[The Game Developer magazine folks have debuted the free digital version of their Career Guide for 2009/2010, which you'll find in physical form at a bunch of public and trade game shows - and online right now! Lots of good indie-focused content this year, too... and it's even got a piece by Tim W. in it!]

For the second year running, Game Developer’s annual Game Career Guide, a special edition magazine devoted to helping aspiring video game creators and guided by the editors of the industry-leading Game Developer magazine, is being given away for free.

The special magazine - part of Think Services, as is this website - is now available as a digital version, with both web-readable and PDF downloadable versions to choose from.

The 2009 issue builds on the success of last year’s edition, which had over 30,000 physical copies distributed worldwide at major video game public and trade shows, and gathered 383,000 online page views from over 34,000 people -- plus thousands of downloads.

The Game Career Guide issue includes a version of Game Developer's famed salary report for entry-level jobs in video game development.

It also includes numerous articles with tips on both breaking in and sustaining a long-term career in the industry - with former or current staffers from LucasArts, Activision, Electronic Arts, Double Fine Productions, and Neversoft Entertainment all contributing.

Also included in the 2009 edition is a postmortem of notable student game Akrasia, lessons from the Artsy Games Incubator, and a look at low-cost game engines for do-it-yourself independent and graduate creators.

“The new generation of game school graduates is coming out more inventive and artistically inclined than much of what you see in traditional game development,” said Brandon Sheffield, editor-in-chief of Game Developer magazine.

“It seems like projects along the lines of Cloud, Narbacular Drop, Tag, The Unfinished Swan, and others, are getting to be more prevalent. As the indie community thrives on its own, schools that can provide a context and theory for game development prove to be cranking out some really inspired students."

"This year, Game Developer production editor Jeffrey Fleming and I decided to focus more on the indie/do it yourself model of game making. School can give you to the tools, but ultimately you have to get down to making something if you want to have a place in this industry. We hope that this guide will help people along that path,” he added.

Other highlights of the 2009 magazine include an interview with veteran independent game creator Guillherme Stutz Tows, the top 10 games of the indie movement, and an index of more than 100 colleges and universities offering programs and degrees in game related studies.

The Game Career Guide is now available for digital download, and physical versions of the magazine will be available for free at notable game-related events over the next few months. These include SIGGRAPH, GDC Austin, GDC Europe, Game Developers Conference 2010, and a major distribution push at Seattle's Penny Arcade Expo in September.