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Celebrating 20 Years of GameDev.net

khawk

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Today, GameDev.net celebrates its 20th birthday. To the GameDev.net Community and the games industry, I wanted to say Thank You for the last 20 years of inspiration, education, and friendship.

My name is Kevin Hawkins (khawk). I was 1 of 8 co-founders to launch GameDev.net on June 15, 1999. We started this platform as a passion project, and while I’m the only founder still involved, twenty years later it’s still a passion project for me. But GameDev.net is not about me. It’s about you, the community, and this common ground we have in game development.

At times, any thoughts considering the scope, scale, and consistency of GameDev.net’s impact on people around the world for the last 20 years leaves me with a curious dose of humble pie that can be difficult to explain - few sites from 1999 continue to exist in essentially the same form as when they were launched. As a community, we all come from varying backgrounds, interests, cultures, and generations, but game development is our common thread through the GameDev.net platform. It’s this common thread found in diversity that I appreciate most.

If we go back in time to June 1999, a small group of professional, hobbyist, and student developers decided to create a game development community where all types could participate - students, hobbyists, indies, and AAAs alike (all these labels did not exist at the time). A place that provided an independent voice in the games industry where students could learn from professionals, hobbyists could share their projects, and everyone could come together around the science, technology, and art of game development in a friendly, helpful, safe environment.

Twenty years later that original vision remains true - and perhaps it’s been a better journey than we could have imagined. On GameDev.net, beginners learn from games industry professionals, indie gamedevs share their journeys, and artists, musicians, and sound designers showcase their skills and support each other through critique and encouragement. And since all of these skills come together on this platform, ad-hoc teams form in the community as developers collaborate on projects and encourage each other through challenges.

We’ve witnessed students turn into AAA professionals, friendships form, marriages, deaths, and the birth of future generations. Many names and faces have participated in the forums, shared their knowledge with articles, offered their gamedev experiences in the blogs, and showcased their projects. Members have even become game development book authors - including through the GameDev.net series of books.

Some active members have been around since the early months of GameDev.net. Others just joined. There are names you know from industry headlines. Other names quietly making a bigger impact on the world than anyone realizes. Other names you will learn in the coming years.

Whatever the pedigree, GameDev.net’s success as a community has been wholly dependent on the people who decide to engage, share, and connect with others. When people contribute to the community, a camaraderie and passion develop between GameDev.net members unlike any I’ve witnessed in any other community. I know of lifelong friendships that started through GameDev.net - some of my own included. I also know of several business partnerships that have formed through group collaborations on the platform and continue to be successful today.

This community has helped people turn their dreams into reality, learn new skills, and find new passions. It has even moved beyond game development and helped people cope with grief, depression, relationships, and find humor in everyday life.

However GameDev.net has impacted your life - whether it was one small solution you found in search or an experience that helped you live your dreams - I hope it was positive. I appreciate the opportunity I have had to be a part of this community and the games industry through GameDev.net. I know my fellow co-founders, staff, and moderators also share in that appreciation, and most importantly, I hope the feeling is mutual for you.

20 years. Wow. Thank you.

Kevin “khawk” Hawkins
GameDev.net


Check out member thoughts on the pre-20th forum thread here.
 

Founders, Staff, and Moderators in GameDev.net’s 20 Year History

Founders

  • Kevin Hawkins (Khawk)
  • Dave Astle (Myopic Rhino)
  • Michael Tanczos
  • Don Thorp
  • John Munsch
  • Geoff Howland (ghowland)
  • Nick Murphy
  • Ernest Pazera (TANSTAAFL)

 

