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jwarrend
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I like the new forum structure of the new Wiki site, but I'm concerned that "Design Theory" is going to become the all purpose garbage forum that Game Design currently is. Is that something we want to try to prevent? If so, one way to do it might be to further subdivide that forum into two or three forums.

I'm not sure how that should be done, but I suggest adding "new game ideas" and "mechanics".

"New game ideas" would be for the kinds of posts that read like this: "Hey, I just had an idea to make a game about spatulas. What do you think? Anyone want to help me brainstorm?" Quarantining these posts in a separate forum might minimize their uselessness, and indeed, might create a useful location for people to go "shopping" for interesting theme ideas.

"Mechanics" would be specifically for the discussion of how to create, balance, and implement mechanics. This would be a good home for all the "check out my new combat system" mechanics (of which I've posted a few!), and for isolating discussion of mechanics from...all the other stuff that gets posted in Game Design.

Another suggestion is to encourage folks to use the GDW again. seems that at present, we get quite a few posts where people post their ruleset in the Game Design forum and hope to get some feedback. Such posts rarely do seem to get more than a few replies, which validates the GDW concept -- the "I read your rules, you read mine" really works as a motivator for getting feedback. It would be nice to funnel the "rulebook" posts out of the Game Design forum and back into the GDW, because it was useful when people were still using it. (Not that I mind the reduced workload!)

Just some suggestions, to take or leave!

-Jeff

Zzzzz
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More forums?

Jeff,

I think it is a good idea and dont see why any reasopm not to add these other forum areas.

I have added these two forums "New Game Ideas" and "Mechanics" to the wiki site.

Gogolski
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Just a question: will the old forums be transported to the new site? If so, will they be there under an 'arhive' or 'old site' forum, as The current game design is already split up in three new forums...

It's just that I think that when you put all 'game design'-content in design-theory, it will probably stay muddied up for quiet some time, as people will still find a lot of content that doesn't realy belong in 'design theory', but in 'mechanics' or 'ideas'...

Maybe only the latest 100 threads should be sorted into the right cathegories.
If it's any help, I can go through them and select the right cathegory and send that list to you in an E-mail or something... (It'll still be a lot of work to move them all, so I don't know if that's very helpful or not...)

Cheese!

Zzzzz
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The goal will be to keep an archive version of the current site for a few weeks(number of weeks yet to be determined).

During this time members will be able to retrieve useful information and we will also continue to move *good* information over to actual wiki pages where useful.

After the few weeks the archive access will be removed and no longer available.

The idea is to give us a clean start where the best information is made into content pages and forums can start over fresh!

The actual job of *moving* over any posts into the new system would not be worth the effort. Sadly it would be easier to look at the older archive and start a new thread if needed.

Gogolski
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OK, I understand.

Still, it comes as a bit of a shock to hear that the old stuff will be 'burried' (kind of...)

What about the great work Tom Vassel did with all his reviews? Can they be transported or are the forums very incompatible/unconvertable? (And the old Workshop-threads and the deconstucting-threads?)

Well, we'll see...

Zzzzz
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I hear your concerns Gogolski... and they are vary valid. I did not think about all the great reviews.

Maybe over time I will figure out a way to slowly import some of the information for items like reviews other outstanding posts. And maybe the timeframe for the archive area needs to be much longer so we dont lose the great content.

After we get the new site up and running I will spend time on items like reviews and the potential to import the data.

Worst case, maybe I will have to code up some new pages that integrate the old data into the new site. But I would limit this to something special like the reviews.

Sadly any personal GDW information or feedback should be moved by the member into their personal pages.

And for good deconstructing-threads, I assume these will make their way into the page content. Either as its own page, which other pages might reference, or as content in current pages.

But again, we wont destroy the data, and I am sure it will be around longer than we plan! As I stated, I might do some additional coding that integrated the data into the current site, but this will take time.

Gogolski
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Maybe the BGDF-members can shift through some of the content and make a good wiki-page out of a bunch of threads... If members post the topic/threads they are working on in the 'Website support'-forum, there shouldn't be too much double-content or wasted energy...

Cheese!

phpbbadmin
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More forums?

Gogolski wrote:
OK, I understand.

Still, it comes as a bit of a shock to hear that the old stuff will be 'burried' (kind of...)

What about the great work Tom Vassel did with all his reviews? Can they be transported or are the forums very incompatible/unconvertable? (And the old Workshop-threads and the deconstucting-threads?)

Well, we'll see...

Sadly Tom Vasal's reviews are not unique to the BGDF and you can find them cross posted to several other sites. In reality, I'd prefer he DID NOT post them on the BGDF. I have requested that he not post reviews that do not have a designer's perspective, yet he continues to do so regardless. It is out of respect for him that I have not deleted them outright. I simpy don't feel they bring that much to the table. People rarely reply to these threads and again, they don't have a design perspective so I would almost consider them off topic. I'm glad you mentioned that because I had forgotten that I want to pull that forum off of the new site.

