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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 9:26 pm 
Digerati

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I know we were looking a bigger userbase. Strangely enough it seems to me that it's been happening, but different than we anticipated.
There's a huge lack of programming related topics, while there's a lot of announcements coming along. Nothing against that at all, i just find it.. peculiar. makes me scratch my head :confused

On the other hand, we could make a better use of the featured game section like this :thumbs

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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 10:09 pm 
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I've given up trying to understand the site. I have tried to drive traffic and nothing happened, then I do nothing and the place fills up. :spin

I'm just going to do my best to keep things running and what will be, will be.

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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 4:56 am 
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your'e doing a great job codehead. thanks for keeping things running.


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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 6:48 am 
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We could build some sort of uber project announcement system.

Or just try to remember to update image of the month regularly (i.e. monthly)

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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 8:29 am 
Bibliotherapist
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I reworked most of the 'Image of the Day' text and logos to read 'Featured Project' over the weekend. I still need to do the header menu bar link but I think I got every other instance.

For some reason my SSH client keeps dropping out and occasionally forgetting how to send 'Esc' which makes edits with VIM interesting.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:33 pm 
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Codehead wrote:
I've given up trying to understand the site. I have tried to drive traffic and nothing happened, then I do nothing and the place fills up. :spin

I'm just going to do my best to keep things running and what will be, will be.


I do direct people here every now and then, so that may play a role. Because user activity is so low, perhaps even one more visitor is noticeable as a traffic spike :P

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:11 pm 
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Jasmine wrote:
I do direct people here every now and then, so that may play a role. Because user activity is so low, perhaps even one more visitor is noticeable as a traffic spike :P


Yeah me too. This site deserves more users ^^.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:08 am 
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I haven't been an active member of these forums for a few years now. This was the first game development website I joined, and at that time I had no real perspective to make comparisons with alternatives. But from my time away from here I've gained new perspectives of game development websites and communities, and I feel better able to make comparisons now.

1. These forums are pretty much dead --> People are unlikely to come here for the community.
2. If questions are asked, the few users here struggle to give timely advice (or advice at all) --> People are unlikely to come here for advice.
3. The wiki contents are largely out of date, and cater little for modern game dev tools --> People are unlikely to come here to learn how to make games.
4. The news posts are few and far between, and there is little discussion of new indie games. --> People are unlikely to come here for news.

So what would people come here for? :confused

I think a large part of the problem is that the internet and game development have both evolved a lot since the early 2000s, yet this site feels like it's been constructed to serve game development from that era. Community plays such a big role in websites now, and the focus needs to be on stuff that people will keep coming back for. Whether it is regular (daily) reviews of new indie games, or game jams, or up to date help or tutorials.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:29 pm 
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I agree. Times have changed, but the site hasn't kept up. The Wiki content was strangled by spam and the counter measures drove prospective editors away. There is a decent system in place now, but it may be too late.

I'm doing better with OpenGL4 this time around and I may update the tutorials, but my time is very limited thesedays.

The old regulars will swing by occasionally to check in with old friends, but no new blood is being added to the community. Perhaps one day the site will fade away completely, but I'll keep the lights on till then.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:29 am 
Digerati

Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2004 1:17 pm
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Jasmine wrote:
1. These forums are pretty much dead --> People are unlikely to come here for the community.
2. If questions are asked, the few users here struggle to give timely advice (or advice at all) --> People are unlikely to come here for advice.
3. The wiki contents are largely out of date, and cater little for modern game dev tools --> People are unlikely to come here to learn how to make games.
4. The news posts are few and far between, and there is little discussion of new indie games. --> People are unlikely to come here for news.


Yeah, we've had that discussion before at least once. Trying to find new directions to take the site to.
I think it goes without saying that it was a quite heated discussion, and eventually we got to the conclusion that we wont change the site, but rather polish it.

If that was the right call is still debatable. I'd really hate to see the site go under just because it wasn't able to adapt. But it is tough to determine what and how to change and evolve it.

We are after all gpwiki, so we shouldnt get rid of it. But it still stands true that most of our content is outdated and for a big part not even relevant anymore. I don't think a purge of the content would help either though, worse than a wiki with outdated content is a wiki with no content.

Additionally, there are tons of wikis on specific things like unreal engine, unity, opengl, etc. So it begs the question about relevancy.

I could imagine a specialisation about game mechanic specific topics, which are probably the hardest to come by. Anything from basic sidescroller/rpg 2d physics to scene graphs and network sockets.

Also there's still the ongoing process about prettifying the site and forums, which sadly have stagnated because we lack people who actually know about web design (both technical and graphical) or lack the time. Hence the site still looks like its from early 2k.

I think our featured project is on the right way, but it needs more features like callback channels (dev twitter, project homepage, youtube embeds, link to the according thread). Especially since that is what we get most posts about lately.

The worst part is probably our non-participation in the indie scene. We had jams before (it was cool :spin ) so we can host them again and get some visibility. Like every 3-6 month or so would be enough, especially since game jams are very frequent right now. A good theme is key for participation, so we could think and brainstorm about hosting one sometime.

I think we still need to think about what we want to achieve with this site. It certainly isn't about resolving programming related problems anymore (even though that might just be from a lack of direction and participation).

So yeah, it's this discussion again. But since it's ever coming back we obviously didn't make the right decisions.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:52 pm 
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weezl wrote:
Yeah, we've had that discussion before at least once. Trying to find new directions to take the site to.
I think it goes without saying that it was a quite heated discussion, and eventually we got to the conclusion that we wont change the site, but rather polish it.


No matter how much you polish it, the above sticking points aren't going to rub away: People will still be unlikely to join for the community, for advice, to learn how to make games, or for news.

