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State of the GG forum.


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Hey guys

,


So apparently, GG has chosen to keep their forums alive anyways and has begun trying to fixing the spam issues. That's about the only thing they'll fix though :).


There is a little bit of info here. Ofc, this is gonna be a slight issue because of confusion of new users and search engine conflicts.


This has been discussed vividly on IRC, but I thought it would be smart to have a persistent discussion here.


Some people think it's a little odd that GG react to the communties issues exactly a week after the community decided to try and solve the issues themselves. Others think that this might be something that could lead to the return of the community back to the old forum.


Personally, I don't care one bit... I'm just annoyed that this means that we can't have one single forum for T3D and must live with that old shadow disturbing our community.

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So, here's my write-up of my thoughts.


As has been pointed out by others, this change seems to come at a convenient time. The community complains for months, nothing happens.. Community moves out, GG wants us back. What happens when we move back in? Will we have to wait for months for fixes again? And please note that only the spam has been fixed, nothing else.. Doesn't even have TorqueScript syntax highlighting.


The new forums are vastly better, and they are in our control. We can implement new features and fix issues as we encounter them. Furthermore, it helps on our identity crisis etc.


The issue is that some people still want to stay at GG.com, even before this a few people has been reluctant to move. Now, we might look at a divided community, which is an issue when we are as small as we are. Personally, I think it's a douchebag move because it can only hurt the community as a whole. I do not believe this means that these new forums are gonna die, but it will certainly cause a turmoil.

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The new forums are vastly better, and they are in our control. We can implement new features and fix issues as we encounter them. Furthermore, it helps on our identity crisis etc.

Agreed.

The issue is that some people still want to stay at GG.com, even before this a few people has been reluctant to move. Now, we might look at a divided community, which is an issue when we are as small as we are. Personally, I think it's a douchebag move because it can only hurt the community as a whole. I do not believe this means that these new forums are gonna die, but it will certainly cause a turmoil.

I think you might be reacting a little too strongly here. There will be a transition period before traffic here really takes off no matter what. Until that happens we need to keep a foot in both boats. We also need a concerted effort to bring resource content, both original and refreshed from the old site, before this will be the one-stop-shop that it should be. Right now this site is fresh and clean - and still empty. Give it some time to grow.

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I think you might be reacting a little too strongly here. There will be a transition period before traffic here really takes off no matter what. Until that happens we need to keep a foot in both boats. We also need a concerted effort to bring resource content, both original and refreshed from the old site, before this will be the one-stop-shop that it should be. Right now this site is fresh and clean - and still empty. Give it some time to grow.

 

As I understood [GG]Mich based on the IRC discussion, this was an attempt to ensure the long-term lifetime of GG.com and an attempt to keep the community there. Not as a transition period.


Edit: removed link because I felt like it.

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As I understood [GG]Mich based on the IRC discussion, this was an attempt to ensure the long-term lifetime of GG.com and an attempt to keep the community there. Not as a transition period.

You're misunderstanding me - I mean that people are still using both places during the period within which we transition from the old GG.com forums to the new Torque3D.org forums. Once that period is over, Torque3D.org will be the de-facto place for T3D information. Until such time as we reach a "critical mass" of resources and good solid informational discussions there will still be some cross-traffic.


Torque3D.org will grow into its role, but it will take a little time - no need to rush things, just let it happen.

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You're misunderstanding me - I mean that people are still using both places during the period within which we transition from the old GG.com forums to the new Torque3D.org forums. Once that period is over, Torque3D.org will be the de-facto place for T3D information. Until such time as we reach a "critical mass" of resources and good solid informational discussions there will still be some cross-traffic.


Torque3D.org will grow into its role, but it will take a little time - no need to rush things, just let it happen.

 

I agree with that, I just don't appreciate the idea that GG might be attempting to hold on to a fraction of the community for an extended period of time. I don't mind a transition period at all, and I'm still helping out new users on the old GG forums, I'm just afraid of what this might mean for the future of the community.

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...I just don't appreciate the idea that GG might be attempting to hold on to a fraction of the community for an extended period of time.

I don't feel that GG is trying to hold on to anything - they're just trying to keep the forums and resources available. Unless we literally bring every single bit of knowledge off of that site to this one there will always be a reason to go back and dig around there. But ultimately I think this will be the primary spot for T3D discussions and resources. It's just going to take a little while to get there.

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I think the main issue is knowledge. Who control it ? GG Decided to deliver it to the community with MIT licence. It allows every one to be able to say 1+1 = 2. (I skip some technical speech). But they keep the control of the whole knowledge database. Wanting to start a new forum is like starting a new engine from scratch.

They tends to have a lax attitude about this stored knowledge? The answer might be Yes.

