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this is the beginning of the end.


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#1 radioteeth   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 1102

Posted 27 March 2013 - 01:10 AM

 Game development illiterates are multiplying exponentially.

 

 Some people just need to be pointed in the right direction,

 while others need their hands held.

 

 Moderators with big heads.... well, everybody is compensating for something.

 

 This site is about the development of games. How one chooses to develop a game is irrelevant. What matters is that they make a game, not how proficient they are at a language, or how indepth their understanding and grasp of math or networking is. There is no need for constant correction and ridicule. What there is a need for is praise and commaraderie.

 

 The preferences and opinions one has concerning any aspect of game development should not be something to be publicly classified as being correct or incorrect, good or bad. right or wrong... If it works, it will suffice. If someone is happy with their work, your negativity is nobody's business.

 

 Why should everybody here strive to be writing professional quality code? What about making games for the fun of it? Is that not a valid pursuit? Who are you to judge? We are all human.

 

 Some take pleasure in doing things simpler ways, be the bigger man and deal with it.. Some of us are tired of you sharing how wonderful you think you are by throwing your nay-saying two-cent opinion in to the mix. But, this site will be what it is destined to be. It can either foster the growth of the community, or it can disappoint and offend everyone away.

 

 Nobody here is a god, even if they are professional game developers. Everybody here is just another human being, with their own perspectives and feelings. But some things are best left unsaid. I wish we were all here for the same thing, to help and to learn. That's what would make this site great.

 

 For those that have been around, the IOTD was once truly an "image-of-the-day". People from all walks of life were doing different things all the time. Now it seems like hardly anybody is doing anything, and new images are few and far inbetween. Either newcomers aren't learning, or old timers aren't teaching. I'm definitely seeing a lot of activity on the beginners forum, that's for sure.

 

 All I can think is that something somewhere along the line is discouraging people. I'm only here because I've been doing this for a long time, but if I just showed up here today, I don't think I'd stick around very long, and would probably abandon all hope of making a game after dealing with this scene.

 

 People should share what they know, and what their experiences have been. But that won't happen with egos in our midst.



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#2 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 30926

Posted 27 March 2013 - 01:21 AM

Ok. Yes.

 

 

If people are being egotistical jerks, it's of much more use to call them out on it at the time, rather than writing vague descriptions of it after the fact in another location, which does nothing. It's not like people ever act in egotistical ways on purpose; it's not a deliberate behaviour, so they won't know they've upset you.

 

There's also the possibility that you actually received some valid criticism (criticism is not a negative thing) and have misinterpreted it...

 

You've reiterated some common sentiments, but no plan of action. As Gandhi said, you must be the change you want to see in the board.


Edited by Hodgman, 27 March 2013 - 01:30 AM.


#3 Bacterius   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 9054

Posted 27 March 2013 - 01:45 AM

As for the IOTD, it's because it's inactive at the moment as it's been reworked. So, yeah, there hasn't been a new image in a while.


The slowsort algorithm is a perfect illustration of the multiply and surrender paradigm, which is perhaps the single most important paradigm in the development of reluctant algorithms. The basic multiply and surrender strategy consists in replacing the problem at hand by two or more subproblems, each slightly simpler than the original, and continue multiplying subproblems and subsubproblems recursively in this fashion as long as possible. At some point the subproblems will all become so simple that their solution can no longer be postponed, and we will have to surrender. Experience shows that, in most cases, by the time this point is reached the total work will be substantially higher than what could have been wasted by a more direct approach.

 

- Pessimal Algorithms and Simplexity Analysis


#4 Ashaman73   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7793

Posted 27 March 2013 - 01:45 AM

People should share what they know, and what their experiences have been.

There's a difference between sharing knowledge and learning, and therefor teaching. A blog or twitter is for sharing your knowledge/opinion, a forum is for discussion, to learn and teach.

