For the past year or so I’ve been organically growing my RSS feed collection with a focus towards what other indie game developers have to say. My collection has grown to a pretty good size including game industry veterans and stalwarts to first-time designers and rookies.
There is a lot to read, and many to learn from. Here is a list my favorite writers from my current feed collection and why I regularly follow them (not in any particular order).
- A Shareware Life – Thomas Warfield, developer of “Pretty Good Solitaire” and “Pretty Good MahJongg” is one of those successful super hero indie developers. He’s been at it for a long time and has some very valuable insights on how others can succeed at the independent games business. If you like cats, you’ll enjoy his “Friday CatBlogging”.
- Phil Steinmeyer – Phil recently broke away from his old company, PopTop Software, after having success with games such as Railroad Tycoon and Tropico. He left for the freedom and the green fields of the indie game world. In May, 2005 he started his new company Crayon Games and recently released his first product, the casual game “Bonnie’s Bookstore”. I like Phil’s writing because he brings the experience of working for a successful game studio to the world of indie game development.
- GBGames – Gianfranco Berardi has a comfortable writing style and is not afraid to talk about his failures along with his successes. He’s new to business and the game industry, but he brings a ton of enthusiasm and a surprisingly mature point of view. He has frequent updates with very little of it off topic. GB provides great inspiration for me since he’s struggling through many of the same issues that I am as he tries to make his way into the game industry.
- GameProducer.NET – A recent addition to my feed collection, but has quickly become one of my favorites. Juuso Hietalahti of Polycount Productions shares some great insights into the job of a game producer. But the most interesting stuff comes from his Sales Stats articles from around the indie game industry where he reveals the sales numbers behind recently released games. GameProducer.NET is updated regularly and usually worth the time spent visiting.
- Joe Indie – David Michael, author of The Indie Game Developers Survival Guide and developer of Paintball NET, writes about the business side of indie game development. He has a pragmatic view of the indie game industry and shares some great advice.
- Casual Game Design – William Willing covers, you guessed it, casual game design. There’s some good stuff on William’s site covering all kinds of topics related to getting the best out of your game designs.
- Tales of the Rampant Coyote – Jay Barnson is another game industry veteran turned indie. His site has a good mix of industry commentary and shared wisdom from his experiences.
There are a bunch more that I subscribe to, but these are the ones that consistently have the best signal to noise ratio and that seem to provide information that directly speaks to me.
If you know of any other indie game developers out there that are sharing their experiences and wisdom, I’d love to hear about them.