They claim to be the keepers of this knowledge, and as old Torquers (you and I), we want to have this job well done.


What's the problem? A week of inattention? some years "let go" in the forum?

You say No ! I also build this forum (can't remember all of your posts) ! And you're right !


Can we imagine TOGETHER (You, I, GG), a way to make this forum retrieve its past splendor ? I Think so...

Your Initiative is laudable, but don't enter in war. And your initiative, will for sure, have an impact into the future. Let us orient in the good way : Have a better and better engine, a better community communication, and so on.

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Again, I'm talking based on the IRC discussion where it sounded like they were gonna hold on to it because of the value it has.


@vbillet we don't necessarily have to let go of all the old resources etc, they will still be available. My main issue is that new users will keep signing up on GG.com while old users, the ones who can help them, live here. It'd really help if GG helped redirect the new users over here.

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It'd really help if GG helped redirect the new users over here.

That would be great!

I think that when GG says they'll "hold on" to the information there, what they mean is "continue to make it available." I agree that people will probably continue to sign up there, and I believe that it is our (the community and GG together) responsibility to ensure that the new people are directed here. Which is why I feel that it is important for us to watch both forums for a while - so we can transplant the new users here, and continue to redirect conversations here.


@andrewmac - No argument from me, they're having a knee-jerk reaction to the loss of traffic. But I think that loss of traffic isn't the "death knell" that they think it is. 90% of their site traffic is us - not potential customers. If they just think about it for a second they'll see it for what it is - which is why "Google Analytics" shouldn't run your business. My point is that I don't think they want to strong-arm anyone into using those forums - but I do think that as long as they twitch at a loss of traffic they'll keep the forums cleaned up....

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Hey all. Mich here from GG.

 

They didn't suddenly find new resources to fix the spam problem, or suddenly come around and decide to start throwing us a bone.

That's actually what happened. We allocated new time/resources away from official work to meet about the problems on GG.com. From that meeting, we decided to use more time/resources to actually attempt to put a system in place to help stop lingering spam from cluttering up the old forums. Even before that, it was acceptable to perform maintenance/support while on the clock, though that hasn't been as consistent as I would have liked.

 

They reacted to a potential loss of traffic, not to a community crying out for help.

That's not all. There was also a reaction due to how much time spam cleanup has taken away from me. It used to be just a minute or two. The other day I spent 30 minutes on cleanup, forum monitoring, e-mail support, and so on. There's other factors at play, which I can't get into right now. In other words, the problem is affecting GG too.


What I'm getting at is that for anyone who reads this thread, the issue isn't just black and white. There's a whole year's worth of dialog inside of GG, on the forums, in the IRC channel, and in e-mail about the state of the site and MIT engines. Only a couple of people have a full picture.


Regardless of what happens on this new forum, whether it naturally replaces the old GG forum or not, GG is working on solutions for the old forum as we speak. Whether that's coincidence, too little/too late, or not in the grand plan for this forum...well, that's not something I can get into. I've just been pushing for action for a while now and I'm happy to see it happening.

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I've just been pushing for action for a while now and I'm happy to see it happening.

And that's the spirit I'm trying to promote - be happy that the spam will be cleaned up, be happy that the old information will be preserved, and be happy there is a shiny new place to hang out.

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I think this forum is way better, and it makes sense to have a forum with new information and not all the old, irrelevant stuff. The old forum really doesn't make it clear when you search that what you've found no longer applies.


The GG forum still ranks top in the search for Torque3D though so people will keep going there. What would help is to update all the backlinks around the web.


For a start, a big link to this site at the top of the readme on https://github.com/GarageGames/Torque3D would be a big help. The first 2 links in the body go to GG still.


Then there's wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torque_(game_engine) - still going to GG. Why not submit an edit to link back here?


Then YouTube - lots of people search for 3d engines and stuff on youtube because you tend to be able to find nice demos of engines and compare things well there. Most of the Torque3d videos are a bit out of date and link back to the GG site. Why not upload some of the awesome new tech and tag with things like "[OpenGL] [DirectX 11] [Deferred Shading] [Physically based rendering] Torque3d" when people are doing work in those areas? I often search for stuff like that on YouTube when I am researching, and I bet most of you do too?


And... last but not least... http://www.indiedb.com/engines/torque-3d has the GG site listed as the official page.



I think if those things can be updated, the GG site will eventually drop out and everyone will come here. Plus, when the stuff like PBR hits the tubes, this forum will really take off, because there's no open source engine that does it yet.

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The issue is we're tied on hands and feet or whatever you say in english..

IndieDB account is apparently owned by someone who doesn't work for GG anymore so it's just a dead page that no one can edit. The GitHub page is all up to the SC though.


