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Posts relating to The Site:

5 years ago

Site Changes

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: Features FLIGSThe Site
I've already talked about this somewhat already, but I am saying again that I am working on remaking the site!

Mainly I'm just changing the CSS - that is, the stuff that affects how the site looks, but not necessarily how it works - so the database will be remaining as it is and the site will function much as it does now. Everything will be in a similar place, too, probably.

However, I do want to be clear about the changes that I am making, so then I can hear opinions about things I should also add or remove or change while I'm still in a stage of development where such mutability is possible.

The main change - which I may or may not have mentioned already; I can't remember - is that I'm trying to make the site less toxic to me and people I'd like to attract here by removing most of the 'judgement' features. The following features are all going to be changed:

- Blurbs are gone entirely.

- FLIGS is replaced by a simple 'appreciation' system; each post has a ♥ button next to it, which you can click to show that you 'appreciate' the comment in some way or another. This can range from feelings of delight, interest, admiration, or even just a way of saying "I took the time to read this" or "thank you". There's no corresponding 'downrating' thing yet, though I may add a 'mark as abusive' thing which will draw the attention of the moderators, who will be able to 'delete' comments. Maybe.
There won't be any kind of totals of these shown on userpages or anything, though the Community Hub will have the ten most appreciated recent posts in place of the 'most provocative posts' thing.
These ♥ things will also be available on userpages and blog posts and will work in the same way.

- Since FLIGS is gone, so are orbs.

- The affinity thing is gone too.

- Being able to mark people as Friends still exists.

- I may or may not remove medals; I have no particular desire to keep them, and most of them relate to FLIGS anyway.

I'm also considering splitting the forum into distinctly different sections. Currently, the whole atmosphere of the site seems very... 'Thinky', I suppose; there seems to be a lot of expectation to have 'Intelligent Discussions™', to see things objectively and to ramble seriously at length. I can imagine the cold conflict of such things being unappealing to more feely-oriented people, perhaps.

So I'm considering dividing the forum into the following sections, each of which would be coloured differently on the Community Hub, and the main Forum page would be divided into subpages for each one, like with most forums:

- Some kind of Thinky-oriented 'serious discussion' sort of forum... I'm not entirely sure what I'll call it. It will basically be for threads as they are now, with emphasis on detail and Intelligent Discussion and all that sort of stuff. All the current threads will likely be dumped in here when the split happens.

- Some kind of Feely-oriented forum which encourages emotional support and a generally more 'casual' atmosphere WITHOUT being completely inane. Hopefully it is possible to be both semi-detailed and supportive/emotional/non-serious at the same time! But we'll have to see... I don't know what I'd call this room either; I could name them abstractly, like the 'blue room' and 'red room', or with titles like 'Thinking' and 'Feeling'. Or something.
Anyone who responded to posts in this section in a rough, aggressive, problem-solving kind of way would be punished in some form. Probably. But I don't want to instil fear in posters there, so I'll have to strike a balance.

- A general Games discussion forum, for obvious reasons.

- Perhaps a 'Creative' forum, where people can link to their art, writing, music, or whatever else they've made in the hope that people will comment on it. There'd be no support for actually uploading these creations to the site, though, so people would have to upload them elsewhere and link to them.

- A Roleplaying or general 'forum games' forum. This is a big change, because I have firmly blocked any roleplaying threads before, because I felt they'd overwhelm the forum (and have done in the past). However, I realise that it's popular and many people enjoy it, and I do want people to be able to enjoy themselves here! Threads from this forum might not show up on the Community hub; I'm not sure.

So there you have it! I'm working on these things at the moment, and have currently got the general colour scheme and stuff sorted out. I'm writing this from the new site, actually, and... eugh, it feels so horrible and miserable to go back to the old, dark, dismal version! This one's much brighter, and I feel better just being here! Hopefully it'll have the same effect on some other people too, and it'll improve the overall atmosphere of the site!

I'm hoping to have most of it done within a few days, but I promise nothing!!
5 years ago

Weekly Update

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Yes, this is one of those Weekly Updates that I write every week without fail, weekly. Indeed.

Anyway, you may be relieved to hear that I'm finally making good progress on Miasmon again!1 Hooray and so on.

I've been wanting to rewrite the plot for a while, and was struggling with it due to general lack of motivation and life distractions... I'd written a new plot idea, but was reluctant to start working on adding it to the actual game until I'd planned every event for all three chapters in detail, which was proving tedious and irritating.
I've only planned chapter 1 at the moment, but I have a vague idea of what will happen in the other two chapters, and I'll write their plots in more detail when I get around to making them.

