Game Design Web Sites
Table of Contents
- The complete Wargames Handbook at http://www.hyw.com/Books/WargamesHandbook/Contents.htm
- This one came up last term when I was doing a project on the history of
computer games and book marked it as something that might be useful for the
thesis. The author seems to be a die-hard historical gamer who's been sucked
into the computer world. It's a great site from a design perspective (i.e.
what makes a game play well). It's very thorough and goes from an assumption
of the reader knowing nothing up to some worthwhile ideas. It doesn't even try
to touch on technical issues.
- MARK GALLEAR'S GAME DESIGN PAGE at http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Arena/8461/index.html
- Describes itself well as:
This guide attempts to give insights into what makes a great
computer game. It is not about programming games but concerns itself with
design issues. It includes sections on the development of different game
genres. This looks at how seminal games in each genre have added to it or
taken it in a new direction. Design issues such as using real-time or
turn-based systems are examined in depth. Examples include a comparison of
Steel Panthers and Command & Conquer. Even if you are just interested in
playing games, you will hopefully find it interesting and give you some idea
of what to look for in a great game.
- Adventure Game Toolkit (AGT) (by David Malmberg and Mark J. Welch)
(Generic Adventure Game System, GAGS) at http://www.markwelch.com/agt.htm
- I came across this product many years ago in casual browsing, then found
it again recently while doing research. Their package assists with the
creation of text-based, adventure games with limited graphic and sound
support. If my project eventually takes on the dimensions I hope and it is
something I can pass on for others to salvage ideas and code from, their model
might be a valuable example of one approach to doing this.
- Game Architecture Design at http://people.ne.mediaone.net/melkior/gameprog/gadroot.htm
- Steve Crocker thinks as I do about imposing the value of a framework and
designing well thought out, easily re-used or updated code. Contains two
excellent documents one on architecture and another on design. All code,
mainly examples, is in C++. Also has a good collection of links to game design
sites (so my collection of links to game design sites has a link to his
collection -- this is getting out of control! If I can get him to link to mine
we can view into infinity ;-). Page seems to be part of his homepage as a
whole and you can look at his poetry, prose and recordings if you're so
inclined (I wasn't)
- Converting Boardgames for the Computer at http://www.gamesdomain.com/gdr.cgi?depart/dec98/bgmp.html
- An article taken from Games Domain Review that focuses on the conversion
of board games to computer from a VERY high level.
- The Game AI Page: Building Artificial Intelligence into Games at http://www.gameai.com/
- A brilliant site put together by someone who is really fascinated by AI
and the many ways it can be applied to games. Gives a rundown on the AI
strategies currently in use by commercial games, some of the theories that
could be adapted to games and small freeware/shareware games that demonstrate
AI concepts well (like genetic algorithms). Has a very earthy, personal tone
to it that may or may not be your cup of tea (about the same as mine, so if my
comments are annoying you, you might not love his site).
- Project Armageddon - Next Generation RTS ... for free! at http://projecta.simplenet.com/
- A real-time strategy game (ala Starcraft) that has been in development
since 1996. Has a very pleasing web page and seems to promise quite a game,
but very little is currently available. I thought this might be another
example of how to put together a web-based product with many different
members. The fact that their past members list is three times the size of
their current members and the fact that the game has been in production for 4
years makes me lean towards thinking this might not be the best way to do it.
If I might be so presumptuous as to suggest that they are trying to follow a
cathedral approach with a medium/team that desperately wants a bazaar (see The Cathedral and
the Bazaar for the original paper and additional documentation).
- RPGMaker.net at http://www.rpgmaker.net/
- Formerly RPG Warehouse (or they assimilarted it or something).
Big collection of downloads, tutorials and design suggestions for making
your own RPGs. Also has tile sets which I'm especially interested in.
- Pure Delusion Web Site at http://www.puredelusion.clubnet-uk.com/index.html
- A new site beginning development. The 18 year old who started it seems to
be recording what he's learned, so it would be a great starting points for
- Designing Games: rec.games.design FAQ at http://www.cs.queensu.ca/~dalamb/Games/design/design.html
- Maintained by my supervisor (breath on nails, polish on shirt) who took it
over from Travis Casey.
- GameCoding UK at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/paul.gerfen/new_page_2.htm
- "The purpose of this site is to gather together everything you will need on one site to write top selling games. I hope this site will meet the needs of tomorrows programmers, whether your a complete beginner or an advanced coder, there's something for everyone. "
Pretty ambitious purpose, I don't think he quite pulls it off, but that's just my 2 cents.
