Reducing Noise

Discussion in 'Indie Related Chat' started by svero, Aug 3, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. princec

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    4,873
    Likes Received:
    0
    Paid subs, dammit! The perfect seriousness filter. And all the money can go towards paying for all the resources we use.

    Cas :)
     
  2. BongPig

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    0
    The perfect seriousness filter indeed.

    Well... ive thought about it for 47 seconds, and that sounds like a good idea really.
    I would subscibe for sure.
     
  3. stan

    Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    0
    IMO there wasn't much noise on the Dexterity forums, and there isn't much here either.

    I see people complaining when for me THEY are the ones who often post noise... Weird.
     
  4. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    1,637
    Likes Received:
    0
    Paid subs would only do one thing- it'd scare away people who aren't serious. Is that what this indie community wants? By the impression of a number of "Indies versus the big-boys" and "Let's set up an indie news site" posts, I thought the idea was to make indie development as accessible and well known as possible- not to turn it into an elitist club. I actually think that's what some people on here want, like they want some sort of 'professional' title to their name. Guys, if you want to pay money, make a nice donation to the guys behind this forum. There's no need to form an 'indie upper class' by doing so.

    Now I think about it, I don't know what annoys me more- the small amounts of 'noise' on this forum, or the whining about it. I've seen people whine about the most silly things-- the titles aren't descriptive enough, the posts don't directly make a point, people making jokes, people posting about alpha versions... the list is endless! Guys, get some thicker internet skin for goodness sakes! These are not big things to worry about!

    Ideas for more controlled posting is good, but from where I stand, the only reason for a paid subscription (or anything else so extreme) is because people are whining about more than they really should. If you guys want to see some real noise I'll take you to the gaming forum I spend most of my time on. This place is glorious compared to there, and yet, no one complains about the noise at all. They just get on with it.
     
  5. Bluecat

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    0
    So far the signal to noise ratio has been pretty high. I've seen a couple of posts that have got out of hand and that's it. One was a pretty obvious troll, and since the thread was locked we haven't heard anymore from him. I think that maybe this idea of reducing noise is a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to that post in particular.

    Paid subs are an interesting idea, and I would definitely subscribe, but if it was simply to be a seriousness filter an annual sub is not necessary. A one off fee would work just as well. And Reactor is correct, it will scare off the very people we are hoping to attract.

    I vote to let it alone for the time being. Moderation should do, and if things get out of hand, then look at other options.

    Let's wait and see what happens.
     
  6. ggambett

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    1,982
    Likes Received:
    6
    I agree with Jack Norton and BongPig. For me, the key is
    Newbies should lurk for some months - just reading the huge amount of information already posted, the kind of discussions that take place, and even the kind of questions and threads that are acceptable would accomplish two things :

    1) People who aren't serious won't be around when their "forced lurking mode" ends; they'll probably lose interest in making games anyway.

    2) People who do stay until they can post will have a much better sense of what's "not noise", and much of the potentially repeated questions already answered

    I know I started lurking the forums for a while, one of my first posts (if not my first one) was about feedback for a beta, and all in all I think I don't make too much noise :)
     
  7. oNyx

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    1,212
    Likes Received:
    0
    Threads like these alienate more than 80% of the community. Am I a part of the core? Are my posts considered as "noise"? You can't be really sure about these questions. Either way it will drive the group in different directions.

    Some insight:
    http://www.shirky.com/writings/group_enemy.html

    I prefer subtle changes without a steering force behind it. It's just more "healthy" to use this approach and it's easy: 1. write posts you consider as good and or useful, 2. encourage others and 3. completely ignore whatever you consider as noise. If the leading individuals (those who are respected) do that, the others will follow. It's really that simple.

    ---

    The techical board is/was useful to some extend... on a conceptual level. Specific coding questions are of course somewhat off topic and should be posted in specialized forums.

    I also agree that a Wiki and/or a FAQ would reduce the amount of redundant threads.
     
  8. Bluecat

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm pretty new to the forums (a couple of months at Dexterity), and I haven't released a game yet.

    I hope my posts aren't being considered as noise.
     
  9. elund

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    This topic was brought up at Dexterity maybe a year ago, and my position hasn't really changed since then. Paid subscriptions are a great noise filter, and it generates revenue for the board maintainers to pay for hardware and board-related activities. Frankly, I would have no problem paying for the privilege of posting, letting users read most forums for free. But I would like to have at least one forum that was private to paying users, where delicate matters could be discussed. On the other hand, I don't think the signal to noise ratio on Dexterity was really all that bad. Certainly it had degraded over time, but from what I saw it was still better than most other forums I've visited. In any case, the only way to tell what's best is test, test, test. ;)
     
  10. ggambett

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    1,982
    Likes Received:
    6
    I know generalization is almost always unfair to someone... I don't say every relatively new member or everyone who hasn't released a game isn't serious - as BongPig said, most of the "noise" posts come from "new" people.
     
