Hi anon, how's your game coming along?
It's been about a month and a half since I took ownership of the board and just wanted to post some thoughts and feelings on how things have been going. Not a lot has changed since then. That's fine; I'd like to see the board grow and succeed in the long run, so no rush. Anyway, things I've done, things I'd like to do, and my recent thoughts in no particular order:
I've decided to keep the old threads around, even though I personally dislike them as most are lazy QTDDTOT's but, I also don't want to be the guy who just comes in and deletes a board. The invitations to participate in Infinity Cup from years ago though, I don't think anyone will miss them. Others, I'd like to move to QTDDTOT (and post a reply if I can answer their question or address their topic, if only for posterity), but only when better threads replace them in the catalog; I don't want to see a catalog with only a handful of threads in it.
On the topic of threads, I'd like to hear some suggestions. I don't like bad threads. No one likes bad threads. I consider the follow to be bad threads. One, when the OP makes a no or low-effort post. This discourages thoughtful and sincere participation in the thread because no one wants to do his work for him, nor do they believe their contributing will ever amount to anything, since the OP shows no planning or prior effort. Two, when the OP does not take responsibility and curate his thread. By that, I mean replying to people who take the time to reply to his OP or discussion around it, following up with progress, bumping it now and then with updates and new information, etc. If you make a post titled "Engines for 3D Game Dev", and post an example of one in the OP, then disappear and expect everyone else to do the rest of the work for you, that's a bad thread. Post the engine you're using, write a review of the engine you're using, show how to build the engine and write a "Hello Triangle" or whatever in it, research alternative engines and post those. Compare and contrast engine features - languages, supported OSs, feature set, ease of use, etc. etc. Post a new engine and a review of it once a month. Whatever, just take responsibility, contribute, and don't waste your fellow anons' time with a thread going nowhere.
Not to be negative; I just wanted to get that out there. This is an imageboard, not a forum; Anons are free to post whatever they want. I don't want to discourage anyone from posting and to anyone out there who feels some kind of confusion or trepidation about what or where to post - we have the meta and QTDDTOT threads, ask about whatever concerns you have there. It's a tough spot right now, to be honest. I'd like to see more posting, but I'd also like to see better posting. At the same time, I don't want to intimidate anyone by giving the impression that only game development pros can post here, it's fucking Amateur Game Development General - Board Edition®. There is always going to be a certain degree of the blind leading the blind, it's unavoidable.
In fact, one of the reasons I decided to take over the board is precisely because of a kind of dissatisfaction I've always had with the /agdg/ threads on various boards over the years - a kind of "hollow center" that exists, a wide gulf of skill and experience between the typical thread posters. By that I mean how you can separate posters into basically two camps: one that knows nothing about gamedev, maybe can't program in any language, and has no real design/modeling/art experience, and the "semi-pros" who post teasers and demos for their games, or are developing 3D engines from scratch or similar. I'd always felt that there was little to no mobility between group one and group two. A total newbie can come in, ask a question, and at best get a sort-of flippant response to "Learn C++. Here's a link to a 500 page C++ bible from 1997.", or "Just use Unity.", or "Start with Pong." None of these are terrible suggestions per-se, but there typically is no follow-up, nor enough effort to understand the asker's circumstances (What do you want to make? What experience do you have? Do you understand how long it's going to take? etc.). In a few years of lurking and occasional posting, I just don't see results manifest. In fact, total posters and completed or even attempted projects decrease. I'm not going to claim to know all the reasons for the decline, real or perceived, but I've always thought the cyclical and ephemeral nature of the /agdg/ thread contributed. Take the "Just learn C++" reply for example. For most of us, it's not that easy. The hardest part can often be just setting up a development environment and getting a basic "Hello World" to compile and run. I imagine no insignificant number of could-have-been devs have given up at this point. With an /agdg/ board, the "Just learn C++" reply can instead direct the questioner to the "C++ thread for beginners", where that information is compiled. Not only that, but you can post about your personal setup, code snippets, the compiler errors you're getting, and the such, without derailing the general game dev discussion. Yes, there are resources out there. Yes, they can always just jewgle it and figure it out for themselves. What's the point, though, in directing posters outside of the site for answers? Instead, take responsibility. Offer mentorship. Have discussions with your fellow anons.