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Rules and Moderation Policy (Updated 2023-10-14)

Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:05 am
by PyTom
Welcome to the Lemma Soft Forums! We're happy to have you here, as long as you follow the forum rules to keep this a constructive place. :D

Failure to follow the following rules may result in you being warned, banned, and/or having your thread locked or deleted, among other things. The consequences are at the administrators' discretion.

Forum participation is a privilege, not a right. If you do not agree to follow the rules and/or accept the consequences for breaking them, do not participate.

0.) Forum Mandate
The purpose of this forum is to promote the creation of visual novels and story-based games by providing a place for the creators of those games to teach each other, improve their skills, forge collaborations, and promote their work.

1.) Tolerance of Others' Views
This forum has members from many countries and cultures. Naturally, there will be diverse views and disagreements on topics. Threads that degenerate into personal attacks, insults, and name-calling will be locked or deleted, with administrative action taken against the offending parties.

Discussion of political issues is generally not allowed. Exceptions are made for political issues that are directly relevant to the development of visual novels and story-based games, such as copyright issues. We allow discussion of issues raised by a good-faith game in threads about that game. Other issues are off-topic, and should be discussed on a more appropriate forum. As with other topics, we will end political discussion that becomes uncivil.

Opinions expressed by forum members are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the forum administration. Failure to argue against or in favor of an opinion does not necessarily reflect agreement or disagreement with that opinion by the administration.

2.) Civility and Criticism
No flaming, swearing, personal attacks, or trolling. Do not attack people based on religion, gender, race, or sexual orientation.

We encourage constructive criticism, but direct criticism towards work and ideas, rather than criticizing people. Criticism should be offered with the intent to improve a work. Insults or criticisms meant to tear down a work or person are not acceptable.

As this is a forum filled with creative minds, you're likely to receive constructive criticism and suggestions on your work. You don't have to agree with the criticisms, but don't get defensive over someone's well-meaning opinion. In the case that the person is merely being rude or insulting, report the post and move on.

3.) Language
The common language of the forum is English. Posts must be written in English using standard capitalization and punctuation. Posting in chatspeak ("ur", "plz", "u", etc.) is disrespectful and not allowed.

Posts may include other languages in addition to English, as long as the contents are the same in both languages.

4.) Stay On Topic
Posts should address the topic presented in the thread's opening post. Conversations have a natural flow, and the subject of discussion can change over time, but do not hijack the thread based on a single loosely-related comment or offhand remark. If you wish to respond to a point that is off-topic for a thread, you may create a new thread quoting the original.

5.) No Illegal Content/Links
Links to warez, pirated games, torrents, or any other illegal means of acquiring software are not allowed. Instructions on how to obtain software illegally are not allowed.

6.) Multiple Accounts
Each account should belong to one person. If you are part of an organization (company, circle, etc.) you wish to be identified with, use the "Organization" field to specify it. In the case of a dispute between the person and their organization, the account goes to the person, but the organization has a right to control who belongs to it.

Each person should only have one account. We make an exception for people who want to release games pseudonymously, or to participate in discussions that may carry a stigma in certain communities (such as adult discussion). Such secondary accounts should not be used to solicit work or crowdfunding. Only one account should be used in a given topic.

7.) Basic Forum Etiquette
* Do not double-post (do not post twice in a row in the same thread, unless you have significant new information)
* Do not "bump" threads unless you have something new to contribute
* Do not send bulk unsolicited private messages
* Do not post spam, or messages that look like spam

8.) Respect for Users' Attention
When you post a message, hundreds or thousands of people will read it. Make sure your post has a point - it answers a question, or supports a position. Simply expressing agreement, disagreement, or picking a choice out of a list generally isn't enough - try to make sure you express what you are thinking.

9.) Private Messages (PMs)
Private messages are only called "private" because they do not get sent to everyone on the forum, unlike posts. Like email, the people you send PMs to might forward them to others. Administrators may access PMs when investigating user behavior, or during the course of forum maintenance.

10.) Signature Length
Signatures should be at most 5 lines high. Signatures with pictures should be at most 90 pixels high.

11.) Poll-Like Threads
Poll-like threads are open-ended threads that ask a user for their personal opinion, without requiring that they justify that opinion.

The administration asks that you not post poll-like threads on the Lemma Soft Forum. When such a thread is posted, we will change, edit, or lock it as we deem appropriate, to ensure that polls do not take the place of discussion. There may be exceptions for "get to know your fellow forum members" type threads.