Really neat menus (for what it's worth).
- Back to the Table
- 42 - The Answer to you programming questions at http://www.steinke.net/42/index.html
- Self-described as ``a collection of tutorials and articles on various
aspects of game development. Most of this site covers 2d algorithms,
especially tile based techniques.'' Also provides information about enemy AI,
game design, graphic effects, fast sprites as well as some of the authors own
programs (at least two of which are distributed with source code). The nine
articles provided seem to be a good introduction to how games can be
programmed using tiles, with one giving an overview as how this is implemented
in classic NES game Zelda. A section on design tips give good, solid
common-sense advice on how to avoid designing ``features'' sure to irritate
long-time gamers. Because of the tight focus of the articles and tutorials,
you might not find what you're looking for (if tiles aren't your bag baby).
This is probably the whole point and I'm missing it. ;-)
- The "Influence Mapping" Thread (Summary) from comp.ai.games at http://www.gameai.com/influ.thread.html
- A collection of messages posted to comp.ai.games that seems to be a very
reasonable approach to evaluating which force ``controls'' what area of the
battlefield and from this allow the ai to make some tactical decisions. It is
of particular interest to me, as it seems like something that would be easily
implemented on my tile-based battlefield and might make the ai a bit more
playable. Like any collection of message from a newsgroup, the quality of post
varies, but from a first skim this looks to have a high signal-to-noise ratio.
- Welcome to Gamedev.net, Game Dictionary, and Demo News at http://www.gamedev.net/
- A potpourri of game design goodies, this is a frequently referred to site
in the game design newsgroups that delivers with more solid technical articles
and forums than I have seen elsewhere. Describes its own content as ``theory,
design, art, music, physics, graphics, OpenGL, news, Source Code, AI, Sound,
Assembly, Discussion Forums, and more!'' Nice design with a slightly chaotic
feel to it.
- generation5.org at http://www.generation5.org
- Claims to be at ``the forefront of Artificial Intelligence''. Seems to
have some essays on general AI principles that I hope will be useful when I
get seriously into developing the AI component of the game. Interview section
looks like it might be interesting to browse through. Site is difficult to
navigate as a whole.
- The Ishpeckian Network at http://come.to/ishpeck/
- Has a programming section with collections of resources for general game
programming, Basic, C/C++, Java and code.
- Josh's Programming Page - Links at http://members.tripod.com/~sakajmh/links.htm
- Collection of links for programming tutorials in C++ and game
- Amit's Game Programming Information at http://www-cs-students.stanford.edu/~amitp/gameprog.html
- Great site for ideas on implementing issues that come up often in games
(e.g. shortest path).
- An optimal pathfinder for vehicles in real-world digital terrain
maps at http://www.student.nada.kth.se/~f93-maj/pathfinder/index.html
- A paper on finding the shortest path.
- A* Demonstraton at http://www.ccg.leeds.ac.uk/james/aStar/
- Information and demo for the A* path finding algorithm.
- Allegro - a game programming library at http://www.talula.demon.co.uk/allegro/
- Allegro is a library of functions for use in computer games, written for
the djgpp compiler in a mixture of C and assembly language
- Java Games Developement Center at http://www.electricfunstuff.com/jgdc/
- This was a hard one to categorize. There's definitely some design meat on
this site, but their vision seems to be first and foremost providing code,
tutorials and more technical assistance, with design following from that.
Regardless, if you're into java game development, this is the centre for you
(ergo the name!).
- java programming source code and tutorial resource at Gamelan.com
- ``Gamelan's primary mission is to serve as a central registry and
directory of Java resources,'' says the site also claiming ``Most serious Java
developers visit our site every day to keep up with breaking developments and
new techniques.'' I've definitely seen it referred to in the newsgroups, but
I'm not 100% convinced that they are the centre of the caffeinated universe
they claim to be -- Maybe I'm just cynical though.
- Cplusplus.8m.com - C++ and OpenGL programming at http://cplusplus.8m.com/
- Seems useful if you're programming in C/C++ and need tutorials or code
mining. Quite a bit of advertising which is a turn-off (All-Advantage strikes
again!). The rush of pop ups actually crashed my browser last time I visited.
