If you're serious about the game business, there are some organizations you should join right away and some web sites you should be checking regularly. Here is your To Do list:
1. Join the International Game Developers Association. They provide tons of free information on the electronic game industry through their web site and email newsletter and sponsor all kinds of events including The Computer Game Developers Conference which has grown into the "must attend" event of the year. To join, click here.
2. Join Gamasutra. Again, it's another gold mine of information on the electronic game industry and membership is free. In particular, Gamasutra will help you know about the jobs that are currently out there. To join, click here.
Look, membership in the above groups is free, people. Don't put off joining these organizations another minute. Join now!
3. One web site you should be checking is that of Game Developer magazine, the official mouthpiece of the IGDA that is "on the front line of game innovation." Subscriptions aren't cheap at $50 per year, but it's the professional magazine of the trade and their web site has lots of information you can use for free. The new professional magazine on the block is gameSTATE, and you might want to check out their web site as well.
4. For news and reviews about the latest electronic game, you'll want to check GameSpot and GameSpy.
5. If you have any interest in the analog (paper) game industry, it's professional organization is The Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA). Since its a volunteer-run organization, there's only so much that they do, but the GAMA Trade Show is "the event" of the year in that industry and GAMA is worth knowing about if you ever want to publish a game in the analog game industry.
6. A good source for news about the analog game industry is GamingReport.com. Checking there will keep you abreast of what is happening.
Report: Orange County Video Game Companies Thrive by Ned Madden
This report takes you into the electronic game business here in Orange County, California, and let's you know who makes what kinds of products with a dash of history thrown in. You'll want to know this before you go pounding the pavement looking for a job out here.
New Company: Ready at Dawn Studios has been formed locally in the Tustin area. They're not on the above article listing, so here is a separate link to their web site.
Article: Breaking into the Game Business by Alan Emrich
Article: How to Get Started in the Game Industry, Part 1 by Earnest Adams
Article: How to Get Started in the Game Industry, Part 2 by Earnest Adams
Article: Getting a Job in the Game Development Industry by Kenn Hoekstra
This article is full of useful links, in addition to some good general information.
Q: Where can I find sales numbers and other market statistics?
A: You can check out any of the following sites for market stats and sales reports, etc.
Q: How much can you earn in the game industry? What is the average salary of people making games?
A: Game Developer magazine puts out an annual salary survey. The surveys are hosted at the Gamasutra website:
Q: Where can I read about industry news?
A: A few good industry news site are:
Q: Iím a student interested in game development. Where can I find help and information?
A: Best place to start is at the Academic/Students Relations page . From there, you'll find info regarding scholarships, schools with game related curriculum, articles on how to get a job or internships and other valuable resources. Also, be sure to check out our special "Breaking In" site!
Q: Where can I find a list of schools offering game development courses?
A: We have a list of schools in the Breaking In section of our web site, along with other valuable information for students interested in game development. Additionally, Gamasutra lists schools in their Education Section.
Q: I want to get a job in game development. How do I get started?
A: Start at the newbies links page, there are a ton of articles on landing a job, making games and starting your own studio. Also, dive into the discussion forums for further advice. Also, be sure to check out our special "Breaking In" site!
Am I missing something?
If you know of a link that should be on this page, one that will help new recruits learn their way around the trenches of the game industry, click here to send me an email telling me about it. Thanks!