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History of GameDev.net

A Short History of DevGames.com

 Game Prog. 9x

DevGames.com started as a project for Crystal Semiconductor. I had always had a strong interest in developing games but trying to keep up with the occasional nugget of information for game developers scattered across the dozens of sites for game players was a chore. Also, most every DirectX site was never updated or had disappeared entirely and I was pretty sure that it would eventually be the game development platform for PCs. So I figured that there would be lots of interest in a regularly updated site that gathered up news and links just for game developers. I managed to finagle some space on the corporate webserver on the basis that we could use this as an opportunity to promote Crystal's sound chips and Cirrus Logic's graphics chips (our parent company).

Unfortunately, it was not to last. Cirrus and Crystal laid off 25% of their employees just a few days before the start of the 1997 CGDC (which I was supposed to attend) and everyone at my site was among them. So I started over. The result was XPlus, a site devoted to DirectX news stored at the web getto that is GeoCities. After an initial surge in interest after it's May 1997 debut it dropped from 300 visitors a day to less than 80 a day by New Years 1998. I was discouraged and was about to cancel the project when for reasons still unknown to me my daily visitors doubled and then within a couple of weeks they doubled again. Soon I had far more people visiting than ever before and it was time to move off to a server of my own.

XPlus Screenshot   DevGames Screenshot

Screenshots of XPlus (left) and DevGames (right)

There was just one problem... In those days I didn't think in terms of names and domains in the same breath so I had never bothered to check and see if XPlus.com was available when I named my site. It wasn't (a bike tours company uses it) so I found a new domain, DevGames.com and stored XPlus in a subdirectory off of that domain. Eventually I gave a couple of other interesting web sites a home at DevGames and finally shut down XPlus as the main source of news in October of 1998. Since then DevGames.com itself has been the news page for thousands of visitors daily and a link to developer diaries and web sites devoted to game development.