The best programming thing I found in 2013 was game jams. They are so much fun, a great way to get better at programming, and stretch my artistic chops. They also really makes you focus on finishing the game, which (for me) is the hardest part.
There are downsides: jams take up the entire weekend and, when Monday rolls around, my hands are Friday-level tired.
Anyway, since It’s been such an amazing hobby, I thought I’d share some of the resources I’ve found in case anyone is interested in trying it out.
If you’re looking to “roll your own,” New Year Game Jam has a great idea generator.
I do all of my art with Sprite Something, which is only iOS and costs a couple bucks but works great.
TexturePacker seems to be the de facto standard for spritesheets, and it’s worked great for me so far.
This totally amazes me, but this guy Per Nyblom made an automatic music generator that will create “random” music for your game with a click. He doesn’t have any plans to open source it (yet), but http://rml.pernyblom.com/ is open source.
For sound effects, there’s cfxr/sfxr.
Next year, I’d like to do at least one of: a game with a server backend, release some of the general libraries I’ve created to work with LimeJs, or integrate a game with Facebook/a chat service/something else.
Also, my goal is to keep updating this as I find more useful resources. Hope this helps someone!