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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 70 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Forum re-construction under way  (Read 25361 times)
Walt Freitag
Member

Posts: 1039


« Reply #45 on: January 30, 2006, 05:46:11 PM »

The key issue seems to be, what I'm not new to the Forge, and I do have a "new idea" to toss up? My current thinking is that keeping these posts in the "new here" forum will act as a model for new people - they can see that you are basing your ideas on actual play of some kind ('cause you will be, won't you - right? snarl).

What I'm sayin' is that "game notion out of my ass" posting, devoid of play-experience context, is just as annoying (or more so!!) from experienced Forge folks. It really should have some actual play background, even if it's "hey, I always loved alignment even though it flailed in application, and here's how, so ..." If you want to post in this fashion, and why not, then it's into the New Guy forum with you.

But that's just the current thinking. Keep talkin'.

I think that answers my concern pretty well.

In my post I said that I didn't see the logic of permitting new (not-ready-to-playtest) game discussions in the context of "Endeavor" contests and by new contributors, but not otherwise. But on further reflection I did realize the logic of it, if the goal is to prevent perpetual discussion of games perpetually lingering in the not-playtest-ready-yet stage. New correspondents, by definition, don't stay new very long. Contests end, and historically, the games created for them have either dropped out of sight shortly after the contest, or moved efficiently, if not always rapidly, into playtesting. (Sometimes they reappear in playtesting stage months or years later, but rarely if ever do they linger in concept discussion in between.)

How about calling the proposed "new here?" forum something more like "New here? New project?" New projects also, by definition, don't stay new indefinitely, which should offer leverage for correspondents (or moderators -- we'll need etiquette guidelines for this) to nudge stagnant projects out of that forum toward the playtesting/design-in-play forum.

Just as a reality check, the emphasis on the actual play experiences motivating new indie game designs is relatively new, isn't it? I don't recall "what actual play experiences motivated this design?" as being asked very frequently in the indie game design forum, prior to last summer when I last frequented the Forge.

In any case, it sounds like a good idea -- it should be less provocative and better at eliciting useful information than the old "tough questions" like  "what do you want to accomplish with this game?" and "what makes your game different?"

Quote
Oh yes, something else - when we do get around to rearranging the actual page, then what I'll do is this: very quickly, move all the current threads from the first couple-three pages of Indie Design (or maybe reach back a certain amount of time) into their appropriate new forums. That way the forums all get jump-started and the threads all get sort of a new lease on life. The remaining Indie Design then becomes another archived forum along with Theory and GNS.

Ideas or comments on that plan are welcome too. (Come on, folks, how often do Clinton & I say that. Enjoy it while you got it.)

Sounds good to me. I'm having trouble thinking of any reason why anyone could possibly object to that plan. (But this is the Forge; I'm sure someone will come up with something!)

I have to say that I'm looking forward to the reconstruction. Having been away for half a year (for reasons having nothing to do with anything happening on the Forge itself), I'm still in the process of reassessing what I've contributed to and gotten from the Forge in the past, and how I can best participate here in the future. This reconstruction will clarify things.

- Walt
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Wandering in the diasporosphere
Lisa Padol
Member

Posts: 365


« Reply #46 on: January 30, 2006, 08:07:37 PM »

Dumb question:

Is there somewhere on this site a "How to Use this Site" section that I've managed to miss? If so, where is it?
If not, would the creation of such, not as an interactive forum, more as a "Read this First", be useful for what folks are trying to achieve, if only in the sense of a manual to RTF?

-Lisa
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Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
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« Reply #47 on: January 31, 2006, 08:19:09 PM »

Hi there,

Lisa, that would be wonderful. You're not the first person to propose it. I'll tell you what I told all of them, in hopes that this time, I'm heard - please draft such an introduction.

It's likely that this response has been perceived as a brush-off in the past. It's not.

