneak up on each other.
This thread is not about the game but of an e-mail the developer received from a fan. The e-mail was from a teenager who has a sister, and the two apparently have trouble getting along. But while playing Hidden in Plain Sight, the two found themselves laughing together and enjoying each other's company for the first time in a while.
The developer is of course touched by the message for reminding him that he designs games for people, not just customers. If there's one thing that's rewarding about making games, it's knowing that your projects can have a positive impact on other people's lives.
For those interested, you can check out HIdden in Plain Sight on Steam by clicking here.
2. “Ask Me Anything” With Former Course Director at Full Sail and Game Developer
This AMA thread was done by an ex-course director who worked at Full Sail University for 27 years, was involved in one of NASA’s game development programs, and has authored a book on game design. Full Sail’s Game School offers students a number of 4-year and graduate programs in Game Design, Game art, Mobile Development, and more.
Aspiring game developers who want to study at a university but haven’t decided which one yet should definitely read this thread. You’ll find plenty of interesting pieces of advice concerning what to watch out for when picking a program, advice on what to do after college, and his answer to criticisms directed at Full Sail.
Perhaps the most valuable advice he gives when asked how developers look at game-specific degrees when compared to traditional degrees from other colleges. His priceless answer was as follows:
"At the end of the day, I think the key to an entry level game position is being able to demonstrate a game and detail in specifics what “you” did to make that happen. When demonstrating a game that you built, focus on the “we” part when talking about team dynamics. Focus on the “I” part when trying to use your demo to show that you are competent."
3. The Importance Of Networking And Conferences
This thread is a brief story of how a programmer named Allen Chou saw his life-long dream of working at Naughty Dog become a reality. What's remarkable about his story is that he was hired by the famed Uncharted and The Last of Us developer almost immediately after graduating from college.
More than just an inspirational story, this thread serves to convey the importance of networking and attending events like Game Developers Conference. The fact is, a lot of people currently working in the best game development studios are only there because of a friend or someone they met. As Allen details in his story, he would have never found himself at Naughty Dog had it not been for one conversation with a recruiter at GDC 2013.
If you're still in college or already a professional game developer, do yourself a favor and start getting your name (and face) out there. It will help you stand out from the legion of resumes and applications that the best game companies receive on a daily basis.