I’ve been quiet on this blog. Per usual. Sharing myself publicly isn’t a natural state for me.
About a month ago I started down a path of no return - to redesign GameDev.net. As the owner/manager of the platform, this is a step that has been a long time coming. The design of the site is stale, difficult to use, and not well organized. This needs to be corrected to grow and sustain an audience.
Really the process started about 12 years ago with the original vision of a community platform for game developers that extended beyond forums, but in all fairness it wasn’t until fairly recently that my commitment to the vision started to take shape.
A few months ago I nailed down specifics for the platform in a document called “GameDev 2019”. Shortly after I hired some UX designers to help flesh out the concepts, and while their focus was on redesigning the existing site, going through the process helped me realize more details on how I wanted the new platform to operate.
About mid-December 2018 I had enough of the UX wireframes to start prototyping implementation. After discussion with some others more in-the-know on modern webdev, I settled on Python and the django framework. The fun part about that is I haven’t used Python in.. I don’t know.. 12 years? And that wasn’t exactly extensive experience.
I wouldn’t normally recommend pursuing a full platform redesign for a site seeing a quarter million users a month and growing using a framework you know nothing about and a language you haven’t touched in forever, but I’m a glutton for punishment.
Besides, I have no fear of learning.
And it’s paying off.
About a month in - and the UX designers are working on the visual design - and the prototype has turned into an alpha. And things look GOOD.
I’m excited. I’m excited about not only a platform that implements the existing features in a better, cleaner, easier-to-use interface, but I’m excited about how the new platform will be able to bring new features that help developers learn, share, and connect with each other in a modern way.