Indie gamer forum is not what it used to be, sadly! We need your opinion

Discussion in 'Indie Related Chat' started by GaiaDreamCreation, Jul 20, 2016.

  1. GaiaDreamCreation

    Indie Author

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    Hello folks.

    I've been a member since 2008 of this forum and I've noticed a disappointing change in the vibe of the forum lately. I found this thread Where did everybody go that seems to describe the problem. It looks very meaningful. Where we used to have big discussions, instead of that now, I notice many small discussion with very few replies and views. Generally, my impressions are the following.

    Not long ago, a new CMS was installed to replaced vBulletin. I believe that hurt the traffic and the participation. Here's one theory. I've been following all forums to get all the updates. The old system used to send me an email every day for each forum. In the email, I could find the new threads and the updated threads. Sometimes, even if I didn't following a thread, I joined a discussion because I could see the updated thread. I was probably not alone and the just fact of mentioning new or updated content brings traffic. It's certain that at some degree, that old system generated more traffic and participation than the new one.

    Another issue might be around the interests of indie developers. The indie gaming scene has changed a lot during the last years. Like said in the thread above, there are a lot of newbies (probably more in percentage because of the evolution of the market) and that's OK. We have to question the members about their interests.

    I used to enjoy this forum and the big discussion about piracy, marketing, development, etc. I don't feel that these discussions are happening anymore. I found valuable advice about being an indie and overcoming the problems. It used to be a good online place for the indies, but it doesn't appear like that anymore. That made me think about my participation on the forum. Do you share my point of view and if yes, what do you think could be done to relaunch it and make it indie again?
     
  2. metateen

    Moderator Indie Author

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    I've played the role of watch and seek, Rather than posting for a long time with my occasional post here and there.

    To be frank, I'm still interested and I do not have the level of history you have here, that won't be debated. Although, let's back up a bit. I did lose interest in posting because there was a sudden influx of advertising and team searching. Rather than actual development to the point where I found it personally as a giant nescience.

    I did respect the result, do not mistake it. It just seemed discussion was beginning to weaken. I didn't abandon, make no mistake. It's just the sudden boost got me ill-prepared.
     
  3. GaiaDreamCreation

    Indie Author

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    I also saw that the forums have a lot of advertising. A part of it is pure spam. The other part is legitimate. We can follow or not follow different forums based on our interests. On a few forums, we can find offers for music and artwork. I cannot count the number of music offers. Although it's interesting to see there's a really great variety of music composers to do business with, it kind of dilutes the other more indie specific threads. There's certainly a great marketplace on the forums. As long as they are thread specific, that keeps the discussion strong on the other technical or indie specific threads.

    I also lost an interest in posting more related to the fact that the number of responses was low. It's like debating in an empty room.
     
    3ph0r and metateen like this.
  4. metateen

    Moderator Indie Author

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    Can't say I disagree.

    Actual responses is less than 3, which is rather heart breaking really. Since THERE ARE posters here who have insight but they're so scarce. Its pretty depressing in my opinion. Although not to say its a weak link. I just think there just needs to be more discussion over advertising.
     
    3ph0r likes this.
  5. noahbwilson

    Indie Author

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    I just got here. Did I come late to the party?
     
  6. Nutter2000

    Original Member Indie Author

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    I've just been busy but pop back every now and again.
    The forums are quiet these days, which is a shame.

    I think part of the problem is that, in it's heyday, there really wasn't anything else around except gamedev.net, but these days there's indedb.com for showcasing, facebook groups and twitter for general chat, there are a lot of sites offering marketplaces.
    So really the site needs a purpose to make it different and useful, I can't think what that is off hand though.
     
  7. Osmosis D. Jones

    Osmosis D. Jones New Member

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    The reason you mention sounds logical to me. But i think this site is allready different. For me its a place which concentrates every thing at just one place against what fb etc ... just offer one aspect.
     
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  8. GaiaDreamCreation

    Indie Author

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    That makes sense to me and it could be a good explanation. It's certain that the indie scene has changed with new websites around.

    At the beginning, I perceived the new CMS as being responsible for the way that people have participated. Now, I see more factors that could have influenced the participation. Whatever the reason, the leaders of the sites would have to deploy some effort to make it more valuable and improve the participation.
     
    homicidal likes this.
  9. Osmosis D. Jones

    Osmosis D. Jones New Member

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    Improvement of contant and community is allway something valuable so i totaly agree in "making it more valuable and improve the participation" :)
    Are there leaders of this forum, or is it just one person. I think to perform such a development is a lot work for one person. He will need help of the community itself.

    What are actions or Starting points for the improvement?
    (I would like to start a collection to start the improvment)
    (At the moment i m not sure if i know a point, but i will think about it too and hope you can come up with some good ideas)

    greetings
    Os
     
  10. noahbwilson

    Indie Author

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    Live chat would be nice, if that is a possibility. I know those things tend to get swamped by bots or off-topic morons. I'm always up for talking about games and dev, but ... hard to get any conversations going around here. I need something to do at my day job other than work.
     
