News: 11 March 2016 - Forum Rules
Current Moderators - DarkSol, KingMike, MathOnNapkins, Azkadellia, Danke

Author Topic: Site: RHDN 3rd Anniversary Reflection  (Read 16346 times)

RHDNBot

  • Guest
Site: RHDN 3rd Anniversary Reflection
« on: December 23, 2008, 09:38:17 pm »
Update By: Nightcrawler

Anniversaries are a time to celebrate, and also a time to reflect on the past year. This third anniversary pushes me toward reflection this time around, rather than celebration. Year three was somewhat disappointing in all honesty. RHDN has suffered from what I would call ‘growing pains'. It's not the little haven it once was. Success has prompted growth and growth has prompted many changes in atmosphere. Now that RHDN is bigger, we can't go backwards. We can only try to adapt to it's larger size burdens and choose the best direction to move forward. That's the key to this reflection, the direction to move forward.

The ‘growing pains’ we've experienced represent problems that show up with any larger groups of people. Massive influx of useless new people who don't read rules, post 1 or 2 useless posts, and never come again, is one example. It starts to become a burden to handle these people and has a negative effect on the atmosphere here. The larger the site, the larger this problem becomes. But that's not what disappointed me. What disappoints me is that despite large amounts of people, there is still lack of a real community. In fact, there's less of one than there was before. That begs the question of; do RHDN visitors even want a community?

We've spent time on features such as the community database which has huge potential to be enhanced into something grand like personal status pages for all community members. We've also added user reviews. Hardly anybody uses either of them. Massive amounts of people come here for a single useless post or two and never come back. As for community regulars, their interests are also in question. Two of the most popular site related discussion topics for 2008 were for a minor deletion policy change and handling of a newbie violating a rule. Those are the kinds of things that are most important? Individual forum moderation decisions and disallowing baseless claims for deletion to cut down on work? This is disturbing to me. This is not positive community oriented discussion. Our open forum tries to facilitate discussion of all site developments, but what's being discussed is dirty laundry airing instead. Where's the discussion on enhancing the community? We used to have that. Now, it seems to be missing. We temporarily lost a founding member this year thanks to loss of community focus and allowing endless nitpicking of every decision. This really poses the question of whether or not people even want a community, which leads me to my most troubling thoughts of all…

Does what the people want now conflict with the site charter? It would seem like the larger the site gets, the more in the direction of not wanting a community it goes. People seem to just want an archive site to come to grab whatever they want. They don't care about their peers. They don't care about contributing to enhancing the community. They don't care if they never interact with anyone else. So, how does a site with a fundamental goal of being a community site, handle the community not wanting a community anymore? This is a core conflict of interest. This is a call for re-evaluation of the direction of the site. As the site Administrator, doner of countless hours of time, having the vision for this site, and being an active community member myself, this is very troubling. The site majority has shifted. Thanks to growth, the people who don't care now outnumber the people who do.

It is because of these issues that year three has been disappointing to me. I see a call for a change in direction and resolution of this core conflict. RHDN needs to adapt to what it has become and set the direction it needs to go in to continue to be successful. I will take some time to carefully think over RHDN's current state, it's fundamental goals, recent community sentiment, and more importantly, listen to you now. Some changes are likely. Some compromises may be made, and perhaps some new goals will even be set. Is RHDN primarily an archive site? Is it a community site? Does the community RHDN aims to serve include everyone, or is a more select audience? Does full unrestricted policy discussion work with large amounts of people, or does it just breed dissension? Are all decisions made up for debate and  allowed to be challenged? These are just some of the questions that must be asked.

The face of RHDN is changing. What does RHDN mean to you?

Relevant Link: (http://www.romhacking.net)

Next Gen Cowboy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1766
  • "People are like dice"
    • View Profile
Re: Site: RHDN 3rd Anniversary Reflection
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2008, 09:57:49 pm »
Although I would not consider myself an optimist, I look to the other side of the coin so to speak. I see members of this community contributing in ways that I never saw years ago, and although I will not go into specifics, it seems to have had a very positive effect on at least one board in this forum.