- VB Tutorial Main Page at http://markbutler.8m.com/vb-tutorial.htm
- Takes a programmer with minimal Visual Basic knowledge and walks them
through the creation of a tile based RPG ala Zelda, Might & Magic or
- Games Programming at http://www.cbel.com/Games_Programming/
- A whole bunch of links for people who want information hard and fast.
Seems to have a 3D-shooter bias.
- Reliable software at http://www.relisoft.com
- Technical collection (C/C++ tutorials, etc) with bias towards games and open-source.
- Back to the Table
- FEED: Dialog on the Frontiers of Game Design at http://www.feedmag.com/vgs/q2t1.html
- Came to my attention on a web page where the author had linked to it
because he had been interviewed. It has a wide variety of articles on all
sorts of issues that are current for game designers. It's an interesting read
that gives you a bit of insight into the industry. Obviously it isn't going to
help you develop a better game.
- Gamasutra - The Art & Science of Making Games at http://www.gamasutra.com/
- After seeing frequent references to this site in many of the newsgroups I
was quite anxious to finally get to see this Mecca. It's a site very focused
on all professionals working in the gaming industry and combines news,
articles, job searches, making connections, message forums, contests and
surveys. Very slick and professional layout with some areas off-limit until
you become a member (free). Seems more focused on broader topics, so if theirs
something specific you need to know, you might be better off looking
elsewhere, but if you want to while away some time reading, this is the place
- developium at http://www.developium.com/
- A smaller version of Gamasutra or GameDev.net this promises to eventually
link together designers, provide articles, forums, news and a thriving
community. Still in the early stages of growth.
- Games-JOBS.com - games recruitment jobs in USA, UK, Europe. at http://www.games-jobs.com/
- Pretty self-descriptive title. Maybe this doesn't belong under media
- GIG -- Get In the Game! at http://www.gignews.com/
- Another gaming industry site with job sites, article by and for gaming
professionals and lots of fun info.
- Makegames.com: launch your career in computer game development at
- This wasn't advertised in a post, but I grabbed it from Diana (the woman
behind the whole show I think)'s signature. The site looks -- kind of -- well,
ugly. But I never judge a website by its graphics -- nope, not me -- never --
ever. Regardless, this is the first site I've seen 100% devoted to careers in
gaming, so worth looking at just for that. Diana is also wickedly funny.
- Game Developer's Newsletter at http://www.thegdn.homestead.com/
- Their mission statement is ``The Game Developer's Newsletter is produced
for you, the developer: to inspire, to encourage, to share in the knowledge
and passion of creating computer games.'' It brings a tear to my eye. Its
links are unimplemented, maybe the back issues have more info. Seems to have
good conference info.
- flipCode - Game Development News & Resources at http://www.flipcode.com/
- Name says it all; this is another site with `` gaming/multimedia news and
information site with an emphasis on development''. ``Also has daily news
links to the latest happenings in the industry, interviews, tutorials,
documents, (and) features''.
- Perlin Noise at http://freespace.virgin.net/hugo.elias/models/m_perlin.htm
- Useful for randomly generating maps. The basic idea is using combinations
of frequencies to get random distributions. Interesting.
- Back to the Table
- GDT: Game Development Thingy - Online Game Development Projects at
- This is a site that links together people who want to work on programming
a computer game. Part of their philosophy is that its open source game
development for anyone, so it looks like a good location to find code or
possibly distribute my code later on. Has pop up banners that are quite
- Linux Games - Even Penguins Like To Have Fun at http://www.linuxgames.com/
- I assume that if they're programmed for Linux at least SOME will have
bought into the open source concept.
- Grant's Home Page at http://skyscraper.fortunecity.com/apple/230/
- Has Gomokuse (your guess is as good as mine, and I played it!), Checkers
and Othello executables (dos/win) along with source code. Grant Castillou
presents them as an introduction to board game programming. These games are
the limit to his site. His request to be sent ``a few bucks'' leaves a bit of
a sour taste.
- ANTIMETA at http://www.antimeta.com/
- Collection of projects Marc Lepage is working on. Minions is a RTS he is
playing with. Also has YAGE, which is a dead project, envisioned to be an
engine for Java turn based wargames. This promises to have some worthwhile
- Link's house O games at http://www.interlog.com/~mikemaz/games/home.html
- Contains a collection of applet games. I actually couldn't get them to
load, but maybe I was just having a bad day.
