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Celebrating 20 Years of GameDev.net



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

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

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


  • 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


Recommended Comments

On 6/15/2019 at 6:42 AM, jbadams said:


The early 2000's called, and sent you birthday memes....

Nobody has mentioned hockey MMO's yet though? 😂

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I had to sign in and say my congrats. Can't believe it's been that long but I have very fond memories of this place and it's where I spent the majority of my early internet experiences :)

Cheers and here's to wishing this community and future participants many more years to come. 

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Major congratulations are in order for this life achievement!

You are awesome and that goes also for the members of the community, old and new!

Here's to 20 years more and beyond!

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Congrats on a huge milestone! A wonderful site and resource to many over the years.

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Wow 20 years, Congratulations! Thank you very much for your work!!

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