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Ironside

Charging for the forums.

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Oh and I dont have a problem with the JobSmak add either. It integrates well into the site and is relevent to the community.
I agree with the above poster who is annoyed by "moronic" adds.

eg. (you have 1 new message, click ok to read it)

wow.. i allmost thought that was a real dialog box....


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Separating the newbies from the experienced people just harms the community in the long run. Maybe it helps those more experienced people to network and learn advanced tricks, but it harms those who don''t have anything to contribute to the advanced group, as they are now only surrounded by other relatively clueless people. A quick glance at most other development boards on the Web shows this to be the case. I like the GameDev.net forums for catering to all developers - a stark contrast to GamaSutra who seems to ignore anyone not ''in the industry'' - and allows everyone to learn something without being segregated. There may well be 2 market segments, but the whole idea is to transition that first segment into the second, not to keep them separated.

Better moderation tools (coming soon, I believe) will help to reduce the amount of bad and useless posts we see here. That should help with one aspect of the original problem... as for offering better services to paying members, I haven''t seen a good idea yet. If GDNet has to charge to maintain its bandwidth, that''s one thing, but deciding to charge just to make money on the premise that it needs to grow so that more ''exciting features'' can be added (which may or may not be useful) would be a real shame.

[ MSVC Fixes | STL | SDL | Game AI | Sockets | C++ Faq Lite | Boost ]

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Just in case this hasn''t been thought of, but...

Over the last two years a few of my side contracts were found in the gamedev forums. One of them was small change, but the other was a good chunk of cash.

Rather than letting sites like elance reap the benefits of contract programming, gamedev could organize some type of system where they recieve a small finders fee (say 2%) for any contracts negotiated through their site.

Of course, in turn for this finders fee gamedev might need to promote the talents of the people here to the outside world.

I''m not saying that gamedev should become the next elance or anything, but I think an opportunity might exist here.

borngamer

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Well at the very least I must say that I admire the Idealism of the GDNet staff. It is apparent to me that you take the WHOLE community into account before making any decisions. I think this is a very good thing. There is a huge potential to make some money and be compensated for your efforts (I think you should be) as well as add new features to help the community and yet your carefully examine every option to make sure it wont alienate any of your users. That takes discipline ļ


Kylotan, I wanted to respond to your comment that making a members only section of the site would detract from the current usefulness of the public boards. The majority of the experienced people who come here, do so to help other people out and share their experience. The problem is that If they have questions they don¡¦t really have any place to post them.
Sure they can post them on the public boards and have a wide variety of individuals, with varying levels of "experience" respond to their posts. These responses can vary from insane to useful.

It would be a benefit to these more experienced individuals if they had a place to post their questions and have them answered by other members with background experience in that area.

The current experienced members would probably never stop posting on the public boards. I know I enjoy helping out whenever I can.

What I do see with a member¡¦s only section is that you could cater to a broader audience. Ones that for what ever reason, don¡¦t have the time or resources to help out on the public forums but would still like a good quality resource and would be willing to pay a moderate charge for that service.

So what type of people am I referring to now? people like Steve Pavlina of Dexterity Software, or the IGF finalists. I know the tropical storm folks post here every now and then. But what if there was a resource that provided good solid information for those types of individuals?

This is gamedev.net and I realize that the potential future I see for GDNet is not necessarily the one that the staff sees.
But as it stands right now GDnet is an incredible resource for helping new developers edge their way into the indie game scene, and for discussion of game related topics. But that seems to be where the usefulness ends. What I would like to see is an effort to support the broader indie game development community, not just the ones who are starting out, but the ones who are following their dreams, actually making games and selling them.
After two+ years in the GDNet community I had seen nothing but failed attempt after failed attempt to finish a game. You may take offense at this, but the GDnet community doesn''t have any champions that i''m aware of. People that have risen out of the dust as it were, built their own game, and sold it successfully.
Now until recently I didn''t think those people even existed. Sadly it wasn''t until I explored other communities that I started to realize that this gamedev dream really was possible.

