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The Gaming Universe  |  The Site  |  Discussion  |  This place looks dead
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Author Topic: This place looks dead  (Read 7729 times)

Offline Tafka

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Re: This place looks dead
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2011, 06:06:24 PM »
Hey,

I don't know if anyone of you remember me at all. Came to check what's up in GU and it's dead indeed. I recognize some of the names, but nothing else really.
The forum itself looks a lot worse, nothing like it used to be, the activity seems dropped and just a small group of people posting here. It's sad to see it, started off playing LieroX here in 2003, when I was just 11. Now I am 20 and the site still exists, but kinda dead. Oh well, these things are inevitable.

Good luck all.
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Offline Greo

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Re: This place looks dead
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2011, 08:36:33 AM »
Hardly any new forumers, the original board owner leaving, and most of the oldbies having grown away...
Well, I'm hardly surprised.

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Offline Rowan

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Re: This place looks dead
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2011, 11:58:33 AM »
We're in the process of trying to rebrand ourselves. The primary issues are we can't seem to keep project devs active long enough to finish a level, much less a full game, and the RPers got lives and left. Without one or the other, the site doesn't see much activity.

I've finally gotten started on a relatively simple front page that will eventually be mirrored by the new theme I've been working on off and on since we upgraded to SMF2, and hope to have it live in the next few weeks. However, without Kratheous to back mme up, I'm flying blind with a lot of the coding on the site.
Never say never or always. In most cases, there is an exception to anything you can think of that you might use either word in. "Most likely" and "highly improbable" in a lot of those cases would ring true, but not never/always.

Offline Chris Miller

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Re: This place looks dead
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2011, 09:45:34 PM »
I wonder if anyone else knows how to code, maybe they can take Krath's place.  I think the old boy fell over in a ditch somewhere, and was never found. :(

Offline Autumn(L)

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Re: This place looks dead
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2011, 11:34:38 AM »
THis site started to die when LX started to get steep moderation, and when the community could not take it you lost a huge portion of users. Throw in the fact that the site got rid of Vbulletin (a much more professional looking layout) and the site was basically put into the direction to die.  I'd try to find a new game to bring users here and switch make to VB.  SMF looks like trash.
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Offline Aegis Runestone

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Re: This place looks dead
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2011, 02:40:49 PM »
I believe we swapped to SMF because it was free, though, I'm not entirely sure on that one. And Rowan is working on a very nice theme for the forum. Just have some patience, Autumn, it'll get better. You never know, we may have a sudden increase in membership. It's unlikely, but spreading the word is the best way to get GU out there.
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Offline KingOfHumans

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Re: This place looks dead
« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2011, 08:12:36 PM »
This reply will sound a bit negative but this is the way I feel now.
Without fun projects, there's no point in coming here.
Lierox is awesome!!!
I just got some faster internet and a laptop so I've been playing some Lierox recently. I can even play against my brother online.
So I'll probably be posting a bit here and there on the openlierox forum.

For a while now I've been browsing the Gaming Universe and just playing in the arcade....mainly because there's nothing else interesting here. Any topics that are made here can easily be discussed on another forum. A cool looking theme won't bring me back, that's for sure.

Why don't you just talk with some stencyl members and host some of their projects in development. With all those Stencyl games being made, I'm sure some of those games just get a thread at most, or at least until it's finished. Give them a section on GU to post their updates and stuff. You'll have all these fun game demos on your site which could attract some new members. If your lucky maybe some new developers as well, not just stencyl developers. If your really lucky you can some of those members who left to Stencyl back to GU. This is a simple idea and requires little effort. They might not even need hosting space.


Or did you give up with GU except for contributing some R/L time to work on upgrades and themes. Chris, Aegis, Janus, etc. How long do you plan on sticking with GU? 1 year? 2? ...
What about you Rowan? When you have to spend money to keep GU running, does it still make you happy? If not, and you have no other plans then upgrading and themes. Then maybe it's time to pass the torch or shut GU down. Would anywhere who still comes here be that sad if GU is shut down?

So in my opinion either find one last way to boost GU's activity or let it go(shut down or give it to someone else like Zeo for example).
« Last Edit: December 28, 2011, 08:15:53 PM by KingOfHumans »

Offline Rowan

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Re: This place looks dead
« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2011, 10:39:43 AM »
I took over ownership of GU because unlike certain people who post complaints here and there about what tey think I should do to boost activity, don't attribute to increasing the activity themselves. Eliwood/Jon posted it well the same as I see it. A new BBS and/or themes is nothing but a "new paint job."