In my mind it is true that a great deal of people will look at this place as nothing more then an archive, that seems to come with territory. They may not be the same people, but some persons will not give thanks for the work they are playing, or for the help that they get, some of them are not capable of such task in a civilized manner anyway. Generally we look down upon those people (or perhaps that is my egomania?) and that will not change, unless said people make it change.

As for being an actual community, this is a difficult one, I do not ever remember a time when every member of the romhacking community was truly tight knit. It has generally speaking always been a group of small people, or single persons working together with other persons. I would hope that this place accomplishes the goal of bringing some people to a common place where they can share ideas.

The last thing is about the idea of community itself. Generally speaking we do not see a great deal of people/groups working with new people/groups, that is something I personally would like to see change, but it is extremely difficult to accomplish a goal like this.  After all so many of the people, and groups have been doing what they do, how they do it for so long, is it not difficult to change?

Let the discussion begin  :P
"Remember when we were in Japan? You said you were my gun, if you're the gun then that means I'm the bullet."

"All my life I've been waiting for the gunpowder to go off, you know what you need to ignite gunpowder? You need a gun."

Killa B

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1153
  • Fallen Angel
    • View Profile
    • Killa B
Re: Site: RHDN 3rd Anniversary Reflection
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2008, 12:37:35 am »
This anniversary post makes me feel depressed. :'(

I've just submitted a review, for a document that was really a big help to me a while back. Writing reviews really drains the energy out of me. I'm not really a great writer, so I don't really get the urge to review things. Maybe that's the problem: the kind of people who write code and hack roms aren't typically the same kind of people who write articles.

I really think it's a shame you feel that way about the state of the community, especially after everything you've done for it, Nightcrawler. I hope we'll be able to redeem our collective selves in some way.

I don't think it's as bad as you're seeing it, though. RHDN has always been a community site, right? The archive is just a small part of the community; the people who use it are the same people who post on the board.

With all that stuff said, I hope the next year of RHDN is better for you and for all of us. I seem to argue with a lot of the stuff you say (particularly in the Coding board), but I've always thought you do a perfect job with administrating the site and overseeing the database. Today we salute you, Mr. Romhacking-based website administrator!
Spoiler:
That's supposed to sound like a Bud Light ad.

Spoiler:
...Trust me, it's funny. Just laugh.
I always dreamed of doing a Pokemon hack

CANS

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 58
  • NOT GAY(not that there's anything wrong with that)
    • View Profile
Re: Site: RHDN 3rd Anniversary Reflection
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2008, 02:22:45 am »
If you ever get tired of it and want to close it, hand me over the domain and I'll take care of it. I'll kick the off topic spam in the appropriate areas and other sorts of interruptions, but I won't micromanage general content like a kindergarten teacher. If that means it will put off some people, oh well, they're most likely dull and I wouldn't miss them. At the end of the day, I don't see what isolated, personal sensitivities has to do with rom hacks.

Gil Galad

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 186
    • View Profile
    • Homepage of Gil Galad
Re: Site: RHDN 3rd Anniversary Reflection
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2008, 02:50:53 am »
Hmmm, rather a difficult subject to address.

Personally, I think the site is going in the right direction. For the following reasons.


1.)Even though some wanted features haven't been used much, they should remain there as an option for a site visitor.

2.)I believe the community is stronger and larger than what some realize. Along with the posting on this message board, there are many people that visit ROMHacking.net's official IRC channel for real time discussion.

3.)So in combination, the file archive, site features, and community is what makes ROM Hacking.net as great as it is.

4.)There still are a core of founding members here, and those that are loyal to the community.

Some things do not need to improve more than they already have.

Nightcrawler: If you want to know anything negative, as in constructive criticism, then privately would do.





Homepage of Gil Galad || New Forum

“I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve. ”

valitoria

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 43
    • View Profile
Re: Site: RHDN 3rd Anniversary Reflection
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2008, 03:32:25 am »
There are still couple of newbies and old members that 'will' and has proved themeselves loyal, I had to agree with Gil, RHDN is the largest and most best ROMHacking community in the whole internet.

Even if there are negative thoughts there are still positive ones that makes this community bigger and I had to admit that, this site  holds a large and vast collection and memories of the past ROMHackers and Hacks as well.

