Right. So I've come back to take a look around. And I've got to say this forum's organization has gone way down. Is this a forum for only one game engine? No. I just stopped and skimmed the forum again to make sure I wasn't speaking from my rear. There are sooo many categories its not even funny. 10 categories? Really? Why? I can see there was a lot of thought into the concept of this layout. Yes the information is there, yes the TOPIC is easy to find. BUT!
This is where we come to a screeching halt. RRR is a multi-platform RPG site and the forum is its lifeblood. Whenever I type rpgrevolution.com/ into my browser and forget to add /forum I'm amazed. I completely forget that the index even exists because the meat and potatoes is all on view here, in the forum.
Time to talk about structure and hierarchy. I don't need to say I know a thing or two about this because it will be plainly obvious that I've done before. Not here. no. And any document you will read on the web about successful navigation will tell you what I'm about to tell you.
Make the content stupidly easily available to the user. Now I'm not saying you should sacrifice what hierarchy you feel is appropriate but there are some things to consider in the context of this being an RPG maker based forum.
All game engine forums? WTF is that? Pardon my French but what is inside that category should be the first thing a person sees when they visit this forum. I can see that this forum has become highly development oriented. And I'm sure that the new moderation force is the best of development, but the way we (devs) organize things to make them more effective for us, isn't necessarily the best way to present information to someone who isn't as dev savvy. Savvy?
So in this breath I will tell you what I think the general layout of the forum should be. Like or like not, I hope you will take this information to heart and seriously consider what I'm saying.
RRR Community Hub
+This is where you have your news from the managment.
+Then you've got a place to establish guidelines, make it... the RRR constitution. It can be amended and commented on if the case is still open for debate.
+Next you'll have a new member introductory thread. This is for 3 reasons.
1. It would be best for a new user to see this first instead at the very bottom of the page (really guys?), so that this user can start off by introducing themselves. The first post goes a long way in cementing a bond with a new user. The user can say hi, ask questions and yadda yadda in their very first post. And that leads to number
2. Nothing makes a new user feel more at home than receiving recognition and positive reinforcement. That means our every day users will be more inclined to stop by the new user forum to welcome our new member, give advice, answer questions. This is a very important strategy.
3. It lets moderation know that there is a new person out there that wants to be a part of RRR. Moderation or a selected taskforce of RRR members should be tasked with seeking out a new user and welcoming them via PM. Ask them if they need any help finding information. Forum support is just a glorified search function, its also person to person contact. Good for keeping new members and rounding out the community. The moderation will easily be able to tell when users are active, but there is a lot of information. This is a huge undertaking, but to put it simply. Establish a taskforce of volunteers who are selected by admin and/or mod to represent themselves as RRR guides. Establish a referral system and a forum for taskforce only volunteers (password) where they can communicate easily with one another. I'll delve into this later.
+You can put the community game here also, it is a major function of RRR and does not need to be defined by its own category. We are trying to get to the content, RRR game is for users familiar in this environment and does not need to be highlighted in such a way.
Game Engine 1 (RPGVX) You will start with the latest and most talked about engine, as popularity decides these engines will switch places)
I'm not going to elaborate to strongly on the components of this type of forum as they're quite obvious and are still in use.
Just a + for every relevant attribute to that system as it integrates to the forum.
A year ago you would have seen the way it was set up.
Game Engine 2 (RPGXP) Second most popular.
and so on.... until there are no engines left. obsolete or under-ly supported or used engines may be rolled into their own category for efficiency and chi sake. much as you have done with the systems with your All game engines forum
This is getting to be long winded... So I'll just add a little bit more and we can build on it.
What should follow the game engines would be more relevant and organized information. Remember, this is a multi-platforum site. You should remember that instead of lumping things together in a category of what it does instead of what IT pertains to.
Need a forum for resource submission.
Then we go on to theory, development, demo, releases. All that sort of fun stuff.
And as always ultimatly end up with the category that is 100% worth nothing but everything.
SPAM - grill it, its good on buttermilk white or with scrambled eggs and Tilamook medium cheddar cheese.
This can be a category where people go to talk about anything. Create specific subcategories, one for spam specifically, you don't need to call the major category spam, call it whatever sounds best, I just used it as an example, and if I use 1 more comma I'll save 15% on my car insurance. Dang it. I lost. No more commas for me.
But other categories, movies, tv, zombies, vampires. Whatever you see a trend in that people will talk about don't let another forum steal your users because you don't have a spam topic dedicated to their interests outside of RRR. You can afford the space, they don't get paid for their posts (post count disabled in SPAM category) and they wont have to go somewhere else when their brain tells them it's time to think of Night of the Living Dead because all of this eventing is making me tired, my mind needs a break.
So I leave you with this my dear people. The declaration of independence RRR style. Break free from whatever is happening now, take a step back and ask yourselves what really makes sense. Are we just well experienced devs or are we a bunch of geeks who only really know that this is the place that brings us together where we can be comfortable. Where we can invite new members into this union and make them at home. You will see that you will catch some minds that will take this experience to a whole new level. People who will pick up rgss2, learn it, learn it easily, build things with it. Share those things, make this community stronger.
We want to make a filter in a sandstorm that only lets the right particle through. As it stands, this forum is building a bombshelter.
Your forum social worker-
This post has been edited by poisonshift: Apr 23 2012, 02:03 AM