  11. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    3,392
    Likes Received:
    6
    > Personally, I think the noise levels here are very low

    The signal to noise ration is still good. But we're being proactive. We see it getting worse and there's no reason it won't continue to get worse unless things change.

    > Out of interest, what is under consideration?

    As for our ideas I left them on purpose to see what other people came up with on their own.

    > I guess we need to decide what we consider noise before moving on.

    I think the goal of these forums should primarily be for Indie game developers to share ideas and help promote our businesses. I believe it should be a site for developers already selling games or closing in on their first serious title.

    I don't think it's elitest to nudge out newbies because in my view this isn't really a site about how to program, or how to make a game. There are plenty of good books on that topic. I see it more as leaning towards an indie developer trade organization. And in the end the forums will be more valuable to those new developers that do make the leap and publish their first game.

    I also would not classify banter/jokes/etc... as noise. That's part of the community and I have no problem with that in general. The goal here isn't to turn the forums into an encyclopedia or a site where you can't post a joke or discuss something not related to game business in the chat section.
     
  12. Addictive 247

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm all for paid subscriptions but I don't think it's needed yet.
    In my opinion there is hardly any "noise" on this or the Dexterity forums. I would suggest that the amount of "noise" is looked at every so often and if it gets out of hand then bring in the paid subs.
     
  13. BongPig

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    0
    Are we any closer to an answer? I dont quite know.

    Bluecat, sorry for being so general. That wasnt my aim.
    If a newbie comes along and posts fresh new questions, theres no way me or anybody is going to attack him simply for being new! Heaven forbid I ever become like that.
    Its the in-ability to use search that im sure gets to all of us from time to time.

    However, after a slap in my face and a cold shower, I realise im being a bit sad really.
    oNyx said it all. If we dont answer any silly posts ( including to flame them for not using search! ) then that would set the tone.
    As long as each post is titled properly, its pretty easy to completely ignore posts that dont interest the individual.

    So, were all responsible for the levels of noise we read, because we can choose not to read it.
    Very simple, but requires the regulars to show some restraint from time to time to keep peace.

    Otherwise, whos got the guts to draw a defining line in the sand labled, 'here begins the noise'?
     
  14. Diodor Bitan

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    0
    I disagree with the payed subscription idea. Two thirds of the people will go away outright and half of the remaining third will go away because of the sudden silence. You'll miss the noise I tell you :)

    The Indie Business forum? GD&Technical, and the Indie Life forums themselves act as noise filters. In fact, perhaps a more relaxed "Noise" forum could help - anything too trivial would be moved there.
     
  15. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    1,637
    Likes Received:
    0
    oNyx, you're right on the money with those points, imo.


    "I think the goal of these forums should primarily be for Indie game developers to share ideas and help promote our businesses."

    Maybe people don't understand that's the point of these forums. I know I didn't, when I first arrived. I thought it was a place for everything indie related, that hadn't been covered in the Dexterity developer articles.

    "I believe it should be a site for developers already selling games or closing in on their first serious title." and "I see it more as leaning towards an indie developer trade organization."

    If that's what this forum really is here for, then that should be stuck up in neon lighting somewhere. If you want to cull newbies, cull them. Or at least, put aside a small forum for newbie discussions. The problem I see, based on your comments svero, is that people misunderstand the point of this place. Now that Steve no longer has say about what the forum is around for, you guys need to make a rock-solid decision so people like myself can either stick around, or take off somewhere else.
     
  16. Hamumu

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    557
    Likes Received:
    0
    I really liked what Reactor and Onyx had to say. If the whole heart of being an indie is that a common man can take on the big boys and, well maybe not win, but survive, then excluding people based on money is contrary. Excluding based on them being obnoxious is lovely though.

    As someone who has a forum that is 99% noise, I haven't seen a pixel of noise on this one by my standards. Unless the mods are deleting things like crazy, so I'm just not seeing it (which isn't true is it? I thought the mods on dex only had locking power), then I'd say what on earth are you worrying about? The dex forums never once reached any appreciable level of noise that I saw. There were hardly even any flamewars (all of which arose from legitimate discussion and all of which included 'serious' forum members almost exclusively - no paid sub is going to prevent that!).

