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Let's Talk about Populating This Place


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It's been a long time coming, but we are getting really close to the point where we really need to start reaching out and pulling people into our community. That said we need help, and we need a plan of action. I have dozens of ideas in my head on how to tackle this process, and how to prepare the site for new members but I really need a place to organize those thoughts and get ideas, so here goes nothing.


I setup our official forum rules: http://ascensiongamedev.com/news/official-forum-rules-and-guidelines/msg2170/#msg2170

Moving forward we will want to add custom rules for some boards.

For example in any bug reporting boards users should follow a specific format when posting bugs. They should make a new topic for each bug so we can easily keep track of what is and what is not solved. Every bug report should be provided with replication steps, screenshots, etc. -- There are even mods that we can install that would create the template for them when starting a new topic so they know what they should fill in without referring back to a stickied topic.

Any topics that do not follow our guidelines will be removed. Another mod I intend to install will automatically PM the topic creator with a reason for why we are removing their topic. To save time we can create templates for those PMs based off of the rules we decide on.


This goes hand-in-hand with the Rules/Guidelines. Before long we are going to need some serious help keeping this place under control this is why I am looking into several moderation tools to make keeping the site clean as easy as possible. At the same time nothing is more important than manpower. While we are not asking for applications or volunteers yet, we will likely be reaching out in the near future to see if anyone would be willing to give us a hand in moderating this place.

Cleaning the site

One thing that has really bothered me for quite some time, is that SMF has no good way to interface with any kind of blogging system. We have articles, sure but I have no real way to bring them to the foreground of the site. That said I am going to do away with them and relocate article posts to forum threads/topics.

Furthermore I am going to restructure the development boards so that updates posted by Joe and I follow a dev blog-ish format.  Each update will have it's own thread and comments pertaining to that update instead of one massive thread that is hard to organize and search through.  I am also hoping to work on forum structure a bit more, but we will come back to that.


Let's assume that we get the site in a really good place to take in new members, advertising in general, going out to social media and other game development sites is a massive pain and it often feels like a waste of time. It's not.

So here is what I propose, if Joe and I start posting our updates in a dev-blog like format (as mentioned in the Cleaning spoiler) then we will do the bulk of the work in creating what needs to be posted elsewhere. I can then post to IndieDB and a few other places. Then, if we had 2-3 helpers willing to represent us on other sites, all they would have to do is make a topic, respond to comments and copy/paste our updates every now and then. We would get the word out all over the net and Joe and I would not be completely tied down advertising.

The biggest part of this job would be converting our updates to work on other forums so we would have 1 person tackle all the IPB sites we want to post on, 1 person tackle all the MyBB sites, etc. so they only have to deal with one conversion.

Anyone want to volunteer for this when the time comes?

The biggest thing will be getting Intersect out, I am banking on the engine to pull people in. After they settle in and the site begins to grow other engines and game dev topics should take off as well.  Listed above are the primary issues/topics I want to cover before this place takes off. What do you all think? What else should we consider or discuss over the next few weeks/months?

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Just updating this post to kinda mark where I am in this short process....

We official have a set of forum rules and guidelines. This set of guidelines talks about the expectations we have of members and staff on this site. If everyone stuck to that, this would be one heck of a community.

Skipping past the comments I made about administration, I am currently ripping out our half-assed article system and converting everything into forum threads. For those following along with the development of the Intersect engine tell me this isn't easier to navigate compared to one massive thread :)

These dev blogs are what I was referring to when it comes to advertising... if we had 2-3 volunteers who could take some of their free time to spread our development updates across the web then this place would be filled in no time.  We will start that process in the near future for sure :D

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