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Do you like this idea?
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Jason for mod. 40%  40%  [ 4 ]
Total votes : 10
    noise shaman
  Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:02 pm
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also maybe you didn't understand my thesis. let me present it to you.

REMOVE "SUPPORT" COMPLETELY AND STRUCTURE THE ENTIRE SITE AROUND THE SHARING AND DISCUSSION OF GAME PROJECTS AND RESOURCES.

Maybe keep a smaller section with "engine support" and a tutorials board, but right now that shit is dominating the forum, making it look like the focus of this forum is support for all these engines. and guess what: that's not the focus of this site. that's not why people come here, and it's certainly not why they stay. scratch that shit.

maybe even reduce it to a single stickied thread that links to the official forums for these places.

NARROW OUR FOCUS. my suggestion is on projects and discussion of those projects.

one of the best ways to do this would be to change what people see when they come to the site. an update to the layout that would also function to take it into the modern world. you'll notice that the main page for a board using vanilla doesn't have a list of forums—it lists recent threads right up front. the DISCUSSION IS FIRST. do something like that. i'm sure there are mods for phpbb. it would also give you the excuse that you apparently need to clean up this place and hopefully get shaken out of your denial on how much of an eyesore it is.

even take a more bloggish/tumblr approach to how project threads are created.

Quote:
But besides giving points for reviews and such, we can't force people to suddenly become critique giving machines with regards to game discussion. They have to do that for themselves. It's something that would have to happen naturally, not something we can suddenly "decide to do".


there's a VERY VERY easy way to encourage people to provide deep critique and discussion: WE DO IT OURSELVES FIRST. the core active memberbase shapes the way new members will act, and will shape the way new members think of this forum. imo the idea we should be presenting is that this is a place where we're not afraid to go deep into specific and personalized discussion on project, and we're not afraid to pull punches. that kind of approach would not onl set us apart from other sites, but it would draw the more serious developers while leaving out the 11 year old who found rpgmaker on steam three days ago. allowing us to further narrow our focus and craft a reputation of quality over quantity.


Last edited by noise shaman on Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:09 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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    HiPoyion
  Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:03 pm
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Location: Falmouth
Just been through and edited some things. I'm not sure if this is how it should be, or if everyone will agree with this, but I think it declutters the forum somewhat.
Princess Amy wrote:
So.

Special Events
These are temporary and only show when something's going on

Community Centre
Announcements and Updates
- The eZine
- Site Discussion
Introductions

Games
Completed Games
Projects in Development

Game Making Support
General game making support
- Tutorials
RPG Maker
- RPG Maker Support
- RPG Maker Tutorials - Could be merged with support?
- RPG Maker Scripts
- - Script Requests
- Extending RPG Maker
Game Maker Support - Could be merged with Construct 2 and add MMF2 support here?
- Tutorials

I think it would be good to keep Game Maker and C2 away from General Game making f'rums because these are somewhat more popular. I think adding MMF2 support there too could fill it out a bit but it doesn't need to be there.
If we have a lot of child boards and separate forums it really does make the thread icons redundant. The thing is, it's users job to label their shit correctly and a mods job to clean it up if it isn't labeled correctly.


Game Making General
Game Making Discussion
- Articles
Game Making Resources
- audio resources
- resource requests
- generators and tools: isn't a forum, it's a link. Does it hurt anything being here? If it's just a link, could it not be moved up to the top bar? Like, maybe between Gamemaker Downloads and donate?

Creativity
Artwork
- music
- writing
Programming and web development

The other hand
General discussion
- Forum Games
Video Games
Other Entertainment

Personal forums
Keep.

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    HiPoyion
  Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:25 pm
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noise shaman wrote:
also maybe you didn't understand my thesis. let me present it to you.

REMOVE "SUPPORT" COMPLETELY AND STRUCTURE THE ENTIRE SITE AROUND THE SHARING AND DISCUSSION OF GAME PROJECTS AND RESOURCES.

Maybe keep a smaller section with "engine support" and a tutorials board, but right now that shit is dominating the forum, making it look like the focus of this forum is support for all these engines. and guess what: that's not the focus of this site. that's not why people come here, and it's certainly not why they stay. scratch that shit.

maybe even reduce it to a single stickied thread that links to the official forums for these places.

NARROW OUR FOCUS. my suggestion is on projects and discussion of those projects.

one of the best ways to do this would be to change what people see when they come to the site. an update to the layout that would also function to take it into the modern world. you'll notice that the main page for a board using vanilla doesn't have a list of forums—it lists recent threads right up front. the DISCUSSION IS FIRST. do something like that. i'm sure there are mods for phpbb. it would also give you the excuse that you apparently need to clean up this place and hopefully get shaken out of your denial on how much of an eyesore it is.

even take a more bloggish/tumblr approach to how project threads are created.

Most of this has a fairly valid point, but it's fairly controversial. As in most of the forum would have to agree with this before it is done. It's a rather big change and a lot of things could potentially get lost during it. I'm not saying that they will, but they could.
I agree that discussion needs to be presented more, and we need to get in more discussions.
Feedback and discussion should be the main focus. Support and shit could have it's own forum/sub forums but at the same time, any support could be asked for in your project thread.
Making it bloggish/tumblrish is actually an idea I'm personally fond of.
I think if we're going to make this forum at least a little bit more prosperous we're going to have to change its current look.

Amy, I feel you should focus on the E-zine. It's a huge asset to this community and could hugely improve the site if we do make such changes.

I can't really add anything to what you have said shaman, but I will say this will take a fairly long time to plan/implement. We need to figure out exactly how everything will work and how it will look.

I think that's it... I dunno. Duk it.

