We tend to post a lot of resources on our Facebook group. Below is a collection of the best resources that deserve to be shared again and again. If you know of any useful resources that should be added to this list, post about it on our mailing list or on Facebook.
The following software programs are all free to download and use. Each provides its own set of useful tools for aspiring game developers, as well as rapid prototyping functionality for testing games.
LOVE2dFor users more familiar with Python-like languages, LÖVE is a perfect program for 2D game development, with simple, intuitive game programming in Lua. The engine is very well-documented, and offers great low-level control while still allowing for easy rapid prototyping.
Safari Books OnlineThe university has a subscription with Safari Books Online, which is an enormous digital library of technical e-books. This library is an absolute dream come true for any serious game developer. While the site specializes in programming and engineering, it also features books on a wide variety of other topics, such as game design, graphic design, web development, business, management, etc. The are multiple ways to access the site:
- By being physically on campus and connected the university's WiFi.
- By visiting this link, which allows you to connect to the site from almost anywhere in the world via the University Library's EZ Proxy system.
- By setting up a VPN with the campus, which is useful if you've bookmarked a ton of books before finding out about the EZ Proxy link.
The University LibrariesEvery time you do a search on the library website, it searches through every single digital library that the library has access to, including Safari Books Online. If you're looking to see whether or not you can get free access to a specific book, it's usually best to start your search on the library website. It's also important to remember that the library has multiple locations, with each one specializing on certain fields. The Science and Engineering Library, for example, has a small game development section on its 5th floor, right next to all of their computer science books.
DreamSpark (MSDN Academic Alliance)Microsoft gives away free software to students through the DreamSpark program (which was formerly known as the MSDN Academic Alliance program, or MSDNAA). Computer science students can get access to this software by visiting msdnaa.cs.arizona.edu, and there are more instructions on how to set up your account on the CS website.
Which Classes?Fellow UofA students Jesse Gunsch and Chas Leichner created whichclasses.com in order to make sense out of the university's course evaluation data. The website is an invaluable tool for finding the best courses and the best teachers so that you can make the most of your time here at the university.
CSC 335 - Object Oriented ProgrammingIf you're a computer science student, you should definitely plan your schedule so that you can take CSC 335: Object Oriented Programming as soon as possible. This class will teach you how to manage large projects, how to work well on a team of programmers, and how to do many advanced things using the Java programming language. In other words, this class is super useful for game developers.
Local Game Studios
Game studios located in Tucson, Arizona:
Riverman Media is a small independent games studio run by two brothers, Jacob and Paul Stevens. Their company is focused on staying completely independent and self-funded, and they also insist on keeping their team size as small as possible, which means they're not interested in hiring employees or interns. Jacob Stevens has given talks at our club meetings, and he's published multiple articles, such as this one which describes the values that guide his company's structure.
Kihon Games is an ambitious independent games studio started mostly by former employees of Sony Online Entertainment. They specialize in iOS games, and they're always hiring and looking for interns. Their CEO Mark Grossnickle has given talks at our club, and one of our members, Taylor Paul, has been interning with them for the past several months.
Blogs started by members of the GameDev Club:
Zuoming's Quirky CafeAt Zuoming's Quirky Cafe, Zuoming Shi writes about several topics including game design, music, animation, and more!
Dragon Wranglers Dev BlogDragon Wranglers Dev Blog follows the development of an ongoing student project started by Logan Stevenson. It's a mobile game about raising dragons in the Wild West, and this blog is a rare opportunity to follow one of our projects while it's being developed.
Livio's Gaming BlogLivio's Gaming Blog is maintained by Livio De La Cruz. He tends to write long, analytical essays about game design and development, presumably because he has a lot to say about these things.
AbouTAbouT was started by Taylor Paul. At the time of this writing, the blog has fallen out of activity, but he's managed to post a nice collection of great resources and links to some really inspiring content.
Justin Van Horne's BlogJustin Van Horne is more involved with the local ACM chapter than he is with the GameDev Club, but if you're a programmer who's considering starting a new blog, this is a good example of what a programmer's blog might look like.
Sites to Follow
Extra CreditsExtra Credits is a web show that tries to bridge the gap between game developers and game fans with respect to the kinds of conversations that they're having about games. Not only do they frequently make thought-provoking videos that encourage you to look at games from a new perspective, but they're also a great resource for students who wish to eventually work in the games industry. Below are just some of their many must-watch episodes:
- So you want to be a Game Designer
- So you want to be a Producer
- So you want to be a Developer (Part 1)
- So you want to be a Developer (Part 2)
- So you want to be an Indie
- On Game Schools
- How to Start your Game Narrative
- Community Management
- Fail Faster - A Mantra for Creative Thinkers