You keep it as it is or you shut it down (No, Please!) there are choices and I also feel ashamed of myself, I too made mistakes within the RHDN Community and I'm trying to make it up...

So make choices....

snesmaster40

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 593
    • View Profile
Re: Site: RHDN 3rd Anniversary Reflection
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2008, 06:28:36 am »
The only problem is that newbie rule. The newbie should at least be given one warning instead of being terminated. A good example is that Zelda header topic. The user in there was pretty smart and everyone that was in that topic seemed to be having a good conversation about this header business. Unfortunately the user was double posting (probably excited) and there was no sign of any warnings because of the "no being a moderator rule". So pretty much everyone in the distance was shouting "NO! RUN! GET TO THE CHOPPER!" and then he got killed by the Predator. Which is a shame.
Are we not men?

creaothceann

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2619
  • SPINESHARK
    • View Profile
    • creaothceann's website
Re: Site: RHDN 3rd Anniversary Reflection
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2008, 08:01:28 am »
Massive influx of useless new people who don't read rules, post 1 or 2 useless posts, and never come again, is one example. It starts to become a burden to handle these people and has a negative effect on the atmosphere here. The larger the site, the larger this problem becomes. But that's not what disappointed me. What disappoints me is that despite large amounts of people, there is still lack of a real community. In fact, there's less of one than there was before. That begs the question of; do RHDN visitors even want a community?

The only thing that has changed is the percentage between visitors and regulars. Don't look at the percentage, look at the people. There was a community when RHDN started, and that is still the case.


We've spent time on features such as the community database which has huge potential to be enhanced into something grand like personal status pages for all community members. We've also added user reviews. Hardly anybody uses either of them.

The problem is visibility. The most visible and therefore active part is the forum. Anything that is on separate pages, or even in the forum's backlog, has a hard time attracting views. Connecting the "backend" with the "frontend", so to speak, requires a lot of effort.

One example where it works is tasvideos.org, which automatically creates a forum thread when a speedrun is submitted to the site. Visitors then use this thread for comments. (Not saying that this must be used for RHDN, it's just one observation.)


Massive amounts of people come here for a single useless post or two and never come back.

Not much we can do about that, though. That's just how people are.

Googie

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 837
  • I'd like to solve the puzzle... Jiggers!
    • View Profile
    • My work in progress ROM Hacking site
Re: Site: RHDN 3rd Anniversary Reflection
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2008, 10:44:46 am »
Damn how time flies fellas, it's already RHDN's 3rd Anniversary? Wow, It's great to see this community still standing after 3 years. And I'm glad to be apart this family, that's how I look at you guys, as my internet family.  :D

Have a round on me lol...  :beer:

Deathlike2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1027
    • View Profile
Re: Site: RHDN 3rd Anniversary Reflection
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2008, 10:46:36 am »
Anniversaries are a time to celebrate, and also a time to reflect on the past year. This third anniversary pushes me toward reflection this time around, rather than celebration. Year three was somewhat disappointing in all honesty. RHDN has suffered from what I would call ‘growing pains'. It's not the little haven it once was. Success has prompted growth and growth has prompted many changes in atmosphere. Now that RHDN is bigger, we can't go backwards. We can only try to adapt to it's larger size burdens and choose the best direction to move forward. That's the key to this reflection, the direction to move forward.

It almost sounds like a politician giving a speech to people knowing that they have suffered some tragedy before a holiday season. I don't think it quite measures up the same as an analogy...

Quote
The ‘growing pains’ we've experienced represent problems that show up with any larger groups of people. Massive influx of useless new people who don't read rules, post 1 or 2 useless posts, and never come again, is one example. It starts to become a burden to handle these people and has a negative effect on the atmosphere here. The larger the site, the larger this problem becomes. But that's not what disappointed me. What disappoints me is that despite large amounts of people, there is still lack of a real community. In fact, there's less of one than there was before. That begs the question of; do RHDN visitors even want a community?

Those kinds of issues aren't really a burden unless you make it one...

The new visitors aren't really here to be part of a community... and even if they are, they don't properly demonstrate that they did any sort of homework/background research.. pretty much the little things that give one the proper drive to actually complete a project.

