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. I also write a monthly column, The Games Game, on the website of the International Game Developers Association.
So, wanna learn something or find out something about the game biz? Get comfy and grab your mouse. Let's get started.
FAQ #1. "I have a Great Idea for a game. How do I sell it?"
FAQ #2. Basic Outline For a Game Design Document.
FAQ #3. Preparing For a Career in Game Design.
FAQ #4. Applying For a Job in Game Design.
FAQ #5. Testers -- The Unsung Heroes of Games.
FAQ #6. Trade Shows and Conferences -- Are They Worthwhile? (Note: contains some outdated material)
FAQ #7. Various Jobs In The Game Biz -- Which Are You Suited For?
FAQ #8. Recommended Reading For Aspiring Designers
FAQ #9. Professionalism and Attitude
FAQ #10. All About The Process (How Videogames Are Made)
FAQ #11. "Lesson 1 Redux" - MORE About What To Do With Your Game Idea
FAQ #12. Things You Can Do At Home to Build Your Portfolio
FAQ #13. More Game Design Tips
FAQ #14. The Job of Game Designer
FAQ #15. The Job of Game Programmer by Marc Vaughan
FAQ #16. Developing Independent Games by Noah Decter-Jackson
FAQ #17. More About Testing (The View From Inside Q.A.) by Matthew S Burns
FAQ #18. How I Got My Start: The GAME TIME Watch
FAQ #19. Game Calculator (another blast from the past)
FAQ #20. Board Game Design
FAQ #21. The Submission Process
FAQ #22. Classic Games Q&A
"Catch-23." Quandaries, Contradictions, and Oxymora of the Game Biz.
FAQ #24. Ten Stupid Things Wannabes Do
FAQ #25. How To Choose A College/University
FAQ #26. "How Hard Is It?"
FAQ #27. Barrier-Busting Tips
FAQ #28. A GLOSSARY OF GAME BIZ TERMS
FAQ #29. Starting Your Own Development Company
FAQ #30. "If You Have To Ask..."
FAQ #31. "What If I Have The Ultimate Idea?"
FAQ #32. Writing For Games
FAQ #33. The Korean Game Developers Conference 2003
FAQ #34. A Question of Degree
FAQ #35. More About Submissions
FAQ #36. Learn How to Fish
FAQ #37. A's to Teacher-Assigned Career Project Q's
FAQ #38. Prototyping Card Games
FAQ #39. Legal Stuff
FAQ #40. Passions! vs. Feelings
FAQ #41. Switching Careers
FAQ #42. Producing
FAQ #43. The Idea Man Calleth... Again
FAQ #44. Regular College vs. Game School
FAQ #45. (Deprecated. Don't ask.)
FAQ #46. Conferences Redux (December 2004) (Note: contains some outdated material)
FAQ #47. Words of Wisdom
FAQ #48. So You Want to Work In Japan
FAQ #49. "Is It Enough?"
FAQ #50. "Is It Possible?"
FAQ #51. "Waste Of Time?"
FAQ #52. Two-Choices Questions
FAQ #53. Graphics & Audio
FAQ #54. Networking Tips
FAQ #55. Life In "Perfect Land"
FAQ #56. "How Do I Make My Own Video Game?"
FAQ #57. How To Succeed In The Game Biz
FAQ #58. Legal Stuff Part 2: Contracts in the Game Biz
FAQ #59. Exceptions to the Rules
FAQ #60. The Publishing FAQ; Making A Game Is The Easy Part
FAQ #61. So You Want To Copy Somebody Else's Game
FAQ #62. The Finances of Game Development
FAQ #63. Freelancing
FAQ #64. Stuck In A Non-Game Country
FAQ #65. How To Ask Good Questions To Get Good Answers
FAQ #66. "Is It Worth It?"
FAQ #67. So You're Still In High School And You Want A Job Now
FAQ #68. "Game Time" Watch vs. "Game & Watch"
FAQ #69. Level Design
FAQ #70. How To Make a Decision Grid
FAQ #71. "Am I Screwed? Am I Too Old?"
FAQ #72. "I Dream of Coming to America"
FAQ #73. "Applying Long Distance"
FAQ #74. "Thirtysomething And No Degree"
FAQ #75. "How To Write A Game Bug Report"
FAQ #76. "A Matter of Degree... Masters Degree"
FAQ #77. "Game Schools Trifecta"
Since the IGDA website was relaunched on October 1, 2013 without my column, "The Games Game," I can no longer point people to my old copyrighted columns there. So as needed by questions asked on The Game Design Bulletin Board, I'll re-up those columns as FAQs here.FAQ #76. "A Matter of Degree... A Masters Degree"
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
Got a question about the game biz? Email me and I'll respond on The Game Design Bulletin Board.
Website content ©2000-2011 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission.
Email the webmaster with updates, link requests, and link removal requests. Or to request permission to translate any content on this site.