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State of the Union

Started by Clinton R. Nixon, August 17, 2001, 12:29:00 PM

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Clinton R. Nixon

I thought I'd update everyone on the general health and future of the Forge.

Immense growth: The Forge has become very, very visible here lately, partially, I think, because of the flyers Ron passed out at GenCon. That's awesome, but it has led us into scary territory. The signal-to-noise ratio is going down with attacks on people and unprovoked remarks.

I've said it before: if someone says something that hurts you - walk away from your computer. Spirited discussions are what the Forge is supposed to be about, and any time discussions get personal, they cease to be useful. To be blunt, we have had, do have, and will have assholes around. Every forum will. Do not respond to them, and they will go away. Attention is their life-food, and without it they will starve.

I had to lock a topic today (in Review Discussion), and I apologize to the board for that. I sincerely hate doing that, but the topic was getting out of line, and had already gotten out of line and been warned. I'm afraid things like this may happen more in the future, and that does hurt me. I want to thank Joshua Neff for backing me up in that topic, and setting an example all the Forge regulars should follow. I can lock threads and send private messages all day, but what will actually keep the Forge stable through growth is its participants. If we discourage hostility, we create an environment in which it cannot thrive.

I want to focus on the good side of things, though: we have immense growth. The statistics are overwhelming. Last month, we had 265,670 hits and 111,110 different page views. This month, we're already at 144,064 hits. We've broken our bandwidth limit (1.5 GB) each month for three months now. I'll probably have to upgrade my account with to handle the load soon.

That does mean more money into the Forge, and I am thinking about having a donation button or something to pay for the server costs. It's only $20/month, but that's $240/year that's being donated now by me. I do have a few other options that if anyone's interested in persuing, we can look at, specifically:

- selling e-mail addresses at This sounds silly, but I'll have 50, one of which I use.

- setting up a shopping cart/game distribution system. For $20/month, I can get e-commerce software for the site. Independent publishers could sell their games right from here, which I could link with a document distribution system.

Future moves:

What do people want from the Forge in the future? I'm personally planning on:

- An artist library, much like the indy game designer library in place.
- More reviews. A review policy will go up soon, and we hope reviews will be submitted at that time.
- More articles. People - if you've had an interesting indie game publishing experience, write it up.

Otherwise, I don't know what the future holds. It's up to all of you in a large part. Let us know what you're looking for.
Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games

Zak Arntson

The Forge has been one of the single most important events in my roleplaying experience.  I want to thank you, Ron and everyone else who makes this place what it is.

joshua neff

Oh, god, let me second that. That's why I get upset when people are abused or abusive here. If I want a dustup, I go to RPGNet. If I want excellent RPG advice & inspiration, I come here. This place is so important to me, & I don't want it to degenerate into "you suckass freak, what the hell are you babbling about?"--I want it to be more "I say, old bean, that's an interesting idea, & certainly one I'd never thought of". A gentleperson's club, like National Geographic, except we talk about our RPG explorations & experimentations.

"You can't ignore a rain of toads!"--Mike Holmes

Jason L Blair

You suck ass, Josh. What are you talking about?

But on the serious tip... I respect Clinton for having el cajones enough to step in rather than a lot of other supposedly moderated forums where the "moderator" meekly asks that "everyone just calm down, okay? Okay, guys? Pleeeaaassse?"

Jason L Blair
Writer, Game Designer

Laura Bishop

I'm going to have to join the band wagon here and say that the Forge has been very influential in my impression of RPG Forums.  Its set a new standard for me.  Plesantly raised my expectations.  I like it.  I like it a lot.

While a new Forger, I still have to say how quickly I was impressed with the quality of posts here.  The sheer level of intelligence offered in the reviews, the tips and the commentary is delightful.  I thought everything was like  And, while Sandy may be a great guy, he has to admit he has some real 'l00zers' that skulk about there.

I mean, you guys actually play the games you review?  You support different opinions than your own?  You stimulate conversation by being *gasp* polite?!?  I didn't know it could be like this. : }

If you went to subscription, I'd be there.  If you went with donations, I'm sure 3-5 bucks a month isn't going to break me.

Yeah.  The Forge.

As Lester Burnum might say: You rule!


I'm the kind of guy who loves games. I love to see new, fresh ideas. The Forge is one of the best places to go for those ideas. Kudos to CLinton and Ron for the Forge, and kudos to all the good people who frequent here.

Graveyard Greg
Creator and Writer of GAMING GUARDIANS

John Wick

I love this site.
I love this site.
I love this site.

There. I said it three times. It must be true.

Take care,

(Who thinks donations are cool, links to purchases are also cool, and Clinton sticking his nose in is way cool.)
Carpe Deum,

Ian O'Rourke

I like the site but I must also admit to being guilty of not giving the topics discussed enough time - it's really good that good discussion goes on here, but I find it sort of weird that it's a discussion group that demands such serious brain power.

Sometimes it actually hurts, and I'm always conscious I have other things to do.

Good site though.
Ian O'Rourke">
The e-zine of SciFi media, and Fandom Culture.

[ This Message was edited by: Ian O'Rourke on 2001-08-20 18:12 ]
Ian O'Rourke
The e-zine of SciFi media and Fandom Culture.

Ian O'Rourke

On 2001-08-17 12:29, Clinton R Nixon wrote:
Immense growth: The Forge has become very, very visible here lately, partially, I think, because of the flyers Ron passed out at GenCon. That's awesome, but it has led us into scary territory. The signal-to-noise ratio is going down with attacks on people and unprovoked remarks.

I'd be interested in hearing about your website promotions efforts outside of the 'cyber arena' as I'm planning on doing similar things at Gen Con UK for my site (as well some SciFi cons).

I've got business cards done (I printed them, they didn't cost a fortune) and I was thinking of doing fliers as well - just wondered how worthwhile it worked out for you?

Are the new visitors Gen Con flier related do you think?
Ian O'Rourke
The e-zine of SciFi media and Fandom Culture.

Theory of X


[ This Message was edited by: Theory of X on 2001-09-04 01:02 ]
"I don't claim to know everything...I just know what I don't know."--Me