 

Many people will learn without asking, by searching for certain topics. If everyone would post uncommented content, many people would adope it to actually learn, never knowing that it is not the best practise or even a bad practise. Therefor the critique of more experienced member (being themself not gods either and still learning a lot) helps not only the poster to improve or change his view, but others who want to learn from it too.

 

I've posted lot of comments in order to help someone out, just to be corrected by someone else. Yes, it stings at first, your ego got bruised, but eventually I learn a lot from it once you overcome your own ego.



#5 Cornstalks   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6991

Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:26 AM

If you have something specific that irks you, but you don't want to make a big deal about it on the forums, PMs are great. It's okay to contact someone if they're rubbing off on you the wrong way. People can (and should) have civil, mature discussions about any issues that one might see that the other might not.

I'm having a hard time seeing the issues you're talking about (I'm not saying they aren't there; I'm just not seeing them). If you can get specific (i.e. point out specific threads/posts), that might help. But then again, if you do it, make sure you do it kindly and respectfully (to those you might be criticizing).
[ I was ninja'd 71 times before I stopped counting a long time ago ] [ f.k.a. MikeTacular ] [ My Blog ] [ SWFer: Gaplessly looped MP3s in your Flash games ]

#6 BitMaster   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4227

Posted 27 March 2013 - 03:16 AM

This site is about the development of games. How one chooses to develop a game is irrelevant. What matters is that they make a game, not how proficient they are at a language, or how indepth their understanding and grasp of math or networking is. There is no need for constant correction and ridicule. What there is a need for is praise and commaraderie.

What you do in your own time, on your own computer is entirely your thing. But if you post it here, where a thread can reasonably expected to be one of the top results in Google. This forum is not just for the hobby developer's, it's also an important resource for professional programmers in the field of game development as well as many more people in game-adjacent fields.
If code anyone posts follows horrible practices or is plain wrong then they should and must be called out otherwise this place is not a resource worth anything. There are plenty of places on the web where you can get practically useless advice but unless you already know it's useless (in which case you would not have needed the resource) there is no way for you to know that because there are no commentators or at least no competent ones.
The same goes for facts: wrong, inaccurate or misleading facts must be confronted and corrected (with appropriate sources as needed).

The preferences and opinions one has concerning any aspect of game development should not be something to be publicly classified as being correct or incorrect, good or bad. right or wrong... If it works, it will suffice. If someone is happy with their work, your negativity is nobody's business.

That's just plain horrible to read. If we are talking about design ideas, you may have a point (although I would consider sensible comments on the lines of "something pretty much exactly like that was tried in X and Y and it really did not work out well" to be a matter of courtesy before I dump a significant portion of my life into something which already has obvious examples to learn from first.
However, your choice of words suggest you mean this primarily in regard to programming, not designing. A lot of people, especially newbies, appear to be gravitating towards C or C++ (or at least something they believe to be C++) as their language of choice. In these languages you simply cannot go "it works, it will suffice". In C++ that just means "in this particular situation on this particular compiler, it appears to work". Tomorrow, when you add one more line of code it might stop working and instead blow up in your face. Or it appears to keep working for weeks and blows up then (those bugs are always great fun), perhaps even before an essential deadline.
You can get away with an attitude like that (within reasonable limits) in some languages, but as a general rule, no. Not at all.
 

Why should everybody here strive to be writing professional quality code? What about making games for the fun of it? Is that not a valid pursuit? Who are you to judge? We are all human.

First, in my opinion any non-trivial programming requires a certain amount of dedication. If you do not strive to become a better programmer while you are programming, you should not do it at all. I'm also starting to suspect that what you think is "professional quality code" might in fact be things like "learn your standard library" and "understand a few things about your tools".

Some take pleasure in doing things simpler ways, be the bigger man and deal with it.. Some of us are tired of you sharing how wonderful you think you are by throwing your nay-saying two-cent opinion in to the mix. But, this site will be what it is destined to be. It can either foster the growth of the community, or it can disappoint and offend everyone away.

