So for some time now, I’ve been using Stack Overflow as a great reference for the sort of iPhone development questions that come up when you try to do anything non trivial. Of course the SDK documentation covers quite a lot, but when you are trying to express a particular structure of UI, and find that you’re not doing things “the Apple way”, it’s not immediately clear exactly why or what to do. Of course, for almost every case, there are dozens of developers who have come before me who have already asked, and usually answered, the same question. Instead of hours of painstaking research or trial and error, usually the answers on Stack Overflow are enough to point me in the right direction, if not provide a solution to the problem outright .
And it’s that sort of standing on the shoulders of giants that I hope that the Game Development Stack Exchange site will help provide. Recently out of beta, the community there has quickly flourished into a fully fledged site, with a good breadth of knowledge. As will all the Stack Exchange sites however, it’s only as good as the community makes it, so in an attempt to be helpful, I’ve tried to ask some interesting and useful questions, and provide some informative answers of my own.
Sadly, as with any open and un-gated site, there are more than a few contributors who are, quite frankly, not contributing so much as dragging the place down. Thankfully there are mechanisms in place to vote down the more useless questions (such as What’s the best phone for game development?) and vote up the more interesting ones (like Fixed time-step vs variable time-step and What can cause alt-TAB to be annoying / slow / glitchy?).
As always though, only time will tell whether it will turn into a useful resource, or will degenerate into questions asked by amateurs and answered by idiots. The only way I can see to properly raise the signal-to-noise ratio is to encourage my fellow developers to visit, find a few questions to answer, and vote down any questions that don’t add any knowledge to the community. And so this post, such as it is, is my little attempt to raise awareness of the site amongst the wider game development community. And feel free to add an answer to my only question so far. 🙂