GxB Forum Separation (was: Post to Topic Ratio)

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GxB Forum Separation (was: Post to Topic Ratio)

#1 Post by mysterialize » Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:57 pm

This is a fairly useless thread, and I apologize if I'm just wasting space, but I couldn't help but notice something odd about the numbers when looking at the forum post and topic counts.

Image

The number of topics in the GxB forum is about 1/12th of what's in the WIP forum. This is pretty normal, considering that the WIP forum contains more genres than the GxB one, and the GxB one is newer.

The number of posts, on the other hand, is only about 1/4th of the WIP forum's.

Why? I can't help but find this scale kind of absurd. There's nothing wrong with it, of course, but I really have to wonder what makes it so that you guys post three times as often, in average, than the typical WIPer. If nothing else, it's just kind of funny.
Last edited by mysterialize on Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: You Otome Gamers Sure Like to Talk a Lot

#2 Post by Aleema » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:03 am

If there's nothing wrong with it, why did you make a topic about it? PyTom has stated that the reason he made the forum is because the GxB'ers post a lot. So ... now we're pointing it out ... why? If you want my in depth analysis as to why, I can essay your head off. But it would just be a bunch of "women this, men that" -- and no one is interested or will be deeply offended by it. So why go there?

Anyway, since you're just genuinely asking, here's something I said a while back:
Aleema wrote:Lastly, because of the surge of female developers the large amount of posts are because that's a woman's forum etiquette. Haven't you ever heard of the stereotype that we talk a lot? This is how we connect with others, make friends, and support each other. I hate to stereotype my own gender, but we make comments that have exclamation points and smily faces more than men.

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Re: You Otome Gamers Sure Like to Talk a Lot

#3 Post by Samu-kun » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:12 am

Must be because the GxB WIP forum is all new and spiffy. Once it's been around for five or six years, I think people will realize just how difficult it is to turn a WIP into a finished product and generally lose interest in WIPs. Also, a lot more people there have been using the forum for dev journals, which is a pretty good way to ensure high post count.

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Re: You Otome Gamers Sure Like to Talk a Lot

#4 Post by mysterialize » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:59 am

Aleema wrote:If there's nothing wrong with it, why did you make a topic about it? PyTom has stated that the reason he made the forum is because the GxB'ers post a lot. So ... now we're pointing it out ... why? If you want my in depth analysis as to why, I can essay your head off. But it would just be a bunch of "women this, men that" -- and no one is interested or will be deeply offended by it. So why go there?

Anyway, since you're just genuinely asking, here's something I said a while back:
Aleema wrote:Lastly, because of the surge of female developers the large amount of posts are because that's a woman's forum etiquette. Haven't you ever heard of the stereotype that we talk a lot? This is how we connect with others, make friends, and support each other. I hate to stereotype my own gender, but we make comments that have exclamation points and smily faces more than men.
Woah, sorry. I didn't make this to offend anyone. It was just meant to be a casual topic pointing out something I noticed. It has absolutely nothing to do with stereotypes about men and women. I'm a woman myself, and I can personally say that we, as a gender, aren't all necessarily like that.

However, I'll gladly kill the topic if you really do think it will go in a negative direction. The last thing I want is unpleasant conversation.
Must be because the GxB WIP forum is all new and spiffy. Once it's been around for five or six years, I think people will realize just how difficult it is to turn a WIP into a finished product and generally lose interest in WIPs. Also, a lot more people there have been using the forum for dev journals, which is a pretty good way to ensure high post count.
This is actually the sort of response I was expecting. Perhaps I was just being naive, though. I'm rather good at making mistakes.

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Re: You Otome Gamers Sure Like to Talk a Lot

#5 Post by Aleema » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:15 am

The GxB forum and being called an "otome gamer" rubs me the wrong way. I apologize for sounding hostile.
Also, a lot more people there have been using the forum for dev journals, which is a pretty good way to ensure high post count.
That's the most accurate explanation. Constant game updates plus all their comments add up pretty quickly. I really don't think it has anything with the forum being new, since most of the threads were made before it existed. It might encourage a new thread or two, though.

