Over the years I have read a LOT of material having to do with the creation of games and/or game design, and here are the books that I think I have benefited the most from reading or wished that I read/watched when I was starting out. Hopefully for any budding designers looking for a good start will find one there. At the end I also have a list of sites that I frequent that have something to do with the game industry in some fashion. Without further to do, enjoy!


General Game Industry:

GamasutraPretty good general news having to do with game dev. Lots of interesting articles if you’re willing to search around.

Effective Marketing in the Game Industry – A must read if you’re trying to get into the industry, I found the GDC articles particularly interesting.

An Indie Game Developer’s Marketing Checklist – For those of you making the jump to indie or thinking about how to get your game out there, this is some great advice!

Game Design Fundamentals:

General Level Design

MapCore Professional Level Designers like to post their stuff here that isn’t under an NDA, nice to look at from time to time.

How to Reverse Engineer Level Design and Game Environment Art – For my environment artist/level designer friends, World of Level Design has posted an awesome tutorial with how to reverse engineer the sample levels provided in game engines. I know seeing other people’s work is a really good learning tool, so if you’re still learning UDK I’d suggest checking it out!

Unreal Engine 3/UDK:

Hourence’sSome of the tutorials are dated, but  it is what I used when I was first starting out in Unreal. Also has job postings for possible design jobs.

WoLD Series of 3 tutorials that really helped me a lot in learning the efficient way to building an area out, definitely worth checking out.

Creating a Side-Scrolling GameWhen you’re ready to jump into doing something a little more in depth with UDK this is a good place to start

Flash /AS3:


Infinite AmmoGood introduction to Unity and what it can be used for. Series of 3 videos.

uScript – If you’re familiar with how to use Kismet, you will probably fall in love with uScript as it basically recreates it inside of Unity. I’ve used it in some of my projects and it really speeds up my Unity development time.


Networking / Professional Development:

Effective Marketing in the Game Industry – A must read if you’re trying to get into the industry, I found the GDC articles particularly interesting.

Advice for the Entry-Level Artist – Now I am in no way that great of an artist. My good friend Bryanna Lindsey however is, and wrote this with advice on getting a job in that field. Still worth reading as a designer because a lot of things overlap.

I’ve Heard Great Things About You – Building a Personal Brand

Slide Design for Developers – Once I discovered this I’ve been following the suggestions for slide design. I’m even using the font he suggested for the headers on this site, go figure.

Other Recommended Books:

Non-Industry Game News


Fellow Designers

“John Doran is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.”