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LINKS: Top 10 General Gaming Sites

As a break from the normal site links page where you're left with a list of 200 links and brief descriptions (if your lucky) I wanted to try something different. Instead of that long list I'm going to have 10 links, and only 10 links. The following 10 links will be your gateway to the best game programming websites around, most of them will be in C/C++ but that rarely matters - the huge amounts of techniques and articles and the often crammed message boards make them well worth the effort. Link number 1 is the best, link number 10, whilst at the bottom is by no means the worst - of the 100's of sites out there, being in the select 10 can only be a good thing!

If you think you've found a site that challenges any of the sites on this list then let me know - email me with the address of this amazing site, a brief description of whats on the site, and most importantly why you think it should be in the top 10. I will then go and have a good look at the site and decide if it's worthy of knocking any of the existing sites off the list - if it is, the list will be shuffled around to make room for the new site. Simple as that. Oh, by the way, my decision is final.

(1) GAMEDEV.NET - www.GameDev.Net is probably one of the largest websites in the game development world, the message boards are usually extremely active - because of this you are almost always going to get an answer to a good question. The site also has loads of excellently written articles, and a reasonable through-flow of new articles. To top if all off there is plenty of the latest news from the industry and communities.

(2) Gamasutra - www.Gamasutra.Com
This excellent site is about the science and art behind game programming and design, most of the articles here are theoretical and generic (ie, not biased towards one API or OS) but thats a good thing - the articles on this site often cover the exciting new techniques and ideas that will become common place in games of the future. There is also an active message board, an online exchange forum (Swap libraries, models, textures, music, sounds etc..) and links to some of the bigger industrial names.

(3) NeXe DirectX Tutorials - NeXe.GameDev.Net
At time of writing this is a fairly small site - but growing quickly, the site has a very nice design and its easy to find what your looking for; if you're good with C/C++ then this is an excellent site to start learning DirectX8 from, it is also an excellent starting point for veteran VB-DirectX programmers looking to use C/C++ for their projects...

(4) GameAI.Com -
Pretty much every single game developed now requires some form of artifical intelligence, and commercial games are increasingly being judged by the quality of the computer opponents. With that in mind you're gonna be needing some AI in your game! Enter this site - pretty much everything you'll ever need to get started (and finished) with AI. Well worth a visit.

(5) Flip Code -
Flip code is another site along the lines of GameDev.Net and Gamasutra, the site has an active message board and a reasonably active tutorial/article content, worth a look if you have time.

(6) Amits game programming site -
Amits site is an excellent starting point for some of the more complicated aspects of game programming - there is a good section on isometric games, as well as plenty on path finding for games. A must visit for anyone serious about game development.

(7) Microsoft DirectX Developer center -
This is where DirectX came from, whilst you tend to get the most useful information from 3rd party websites there will always be times when you need a no-strings attached definate answer to a query; included in this part of microsofts site is an online copy of the DirectX SDK's help file - should you not have your own copy, as well as this there are several articles about new DirectX features. Note that you'll be very lucky to find any mention of DirectX 7 on this site - Since the release of DirectX 8 all thats been on this site has been related to DirectX 8

(8) nVidia Developers homepage -
You wouldn't really expect nVidia (the 3D card giant) to have a particularly great gaming section, but whilst this area of their site is entirely graphics (3D usually) related the content that can be found will often be very useful. Home to demonstrations of the cleverer and more complex features of OpenGL and DirectX.

(9) NeHe OpenGL homepage - NeHe.GameDev.Net
Probably one of the best online resources of OpenGL programming - with a massive collection of tutorials and articles. Whilst OpenGL isn't always the most stable in VB, a lot can be learnt from the techniques and tutorials on display here, many of OpenGLs features are also available in DirectX8.

(10) VTerrain.Org -
First Person Shooters are no longer the cutting edge - as far as I see it. I get the feeling of "Been there, done that" when the annual release of Quake, Half-Life or Unreal comes around. However, terrain generation, and terrain rendering is most definately the new cutting edge, and this site is almost all you'll ever need as far as background reading goes. Whilst possesing no tutorials of it's own, it rounds up and summarises all of the best content on the web - helping you get straight to where you want to be. Excellent stuff.

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