Best,
Ron
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M. J. Young
Member

Posts: 2198


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« Reply #48 on: February 02, 2006, 12:08:12 PM »

There should be something more (perhaps the same stick in every forum, perhaps a link in the main page)  clearly explaining what is the purpose of each forum, and where and how to post to them for the first time. It could also be a nice place to tell new people about how to exploit the "resources" links to old theory-like posts, articles, etc. A kind of short general introductory text.
I just had a simple thought that might solve a wealth of newbie problems.

It's been a while since I joined, but as I recall when you join you have to sign up and provide an e-mail address, and then the system generates an e-mail and sends it to that address giving you your password or some other information that authenticates that you are a valid person.

Why can't that e-mail be reformatted to contain the introductory text, or at least to say, "Welcome to the Forge. Before you post, please be certain to read the information at This Link"? After that it can say, "Here's your password."

Then anyone who comes here gets the message before he makes his first post, and knows what is expected.

I'm sure it can't be that difficult to configure. Clinton?

--M. J. Young
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Lisa Provost
Member

Posts: 52

aka urbanpagan


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« Reply #49 on: February 02, 2006, 01:47:05 PM »

I'll tell you what I told all of them, in hopes that this time, I'm heard - please draft such an introduction.

I've thought about this idea as well.  But having not posted on the Forge nearly as much as most of my friends, I felt it was "not my place" to come up with such a thing.  But I do have some ideas. 

So with that in mind, If I came up with a blerb for Newbies to read... what do I do with it?  Send it to you via email to review first?

Lisa P
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Judd
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Posts: 1641

Please call me Judd.


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« Reply #50 on: February 02, 2006, 04:40:57 PM »

Here's what I've got so far, not sure if it is any good:

Quote
Welcome to the Forge.

This is a site dedicated to the creation, publication and play of self-published role-playing games or as we call them around here, independent or indie RPG's.

The best place to start is in the Actual Play forum, the cornerstone of this site.  This is where we talk about play, what happened at the table between the people.  Talk about a good gaming experience and how the people reacted.  Talk about a bad gaming experience and when you could feel it slipping.

Actual Play is not a short story based on the game's fictional happenings.  In our Actual Play posts here we want to know what happened at the table between the people.  Often this will somehow link to the fictional going's on but its the real-world interaction between people that is of interest to us as game designers and players who want to help play be more fun.

Do you have a game idea?

If you have a game idea, what is written above still pertains to you and posting an AP post is still a good idea...

And I realize that the site will have a kind of rhythm and flow to it but it isn't clear to me, so from here on how, I am blank..

But the following written in a previous post seems relevant:

Quote
"Think Tank" --> This is where the pen and paper part of design (newbie design, 24 hour, Ronnies, whatever) gets discussed which eventually moves to:

"Playtesting" --> As you say, 'Actual Play' for works in progress which leads to:

"Publishing" --> Get that design out the door and to the masses which finally ends up in:

"Actual Play" --> On going discussion of our play experiences.
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Nathan P.
Member

Posts: 536


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« Reply #51 on: February 02, 2006, 05:12:10 PM »

Maybe conversation about an intro document should go to the thread Jack started. Consolidation, and all of that.
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Nathan P.
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Find Annalise
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My Games | ndp design
Also | carry. a game about war.
I think Design Matters
MatrixGamer
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Posts: 582


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« Reply #52 on: February 15, 2006, 05:34:17 AM »

Pardon me for coming to this discussion late. I'm only jumping in because I have a suggestion that I think would be helpful.

First - all the things hashed out before this sound fine. My point is about one way to introduce people to forge ideas.

THE SHORT VERSION

Have a forum entitled something like "Ask Basic Questions" in which one long time Forge member (someone who has posts in the thousands) answers questions posed by new people. This educator role could shift between people so no one would need to get burned out. This forum could also be used by new people to restate what they think they've learned and receive correction by the educator so they can get up to speed on the lingo and be better prepared to join in the other forums.

THE LONG VERSION

When I joined the forge around a year ago, I didn't know the lingo. A lot of the Big Model language is specialized and does not mean what the word means in a dictionary, for instance Premise. I was told to read the glossary and to read various threads. I did and then posted what I though they said (or at least what I learned from them). I posted in the GNS forum or RPG theory and I think people were frustrated with my getting it wrong. Those were advanced forums, but there was no basic ask and learn forum.

