[Top 5] Best Game Developer Forums We Love

Sure, the life of a programmer seems glamorous, what with the constant intake of microwaved ramen noodles and all.
Sure, the life of a programmer seems glamorous, what with the constant intake of microwaved ramen noodles and all.

When attempting to create a list of the best game developer forums, I found myself confronted with a conundrum. Sure, I could list technical forums only, those devoted to discussion of certain libraries and API’s and devotion to nuts and bolts. But even to a developer, that can get boring without a reminder of why they make games in the first place. As such, this list will be majority technical forums with a sprinkle of my favorite game forums. Just a little shoutout to those sites which remind us why we bother in the messy act of game making.

We do need a reminder now and then. Making games is hard and it doesn’t always pay well.


5. Blizzard’s World of Warcraft Forums

Among the pantheon of great game forums, one can’t miss the WoW forums. They’ve been around forever by now and there is such a mix of weirdos on them one will always find something interesting; failing interesting, one can find something at least compelling. Such as a flame war between two gnomes and a minotaur on the topic of normalizing off-hand weapon damage modifiers for certain abilities and not others. If this doesn’t make much sense, don’t worry.. It only makes sense to super nerds who have read the WoW forums for years and swaddle themselves in spreadsheets at night.

One can occasionally find excellent posts here, which one wouldn’t necessarily expect. While the application of them is usually intended for WoW, I honestly learned quite a bit about basic statistics and data science from just my time on these forums. While I was mostly interested in getting the most out of my next fireball or backstab, I figured out how to create logs, scrub data, parse data, create game mods, etc, etc simply from trolling through the various class forums.

Between all the animus one can find in just about any forum on the internet, there is pure gold just waiting to be mined. For folks who generally need an application for things they are doing in order to ensure they do them, this is the place for that.

Blizzard’s World of Warcraft Forums Site


4. The Sims Forums

The Sims is a quirky little simulation game involving domestic bliss and/or abuse. The player creates a family and a home for them, then attempts to keep the little bastards happy as they go about their mundane daily lives. It sounds quite boring and at times it absolutely is. But it also lends itself to some hilarious situations. A bug in the Sims, some sort of unexpected interaction, can become the funniest thing you’ve ever seen during a COVID-19 pandemic.

The Sims forums are where patch notes for the game are released. Without fail, over the last several years, these patch notes have been the funniest, most bizarre writing on the internet. Mother Sims putting their babies in ovens, immaculate conceptions, propositioning Death for a little fun between the sheets, and tons of other bizarre behaviors from your favorite, fake families lacking any semblance of self-preservation are all given the treatment at one time or another.

And of course, there is community commentary on all of this. Pure entertainment. Just the thing to rejuvenate oneself before having to figure out why their code acts like that inch of what one hopes is just water that sits at the bottom of public dumpsters. You can’t feasibly throw it out, but you need to do something about the smell.

The Sims Official Forums


3. Stack Overflow

Years and years of information, in the form of questions and answers for the most arcane and obscure development issues, can be found at Stack Overflow. If you’re wondering how the hell your AlwaysReturnsZero function is returning a rubber ducky in a pirate captain’s hat, this is the place to be. This is an entirely practical forum, meaning one won’t easily find discussions of design philosophy or other cerebral concerns. Instead, they’ll find individuals struggling to make those things real. The eternal struggle between man and machine is laid bare here.

I am not an excellent programmer. In fact, I am not even an adept. But I have never encountered a problem in my work which wasn’t at least discussed on Stack Overflow, even if no one had an answer for the problem. Various game engine eccentricities are laid bare here and all programming languages, including Jai, are discussed.. While not your traditional forum, in the sense a twelve-year old won’t be soliciting random people on the internet for nudes, I would be shocked to hear of a game developer who hasn’t frequented Stack Overflow at some point in their sad, sad lives.

Stack Overflow also hosts a jobs board, so if you’re interested in eating food, they can help make that happen for you by helping you help you.

Stack Overflow Site


2. Indie Gamer

More of a traditional forum, Indie Gamer focuses on independent games development. No surprises there. One can commiserate with their fellow starving game makers, swap horror stories, and perhaps learn a thing or two from others’ mistakes. Since all aspects of game development get discussed here, including the dreaded marketing pillar of game sales, one can learn quite a bit; even those things they never wanted to know. What one cannot learn here is how marketers sleep at night.

Interestingly, there is a support group type element to some of these forums. Working completely solo, as many independent game developers do, can be nerve wracking. If one works entirely on one’s lonesome, there aren’t any team members to get a drink with and bitch at regarding the latest designer demanding square triangles for the next sprint. Indie Gamer forums have a support group where you can share your own anxieties, fears, and a variety of other things I’m told human beings feel better after having shared.

Of course, as an independent developer if something doesn’t work it is of course your fault. There’s no one else to blame, after all. Indie Gamer can help reduce the sting of shame by surfacing the understanding while you labor alone, you are not alone in laboring alone. Artists suffer for their craft and games are no different, other than the fact they are entirely different.

Indie Gamer Forums Site


1. GameDev.Net

An ancient and venerable forum, GameDev these days more closely resembles a social media site of some sort. That said, rather than a den of iniquity and political misinformation, it has immense resources available just waiting to be exploited. They have forums, of course. They also have a wiki, full of best practices and methods for game development. As they’re one of the older forums around, which still exist anyway, it also has a gigantic user base. This means more information, more spectators, and more commentators. While it doesn’t quite have the same troubleshooting mission a site like Stack Overflow does, GameDev is broad and general. It has it all.

There are tutorials for graphic design and rendering. There are projects from other developers one can easily get a hold of and muss about with themselves. It has a jobs board; in case you’d like to get paid for breaking other people’s code as opposed to doing it for free. And of course, there is a News section dedicated to the latest and greatest propaganda the tech industry can put out. There is even a Portfolio section where I assume one uploads their artsy-fartsy work for others to check out. I’m not a creative type. I’m only creative when attempting to destroy something. I once ran over Xbox controllers with my car for work. And fun.

All of this, plus a massive user base, makes GameDev.Net one of the premier developer forums/blogs sites around. Go here to create and be inspired. Then head over to Stack Overflow once none of your code works. There’s a certain order of operations to games development, you know.

GameDev.Net Home


With the character of the game forums hopefully inspiring and reminding us why we make games in the first place, the remaining forums should help get us there. As the type of individual who bores headfirst into things without worrying too much about planning a hospital trip afterward, Stack Overflow is likely my most visited site ever. I’ve quite often found myself rocking back and forth, arms hugging across my chest in my office chair mumbling, “Please compile. Please compile.” Freaks out my wife every time.

Once I recover, Stack Overflow usually rides to my rescue by pointing out how horrendously incorrect I was doing things.

And that’s where games come from!

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A geriatric gamer, R.B. Lamb has enjoyed calloused thumbs for decades by now. Hailing from the Emerald City, also known as Seattle, he aspires to someday take flight with the other monkeys.
Gamer Since: 1984
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2
Top 3 Favorite Games:Dark Souls 3 , Diablo, The Talos Principle

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