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Re: You Otome Gamers Sure Like to Talk a Lot

#6 Post by mysterialize » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:19 am

Aleema wrote:The GxB forum and being called an "otome gamer" rubs me the wrong way. I apologize for sounding hostile.
Also, a lot more people there have been using the forum for dev journals, which is a pretty good way to ensure high post count.
That's the most accurate explanation. Constant game updates plus all their comments add up pretty quickly. I really don't think it has anything with the forum being new, since most of the threads were made before it existed. It might encourage a new thread or two, though.
I'll change the title, then. I intended the topic title to be a playful jest, but I suppose I can see where you're coming from. Again, I apologize. I'm starting to regret making this topic at all, really. XD

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Re: Post to Topic Ratio in The GxB Forums

#7 Post by Aleema » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:27 am

Sorry, I make a big stink when it comes to this stuff. :) The GxB forum is a sensitive issue, I think, since the first thread about nuking the WIP forum, and then this thread about the new forum. Sorry if you knew about those already, but the casual approach to the topic seemed like you weren't. Also, I'm a raving bitch feminist whom you should probably ignore.

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Re: Post to Topic Ratio in The GxB Forums

#8 Post by sake-bento » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:42 am

Do you think the ratio of posting is something that needs to be addressed? Any suggestions on encouraging not only forum participation, but actual production of visual novels (of any genre) are most welcome.

This does raise the question of whether or not splitting the sections has been a useful move or not. From the looks of it, the higher amount of posting in the GxB forum might have pushed down some non GxB games that are currently getting more attention in the general WIP forum. Rather than quarantining GxB games, I think it's given all VN WIP threads the chance to get more attention.

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Re: Post to Topic Ratio in The GxB Forums

#9 Post by mysterialize » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:02 am

Aleema wrote:the first thread about nuking the WIP forum
Actually, while I knew about the GxB forum topic, I somehow never saw this one before, and now that I've read some of it, I actually think it explains the reason for the odd ratio. The GxB forum wasn't created until after the staff started bringing attention to the large number of near-empty topics for game ideas, and so it doesn't contain quite as many of them. It's just the result of the rules (At least the unwritten ones) being more heavily enforced.
sake-bento wrote:Do you think the ratio of posting is something that needs to be addressed? Any suggestions on encouraging not only forum participation, but actual production of visual novels (of any genre) are most welcome.
Originally, I thought that maybe it did hint that the GxB forum might be more popular here than the generic WIP forum, but considering what I just noticed above, it might not actually be the case. It's of course always good to encourage more activity, which there does occasionally seem to be a lack of, but I'm starting to doubt that this is related.

Though, it is somewhat possible that the other WIPs have gotten less attention, simply due to the forum separation keeping certain members from looking at non-GxB WIPs, when they don't feel as drawn to the other forums. Whether this really matters or not though, is another question.

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Re: Post to Topic Ratio in The GxB Forums

#10 Post by Aleema » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:16 am

I agree that some threads and people are getting the attention they deserve from the divide. But it remains that it is still a divide. I was refused permission to be moved back to the general forum, even when it was said that I would be allowed, if asked. So, personally, I hate it. It feels like rejection and a punishment for people showing interest in your game (which added up to a lot of posts).

On the grand scale of things, however, it welcomes a GxB community that wasn't there before. I believe it is easier for GxB'ers to find GxB only games, and not-GxB games for people who specifically don't want to find them. The repercussions of keeping one demographic in one specific forum cannot be readily seen or cataloged (lack of support and input of each other's projects, furthering stereotypes, pigeonholing games and dividing their audience) and I'm not even sure how we can test something like that without some control to compare it to. So I don't think we can accurately say that the forum itself did anything, positive or negative, since the community was only beginning to grow when it was created. There is no good span of time where the community we see today was once just one WIP forum. It's just one of those things we can't be sure about. The only thing we can be sure about is that it was easier to find or ignore GxB WIP threads. The need to do that is debatable.

And looking back on the old threads, I believe November was the agreed upon trial time. So it does make sense that we discuss this now.
mysterialize wrote:The GxB forum wasn't created until after the staff started bringing attention to the large number of near-empty topics for game ideas, and so it doesn't contain quite as many of them. It's just the result of the rules (At least the unwritten ones) being more heavily enforced.
Hmm, no, I think you have this a bit off. The WIP nuking thread was addressing the rise of posts. And as far as I can tell, the only enforcement towards keeping posts content-rich is guilt tripping the population (by threatening to blow up the forum, quarantining trends of threads because their predecessors were too active at one time). Do I sound bitter? I'm not, really. This doesn't go through my head every day I click the forum. I don't feel the GxB forum should be reversed, I just hate that it happened at all. I think people should be allowed a choice to go or stay, too.