    I guess the question is, what is noise? If a newbie posts "I have a cool new game idea, how can I sell it to a publisher?", is that really noise? Why? It's a legitimate, but very stupid, question. It's perfectly on topic and in an effort to seek knowledge. Having a FAQ available to shut such things down in one post would be nice. I think enforced lurking (just a week, I'd say) would do the trick nicely, because it'd almost force people to search to see if their question is answered before they post, which solves the fundamental problem with newbie posts. Sure, they won't all do it, but the ones that won't do it are also likely to find a shiny object before their week is up and forget all about the internet.

    Throughout the entire life cycle of the dex forums, I perused at least daily, and clicked "Show New Posts", and clicked on at least half the topics every day. I don't have any other place online where I find things of interest at that rate.

    So I say down with paid subs, and I am all for short-term lurking requirements, and lastly, I don't actually know what the fuss is about. Does someone have an example of this noise? Other than my first post on these new forums... sorry about that!
     
  17. ggambett

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    1,982
    Likes Received:
    6
  18. Nemesis

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    273
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think it would be helpful to have 1 sticky thread (as in Dex) in every forum category containing a set of rules, what kind of posts are relevant, newbie FAQ's etc.

    Hopefully this will cut down on the more basic "I want to write a game" type of posts and reduce occurences of posts going out of scope of the original thread and so on.
     
  19. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    3,392
    Likes Received:
    6
    @hamumu

    >Unless the mods are deleting things like crazy, so I'm just not seeing it
    >(which isn't true is it? I thought the mods on dex only had locking power),

    There have been some deletes. We could delete and edit if we wanted over at dex as well.

    >I guess the question is, what is noise? If a newbie posts "I have a cool new
    >game idea, how can I sell it to a publisher?", is that really noise? Why? It's
    >a legitimate, but very stupid, question.

    I suppose it depends on your view of what the forums are. Personally I would like to see them head in the general direction of an indie trade organization. An ASP for indies as it were. With that in mind I think that it should in fact be a place limited to people who trade as indies and not to every beginner or kid who has a question. Maybe there's a place for that, but I didn't really think this would be it. Or maybe it could be handled differently by setting up a beginners questions section or something of that nature.

    I'm not really so much against helping new people out. I'm always happy to answer questions and so on but I'd like to keep other people who have experience coming by and reading and responding on a regular basis. As the number of these beginner posts grows (and it has grown) the number of serious developers who will come by shrinks. When you have a lot of posts like "hey i have a neat idea..." many of the people who are more serious about their business will just fade away and stop posting because they can't be bothered to swim through all the junk to read the few good posts. You might not mind going through every day, but not everyone has Sol Hunt all finished up and a beta waiting in svero's inbox and lots of time to surf.

    I'm not really in favor of paid subscription or paid posts as a seriousness filter though because I think it will filter out people who are serious but who aren't enthusiastic enough about forums. Not everyone who posts ocassionally is going to want to pay to post. That's especially true if someone is just dropping by to answer a question about their company or site. Like someone from download.com for instance. I wouldn't want to alienate those people who have something good to ad but only ocassionally.

    @bongpig

    >Otherwise, whos got the guts to draw a defining line in the sand
    >labled, 'here begins the noise'?

    There will be a change made to address this before it becomes a problem. So in a sense yes a line will be drawn.
     
  20. GameStudioD

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    0
    Eh, programmers...

    Complaining about noise, new people, spam and off topic discussion is just going to drive people away from this forum. A community includes peolpe, not excludes them. New ideas and new ways of thinking should be embraced, not deleted.

    Right now I am working hard on creating my business and building my first complete, marketable game. I found a lot of information and inspiration at the Dexterity Forums. I talked with other game developers that were going through or have gone through the same problems I am facing. I gathered a lot of information on what to do with the game when it is done. etc. etc. etc. I really dont want to see that support go away for future developers because of elitist views.

    I really believe this forum needs more non-game developers and non-programmers (I am suggesting a marketting discussion area or a 'what do gamers think' area, hint, hint). There are some people here that need to talk with real people and real gamers. I sense a very big disconnect between the 'programmers' and their customers. I see it in website design, game design and throughout many discussions here. But, that is a rant for another time...
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

  • About Indie Gamer

    When the original Dexterity Forums closed in 2004, Indie Gamer was born and a diverse community has grown out of a passion for creating great games. Here you will find over 10 years of in-depth discussion on game design, the business of game development, and marketing/sales. Indie Gamer also provides a friendly place to meet up with other Developers, Artists, Composers and Writers.
  • Buy us a beer!

    Indie Gamer is delicately held together by a single poor bastard who thankfully gets help from various community volunteers. If you frequent this site or have found value in something you've learned here, help keep the site running by donating a few dollars (for beer of course)!

    Sure, I'll Buy You a Beer