Staff and Moderators

  • Jason Astle-Adams (jbadams)
  • Sean Kent (Washu)
  • Drew Sikora (Gaiiden)
  • John Hattan (jhattan)
  • Richard Fine (superpig)
  • Dave Mark (IADaveMark)
  • Ben Sunshine-Hill (Sneftel)
  • Oli Wilkinson (evolutional)
  • Promit Roy (promit)
  • Tom Sloper
  • Mona Ibrahim (monalaw)
  • Mike Lewis (ApochPiQ)
  • Ben Sizer (Kylotan)
  • Emmanuel Deloget
  • Josh Petrie (jpetrie)
  • Chris Bennett (dwarfsoft)
  • Nathan Madsen (nsmadsen)
  • Andreas Jonsson (WitchLord)
  • Oluseyi Sonaiya (Oluseyi)
  • Josh Tippetts (JTippetts)
  • Graham Rhodes (grhodes_at_work)
  • Jon Watte (hplus0603)
  • Jeromy Walsh (JWalsh)
  • Carsten Haubold (Caste)
  • Luke Benstead (Kazade)
  • Mikael Swartling (Brother Bob)
  • Yann Lombard (Yann L)
  • Dan Marchant (Obscure)
  • Joris Timmermans (MadKeithV)
  • Paul Varga (Null and Void)
  • Timothy Wright (Glass_Knife)
  • Rob Jones (phantom)
  • Sander Marechal
  • Dave Baumgart (dbaumgart)
  • Alex Walker (Sandman)
  • Andrew Russell
  • Yannick Loitière (fruny)
  • Mare Kuntz (sunandshadow)
  • Kelly Murdock
  • Tiffany Smith
  • Trent Polack (mittens)
  • Graham Wihlidal (gwihlidal)
  • Mike Stedman (Ravuya)
  • Jack Hoxley (jollyjeffers)
  • Shannon Barber
  • Bryan Wagstaff (frob)
  • Steve Macpherson (Evil Steve)
  • Mike Caetano (LessBread)
  • Mason McCuskey (mason)
  • Tom Roe (fastcall22)
  • Melissa Astle (frizzlefry)
  • Jim Perry (Machaira)
  • Karl Knechtel (Zahlman)
  • David Michael (DavidRM)
  • Sande Chen (sk8gundy)
  • Amy Young
  • Muhammad Haggag
  • Heather Holland (felisandria)
  • Brooke Hodgman (hodgman)
  • David Michalson
  • Matthew Anderson
  • Bryan Ayeater (bishop_pass)
  • Sean Forbes (riuthamus)
  • Howard Jeng (SiCrane)
  • Matt Pettineo (MJP)
  • Tristam MacDonald (swiftcoder)
  • Leigh Stringer (pan narrans)
  • All8Up
  • Wavinator


31 Comments


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Man I guess I came to the wut place to ask this hard cat.

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Congrats! I'm a proud member of gamedev.net since August 19, 1999 :)

Looking forward to the next 20 years !

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Just recovered my password after a very long break, my account also almost makes it to those 20 years ;-).

After many people moved from low level DirectX and OpenGL stuff to game engines such as Unreal & Unity, a lot of the knowledge moved to different forums and sites. Also the reason why we have seen some many dev. sites disappear in the last decade. A lot of knowledge has been permanently lost in these cases too (Gaming Wiki, Lucky's VB, etc.). I wish GD.Net all the best to keep going on for a very long time, and that the knowledge will stay also available for many years to come! 😀

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Happy 20th GDNet!!!!

now we just need a metaverse version of gdnet where we can all come in with our virtual avatars and someone can be a katana wielding warrior who kicks virtual ass in the VR version of this site! Maybe in the next 20 years?

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Thank you, all of you, for this awesome community! Feels strange that I've been there for almost every step of the way, what a journey it has been. Long may she reign!

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Congrats on an amazing milestone!  I might have actually finished my game come your 40th anniversary.  😂 😭

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20 years is no small feat. Congratulations!

I'm new to this site, but so far I've found it to be a friendly and respectful community. And that's actually saying quite a lot in this day and age.

Keep on truckin', gamedev.net!

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Congratulations and thank you for providing this great site. :)

 

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Wow 20 years, Congratulations! Thank you for your awesome website!

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Congratulations!

I'm quite new to this community, but I agree it's a friendly and respectful one, very special. I love it.

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16 hours ago, Oluseyi said:

Happy 20th birthday, GameDev.Net!

Jump on TA ;)

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I was here, lurking, 20 years ago.

Thanks for everything, it was amazing for a neophyte then, and I hope it still is.

Here's to 20 more years!

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Thanks for all the wonderful work you guys do, and congratulations on the 20 years! You guys really give us developers a place to share very freely and in a very clean manner, so on behalf of all of us, you're greatly appreciated!

Definitely looking forward to some of the updates you guys have in store, and hope you guys are still around for 20 more! :)

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