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Re: You Otome Gamers Sure Like to Talk a Lot

#11 Post by DaFool » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:43 am

Aleema wrote:...support each other...
And that's exactly why I believe the OELVN fandom will thrive because of GxB's. There are very few GxBs being translated so the potential audience has to basically make their own. The BxG audience is too mired in Japanese elitism and e-penis wars that they are self-destructing. Insani basically exited the scene after giving the finger to everyone, despite being the driving influence inspiring the first wave of English VN creators through their al|together festivals. Recently it's come to a point in some threads in the translation scene that every other comment is a troll comment. Some of them try so hard to be assholes you wonder why... you see it in the condescending manner they deliver translation patches. I was driven away by that community a long time ago. I have even outright stopped playing JVNs.

Don't make the same mistake. Supporting each other -- even patting each other behind the back "Attagirl!" is necessary for creators, since they will realize anyway how damn hard it is to make a finished game. No one sets out to purposefully make a bad game, they were just too ambitious.

I still have my doubts regarding an industry where you pay 40-50 euros to download walls of text where nothing much happens except school scenes and overdone melodrama. I think with the right push, more sensible western-developed interactive stories (those that are not weeaboo-influenced) can stake a claim in the market with better gameplay, better characterizations, better story, better prices (against the strong yen) and practically drive the Japanese back into the niche, the same thing that has happened with mainstream videogames and RPGs.

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a former recovering weeaboo with an axe to grind

More on topic, I actually think its the general WIP forum that is being ignored. As I said already, the BxG scene is much less supportive of each other.
Last edited by DaFool on Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Post to Topic Ratio in The GxB Forums

#12 Post by PyTom » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:46 am

sake-bento wrote:Any suggestions on encouraging not only forum participation, but actual production of visual novels (of any genre) are most welcome.
At the end of the day, it's the creation of storytelling games that really defines if this forum is successful or not. To some extent, every post here takes away from the time people have to make games. The question is, do the benefits of the forum, such as technical help, recruitment, encouragement, brainstorming, a sense of community, etc., make up for the time people take on the forum?

I kind of get the sense that the number of games that are being produced here is declining. I suspect that, at least in part, this is because people are producing more ambitious projects - I know a few people are working on multiple-hour-long games, and I suspect that part of the decline is because one can produce many short games in the time it takes for one long game. I'm not sure what to think of this - I read both novels and short stories.
This does raise the question of whether or not splitting the sections has been a useful move or not. From the looks of it, the higher amount of posting in the GxB forum might have pushed down some non GxB games that are currently getting more attention in the general WIP forum. Rather than quarantining GxB games, I think it's given all VN WIP threads the chance to get more attention.
I suspect this has been true. It's been three months, I think, and I'm not sure how to evaluate the results of the GxB forum experiment. I'm still somewhat ambivalent about WiP, in general - I wonder if it wouldn't be served better by aggregation of development blogs (like Planet EVN does), and having a forum where people can offer their services to projects. I'm curious as to what people get out of Planet EVN.

(Unless you count remakes of Moonlight Walks, I haven't worked on a project in a few years - so take my opinions with a grain of salt, as it's possible that creators are seeing things that I'm not.)
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Re: Post to Topic Ratio in The GxB Forums

#13 Post by J. Datie » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:51 am

I'm guessing it's because the forums have gotten a lot more popular than they were before, and GxB games are what's currently popular, so there's been more people to post in those threads. As an example, about 30% of the topics in the general WiP forums had a "last post" in 2010, compared to 100% in the GxB forums. If you look at recent threads, the average general and GxB thread seems to get about the same number of replies, more or less, with GxB being more likely to have the really large threads. Another example: Aleema's RockRobin thread makes up 10% of all the posts in the GxB section, and the threads for the second and third games in azureXtwilight's Fantasia trilogy makes up 33%. Isn't math interesting?

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Re: Post to Topic Ratio in The GxB Forums

#14 Post by sake-bento » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:59 am

My suggestion is to raise the requirements of a standard, catch-all WIP forum and to create a separate forum for recruitment. We're still a fairly small group, but we're growing quickly. Both WIP forums currently sport several threads that aren't really works in progress, and more just ideas for a VN that I may or not make if I have time to do it, and does anyone know how to use Ren'py? I think the "idea" threads are adding more clutter than the GxB threads. It's just that a lot of the idea threads happen to be for GxB games. People with ideas can get feedback in the Ideas Dump thread (sticky it, perhaps?), and a separate recruitment forum can provide a good place for people looking for partners, or artists, writers, composers, voice actors, people with online VN engines, etc. to advertise themselves.

