For the fourth year running, Game Developer magazine's annual Game Career Guide issue -- which aims to help students and aspiring developers secure a job in the game industry -- will be given away for free.

This special issue is now available in digital form for free, and includes over 100 pages of content targeted at those interested in sinking their teeth into game development.

This year's Game Career Guide builds upon the success of the 2010 issue, which saw more than 300,000 online page views from more than 37,000 people, and was physically distributed to over 30,000 people worldwide at major video game consumer and trade shows, including Penny Arcade Expo, GDC, and more.

The 2011 Game Career Guide includes a helpful tutorial on how to make a basic 3D game in Unity, and provides a detailed breakdown of the essentials of pixel animation. Also included is a feature on AI pathfinding, with diagrams and examples that should help beginners wrap their heads around the basics.

In addition, the Game Career Guide issue will provide a version of Game Developer's handy salary survey, which offers a comprehensive breakdown of entry level jobs in professional and indie game development.

Other resources in the issue, developed in conjunection with the editors of GameCareerGuide.com, include a look at the essential industry conferences and indie competitions that all developers should be aware of, and a detailed list of game development programs for students interested in getting into the industry.

"Schools with game programs are a great place to network, and to learn skills from people who have been down these paths before. But what we really want to emphasize with our Career Guide is that you can start making games right now," said Game Developer editor-in-chief Brandon Sheffield. "Are you living at your mom's house? Are you retired? Are you working retail and living with roommates? No problem. If you can make time to learn some simple programs, you can make games."

"This year we've included a tutorial for making a 3D game in Unity, a basic intro to pathfinding, and a pixel art tutorial. That, combined with the guides from last year's issue, should give you multiple points of entry through which you could get started today," he said.

"The Career Guide is free to anyone, and it's our hope that we can help prospective game developers realize that their new ideas are more than welcome in this industry, even if they're not working on the next big blockbuster. Don't wait for others to give you a chance -- make your own chance!"

Other highlights from the 2011 Game Career Guide include a postmortem of the bizarre and eccentric student game Octodad, a guide to kick starting an indie project through crowdfunding, and an overview on how to pitch a game to publishers.

Game Developer's Game Career Guide 2011 is now available for free online viewing, and print copies of the issue will be available for free at notable industry events over the next year, including GDC Europe, GDC Online, PAX Prime 2011, MIGS, and SIGGRAPH.