Asking people from Stencyl to come here is ludicrous. Why would I ask them to splinter their community? No, asking someone to come in and save the day isn't going to work. We need activity. Activity with our current projects is a nice start. Acting like a community and posting actively is a nice start. Getting progress in our projects announced is a good start.

And no, I'm not resigned to just updating the software and working on themes. I'm doing that first, because I have always and always will want GU to look unique. vB doesn't look more professional. It looks more generic. Because everyone uses the same basic layout. My theme is based on a mockup done by Kratheous, which I'm attempting to make a decent looking front page with, and then over time getting a theeme done with. It is by no means the only thing I have planned for GU. Like everything else I listed, it's a good start.

However, I can't make people come here to contribute. I can only make it stand out visually. The members we still have here are tasked with making people feel welcome here as an online hangout. This has always been a family for me, and I'm not going to ever see it as "just a website." I'm currently working on game theory in order to determine the best route to utilize on developing Yggdrasil (my game engine, for those that don't know). With the recent increase of angst about SOPA, I'm inclined to believe that I will be forced to make an entirely original game with it to start, and develop my plans after that as I need to.
Never say never or always. In most cases, there is an exception to anything you can think of that you might use either word in. "Most likely" and "highly improbable" in a lot of those cases would ring true, but not never/always.

Offline Aegis Runestone

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Re: This place looks dead
« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2011, 10:59:36 AM »
Hear, hear, Rowan! I'm very happy to read all of this from you. :)

As for you, KoH, I would be very sad if GU was shut down. I've been here for years, determined to keep it going. I try to contribute. I link GU at every chance I get in signatures, posts, etc. that don't break the rules, and I love to associate with the people here. Do not think that just because you may not be sad to see to GU shut down doesn't mean that everyone will, too.
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Offline Chris Miller

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Re: This place looks dead
« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2011, 09:24:05 PM »
Quote from: KingOfHumans
Or did you give up with GU except for contributing some R/L time to work on upgrades and themes. Chris, Aegis, Janus, etc. How long do you plan on sticking with GU? 1 year? 2? ...
Don't take this the wrong way, but I thought you quit GU.

At any rate, I contribute what I can, given my lack of programming skills and my rather obsolete website design skills.  That leaves my charming wit, which I give freely.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 09:25:50 PM by Chris Miller »

Offline Aliem

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Re: This place looks dead
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2011, 10:40:41 PM »
We used to host stencyl before it was stencyl, then jon decided to move his project.  We're not going to try to steal their projects.  That's like trying to hook up with your ex wife's daughter.

In any case, just because a site doesn't have as much activity as you deem 'sufficient' doesn't make it bad.  I much prefer reading posts here than on the myriad of other gaming sites.  Here, we have actual voices and opinions, few though they may be.  On most other boards I have visited, everyone is just bitching about graphical fidelity, and how xbox sucks, wii sucks, etc.  To that end, a lower activity board with less stupidity is much better than a high activity board loaded with dolts.  If you think the only merit a forum has is a high post-per-day count, by all means, that's your right.

Offline Rowan

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Re: This place looks dead
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2011, 12:13:49 AM »
That's like trying to hook up with your ex wife's daughter.
That made me lol  ;]
Never say never or always. In most cases, there is an exception to anything you can think of that you might use either word in. "Most likely" and "highly improbable" in a lot of those cases would ring true, but not never/always.

Offline Aegis Runestone

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Re: This place looks dead
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2011, 10:16:48 AM »
Same here, Rowan. XD

In any case, just because a site doesn't have as much activity as you deem 'sufficient' doesn't make it bad.  I much prefer reading posts here than on the myriad of other gaming sites.  Here, we have actual voices and opinions, few though they may be.  On most other boards I have visited, everyone is just bitching about graphical fidelity, and how xbox sucks, wii sucks, etc.  To that end, a lower activity board with less stupidity is much better than a high activity board loaded with dolts.  If you think the only merit a forum has is a high post-per-day count, by all means, that's your right.

I totally agree! Smarter opinions > Dumb opinions. That's another reason I love GU!
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Offline Greo

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Re: This place looks dead
« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2012, 09:48:22 PM »
Then maybe it's time to pass the torch or shut GU down. Would anywhere who still comes here be that sad if GU is shut down?