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Re: Post to Topic Ratio in The GxB Forums

#15 Post by Aleema » Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:19 am

DaFool wrote:There are very few GxBs being translated so the potential audience has to basically make their own.
THIS. This times a thousand. This is why I'm such an advocate for GxB games. There simply aren't any, outside of a few that we've already played a dozen times, and ones that our peers have made. thisthisthisthis
PyTom wrote:I kind of get the sense that the number of games that are being produced here is declining. I suspect that, at least in part, this is because people are producing more ambitious projects - I know a few people are working on multiple-hour-long games, and I suspect that part of the decline is because one can produce many short games in the time it takes for one long game. I'm not sure what to think of this - I read both novels and short stories.
Back when Hollywood was just a baby, movies were a dime a dozen. There were so goddamned many.
Some people ask, "Why were there so many good old movies, and now everything is crap?" That's because there were SO MANY movies in the beginning, that finding a good one is simply a percentage thing. 1/10 * 1000, vs 1/10 * 100. I can point you to a hundred bad black'n'whites for every good one you show me.

Now movies have a bigger budget. We shoot on better sets, we don't let the writer be the director as often, we have some kick ass camera and digital effects, stunt doubles, original orchestra soundtracks, post editing that can work literal magic, acting/movie schools, and all kinds of new crap. And even if it takes a little bit longer to do them, I'd like to think we make better movies, compared to 50 years ago.

Since when was quantity ever better than quality when it comes to art?
J. Datie wrote:I'm guessing it's because the forums have gotten a lot more popular than they were before, and GxB games are what's currently popular, so there's been more people to post in those threads. As an example, about 30% of the topics in the general WiP forums had a "last post" in 2010, compared to 100% in the GxB forums. If you look at recent threads, the average general and GxB thread seems to get about the same number of replies, more or less, with GxB being more likely to have the really large threads. Another example: Aleema's RockRobin thread makes up 10% of all the posts in the GxB section, and the threads for the second and third games in azureXtwilight's Fantasia trilogy makes up 33%. Isn't math interesting?
The words "currently popular" used here seem very ... wrong. Insulting even, though I know that's not your intended purpose. It's like saying GxB games are a fad.

I honestly don't think it will die down. It may reach an equilibrium here soon, but just look at the size of your bookstore's romance novel section, or just fanfiction: it's still a thriving past time for many girls. Yes, I do believe a lot of fanfiction writers are girls, not to say that men don't write fanfiction either. Please don't dwell on me saying that. Anyway, my point is: fanfiction and VNs are very similar, in that they're stories written by everyday people. The VN format is new to everyone outside of Japan (or Asia, or whatever). Their rise in popularity isn't because it's novel and that novelty will die -- it's because it's getting more recognized and accepted. And that's not going to just stop without some major advancement in time or human technology. Saying GxB is "currently popular" is like saying sex is "currently the hip thing to do."

And just to be clear, both me and azure have created our own forums for our projects and rarely post in those threads anymore. It's not like 43% of the new posts you're counting are ours.

Also, it's natural the GxB WIP forum would have 100% "last posts" in 2010 (the damn forum is only a few months old!), because all the threads were singled out, and there aren't that many. Look at when the threads were created, and then we'll talk about what's "currently popular".
sake-bento wrote:My suggestion is to raise the requirements of a standard, catch-all WIP forum and to create a separate forum for recruitment. We're still a fairly small group, but we're growing quickly. Both WIP forums currently sport several threads that aren't really works in progress, and more just ideas for a VN that I may or not make if I have time to do it, and does anyone know how to use Ren'py? I think the "idea" threads are adding more clutter than the GxB threads. It's just that a lot of the idea threads happen to be for GxB games. People with ideas can get feedback in the Ideas Dump thread (sticky it, perhaps?), and a separate recruitment forum can provide a good place for people looking for partners, or artists, writers, composers, voice actors, people with online VN engines, etc. to advertise themselves.
Romantic, but will fail unless you enforce very strict rules in that recruitment-only forum. I've started a couple recruitment threads myself. They turn into support/WIP threads immediately. The first damn reply: "I can't help, but I like your idea". And a recruit/WIP thread is basically similar: you're describing your game. How else are people going to be interested enough to help? Please, someone actually read this: recruitment threads are WIP idea threads. I have rarely seen them separate, ever. I hang out in the WIP forum(s) enough to see truth in it.

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