For a while I wanted to post about my indie dev resources for inspiration/information for anything game dev. Everyone knows mainstreams sites like Gamasutra, so I will not mention these. This post is more about the underdogs and less known resources I came across over the years, and most importantly that keep me motivated in my indie dev hobby!
Black Shell Media: Black Shell Media is a PR company/publisher in the indie game space with an awesome blog page. Content is carefully curated and contains very useful tips for indie devs alike for anything PR, marketing or indie dev in general. New posts are routinely added, so a great place to keep going back to.
Positech Cliff’s Blog: Cliff Harris is an indie veteran with a number of financially successful games under his belt. Although he’s in a very different space (strategy games, he wrote his own engine rather than using Unity/Game Maker) I found his blog posts quite down to earth & interesting. He recently got some backslash for a post warning everyone their game would fail and lose money 🙂
Butterscotch Shenanigans: I first discovered Butterscotch through their blog; content is added very sporadically but the archive holds some great posts. As the studio started they wrote very interesting pieces on indiepocalypse, piracy & freemium. They use Game Maker and the main reason I stick with that platform; it proves great & successful multi-platform games can be created using the engine! More on them below, as they now reach to their fan base through a weekly podcast.
Zack Bell Games: Now, this is an awesome blog for anything Game Maker related. Zack Bell is an indie dev behind the minimalist (but great) game Ink. His blog is full or tips and tricks for Game Maker, this is also the platform he uses. His earlier posts on creating a platformer step by step are must read.
Other worthy mentions: Squeaky Wheel’s blog, a Filipino company that partnered with Positech to publish Political Animals (awesome looking game, which unfortunately didn’t do so well). YoyoGames’ blog, Game Maker focused of course!
GMTK, Game Maker Toolkit: I’m a patron for that one. Mark Brown’s insightful mini-documentaries on anything game design are just fabulous. Professionally edited content and covering design choices, series & game analysis, genre discussions, industry questions. This is an absolute go to resource for inspiration and anything game related. Mark is particularly active on Patreon and regularly post additional content for his patrons. A definite thumbs up for supporting him!
Vlambeer on Game Feel: Vlambeer is quite the public figure in the indie dev world, with numerous conferences & speeches recorded and uploaded to YouTube. Whilst most are informative & insightful, I found this video to be the best by far. It explains how little tweaks (including the use of screen shake) can seriously pimp up gameplay. A must watch!
Diablo PostMortem: Now with the big boys, Blizzard North! A very interesting post-mortem on this iconic game that defined its own genre. Things didn’t go that smooth for Blizzard North during development and very interesting trivia is unveiled in this speech; such as Diablo starting as a turn based stop motion Plasticine game! I found this video particularly interesting as Dungeon Scroller is heavily inspired by Diablo.
Cleggy Games: I used to live in Singapore, so it is very nice to hear a gamer not only focusing specifically on indie games, but also with a cool Singaporean accent! The channel is very informative and covers all things indie games coming up on Steam, most I never heard of until they come up on the channel.
Here is a thing: A mini-series by Eurogamer which covers interesting trivia about mainstream video games. How X-Com was nearly cancelled, Firaxis struggled to polish up the remake etc. All good viewing! Videos are added every two weeks and there are already a few to watch.
Worthy mentions: SnowMan Gaming, Cagey Videos, Razbuten, Errant Signal all regularly publish interesting, professional videos indie games related. I particularly loved Errant Signal’s analysis of Limbo.
Indie Game, the movie: An obvious classic! A cornerstone for the indie game culture, that documentary highlighted to thousands of inspiring devs it was possible for small, creative teams to publish games and succeed in the industry.
Double Fine Adventure: Following the development of Broken Age after its successful KickStarter campaign. The documentary zooms in on Tim Shafter and the struggle to keep a huge project together. This is a huge piece to watch (20 episodes, some an hour long) but shows the in & outs of running a mid-size studio in San Francisco. Really interesting.
Dev Diary, a Crashlands Story: This one follows the Butterscotch Shenanigans crew through making Crashlands over six 22 minutes episodes. I’m a huge BScotch fan and this is a great little documentary which covers the origins of Crashlands, its launch and Sam’s battle against cancer during the development of the game.
Coffee with Butterscotch: My favourite indie-dev podcast! The Coster brothers talk game & studio news (and typically any additional random banter) weekly in a positive, light-hearted way. Earlier episodes were all about the building and release of Crashlands, later episodes follow the studio growth. They also answer listener questions each episode, which is a great way to get some additional insight on their take on the industry.
Bithell Games: This one is hosted by Mike Bithell, focusing on the industry and running his studio. I must admit the tone of this podcast is way more serious podcast than Coffee with Butterscotch, so a less casual listen but pretty informative.
There are other podcasts out there, but most focus on industry news and game reviews rather than game development so I do not tend to regularly listen to them. Worthy mentions: Daft Souls (pretty light-hearted gamer chats) and Visiting the Village (by the guys behind frozen synapse).
That’s all I can think of for now! I realise my indie dev resources list is pretty eclectic, but nether the less useful I hope! I will add more to this and likely will create a dedicated page for this once it is fleshed out and a bit more complete.
Feel free to leave a comment if you know any other interesting resource on the World Wide Web!