Author Topic: The Temple is crumbling down...  (Read 33829 times)

akeley

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The Temple is crumbling down...
« on: March 22, 2019, 09:11:28 AM »
Let's be frank: this place is dying.

Now, forums across the internet have suffered from people moving to other models - Twitter, reddit, Discord etc, but I think there's more to that in the case of TOTR.

One reason would definitely be zero-moderation approach which allowed the resident, ahem, "troll", to almost single-handedly scare away just about any new member/dev and turn most of discussion (or even news) here into a toxic dumpster fire.

The lack of any control is also allowing the bots to flood this board with spam, one of which I see today is 3 days old. While some of them are amusingly intelligent, it's a sure sign of a forum dying.

The Announcements thread, which before was a kind of rock-solid resource and one of the better reasons to still check on this place has also suffered lately. I totally understand that getter77, who has been tirelessly maintaining it (and TOTR in general) for years may have other obligations or is just burned out. Perhaps he could get some support though?

Personally, my forum dwelling days are long-over, so I don't really have a horse in this race, but I still do have a great sentiment for the Temple - this is where my RL adventure has started after all. And  I do believe forums  still have a place in the internet life, especially in niche communities such as ours. Sure, most of the RL-chat is now on reddit, which is a decent resource but it has its flaws, main being its flash-in-the-pan nature.

Juts wanted to speak my mind about this for some time, not holding my breath for any changes or reaction (apart from the predictable one :) It would be nice to see this place revitalised but perhaps its time has come to an end, sadly similarly to that of the nearly-extinct species which is a Classic Roguelike.


Krice

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Re: The Temple is crumbling down...
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2019, 02:48:48 PM »
One reason would definitely be zero-moderation approach which allowed the resident, ahem, "troll", to almost single-handedly scare away just about any new member/dev and turn most of discussion

This is just forum discussion. If you get scared away, you should get a pair. If you are a guy, of course. I get bullied with nonsense because I'm an actual roguelike developer and have strong opinions about roguelike games and the genre. And yes whoever put that "troll" under my user name will be really sorry later when I start to release roguelike games. Besides I think younger people just like Reddit, because it's trendy.

AgingMinotaur

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Re: The Temple is crumbling down...
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2019, 06:58:12 AM »
To be clear, I don't think many users have ran away scared because you're so edgy, krice. It's rather that people come here to discuss Roguelikes, not listen to some random dude's whining and mostly off topic rants (flame wars about genre definitions and languages get old fast).

Lacking moderation may well have something to do with the declining activity the last years, as well as a general tendency towards newer forums. Not sure what, if anything, can be done to turn the trend around. I'm also becoming more and more of a sporadic forum user. When I do, I usually turn to reddit's rldev board, which is okay, but maybe I'm just old fashioned for missing the temple's glory days.

As always,
Minotauros
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

Krice

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Re: The Temple is crumbling down...
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2019, 07:28:41 AM »
but maybe I'm just old fashioned for missing the temple's glory days.

Back in old days developers were actually talking about roguelikes and respecting their origin and style also in the way they were released (free and often open source). Now developers are trying to monetize that legacy with minimum amount of effort using same old ideas from retro games, but light weight versions, because it's faster and easier to produce. If you go against that you are just a sad old dude who is whining about everything. You know, you need to be in that bunch and support that thing, because there can't be any critical voice which could scare paying customers away.

I think a "good" but also a bit different example is ADOM. It was abandoned for years (I think almost ten years?) but then Biskup realized he can make money with it, because crowd funding thing happened. All he cares about is money. But I think that's understandable, because he is german after all. But it underlines why the situation is now what it is. The reason to make games is different now, that's why we can't have good things like actual roguelikes.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2019, 07:36:59 AM by Krice »

Tzan

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Re: The Temple is crumbling down...
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2019, 04:40:13 PM »
I was a member of the Sijun.com art forum.
It was created in 1999 by Dhabih who works at Valve. He is the guy that does those painted images of Gordon Freeman in HalfLife.

It was the first best art forum and around 2003 when I joined it was starting to slow down a bit.
Then about 2010 it was mostly dead, like here. With just 20 people popping in and old timers coming by once per year.
Dhabih declared it dead in June 2018 in a farewell thread and locked everything except that thread, The forum is still up with most images being broken links.

So the quality was always there. The most experienced artists that were doing critiques were gone.
The numbers just declined with more art sites splitting attention.

In order to maintain long term knowledge nothing beats a forum.
Discord is a joke in this regard. I dont know much about Reddit.

akeley

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Re: The Temple is crumbling down...
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2019, 08:06:35 AM »
To be clear, I don't think many users have ran away scared because you're so edgy, krice. It's rather that people come here to discuss Roguelikes, not listen to some random dude's whining and mostly off topic rants (flame wars about genre definitions and languages get old fast).

Having "edgy" discussions and opininated posters is one thing - nothing wrong with that, it's normal on every forum. Having somebody tell you right off the bat  "fuck off, you don't belong here" and then seeing this being at worst cheered on, at best tolerated by mods and regulars is entirely different matter.  I know what I would do if I was a new poster- shrug, write off this board as ridiculous and move on.

