The popularity of video games has exploded in the past two decades, going from the pastime of a few, to a culture for many, to a multi-billion dollar global business industry that continues to grow at an astounding pace. Gamers are everywhere – West Virginia, South Dakota, North Carolina – so no matter where you live, you can access a variety of game design blogs. It’s an exciting time for video game connoisseurs and creators.
For our list of the Top 40 Video Game Design Blogs of 2011 we chose what we thought were the most interesting and useful blogs written by professional video game designers, programmers, developers, artists and industry insiders. Only blogs active in 2011 were considered for inclusion. For those interested in becoming involved in the process of designing and developing video games, or just want to learn more about it, we believe this list offers a great place to start.
A Series of Interesting Choices – A professional game designer with corporate experience blogs about video game design, board games, social games and going indie.
Applied Game Design – From a veteran game designer, writer, artist, and developer with a book on breaking into the gaming industry.
Brainy Gamer – Michael Abbot’s blog and podcast is dedicated to fostering intelligent conversation about video games.
Broken Toys – Professional game designer Scott Jennings writes mainly about massive multiplayer games and design.
Click Nothing – From a former Ubisoft game designer and script writer turned creative director for LucasArts.
David Jaffe.biz – David Jaffe is co-founder, game director and designer for Eat Sleep Play, which has been making games since 1993.
Designer Notes – Professional video game designer and columnist Soren Johnson offers a look inside the game design process and more.
Doolwind’s Game Coding Blog – Independent video game designer Alistair Doulin offers his pragmatic thoughts on game development.
Fine Game Design – A veteran game designer and game design teacher offers thoughts about game design and links to useful design-related sites around the web.
Forgotten Lore – A former Navy Cryptologic Officer turned indie game designer writes about designing strategy games.
Game of Design – Dan Kline is an AI game programmer and designer who writes about AI, game design, the business of games and other industry related topics.
GameDevBlog – Long time professional game developer Jamie Fristrom blogs about game design, marketing, storytelling, programming and other stuff.
Games from Within – An independent game developer focused on “creating original, non-violent entertainment involving creativity and sharing” blogs about game design, especially for the iPhone.
Game Tycoon – Game designer and entrepreneur David Edery writes about the business side of making video games.
Impossible Changing Brain Foundation – One of Australia’s leading game developers blogs about the business and politics of the game design industry.
Inside Voice – The Lead Game Designer at Robot Entertainment offers up his own cynical commentary on the business of video games.
Intelligent Artifice – A 20 year game industry veteran with experience in design, production, programming and management and quality assurance writes about games and other forms of interactive entertainment.
Jon Jones – A veteran art producer and outsourcing manager for the video game industry shares his thoughts and advice on art, outsourcing, the game industry, and personal development.
Joris Dormans – A Dutch designer, lecturer and scholar of gaming theory and game design offers essays, game reviews, book reviews, and peeks at some of his latest design projects.
Lost Garden – The Chief Creative Officer at Spry Fox offers essays on game design theory, art and the design business from his 15 years of designing experience.
Pentadact – Tom Francis is a game designer and writer for PC Gamer in the UK who blogs about game programming and design, as well as music, movies and a number of other things.
pixelpaton – An experienced Flash game developer writes about the process of making games and offers resources for game developers, along with photography, art, sketches and news.
Planet Romero – A near legendary game designer and artist with Doom and Quake on his resume blogs about game development, design, programming, the history of games and more.
Raph Koster’s Blog – Koster is the lead designer for a team that focuses on building online worlds and writes about a variety of topics, but mainly game design.
Reality Panic – The former executive director of the International Game Developers Association and current game industry consultant Jason Della Rocca blogs about games, the economics of games, and his travels.
Scott Foe’s Web Log – A consultant for mobile and social gaming start-ups and one of the most respected designers in the mobile/social arena offers occasional reflections on his career and the industry.
Screen Play – Musings on the games industry, development, production, game design, narrative design, and storytelling from a Canadian who has spent 12 years in the business.
Sirlin – A video, board and card game designer and consultant blogs about game design and other game related topics.
Snook’s Blog – A game industry veteran and Lead Software Engineer for Microsoft Game Studios writes mainly about design and coding.
Teaching Game Design – A programmer, game designer and teacher writes on the intersection of game design, instructional design and teaching.
The Bottom Feeder – Veteran game designer, author, and founder of Spiderweb Software Jeff Vogel blogs about indie game design.
The Plush Apocalypse – An independent game designer and AI programmer writes about design, the business of video games, and how games can transform our view of the world.
Tim Stellmach – A video game industry veteran with 19 years of experience as a game designer, creative lead, and other roles keeps a rolling journal about his designing adventures.
Trip’s OMG Blog – Video game industry pioneer Trip Hawkins, CEO of Digital Chocolate, a social game development company, and founder of Electronic Arts, blogs about all things games.
We Make Holes in Teeth – Patrick Redding, a game director at Ubisoft, writes about game design, among other things.
Witchboy – The blog of Harvey Smith, a longtime game designer, creative director at Arkane Studios, and MFA student.
Words on Play – A game design and programming teacher at the University of NSW in Australia writes about the intersection of stories and games.