- BURKS 4 Online at http://burks.brighton.ac.uk/
- Claims to be a useful resource for computer science students with tutorial
and reference material along with hundreds of megs of software (including some
source code). Can also be ordered on CD instead of downloading.
- Game Creation Resources at http://www.ambrosine.com/resource.html
- A bunch of software packages to help non-programmers create games. Some
source code if you look hard.
- Open Directory - Computers: Programming: Games at http://dmoz.org/Computers/Programming/Games/
- A yahoo-esque collection of links. Apparently human editors look over each
site. Geez, who'd do nothing but post a collection of links!?!?! <wink>
- Game Developer Magazine at http://www.gdmag.com/
- The website for a paper (non-e) magazine. Contains a source code section. I met
the editor-in-chief (and got his business card to prove it!) at LinuxWorld, which was
one of the high points along with peaking shyly at the Loki team from behind the
- Roguelike News - Main at http://www.skoardy.demon.co.uk/rlnews/index.html
- Site with dungeon generation algorithms for Rogue, Nethack, and games of
- CodeBrain.com - Free Java at http://www.codebrain.com/index.html
- Focus of the site seems to be to suck you into viewing their banners, but
has a wide variety of code from which you might be able to dig up some
- CodeUniverse.com - Source Code Archive at http://www.codeuniverse.com/
- This is code pure and simple; if you're looking for foreplay first you'll
have to look elsewhere. The first thing that greets you on opening it up is a
list of code posted with the language specified in front. You can comment on
code you grab, submit your own code or look just at specific languages.
- Freeciv - Open source project at http://www.freeciv.org/
- Some people say that the best way to become a master programer is to read
quality code. I've heard positive reviews of both the code and design followed
by this mature product. If you're interested in doing a management sim this
would be an excellent springboard. GPL licensed.
- Nethack - Open source project at http://www.nethack.org/
- Another mature product for people who treat code like a good novel. Might
be worth looking through. I got somewhat negative vibes from the community
working on it, they seemed a bit bitter about something, but maybe that's just
me being sensitive. GPL licensed.
- Back to the Table
Character Pack #1 - Visual Basic Explorer at http://www.vbexplorer.com/charpack1.asp
A collection of portraits and tiles by artist Hermann Hillmann that you are
free to incorporate into any non-commercial game. I'd love to use the tiles in
Free Textures at http://www.bladestextures.com/free_textures.htm
Another collection of tiles and patterns. Also has tutorials on modifying
images which could be handy for re-sizing, changing colours, etc.
http://sua.virtualave.net/ at http://sua.virtualave.net/
Shareware United Association. Apparently has a good collection of sprites
you can download. Don't know if there are any pixies available though --
Blade's Textures and Tiles at http://www.bladestextures.com/
You can buy collections of textures and tiles on CD from this guy. Some
demos available for free on his site.
Back to the Table
- KuesterLaw Technology Law Resource - Patent Copyright Trademark at
- Gives the basics of intellectual property so you can make sure the
creators of your ``inspiration'' don't sue you.
- GamesBasic.Com - The (free!) art of games creation..High Speed!! at
- A gaming-specific programming language that uses modular basic.
- 3D Rad at http://www.3drad.com/index.htm
- The Rapid 3D Application Development System – Interactive 3d worlds and 3d
- Dark Basic Software at http://www.darkbasic.com/home.html
- This is another gaming-specific programming language. This one seemed to
generate a fair bit of attention in the newsgroups.
- COMMAND DECISION MODELING: at http://www-leav.army.mil/nsc/warsim/reason/assess/section2/section2.htm
- From the military, this is a very serious thorough outline of some
heavy-duty wargame AI techniques. Very dense. You have been warned.
- Automatic World Builder at http://www.best.com/~jendave/builder/world/index.html
- I wasn't able to access this page (he's on some server that limits him to
500 hits a day or something -- don't ask me -- ) but it was described in a
newsgroup posting that this lets you run a simulation similar to a game of
civilization that produces a world with history, cultures and traditions.
Seems like an interesting concept and I'd like to check it out (maybe I'll try
at midnight ;-).
- Xtreme Games LLC Web Site at http://www.xgames3d.com/
- Helps amateur game designers sell their product for a 50/50 split. Neat
site layout and also has some technical resources and industry news (not the
focus of the site though).
- Back to the Table
Please feel free to e-mail me if you
find any dead links or have suggested additions.
Please feel welcome to visit the game I'm currently working on at http://qlink.queensu.ca/~4jc24/cisc499.