Developer Resources

A "work in progress" collection of useful videos, books, and software targeted at new game developers.


“Subtractive Design - Simple Game Design” -

  • Matthew Palaje, whom you'll see lower in the list for his fantastic Unreal Engine 4 tutorials, offers an interesting look into a particular game design philosophy known as "Subtractive Design". Games such as Shadow of the Colossus and Refunct (lesser known indie title) are used as examples to show how developers can create more memorable experiences by lessening the amount of fluff between the player and the core of the game.

“Game Maker's Toolkit Series" by Mark Brown -

  • MUST WATCH. I can't say enough good things about Game Maker's Toolkit. Mark Brown's eye for design is something to marvel at. Game Maker's Toolkit covers general video game design. Everything from what makes Mario's jump special to "What makes good AI?". GMT never goes too in depth into an idea or philosophy but nonetheless offers a great base board for jumping into new game design topics.

“Boss Keys Series" by Mark Brown -

  • Mark Brown takes a deep dive into what makes Zelda's dungeons and level design so captivating. Each video generally covers 1 game, but often times references to past videos/games are made.

“The Art of Screenshake” -

  • Jan Willem Nijman, 50% of the Dutch game studio Vlambeer, shows by example how you can make a game feel impactful. A useful lesson on how to properly use bass, explosions, and screen shake.

“Juice it or Lose It” -

  • The predecessor to “The Art of Screenshake”. This talk further explores the idea of adding impact to your game by taking a classic game, Brick Breaker, and spicing it up.

“Indie Game Basics” -

  • Rami Ismail, the other half of Vlambeer, gives a talk entitled “17 useful lessons I learned while running a completely unorganised and chaotic game studio for almost four years already that might or might not be useful to you.”

“How to Make Your Games Just Completely Hilarious” -

  • A crazy and off the wall talk by William Pugh, the writer/designer behind The Stanley Parable and Accounting, about how comedy can influence game design and vice versa. Not an incredibly useful talk but entertaining and thought provoking nonetheless.

“30 Things I Hate About Your Game Pitch” -

  • Brian Upton worked at Sony Santa Monica for several years receiving hundreds of pitches. This talk isn’t just useful for designing a pitch but also for designing your game. Brian helps you sort through the crap and find the core of your game.

“How to Survive in Gamedev for Eleven Years Without a Hit” -

  • A MUST WATCH for anyone serious about game development. Not everyone is going to make millions off of game development. If you plan on going indie this video will help you to find ways in which you can afford to develop games without bankrupting yourself as well as prepare yourself for the reality of the gaming industry.

“Matthew Palaje’s Youtube Channel” -

  • MUST WATCH. It doesn’t matter whether you’re doing art, design, or programming Matthews channel has a video for every part of the development process. Matthew offers extensive Unreal and Unity tutorials.


"Level Design for Games: Creating Compelling Game Experiences" by Phil Co

"Level Design: Concept, Theory, and Practice" by Rudolf Kremers


Asset Forge -

  • Easy low polygon 3D modelling software that exports to most major engines.

Blender -

  • 3D modelling software

Sprytile -

  • An easy to use plugin for Blender. Allows you to create 3D environments quickly by pulling from sprites.

Gimp -

  • Free image editing software.

Unreal Engine -

  • Game engine. Features “Unreal Engine Blueprints”, a visual scripting feature that will allow you to program games with little to no programming knowledge.


  • A wonderful little engine that makes building 8-bit style games a blast. Many great games started as prototypes in Pico-8 (such as the game Celeste).

Unity -

  • Game engine.