Creator's Corner Changes

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PyTom
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Creator's Corner Changes

#1 Post by PyTom » Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:59 pm

Over the past few weeks, we've held discussions as to how to raise the quality of the discussion in these forums. After the public discussion faded out, we spent quite a bit of time on the (hidden to normal users) Administrator Talk forum deciding how to implement everyone's suggestions.

Over the course of these discussions, we've come to the realization that there are many ways in which people want to use these forums. We have a huge number of creators in one place, and that gives us the chance to provide a place where dedicated creators can get together to help each other create. At the same time, we've attracted a growing following of fans who post in WiP threads when a game appeals to them. As many creators find such posts motivating, we want to be sure that there's a place for players to comment about games - even if such comments don't really have more to do with the content of the game, rather than its development.

In doing this, I want to make LSF the best place it can be for the dedicated creator. Dedication isn't eliteness - the last thing I want to do is make this a place where only supremely talented people can post. That's unsustainable - there was sometime in the past when everyone who's talented today wasn't. Dedication is striving to complete the best games you can given the time and talent that is available to you. That's a definition that encompasses new and experienced creators both.

So with that being said, here is the new lineup of forums, their mandates, and a little bit of discussion about each.

Creator's Discussion (existing)

The place to discuss aspects of game creation that aren't specific to any one creator or game. Engine discussion goes here, with the exception of Ren'Py discussion, which should go in the Ren'Py section.

This isn't a change to the Creator Discussion we've had for the past few years. If it ain't broke.

Recruitment (existing)

A place where teams can recruit creators, or creators can express their interest in joining a team.

Again, this forum is working fine, so no problems here.

Works in Progress (new)

A place to announce and discuss the development of games that have not yet been been completed.

The important part here is that the new Works in Progress form will be devoted to the discussion of game development - construed somewhat broadly, but not as broadly as it is now. The big change here is that commenting from a player's perspective - for example, about how much you like a single character, or about how you can't wait for a game to come out - isn't allowed here. (But don't worry, the next forum will be the place for that.) The standard for posts here is a "reasoned comment" standard - if you can't explain why you like something in a way that other developers can understand, you shouldn't post in this forum.

We're going to raise the bar of entry slightly, with a requirement that there be demonstrable progress in creating the game, rather than just a setting and character designs. We're also asking that, when making a new topic, creators describe what they're trying to get out of that topic - for example, do they want comments and criticism, or are they just posting announcements? This will let people who want to comment do so where it does the most good.

Player Chat (new, sub-forum of Works in Progress)

Discussion of games that have not yet been completed from the perspective of a player.

This section will have one topic per WiP-game. Anyone can create a topic for a game if it doesn't exist, although we will lock a topic if the creator requests it to be locked. The idea behind this topic is that it's for conversation between potential players of the game. There's no requirement for discussion here to be relevant to any other project - as long as it's about a game under development, anything goes. Want to post fan-art of the protagonist - this is the place. It's also the place for expressing how much you like a character, and how you can't wait for the game's release.

Posts will be moved from new-WiP to Player Chat, but probably not vice-versa.

Ideas and Old Works in Progress (existing Works in Progress Recruitment forum, renamed and moved to a sub-forum of Works in Progress)

This forum exists to provide a place to post game ideas that haven't actually gone into production yet, and ideas that aren't quite ready for the Works in Progress section. It also holds works in progress threads from before 2012.

Threads that don't qualify for new-WiP will be placed in this forum. It will also hold older WiP threads, and I'll explain why below.

Demos & Beta Testing (new)

A forum for games that require beta testing before release.

We've been getting a lot of games that go into Completed Games before they're quite ready - so I think it's a good idea to have a public beta forum.

Asset Creation: Art
Asset Creation: Writing
Asset Creation: Music, Sound, and Movies

These three forums replace the skill development forum, with a couple of changes. The first is that topical questions should be posted in these forums - for example, if I have a question about how to do something in Sai, I'd post it in the Art section. Things posted here should be kept related to game development - it makes sense to post a game script in the writing section, but a fanfic is likely off-topic. Finally, reasoned comment and constructive critique is always on topic in the Asset forums.

Transition Plan

I'm asking that, sometime in the next few weeks, creators post a new thread for their game in the new works-in-progress section. The reason for this is that we'd like to try to set a certain tone in the WiP section. We'd like to make it clear that WiP is for creation-centric discussion, while Player chat is for game-centric discussion. This will be hard to do with the current threads, which freely mix creator and player centric discussion.

We'll be triaging threads in Skill Development that have been posted to in the past month or so, and moving them into the various Asset sections. When that's done, we'll leave Skill Development locked for a while, and then move it to the archived section.

Concluding Notes

These changes are complex. We've tried to address the issues raised to the best of our ability, and to serve the existing community as well as possible. We hope that making these changes will improve the ability of the forum to serve dedicated creators going forward.
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Re: Creator's Corner Changes

#2 Post by PyTom » Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:04 pm

And I went ahead and made the changes, including triaging all the active threads from skill improvment to the new asset forums. If you see a post out of place, go ahead and report it.
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Re: Creator's Corner Changes

#3 Post by Celianna » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:07 pm

Just a suggestion, instead of putting all old WIPs into an archive, why not just put them in Player Chat, since the majority was already like that? Saves people having to make another thread.
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Re: Creator's Corner Changes

#4 Post by KimiYoriBaka » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:32 pm

if a work in progress has a demo, but is still far from complete, would it go in new works in progress or in demos and beta testing?

