It's been a busy year for GameDev.net! Let's start at the top.
In late January the GameDev Projects section was launched, allowing members to add their projects to their profiles and provide a place for others to get inspired and updated on development progress. It's a great way for developers to share their work with others in the GameDev community.
Did you know...
- Over 200 projects have been added by members since the beginning of February
- Projects can include games, game mods, developer tools, and assets
- Members can view your projects through your profile
There is more coming for projects, so stay tuned.
In February a new Links directory was added. The first question I always get is, "who cares about links when search is good enough?" That's a fair question, but sometimes search is only as good as our search terms - and sometimes we don't know what we need to search.
I don't know if Links will really take off, but if you're a fan of having a browsable links database to interesting content about game development, then by all means use it.
You can also submit your own links. All links go through an approval process, so make sure your link is relevant to developers.. i.e. we won't approve a link to your game, but we'll approve a link to developer tools, assets, articles and tutorials, etc.
Speaking of links, have you noticed a few new embeds? Now when you copy and paste a link to a page from Shadertoy, Sketchfab, or Steam we'll show the embed instead of the link. You can still tell the editor to use the link if you want. Here are some examples:
Speaking of articles, sadly, the community isn't as willing to contribute tutorial content to the GameDev.net community these days as in the past. Most developers are unwilling to share their tutorial content with GameDev.net in favor of their personal websites, which I understand in the sense that writing a quality tutorial takes a lot of time and effort. I've written several tutorials and books myself - it's not easy work.
For this reason I am looking at ways to reward developers who do publish with GameDev.net. Payments to approved articles, large Pixel credits (all content results in Pixels), extra help promoting the author, and so on are all being considered.
Call for Tutorials
So to try something a little different, I'm putting out a Call for Tutorials. I want to produce several tutorial series for the GameDev.net community on a variety of development and business related topics. These tutorial series would involve 3-5 in-depth articles intended to educate the audience on one game development topic.
Are you interested in writing a series? Reach out to me (message me!) with a short topic proposal, cost estimate, and if possible any past examples of your work.
I'll have a more permanent link and announcement outside of this blog entry on GameDev.net soon.
Perhaps the most interesting element added to the GameDev platform recently is Groups. The best analogy I can use for Groups right now is that it's similar to Facebook Groups or Pages, except it's a microsite of GameDev.net. Microsite means that we can use many of the same features available across the rest of GameDev.net in a topic-specific area.
You may have already noticed that the Beginners area is now a group. The For Beginners forum is still intact, but with a Group we can augment the beginners area to include links and resources, relevant blogs and news, and more. In fact the Links directory capability is used in the Beginners area to provide beginners with easy-to-find resources across the web.
GameDev Challenges is also a group now.
I don't know when/if I'm going to open up Group creation to everyone, but there is a good chance that more groups will be created to parallel the forums and create spaces for more topic areas. GDNet+ members may end up with the capability to create Groups with approval.
A few ideas for Groups:
- Unity, Unreal, and other engines
- Hardware technology/products
- APIs or tools
- Topical areas
The challenge with Groups is that everyone is used to Forums. Is that a mold we can break as a community?
Maybe you noticed the redesigned front page?
The front page is now default a stream of all of the latest activity. You can also use the tabs to view the latest activity in the various content areas (Blogs, Articles, Forums, Projects, etc).
I made this change because on any given day there is a lot happening across all of GameDev.net, and it's worth being aware of interesting activity.
One aspect of the front page I definitely wanted to mention was the Following tab. We have a lot of interesting members in this community - developers who have been in the industry for a long time, students just getting started, and everything in between. You might have friends on GameDev.net, teammates, or future friends.
An often overlooked feature of our platform is the ability to follow other members. When you follow another member, you will get notifications about the member's activity (configurable), and on the front page you will be able to see an activity stream of all the members you follow.
For example, if you follow me then you'll see this blog post show up on your Following feed.
Of course, but this is a long enough read. More importantly, I want to hear from the community.
What else can GameDev.net do to be a better resource and community platform for you?