Quote
We've spent time on features such as the community database which has huge potential to be enhanced into something grand like personal status pages for all community members. We've also added user reviews. Hardly anybody uses either of them. Massive amounts of people come here for a single useless post or two and never come back. As for community regulars, their interests are also in question. Two of the most popular site related discussion topics for 2008 were for a minor deletion policy change and handling of a newbie violating a rule. Those are the kinds of things that are most important? Individual forum moderation decisions and disallowing baseless claims for deletion to cut down on work? This is disturbing to me. This is not positive community oriented discussion. Our open forum tries to facilitate discussion of all site developments, but what's being discussed is dirty laundry airing instead. Where's the discussion on enhancing the community? We used to have that. Now, it seems to be missing. We temporarily lost a founding member this year thanks to loss of community focus and allowing endless nitpicking of every decision. This really poses the question of whether or not people even want a community, which leads me to my most troubling thoughts of all…

Actually, the kinds of issues you've cited are really minor in the grand scheme of things. The latter needs to be cleaned up, but it's not the top of anyone's list is it? I don't think there was closure on the matter at the very least (leaving it to no resolution at this point is not true closure).

Additionally, dirty laundry is not really a big issue. I personally think that these matters can be handled better. Sure it's policy to PM a mod about the decisions and whatnot. However, do you really think that's productive? There are a number of mods that enforce the rules, which is fine.. but no central mod that can simply deal with those specific issues like the aforementioned newbie post issue... at least generate some reasonable hard-lined stances while at least having some consideration on the exceptions that don't actually try to ruin the community. There's a way to be nice (well, not always, but most of the time) and still be able to enforce the rules.

The "noone else can be a moderator" is another silly issue. I think a nice fair reminder by a user is fine, but obviously sometimes they try to act as the law.. and that should always be dealt differently (and tends to be a case by case issue). If a community is unable to police their own (within reason without actual moderation), then what is the point of trying add additional strain that you don't need?

Quote
Does what the people want now conflict with the site charter? It would seem like the larger the site gets, the more in the direction of not wanting a community it goes. People seem to just want an archive site to come to grab whatever they want. They don't care about their peers. They don't care about contributing to enhancing the community. They don't care if they never interact with anyone else. So, how does a site with a fundamental goal of being a community site, handle the community not wanting a community anymore? This is a core conflict of interest. This is a call for re-evaluation of the direction of the site. As the site Administrator, doner of countless hours of time, having the vision for this site, and being an active community member myself, this is very troubling. The site majority has shifted. Thanks to growth, the people who don't care now outnumber the people who do.

I think you're experiencing people who believe in the not sharing, not caring, etc. That will always exist. As every individual has their own beliefs (as long as it isn't something crazy outside the box looney thinking), you can't/won't find everyone in agreement to the same things. The increase of people hasn't really changed it.. it's just brought a number of these issues to the forefront. It happens. I don't think the overall desire has changed.. it's just the people who you will find have different conflicting views.. and I doubt that will change anytime soon.


Quote
It is because of these issues that year three has been disappointing to me. I see a call for a change in direction and resolution of this core conflict. RHDN needs to adapt to what it has become and set the direction it needs to go in to continue to be successful. I will take some time to carefully think over RHDN's current state, it's fundamental goals, recent community sentiment, and more importantly, listen to you now. Some changes are likely. Some compromises may be made, and perhaps some new goals will even be set. Is RHDN primarily an archive site? Is it a community site? Does the community RHDN aims to serve include everyone, or is a more select audience? Does full unrestricted policy discussion work with large amounts of people, or does it just breed dissension? Are all decisions made up for debate and  allowed to be challenged? These are just some of the questions that must be asked.

The face of RHDN is changing. What does RHDN mean to you?

