Game Development Communities and Events

Making games is an epic challenge that gets easier when you connect and collaborate with others with the same interests and passions. These communities and events focus on bringing together people who love to create games - I highly recommend checking them out even when you're just getting started, they can really help to inspire, answer questions, and support you.

Name Focus Suggestions
One Game A Month A website that encourages game makers to produce a new game each month, with an RPG-like experience and level system for encouragement. This is a great way to focus on creating small games and going all the way through the process.  The most important feature of a game is releasing it, so start with the smallest and easiest game you can imagine then get bolder as you gain confidence.
Global Game Jam Held every January at locations around the world.  This game jam encourages game makers to create a team onsite and create a game on a specific theme in 48 hours. Come with an open mind and be prepared to make new friends and see a lot of incredible creativity. Think about how you can best contribute to a team and start connecting with others as soon as you arrive. Friendships and ideas that are born here can lead to many exciting opportunities in the future!
Ludum Dare A two-part event, the competition is a challenge for individuals to create a game over a weekend on a specific theme. There's a jam also that is more relaxed, allowing teams and any theme. It's at the end of every August and for this one you don't need to take part at a specific location. Participating is a great way to get your game out there for others to see. It's best to make it easy on potential players by making your game playable from a web browser. Even if you don't participate it's awesome to check out the variety of games submitted.
Gamasutra The leading website for game developers of all levels, from students and independents to AAA industry professionals. Includes news, opinion blogs, jobs listing, and a collection of videos from the Game Developers Conference each year. Create an account and start being active in the community by posting comments, just be sure to be polite and considerate. The game industry is open minded and very welcoming provided that you have respect for others. Being involved in your local game dev community is a good way to find help with problems, encouragement, and comaraderie. Meetup has groups of just about every kind, so do a search and see if you can find other game developers in your area. If you search the site and don't find other game developers in your town, consider starting a gropup.
IGDA The International Game Developers Association provides support for game developers across the world. They host events, build communities, connect special interest groups, and provide advocacy and resources. Once you dedicate yourself to being a game creator you should consider joining the IDGA and paying yearly membership dues. Not only are there great benefits but you're also supporting our industry and the people who work to protect it.
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