Blog Post

5 years ago

What I've Been Up To Lately

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: PersonalPlansRanting The Site
Hello, Fig Hunter. As I've said many times already, I've been mostly avoiding this site recently, and I've talked about why that is quite often, too.

I've still been working hard at games development, though it's a pain that I haven't actually finished anything in far too long; instead I've got a load of in progress things that I thought would work but then later wondered whether they were worthwhile enough to spend the time and energy on. Essentially I've been experimenting around with different things hoping to come across some kind of 'ideal project', and postponing things that didn't fit the bill.

I suppose what I want most of all is a game to build a new community around... One which would be to me what Fig Hunter couldn't be.
However, I'm very, very scared that it'll be impossible because there'll be no escaping what's already been established.

I made Fig Hunter years ago, when I had a different kind of mind and different priorities... I tried to set it up to encourage certain behaviours, but was naive in the ways I went about trying to achieve that...
I mean, I'd always got frustrated by other forums where brevity and apathy defined the atmosphere and culture; I hated it because I wanted people to bond on a more personal level, to share their souls rather than simply writing one-line quips to show how abrasively witty they could be, and how little they cared. I wanted to gather people who thought, who *cared*, and who'd talk at length instead so then I'd find a place where my own willingness to share things about myself in detail would belong.

I tried to achieve this by practically enforcing 'intelligent discussions', though... By adding loads of rules and *rating systems* and character minimum limit things, all to really strictly enforce this kind of discourse...
What I didn't realise back then is that people have different personality types to me, and something that means one thing to me may mean something very different to others. What to me is encouraging subjective soul-baring and emotional bonding, to others seems like encouragement of formal, objective debate, and showing off how much of a genius you are and so on.

So what I think I ended up with was an elitist, snobbish sort of atmosphere; a culture that was built around this notion of 'formal debate', as that seemed to be seen as the most logical way to interpret the rules by many people... or something. Those that didn't want this kind of thing (perhaps including the kind of person I'd most want to get to know) were repelled by it; even my own girlfriend couldn't stand to post on the site because she found the environment too hostile and unforgiving. And that was years ago. (I also seemed to rant at her basically every day about something on Fig Hunter that was making me frustrated...)

I'm sensitive and conflict is toxic to me, so having everything I ever said questioned, argued against, or assessed really did get me down a lot. I found myself getting constant stress headaches; I couldn't go in the chatroom without some damned person or another criticising everything I said, poking holes in my expressions of feelings, asking me to rationalise them or things like that. Trying to knock me off the high horse that I never felt I was on.
I suppose the straw that broke the camel's back was the harsh response to the new sunlit look of the site, which I worked on in the first place because I was finding the site less and less tolerable. Since then, the very idea of becoming active here again has been making me physically sick. THANKS, FIG HUNTER.

Overall, it seemed like I'd made a haven for INTJs, rather than for INFJs as I'd originally set out to do (not that I knew what either of those things were at the time). I understand that many people did find their place here, and appreciate the site for all that they've found through it... and as such, I do intend to keep it going.
I've even fixed a bug with the bubbles layout that allows you to view it again, for those of you who prefer that layout to this one.

However... This isn't the sort of place that I belong at all, and I don't think I'll ever be satisfied trying to force myself to adapt to it, or trying to 'fix' it (which is impossible without kicking out the current members)...
So a lot of my time and mental energy recently has been trying to come up with various new communities that I could make instead, setting them up with a foundation based on everything that I've learned over the past few years.

My ideal community would be one built on friendliness and feelings, not on logic and debate. One where expressing yourself is encouraged, but in a soul-baring rather than argument-destroying kind of way. A community which encourages the *support* of others, or showing interest in what others think; one where you can talk about what you love without other people telling you what's wrong with it or why they don't like it or questioning or starting an argument or any of that stuff that drives me up the wall.

