You probably have friends (or maybe you don’t) but how many of your friends actually are knowledgeable about coding games? How many of them will exchange ideas and show off projects, instead of just pretending to understand what Rigidbody component is? No matter how we look at it game development is still a narrow niche, and you may struggle finding people with same hobby. That’s why gamedev chats and forums are awesome.
Maybe you already have a team, but having a friendly community of people who share occupation or passion certainly wouldn’t be a bad deal, especially because it’s free.
Note: this article contains a list of most active game design chats and forums. If you want to learn how to use forum boards, chat servers, social medias and other e-marketing channels to promote and advertise your indie video game, then give a read to indie game marketing & promotion tutorial – without advertising, the game you are currently making won’t have any sales, downloads and players. So if you want to make a successful game, then you absolutely need to learn how to promote it.
Is Gamedev Community Worth It?
And it’s not only your mood that’s benefiting if you are a part of alike-minded community. Whats even bigger benefit is exchange of thoughts, ideas, skills, and work done.
I saw plenty of great projects and ideas in such communities. So good that I would love to copy them and make something very similar to their work, but that wouldn’t be fair.
Not only that, but they also help you expecting nothing in return. You can regularly get answers for your issues in the most popular places, and quite quickly since posting.
The only thing that is bad about gamedev communities is that it’s easy to get addicted to them, and waste lot of time browsing, posting and joking. As someone who makes games, you have ton of things to do, so any procrastination is bad.
If you won’t get addicted, then being a part of community is great and has many benefits.
List Of Best Game Design Discord Servers
They mostly target Unity, but almost each of them has channels for other popular game engines.
Official Unity Server
Official Unity chat is quite tight with rules. But its biggest server, and you can receive help very quick. If you are programming in Unity, then that’s the server you must join.
Unity Developer Hub
UDH chat was disbanded & remade numerous times, but its still a great, funny, and very chill place. Not as tight with rules as official Unity server.
If you use Unreal Engine instead (or if you were banned from everywhere else) then Unreal Slackers is the right place for you. Even though mods are online often, this place is very chill and safe even for the biggest rule-breaking addicts. It’s so hard to get banned here that it is kind of achievement. If you did it, then know that you have some skills.
Game Developers League
GDL server is a discord full of game developers of any kind. This server doesn’t prefer any specific engine, it supports all of them and has channels for all of them as well. Great place to get help and talk about various things.
Unity Developer Community
UDC chat is another server that targets Unity engine. If you are using it like me, then this is place for you. You can ask for help here, post your work and get feedback, or just talk about anything.
Reddit Gamedev Discord
Did you know that gamedev subreddit has official discord server? Its great place to be part of. Just like UDC, it also supports all major game engines.
Game Maker Chat
If you for some reason picked the easiest way, or prefer 2D over 3D, then GM chat is right place for you. In this place you can talk about anything even if you’re not a game designer.
Who doesn’t like completely new and free open source projects? Well, Godot is not completely new, it just gained popularity recently. And here’s official Godot chat.
Browser games are the best. If you remember old Runescape or Minecraft, then you can’t hate them. Join WebGames discord if you are a still a fan of browser games.
Best Game Development Forums
Before Discord and Reddit became a thing, forums were very popular form of communication between alike-minded people. And their activity was out the roof.
Now they are a little bit less active, however it’s still a great place for discussions or to seek support.
Reddit‘s Gamedev community is as you guessed a place for every indie (and not only) game designer under the sun. The majority of members in this community are indie devs, however, some users work in this profession as well.
The most distinct trait of this subreddit is that you can interact with game designers of any programming language, any framework, and any engine. Whether you make games in Python, in Unity, or in GameMaker, it doesn’t matter! You’re welcome anyway.
Unity forum is place for people who’ve decided to use Unity. This forum is as lively as both their Discord and Reddit communities are.
Unreal Engine Forum
UE4 forum is for Unreal Engine users. So its userbase consists mainly of people who create 3D, FPS and racing games. But also of people who are heavily fixated on getting the best graphics and visual effects.
HTML 5 Game Devs Forum
HTML5GameDevs forum is community for these who like to create mini browser games in any of the most popular frameworks: Phaser, Babylon, Pixi, Panda, Kiwi and Melon.
Indie DB Forum
IndieDB forum is old website for indie game developers. Though it may be old, it’s still active and new gamedev hobbyists are registering and posting regularly.
Indie Gamer Forum
IndieGamer forum covers more than typical indie forum. It has less general categories as well, like indie business, marketing, gaming, art portfolio, and more.
TIGSource is old and massive forum for game designers. There’s so many threads that if you will ever get bored then this is the place where you can do some mass-reading about game design.
Which Community Did You Join?
You were presented with 16 lively indie game programmer communities including both Discord chat servers and forum boards. Many of them are useful knowledge bank, and they can entertain us as well. Not only that, you can also ask for feedback about your work, or browse other people’s work.
One of most important positives is certainly speaking with alike-minded people and discussing game design. It’s certainly more interesting than speaking with a friend who knows nothing about programming and just pretends his interest and that he understand you, right :)?
However, if you spend too much time in these communities then your productivity will decrease. And you don’t want that. You want to make a game, not just discuss about how great your game would be.