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Welcome to Sloperama's Game Biz Advice page


Tom Sloper, from the Japanese manga "Kindai Majan" (2007年10月1日 issue, in the comic strip "愉快な人々," by artist 有元美保)


Welcome to the GAME BIZ ADVICE zone of Sloperama.com.

My intent here is to help game biz aspirants learn what it takes to get in and move up in the game business. I write occasional articles to answer Frequently Asked Questions ("FAQs") about designing and making games - computer games, video games, even board games.

Please read the articles below before you ask me a question. And note my privacy policy: "All your email are belong to me." If you email me looking for free game design advice or free game career advice, your email and my reply will be posted on the Game Design Bulletin Board for everyone to see. That also applies to PMs on sites other than my own. I do not give FREE and PRIVATE game design advice or game career advice. Do NOT send me any original game concepts if you don't want to (A) pay me or (B) see them posted publicly.

So, wanna learn something or find out something about the game biz? Get comfy and grab your mouse. Let's get started.


"I have a Great Idea for a game. How do I make big bucks off it?"
Basic Outline For a Game Design Document.
Preparing For a Career in Game Design.
Applying For a Job in Game Design.
Testers -- The Unsung Heroes of Games.
Trade Shows and Conferences -- Are They Worthwhile? 
(2001; contains some outdated material)
Various Jobs In The Game Biz -- Which Are You Suited For?
Recommended Books For Aspiring Designers
Professionalism and Attitude
All About The Process (How Videogames Are Made)
"FAQ 1 Redux" - MORE About What To Do With Your Game Idea
Things You Can Do At Home to Build Your Portfolio
More Game Design Tips
The Job of Game Designer
The Job of Game Programmer by Marc Vaughan
Developing Independent Games by Noah Decter-Jackson
More About Testing (The View From Inside Q.A.) by Matthew S Burns
How I Got My Start: The GAME TIME Watch  
Game Calculator (another blast from the past)  
Board Game Design  
The Submission Process
Classic Games Q&A
"Catch-23." Quandaries, Contradictions, and Oxymora of the Game Biz.
Ten Stupid Things Wannabes Do
(Stupid Wannabe Tricks)
How To Choose A College/University
"How Hard Is It?"
Barrier-Busting Tips
A GLOSSARY OF GAME BIZ TERMS
Starting Your Own Development Company
"If You Have To Ask..."
"What If I Have The Ultimate Idea?"
Writing For Games
The Korean Game Developers Conference 2003
A Question of Degree
More About Submissions
Learn How to Fish
A's to Teacher-Assigned Career Project Q's
Prototyping Card Games
Legal Stuff
Passions! ... vs. Feelings
Switching Careers
Producing
The Idea Man Calleth
Regular College vs. Game School
(Deprecated. Don't ask.)
Conferences Redux
(2004; contains some outdated material)
Words of Wisdom
So You Want to Work In Japan
"Is It Enough?"
"Is It Possible?"
"Waste Of Time?"
Two-Choices Questions
Graphics & Audio
Networking Tips
Life In "Perfect Land"
"How Do I Make My Own Video Game?"
How To Succeed In The Game Biz
Legal Stuff Part 2: Contracts in the Game Biz
Exceptions to the Rules
The Publishing FAQ; Making A Game Is The Easy Part
So You Want To Copy Somebody Else's Game
The Finances of Game Development
Freelancing
Stuck In A Non-Game Country
How To Ask Good Questions To Get Good Answers
"Is It Worth It?"
So You're Still In High School And You Want A Job Now
"Game Time" Watch vs. "Game & Watch"
Level Design
How To Make a Decision Grid
"Am I Screwed? Am I Too Old?"
"I Dream of Coming to America"
"Applying Long Distance"
"Thirtysomething And No Degree"
"How To Write A Game Bug Report"
"A Matter of Degree... Masters Degree"
(TGG)*
"Game Schools Trifecta"
(TGG)*
"The Language of Game Design"
(TGG)*
"Everybody Wants to Design"
(TGG)*
"Developing In a Vacuum"
(TGG)*
"Gushers Not Wanted" (Cover Letters)
(TGG)*
"Budding Community Manager?"
(TGG)*
"The Experience Experience"
(TGG)*
"Location, Location, Location"
(TGG)*
"Playing the Upgrade-to-Designer Game"
(TGG)*
"Student Projects In My Portfolio"
(TGG)*
"Résumé Filters"
(TGG)*
"Does [Company] Size Matter?"
(TGG)*