  11. metateen

    Moderator Indie Author

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    Hmm, gonna need to take this into account actually since I'm actually gaining more free time, could use it to stir up interest here.
     
  12. Bad Sector

    Original Member

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    I used to visit this forum regularly but as time went on i visited less and less. I can't pinpoint the exact reason, but i think that it is that the discussions that used to happen here do not happen anymore and the people like cliffski, applewood, papillon, amanda, etc who contributed a lot in the discussions do not visit anymore (cliffski sometimes drops in Reddit, but i don't know where the others are, except at somepoint i saw /r/gamedev or /r/games being annoyed at something applewood commented in a site :p).

    As for the CMS, TBH personally i liked the vBulletin one most - especially the original theme. The new theme/design, like most things in "modern" web, seem to just pad things and waste space unnecessarily. But that wouldn't be a reason to leave a site.
     
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  13. noahbwilson

    Indie Author

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    What if you had like "House Specialists" who, like me, have 9 hours a day of boring day-job work they are trying to avoid who can talk to noobs or at least keep the flow of conversation going? Like I said before, people come here for conversation (advice, answers, or some kind or response), or spamming. There really is no other reason. Without responses, the forum is dead.
     
  14. bantamcitygames

    Administrator Original Member Indie Author Greenlit

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    @GaiaDreamCreation I wish I could say that the switch to the new CMS was the cause of the decreased traffic, because then I would just switch it back :) The traffic has actually increased slightly since switching to the new CMS. vBulletin was nice, but it was always being attacked by hackers and hard to maintain. I've mentioned this in a few different posts, but a couple years ago there was a massive spam incident lasting for months. The owners/admins at the time were too busy and didn't visit the forums much any more so they didn't notice. By the time I (just a regular member at the time) reach out to them, the people that knew the most about the business of indie game development were chased away by the ridiculous amounts of spam. I begged the owners to make me an admin and eventually they agreed. I cleaned up all the spam and put some new registration rules in place but what was left was about 10-20% of the community. Some months later the owners graciously gifted me the site since I was the only one that still showed any administrative interest. I accepted and have tried, with the help of some other volunteers, to rebuild this site from the ashes of what was left. Despite social media sites being the new way to communicate, this site still had a lot of loyal members until the previously mentioned spam issues, but I think once everyone left, there were enough other venues to have these types of conversations that not a lot of people came back. I don't make any money on this site... in fact it actually costs me about $25 a month to keep it up and running. I work full time, have a wife and two young kids, and I'm trying to develop my own game, so my time to dedicate to this site is slim. If anyone wants to volunteer to offer their assistance in writing or getting others to write quality content for the site I'm open to that. I've sent a couple of mass emails to all members that have left telling them about the new site and asking them to return, but it didn't have much effect.
     
    3ph0r, NO9, idurvesh and 1 other person like this.
  15. kevintrepanier

    Original Member Indie Author

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    Big cheers for Bantam for keeping this site running! I'd like to help but I'm reluctant to commit. I'll probably fail to meet any expectations of dedication to the site. I do try to answer a few newbies questions though here and there and give advices when possible. But there are so many newbies...
     
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  16. Osmosis D. Jones

    Osmosis D. Jones New Member

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    "Big cheers for Bantam for keeping this site running! "
    I m a newbie but i would like to help :) I dont know what to do and if i have the skill, but i would like to try :)
    (maybe write me a pm if my help is needed and talk about the details and information about me)
    greetings
    Os
     
    #16 Osmosis D. Jones, Aug 10, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  17. idurvesh

    idurvesh New Member

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    New here too, I just check each thread and response to threads where I can add value to...
     
  18. idurvesh

    idurvesh New Member

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    Wow, hats off the way you handle and survive this site....Nice one...
     
  19. bantamcitygames

    Administrator Original Member Indie Author Greenlit

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    That is basically the best thing new members can do. For the more seasoned veterans here, it would be great if you can write a post or two about your experiences and share some aspect of your long and painful journey. Time is tight for most people so I don't expect anyone to dedicate their days to this, but if you have an idea for a good blog post, throw a copy up on this site as well. I miss this site's heyday as well, but I'm just trying to keep it alive at this point.
     
    idurvesh likes this.
  20. two_larsens

    two_larsens New Member

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    I weren't tuned into this forum till recently, however, I do like it, and the people seem friendly and knowledgeable enough. However, I think in general the Indie scene seems overcrowded - not that it shouldn't be, but it's just a fact. Often enough people are interested in their own stuff, first and foremost. I do though, however encourage people here to take an interest in what other people are up to, since that really is the point of being here - or should be, anyway.
     

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