Thread locking

Discussion in 'Indie Related Chat' started by Reactor, Oct 18, 2004.

  1. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I was originally about to post this at the end of Vapouraid's thread about RDKF, but (surprise surprise) it was locked by the time I finished. Anyway, I still want to say it, so here it is. Keep in mind I wrote it for that thread.

    The thing that gets me the most about this forum (that has from the beginning) is how much people overreact to the slightest things. Guys, it's just a thread. Let it go. Let Vapouraid have his say. Let other people have their say in return. It's not like a thread like this is going to turn the forum into a home for trolls and spammers, and break the bandwidth budget. Part of business, and part of developing is being able communicate with each other. If all that happens is thread locking for the good of the 'spirit and style of this community', all you do is stop people actually being able to talk things through in public. For example, I personally would have liked to have heard Vapouraid's reasoning behind hyping up his game. I agree that it's a fairly annoying tactic, but that doesn't mean I'll go bananas and have a go at him, or lock his thread if I'm an admin. After all, isn't what he was doing a form of marketing in action? I think it'd make a great topic if (and here's the key) IF someone didn't fly off the handle and close the thread.

    You guys think by stopping open, and sometimes difficult conversations you'll help developers? You won't. You'll only stunt the dynamic. You can't pretend that everyone will be able to talk things through, and disagree with each other without some kind of heat, and because of this, I simply urge you guys (the mods) to also relax a little, and allow people to freely express themselves (within reason) without the feeling a giant axe of dissaproval will suddenly close their topic, or ban them entirely.

    Cheers.
     
  2. EpicBoy

    Original Member

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    But there's a difference between talking openly about a game, and posting a game because you're a fanboy of it and want to share with everyone how excited you are. The latter adds nothing to this forum as a development resource.
     
  3. aduro

    Original Member

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    i don't see the point of locking user created threads. if they are useless, they will die out on their own. if someone wants to pimp their unfinished kung fu game, let them. it seems petty to tell them they can't. rather than try and control what these forums are, why not just let them become what they will be?
     
  4. EpicBoy

    Original Member

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    Pointless discussions will lead to "snappy" one liners which will lead to trolling and flaming. Keeping this site developer oriented and focused is, IMO, very important.

    Just letting the forum "be what it will be" hasn't worked for hundreds of other forums on the net - not sure why it would suddenly be successful here.
     
  5. andyb

    Original Member

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    Personally I think closing the thread was the best action. I've been in too many forums where new posters don't think about the irrelevance of their "harmless" one or two line posts. If a moderator feels the need to close a thread, then it's best closed, at least until the super mod has a chance to look it over, and possibly re-open it if necessary. If the moderators are working towards a common goal (which for tihs forum I believe they are) then they need to have some kind of discussion and layout the boundaries of what is acceptable and what is not (if they don't already exist). I've moderated my own game boards for over 2 years and i've publicly backed up the moderators on every decision they've made. If I felt they acted wrongly i've spoken to them in private, which was exceedingly rare. However it's not up to us to tell the moderators how to behave, it's up to them. If it's closed then that decision should be accepted. The fact that it wasn't, and another thread opened, just shows disrespect for the moderators and board owners. If you have a problem with them, take it private, send them a message asking why. Otherwise get off the boards, and leave the threads to the people that want to discuss what the board involves, Indy development, not getting your fans across to "big you up" on a board that they've possibly never visited before...
     
  6. cliffski

    Moderator Original Member

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    Never forget that someone (i can't even remember who ;)) owns this forum and pays the bandwidth. they can do whatever the hell they want. Its not like this forum is paid for by our taxes or anything ;)
    I'm 100% behind keeping the signal to nosie ratio as low as possible. Fan posts concerning games should be on their sites, or on sites like diygames (i know.. no forums..)
    I'd hate this forum to become gamedev.net... :D
     
  7. Mark Fassett

    Moderator Indie Author

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    I appreciate the fact that the moderators lock threads that are off topic or not appropriate. I come here to read about matters relating to Indie development. Fanboy posts about retail games from first time posters deserve to be locked.
     
  8. Dan MacDonald

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    The point is, this forum is resource for game developers first, and a community of game developers second. If this forum ceases to be a useful resource for developers it loses the one thing that sets it apart from every other game dev. related forum on the web. Naturally some community will form when people exchange ideas, that's why we have the general forum for organizing things like Indie Pizza Night's and doing other community oriented things. We want to foster a mature functional community, but the primary purpose of these forums is to act as a resource for indie developers.

    As such, I will close any thread that I perceive as being detrimental to the usefulness and relevancy of these forums. It is literally my judgment call (and if the other mods see it first, their judgment call). Ironically I was not the one to closed the last two threads, they were closed by my fellow moderators. Had I seen the threads I would have closed them also. As harsh as this might sound, the mod's are not elected and this is not a community funded site. We will continue to preserve what we feel is the core value of these forums even if it is the minority opinion. Feel free to discuss it at length here, as long as everything remains civil I won't do anything to stop the discussion because this is obviously an issue for some people.
     
    #8 Dan MacDonald, Oct 18, 2004
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2004
  9. MirekCz

    Original Member

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    I'm all behind moderators. They did the right thing to keep this forum indie biz oriented and not become some strange creation full of silly posts "related to indie biz".

    Keep up the good work boys (and girls?).
     
  10. Bluecat

    Original Member

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    I think that is a major part of the problem. The threads that were locked simply were not civil. There was a great deal of hostility expressed toward the regular members of this forum when there was simply no reason for it. It seems to me that a new group of people came in and wanted to take over. Classic troll behaviour.

