Top 50 Best Game Design Blogs
Are you interested in game design or just love video games in general? Take a look at these blogs by experienced game designers, gamer reviews and industry news. If you think you’re ready to make the jump into the pool of game designers, check out the last section for career advice and introductory information on the gaming industry.
Game Designer Blogs
1. Applied Game Design – This blogger has been helping design games since 1981, and serves as a professor of game design at the Savannah College of Art and Design. The blogger’s current focus is on social networking-related game design, letting you see the potential of Facebook and Twitter for gaming.
2. Philomath Games – These introspective posts give you a good idea of the outer and inner life of a game designer. From early morning haunts at airport terminals to settling in to a new place to presenting the average game designer’s day, this site has it all.
3. Too Much Imagination – This Ubisoft producer’s blog lets you get a glimpse into the game designer’s mind after the game has been released—for instance, the latest Prince of Persia game, as the blogger reacts to reviews. Another great emphasis on the site is old-fashioned social networking—how to get your chosen gal (or guy) to be your Player 2.
4. Game Musings – This designer focuses on games for the iPhone and Facebook, and uses the blog to keep you up to date on their developments. You can follow him on Twitter, too, so you’re always in the loop.
5. Screen Play – This designer likes to tell you about his own forays into the digital worlds of games like Stalker and Fallout 3. In-between, he talks about the ups and downs of a topsy-turvy industry.
6. Psychochild’s Blog – This blogger likes to tackle game design issues head on, such as how to design with cheaters in mind and how to make the pervasive MMORPG grind a little less…well, grindy. With bite-sized summaries of longer posts and the ability to leave a comment on each one, this site really drags you in.
7. Raph Koster’s Website – This site blends gaming, art, and entertainment into one slick site. You’ll get info on virtual open mic nights, 3D web browsing, and upcoming tech conferences.
8. Designer Notes – This blog primarily features wisdom from Game Designer interviews, and also plays devil’s advocate for controversial game issues (such as why piracy might be more understandable than we think). Lots of humor and a sleek, no-frills website makes this one for your Favorites list.
9. Diary of a Graphics Programmer – Like the name tells you, this blog is all about the graphics. Get perspectives on 3D shapes, more dynamic lighting, and the math behind world-class programming.
10. Zen of Design – This site links you to cool news, and also dissects successful games to give you tips on emulating (no pun intended) their success. In-between, there’s lots of interesting news and views about the world of games.
11. Jools Watsham’s Game Design Blog – In a fun twist, this blog consists entirely of entertaining video entries. Watch as the blogger demonstrates new tech, tries out new games, or just has fun opening the box.
12. Mike Darga’s Game Design Blog – This blog focuses more on the practical end of game design, such as moving on from past mistakes and the benefits of retaining old players versus gaining new ones. The site also does detailed comparisons of one successful game to another, allowing you to see the best aspects of each one.
13. The Game Maker Desert – This site provides links to the author’s unique games, giving you an example of what Game Maker can do.
14. Agile Game Development – This site brings the game design wisdom of a 15-year veteran to your monitor. The info covers just about everything, from coding and publishing to book reviews and conference news.
15. You’d Think With All My Video Game Experience That I’d Be More Prepared for This – The design philosophy on this site is “making software is about making people.” To this end, there’s lots of advice about team management, as well as optimizing the design process.
16. Seriously…don’t play games with me! – Though not updated often, this humorous site is chock full of great pictures and amazing stories about the world of game design.
17. Low Fierce – This God of War veteran offers an amazing video podcast, and the site is chock full of wisdom, such as the perils of having double-damage power-ups. If that doesn’t win you over, the blogger’s love for Street Fighter-related songs just might.
18. Sirlin.net – In addition to news and views on the world of game design, this site offers stories from the blogger’s game design classes. Whether you want the latest in design theory or the ability to master your Zerg rush, this site’s got you covered.
19. ProjectPerko – This page is the straightforward site of an admitted “ivory-tower theorist.” As such, it delves into many theoretical aspects of game design, from what distinguishes units to technological limitations.
20. Matt Makes Blog – The focus on this site is making simple games that maximize fun while offering a minimalist presentation.
21. Tom Sennett is Here – Another wonderfully whimsical blog, this site offers links to its author’s awesome Flash games, as well as theory as to what makes a game truly great.
22. Terra Nova – This is another great site focusing on virtual worlds, such as in MMOs. The blog examines every aspect of virtual worlds, from what it takes to build them to what it takes to keep them alive.
Game Design Industry News
23. Free To Play – This site is designed to give you a thorough view of the game industry—both the good and the bad. From examining why companies failed to industry interviews to thoughts on virtual economies, this site covers it all.