I'd like for a place to hang out with others, and that's why I would be dismayed if GU vanished. To be fair, I rarely post here anymore, but at the same time, there needs to be something that draws in the posters. Hosting games made by the Stencyl engine is a start!

I'm not sure how much it'd cost to host a forum, but if it's cheap enough, and people are willing to let this board survive, or even thrive, then I'd gladly help out. Besides, hosting on a free service is asking for trouble...

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Offline Stungun

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Re: This place looks dead
« Reply #29 on: January 12, 2012, 11:17:37 PM »
Late reply, but I'll give my fairly unimportant perspective on things. My two cents, my opinion. Just a warning, it's going to sound like a major downer and...well, it is a major downer. And unfortunately for those of you who find walls of text irritating, it seems my college instincts are kicking in, because this is going to be like an essay...

For years, GU's been on the edge of death activity-wise. It's been circling the drain almost as long as I can remember. I can't exactly explain why, but I have some ideas; in theory we had a lot of things to offer, a number of interesting projects, and a heavily active and dedicated RP forum. Even if the latter wasn't the heart of the site, you could at least count on it having a few dedicated people. However, outside circumstances have taken their toll on things.

So I'll detail the components one by one and show where and how I suspect they went wrong.

First, the main focus of the site: The projects.

First of all, we lost a lot of projects and developers, and several other projects had to completely rebrand themselves because of threat of legal action. Without a popular brand name to base our stuff on anymore, possibly people got notably less interested. Secondly, as of late, reliable indie projects coming out of the woodwork -- as opposed to being sponsored by an active web community -- have gotten popular. The would-be developers out there don't need us anymore, and some of the best indie games are run by a small private team, or even a single person (e.g. Cave Story). The appeal of GU has dropped considerably; we used to be able to brand ourselves as a hub for fangames and remakes in general (heck, that was our slogan -- "for all your game (re)making needs").

Legal action and paradigm shifts basically killed both the appeal and plausibility of that approach. Developers who want to make a fangame will probably find sponsoring on a site specifically dedicated to that series, and developers who want to create an original idea for a game have a large array of other options at their disposal. Some of which can actually provide a lucrative benefit. We offer nothing. Not even publicity, because of our low activity; they'd be better off just grabbing up a compiler or game development platform, and coding from scratch, like Daisuke Amaya (Cave Story) or Daniel Remar (Iji). They probably had a distinct advantage because they could focus solely on their work and their vision.

In short, the people who are going to create deep, insightful, original and groundbreaking indie games typically aren't going to jump on a general forum like this and ask for their hosting. They likely have careers and can afford buying their own web hosting and development tools and know how to manage their time to the point where they can work a job and develop their projects off to the side. Those who are making a project and not putting that much effort into it might hop onto a site like Kongregate, grab something like Stencyl (ironically, which is now integrated into said flash game site...), or even something simpler than that. And those who are sort of in between will be attracted to sites like Kongregate anyway, because it offers a lot of possibilities for publicity, AND the ability to possibly make some money off it in the process. And the dedicated series fans who want to make a fangame can't come to GU anyways, since Nintendo of America basically scared that dream out of us. But there's lots of series-specific sites that are more than willing to host peoples' fangames.

Contrast The Gaming Universe, which isn't specialized at all and offers no benefits. Nobody wants to take their projects here because of the lack of activity, and because of the lack of projects, our activity is shot.

Now, let's look at the next subject: RPW.

Well, it's a joke now. The last updated RP was Aegis's Runiecan Tales, which was last updated over half a year ago. And I don't blame him; BYU has been eating his life faster than a lolcat haz cheezburger. I barely see him online (over Google Talk, at least) anymore. College can be hell. And if you look at the other RPs? Well, Aegis held out the longest, beating Mystara's Mar'haren by sixteen months. I'm surprised he had the motivation to continue that long, he's a real trooper. All our elite RPers basically died out.

Why is this? Well, let's take a look at the facts. As time passes by our lives can run into various events. The RPers that start while they're young don't have as much stress on their shoulders, but when college and/or work gets dropped on their plates, suddenly they find they don't have any time for it anymore. So the old RPers die out, and with them die their RPs, and the activity they brought.

