Are you an Indie Game Developer? Then, this blog is for you.
There are plenty of communities out there filled with thousands of game developers. We’ve gathered some of the biggest, the most classic, and the most useful game development communities that are currently active.
When you join a game development community, not only can you solve problems and obstacles with the help of experienced devs but you can also make friends and great partnerships along the way.
There are many different types of communities. Some are focused on programming, some are focused on business and marketing, some are focused on art and aesthetics, and so on.
Further Reading: Marketing Tools used by Indie Game Developers
Here are The Best Game Development Communities for Indie Developers in 2023.
Let’s kick off this list with Reddit and the only gamedev subreddit aka r/gamedev.
This community includes more than 700k enthusiasts from all around the world and hosts all topics regarding game development such as programming, math, art, music, business, marketing, and more. In a Reddit community or subreddit, you’ll be able to post, read other users’ posts, comment, and vote (via upvotes and downvotes) on both posts and comments. At the top of the sub, you’ll find a pinned post explaining the main rules for interacting with the community.
Among the rules, users cannot show off or promote their creations, solicit employment, or postpaid assets. r/gamedev is designed for users to post questions and discussions about your game development or the industry in general, and share useful articles, books, resources, and more.
The best way to know how and what to post is by looking at what different flairs people tag their posts with.
Some of the most popular flairs are:
a. Question: many community members join r/gamedev to ask for help from devs with more experience. This is one of the best places to get some really good answers to questions you may have.
b. Tutorial: many members join the r/gamedev community to share their knowledge.
c. Discussion: Want to share your thoughts or just talk about anything that piques your curiosity about game dev? Check out the “discussion” flare to create or join in on great conversations among fellow developers and, maybe, make some new acquaintances along the way.
To join the community, all you have to do is head to reddit.com/r/gamedev and join with your Reddit account.
This is the perfect complement to the first community we listed. In the IndieGames subreddit, the number 1 rule is to show off footage or images about the game that you’re posting about.
That means you can post whatever you want about your game and promote it all you want within this community.
r/IndieGames gathers not only developers, but also indie game fans, game curators, streamers, and everyone interested in learning about hidden indie gems and their ongoing development cycles.
r/IndieGames also gives users the option to tag their posts with flairs, including:
a. Need Feedback: With this flair, you can solicit impressions and feedback. You’d be surprised with how many people step up and use their free time to comment and help improve the work of indie devs.
b. Devlog: Learn from other devs by reading or watching their devlogs. Also, creating a devlog that follows your development journey is not only a great way to document your growth but also a great strategy to nurture a solid fan base that will stick with you through your launch and onwards.
c. Public Game Test: use this flair if you want to let players into your game early on in your development.
3. Indie Game Developers
Now we’re moving to Facebook, with Indie Game Developers IGD, a community boasting more than 120,000 members. Indie Game Developers is a great place for game devs that want to share resources and information with fellow developers on Facebook.
This community is a little similar to r/gamedev, as members can openly ask and discuss anything they want about game development in general. Members can also post videos and pics showing off their creations, and solicit feedback from the community.
Additionally, posts can contain a wide variety of file types, including .zip and .rar files. This means you can share files, assets, documents, game demos, and more directly through your posts.
Some great games we’ve seen in this community include:
* The highly anticipated indie game Planet of Lana, by Wishfully Studios. * Fashion Police Squad, by Mopeful Games, a game that was featured last year in the Ask Gamedev Community Game Showcase.
* Slow Mole Jr, by Erik Rosenlund.
4. TIGForums from TIGSource
Derek’s partly responsible, alongside a group of other indie devs, for the creation of TIGSource – one of the most emblematic indie game dev sites of the last two decades.
TIGSource, The Independent Games Source, was originally founded by developer Jordan Magnuson in 2005 and was later taken over by Derek Yu. Now, almost 20 years later, its forums are still active daily with new and veteran devs engaging in all types of conversations about their game dev journeys.
The TIGForums are Divided into 4 main sections:
* Community section: This contains a Townhall thread which is a great starting place for those new to the forum. There’s also a Devlogs thread for those who want to document their game dev experiences. And finally, there’s a place to post and get informed about upcoming events and game jams.