I do feel that polish is a quality of life thing, not something that's going to persuade people to visit here. Programmers especially will happily tolerate a lack of polish. (let's face it, their software projects spend most of their development cycles in a state of unpolished)

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:33 pm 
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At least to some of your points, Jasmine, I guess I have to respectfully disagree. I think that as long as we have a few knowledgeable regulars who reply to posts every day or two, there's still a good chance that new people will stick around the forums, at least. Being a small community has its advantages, after all; it's not all bad :) For one thing, there's much more of a sense of community, something that, at least IMHO, I think is lacking on larger sites like Stack Overflow and Gamedev. To that end, though, I think that there are some things that we could do to enhance the sense of community between what members we have. As most of us old timers (I'm not sure how much I can include myself in this, but I suppose I have been around for awhile, too) have been programming for awhile, it seems like we don't have as much of a need to post and ask for technical help, but I think that there could be a lot more posts discussing somewhat more theoretical things, like game mechanics, as weezl mentioned.

I know that quite a few of us have our own sites where we post updates about games that we're working on, but maybe it would be a good idea to repost some of that material here, even if it's a rather minor update? I think that at the moment, there are few enough of us here that we could all post updates on things that we're doing and still have probably less than one update per day, on average. Just an idea :) I think it might serve to make the forums look a bit more busy and also remind everyone that others are working on projects, which might provide some motivation :)


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 7:31 am 
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We had Journals on the Wiki ages ago. http://content.gpwiki.org/User:Codehead/Journal
I'm not sure how popular they were, but I enjoyed writing mine and it's fun to look back on that stuff occasionally.

We could revive the Journals or use the Announcements topic to post project updates.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:48 am 
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wyrmmage wrote:
there's still a good chance that new people will stick around the forums


so where are they all? :P

Look at the facts, not wishful thinking.

Take a look at the members list for those who've made accounts in the past year. There are about 200. But there are only 6/200 people with over 10 posts. I think 10 is a reasonable minimum number of posts for a person to test the waters of a new forum, to decide whether or not it is a worthwhile place to visit.

Of those six people, five of them are no longer active. Those people haven't stuck around, and one of those only came here to advertise their game. Did the others get their get their questions answered adequately? See for yourself.

That leaves just one person to validate your claim. That person joined only 1 month ago, which maybe isn't long enough to decide if they are going to stick around or not.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 12:39 pm 
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Ah, Jasmine. A beacon of hope and joy.

Seriously, why are you even bothering to post? Pointing out how dead it is here to the few who remain - how helpful. As if it hasn't been quiet for ages and as if no one's noticed. You're repeating things everyone knows, but in a distasteful way. Show some class, or even just a little empathy. Or, just don't say anything. You're not helping. You're not enlightening anyone.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:33 pm 
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IGTHORN wrote:
Ah, Jasmine. A beacon of hope and joy.

Hi igthorn :)

Actually yes! If there was no hope I would not bother to post here at all. I'm posting because I do have hope, and because I feel I have a good broad perspective from which to offer my insights -- as someone who has experienced these forums from both the inside (as a regular member), and from the outside (from my time away), as well as being an active member of other game dev communities which are thriving.

Quote:
Pointing out how dead it is here to the few who remain - how helpful.


That's not what I'm doing. You're being overly defensive igthorn. :\

weezl and codehead started the thread talking about how to "drive traffic", so the gist of this thread is about forum activity, and how to increase it. As with solving any problem, the first step is to understand it.

Codehead says that he does not understand the site, so I thought I would be kind enough to offer my insights, drawing comparisons with other websites, to help codehead (and others) understand what brings traffic, to see what this forum lacks in that regard.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2004 8:24 pm
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I think it's helpful to have your input, and I think it clearly describes why the site isn't growing at all. I just think it may not necessarily be a bad thing that this site is just an open hangout location for a group of friends.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:46 pm 
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Ah, let's not all start yelling at each other XD


I'll try to post a reply tonight or tomorrow :) (not that it's all about me); I'm afraid I don't have much time at the moment or I would write more.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:49 pm 
Digerati

Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2004 1:17 pm
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Location: burrowed
Lachlan87 wrote:
I just think it may not necessarily be a bad thing that this site is just an open hangout location for a group of friends.


It's not a bad thing per se, but it defies the purpose of this site. If it's for staying in touch with people from the past just the offtopic forum would be good enough, or perhaps an irc channel even.

I'm not sure what to do with the site right now either, but just having it lying around while slowly withering away doesn't feel like it's doing justice to the site, the content and all the contributions.

The guy who, couple month back, forked the wiki for gamedev.com has even less success as far as i can tell. But his webpresence isn't any more (un :lol )impressive than ours.

:confused

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:44 am 
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Going with Jasmine's idea of looking at users that have joined in the last year and have ten or more posts, here's what I've found:

  • One only posted in one topic, which was about his game that he was advertising.
  • One weighed in on the Endian smilies topic, the site refresh topic, a topic of protecting the wiki from spam, and two other topics that were questions that people had asked.
  • Another made a single topic and posted back and forth several times with people who were helping him. From my skimming, he seemed to be happy with the responses overall.
  • The fourth one discussed a project that he was working on and weighed in once on a question that someone else had asked.
  • And then there's Salamander :)

So, in an attempt to summarize what it looks like people were here for:
  • One for advertising
  • One for advertising/learning
  • One for asking questions
  • One for helping out people/the site
  • One who seems to be an all-around forum member, asking questions, posting in the Off-topic, and posting in other people's topics (sorry to post while you're still around, Salamander, especially since I don't know you pretty well XD If you'd like to add your own paraphrase of your activity, you're welcome to :))

After writing this, I'm not sure that I'm seeing any super useful patterns, but I'll post it anyway XD


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