Now that I¡¦ve seen what other people have accomplished I¡¦m that more driven to achieve it as well. Now why doesn¡¦t GDnet attract these types of people? Because there isn¡¦t enough support/resources/information here that¡¦s valuable to them. Ever notice that the majority of articles posted here are about learning different code techniques as opposed to selling your finished product?

As I see it right now, and I¡¦ll concede that I may be totally off base, GDnet is more of a ¡§learn game development¡¨ site then a ¡§finish and sell your game¡¨ site. Now you could create something like DeveloperNET without charging. (as I get the impression that you don¡¦t want to charge for anything because it would be ¡§selling out¡¨ ) but you would have to moderate who you permitted be a part of developerNET and I don¡¦t think that¡¦s something you want to be responsible for, because then applicants feel like your turning them away etc. Better to have the applicants ¡§Self Selecting¡¨ by those who are willing to pay a small fee.

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quote:
Original post by Ironside
Kylotan, I wanted to respond to your comment that making a members only section of the site would detract from the current usefulness of the public boards. The majority of the experienced people who come here, do so to help other people out and share their experience. The problem is that If they have questions they don¡¦t really have any place to post them.
Sure they can post them on the public boards and have a wide variety of individuals, with varying levels of "experience" respond to their posts. These responses can vary from insane to useful.

It takes me less than a second to see whether a post is insane or not, and no more than the rest of that second to scroll down to the next one. All my questions are well answered by qualified and experienced people, it seems. Your point sounds logical, but hasn''t happened in practice.

quote:
So what type of people am I referring to now? people like Steve Pavlina of Dexterity Software, or the IGF finalists. I know the tropical storm folks post here every now and then. But what if there was a resource that provided good solid information for those types of individuals?

Such as? It''s all a bit vague. Personally I can''t see how much you could really offer, but maybe that is because I am not a member of these other communities you seem to admire.

quote:
Ever notice that the majority of articles posted here are about learning different code techniques as opposed to selling your finished product?
...
As I see it right now, and I¡¦ll concede that I may be totally off base, GDnet is more of a ¡§learn game development¡¨ site then a ¡§finish and sell your game¡¨ site.

The ''GD'' in ''GDNet'' stands for ''game development'', by the way Actually marketing a game is not really part of development - it''s just an optional result of it. It seems like you are suggesting that you''d like to see this place move more towards helping people sell their games. I don''t think that''s what this place was ever intended to be, although the Business forum does help.

[ MSVC Fixes | STL | SDL | Game AI | Sockets | C++ Faq Lite | Boost ]

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quote:
Original post by Kylotan
The ''GD'' in ''GDNet'' stands for ''game development'', by the way Actually marketing a game is not really part of development - it''s just an optional result of it. It seems like you are suggesting that you''d like to see this place move more towards helping people sell their games. I don''t think that''s what this place was ever intended to be, although the Business forum does help.



Granted, the original focus of GDNet was in fact game development in terms of "how to make a game", however, we have been making a slow attempt to become more of a resource for "everything related to game development". For instance, I''ve started adding software engineering resources to the site. You don''t need software engineering practices to make a game, but it sure is some good stuff to know.

The business side of games is definitely something we would like to branch into as well, and we''ve actually had a failed attempt at doing this already. The reason for that project''s failure was a combination of lack of time and not enough interest from the indie developer community. There''s a good possibility that we may try to resurrect that particular project in the future, but right now we don''t have the manpower to put a reasonable amount of work into it. Actually, I think Pavlina was one of the developers interested in that project, but even he couldn''t maintain interest long enough for us to get a reasonable set of requirements to develop for.



Kevin "Khawk" Hawkins
CEO and News Director, GameDev.net
Author, OpenGL Game Programming
Developer Diary

Branching out is great, but if this was my site (and I am very aware that it is not ) I would say that it should not be at the expense of the original vision. For reasons I already stated, I feel that certain divisions could arise if some of the proposals in this thread were enacted, which would be to the detriment of the community and thus the original concept of GameDev.Net (as I envisaged it, anyway). I am very wary of any change that potentially partitions the user base.