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Re: Creator's Corner Changes

#5 Post by PyTom » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:43 pm

Celianna: Let me think about it.


KimiYoriBaka: My thinking - and I'll clean up this post to reflect it when things settle down a bit - is that threads about a game stay in WiP. That means things like progress reports, general questions, and so on. The demos forum is for discussion of a specific demo or beta only - discussion of things beyond that demo go back to WiP.

The idea is that since demos or betas are something really concrete, they should be discussed that way, rather than as part of a game-specific thread in WiP.

Also, there's no need to post an old demo in Demos & Beta Testing - you should only post there if you think people playing your demo will give you comments you'll use to improve the game.


Everyone: I know there was some interest in maintaining sticky threads about art, music, resource and so on. If you want to do it, just step up and do it, and let us know so we can sticky the thread for you.
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Re: Creator's Corner Changes

#6 Post by Aleema » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:55 pm

Very happy there is no mandatory quiz, and I'm willing to give these changes a try, since "I like it" posts weren't entirely banned, just given a place to exist (that wasn't off-site). I need to re-orient myself, but all in good time ...

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Re: Creator's Corner Changes

#7 Post by Fawn » Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:15 pm

About sticky threads for the skill development forums- I've been meaning to make a general art FAQ for awhile now to answer questions like "How do I learn to draw?", "What program should I use?" and "What kind of tablet should I get?".

It would be wonderful to have members who browse the art forums often give me questions to answer in the FAQ, or websites to link to for art help. Please PM me if you would like to contribute! :)

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Re: Creator's Corner Changes

#8 Post by Reikun » Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:10 pm

I think these changes really help with organization (especially the separate asset forums).

One suggestion I have is that it would probably be helpful if there was a sticky in the Art asset forum for posting "freebies" like free sprites/bgs/etc. Browsing through the old skill development forum, I noticed a lot of threads with people posting up their art assets as freebies. I think it would be a lot better if all these resources were grouped into one thread (or maybe even two threads so that sprites and bgs are separated.)

I also like Fawn's idea for a General Art FAQ. It would be good to have so people don't constantly make threads asking about the same things.
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Re: Creator's Corner Changes

#9 Post by CheeryMoya » Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:19 pm

Weren't we also talking about splitting up the Recruitment thread into separate sub-forums for writers, artists, programmers, etc.? It would help organize that place and stop unanswered posts from being buried.

Also, I made a "Writing FAQs and Resources" thread in the Asset Creation: Writing forum. Though not as heavily in demand as an Art FAQ, it should be somewhat useful nonetheless. I'm still waiting for it to be sticky'd ._.

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Re: Creator's Corner Changes

#10 Post by carosene » Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:04 am

I don't usually want constructive feedback specifically (I mean, I'll take it if I get it) but I prefer to have in-depth discussion about my game with people who are heavily involved in private. I only really post in the WIP board to let people know I have a project going on and post updates.

Under these rules, I would just forgo the WIP thread and just post a thread under the Players Chat. Unless the Players Chat section got a lot less traffic, then I would post a WIP thread (obeying all the new rules) but instead of asking for criticism, which I'm not here for, I'd just re-direct to the Players Chat thread. Which seems a little frustrating to me.

Also, it's my experience that there's a lot of bleed between casual commenters and people who get involved in the game. Especially beta-testers. Segregating them out seems counter-productive to me...

Just throwing in my two cents...
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Re: Creator's Corner Changes

#11 Post by sake-bento » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:23 am

As the community has grown, we've found that people are using the boards for many different reasons. That's cool, and we're happy to have a variety of interests, but as the WiP started growing, it became harder for people to find what they were looking for. The discussion that lead up to this was basically, "Do we want to push for more in depth criticism, or do we want to keep more open conversations?" In the end, the answer was, "Yes." We've split the forums so that people can find what they want, but there's obviously no rule against leaving constructive criticism in the player's forum. I suppose the better way to put it is that player commentary is open to constructive criticism, but it's not necessary. The constructive feedback section is just a more dedicated place for people to give or receive in depth commentary if it's what they're looking for.

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Re: Creator's Corner Changes

#12 Post by Sailerius » Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:17 am

I can't support these changes enough. Great move. :) I'm really glad that there's now a dedicated forum for critique and feedback of projects.

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Re: Creator's Corner Changes

#13 Post by OtomeWeekend » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:35 am

^This forum is formerly like that. :) The admins just made it more better.
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Re: Creator's Corner Changes

#14 Post by Tsundere Lightning » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:21 pm

PyTom wrote: Works in Progress (new)

A place to announce and discuss the development of games that have not yet been been completed.

The important part here is that the new Works in Progress form will be devoted to the discussion of game development - construed somewhat broadly, but not as broadly as it is now. The big change here is that commenting from a player's perspective - for example, about how much you like a single character, or about how you can't wait for a game to come out - isn't allowed here. (But don't worry, the next forum will be the place for that.) The standard for posts here is a "reasoned comment" standard - if you can't explain why you like something in a way that other developers can understand, you shouldn't post in this forum.

Player Chat (new, sub-forum of Works in Progress)

Discussion of games that have not yet been completed from the perspective of a player.
Just so I'm clear: Having threads on both subjects connected to a game is kosher (That is, in my case, a Bliss Stage WIP thread and a Bliss Stage player chat thread is OK) and encouraged?
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