I leave a vote here for the Xfce or KDE Manjaro distribution (based on Arch).
As VirginRed pointed out, Debian tends to lag behind when it comes to software version.
Take Code::Blocks for example, even though the last stable version is out for 8 months they did not update it from the old 12.11 yet.
Having to manage two versions of half the libraries I used was taking a considerable effort.
It was this kind of problem that made me move from Debian-based ditros to Arch.
The problem with Arch is setting it up, if you don't know what you're doing it'll be a really frustrating trial and error weekend.
And this is what took me to Manjaro, really straight forward set-up and all I had to do was install my Graphics driver.
In the end, I'd say it doesn't matter that much, but if you do not have any distribution installed and is just starting your research take a look at Manjaro. Still, if you do have something already set-up that you're familiar with, there won't be many good reasons to wipe your current system.
If you're careful, making a game that runs on Windows, Linux, and OSX with minimal porting work is pretty easy. Use only cross-platform libraries (SDL2, OpenGL, Wwise, Qt, C++ standard library, etc.) and most of the porting work will be updating the build system to know how to compile on a new OS.
I could say the same, but about Arch in favor of Windows 8. Actually, I prefer Windows 7 to Windows 8. Guess it all comes down to personal preferences and our team's conventions.