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Trends and suggestions

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 08/03/2008

I've noticed a couple of trends on the posts in the forums lately that I though might warrant a "suggestions" post from one of the admins, but I thought I'd see what you guys thought before proceeding.

The first trend is unspecific naming of posts. Someone might name a post, for example, "A new game idea". This title is so vague as to be pretty much useless, and I thought a post suggesting people be more descriptive with their post titling might be helpful.

A second trend is a pattern of "reflexive" posting, in which, as soon as someone has even the vaguest idea for a game, they'll post about it and solicit others to do the design work for them. E.g, "Hey, I just had an idea for an awesome game. Wouldn't it be cool if there was a game about giant zombie alien robot hermaphrodites? Anyone want to tell me how I could make a game about this theme?"

I think that these posts are permissable, but I also think there's a sense in which they gunk up the site a bit, whereas if such posters spent a little more time trying to flesh out a few possible mechanics or implementation ideas, there might be a possibility of some actual discussion taking place. My position is, in general, to not get too involved in such discussions (although I broke my own rule once this week), but I wonder if it makes sense to encourage people to be a little bit more patient with posting about new games until there's something a little bit more detailed than just an idea for a theme.

I welcome comments or rebuttals, as well as observations of other posting patterns, either positive or negative, and how we could encourage the good patterns and discourage the negative ones...


sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Re: Trends and suggestions

I completely agree about the unspecific naming of posts. I think I have been guilty of that in the past, and it's bitten me in the ass months later when I couldn't find the post I'd made.I'm all for your changing that one posts title today as well- "anotehr idea" simply isn't an acceptable post name and I think we should have a policy or at least a suggestion to people to name posts better (and continue to rename them when they don't)

As for your other concern, I have o say we shouldn't do anything about that. Saying "I've got a theme that I think would be good but I can't think of any mechanics to impliment it" is a legitimate post. I think for this one if you feel people are soliciting design work and you don't want to give it to them... don't. Others feeling the same way won't either. But there are som who like to see an idea and expound on it... especially without restriction due to pieces already in place. Sometimes it leads to ideas you can take with you and use later in another context, and ometimes the whole thing leads to a decent game idea in the initial theme.

So in short, better names for posts, and let people post ideas and 'solicit design work.'

(remember, this isn't a job, it's not like anyone's getting away ith anything asking someone else to do design work for them)

Joined: 08/03/2008
Trends and suggestions

My concern wasn't entirely the solicitous nature of the posts, so much as the "so what" factor. As we know, ideas are a dime a dozen, and if each of us started a thread every time we came up with an idea for a theme, the site would be overloaded and the overall quality of the site would deteriorate.

I don't mind brainstorming sessions at all, and indeed, I might even start one myself at some point if I had a cool idea for a theme but after wrestling with it for a week just couldn't figure out how to get started. What I wouldn't ever do is, 30 seconds after coming up with a theme for a game, rush to the computer, and put up a post on the site about it assuming that someone would actually be interested.

I don't disagree that the best way to discourage such postings as one personally finds distasteful is simply to ignore them. I simply wanted to see if others felt that the practice was distateful enough that it might be worth encouraging people to have a little more substance in their posts. No problem either way on my end...


Joined: 04/23/2013
Trends and suggestions

I wish there was a way to tag these posts so they expire after a certain time period... As it is now, we have about 65 megabytes worth of forum posts... Which is a huge chunk. At some point I have to figure out some method for removing this dead weight.


Scurra's picture
Joined: 09/11/2008
Trends and suggestions

jwarrend wrote:
As we know, ideas are a dime a dozen, and if each of us started a thread every time we came up with an idea for a theme, the site would be overloaded and the overall quality of the site would deteriorate.

Indeed, I think I said as much myself in response to one of those posts....
Ignoring them does seem like the best approach, but then I feel guilty - after all, this is a designer's forum and not making any contributions sometimes feels odd. (Having said that, it's relatively easy to distinguish between those games that seem to be going somewhere and those that are simply "cool ideas".)

As for how the forum postings should be pruned - that's a tough one. I can't even begin to think how you would separate useful bits from the chaff, especially as threads have an unnerving habit of suddenly veering into interesting topics that were nothing to do with the original post...

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