24. Broken Toys – While focusing primarily on game reviews and industry news, this blog sometimes amusingly dips into the territory of game forum drama, complete with color commentary. Of particular note is his dissection of industry news from the recent E3 convention.
25. A Tree Falling in the Forest – This site offers truly in-depth posts about modern gaming and its history, as well as where the future of technology can take us.
26. Gamemaker Blog – This media-heavy site offers links to their own magazine and videos detailing all aspects of game design.
27. Game Matters – Another site that’s only updated every so often, it still provides a thorough, gripping examination of the gaming industry from within.
28. AIGameDev.com – This blog is all about the latest breakthroughs in artificial intelligence within video games. Despite the complicated subject matter, posts are made in a no-frills manner, allowing you to browse with time to spare.
29. GameDev.net – This site serves as a kind of hub to game development news from across the world. It’s easy to catch up with the blogger’s daily updates, which range from late-breaking game news to the latest soundtracks the blogger is digging.
30. Indie Games: The Weblog – This media-heavy site offers reviews of the latest games, as well as videos and editorials about the latest gaming technology.
31. GameDeveloper – The blog for the magazine of the same name, this site offers game reviews, game engine showdowns, and insightful editorials.
Gamer Reviews and News
32. DavidJaffe.biz – Humor is the order of the day on this whimsical gaming blog. In-between scathing game reviews are Disneyland anecdotes, stories about the necessity of chocolate-scented shampoo, and tales of Apple’s incompetence.
33. Only a Game – This blog focuses on narratives—what makes good storytelling in games and movies. The blog gets downright pleasantly philosophical, as it examines the possibility of impressionist games, religion in science fiction, and even the vices of game development.
34. Avant Game – This woman’s unique blog showcases interesting games, such as real-life “chases” for magical rabbits. When you’re done checking out her unique creations, you can even apply to be her assistant.
35. Play This Thing – This site features often-overlooked games that range from refreshing to downright bizarre. Whether you want to try the handicapped dating simulation or the Guantanamo Bay simulation, you’ll find something different.
36. Crispy Gamer – This is the most media-friendly of all these sites, offering videos, screenshots, and a video podcast. Wrapped around this media is a bevy of news, previews, reviews, and editorials.
37. You Got Red On You – This blogger likes to wax nostalgic about the history of gaming, as well as offering quick and dirty reviews of recent movies.
38. Warren Spector’s Blog – Warren tells all about games and game design on his monthly updated blog.
39. Clockwork Gamer – News on game design and games from gamers themselves. This blog is great because of its frequent posts.
40. Lost Garden – This site mixes design philosophy and theory with addictive Flash games. One of the deepest, most information-filled sites on this list.
41. Japanmanship – As you might guess from the name, this blogger writes from the heart of gaming—Japan. He reports on game-related cultural phenomena as well as the latest game news and reviews.
Game Designer Career Advice and Blogs
42. Graphic Designer Career Information – Whatever aspect of gaming graphic design floats your boat, this site will help you find the schools to polish your dream into a career. And if you’ve already got the skills, the site can cut right to helping you land a great job.
43. Make It Big in Games -This site is all about making you and your company shine in the big, bad world of gaming. It has lessons on dividing your company, dialing down your own expectations, and just how much money you can make from Xbox Live Arcade.
44. Gaffer on Games – This site offers often-humorous advice on how to pitch your designs and ideas on the gaming community. After you read his travails, you’ll be ready for anything
45. Design Theory – This 11-year old site gives you the low-down on every aspect of successful RPG design.
46. Adam Saltsman’s Blog – These bite-sized entries have the blogger pontificating about gravity, level generation, the repetition of mistakes, and much more.
47. Fan To Pro – The Blog of Professional Geekery – If you’re on the hunt for a gaming job, this site’s for you. It offers tips on finding and keeping jobs, as well as ways of surviving the industry with your sanity intact.
48. GameDevBlog – This site explores the more overlooked aspects of game design, such as why sports games are more important than you think in your RPG design. The blog also delves into game theory, such as which endings work better, and why.
49. International Game Developers Association – This forum offers advice for you for every stage of the game designer’s career. From finding a good school to finding a great job to the legalities of game design, it’s all here.
50. Teaching Game Design – This site offers many down-to-earth perspectives for both teachers and game designers. Samples of articles include a thorough list of different types of games, and the advantages and disadvantages of designing each one.
If you had time to read through the whole list without stopping for a game break, congratulations! Remember to add these blogs to your RSS feed so you’ll always have them at your fingertips.