Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.

Main Menu

Community forum request

Started by Brian Leybourne, April 12, 2003, 01:51:21 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

Le Joueur

Obviously a few things need to be clarified about my post.

M. J.,

The original post was five sentences long.  One vaguely spoke of some game (you had to gather was called EU States - no further information - based on the thread title).  Two said what the author wouldn't do.  And the other two were basically "Wah, I have writers block."  All of which was posted to a Forum for concrete game design.

We can't make anything of the negations.  The vague one was contrary to that Forum's aim at concreteness.  That left the two whining threads as 'the meat' of the article.

That does not, in my mind, resolve to a Forum that belongs on the Forge.  To me, dissected as such, this example is exactly what we don't want.  I am requesting an example of something we do.


Those were anything if specific.  A and B are about as vague as vague can be; what articles, what discussions?  (And if you mean the FATAL thread, Ron's right; it already has discussion space for it, if you want Forge-ite response, PM to have it posted there.)  D and F are perfectly legitimate questions for the Publishing Forum (and are no more specifc than anything else you've listed), I haven't seen anything like that moderated out.  C is just too plain vague; I agree with Ron, threads that poll the rabble do not create any lasting value.  Only through dialogue, conversations interacting, is new value created; a list of "I did this" is a poor cross section of anything and doesn't teach anything.

As for E, in addition to what I explained to M. J. above, I have to point out the alternative (of the original post) Ron received was miles better.

Quote from: Ron's PM contactI have a game I'm working on - called EU States - and I've managed to flesh out the background and setting well. (include major bits of setting here). However, I find that when it comes to making my mechanics, I draw a blank and nothing seems to fit. Has anyone else had this happen with a game, and what did you do to move past it?
That is well and clearly a thread for the Design Forum, furthermore, it might be what the original poster intended.  It's focused, contains concrete game information and specifies an exact question.  Furthermore, it doesn't read like a 'I have writer's block' whine.

Let me renew my request.  Can either of you, or anyone else, post an example of something you want to post but are self-censoring because you feel it doesn't belong in an extant Forum.  These (except the EU States one) vague references are so much smokescreen to focusing what some new, theoretical Forum might address.  I guess I really don't care for 'we need another Forum' without a real, obvious, clear example, by the example's author of what would go there.  We cannot discuss what is or is not covered based on vague, gut reactions, heresay, and empty testimonials.

If you have a post that 'doesn't belong anywhere' that should be on the Forge, I'd like to hear it.

Fang Langford

p. s. It's a tough row to hoe, but someone needs to do it.
Fang Langford is the creator of Scattershot presents: Universe 6 - The World of the Modern Fantastic.  Please stop by and help!


I think Fabrice said it best:

QuoteIMHO, the problem that reside with a off-topic forum is that it would  be directly against the proclamed goal of the Forge : to promote and help small press rpgs.

See, nothing gets accomplished along those goals with such a forum.
I don't think this point is disputable.

I also agree with the sentiments that there are already several other gaming website forums.  RPG.Net and GO have both been mentioned.  Is there a problem with going there to discuss "lighter" topics?

I am totally against a new Forge forum for the purposes so far described by its proponents in this thread.

Ron Edwards


I agree with each and every one of Fang's points he's presented, and Nathan, in particular, should consider them carefully.

Clinton and I did some talking about this over the weekend, and here's the scoop.

1. There will be no Social or General or Other Topics forum at the Forge.

2. Every forum needs to have its clear purpose posted as a sticky at the top.

For instance, Nathan's suggested post with links regarding game design principles would go directly into RPG Theory, no questions or ambiguities. I don't see that as challenging item at all.

3. Anyone is free to utilize forum software to set up a Social or General or Other Topics forum at another website, which people can use as a venue for whatever sort of interaction they'd like to get in such a place. Feel free to put the link in your signature line here, for instance. It wouldn't have "the Forge" on it and it would sure's hell not be moderated by me or Clinton.

This strikes me as a win-win option.



Cool Ron.

I think, way back when, when I first mentioned the idea of a new forum, one of the other options I mentioned was to clearly define what was appropriate for each forum.

Quote from: RonI agree with each and every one of Fang's points he's presented, and Nathan, in particular, should consider them carefully.

I think Fang completely missed the point I was trying to make, but since you've come up with a different solution, continuing that discussion would be a fruitless exercise in "might-have-beens."

Jack Spencer Jr

Quote from: Le JoueurTo me, dissected as such, this example is exactly what we don't want.  I am requesting an example of something we do.
If I understand correctly, you are asking for what sort of post does someone have that they do not post to the Forge because they feel there isn't an appropriate forum for it.

I will approach this issue from an entirely different angle.

Post: Waah! I have writer's block. What do I do? What do I do?

typical forgite: This is a little vague. This forum is usually about more concrete issues when designing a game. What exactly do you have writer's block on? What do you have so far? We cannot help you unless give us more information.
Post: There's a cool review of game X over on this site

moderator: Please do not reply to this thread but take the discussion of the review to the site on which it appears.

(in a perfect world, the poster would include the moderator's comment)

What I'm trying to illustrate here is that it is hard to make everyone learn the proper way to post here, and probably impossible so if an off-topic post appears that matters little. Worrying about that is like worrying it will rain ever. What matters more, and what I'd certainly like to see is responses that attempt to bring an off-topic post back on topic. This should be done by everyone, not just the moderators. Ron is just one guy and Clinton is just one other guy.