* Developer section: where you can discuss all things gamedev.
* Jobs section: for those looking to hire, to collab, or even to showcase themselves for potential work.
* Player section: to chat about video games, tabletop games, and everything in between.
You can browse through all the content on TIGForums without an account.
Some cool games we’ve spotted in the forums are:
* Hyperlight Drifter by Heart Machine – whose devs presented their Kickstarter to the community in September 2013.
* Brigador by Stellar Jockeys – an isometric cyberpunk gem that currently sits with a 95% overwhelmingly positive rating on Steam.
* Monster Garden by Zack Wood – a clever RPG adventure game that was featured in our 2018 RPG Maker showcase.
5. Indie DB
Indie DB was founded in 2010 as a spin-off website of Mod DB – a gigantic video game modding community that was established back in 2002 by Scott “INtense!” Reisman is.
As many modders are, or eventually become, devs themselves, Indie DB was born to house all the ideas, conversations, and realizations that were spawning throughout the community.
Because of this, Indie DB quickly became one of the all-time favorite indie communities for both game creators and players. Indie DB serves as a repository for assets, articles, devlogs, prototypes, demos, and even full games created by its community members. Additionally, the site hosts a forum where aspiring and experienced devs can interact to keep the indie movement going forward.
In these forums, you’ll find thousands of posts that document all types of topics that surround game development and you’ll be able to find information on events, game jams, job recruitment, and more. If you want to browse around, Indie DB is completely open to visitors.
Every year, Indie DB hosts a competition called the Indie of the Year Awards. This competition has seen mythical titles start their journey.
Some of these games include:
* Minecraft by Mojang – which won the Best Single Player Indie award in 2010 one year before it was fully released.
* Enter the Gungeon by Dodge Roll games – Best Single Player Indie in 2016.
* Outer Wilds by Mobius Digital – Best Single Player Indie in 2019.
Going even further into the past, let’s take a look at a community that has been alive since the year 1999: GameDev.net.
GameDev.net was established by several indie devs with the idea of a one-stop destination for, as their original slogan said: “all your game development needs”. It all started when 8 devs, led by Kevin Hawkins, decided to join forces and redirect all the traffic from their 90’s era websites to a place they could pioneer one of the first communities in the game dev scene.
Fast forward to 2022 and GameDev.net is still one of the go-to sources for any rookie or veteran creator. Their main focus, as of now, is hosting one of the biggest game development blog repositories where countless devs share their knowledge with this ever-growing community.
We can find some interesting topics such as:
* Adding Machine Learning NPCs in video games
* Imagining only the weapons, the aggressive/combat side of the opponent
* Game Dev Digest Issue #142 – Put Your Name On Your Game
* C# Code Optimization 2: Prevent the Unnecessary Increase in Mono Memory
* How to get the most out of your game’s voice actors.
7. Stack Exchange
Stack Exchange is much more than just one community. It’s one of the biggest sources of collective software development knowledge on the web. It’s also known for being one of the biggest Q&A ecosystems out there. The project started as a simple computer programming Q&A site created by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky back in 2008.
With time, the site has branched out into numerous sub-topics, spawning countless sub-communities where people can ask and also answer all types of questions related to the specific topic of each community.
Among these topics, we can find very specific communities like:
* ARQADE: a site for passionate videogamers on all platforms.
* Code Golf & coding challenges: a site for programming puzzle enthusiasts and code golfers.
* Science Fiction & Fantasy: a site for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts.
* Blender Stack Exchange: a site for people who use Blender to create 3D graphics, animations, or games.
* Worldbuilding: a site for writers/artists using science, geography, and culture to construct imaginary worlds and settings.
* Ask Ubuntu: a site for Ubuntu users and developers.
* Puzzling Stack Exchange: a site for those who create, solve, and study puzzles.
Among these communities, there’s one dedicated Stack Exchange Game Development section where you can browse and post every question that pops into your mind.
Further Reading: How to Make Games Without Coding
Alby Abraham is an technology enthusiast, published blogger, and a content marketer who spends his time on building a career in the digital marketing industry. He also writes a blog on The Last Words for tech lovers.