It is annoying, writing plots for games, because, well, coming up with the 'big picture' is easy, at least for me - something like "you are archaeologists trying to discover what fractured Fracture; your character comes from an off-world colony to join the Daring Delvers; along the way, X and Y happen and your characters learn Z - but the difficulty comes in converting it into little steps, individual events, excuses to go into dungeons, that kind of thing. Choosing the exact words that will be used, choreographing each 'cutscene' thing... It's things like that that delay me.

But I'm getting there now! It shouldn't take all that long, I hope, to reach the end, now, and I'm glad that I did this 'rewrite' because the plot is certainly better off for it.

I've also been adding new monsters to the game in the delay, so that's a good thing too, as it'll give people more to play around with.

On a personal note - which might make some of you "I'm just here for your games" people groan and throw your monitor at the wall - I mentioned going to an art course thing a while ago. Annoyingly, I'm no longer going to that; I dropped out after basically the first class. The reason for this was that I didn't fit in; all the others in the group were middle-aged or older women who had no art skills. So much for finding friends.
At least it'll give me more time for game development. Oh joy.

Now I'm still struggling with loneliness; I just hope that it doesn't get in the way of my game development too much.

(Hmm, I should add a request thing at the bottom of all my posts saying "giving me advice or trying to come up with 'solutions' to my problems is no way to help me"... says I, in anticipation.)

Another thing is that I'm thinking about doing something with Fig Hunter in the coming weeks. Miasmon is my priority now, so I won't be doing it just yet, but this site is toxic to me - something I've made clear before - and that's just not right. The home that I built for myself online shouldn't be a place that I'm scared to visit.

I very much dislike the judgemental, 'thinky', pretentious atmosphere that the place has. Most of it is my own fault; I did include all these systems like orbs, blurbs, FLIGS, etc, in order to encourage positive contributions and discourage negative ones, but they likely scare away the sensitive types that I'm eager to meet while giving the sorts of people I don't like a reason to feel superior to others or to be hurtful, and things like that. It's essentially a system based around 'constructive criticism', which I hate.
I'm also not fond of the dank and dismal 'basement' feeling that the colours here give.

If I were to remake things... I'd probably use brighter shades of the same colours (that is, a brown which is more like aged paper rather than this deep chocolate sort of thing, and purples that match), and I'd get rid of many of the things like orbs, blurbs, FLIGS... and I'd replace them with systems that encourage, but don't discourage. For example, a system like FLIGS, but with only positives, and an option to mark comments as 'abusive', which would serve as the negative version... or something.

I haven't got anything planned in detail, so please don't ask me about things as if I have. At the moment, it's just a vague, wispy desire for change, to make this place more accommodating for my own sensitive, feely nature and others like me.

I imagine that the demographics and general attitude wouldn't change drastically if I were to make these changes since most gamers are young males... but I do know from first-hand experience that two gentle girls that I admire for their personalities have told me that they don't like posting here because of how it feels, how it works, etc, so I do know that the site as it is now is scaring away the sorts of people I'd most like to meet.

I want the site to be a nice place to visit once I've released Miasmon, so maybe I'll try making at least *some* of these changes between now and then. I don't know.

It wouldn't surprise me to hear that some people would be resistant to this, and prefer things the way they are, but what are they going to do, argue with me that this place should be more like they want and less like I want?

I feel like the site as it is represents and appeals to a stage of my life that I've grown out of now... and like I need to change it to really develop further.
5 years ago

An Update to Blurbs

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: BlurbsFeatures The Site
I mentioned blurbs sarcastically in the post I wrote a few hours ago...

I've always found it interesting to know what people think of other people - gossip interests me - especially when I wonder if others think the same way about someone as I do...
Like if I find someone grating, it's reassuring and cathartic to know that I'm not the only one who feels that way.

I added the blurbs feature so then people could express their honest opinions about individuals anonymously, so you'd know if you'd upset people or made them happy. Or something.

The blurbs page can be a great way to learn about a person... but of course, the anonymity leads to some truly nasty blurbs that aren't even accurate, leading to people getting the wrong idea about the unfortunate victim by reading such things about them.

I've added a feature now where you can respond to blurbs that you get, in order to tell your side of the story. You can learn even more about someone from their replies than you can from the things that others say about them, and hopefully being able to respond rather than just sitting and taking the abuse will make some people feel better about the system.

So yes, please use this feature sensibly. I bet I'm going to go through my own blurbs page with a headache and many sighs, explaining the various reasons behind my many faults that people have oh-so-abrasively pointed out.