Again, what you do in your own time on your own computer is your own thing. If you want to display something to the public without any reasonable feedback, maybe you want a blog instead. The essential point of a forum is discussion. If the only comments allowed are back patting, they have no point and they have no purpose at all.
 

Nobody here is a god, even if they are professional game developers. Everybody here is just another human being, with their own perspectives and feelings. But some things are best left unsaid. I wish we were all here for the same thing, to help and to learn. That's what would make this site great.

Bolding is mine. There is no learning without notification of errors, problems or better ways.
 

For those that have been around, the IOTD was once truly an "image-of-the-day". People from all walks of life were doing different things all the time. Now it seems like hardly anybody is doing anything, and new images are few and far inbetween. Either newcomers aren't learning, or old timers aren't teaching. I'm definitely seeing a lot of activity on the beginners forum, that's for sure.

There are quite a few things wrong with the site. Loss of functionality compared to the old forum. Features that were meant as a replacement/upgrade but are nowadays broken. The decision to suspend the IOTD but not notifying people properly about it or showing that somehow.
The management and technical implementation of the site indeed leaves very much to be desired. The competence and honest (even if sometimes brutal) criticism in threads and attention to factual correctness is the site's redeeming quality though. Take that away and I (and I would suspect many more) would see no point in coming here. Then it can be just like one of those many places on the web where people who believe they know what they are doing are talking and the result is on third plain wrong, one third inaccurate and one third correct (mostly by accident).
 

All I can think is that something somewhere along the line is discouraging people. I'm only here because I've been doing this for a long time, but if I just showed up here today, I don't think I'd stick around very long, and would probably abandon all hope of making a game after dealing with this scene.

I see a lot of good indie games being around. I bought several of them. In fact I'm nowadays spending much more money on old pearls on GoG or indie games than I'm spending on what is commonly called AAA games.

People should share what they know, and what their experiences have been. But that won't happen with egos in our midst.

Again, you seem to want people to teach and people to learn but with just back patting. There is no learning without pointing out that what you know so far is insufficient or wrong.

#7 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3388

Posted 27 March 2013 - 03:37 AM

Moderators with big heads.... well, everybody is compensating for something.

 

If you perceive a member is abusing/misusing their power as a moderator - then report it. However, a moderator is also a member and as such, any actions they take that aren't concerned with their actual moderator duties should not be seen as being part of that role. For example a member who is acting in their moderator role will step in to correct a misbehaviour, delete a thread if doubled up and other moderator related issues. A member (who happens to be a moderator) who is acting in their personal role to give advice/opinions/answer etc should not be somehow elevated to the idea that they are right simply because they are a mod.

 

The thing is...I don't really see a confusion between those roles. I have disagreed with some decisions made by mods and felt quite justified in speaking about it. Case in point: my recent challenge thread which got shanghaied. The point is - I made my case quite clearly, logically and more importantly wasn't vague about what it is that that I disagreed with. How am I supposed to interpret "Moderators with big heads" and agree/disagree with you, if I have no data provided to support this contention as being more than simply opinion.

 

Game development illiterates are multiplying exponentially.

 

Thank god they are. It means that the site is being successful at attracting more and more of the types of people who need and can benefit from the help these forums can provide. As you yourself observe, there is increased activity in "the Beginners" forum. From a technical viewpoint I would rather have the benefit of people teaching me how to tighten my code to be the least complex and most efficient that it could be. (I don't code by the way) My only argument would be those doing the correcting provide a small explanation as to what was inherently wrong/poor about the code I have written...i.e. learning.

 

What there is a need for is praise and commaraderie.

