thread: 2012-06-11 : Ask a Frequent Question

On 2012-06-15, Moreno wrote:

Re: "publisher-specific forums don't work":

Ehm...  "Barf Forth Apocalyptica"?  ;-)

It doesn't have the traffic of a generalist forum but doesn't need that kind of traffic to to work.

The publisher-specific forums at the Forge stopped working because the publishers stopped answering questions. (just look at the unanswered threads in the first pages of a lot of them), the ones where people still answered (yours, Ron's) stayed active until the last months. And this is tied to another observation: The Forge never stopped getting new users: looking at the numbers, thousands of users joined in the last two years. The traffic dropped because a lot of the OLD users stopped talking to new people there, so a lot of post were ignored.

But I have seen some statistic, not very precise but useful to get at least a sense of proportion: until the end the Forge had more page-views than story-games.

I am not saying that this wasn't a natural process of that people "had to" post in the Forge, anyone is free to do what he/she wants. What I am saying is that this process of moving away from the forge was not led by new users preferring another forum, as I often hear. The numbers say another thing. This process was led by old posters moving away, in particular the game publishers.

In some case the only "problem" caused by this for the buyers that had doubts and questions about the games was to post their questions elsewhere (other forums or blog or by email), but in general the effect I have seen is a noticeable drop in "assistance" to buyers, only in part compensated by better teaching texts. (just look at the amount of questions you receive. And yours are surely not the least-understandable texts around. You get a lot of questions because people know you answer them. If there are no questions about a game is not because it's explained well, it's because it's not played or because people don't get answers)

Well, look at that... I wanted to write a couple of lines, but when I get on a soapbox, I can't stop...  but this is a thread for questions, so...

1) what is, in your opinion, the forge "lesson" that is more at risk of being lost in the post-big-bang diaspora?

2) Looking at the indie games published in 2006-2007, there was a lot more emphasis on social relevance, personal expression, and a (maybe misguided) general attempt to what could be called "highbrow games". Now, this didn't disappear, but it's a lot less general, more of a personal vision of some designers that a general tendency. Now, (a) do you agree?, (b) if yes, do you see this simply as a "wave", where you have the interest for some themes waxing and waning during the years, or it was something caused by peer pressure at the Forge and was a one-time phenomenon?

3) This is more easy: do you have some favorite years at the Forge, when you think the forum was most useful to you and in general to people? (Thinking about it, these are two different questions...)


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