So from what I can summarize from the discussions so far, we should utilize this thing as an opportunity. Whenever people post on the old forums, you could append a link back here in the end of the replies. And I encourage you to update and repost your resources here (we can't port other peoples resources because copyright and such).


I also want to explain my direct reaction in this post. The main confrontation I wanted to have here (albeit I'm to blame for the other direction it took, I was a bit winded up) is with the community itself. I know that some people has been reluctant about the new forums, and would prefer to stay there and I wanted to know whether this new state of affairs means that we will have an "us and them" community, or if we can agree on a single direction.


For example, does everyone agree that it's okay to link back to this forum in replies on the old forum, and is it only okay if you append it to an answer? So far, I've only linked back to this forum if I also had an answer to the post. Do we think it's okay to make a reply that's just "the community moved over there, you could try posting there instead"? What is the community's stance on promoting this forum?

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Personally I think the community is too small to fragment. Since the old forum is broken and full of spam, outdated info and generally hard to use and hard to find anything, it makes most sense to kill it off altogether. As I said though, as long as it's winning in the search rankings and all the links around the web point to it, it's going to be a bit dumb to close it completely. I think the best thing would be for the SC to petition GG to redirect it to here.


Meanwhile, why not just post a thread saying the community moved and keep bumping it every day? The worst case someone from GG will ban you, but since they don't even log in to delete the spam any more, I doubt they will even notice. If they do notice, then at least it draws their attention to the issues and they might take a stance one way or the other.


Also, for IndieDB, why not submit a new listing for "Torque3D MIT" - if the mods question why there are 2, tell them the old one is no longer maintained they may even delete it :)

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... why not submit a new listing for "Torque3D MIT" - if the mods question why there are 2, tell them the old one is no longer maintained they may even delete it :)

Absolutely - and place the account under the SC. That way there isn't another situation where "that guy took the account with him."

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Also, everybody, remember that GG also has T2D forums to maintain. I'm sure those folks will appreciate new anti-spam measures.

 

but since they don't even log in to delete the spam any more, I doubt they will even notice

To be fair, that's untrue. The checking isn't as diligent as we'd like, but it does happen.

 

Also, for IndieDB, why not submit a new listing for "Torque3D MIT"

Great idea! I plan on taking time after 3.7 to write an up-to-date page for the engine on devmaster, and someone could crib from that for IndieDB.

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Someone mysteriously updated the Torque3D moddb entry to MIT license ( http://www.moddb.com/engines/torque-3d ), but not much more, so finally they seem to have found they guy in control over that account. Now someone needs to contact garagegames for that account, so maybe the steering committee can take it over and post updates there. Best thing would be if we take the old account over with all the updates and publicity etc.

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I may have updated that entry before I left GG, but I can't recall. I know that I was working on getting all of the various accounts consolidated and I had to gain access to that account since it had been owned by someone who had left before me. But it's been more than two years now, so my memory is extremely hazy. Hopefully GG has access to it to update the information.

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I'm afraid I can't understand this situation.


As the source code was released and new people joined in as steering members, Correct me if I'm wrong but GG still holds rights and owership of this thing or else?


If you release your code to the world and theres a community willing to take care, the only logical thing to do from there is just help the community to take care, right?


So why this discussion? If you believed in your userbase to take care for you of the engine and related stuff.


Why arge about a community driven forum? GG said "Torque engine doesnt align to his operations anymore". If you release it, well you have released it dude.


Is there some owership problems even with the MIT license? Is the engine free as beer or GG it will be always there to say his final word? I'm puzzled.


Maybe some of you knows that I created a version of the Torque logo for everyone to discuss, but the first reply alerts "Torque trademark is own by GG, we the community cannot do as we please without his word".


It is the same with the code, documentation, ownership rights etc? How far we can go? I though this whole thing depended on us, equal voice for everyone. Seems not the case?


So at least I'd like to demand a clear picture of who is who here.

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@GraphicSynthesizer I'll write something up on the way T3D works at the moment, though it will have to go through GG to make sure I'm not saying nonsense, so it may take a while. Basically, GG still runs the github repo, so if we want access to GarageGames/Torque3D (the official repo) then we're bound to them. Obviously we have write access, but not admin access. We don't need to go through them for much - the main things are getting contributors to sign some sort of legal waiver for GG.


@DragonDelays it's not like $20 was a significant barrier to people who wanted to use Unreal before, and Unity has been free in some form for a long time. I honestly don't see that our niche has grown any smaller. Unreal were already open-source for all intents and purposes (except sharing their source, but again, $20 isn't much of a barrier), and I sense that it doesn't really matter to low-level Unity users. We've already had people leaving for those engines, and I'm sure we will have more, though I'm also sure we'll gain members who are looking for an engine they can hack on with a community where they can be known.

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