* Since the IGDA website was relaunched on October 1, 2013, my column, "The Games Game," was moved to archived legacy pages, not linked to from the new IGDA site. Some of the internal links are broken. So, as needed by questions asked on The Game Design Bulletin Board or other forums, I am re-upping those columns as FAQs here on an as-needed basis.
Some, but not all, of the columns are still available at http://legacy.igda.org/games-game-archives. No guarantee that the columns will remain available there.


Log of FAQ updates, changes, corrections, etc..

The Game Design Bulletin Board Ask questions, you'll get straight answers. On the bulletin board. In this online format only. Please don't ask for special treatment, like phone answers, or emailing the FAQs to you... Tom is programmed to be helpful in this online format only.

Links to lots of essential sites about game design and the games industry.

How To Search For Any Kind of Information On the Internet (from our Mah-Jongg Zone; concepts apply equally to any kind of info search).

Who the heck is this Tom Sloper guy anyway? I mean, you know, what games did he ever design or produce? (For the answer, CLICK HERE.)

Read my 2008 article "Am I In The Wrong Degree Program?" on GameDev.net.

I spoke at E For All's Game Career Seminar in the summer of 2007. The talk was entitled "Switching It Up: Changing Career Paths" and you can download the slides at http://www.gamecareerseminar.com/. If you can't find them there, let me know and I'll tell you where you can find them here on Sloperama.

Game Design Perspectives and Secrets of the Game Business tell inside secrets of the game industry, written by game industry professionals like me (I wrote two chapters in each book). See Lesson 8 or http://www.cengage.com.

How To Sell Your Video Game Idea (a "Reader's Digest" version of some of our most popular lessons).

"Classic" Videogames - My CGE speech about how the classic Vectrex game SPIKE was designed.

Our Lesson 2 has been translated into Italian. Click here to go to Game Programming Italia!

Some of our Lessons have been translated into Korean at Gamedesignerz.net, a Korean-language site about game design. There was an interview with me there somewhere (conducted in April 2001 while I was in Tokyo). I happen to have the English version.

Webmasters: want to translate the lessons for your non-English site? Email the webmaster to request permission.

Some pictures I took in Japan. I've been there only seventeen times... (^_^) [Number 17 was to participate in the 2002 World Championship in Mah-Jongg.]

Some pictures I took in Hong Kong when I went to the Toys & Games Fair 2002.

Pictures of Seoul, South Korea, from when I went to speak at the 2003 Korean Game Developers Conference.

More pictures of Seoul, South Korea, from when I went to speak the following year at the 2004 Korea Games Conference.

Pictures of Beijing, from when I went to participate in the 2003 China Majiang Open Championship.

Pictures of Seoul (KGC and G*Star 2006) and of Tianjin (China Majiang Championship 2006).

Pictures of Mumbai, 2009

If you appreciate the free information on this site, your donation would be gratefully accepted, and would help keep this site running as a free service.
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Got a question about the game biz? Email me and I'll respond on The Game Design Bulletin Board.

PRIVACY POLICY: If you are not a relative, friend, student in my class, or journalist, and if you are not doing or intending to do business with me: "all your email are belong to me." I give free advice and answers, but I do it in public forums only. If you email me or IM me or PM me to ask for free advice or answers, you implicitly relinquish your right of privacy as regards to that communication. This policy is stated in numerous places on this website.


Website content ©2000-2011 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission.

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