I think people like questioning authority... if at least to think about things. Of course, this always conflicts with the common phase "we'll agree to disagree" and you will see that happening if the conversation comes to that point. Sometimes, not all policies are the greatest, and I'm sure someone can nitpick on the minor details, but ultimately, if you want a stance on an issue, be very prepared to back it up, with everyone on the staff, even if they disagree. Sometimes that might sound like the hardest thing to ask for, but once you realize that everyone has a goal and plan on following that mission, than whatever decision you make should be a little easier, and your job much more enjoyable. It seems to me that there is some fractioning even amongst the staff for trivial issues.. it helps to have a hard stance, adjust as needed, and be firm with the decisions you make. Sometimes, idealism needs practicality in real life.
FF4 Research Continues
Working on the next Yet To Be Named FF4 "Hardtype" Hack

Ryochan

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
    • Warped Lodgic
Re: Site: RHDN 3rd Anniversary Reflection
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2008, 02:20:41 pm »
I can't comment on a whole lot of what you listed as issues, or dissapointing, but I can offer this:

I found out about RHDN one night when looking up how to hack a ROM.  The site impressed me for it's mass amount of documents, utilities, translations, etc.  I joined the forums to keep up with news, but was very timid to add to things to begin.

I did try to mail one or two people about projects I was interested in, that they had been working on, but help had already been gotten.  And in-between, I tried to figure out how to work things on my own, but have failed pretty miserably.  That made me realize just how much work goes into making hacks for us to play, and in all honesty, I felt horrible for thinking it took way too long for things to come out.

Later, someone asked for help in English for their game, and I offered.  Working with another person who had also offered assistance, we had a lot of little disagreements about how to phrase things, and then found out some of the translations really were a bit strange, causing me to use my own limited (read: slow) translation skills to help out in the fixing.  And, although we are still working on this project with the other members of the team, the entire thing has given me even more in-depth knowledge into how much work and dedication it takes to do this stuff.

So, although I may not always be fully active, and I can't offer a whole lot to most conversations, or even really offer reviews (since most the programs and documents lose me due to my own lack of understanding), coming here has given me a very deep understanding of how things work, and I, at least, feel as if there is a very strong, often very understanding, community here.  I know my questions have been met with wonderful, thoughtful answers, and my comments with consideration and teaching.

In closing, I hope this helps to let you know that at least some of us new ones appreciate this site and do find a good community feeling to it.  :)

Now, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Who needs a signature?  After all I'd only say something random, stupid, or throw in my latest insanity...

InVerse

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 630
    • View Profile
Re: Site: RHDN 3rd Anniversary Reflection
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2008, 06:31:53 pm »
Needs more cowbell.

Lindblum

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 445
  • Sometimes... Sometimes the diaper leaks.
    • View Profile
Re: Site: RHDN 3rd Anniversary Reflection
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2008, 10:53:10 pm »
It's a warm feeling to see familiar avatars, talk directly to the names behind the game hacks and translations that brought me joy, and to share and learn with vets and noobs.  It's not just an archive, it's not just a forum, it's a community.  (Was that too mushy?)
Confidence is the feeling you have before you understand the situation.

tc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1132
  • Lum Fan
    • View Profile
    • Eon Blog
Re: Site: RHDN 3rd Anniversary Reflection
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2008, 11:53:16 pm »
If anything, and it may very well be impossible, I'd try to think of a positive way to cut down on the number of long-abandoned projects.

There's much for incomplete work that deserves more than being forgotten in an archive. ;)

Disch

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2746
  • NES Junkie
    • View Profile
Re: Site: RHDN 3rd Anniversary Reflection
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2008, 10:26:09 am »
A lot of this sounds like buyer's remourse.  Perhaps you had different expectations of the site.  Maybe you're questioning some of the paths the site has taken.  Maybe you wish it was something more than it is.

No site is without its share of problems.  RHDN is no exception, and a lot of your complaints/issues are good examples of ways the site could be better.  But if you look at the site as what it is, rather than what you'd like it to be, it is anything but disappointing.  The dozens of file submissions and hundreds of forum posts this last month alone is a clear sign to me that there is a community, and that they're helping keep the site alive and active.

As for reevaluating the site's direction and making some changes... it seems like a rational thing to do to me.  If you're unhappy with the way things are, and know that you can improve them, then I say go for it.  I can't speak for everyone here, but I know that I'll personally be behind you.  It's possible that I may not always agree with some of the decisions, but I'll understand and respect them.