 

This I agree with strongly. But if you have been following recent and upcoming changes to the website you will note that a substantial amount of work has been going into redefining the site into something more than it is...i.e.  of more benefit to the greater community. A large part of that has been the call to arms made by Michael for members to adopt leadership roles in the form of the crossbones group. Everyone has something valuable that they can teach someone, even if that something they are teaching is "This what you should never do as I tried it and failed". Doctorates are awarded for new research, but that research can also take the form of a negative proof i.e. feeding mice to small children does not cause them to crave cheese. Which I might point out, until proven remains theory!

 

-------------------

 

My personal challenge to you is....become more involved in the community. Speak up more, make your opinions heard but at the same time be prepared to defend them with reason as sometimes people disagree.



#8 GeneralQuery   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1263

Posted 27 March 2013 - 05:20 AM

I think a lot of people misinterpret the vigorous correction of misinformation as somehow stamping out legitimate debate. However, that is what separates these boards from the many lesser boards out there. Debate is good and healthy for the forum culture but allowing misinformation to proliferate quietly erodes the integrity of these fine boards. I've been a lurker since this site's inception and a low-key poster for about a year and the culture and quality of these boards far surpasses anything else I've ever come across in my travels. There certainly is a much larger weighting towards experienced and "expert" users here than most other places but that is essential to cultivating an informed and practical knowledge base that isn't tainted with, well, bad advice and shoddy content. Having your mistakes corrected is a good thing, not just for the user but also the forum as a whole. Beginners by virtue cannot distinguish the wheat from the chaff so minimising the level of noise on the line is essential.

 

Music production forums are typically the antithesis to this site. Each forum has its own culture and the forum heavyweights generally have a lot of sway. However, in music production forums people who actually have industry experience and a reliable track record of commercial releases generally don't post because they get shouted down by inexperienced regulars because the advice goes against the forum's (misguided) cultural "do's and don'ts". What you end up with is the blind leading the blind with myths and half-truths becoming part of the forum's canon. Needless to say, if you want "painting the bike shed" advice then they're fine but if you want to scratch below the surface into more informed and deeper understandings of theory and techniques you just can't get it.

 

The amount of times I've digged through these boards looking for insightful advice and information and walked away triumphant is countless, if the culture was less vigorous about weeding out misinformation then it really would be the "beginning of the end". Praise and positive feedback is of course important but not if it's at the cost of knowledge. However, attempting a more solipsistic "everyone deserves praise because everyone's opinion is valid" by virtue of contributing alone or to spare hurt feelings isn't helpful to the recipient or the bigger picture.


Edited by GeneralQuery, 27 March 2013 - 05:23 AM.


#9 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 30926

Posted 27 March 2013 - 05:50 AM

The decision to suspend the IOTD but not notifying people properly about it or showing that somehow

I found that a bit of a shock as well, especially as the IOTD is probably the area of the site that's filled with the most praise and encouragement and camaraderie smile.png



#10 Rakilonn   Members   -  Reputation: 421

Posted 27 March 2013 - 06:12 AM

BitMaster sumed up what I wanted to say.

 

I will just add that on every forum there are trolls, so don't be surprised if someone is offensive (especially in programming where errors can be easily seen).

 

But for the majority of threads I read, I think the community is great, helps a lot (even with harsh words) and there are even some real gems. :)



#11 Krohm   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3167

Posted 27 March 2013 - 10:36 AM

I think this community is pretty positive. I read a lot of messages from people trying to help each other. Sometimes they just provide keywords, sometimes links. Some questions are interesting, some are not. Every now and then, they make me think.

Just to say I don't feel this "judging" vibe.



#12 JTippetts   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8571

Posted 27 March 2013 - 11:15 AM

Ego.

The ego comprises the organized part of the personality structure that includes defensive, perceptual, intellectual-cognitive, and executive functions.

This site simply would not exist without ego. There certainly wouldn't be any quality information to be had here without ego. Now, I know you meant ego in the negative connotation, but my point still stands.

