I believe the topic/suggestion I will introduce may have been discussed a few times, but I want to bring my 2 cents. I haven't planned what I'm gonna write (except for the suggestion itself), so lets see what comes up.
GameDev.net is a reference for game development for a long time, since GPMega days. I've never been a heavy poster, but used to read and follow the forum a lot (#1 source for game programming info, both technical and design). Then I leaned more to a corporate career for many years, while sometimes doing a little game programming as a hobby, and didn't follow the gaming scene much more.
Comparing GameDev.net from back then to today, I noticed an increase in articles: there used to be articles back then, but for me GameDev.net was a forum with some articles as reference, and now it seems to be an article database with a forum. I'm not saying this is BAD, I'm just saying it's different. But it doesn't feel very much alive anymore as a community.
The Game Programming and General Programming forums were the main forums back then, and they still seem to be, but with much less posts. This is understandable: back then we didn't have StackOverflow (and related) to find the solution to 95% of our programming problems, so most people would ask the questions on forums (or IRC). And GameDev was strong on that (when the topic was game programming, of course).
Another big change, besides StackOverflow, was the market itself. Back then Windows games were dominant, and now they are dying (lets not discuss this please, but as much as I hate this fact, since I'm a PC gamer - but yes, they are dying), and the mobile gaming industry is totally dominant.
Some may call it (the mobile/tablet gaming) a trend. Well, it might be, but I highly doubt it - well, unless you call a 10+ year multi-multi-multi-billion dollar a trend. In that case you could call Windows, Linux and Mac gaming a trend also. Mobile gaming will not die anytime in the next 5 years, actually it will only grow - and a lot.
Now I arrive on my point: hundreds of mobile games are being released every single day, several thousands are in production, and there is a legion of mobile developers. Then shouldn't GameDev.net shift a bit of its forum focus towards this market? This is still game development, I'm not saying to GameDev.net become a cooking website. Just give a bit more focus on mobile.
Let's create a community on this: there is not a dominant forum on mobile game development - GameDev.net could be it.
How to achieve it? Well, that is hard to answer, but for starters I would suggest: create an iOS sub-forum, Android sub-forum, Windows Phone sub-forum (or "Others"), Indie Mobile Gaming Scene sub-forum. Get people who know those markets well to post content, answer questions, create tutorials (informally, on the forum, similar to how NeHe started, and not formally published peer-reviewed articles), ...
Sorry for the long post, I just wanna see GameDev shine even more .
And hopefully my forum age/id will increase the credibility of my post: I'm not a kid recently seduced into mobile gaming buzz.
- Pedro / Rottz / RoTTer
(EDIT: Just to make it clear, all my suggestions are strictly related to the FORUM/Community part of the site. I would rarely read the articles back then, and I rarely read them today, so if there are a lot of articles on Mobile Gaming, which I dont know, good, but thats not my point)
Edited by Rottz, 20 July 2013 - 01:47 PM.