First Impressions Poll - New GameDev.net Software and Server
85 members have voted
It's been a busy few days. We upgraded the GameDev.net software and servers this weekend, and while there are plenty of problems to still fix the whole process has exceeded expectations.
Quite a bit is new, actually. It wasn't just a software and server move. It was also an opportunity to change a few things. Here's a list of the big changes.
Article and Forum Category Changes
We merged quite a few of the article and forum categories, which now better align. If you remember, we had top-level categories of Technical, Creative, and Business. These were fine 18 years ago but the taxonomy of game development has changed a bit. These are the changes:
- Top-level categories are now: Programming, Visual Arts, Business, Audio, Game Design, Community, Affiliates, and Topical
- Graphics and GPU Programming now includes Graphics Programming and Theory, DirectX and XNA, OpenGL and Vulkan
- General and Gameplay Programming includes Mobile Development
- APIs, Middleware, and Tools is now Engines and Middleware
- Visual Arts is now a top-level category with 2D and 3D Art as the forum
- Breaking into the Games Industry is now Career Development
- Game Design is now a top-level category with Game Design and Theory as a forum
- Writing for Games has moved to the Game Design category, from Creative
- Virtual Reality moved to Topical, which is intended for topics that span multiple categories
New GDNet+ Benefits
Be sure to check out all the GDNet+ Benefits that come with the upgrade. The list is much bigger!
Now you can keep track of industry events with the calendar. We'll also create a community calendar in the near future.
Blog navigation is now better. You can theoretically read every single blog post that has ever been submitted. On the old version you could only view the latest posts.
This is one of my favorite. The Activity stream is like "Latest Content" but much more powerful. The default is to be able to see all activity across the entire site, but if you don't like that you can create your own Activity Stream. You can subscribe to an RSS feed of the streams.
Freelancers are now a GDNet+ perk. If you're a freelancer wanting to broadcast your services to the GameDev.net audience I recommend you check it out - it's 1/6th the cost it used to be.
Jobs are now powered by our new job portal, GameDev Jobs at https://gamedev.jobs. We'll be making more changes here, but GameDev Jobs allows us to do much more with job seekers as well as employers - you can even upload your resume for employers to search. As with the GameDev Market, we'll be using GameDev Jobs to power job listings on GameDev.net.
Easily Add New Content
You'll notice a "+" sign on the menu. This is a shortcut to add new content. Start a blog, submit news, start a new or topic quickly and easily.
Realtime Notifications and Messages
You might have noticed already, but you'll receive realtime notifications as activity happens around the site. If your browser supports it, you can receive the notifications on your desktop.
For a while our Google, Facebook, and Twitter logins were broken. Not anymore!
Now you can login to GameDev.net with your Google, Facebook, or Twitter account, and if that isn't enough you can also login with your Microsoft, LinkedIn, and Discord accounts - the latter of which will also integrate your GameDev.net account with our Discord chat room.
Having a problem with the site? Now you can use the support link at https://www.gamedev.net/support which is available in your Profile menu under "Support".
What are these Pixel things?
Some members have noticed a new attribute in their profiles called "Pixels". It's time to explain what those are, but first we need to talk about Reputation.
In our old system, reputation was awarded for up votes and down votes as one would expect, but it also awarded reputation for activity - things like logging in, posting a blog, upvoting someone, and so on. While it encouraged activity it didn't help with knowing which members were knowledgeable, helpful, or produced interesting content - basically the things that would define a member's reputation.
With our new system, reputation is exactly as it sounds. It is calculated entirely off of a member's up and down votes, which I encourage everyone to use. Not only do up/down votes let the community know about the reputation of the member, it also lets the community know the quality of the contribution.
Enter the Pixel. The Pixel is our way of valuing all the other stuff and more. Pixels reflect your activity as a member - you earn pixels by doing things on GameDev.net, such as posting a topic in the forums. If reputation is a measure of a member's helpfulness and quality, then pixels are a measure of a member's activity.
In fact, if we gamify GameDev.net, then pixels are your score.
But be aware, you can also lose pixels. One way is simply through decay. If you stop using GameDev.net then your balance will decrease. If you get warned, you'll lose pixels. Basically, do something that's not conducive to the community and good content, and pixels will be taken away.
Pixels are a neat concept. We're excited about what we can do with them.
As for current reputation, we're going to see if we can normalize reputation to real upvote/downvotes. I'll make another blog post about this when we have a solution. We need some kind of reset so the new definition of reputation matches members' values.
We have a running TODO list and will be busy for a few more weeks to get the upgrade where we really want it to be. I don't want to spill too much on that, but we'll be bringing back the Image of the Day, improving the GameDev Marketplace and GameDev Jobs integrations, adding ways for you to showcase and get feedback on your projects, support for contests, and more.
We're excited because this upgrade marks a new beginning for GameDev.net, and we hope you agree.
As always, please leave your feedback in the comments below! And if you have any problems please let us know through the Support portal.