What I was doing with my "this is what I think it said" posts was an internet version of active listening. I would read - think I got it - say what I think I got and get feedback. I do this all the time in my job as a social worker. It is a solid educational approach that supplements reading. It is also a labor intensive approach because it asks for attention/feedback from a more experienced person.

A forum for basic questions would allow new people to answer one another's questions (with the aid of a facilitator/educator) without junking up the advanced forums. It doesn't require that there be a perfect beginners educational text written - it uses dialogue to do the teaching. In AA new people do the same kind of group learning all the time. For some of us this is the way we learn best.

Last year Ron said once that there were maybe ten people he thought that he could intelligently discuss GNS issues with. The rest of us were not on the same planet. I believe this is true. The GNS and Big Model discussions have years of thinking and experimentation behind them that new people just can't know because we weren't there. I believe a lot of what happened was not written down - but instead happened in individual gamer's minds as they meditated on the subject. The evolution of Simulationist is a case in point. In the early GNS threads simulationist was mentioned a lot, then people's understand of it changed and by the time I joined, the concept wasn't mentioned much at all. I think the understanding of the term started off fairly close to what a wargamer would still understand as simulation (recreating recognizable patterns) but moved on.

I am two weeks behind on this thread so I understand if my contribution is too late to be considered. I offer it based on my own experience joining the group after most of the big work was done. Catch up is a bitch.

Sincerely Chris Engle
Hamster Press = Engle Matrix Games





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Chris Engle
Hamster Press = Engle Matrix Games
http://HamsterPress.net
M. J. Young
Member

Posts: 2198


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« Reply #53 on: February 16, 2006, 08:21:36 PM »

Have a forum entitled something like "Ask Basic Questions" in which one long time Forge member (someone who has posts in the thousands) answers questions posed by new people. This educator role could shift between people so no one would need to get burned out. This forum could also be used by new people to restate what they think they've learned and receive correction by the educator so they can get up to speed on the lingo and be better prepared to join in the other forums....

Last year Ron said once that there were maybe ten people he thought that he could intelligently discuss GNS issues with. The rest of us were not on the same planet.
I think this idea has a lot of potential. I don't know if I'm one of the ten people, but I do have posts in the thousands (2,212 before this one) and would be willing to commit to hitting that forum every Thursday. I don't imagine that once a week is sufficient to cover all the questions, but if others take other days I think this could be spread fairly evenly. (Also, dividing it this way, rather than saying that I'll do every day in March, prevents the problem of finding someone to replace me then.)

Ron, what do you think?

--M. J. Young
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Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
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« Reply #54 on: February 17, 2006, 08:48:17 AM »

Thanks to everybody for contributing here. It's really helped.

I think Clinton and I have settled on a framework that's not too different from the original idea, but modified in various purposes or details by many points in this thread.

I do like the Basics questions-idea, and am figuring maybe it ought to be folded into something else, but am not sure. Gotta think.

Again, thanks. Clinton and I are composing introductory emails (the one you get with your signup), FAQ type pages, and so on, and I hope we can get the changes in place by the end of the month.

Best, Ron
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M. J. Young
Member

Posts: 2198


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« Reply #55 on: March 02, 2006, 09:57:21 AM »

I do like the Basics questions-idea, and am figuring maybe it ought to be folded into something else, but am not sure. Gotta think.
I probably should have said this last week, but then, I wanted to think, too.

The clear advantage in my mind to having the "basic questions" forum stand alone is that it makes it clear what posts are questions from newcomers needing help. In theory, you could enable posters to select an icon that marked theirs as a newcomer question, but in practice you can't really expect the newcomers to realize they have to do this.

Put the other way, the value in the basic questions forum is that those of us who are committed to answering those questions can find them quickly and easily. Folding them into another forum will bury them, and reduce the probability that we will spot them and reply.

--M. J. Young
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