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    united washcloth express
  Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:34 pm
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I like UWE's idea because it encompasses a very large portion of this.


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    StrawberrySmiles
  Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:37 pm
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noise shaman wrote:
NARROW OUR FOCUS. my suggestion is on projects and discussion of those projects.

even take a more bloggish/tumblr approach to how project threads are created.

there's a VERY VERY easy way to encourage people to provide deep critique and discussion: WE DO IT OURSELVES FIRST.


All of these points I've quoted seem very valid to me. I totally agree!

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    bacon
  Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:24 pm
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I'm going to chime in and say we should downscale the forums. We have so many boards that don't get many hits. I have mentioned before that the site should focus on the critique and discussion of games, whether that be one engine or a multitude of engines is up for discussion. Basically mirroring what everyone else is saying

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    Amy
  Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:00 pm
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Big Dumb Guy
Temporarily moved some things around. Your thoughts? (Not finished as hard merges and shit that can't be undone I haven't touched).


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    Spoo
  Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:03 pm
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I can dig it. Think the Music subforum should be in a category more related to development, though, rather than one more or less devoted to chitchat. We have audio resources, but...

EDIT: Whoops, my mistake.

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    Amy
  Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:59 pm
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Quote:
there's a VERY VERY easy way to encourage people to provide deep critique and discussion: WE DO IT OURSELVES FIRST.

That's what I mean. There is nothing stopping "us" doing it right now. We've been able to forever. But we aren't, and as there's no way to force us to, it's not going to happen by a flick of a switch.



I've gone a bit further with the whittling. There are now only nine permanent top-level boards, down from seventeen.


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    Perihelion
  Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:14 am
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I agree that the only way for this site to succeed is downscale and narrowing of focus. Getting rid of support is a good idea. I've strongly lobbied for us to become a critique site in the past, but critique by itself isn't enough to attract people. There are lots of sites with strong communities that leave solid critique; we need a narrower focus. I suggested story-oriented games because we have a history of RPGs, so that would also include visual novels, some adventure games, etc. Let me quote an idea I had for a way to feature content a while back:

Quote:
We would bill ourselves as a critique site for games, specifically story-oriented games. We would probably include things like RPGs, visual novels, story-focused adventure games, etc. in our description and use SEO to draw in people searching for those terms. If you come to this site, people will definitely play your game, which is something no other site can say. If you contribute, you are guaranteed to get attention, which is a massive incentive to participate.

Every week, one game is pulled from the queue and featured. People leave critiques on the featured game, getting a large number of points as a reward for doing so and also incrementing their critique participation counter. (Maybe we also give a reward for best critique of the week or something.) When they have enough "critique points," they can spend them to put their game in the queue, and the cycle continues.

The problem with a queue is that we would run out of content almost immediately in our present state. A monthly queue might be okay, but we would still need to make a strong effort to recruit members from other forums who want to post their projects. I think specifically telling people to play a particular game, and making that a prerequisite for getting their own game played, is valuable because people are lazy and won't usually download someone's game unless there's a strong reason for them to do so. If we want to be a site about games, we need people to play the games, not just post about them.

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    Jason
  Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:58 am
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To be honest, the reason I don't play many peoples games is because, even though their story could be the most amazing thing ever, I look at the screenshots, and it looks proper shit, like zero effort has gone into the mapping and there's nothing custom whatsoever, or their main character just so happens to have ginger hair and wear brown armour... y'know? I think one of my faults when I'm making games is that my standards are incredibly high, I always try putting in as much detail as possible into presentation and shit, which takes a lot of time, and leads me to quit making the game halfway through, you'd be amazed at how many unfinished projects I've got, lol. But this is something that affects my decision to play other peoples games, since I see their screenshots, and automatically think "Well, they've obviously not spent time on presentation" so I skip it... maybe I should work on trying to lower my standards, lol.

But I do like the idea of narrowing the site down definitely, what you've suggested peri, as us being a critique site, sounds like a great idea, and I'd be down with that.

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    Jason
  Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:58 am
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Generic Townsperson
(Also I like how I've managed to get a proper discussion going here, despite my initial idea being completely out of the window now, lol)

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    Amy
  Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:31 pm
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Why do we have a separate edits and rips board from artwork? Do we still want/need it? It's never used.

I've moved the staff forums to their own category. It's small and members don't see it, but it just means the rest of the forums look the same to staff as they do to members, which is useful for this sort of thing.

I've moved recruitment and classifieds to the archives. It's pointless: if you're recruiting, you can make a project thread and ask for help in it, that's always been possible. If you don't have enough detail for a thread, you shouldn't be recruiting yet (or use your signature or the resource request forums).

I've got rid of the special events category and moved the music festival into the main boards, with an image to pick it out.

Should concept development be merged with game design discussion? It should be the same thing.

Should the Rec Room go, replaced with general discussion?




It's worth noting every top-level board has currently been posted in seriously this month. This wasn't the case before.


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    Amy
  Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:32 pm
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Big Dumb Guy
Also just a small thing, but I replaced all of the "forum", "posts", "topics", "last" with images instead of text, as it was pointed out Google was picking these up as our main keywords, as they're repeated so much in headers. :huh: Stupid Google.


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    Amy
  Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:00 pm
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Big Dumb Guy
Quick mockup of some possible changes I'd make, until ~larger things~ happen.

Image

ohshit you can see the staff forums

oh god

:crazy:


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    StrawberrySmiles
  Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:07 pm
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I like the tabs! Awesome!

Also, at least we can't see what's IN the staff section!

I still think we should make "new messages" stand out somehow! If not a pop up, maybe bigger and bolder? Shiny? XD

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