Perhaps I'll never be able to make a community like this... Maybe it's impossible, if I'm going to keep making the kinds of games that I make. Maybe they'll never attract anything other than 'young thinky males', and the testosterone-and-rationality-filled atmosphere that they bring. Or something.

But I am at least trying... And I've actually built such a thing! Sort of. Though it's not open to the public yet.
However, it will be based around games at least in part. Two games in particular, both of which would update regularly rather than being standalone sorts of things. One is the Programon/Miasmon game that I've been talking about recently; I hope that a community that encourages creativity and contribution will turn out to have at least some of the friendly and supportive aspects that I really want to see.
Another is a sort of FHO-like thing where you make your own short 'quests' in a fantasy world, for others to play... This, I fear, will attract the same crowd as this site has... and I do dread that a lot.

I realise it can't be pleasant for the mild-mannered readers to hear me speak about this community - technically including them - in this way... and I am sorry that I do; it's not fair, and it's not likely to be your fault that I feel this way about the place. The people who are responsible largely know it either because I've *directly told them so* on one or more occasions, or we just generally haven't got along when I've had the, uh, pleasure of interacting with them, due to different values and personality types and so on. It's difficult to really get along with someone who assigns great value to something you dislike, while dismissing the thing that you hold as most important. And so on. (Like me having a discussion with someone who feels that subjective feelings are for weak, immature people and that no discussion is worth having without there being an argument or debate involved; 'why talk about something if you're not going to be discussing it to unravel some objective truth or solution?', they seem to think, which doesn't play well with my getting-things-off-my-chest emotional venting...)
It's only really been a few people who've made this place so toxic for me... but it also seems that these people have a habit of sticking around regardless of how their presence makes the owner of the site they're using feel.

I really am dreading that these individuals will pour over to my new site as soon as it's made... especially since one of the things that people I don't get along with tend to have in common is a complete disregard for whether or not they'll be welcome; what they want is apparently more important than what I'd want. I wish I could simply ask them not to, but I'm doubtful that it'd achieve anything other than yet more toxic conflict...

So hmm. That's what I've been working on recently. Making new games for a new community that can finally give me something positive in my life, and a place where I'm comfortable and where I feel I belong rather than one where I'm constantly frustrated, while constantly fearing that it'll all be a complete waste when the very people that drove me away from this site come and INFEST my new home too... It's not an easy situation to be in for one who hates conflict and really, really wants to find (or make) a place to go to avoid it.

I've been wondering whether if I keep Fig Hunter alive, the people who drove me away from here will stay here rather than moving to the new site when it's opened... But I bet it's more likely that they'll just be active on both and I'll have nowhere to go. Sigh.

Now, I wonder if the comments on this thing will demonstrate exactly the kind of thing I'm trying to get away from...

on 26 Roots



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This is all perfectly normal, Psedolonewolf. Anyone who has feelings will get sick about these things sooner or later.

As for the new site, you have to remember that people can choose, decide, do and become whatever they want within reason (and sometimes beyond. Hmph.) if they're determined, and while you can shape them when they're young, if they want to be INTJ jerks, you just can't stop it.

Having potential members send you application mails might help, but it would mean more work for you, and human beings, as they can lie, you'd have even more work of cutting out the undesirables.

The thing is, you don't have any power over it. You can try and be labeled a "control freak", or do nothing and have it eat away at your soul. Whhooooo.... and other ghostly noises.

So the easy thing to do is to just accept it. It's pointless. Wasted effort one side, pain the other.

If you really want to understand, just look down from a high place over a bustling city. Watch. Just people. Lots and lots of them. No control...

And yes, I'm an INTJ. Pretty obvious from the way I've written this comment, and that thing next to my temperament. Don't take this the wrong way and please don't judge me! If you want to work hard, it's your choice! Whole point of this comment, really.
Random person

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Here I find myself in a kind of situation I hate most: one where I don't know how to react. Guess I could ramble about my thinky nature and how it tells me to try to act... But you probably know all of that already. So I suppose I'll just share a thought or two.

