118 Things to Know About Running a Game Development Company 4 #8 If your landlord wants you to personally guarantee the lease, ask if he'll take a letter of credit from your publisher instead. #9 There are tools out there to help you build your prototype. Some, like virtools, cost $5K to $10k; others can be found free or under GPL on the Web. #10 Two excellent resources: www.gamasutra.com and www.igda.org. Game-specific legal tips can be found in the famous last words column at idga.org and at www.gamelawyer.com. Take a look at www.gdconf.com, which always has interesting speeches from the previous Game Developer's Conference. Biz Dev, Inc. has a great series called Publishers Speak that asks major figures in publishing everything you want to know but couldn't get within 10 feet to ask. Check it out at www.bizdev-inc.com under "Publications." Figure 1.3. The IGDA is dedicated to helping independent game developers.They've got a great Website at www.igda.org. #11 Starting on smaller platforms like GBA and wireless is good if you're learning. You can buy GBA emulators and developer tools to experiment. If you're looking to get into level design or program- ming, handheld and wireless is great; if you're an artist or a team looking to get a PC or console development engagement, your publisher needs to see the ability to handle massive amounts of art assets. If you're more advanced, try doing a PC game demo or buying one of the Linux-based PlayStation 2 developer kits and making a pitch build with that. #12 If possible, choose co-founders who can roll up their sleeves and program.