    The Mods did the right thing.
     
  11. oNyx

    Original Member

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    >rather than try and control what these forums are, why not just let them
    >become what they will be?

    Most of us are here because we like what this forum currently is. It was supposed to be like this from the very beginning.

    Closing those threads was imo the right decision.
     
  12. ggambett

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    The moderators have my support. Not that it matters though :)
     
  13. Pyabo

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    If Dan were running for office, I would vote for him.

    Wait a second... would that be a pointless one-liner? Would it justify killing this thread? :rolleyes:

    I think aduro actually had a good point. Look at all the cruft and fallout from closing this one thread. It may have just died a quiet death if Dan hadn't antagonized them. Yes, their reaction was unwarranted...

    Maybe we should do an A/B test since everyone is so fond of that. Next time a thread like this crops up just ignore it and see what happens. :D
     
  14. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I wasn't asking for a justification of thread locking, but instead, a little more consideration towards locking every thread that seems to go awry. Take a look at that original RDKF thread. No one said or did anything even close to trolling or being a lamer, and you (that's Dan) threatened them with a closed thread. Why? If I were new to the forum, I'd also be a little upset about such a complete over-reaction. Why not just remind them of the forum rules? Then, if things kept getting more and more out of control, you could explain things to them if they disagree. A couple of the guys were [unprofessional] beta testers and would more than likely require a decent explanation of what the forum was actually about, since they were coming from something completely different. Was this even taken into consideration?

    Instead, by threatening the guys to lock the thread, you actually aggrovated them all, and created an almost elitist appearance of the forum. Respectfully though, I acknowledge that this is your forum, and you have the right to do as you see fit, and no one has the right to complain freely, since you guys are providing a service free of charge. I for one, am greatly appreciative of that fact. But, (and you knew there was a but coming) I'm against the grain on this one for what I think is a good reason. I have many, many years experience on some of the toughest and roughtest forums in gamedom, and I have seen first hand what does and doesn't work.

    Locking threads is the equivilent of holding someone's mouth shut. It's the equivilent of saying, "He may speak, but we have decided you can not." And, it should be used sparingly, because it makes people feel inferior. As some people have mentioned, it also makes this community appear elitist. Those are a few things worth considering. Good moderators are those who aid the flow of discussion- not those who cut off the voice of everyone who doesn't perfectly fit the bill. If you expect everyone to come from around the internet and (in one short post) fit into a pro-developer mindset, you're living in a fantasy land.

    Anyway, thanks for not locking this thread ;)
     
  15. princec

    Indie Author

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    Actually you're spot on there, a warning and respectful reiteration of forum rules is always better than gagging.

    Cas :)
     
  16. DragonsIOA

    Indie Author

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    Another vote of support here. The last thing I want to see is for this site to be filled with fanboys posting one-liners. If this were allowed, the news and announcements forum would soon be filled with "this rocks" or "this sucks", and neither is helpful. I think Dan's original post was a fair warning to them, and a few others told them that it wasn't appropiate as well. They chose to keep continuing the exchange even after being told it wasn't acceptable here.

    >> If you expect everyone to come from around the internet and (in one
    >> short post) fit into a pro-developer mindset, you're living in a fantasy land.

    Actually, I don't think that is an unreasonable expectation. After all, this is a forum for developers of games, not gamers :)
     
  17. Sunshine

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    How dare you say that!! :mad: :mad:

    Oh, uh.... Doh! :D

    I'm not a fan of locking or censureship in general, but this forum is one of the few where is it done correctly: Sparingly and only when warrented. I still think this is one of the best communities for indy games on the net. [Good moderators play a big part] :D
     
  18. Pyabo

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    Well, that's exactly what Dan did... which, unfortunately, sparked the very behavior we were trying to avoid. Isn't life funny.
     
  19. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Things went out of control because Dan threatened the guys. There's no reason for those kinds of threats. Dan could have simply mentioned what he did, and then perhaps coninued through a few posts to explain to the guys how things work. The fans were obviously coming from a completely different environment, and would have needed a more detailed explanation, as opposed to "don't contribute to noise".

    The problem is this: the mods on this forum have FAR too itchy triger fingers, for the close thread button. Of course people think Dan made the right move, because it helped to preseve the blissful utopia of forum demeanour. But, the point isn't whether forum members are pleased with action. The point is that it was actually quite unfair on the RDKF guys. For them, it was like getting off a plane in another country and being told they'd be shot if they didn't change the colour of their hair. After one minute of not changing the colour of their hair, they were then shot dead.

    Without a doubt, the law was enforced. But, the question is, was it fair?
     
  20. Mark Fassett

    Moderator Indie Author

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    Sure it was fair. They were told that if they didn't change their behavior, it would result in a locked thread. It did. If there's one thing that drives me nuts about forums, it's the ability for people from outside to come in and start spouting mindless crap, without watching for a few days before posting. This is not a forum for fans in the first place. It's a forum for developers and those that want to be developers. The post thread was not appropriate for the forum, and they had a chance - roughly worded, but a chance, anyway. They decided not to take it.

    This place remains the way it is precisely because the moderators don't let things get out of hand. Gamedev.net used to be a fun place to visit. There's a reason I don't go there anymore, and it's due to the amount of crap that gets allowed. If you don't lay down the law when it's necessary, you eventually find you can't lay down the law ever. That's not something I want to see happen here.
     

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