As an aside, I''m not trying to tell you what to do with your site, but merely offering my opinion, for what it''s worth. I know that ideals often have to give way to financial concerns.

[ MSVC Fixes | STL | SDL | Game AI | Sockets | C++ Faq Lite | Boost ]

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Trust me, we definitely understand the value of the community, and we will definitely avoid anything that will lead to the disruption of it. It may be that some of the ideas we''ve had would work better in the form of a sister site.

As I said earlier in this thread, we''re really just kicking ideas around at this point, so the feedback is greatly appreciated.

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quote:
Original post by Kylotan
The 'GD' in 'GDNet' stands for 'game development', by the way Actually marketing a game is not really part of development - it's just an optional result of it. It seems like you are suggesting that you'd like to see this place move more towards helping people sell their games.


Well answer this question. Why would you ever begin to develop a game if you didn't intend to finish it? And if you finished a game wouldn't you want other people to play it? Whether or not your charge for a game is not the point here, you still need to know how to get it out there in front of a lot of people. Finishing games and getting them out to the public is absolutly a part of game development.

I know when I sit down to make a game I envision thousands of people playing my game, and having the little program I crated delight and entertain them.

The point I was trying to make is that GDnet does a great job of getting people to begin development, take those first steps etc. But they provide less support/advice for people in the latter stages of their development cycle. Admittedly there have been some articles on play balancing and basic negotiating. But there hasn't been a clear path of support in GDnet that can take the guys who are just getting into game development and show them how to be successful, finish a game, and sell it.

Rarely do we see a finished well polished game crop up out of the GDnet community. It seems this should be happening more often then not, we are a huge community of aspiring game developers after all, this site is about developing games but all we seem to produce are abandoned parts of games, chunks of code, failed teams and nothing cohesive

The existing features of the site work great for getting people started in game development.(and my suspicion is the reason these haven't expanded as quickly as they could have is that the GDNet staff is still primarily very busy gamedev hobbyists) My suggestion is that as GDnet adds areas of the site that appeal to people who are finishing games or selling games, that they may be able to charge a small fee for some services offered to these folks.

Then GDnet would be the total package, free forums for folks getting into game dev and messing around etc. As they get start to realize there's a chance they might actually finish their game they could move to the member areas where there would be support and services for people in that stage of development.


Edited by - ironside on March 9, 2002 1:45:38 PM

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quote:
Original post by Ironside
Well answer this question. Why would you ever begin to develop a game if you didn''t intend to finish it? And if you finished a game wouldn''t you want other people to play it? Whether or not your charge for a game is not the point here, you still need to know how to get it out there in front of a lot of people. Finishing games and getting them out to the public is absolutly a part of game development.

Intentions don''t match results. Most games don''t get finished, which is why the marketing side of things is such a niche market (no pun intended).

quote:
Rarely do we see a finished well polished game crop up out of the GDnet community. It seems this should be happening more often then not, we are a huge community of aspiring game developers after all, this site is about developing games but all we seem to produce are abandoned parts of games, chunks of code, failed teams and nothing cohesive

Very true, but none of this is because people have completed games sat on their hard disk and no way of distributing it! If anything, it suggests that GDNet needs to focus more on the earlier stages of development, as they are the prerequisite for the later stages such as distribution.

quote:
My suggestion is that as GDnet adds areas of the site that appeal to people who are finishing games or selling games, that they may be able to charge a small fee for some services offered to these folks....As they get start to realize there''s a chance they might actually finish their game they could move to the member areas where there would be support and services for people in that stage of development.

I still don''t see what there is to offer, except a pay-per-view version of the Business forum... if you had some more concrete ideas I might agree with you.

[ MSVC Fixes | STL | SDL | Game AI | Sockets | C++ Faq Lite | Boost ]

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