As for the other threads, Yes as Zzzzz stated we will be running an archive of the old system for some time. I think weeks is too short. I was actually thinking for about half a year. We'll probably implement a search function where you can grab results in a new window. I think that would be nifty. I agree it would be a good idea to let members do their own sifting. Dave, we'd probably need to create some sort of system for the users to create these wiki pages on their own without having to ask admins for permissions. When a page becomes 'well formed' we could then insert it into the wiki, lock it and make that particular user an editor of the page.

Sound like a plan?
-Darke

Gogolski
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Quote:
As for the other threads, Yes as Zzzzz stated we will be running an archive of the old system for some time. I think weeks is too short. I was actually thinking for about half a year. We'll probably implement a search function where you can grab results in a new window. I think that would be nifty. I agree it would be a good idea to let members do their own sifting. Dave, we'd probably need to create some sort of system for the users to create these wiki pages on their own without having to ask admins for permissions. When a page becomes 'well formed' we could then insert it into the wiki, lock it and make that particular user an editor of the page.

Sound like a plan? This sounds great! I think there will be several people that are willing to construct a page around some or other subject/mechanic/whatever. As people chime in, write comments or discuss the page, it can grow to full maturity and be locked.

Sounds realy great!

Cheese!

jwarrend
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More forums?

I don't object at all to the idea of a clean slate, and I agree that copying the existing forums over to the new site would be laborious and wouldn't be worth the effort.

However, I don't agree that all of the useful content can necessarily be "saved" simply by members sifting it and creating new wiki pages out of it.

For example, some of the most useful content in the forum discussions is the specific solution of specific design problems. Eg "I need help with balancing this market mechanic." "Try this out -- you could do X, Y, and Z". That kind of discussion is nice to be able to refer back to in the archives when similar questions or similar design problems arise. ("I remember a conversation I had with Zzzz about a market mechanic a year ago -- let me search the forums and see"). The problem is that these conversations are often so specific that they don't necessarily generalize well, and thus probably wouldn't be appropriate as wiki pages. And even if they were, the content won't be going in intact and in context, and so doing a search for "jwarrend Zzzz market mechanic" might not yield anything, so the information might be effectively lost even if it is technically preserved.

One idea that is somewhat unrelated but might be neat would be to create a "best of" forum; to ask people to nominate their favorite discussions/topics from the old site and either write a capsule summary of the discussion or else just import the discussion whole. But that will probably create too much work for someone.

Anyway, just wanted to say that I think the removal of the forums would be a real loss. It appears that it will be possible to keep the old site up for a few months. What is the obstacle to keeping it up permanently? Is it disk space, or cost, or something else?

-Jeff

phpbbadmin
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More forums?

jwarrend wrote:
I don't object at all to the idea of a clean slate, and I agree that copying the existing forums over to the new site would be laborious and wouldn't be worth the effort.

However, I don't agree that all of the useful content can necessarily be "saved" simply by members sifting it and creating new wiki pages out of it.

For example, some of the most useful content in the forum discussions is the specific solution of specific design problems. Eg "I need help with balancing this market mechanic." "Try this out -- you could do X, Y, and Z". That kind of discussion is nice to be able to refer back to in the archives when similar questions or similar design problems arise. ("I remember a conversation I had with Zzzz about a market mechanic a year ago -- let me search the forums and see"). The problem is that these conversations are often so specific that they don't necessarily generalize well, and thus probably wouldn't be appropriate as wiki pages. And even if they were, the content won't be going in intact and in context, and so doing a search for "jwarrend Zzzz market mechanic" might not yield anything, so the information might be effectively lost even if it is technically preserved.

One idea that is somewhat unrelated but might be neat would be to create a "best of" forum; to ask people to nominate their favorite discussions/topics from the old site and either write a capsule summary of the discussion or else just import the discussion whole. But that will probably create too much work for someone.

Anyway, just wanted to say that I think the removal of the forums would be a real loss. It appears that it will be possible to keep the old site up for a few months. What is the obstacle to keeping it up permanently? Is it disk space, or cost, or something else?

-Jeff

Jeff,
I wanted to adress these issues you voiced. Obviously I value your opinion, and thus wanted to make sure I replied.

I agree that some threads can't be converted to wiki pages. Threads that pertain to specific situations obviously can't be easily converted into a generalized wiki page. I see your concern with the loss of these pages. At the same time, we can't keep these pages indefinitely, whether in the nuke archives or on the new site. On the other hand, I don't see any real hurry with taking the archive down, unless it becomes a space issue. So we'll take them down when the time is right. I don't see any need currently to remove them by such and such a date. So for now, let's not worry about this and consider it, for the time being, a 'non issue'.

Nominating 'best of' threads is roughly equivalent to what I was thinking regarding users browsing the old threads and converting them to wiki pages. It could be in a 'best of' wiki page series, or we could integrate the information logically into the wiki. Either way, as long as the information is saved, I think it will be fine.

As for keeping the old site up indefinitely, I would rather not simply because it's one less ISP I have to pay each month. Currently I've been paying for two sites for over a year, and it will be good to get it back down to a single bill. We will have the old site up until the end of august. During that time I hope to transfer the forums onto the PHPBB backup on the new site. It will be good, trust me. It will be basically like these forums on this site, minus the ability to post new threads/replies.

Hope this answers some of your questions.

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