Mobile game development is one of the most dynamic fields out there. New technologies, tools and methods keep emerging and keeping updated is a big challenge. Not surprisingly, you don’t have to struggle alone. You don’t need to deal with obstacles by yourself, or wrestle with mobile game development challenges on your own.
Instead, you can consult with the top talent and search for solutions that you might never have thought of just by tapping the goldmine of social groups and forums. By interacting with the best social groups and forums in your specific field, you can benefit from free advice from real industry players whenever you need it. Online communities are one of the fastest routes to overcoming hurdles in your path and a great way to keep updated on the most innovative and agile tools to use.
This is why you should seriously consider following professional online communities as part of your regular work. Don’t fall into that trap of thinking that you have to solve every issue by yourself. Social groups and forums are excellent tools that you should be using.
Although online forums might seem old-fashioned sometimes, but they remain one of the best sources of trouble-shooting and inspiration for those of us who work in the technical industries. I have chosen to share my selection of great social groups as well as the top online forums for mobile game developers today, hoping they will help you with the next challenge you have to face.
This forum is maybe the most known and popular one that I can think of. Join 7 million professional and amateur programmers at StackOverflow to ask questions about your coding work and increase your knowledge of programming. Threads take the form of questions, with scores of questions asked and answered every week. Anyone can join StackOverflow to ask questions to do with programming and coding, and users can then earn ‘reputation points’ by helping others. As you earn reputation points, your privileges to moderate the forum increase. Threads are shorter on StackOverflow, with less discussion and more people seeking answers. There’s also a library of tutorials and documentation on programming issues. Rules are very strict in this forum and members are requested to search for existing discussions before they post a question. Do your homework before you post there, so you won’t get a ‘cold shoulder’ feeling. Check out this article we’ve previously shared about how to behave in Stackoverflow.
The XDA Developers forums were created by developers for developers, with millions of active users on thousands of threads every day. Although now open to end users who want to customize or improve the functionality of their mobile device, there are still many sections which are for developers only. Whatever your Android game development question, you’ll find the answer here, along with news, announcements, Android development tutorials, developers sharing issues with their new projects and well-written blog posts on issues in mobile game development. Rules for posting to XDA are fairly straightforward. Users are requested to be polite and respectful, to post about a topic only once and to do so in a clear and direct way, and to avoid spamming, advertising, or sharing ways to illegally get something for free. Makes sense.
Who doesn’t know GitHub? It’s the largest open source community in the world. With their new community forum , you can tap into the collective community knowledge (it’s the world’s largest developer community, 24 million developers), and get help from Github staff, too. Your help and participation in the community is recognized – the more you participate the higher your rank will be. You can join the community forum to ask questions, swap stories and share ideas regardless of whether you work on public or private projects.
Over 400,000 members and even more guests consult DevShed forums for guidance on hundreds of issues within mobile game programming, design and management, general developing and coding topics, with hundreds of active users at any given time. Threads concerning programming languages seem to be particularly popular. Anyone can post a question to a DevShed forum, as long as they observe basic rules forbidding spamming or self-promotion, copyright infringement, cross-posting, rudeness and the like. Similar to StackOverflow Members can reward each other for helping them solve their developing and programming problems with ‘Reputation Points’, which bring you more respect and a level of power within the forums. You can also increase your Reputation by posting relevant questions.
You’ll find forums on a range of topics at GameDev, with thousands of their over 200,000 total users active at any given time. Forums are divided into Technical, Business, and Creative areas, which as you would expect are dedicated to discussing and solving problems in the technical, business and creative aspects of game development. Gamedev has more of a community feel, with a forum for job seekers, a ‘community lounge’ for discussing truly anything at all, workshops where you can improve your game development skills in all areas, and updated information about events and news relating to game development. GameDev includes thoughtful articles and blogs, and an updated list of jobs in programming and development.
Raywenderlich.com is a website focused on developing high quality programing tutorials for iOS developers and gamers . Ray wenderlich runs the website with the help of over a 100 elite developers and editors from all around the world. Their goal is to take the coolest and most challenging topics and make them easy for everyone to learn about. And apparently they are successful. Currently, there are 1765 exceptional tutorials on the website and the numbers keep on growing constantly. It is probably the best tutorial site for app developers out there today. They’ve built a strong community that provides support and help with questions and problems.
Dream in Code styles itself as a place for community learning for over half a million programmers,mobile and not, web developers and geeks. It’s a fairly active online forum, housing a huge number of users, with the mobile development sub-forums on both Android and iOS. Dream in code offers more than the usual number of tutorials and a large library of code snippets for your use. It does utilise a complicated hierarchy of member privileges, with ranks according to how much reputation you have earned through helpful answers (like in many mobile development forums), but also a series of membership levels depending on your activity and your knowledge of programming, and ‘kudos’ points awarded to members contributing tutorials and code snippets. Not surprisingly, you need to register as a user in order to reply to or a start a new thread.
That’s a super helpful group developers loves engaging in, with so many experts, top developers and industry players taking active part. I also see many popular mobile game entrepreneurs posting and commenting in this group. The discussions are around everything mobile- Distribution, retention, monetization and yes, coding too.
It already has over 29,000 members actively working to build their app or their business. As it is a closed group, you’ll have to request to join and then be approved before you can take part in the discussions. Once approved, your posts will be still pending approval. This group has a nice routine called ‘feedback Friday’. Only during Fridays members can post about their apps, asking for reviews or any other promotional help. In other days the discussions are kept professional (asking general questions, sharing news tools and alike). Innovative App Users and Developers for iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android
This is another valuable Facebook group for both app developers or (very advanced) users. More than 12,000 members share many useful blog posts.
Reddit’s GameDev sub-reddit (aka forum) for game-developers to discuss and share content is a very active online forum with over 190,000 subscribers and hundreds of readers online at any given time. Neatly organized with off-topic and on-topic categories and regular threads such as Feedback Friday for developers to request and give feedback on works-in-progress. Beginners will find helpful tutorials and guidance on getting started in game development, and professional and advanced amateur developers can utilise the Reddit resources as well as the collective brains of the GameDev forum.
Because really, you can’t develop games without being an updated gamer, knowing exactly what’s going on in the outside gaming world 🙂
The Gaming sub-reddit is a forum for all gamers, with over 15 million members in total and thousands online at any given time. It’s less a professional forum and more a place for game enthusiasts to share their experiences and feedback about online and mobile gaming.
I hope that this list of groups and forum for mobile game and app developers has inspired you to leverage the online communities around you to advance your career. Today, we’re all part of the same global village, with creative discussion and professional communities located online.
Some people say that we don’t communicate anymore, but the list of forums and groups above says otherwise. We’re still communicating professionally and socially, but the location has moved to the digital world and you need to move with it. Joining one or more online professional communities can improve your mobile development skills, increase your knowledge and help you over the hurdles in your path.