12.) Adult Content
Threads containing adult content must be placed in the adult sections of the forum. Any adult content posted should be in service of creating a visual novels and story-based games with artistic or literary merit.

a) Adult content includes - but is not limited to - explicit sexual activity, depictions of sexual nudity, and extreme gore. The forum administration may enforce an expanded definition that matches their sense of what adult content is. Censored depictions of adult content remain adult content.

b) This restriction is applied to the content of the threads, rather than the content of the game under discussion. We allow the discussion of an adult game in a non-adult thread, as long as the discussion itself remains non-adult. Direct links to adult downloads or images should be placed in the adult section.

c) Adult games must have an adult thread before any non-adult threads are created. This is to provide the forum administration with a place to move adult posts to.

13.) Crowdfunding
Do not link to crowdfunding campaigns (including kickstarter or indiegogo campaigns) for visual novels or games unless those campaigns include a link to a nontrivial playable demo or a completed game by substantially the same team.

14.) Public Discussion
The Lemma Soft Forums are meant for public discussion. Threads that direct replies to PMs or Email may be deleted.

15.) Formatting
Functions that allow one to change the formatting of a post (such as changing text size or color from the defaults) should be used sparingly. The use of these functions to emphasize an important point is fine, but indiscriminately using them to try to make a post as a whole stand out will lead to the post being removed, or commented out until the formatting can be fixed.

16.) Services Offered
A user is allowed to post an update to their services offered thread once every two months. A services offered thread is a thread in the "I am a..." sections, offering to perform some creative service for compensation. An update is any post that is not:

a) A direct reply to a question or comment posted by another user.
b) A note that you are no longer offering your services.

Editing posts is allowed, but bumping the thread counts as an update. Threads that are updated in egregious violation of this rule will be deleted from the forum.

17.) Financially Motivated Frequent Releases
When a game is released multiple times on a financially motivated site (like Patreon), posts on this forum announcing new releases is allowed to be posted once every two months. As an exception to this, the announcement of the final completion of a game may be posted recently.

This applies to new posts, editing an existing post is allowed, as long as it does not bump a thread. Threads that are updated in egregious violation of this rule will be deleted from the forum.

18.) Generative AI.
When offering or updating a thread in the services offered section, include a statement about your use of generative AI. (GPT, Stable Diffusion, Midjourney, etc.) This statement should say if you use generative AI, and if so, how.

99.) Everything Else
These rules are not all-encompassing, and people might find loopholes and technicalities. Administrators may take action in response to disruptive behavior, rudeness, or creative ways of circumventing the rules. These situations will be handled on a case by case basis.

To report a post, click on the red exclamation point at the bottom right corner of the post.


Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:07 am
by PyTom
2012-03-29 - Initial post of this version of the forum rules.

2012-06-01 - Tweak the ban on political wording to allow issues raised by good-faith games.

2012-09-09 - Renumbered the old rule 12 to rule 99, so it's last. Added the new rule 12, which describes how we allow adult content.

2013-05-14 - Added the crowdfunding rule.

Discussion Thread

Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:09 am
by PyTom
These rules can be discussed here.

Re: Rules and Moderation Policy (Updated 2013-05-14)

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:59 am
by Taleweaver
2013-07-03 - Added the Public Discussion rule.

Re: Rules and Moderation Policy (Updated 2013-11-07)

Posted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:27 pm
by Taleweaver
2013-11-07: An addition to rule 3 has been made, allowing foreign-language posts if they are a follow-up translation of English-language posts.

Re: Rules and Moderation Policy (Updated 2013-11-07)

Posted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:07 am
by PyTom
2014-03-21: The crowdfunding rule has been amended to allow a link to a completed game by the same team to take the place of a demo.

Re: Rules and Moderation Policy (Updated 2013-11-07)

Posted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:59 am
by PyTom
2015-08-20: I tweaked the multiple accounts rule to allow pseudonymity outside the adult section.

Re: Rules and Moderation Policy (Updated 2015-09-04)

Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:15 pm
by PyTom
2015-09-05: Clarify that adult content should only be posted in the service of creating or promoting visual novels and story-based games.

Re: Rules and Moderation Policy (Updated 2015-09-04)

Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:42 pm
by PyTom
2018-01-21: Added rule 16 on the services offered threads.

Re: Rules and Moderation Policy (Updated 2015-09-04)

Posted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:57 pm
by PyTom
2020-06-22: Added rule 17, on Financially Motivated Frequent Releases.

Re: Rules and Moderation Policy (Updated 2023-10-14)

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2023 11:54 am
by PyTom
2023-09-14: Added rule 18, on Generative AI.