I understand this question will probably be downvoted a lot, because it is seen only by people already using the site, but still:

I have some doubts regarding whether it is beneficial the game development site should exits as a standalone site. I would much prefer using game-development tag inside of Stack overflow.

  • Is game development really that different from a general software engineering?
  • What will be done to prevent general programming questions being asked here, like C++ low-level optimization tips?
  • 28
    \$\begingroup\$ It would be awesome if some of the sites could share questions via similar tags. I.E. questions tagged game-dev on StackOverflow would showup here, and questions here tagged stack-overflow would showup on StackOverflow. Just a thought I had while pondering the OPs question. That would help make the overlap less of an issue, I'm not sure what the other issues that would bring up are... \$\endgroup\$
    – Nate
    Commented Sep 10, 2010 at 15:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ I could not agree more: blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/09/merging-season/#comment-50346 \$\endgroup\$
    – Suma
    Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 11:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh man, that would be a powerful way of sharing problems and solutions. Someone needs to post it as a feature request. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kzqai
    Commented May 29, 2011 at 3:54

4 Answers 4


Things that are part of game development, but aren't related to programming:

  • Graphics design - not the mechanics of doing 3d graphics, but the "look and feel" of the game, as well as the tools involved and the content pipeline.
  • Sound design - again, not the mechanics of calling APIs, but the techniques to make an immersive game and the process of getting sound into games appropriate.
  • Fun - the huge, extremely vague part of what makes games "enjoyable" and what makes them "boring".
  • AI - yet again, not the code part, but how to make AI that feels "human" or "good" while perhaps still being suboptimal.
  • Level design - how to lay out your maps to be "good", whatever that means for your game design (this can be anything from "well-balanced" to "immersive" to "challenging".)
  • Community design - multiplayer games (and sometimes singleplayer games) involve a lot of community participation, and rigging up a good community can be more complex than you might think.
  • Morality - Some MMOs are wrecking lives. What are our responsibilities as game designers regarding this, and can we make our games less "dangerous" and still just as "fun"?
  • Monetization - You can make a good game that doesn't make money. It's harder to make a good game that does make money.

I'm sure people can think of more.

Programming is certainly part of game development, but the converse is not true, and there are parts of even the programming subset of gamedev that are rather specific to gamedev itself.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ That would be perfect for me - the programming questions would still go into the Stack Overflow. However, I am afraid this is not what most people here expect from it, as they mostly expect game development programming questions to be asked here as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – Suma
    Commented Sep 9, 2010 at 7:22
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I thin that programming questions that have specific game requirements, i.e. wouldn't be exactly the same in any non-game program, still belong here. Most of your low level optimization type questions fall into the exactly the same... category \$\endgroup\$
    – lathomas64
    Commented Sep 10, 2010 at 15:18
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ To add to that: Game specific programming knowledge. You can't just shuffle off programming to stack overflow. Knowledge of tangent-space normals, path-finding optimisation and shader hardware just isn't in the broad domain. Even on gamedev I seem to be able to find questions too specialised in gaming programming knowledge to get answers. On SO they don't have a chance! \$\endgroup\$
    – Rushyo
    Commented Sep 12, 2010 at 11:18

Your question is of particular interest to me, because I have the accepted and highest upvoted answer on the example of a programming question (one about optimisation) you think should be on Stack Overflow.

Here is a similar question on Stack Overflow. Someone actually made the point I want to make in the comments: "Optimizations depend on the context". You have to go half way down the page to find a brief mention of cache coherency - something to which I dedicated an entire (and seemingly very popular) answer. Clearly, for some programming questions, context is important.

The kind of programming problems that come up here on the GameDev site (example of mine) are very different to those that come up on Stack Overflow (another example of mine - game related but better on SO). Or at very least should do so.

And obviously there will be some fuzzyness. And it would be good if we had a way to punt questions between the two sites. But that is a small price to pay for the value of having a pool of domain-specific knowledge on this site.

(And it almost goes without saying that there are many other aspects of game development - art and business to name two big categories - that are clearly not suited to Stack Overflow).


StackOverflow is very, very active. It takes less than 5 minutes for something to disappear off the original view of the page. If you're looking for just game development questions to answer, they're difficult to find.

Something that only just breaches game development...say memory management, for example, should be on stack overflow. But some programming questions are more suited for here; things like 'how can I do pathfinding effectively' (bad example?), aiming at the algorithm side.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think most people who are capable of answering questions well have their front page filtered to some degree; e.g. I have anything related to JQuery, SQL, PHP, and most Windows-specific topics ignored. The page is much slower for me. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – user744
    Commented Sep 10, 2010 at 16:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've got...about 40 tags filtered, and it still is too fast. :) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 12, 2010 at 18:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is something that I wonder about too. The SO communities that I participate in (notably the C++ one) have a lot of people who are very hostile to the idea of "restricted C++." Any answer that doesn't make conspicuous use of std:: items gets downvoted, etc., etc. I feel that the programming challenges of games, while not unique to games, do not tend to hit an appropriate audience on SO. That said- anything not specifically game related I'll ask there, but it does always hurt me to see highly upvoted answers from folks who obviously don't understand the requirements. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 14, 2010 at 1:48

Whenever I've asked game-dev-related questions on SO, I've gotten redirected to either Gamedev.net, the XNA forums, or here (in fact, that's how I discovered this place!)

I feel that game development really is a much different beast than normal software development, as I'm still relatively lost in making my first game, despite having about 5-6 years of non-game development experience.


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