It's been like this for years and it fed into the general discord between the fans of classic RLs and the modern crowd.

Like I said, I don't think nor expect that anything can be done about it, it will just remain a tumbleweed-strewn playground for the few delusionals who think that they are the true voice of RL community. Meanwhile, the rest of the RL world has moved around it and onwards, kind of like Americans did in WW2 with those Pacific Islands with hardcore Japanese garnison.

I don't find watching this pleasant at all, because of old sentiments, so it's most likely my last post here too.

At the moment spam is also 3-deep in some threads. So there's that too :)

Krice

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Re: The Temple is crumbling down...
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2019, 10:42:50 AM »
the rest of the RL world has moved around it and onwards

Moved to what? Don't be delusional. This forum is full of 7DRL level roguelites. No one is driving you away if you are creating one of those. But don't claim it to be an actual roguelike. Also, if your game has nothing to do with roguelikes, why post it here? I think we could have a place for not-roguelike projects in this forum.

Forum is just as dead as its users. If you don't write or contribute anything, don't whine about it.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2019, 10:47:58 AM by Krice »

Slash

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Re: The Temple is crumbling down...
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2019, 09:24:23 PM »
Hello!

The forums are open to the discussion of all kind of roguelikes, and games that incorporate roguelike elements.

I am aware certain members of the forums have a hostile tone towards anything different than their strict _definition_ of a roguelike. I don't share this view and I will make sure this is clear so newcomers don't get a wrong impression. (I will place a giant banner in the homepage so this is clear.)

I love 7DRL games and consider them absolutely *real* roguelikes, the good ones are great fun and awesome exercises of product management and engineering. Working for years in a roguelike project without releasing a completely playable and enjoyable version of it may itself be enjoyable for the developer, and even fancy for his followers if he's creating cool procgen or world systems, so that is welcome too.

Action roguelikes (commonly referred to as _roguelites_) are great fun and a great legacy of the traditional roguelike games from the 80's and 90's, you can talk about them here too. Traditional roguelikes, turn-based games that stick to the original formula and at the same time seek to innovate, at the expense of having a harder time finding followers and players, will always have a place here.

Making money from roguelikes is fine, you need resources in order to elevate the production levels of your game, reach more people, and live a happy life. If you want to make money from your roguelike game, you can talk about that here too. If you'd prefer not to have the needs and preferences of the market affect your vision, or you believe games should be free, you are welcome too.

Anyone that doesn't share these ideas is welcome to stay and discuss in a civilized manner. Harassing people who don't share your ideas will not be tolerated, messages will be deleted, and repeating offenders will have their account frozen.

While most of the discussion is happening in reddit and discord, I still believe these forums are a valuable resource for more structured, long-term discussion, that is persistent over time.

Lately it has been hard for me to devote a lot of time to the maintenance of the forums. However, I do my best to keep the spam at bay and I will keep doing it, so please keep the reports coming!

I still plan to revive two specific projects for the temple:

- The roguemundi, so you can find fellow roguelike devs and fans around the world
- A virtual space where we all can interact in a roguelike manner, and build the temple and its catacombs.

So, stay here, and bring your friends!

getter77

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Re: The Temple is crumbling down...
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2019, 11:43:09 PM »
Spam wise of late was down to a log in error that cropped up of late until just now when Slash reminded me of the side entrance and upon him dispensing righteous cleansing fire just prior to that leaving me a single witness to dispatch of---so that's one thing sorted.

I do what I can in my severely diminished state on the Announcements section, for whatever time I may have left on this spinning rock to do so, and whatnot as the thoughts occur to me in time, though from the beginning the Best Practice has always been for at least devs to post up their own updates as---but most devs, same as most people, have ample reality encroaching upon them in terms of commercial applications thereof to contend with and/or the general state of the world at large impacting the world at play.

Discord is even more ephemeral than Reddit, so while both have their absolute uses in harnessing and generating Momentum, and that being the only other applicable god of game or Roguelike development aside from XOM---a proper forum for archival, musing, longer form discussion, etc that also happens to not be attached to any international corporate conglomerates has an at least equal supporting absolute value.   Flippantly and without solid reason beyond my own bias, I blame the quiet death of ARRP this past time around the bend as the 7DRL apparatus finally managed something of an apparent Highlander victory over it.

The True Rot respects no venue though, as a malevolent spirit is wont to do---Definition Policing and the more classical form of discord is fairly rampant on Reddit even with the greater host of folks routinely hosing it down.   I don't believe it all to be doomed to Sisyphean ends, but the disconnect sharpened as fortunes otherwise favored with the rise of Steam, hubris-laden semi-collapse of Steam as far as indie outfits are concerned, rise of crowdfunding, rise of patreon, etc.
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Tzan

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Re: The Temple is crumbling down...
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2019, 03:30:06 AM »
Slash

Well said sir.  :)

Troubler

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Re: The Temple is crumbling down...
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2019, 07:01:11 AM »
I am new here, and have had no problems so far.