You see, what will make the Forge a get place for discussion is not the rules for posting and what goes in what forum, but how we all handle it. If we mob a newie like a pack of baboons for posting incorrectly, then we will deserve the "cliquey" reputation we have in some circles. If we post something that treats the poster with respect and steers the discussion towards more on-topic issues, and we don't all post at once. Pick your battles. Let someone else take the ball. Then we will deserve a reputation for intelligent, thoughtful discussion on roleplaying games.

This is what I *do* want.

Walt Freitag

[Edited in preview: this was cross-written with the previous three posts. I'm posting it anyway because it makes a slightly different point, similar to Jack's.]

I think I stepped partway into this debate when I posted a thread about word usage in the Publishing forum. Though no one to my knowledge actually complained about the thread's existence, at least one poster speculated that the moderators would close it, and it's been brought up as an example of a marginal topic since then. That is to say, a topic that would have been more appropriate in the proposed related-topics forum.

This is interesting, because it's a case where fitting into the forum focuses actually did strongly influence what I posted, I believe for the better. I had to figure out whether and why my concern about certain spelling and usage errors would be of interest to anyone else. The answer was that the people making these mistakes were publishing games, and it was specifically the mistakes that wouldn't be caught by a spell check program that were bothering me -- IOW, the likelihood of the same errors ending up in indie published products and harming their perceived quality. That's a concern that others here would likely share. Ergo, a topic for Publishing, but only with a focus on the specific kind of spell-checker-proof errors that might matter to a publisher.

I may have been right, I may have been wrong, but in any case the forum guidelines had an effect. The guidelines force topics to focus on the specific aspects of a topic that are relevant to people making indie games. A link to the FATAL review, offered in the context of making a point or raising an issue about the difficulties of handling of controversial content in a role playing game or about dealing with negative reviews -- some point or issue, that is, relevant to indie games -- would not (I believe) have been "moderated." And if no such point or issue has been identified, then why should it be posted at the Forge?

Here's the thing: making indie games is a really really broad subject! In a sense there are no "game-related topics inappropriate for any of the existing forums." Only game-related topics whose authors have not bothered to think about or to explain in the post why the topic is of interest to people making indie games. Once you do that, it becomes pretty clear which forum to post in. That is to say, it's not the subject matter that's "appropriate" or "inappropriate," but whether the actual point you wish to discuss is or is not relevant to indie games.

The D20 system is not an "inappropriate topic," but whether or not people think D20 sucks is an issue of no relevance. (That one's obvious; no one's suggested otherwise.) A review of FATAL is not an "inappropriate topic" but people's general reaction to it is an issue of no relevance. Writer's block is not an "inappropriate topic" but "tell me what to write because I can't decide due to writer's block" is of no interest or benefit to anyone, not even the poster. (Explaining to the poster why not might be relevant, but if one must shift the topic that much to be relevant then that's not a good sign for the thread.) On the other hand, the restated question quoted in Fang's post is clearly relevant.

All of Paganini's examples are of topics whose general subject matter is perfectly acceptable, provided the poster focuses on an issue relevant to indie RPG design. Making the poster do so is, I belive, the whole point of the policy and is of great benefit to everyone.

- Walt
Wandering in the diasporosphere

Jack Spencer Jr

Quote from: Ron Edwards3. Anyone is free to utilize forum software to set up a Social or General or Other Topics forum at another website, which people can use as a venue for whatever sort of interaction they'd like to get in such a place. Feel free to put the link in your signature line here, for instance. It wouldn't have "the Forge" on it and it would sure's hell not be moderated by me or Clinton.
In the interest of keeping six or seven such forums from cropping up, how about we call dibs?

OK?  1... 2... 3...

Mike Holmes

Walt is my hero!

Was that on topic?

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.

Blake Hutchins

I'll quickly add my two cents in, since the FATAL thread I started has apparently catalyzed this discussion.

In retrospect,  it would have been easy enough to embed the FATAL link in some kind of Forge-safe topic statement that passed a de minimis relevancy threshold (e.g., in RPG Theory on appropriate Simulation limits, or in Publishing on marketing and target audience, purpose of reviews, etc.), but my only motivation was to share notice of a potentially interesting or entertaining game-related feature located elsewhere, not to start a discussion on it.  I could have PM'd a boatload of people, but that seemed more trouble than it was worth.  In the end, I probably should have strangled the impulse to post in the first place, but I have to admit that I consider the Forge to be - at least in part - a social community, and a number of fellow members here my friends, despite never having met any of you outside of naked text.  The FATAL review was a cool (I thought), game related -- even indie game related, given FATAL's status --  thing I wanted to share with the Forge.  A simple enough sentiment, but not kosher in the context of the forums here.

I join my voice to those opposed to a generally social or off-topic forum.  However, I'd also like to pose the question as to whether a channel for sharing links with the Forge community is desirable.   I'm of mixed mind on it, personally.  The potential for off-topic tangency is there, but so too is an opportunity to making relevant resources, reviews, or links available without requiring discussion on same.

Thoughts?  Is there a narrow solution here, or is it a non-issue in the first place?