The first thing that comes to mind is, of course, how the original Fig Hunter had developed. I can't help but chuckle bitterly as I contemplate it. It went the only way it could, which makes it all the more ironical. In essence, the old members did exactly as you told them to, yet ended up acting the one way you loathe most. The strict rules were necessary, I suppose, to ward off the trolls and imbeciles. But, unfortunately, they almost inevitably entail a form of coldness and formality, what with being cold and formal themselves.

More importantly, though, what you wish for can't be written down as a rule. It's just not something that can be accomplished by an act of will. The kind of atmosphere you wish for... It needs to come naturally, people need to want it to happen. Rules are of no help with that; further, I daresay, strict rules can only hinder such delicate a process. Not gonna tell you how to go about this, you probably know better than I do anyways. But I reckon it's best if I explicitly state this.

It's quite understandable that you'd feel weary of a place so contrary to your preferences, nobody can blame you for that. I'm pretty sure, in fact, that nobody does. It's also true, unfortunately, that the community (or, perhaps atmosphere is a more adequate word) is very well-formed by now, and will be slow to embrace any form of radical change. I'm afraid that most people will be unable to accept it at all. It's not even their fault, either, their personalities were formed for years into what they are now. They're not set in stone (probably), but a change as drastic as what'd be in line with your desires may just be too much for some to handle. I'd image you, of all people, to be familiar with the feeling.

The way people reacted to the change is also not surprising, once again, unfortunately. It's largely a subconscious rejection, one that people can't really do anything about, other than try to suppress. That's not healthy though.

Some people could wonder at this point why I'm even saying all of that here at all, myself among them... The point I'm trying to make here is that most people, just like me, don't know how to react to the sudden change of both the appearance and the intended attitude of the place. Nobody likes to be confused and disoriented y'know. Some may feel as though they've been shoved into this whole new place out of the blue, and, well, you know what happened afterwards.

People need time, Pseudo. And perhaps a bit of encouragement every now and then. Whether you realize it or not, every rant about the site's atmosphere is also a critique of all those who don't live up to the standard. You've emphasized the importance of emotional support for yourself. Maybe it's time to give some support to those around you as well? A hint in which direction to move, and which paths to avoid? Many, if not most, are pretty much left in the darkness right now.

There's one more reason I'm saying all of that, though. The people are willing to try. Lots of people here support you, as others have said. But more importantly, I've seen other people vent on the forums, and I've seen the community's reaction. I can't recall a single case when the one asking for help was criticized or beaten down in any way, save only when they've acted in an obscene and directly provocative manner. But that's quite understandable, no?

You know better than anyone else how it'd be best for people to act. Especially seeing that most don't know that at all... So, uh, yes, better show people that right way than complain when they fail to follow it. Once again, I think it's best if I make this explicit: it isn't intuitively obvious to some people at all. Much like I can't draw even a stickman properly, some people need to be taught how to show emotional support.

You can, of course, start a whole new community. But, just as with FH, odds are that you'll need to show the new people how to act. People here are ready to put in effort; I don't know whether the new members will be willing to do the same. It's you choice to make though, and, all things considered, it's quite the important one. I could offer no advise even if you'd be willing to listen. I can but wish you luck in whatever path you take. Take care.

(I'm not without doubt about posting this... Frankly, I have but a less-than-educated guess about how it'll be taken. Nevertheless, I do hope it'll be of some value.)
idea bulb

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If you dislike this site, why is it that you keep it running instead of letting the URL expire (or whatever it is that if you don't do will remove a site from the world wide web). Though it may upset those who have made this site their home, in the end it is your site and you are the one who chooses whether it shall exist or not.

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Sad to hear, very sad. Is there nothing we can do? I suppose not.

There is a story that I'm surprised no one has posted yet:
A scorpion wants to cross a river, but it can’t swim. It asks a frog to help. The frog is worried, but the scorpion promises «I won’t sting you, because if I did I would drown». In mid river the scorpion stings the frog. The dying frog asks «why?» and the drowning scorpion answers «that’s my nature».

