Well, a lot of the questions here are graphics or image processing related but are not game development related. According to our Help Center those are not game development related. This question about Ray marching is the one that got me this idea. This is clearly a graphics programming question and not gamedev.

You know not everything about graphics programming (like scientific visualization), geometry or image processing is game development related, even if they have many common things such as intersection testing or acceleration data structure this doesn't mean that the question is game development or game engine related (such as this and this and many others). For example if I have a question about Path Tracing is this considered on topic? According to our current help center and site polcy it is not (or it should not be as it's not explicitly declared) but people here are just accepting it and answering it ( and probably most my answers are graphics programming).

Well, I still think that those questions can be reasonably answered here, and should be explicitly considered on topic. So my suggestion is somehow big, that is, GDSE in its current form should also include image processing and graphics programming questions, so people are encouraged to ask those questions here instead of other sites like SO.

So the question is what would we gain from this site becoming gamedev and graphics programming:

  • People interested in graphics programming, image processing and not only game dev may/will come here eventually. Hopefully this will enhance the quality of the questions and the site.
  • Graphics programming questions will finally have a proper place to be asked. So instead of questions spanning multiple SE sites. This will be the proper place to ask them, so they should be migrated here whenever they show up on other sites. I even have an example I answered on SO a while a ago.
  • Game development is a very loosely defined term. Explicitly defining graphics programming that are not only related to games ( and probably image processing) will bring us better quality questions, and consequently enrich the website's knowledge base.
  • There is a proposal on Area51 for graphics programming, I think that this should be merged here instead.

So to summarize, my suggestion is to declare this site as gamedev and graphics programming (and probably rename it!). I would like to hear how is this possible? And your opinions on the subject, to be honest I find it very logical, but probably most of you wont agree with me.

  • \$\begingroup\$ There is an image processing (and other kinds of signals too) site. \$\endgroup\$
    – user8805
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 0:10

5 Answers 5


I don't think we need to explicitly state this anywhere; the general consensus of the site so far is to allow these sorts of things unless they get too deep into the math or physics behind the problems (in which case we usually migrate to the math or physics SE sites).

You could make the same arguments of AI, databases, and so - game development covers a broad array of computer science topics (like most practical applications thereof). If we are overly explicit laying out every subdomain that is on-topic, not only does imply exclusion of those we fail to list for whatever reason, but it also means we have to adjust the wording of those explicit guidelines more frequently as new SE sites pop up (such as the new graphics programming site on Area 51, which I don't support specifically because it would muddy this issue further).

I think the existence of this thread will serve as endorsement enough for the subjects you mention.


I think we already get those questions, and I don't recall seeing any of them closed because they weren't game development related. GDSE gets a lot of questions that are not specific to game development, and we are actually pretty lenient in our acceptance of these questions. We still accept them because there's nowhere else in the SE network that fits better.

However, I don't think we should redefine the scope of the site to explicitly include them. While graphics/image processing strategies are often used with game development, the same could be said of sound and music processing/creation, 3D/2D art asset creation, AI design and more. All of which are not explicitly called out as on topic.

The point being we get a lot of questions that are not unique to game development, but we're not redefining the site to explicitly allow them.

I think we're happy to answer graphics/image processing questions that are related to game development here. I also think it would be a mistake to open that up to questions about graphics/image processing that are not related to game development.


The problem here, touched on in Byte56's answer, is that there's a lot more to game development than just graphics programming. By explicitly accepting general graphics programming questions to the extent that they get equal billing in the site name, the whole topic becomes skewed and this site becomes more of a "graphics programming and this other stuff" site rather than a "game development" site.

As it stands there's already a heavy slant towards graphics in the questions being asked. Open the site's main page on any given day and somewhere between 50% to 75% of questions will be graphics questions.

That's not necessarily a bad thing right now, but slanting things even more in that direction will risk elbowing out the other, equally interesting, topics that generate good and useful questions.

If anything there's probably a more valid case to be made for splitting off graphics to it's own site (like the Area51 proposal) and keeping this site for the other non-graphics topics. I don't think I'd personally support such a case as I'm uncertain if there would be sufficient interest in those other topics to justify maintaining a site for them (I'd like to see further discussion on the matter though).

The current approach of silently accepting graphics questions even if they're not explicitly game-related is working fine; there's no real reason to mess with it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I like your point of view, and mostly agree with it. My point though, is the ones listed in the question, that we might get better quality questions. But anyway it seems that accepting them silently is fine so far. \$\endgroup\$
    – concept3d
    Commented Dec 29, 2013 at 13:47

General graphics programming questions that are not directly game development related are on-topic on this site. From the help page:

A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself... Would a professional game developer give me a better/different/more specific answer to this question than other programmers? If yes, then feel free to ask it here.

The above rule of thumb applies pretty well for the interesting graphics programming question we have seen here.

  • \$\begingroup\$ To be honest I don't know if a game developer would give me a better answer regarding; path tracing? radiosity calculations? geometry analysis? volume rendering? I call this one a graphics programmer, and maybe he never wrote a game (regardless if some of the knowledge intersects as I stated in the post). So I don't think this is valid. \$\endgroup\$
    – concept3d
    Commented Dec 23, 2013 at 13:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ And even it was on-topic (which I believe is not currently) my post is to make it explicitly on-topic. \$\endgroup\$
    – concept3d
    Commented Dec 23, 2013 at 13:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @concept3d Better answer than who? As Byte56 said, there is no better place for those questions currently. If the graphics programming site in Area51 materializes, this would change though. Note that I'm not against your proposal, I was just stating that the questions are already on-topic here, although not very clearly. \$\endgroup\$
    – msell
    Commented Dec 23, 2013 at 13:25

Does this type of graphics / image processing not occur during games?

I would be inclined to say that by their very nature they appear to be related and both sides could gain something from tripping over in to information meant for the other side.

My thinking here ... GDSE maybe should be more "3DSE".

If that got too big or not focused enough there are always those Area 51 style sites popping up to help build a divide.

The more information I can pull from 1 place the more likely I am to use that place as a source of my data, google if nothing else has taught us that.


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