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ATC

New software dev and programming forums...

7 posts in this topic

Good afternoon ladies and gents...

Today we opened up some new forums for our development team and engine project. But as I was almost finished putting the forums up and tweaking everything out, I had a realization... why completely hide from the public and be a bunch of secretive weirdos?! So I decided that while we would want to keep our development discussions in a private place we could make the forums a place accessible to the public!

Our forums are NOT launched as a "competitor" to Gamedev.net's forums. I just thought it would be nice to allow room for a little community to spring up where people could talk, ask questions, help each other, follow our projects, whatever. And we have a place to announce news about our projects, release tech demos and demo apps/games, samples, etc. In the coming months it will also be useful for us to be visible so people can find us easily, rather than trying to hunt down our team members individually on Gamedev. Thus we have our new forums...

All of you are hereby invited to join up. Registration is very simple and takes (literally) all but 20-30 seconds. I would be extremely pleased if you would come over to the forums to test them, chat, make suggestions, etc. Right now they're feeling eerily empty because they were just opened and so I'd really like people to come in and help break the ice lol. You're not obligated to be a "regular" and return day after day if you don't want to! But perhaps you'll enjoy it?!

As a forum member you'll have access to everything except our private project forums and sub-forums. The rest is all public. We have sections for a range of things including off topic, politics, programming, platforms (including Windows, Mac, Linux, mobile, etc), language discussions (C#, C/C++, Java, etc), game programming (APIs, editors/tools, AI, graphics, etc) and much more. So come on over, jump in and help me test the forums and break the ice. You don't have to stay if you don't want to but you're welcome to stay as long as you like! :-)

[URL="http://atcware.boards.net]Click here to visit forums![/URL]

Regards,

--ATC-- Edited by ATC
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You are of course welcome to do as you wish, but if I could offer a piece of advice...

...you should start off with a much smaller number of forums open initially, and then only add extra forums if you find that you are getting an excessive amount of traffic on a particular topic.


If you only have a smaller collection of forums then it takes much less activity for your community to lose the "empty ghost town" feel of a new forum. Unfortunately there's a bit of a self-sustaining problem where a lot of people don't like to sign up and participate in an inactive forum, and if you have a larger number of forums it takes many more posts to make your forums look active and attract more members.

In your case there are currently 23 separate forums with no posts and it looks completely dead. If you got 23 new topics posted -- one in each forum -- with one or two responses each it'll still look dead quiet even though that's actually a reasonable amount of discussion. If you instead condensed down to a much smaller collection the same amount of activity would result in a very busy looking forum.

We apply this technique here at GDNet, and actually removed or merged a number of our quieter forums recently because the topics there weren't getting the attention they deserved. There's always the option of adding an additional forum for any topics that are particularly popular.


You could quite easily collapse your forums down into a much smaller collection:[list]
[*]Off topic. Would cover everything you currently have under the "general" subsection, except perhaps "forum administration" which is almost always given a forum of it's own on any site.
[*]Development. Would cover everything you currently have under the "programming" subsection as well as "game architecture", "input & controls", "AI", "physics & maths", "networking & multi-player", "APIs, wrappers & engines", and "tools, utilities & editors".
[*]Game content (or assets). Would cover "graphics", "animations", "artwork & design" [size=2](why do you have this [i]and[/i] graphics?), [/size][size=2][size=3]and "audio & music"[/size][/size]
[/list]

[size=2][size=3]?[/size][/size][size=3]That would leave you with "the industry" and "management & organisation", for a total of only 5 forums that would look busy with a much lower level of traffic.[/size]


[size=3] [/size][size=3]Do whatever you feel is best though, and good luck with your new community! [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img][/size]
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those forums could do some good but not with the current design, my eyes are hurting just for watching the page for 3 seconds. please change it and i will register :)
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[quote name='jbadams' timestamp='1350104558' post='4989676']
...you should start off with a much smaller number of forums open initially, and then only add extra forums if you find that you are getting an excessive amount of traffic on a particular topic.
[/quote]

I thought as much...and you're absolutely right. I kinda wanted to lay it out "in full" though to get a feel for what it [i]could [/i]look like. But I think I'm going to have to follow your advice and slim it down drastically. There are already a few merges I was planning to do because I went overboard in creating sections lol. But I think your idea of seriously condensing it into a much smaller place to eliminate the "ghost town" feel is the best idea. It's sort of like designing a video game, in a way...you don't want to make the arena of a FPS feel too big or it will feel like an empty ghost town and bore the player to death. I think the same idea stands up here. BTW, thank you to whatever mod moved my topic to the correct place. Sorry!

Hopefully some Gamedev members will come over to help me test things and break the ice. I think I might, for instance, write some C, C++ and C# tutorials on the basics to have something to attract newbies. Programming newbies are the life-blood of any good programming forums like Gamedev. It would be great if some Gamedev members would be so kind as to come over and help me "break in" the forums; even better if some would throw up some language tutorials and things to make the place more appealing. :-)

Regards,

--ATC--
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[quote name='DpakoH' timestamp='1350128649' post='4989738']
those forums could do some good but not with the current design, my eyes are hurting just for watching the page for 3 seconds. please change it and i will register [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
[/quote]

Explan. How do I need to change it? I assume you're probably talking about the color scheme? It is still "off", I know... Tell me what you think I should do. I'm a poor artist and an even poorer web designer haha

[b]EDIT:[/b]

You should find the color scheme much more pleasing now. I've changed text color back to 0x0000000 (black) and modified some of the shades/gradients so it looks much more readable and easy on the eyes... Edited by ATC
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BTW, if anyone would be so kind as to volunteer to moderate that would be great! You would only need to check in on your assigned forum section periodically to make sure things don't get ugly and to reorganize threads posted in the wrong places.
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Thanks to those of you who have come to [URL="http://atcware.boards.net"]the forums[/URL] already and signed up. Slowly but surely we are gaining a couple new members here and there and beginning some discussions. It's just really hard to get past the "ghost town stalemate" of brand-new, empty forums lol. It's like a chicken and egg dilemma... people don't feel inclined to post in a ghost town and you can't cease to be a ghost town until people post lol. So we're trying to muddle our way through and start some threads/discussions to get folks involved. We are seeing some decent web traffic numbers (100+/day) so hopefully that will translate into more forum activity once we have more forum activity lol...

If any more folks would come over and help I would be exceedingly gracious and in your debt lol. All you have to do is, well... come over and chat with us! Just be friendly and talk. Join in existing threads and, if you would please, start some new threads. This will make the forums look less empty and more appealing to visitors so they will feel more inclined to join up and join in. If you register and come talk with us you're [i]not[/i] obligated to dedicate your life to these forums lol. It doesn't matter if you're only there for a few days or a week and then never come back, though I do hope you stick around. But the important thing right now is getting things going so it doesn't feel awkward for new, incoming visitors and sign-ups.

Thanks again,

--ATC-- Edited by ATC
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[quote name='ATC' timestamp='1350275124' post='4990255']
It's just really hard to get past the "ghost town stalemate" of brand-new, empty forums lol.
[/quote]
I take it you've decided against reducing the number of forums?
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