What does RHDN mean to me?  That's an awkward question to try to answer directly.  I tend to gravitate more towards the forum and news postings, myself... but does that mean those are all I care about?  I wouldn't say that.  If you're looking for an answer with a deeper meaning, I don't think I have one for you.  What I can say, though, is that I do really appreciate the site.. and as far as websites and [http based] online communities go, it's the one I frequent the most, and care about the most.

ryanbgstl

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Site: RHDN 3rd Anniversary Reflection
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2008, 03:34:14 am »
I've only posted once before, and I haven't read the forums very often until recently,
but as a newbie I believe I can offer some helpful observations.

To me, this site's rules (and the news postings describing new rules to prevent the site's deterioration)
are a bit overwhelming.  They are the first thing a respectful person will read before posting and yet they
set a bad tone with their anger and all caps (yelling) demands.

In my opinion, the respectful will be deterred from participation by these 'rules written in angst' and the ignorant will not read or heed them anyway.

What does the site mean to me?  You've taken information that was once scattered across hundreds of outdated, web 1.0 pages and gathered it and its reclusive creators to one place.  This is a tremendous accomplishment and something to be proud of.  To me, the interaction of these once disparate creators is what has the potential to bring about new positive developments.

demione

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 34
    • View Profile
Re: Site: RHDN 3rd Anniversary Reflection
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2009, 07:56:53 pm »
This anniversary post makes me feel depressed. :'(

Couldn't have said it better myself.

The potential for a community is definitely there. There's just no possible way anyone's going to want to be in it, when the leader writes such depressing and antagonizing posts. :)

Zeality

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 95
    • View Profile
Re: Site: RHDN 3rd Anniversary Reflection
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2009, 01:05:27 am »
The Chrono Compendium started as an archive and grew its own community. And I definitely see a community here, composed of core regulars. One can't function without the other these days. No one searches Google for "ROM hacking forum" anymore, and sites without communities eventually die out. ROMHacking.net has always looked healthy to me.

These problems are just the nature of the business. Some of the greatest fan sites have been ruined by petty, divisive leadership (OCRemix and VGMix are big examples), but the moderation here seems to be really good. It might help to make a core mission statement and charter. The Compendium has this:

Quote
The Chrono Compendium's mission is twofold. It first aims to archive and catalogue all existing knowledge and plausible speculation regarding the Chrono series, whether textual, auditory, or visual. The Compendium secondly wishes to create new content, and foster the growth and development of the Chrono series and its fan community.

Those are huge claims, but that spirit has given rise to ROM hacks, analytical articles, editorials, humorous features, community projects, art and fiction projects, guide-writing, etc. you name it. Think big with romhacking.net; ask the people what they'd like, with the core goal in mind of facilitating ROM hacking. Use your influence to make a site-wide endeavor at some point; that can REALLY foster a sense of community. I use the Compendium in some ways to involve everyone possible; Chrono Trigger: Crimson Echoes is considered THE site project, and consequently, it's had enough help over the years that it'll definitely be released before summer.

So perhaps you can make a big ROMhacking.net tutorial push, or a huge review push. Hand out special usergroups of merit, or find other intrinsic incentives. Maybe tie things together so people will have a "Review Count:" under their avatars. It's cheap, but it's not like post count in that reviews actually help the community. Controls can be implemented to prevent review spam for people who just want a big review count.

You could also use your influence to hone in on specific projects that will bring a lot of renown to ROM hacking in general, like Lenophis's FFVI hack. I'm not saying working on FFVI is inherently more important than working on another game, but people will pay more attention when a great hack for a big game gets released. So you can sort of gently push resources in that direction by contacting Lenophis, asking where he needs help on his hack (perhaps some difficult ASM work's needed that he's unfamiliar with), making some sticky threads and a small image on the front page, etc. And then voila, the gaming community hears about this great new FFVI hack, thousands of people try it out, and some people get interested in ROM hacking. I got in the game because of Temporal Flux; once I saw how easy it was to hack Chrono Trigger, I had to do something. Similarly, you could have tutorials for FFVI hacking concurrently prepared, so when these new fans come to the site, they'll say "hey, I can change stuff too," and they'll get involved.