What are the reasons someone posts something informative on these forums? A very great deal of it is aimed at influencing how they are perceived by others in the community. We all want to be perceived as knowledgeable by our peers, and so at least a portion of the reason of why we post is driven by ego, by the desire to be accepted, to appear knowledgeable, to garner praise. If ego weren't a factor, this forum (and any forum on the internet) would be a deserted wasteland. Nobody is 100% perfectly altruistic and self-effacing, and so absent the ego there would just be no point in trying to help others. It's just not human nature to discard ego completely.

So, no, we won't be eliminating ego here at any point, even if that were possible or desirable.

As far as the IOTD goes, just be patient while they work on it. Michael and the others have a lot of good ideas for this site going forward. Trust me when I say that they really are personally invested in seeing gamedev.net become the place for game developers. Their success, though, will hinge a great deal on the community here.

What can you do to help make the community stronger so that it in return can benefit you? Would it be best to post constructive criticism and comments regarding specific aspects of the site or specific events that have occurred? Or would it be best to post a vague, passive-aggressive, all-encompassing attack against some nebulous "they" whom you mistakenly perceive to be somehow determined to lessen your enjoyment of the site through overwhelming abundance of ego? Isn't (ahem) egotistical of you to assert that everyone else must subvert their own ego in deference to yours?

In other words: get over yourself.

#13 demonkoryu   Members   -  Reputation: 976

Posted 27 March 2013 - 11:56 AM

The pedantic attitude taken with beginners mistakes here is actually a gift, a personal gift from the heart of the coder who criticizes. He wants the beginner to have his foundation right, so as to spare him suffering and misfortune later.

 

So, whenever you next see someone go "D*** noob, your f****** program only works because debug mode initializes your variables", just think this: wub.png



#14 FLeBlanc   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3109

Posted 27 March 2013 - 12:25 PM

So, whenever you next see someone go "D*** noob, your f****** program only works because debug mode initializes your variables", just think this: wub.png

Except, you almost never get an answer with that kind of attitude here. Folks here are way more polite than that, at least the extreme majority. Most of the career gd.net assholes have vanished or been banned.

I'm pretty sure that what got this guy's panties in a twist is swiftcoder's reply in this thread. radioteeth made two ostensible mistakes: using a macro unnecessarily (macros historically tend toward proneness to error, and can serve to hide mistakes) and second-guessing the compiler by trying to force inline regardless of what the compiler wants to do. swiftcoder responded succinctly and accurately, if a little tersely. Rather than accept the answer (which was a good one; what radioteeth suggested is probably not a good idea, since modern compilers are way more effective at low-level optimization than your average programmer is) or use it as a learning opportunity, the OP comes here instead to make an anger post. Nothing good has ever come of an anger post, especially one as vague as this one. The results of the anger post have been predictable, and far more good-natured than one would reasonably have any right to expect.

#15 Tournicoti   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 683

Posted 27 March 2013 - 12:33 PM

Game development illiterates are multiplying exponentially.

Sorry, I was unable to read all the topic sad.png



#16 Zipster   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 762

Posted 27 March 2013 - 12:57 PM

Pretty much agree with what's been said. When I first joined the boards many eons ago as a young lad, I admit it seemed like there was just a lot of petty one-upmanship going on, as each successive poster tried to find flaw in what had already been said, even if the information wasn't necessarily bad or incorrect. But as I got older and wiser and my skin thickened, I realized that it wasn't really as much one-upmanship as it was the desire to make sure that as much accurate and correct information as possible was presented. If someone replies to your post with "Your approach works, however...", it isn't necessarily because you're flat-out wrong and must be corrected, it's also because there is often more than one solution to a particular problem, each with its individual pros and cons, and that information could be helpful to someone who happens upon the thread in the future. If the community wasn't as self-correcting, and the members here didn't strive to disseminate as much information as possible, then what use would this site be?