Though I haven't been on a forum like this in years, so am still getting used to it.
As for spam-bots and trolls, they don't bother me at all. Worries about etiquette are more off-putting.

Seeing the light moderation so far has put me at ease really. If people don't take things too seriously, I feel more able to just relax and speak my mind.
Not sure if that reflects forum goers in general though, who seem to want something more like a gated community, but I think discussion still trumps discomfort.
People see something they disagree with or want to respond to, and they will go through the trouble of registering to post. That is what brought me here.

A big reason I put off posting here for a long time is because the place looked empty.
Biggest turn off right now is wanting to discuss something when no one is around to reply.
From what I remember maintaining activity on forums has a lot to do with creating a positive feedback loop.
Things seem bad now, but if people just keep discussions going, it will bring in more attention which will make more discussion.
I've seen forums go from dead back to thriving in no time at all, so don't feel too bad.

Just my thoughts on this.

jofadda

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Re: The Temple is crumbling down...
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2019, 12:08:00 PM »
Honestly I gotta agree with Krices definition. I vehemently oppose the ideal that any game with permadeath and rng elements belongs in the category. We had a conference about this in 2008. We have a proper definition. That proper definition(although unvoiced until 2008) stood for 20 damn years. If RNG and permadeath are the only parameters then Tetris is a roguelike. Hell most "roguelikes" by the modern "definition" play less like rogue than civ, SLAY(and its clones Antyoy and Wodan Die Peferung) or any other turn based strategy game that is decidedly unlike Rogue. The modern definition that people are going by is going to kill the genre.

Why do I say this? Because games like hero siege, domina, Brut@l, cultist sim and many other genre breaking titles are also being thrown into the genre. Hero siege has no permadeath unless you specifically enable it. It plays decidedly unlike rogue given its a fast paced "gauntlet/diablo blend" and its only "rOgUeLiKe" element is the fact levels/dungeons are random-ish. This is by no means a roguelike

Domina is literally a management sim with your only random element being who you fight, its always the same Colosseum. The "permadeath" aspect is irrelevant when the units that "permanently die" are 100% renewable. This is no more a roguelike than cookie clicker.

Brut@l fits the same category as hero siege but with much heavier reliance on gauntlet elements over diablo ones. It is not a roguelike.

Cultist sim is a goddamn solitaire clone with a lovecraftian story and eggtimers thrown into the mix. It is not a roguelike

To call what the commercial market calls roguelikes is to kill the very definition of the genre. As of Jan this year I personally shall not play nor pay for a game tagged or advertised as "roguelike" on any gaming platform unless it is actually /like rogue/

Find a different genre to lump your games into if you want my patronage.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 12:04:15 AM by jofadda »

Slash

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Re: The Temple is crumbling down...
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2019, 02:50:08 PM »
I'm not lumping together all these different games into a single genre, but rather recognizing that the elements they share are sufficient to provide interesting conversation material for people who play them.

I don't believe allowing discussion of variations to the classic formula will "kill the genre", in fact, this discussion is healthy so people never forget there is a Classic / Traditional style of roguelikes, their importance in history and that there are games keeping up more closely with their style that are being actively worked nowadays, expanding the genre in different directions.

As for the "roguelike mislabeling" issue, the most negative effect I've seen is on discoverability on platforms like Steam, it might be hard to find a traditional roguelike there, but there are alternate ways to do that, like using IRLDB, or querying for traditional roguelike in other platforms. Recently, devs have become aware of this, and have started tagging their games with the infamous rogue-lite tag.

Slash

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Re: The Temple is crumbling down...
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2019, 05:45:28 PM »
The message at the top has been updated to:

Quote
We welcome discussion of all subtypes of Roguelikes, including Action Roguelikes (roguelites) and procedural games with metaprogression.

You are encouraged to learn more about the Traditional roguelikes, and how they differ from often mislabeled modern games.

Guys I love traditional roguelikes as much as you do. :)

jim

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Re: The Temple is crumbling down...
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2019, 08:30:25 PM »
I rarely post but come here intermittently, mostly as an archive for Roguelike development. I always get excited when I see something new and/or in active development as inspiration hits. Thanks for posting those.

ToTR would be more active if there were more traditional roguelike development going on in the world today, but aside from Caves of Qud, I can't really think of a polished, production-grade roguelike that's hit the streets lately and blows people away. It takes a lot of time and energy to create the depth (and craziness) of a mature roguelike... these projects are few and far between. Meanwhile, hybrid indies have sort of appropriated the term. It's not like they're stealing the thunder -- they are filling a gap left by a dearth of development.

Still, you'd get more community engagement around here with less bickering and more, you know, community. Round robin games and the like. I definitely wish that people would keep their obnoxious "tough but fair" / "telling it like it is" opinions to themselves but the problem isn't trolls so much as a lack of an ambient, mostly harmonious community that drowns out the occasional troll.

Anyway, still very happy that this place is around and grateful that Slash maintains it.

Meanwhile, ToTRR would be more active if I hadn't accidentally gotten a rat for my first kill.