The effects might be small, yes. Chrono Trigger: Prophet's Guile got around 25,000 downloads. But inspired at least a handful of people to come to Kajar Laboratories and try out hacking for themselves. Back in the day, the CT community was totally dependent on Geiger, JLukas, and Chickenlump. Now, a core community is doing all sorts of things, like justin3009's 6-letter name patch for Chrono Trigger, Vehek's methodology tutorial for converting custom MIDIs to MMs to SPCs for Romancing SaGa 3 and then CT, or the development of a Prerelease exploration patch (and translation once TF supports it). And while we don't answer really stupid questions at Kajar Laboratories (how do I add a 3D model to the ROM? and such), but the community does answer an awful lot of questions. Over time, this has built up infrastructure in community and archiving both.

Just flex the ROM hacking muscle with a great archive and tutorial function, and let the community come. Be friendly and encourage development. Steer resources using site-wide projects that foster a sense of community and attract attention and interest. The sky's the limit.

DarknessSavior

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5031
  • Darkness.
    • View Profile
    • DS: No, not the Nintendo one.
Re: Site: RHDN 3rd Anniversary Reflection
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2009, 01:30:20 am »
I've got alot to say, but not all of the energy to say it. This is my first full day in Japan, and I just got back from a 2 hour bike ride throughout the city I'm staying in.

I know it doesn't mean a ton, but this place serves as a hub for one of my hobbies. Well, two, if you count gaming and romhacking as two entities. This is also the only forum that I actively participate in on a regular basis, and one of the only places I'd even consider submitting content to.

I too feel discouraged a bit when I see the tons of users who come here, don't read the FAQ, ask stupid questions, and ne'er come back. However, for every 20 of those users, we get some real gems. Sure, people like Gideon, RedComet and NC have their own message boards, but this is the only place where we all get together as a group. So at the very least, it's important for us. I'm sure RHDN has probably attracted it's share of new hackers too, I mean, if it weren't for The Whirlpool back in the day, I'd have never gotten into romhacking. And The Whirlpool was replaced by RHDN. Ta-da.

~DS
Red Comet: :'( Poor DS. Nobody loves him like RC does. :'(
Sliver-X: LET ME INFRINGE UPON IT WITH MY MOUTH
DSRH - Currently working on: Demon's Blazon, Romancing SaGa, FFIV EasyType.
http://www.youtube.com/user/DarknessSavior

SeekerOfPeace

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 391
  • 美女
    • View Profile
Re: Site: RHDN 3rd Anniversary Reflection
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2009, 03:11:40 pm »

Quote
Anniversaries are a time to celebrate, and also a time to reflect on the past year. This third anniversary pushes me toward reflection this time around, rather than celebration. Year three was somewhat disappointing in all honesty. RHDN has suffered from what I would call ‘growing pains'. It's not the little haven it once was. Success has prompted growth and growth has prompted many changes in atmosphere. Now that RHDN is bigger, we can't go backwards. We can only try to adapt to it's larger size burdens and choose the best direction to move forward. That's the key to this reflection, the direction to move forward.

Sweet.

Quote
The growing pains’ we've experienced represent problems that show up with any larger groups of people. Massive influx of useless new people who don't read rules, post 1 or 2 useless posts, and never come again, is one example. It starts to become a burden to handle these people and has a negative effect on the atmosphere here. The larger the site, the larger this problem becomes. But that's not what disappointed me. What disappoints me is that despite large amounts of people, there is still lack of a real community. In fact, there's less of one than there was before. That begs the question of; do RHDN visitors even want a community?

Are you kidding? You surprised there's no community with this kind of attitude from the site admin?

No offense dude, but when you call new members "useless" are you really that surprise that they post once or twice and never post again?

Reading the rules? Man, how long have you been on the internet? Nobody reads the rules anywhere, that's the norm. Are you really surprised about that? Like, honestly?

The way I see it, there's some really talented and smart people down here at romhacking. But being good at hacking doesn't imply that you have the skills to deal with people. I'm not talking about you, Nightcrawler, I'm not pointing anybody.

Let's face it, the moderation is pretty damn harsh. You guys don't mess around when someone messes up, you tell it like it is in no uncertain terms. I personally don't have a problem with that but I can certainly see why some people would.

