Today is Thanksgiving in the United States. It’s a cultural and religious holiday upon which Americans express gratitude for the good things that have happened earlier in the year, and then eat a lot of food.

I’m a professional independent game developer. There are a lot of people who have made this possible, and Thanksgiving seems like a good time to express my gratitude. (Credit for the hashtag goes to Emma Clarkson, who encouraged devs to express #gamedevthanks earlier in November.)

#gamedevthanks for free tools

As an indie game dev, I have a very limited budget for engines and software. I rely heavily on free software and software with reasonably rich-featured free versions available. When people and companies make their tools free, they create opportunities for more indie devs to make more kinds of games, more efficiently and effectively. Thank you to people who make resources for everyone.

#gamedevthanks for free skill improvement resources

As an indie game dev, I also have a limited budget for classes, books, and conferences. I rely primarily on online documentation, tutorials, blogs, and forums to learn about the various tools that I use. Without people writing articles, tutorials, and documentation, without people helping each other out in the various forums I visit, I would spend more time inventing the wheel than rolling it. Thank you to people who help and teach.

#gamedevthanks for game dev communities

As an indie game dev, I deeply appreciate the “we’re all in this together” attitude that I’ve observed in so many game dev communities. I’m lucky enough to have access both to the vibrant Boston game dev scene and many supportive online communities. In all of those communities, I’ve encountered more people than I can count who are joyously enthusiastic about helping others make games, people who are always ready with kind words and helpful suggestions. Thank you to people who support and encourage.

#gamedevthanks for opportunities

As an indie game dev, I’ve had many opportunities cross my path – opportunities for freelance work, for taking free classes, for collaborating with others, for participating in game jams, for giving talks about game dev, and more. I appreciate it every time someone tells me about a new opportunity, not just because of the opportunity itself, but because it tells me that people are looking out for me and care about my success. Thank you to people who act on their caring for others.

Paying it forward

Because of the decisions and actions of other game devs, I have access to tools, skills, communities, and opportunities to help me succeed as an indie game dev.

I will promote the free tools I use, so that other people can benefit from them as I have benefited.

I will share my skills with others by writing tutorials, giving talks, and answering questions, and I will show other people the skillbuilding resources I use.

I will contribute to the communities I am part of, and I will invite other game devs to join those communities.

I will work to make opportunities for other game devs, both by creating more opportunities myself, and by sharing the opportunities I encounter.

I will do my best to make this industry as welcoming and friendly to others as it has been to me.

Thank you all.

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