You'd think new blood would replace the old, but it doesn't. After a while of running through dead RPs, the new blood starts to curdle. I've been through over a dozen RPs, and I'd say a good 50% of them died before we even hit the fifth page of posts. You start getting tired of the space program when all of your rockets explode on the launchpad or pitifully fall over on their side, smashing the control tower. And when the DMs want to start something, the curdled new blood is disenfranchised to the whole concept, likely wanting to RP with a more focused group. Like their buddies at the FLGS, or a more dedicated RP community. Some of us tried launchpading a few new RP communities to branch off and solve the situation, but they failed miserably because we weren't really drawing upon any user bases other than GU.

So if people have RP on their minds, they'll just go to forums specifically dedicated to roleplaying. And there even exist forums out there dedicated to roleplaying in specific campaign settings. Do a Google search and I wouldn't be surprised if you found a friggin My Little Pony RP forum. Or don't. I'm not making that search because if I wind up being right, I'll still need brain bleach.

Then there's the general discusscion forums, forum games, chatroom community and the like.

Let's face it. That's standard fare for a forum, and it's reliant on the existing members. Nobody joins a forum just for General Discusscion. People may stay for the community, but they can only stay for a while, usually, since life moves on and we all change. People might leave a forum when they go to college, get a job, get married, have children, get divorced, have a mid-life crisis, a relative dies, or what have you. The only way to remedy this is, again, new blood to replace the old. But we don't have that since nobody is attracted by what we have to offer.

Then there's a fourth factor: Accelerated user-base demise.

Long-time oldbies are comfortable with having things go a certain way and not having the community shaken up too badly. They want a rock they can rely to stand on and not give way. But GU has given way several times, shaking the userbase's faith and alienating them in the end. Being attacked by Nintendo's law ninjas was the first major blow against GU, and it forced us to rebrand half our projects. People didn't like that much, if I recall. The next blow was changing the site over to SMF entirely and losing half our features in the process; it was a drastic change and we still don't have our themes back. (Who remembers the Afterdark theme from our VB incarnation?) To be honest, I feel like GU has become a strange and irrecognizable place over the years, and not just from these two incidents alone. I can probably count on my two hands the active members who remember who I am, from the old days.

Speaking of which, didn't we used to have a you-know-what for longstanding members? Because I don't see it anymore.

In summary, I think the world just moved on without us. The internet gives unlimited options for specialization, whether you're selling something or just offering a service. And when you have so many specialized options, why do you want to go to a website that's too overgeneralized? That's exactly what GU is -- overgeneralized to a fault. I mean, just look at the website's name; the Gaming Universe. We're trying to offer everything, and in the process, we can't offer anything. Offering connection to Stencyl might even make things worse. If people want anything to do with Stencyl, they're going to go to stencyl dot com. You can type that in your address bar and you know it's specifically catered to what you're looking for.

Really, there's no way to save GU, in my opinion. You can keep it up, but it probably won't be revitalized, and if you make the changes needed to get it activity, it won't be GU anymore. It'll have to be specialized to something in particular, and almost everything else will have to be thrown out the window or shoved in a corner. We live in a society of niches nowadays, and nobody wants to join "The Everything Club".

I don't want to see GU be outright deleted, though. And if anyone decides to cancel the hosting, I hope they'll send out an email ahead of time so we can go through our old posts and save them. I still had some damn good memories here, that I'd much like to keep.

Funny how quickly ten years passed us by, and we didn't notice it until it was too late... :S

I do, however, have some good news (and it has nothing to do with car insurance. :P)

The site hasn't breathed its last yet. It's still active enough to warrant keeping it up in its current state, and who knows? It may be possible to help the site out somehow. Just because I don't see much hope for it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. After all I can't see everything. But I think that keeping activity on GU up and/or boosting it is going to be an uphill battle in its current state, especially since nobody seems to have their hearts set on it. We can talk about boosting activity, but is anyone actually going to go out there and tell people to join? For most of us, GU is just a secondary thing, something we check every once in a while; for me, I only check one specific part of the site most of the time, just to see if the impossible has happened and RPW got revived. I don't see it happening anytime soon, but if it does, I'd rather not miss the event.

But I will say one thing, though. The site is definitely too overgeneralized to do its job of hosting projects well.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2012, 11:36:14 PM by Stungun »
So I descended into the horrifying place, twisted creatures all around and an ominous stench in the air. I thought I was untouchable. They all fell to my superior firepower as the stench turned into an air of victory.

...and yet, through all this, I wish she would have given me a warning. Maybe then, all this could have been avoided, if she had sent me off with just one simple, obvious warning:

Don't lick the Phazon.



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