The thing is, everybody starts being a "useless" member first. Given time, some of them will develop and become pretty good at hacking.

The way I see it, this forum is for elitists. If you're a beginner it's pretty much: Read the FAQ.

With something as complex as romhacking, some actual support would be nice as opposed to being pointed to a link. I don't blame you though, I can certainly imagine the increasing frustration as new members keep repeating the same annoying behaviours. But the thing is, as an admin you pretty much have to deal with it.

Now, those are just my impressions and I might very well be completely out of line here.

As far as I'm concerned, romhacking is great for translations but that's it. I wouldn't describe the forum as being friendly and welcoming, not by a long shot.

I thought I should let you know, in case you wonder why some people just leave and never come back.

Quote

We've spent time on features such as the community database which has huge potential to be enhanced into something grand like personal status pages for all community members. We've also added user reviews. Hardly anybody uses either of them. Massive amounts of people come here for a single useless post or two and never come back. As for community regulars, their interests are also in question. Two of the most popular site related discussion topics for 2008 were for a minor deletion policy change and handling of a newbie violating a rule. Those are the kinds of things that are most important? Individual forum moderation decisions and disallowing baseless claims for deletion to cut down on work? This is disturbing to me. This is not positive community oriented discussion. Our open forum tries to facilitate discussion of all site developments, but what's being discussed is dirty laundry airing instead. Where's the discussion on enhancing the community? We used to have that. Now, it seems to be missing. We temporarily lost a founding member this year thanks to loss of community focus and allowing endless nitpicking of every decision. This really poses the question of whether or not people even want a community, which leads me to my most troubling thoughts of all…

That's a shame, because all in all, romhacking is really one gift that you offer to the community, Nightcrawler, and I for one really appreciate it.

I'm sorry you're disappointed in your community but man, surely you'd have to be blind not to notice some things.

I mean, one of the first thing I noticed coming here was you, the admin, talking down one of your mods in a public forum. I was like, WTF?!

Quote
Does what the people want now conflict with the site charter? It would seem like the larger the site gets, the more in the direction of not wanting a community it goes. People seem to just want an archive site to come to grab whatever they want. They don't care about their peers. They don't care about contributing to enhancing the community. They don't care if they never interact with anyone else. So, how does a site with a fundamental goal of being a community site, handle the community not wanting a community anymore? This is a core conflict of interest. This is a call for re-evaluation of the direction of the site. As the site Administrator, doner of countless hours of time, having the vision for this site, and being an active community member myself, this is very troubling. The site majority has shifted. Thanks to growth, the people who don't care now outnumber the people who do.

Well I never saw romhacking as a community thing. I think a lot of people are mostly interested in grabbing their patch and being on their way. They probably then comment on the romhacker's own blog/site.


Quote
It is because of these issues that year three has been disappointing to me. I see a call for a change in direction and resolution of this core conflict. RHDN needs to adapt to what it has become and set the direction it needs to go in to continue to be successful. I will take some time to carefully think over RHDN's current state, it's fundamental goals, recent community sentiment, and more importantly, listen to you now. Some changes are likely. Some compromises may be made, and perhaps some new goals will even be set. Is RHDN primarily an archive site? Is it a community site? Does the community RHDN aims to serve include everyone, or is a more select audience? Does full unrestricted policy discussion work with large amounts of people, or does it just breed dissension? Are all decisions made up for debate and  allowed to be challenged? These are just some of the questions that must be asked.

The face of RHDN is changing. What does RHDN mean to you?

I think this new attitude couldn't come at a better time. Yeah, I would listen to, if I were you. Let's hear what the members have to say.

But I mean, get your team together and don't start berating your staff in public, that just gives a really awful impression for visitors. Cancel the request for updates, that just destroys the whole purpose of a community.

There, you wanted my opinion, you got it.

Next time around, when one of your members is being respectful and another fool (can't remember the guy's name, Syrael something, I don't know) comes by behaving like a prick, well, you know: Moderate. It might show that you care about your members and want to discipline the jerks.

I'm just saying because that was the straw that broke the camel's back as far as I'm concerned.

I wish you the best, may your community prosper in 2009, have a good year my friend.