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Game Developers' Top Tools And Resources

Newbie game developers are finding invaluable tips and tools on Kongregate, Addicting Games, Flash Game License, Gamasutra and other Web sites.




Forums, blogs, and other resources for fledgling game developers on the Revolution Games Network site.
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Gamedev.net

Containing a wealth of technical information for aspiring game developers, GameDev.net was founded in 1999 to act as an online community for game developers of all levels. International in scope, GameDev.net currently boasts more than 350,000 developers from around the world, and features news, feature articles, forums, job boards, and other resources for developers to build and interact with a community of like-minded individuals.

Berardi finds it especially useful for its technical resources. "The advice given in the forums is just excellent," he said. "You can get just about any question answered by experienced developers who are very generous with their time and expertise."

Kongregate

Widely considered one of the best places for aspiring gamers to hang out, Kongregate has been called the YouTube of the online game world. It brings together game players and game developers at a site featuring thousands of free games, as well as a broad range of community-building features such as forums, feedback, user-rating mechanisms, profile pages, and private messaging capabilities. Developers upload their games to the site, and Kongregate shares advertising revenue with them while allowing them to retain 100% ownership of their intellectual property.

"What really distinguishes us from other sites is our community," said Jim Greer, CEO of Kongregate. As the fourth-biggest Web games site in the world, Kongregate currently has more than 3,000 developers who have contributed 8,500 games -- a number that is growing at the rate of 850 new games per month. "If you have an exciting game, our members will recognize it, and reward you," said Greer.

Unlike other game sites, which offer developers a one-time licensing fee -- usually quite low -- Kongregate provides developers with the opportunity to get their games in front of a large audience and get valuable feedback in the form of user ratings and comments. At the same time, they share in advertising revenue for the site. "We help them build audiences through establishing achievement milestones and scores for users, which gets the users rather obsessively involved in trying new games by new developers," said Greer.

Revolution Games Network

A combination of self-publishing gaming portal and social networking community for developers and gamers, Revolution Games Network is currently in beta test, and is building an interactive community for first-time developers to develop, share, market, and distribute their games.

Owned by digital rights management firm ECD Systems, and based upon EDC's FairShare DRM technology, Revolution Games Network provides subscription-based services for developers that allow them to create a revenue-sharing business model encompassing sales, advertising, merchandising, and distribution.

"Because this is also a social network, you get a lot of people hanging out, and you can recruit them into helping you fine tune your game," said David Macias, executive producer of Revolution Games Network.