#17 BladeOfWraith   Members   -  Reputation: 245

Posted 27 March 2013 - 12:59 PM

I think a lot of people misinterpret the vigorous correction of misinformation as somehow stamping out legitimate debate. However, that is what separates these boards from the many lesser boards out there. Debate is good and healthy for the forum culture but allowing misinformation to proliferate quietly erodes the integrity of these fine boards. [...]
Beginners by virtue cannot distinguish the wheat from the chaff so minimising the level of noise on the line is essential

QFT.

 

 

 This site is about the development of games. How one chooses to develop a game is irrelevant. What matters is that they make a game, not how proficient they are at a language, or how indepth their understanding and grasp of math or networking is. There is no need for constant correction and ridicule. What there is a need for is praise and commaraderie.

I have rarely seen people say anything truly negative to decent ideas. Yes, when someone comes here and says "I want to make the best 3D MMORPG ever in Html and use Bitmap to make the graphics, how do?" - they need to be told how stupid that is.

Telling them "You can do it if only you believe!" is not actually helping them. If one of your friends thinks they "drive better when drunk" would you suggest encouraging them? Some ideas are bad, and some people are clearly incapable of success with their current plan. Lying to them does not help them.

 

Nothing good has ever come of an anger post, especially one as vague as this one.

I'm going to have to disagree with this one. Those "Who rated me down!?" posts were wonderfully entertaining smile.png

"You can't say no to waffles" - Toxic Hippo


#18 Cornstalks   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6991

Posted 27 March 2013 - 01:09 PM


Nothing good has ever come of an anger post, especially one as vague as this one.

I'm going to have to disagree with this one. Those "Who rated me down!?" posts were wonderfully entertaining smile.png


If we could vote in the lounge, I'd vote this post down in the hopes that you'd make a "Who rated me down!?" post, and then I would upvote that "Who rated me down!?" post. Just to be a punk. biggrin.png
[ I was ninja'd 71 times before I stopped counting a long time ago ] [ f.k.a. MikeTacular ] [ My Blog ] [ SWFer: Gaplessly looped MP3s in your Flash games ]

#19 BladeOfWraith   Members   -  Reputation: 245

Posted 27 March 2013 - 04:51 PM

 

Nothing good has ever come of an anger post, especially one as vague as this one.

I'm going to have to disagree with this one. Those "Who rated me down!?" posts were wonderfully entertaining smile.png

 

If we could vote in the lounge, I'd vote this post down in the hopes that you'd make a "Who rated me down!?" post, and then I would upvote that "Who rated me down!?" post. Just to be a punk. biggrin.png

8KUnuo4.gif

I learned from observation that mentioning a rate down was a very bad idea. Of course we didn't have the post as a visible reference back then. Your user rating would just mysteriously decline and you'd have to guess which helpful post some Hitleresque person had used as justification for dropping your user rating biggrin.png


"You can't say no to waffles" - Toxic Hippo


#20 Ravyne   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 7743

Posted 27 March 2013 - 05:09 PM

Trolls will be trolls, but this site has never been a gamedev-buddy-sing-along, its here to foster young and amatuer game developers yes, but also to educate them.

 

Poor coding practices often don't scale well, either in terms of performance or maintainability, so when someone encourages you to do the right thing in your code, they very much are encouraging you to be successful.

 

That said, a lot of the older, wiser, and more-helpful members here are steeped in the professional programming world (or are just similarly skilled), and one of the things everyone looses with experience is a certain kind of "sympathy" for younger and less-experienced developers. It's not the kind of sympathy that means "I care", its the kind of sympathy that means "I remember what it was like when I was green." This is why the grizzled veterans sometimes seem to look down on you and offer solutions that are beyond your needs or possibly your capabilites, rather than the simple solutions you might be looking for. Our minds just go straight to the industrial-strength solutions because our minds have been conditioned in an environment where industrial-strength considerations are necessary and expected.

 

Aside from the trolls, its not malice at fault here, its just an impedence mismatch.


Edited by Ravyne, 27 March 2013 - 05:10 PM.





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