Not my favourite parable.

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You know, I don't really come on this site often, but this site seems to have helped you (pseudo) in some ways. Taking experience from this site and applying it in a new community might make a small haven for you. The one thing I hope that you never lose is the input of your emotions and views into your games and blog. Many of your best games have been tied to your real world experiences. Maybe this is your chance to break your shell and express yourself more. Many people have done similar things by taking what was thought to be impossible and yet achieve it. There's no reason to say something is impossible if people have done the impossible hundreds of times in the past.

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I have but one thing to say. I have stayed on this site for over three years not for the community, but for you Pseudo.

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dangboy 29 China PhlegmaticSanguine ESFP 259 5C
What Pseudo wanted was not a his very own website where people would come to "revere" him. Fig Hunter was a way for Pseudo to make his own community were people could come together. They could share their feelings and communicate with each other without harsh and cruel words. Pseudo made this site for a chance at a kinder community, not a site based on himself. We need not focus on Pseudo so much as focusing on ourselves. Treating each other coldly is contradicting this very post. Why don't we all just try to get along and make a better community?

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I understand his intent (though you are right, my comment was quite off the mark in terms of relevant support, though I still mean it). However, I don't remember saying I was against anyone, although I suppose that was implied. I think you're right, even if I'm not one to expose my emotions myself.

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2CATteam 19 United States PhlegmaticCholeric INFJ 9w1 6C
I feel like I should say something, but I have no idea what to say.

On one hand, I admire you and I want the best for you. I love seeing your blog posts, and they've always been... well, great. When I go into the comments, I see so many people that are supportive of you and feel the same way I do. However, there's always that single person that makes me feel sick. I hate conflict and avoid it at all costs, so it makes me nauseous to see someone saying negative things about you or your site. I think it'd be such a great thing for you to move to a new site, as you'd hopefully avoid all of the people who can't help but try to hurt you.

On the other hand, the idea of the loss of this site is terrifying. It's helped me understand myself and others better, and it has allowed me to accept others and befriend them. I've spent hours just browsing through all of the posts on here, and my current music library contains nothing but your work. I've played all of your games at least four times, and the thought of this site's removal is downright scary.

While I haven't properly described how I feel, I hope this is enough to make you understand that I love this site, for better or for worse.

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Hey man do what you gotta do. If you decide to end this site then that's your choice, I mean it's your site. I'll miss waiting for your games, but if your moving away from this site and this community that's cool. Thanks for all your time on this place!

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Sirfred131 21 United States PhlegmaticCholeric INTP 5w6 4C
I made this made this account to post a slightly lengthy and slightly off-topic post.. But as I was thinking of what to say and how to say it, I realized that my ideas more or less boil down to "I don't like it when you equate debate with showing off, as I believe that they are a useful tool for learning, and find that thinking my arguments through helps me to understand what I truly think". I was intending to try to argue that point, with the hopes that you could understand where I was coming from.. But as I thought more about how to try to express my thoughts without possibly offending you, I realized that the logic I intended to use was unnecessary for you, and that you might view that need to justify one's thoughts via logic as something akin to showing off.

I just hope that you understand that justifying something with logic is not necessarily an attempt to impress someone or prove that your ideas are the only right ideas, but can be a method of bringing your ideas together, and trying to find the best way of expressing them such that others can understand them. I feel that a feeling type who thinks that logic is just for trying to impress people is just as bad as a thinking type who thinks that emotions are for the immature.

I apologize if my comments have missed their mark, or have somehow offended you.. but if they have, I would appreciate it if you could spend the time to explain what I have misunderstood, or what you find offensive, as that can help me to learn and hopefully avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

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I can not help but to feel sorry for you. I don't know though, if this is appreciated or not, but well ... as said, I can't help.

There are actually many thoughts on my mind, but I will rather make it short: I wish you all my luck for your future projects and hope that they'll turn out to be successful for you.

Quoth the raven...