My thoughts on Online Communities, Groups and Forums such as this one

Discussion in 'General Lounge' started by jamalMV, Sep 14, 2016.

  1. The Stranger

    The Stranger The Faceless Friend Veteran

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    @mlogan That is the line which made me believe you'd rather have people scour the internet for obscure bits of information on using RPG Maker. If that wasn't your intention, then forget what I wrote.


    However, I really don't want to be roped in to an argument - especially not one which is brimming with emotion. So, I wont reply again.  I've expressed my personal experiences, for both this forum and others; nothing else needs to be said.
     
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  2. Ms Littlefish

    Ms Littlefish Dangerously Caffeinated Global Mod

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    Yeah, I agree that a completely textless link drop wouldn't be super cool. But, a link drop with "Here's a thread discussing a similar issue, maybe it will be helpful for you too. If you have any questions or need trouble shooting, let us know," in my opinion is an appropriate way to share something while directly addressing the new member's needs. But, I still think some people would see the second example as distant, honestly. All I can really recommend is to remain personable and available to individuals you are trying to help, and understand that what makes complete sense to you may still be jargon to someone else. I've gone to some pretty extreme lengths to help someone out before, but I tend to start out with more basic approaches before I get deep in on it.


    I think this really stems back to people being a bit iffy at communicating solely with text. It's pretty common for people to feel they've worded something as clearly as they could have (and it may be clear to most), but someone reads it in a way that is not intended. It happens to probably just about everyone eventually and it doesn't feel great to be accused of a thought or feeling you don't actually harbor. Sometimes I read what I write and I'm all, "dayum, does that sound mean and impersonal?," despite (apparently) being very approachable in real life.
     
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  3. mlogan

    mlogan Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Ahhh, The Stranger, I see why you might think that but no. I do not want people "scouring the internet for obscure bit of information" at all. In fact, I think that's what this forum is best used for - those obscure bits, the questions that are complicated, the things you need help with when you've tried for 2 hours to find an answer or get something to work and it won't. It's when people come in with super basic questions and admit they've not bothered trying to find an answer that it's bothersome. And again, I've literally seen more than one person post "I don't want to search for it". That's annoying.


    And not arguing, just discussing.
     
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  4. Arcmagik

    Arcmagik Game Developer Veteran

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    I am not even a moderator here and even I think...


    "Please read up on the basics of the engine and here are some tutorials that will help you. +link" is a perfectly suitable answer. Also watching or reading extra tutorials that are unrelated to your problem will help you not have additional problems. 


    IMHO I 100% agree that each person that comes here whether a game developer or just having fun is 100% responsible for their own success and troubleshooting their own problems through google, the tutorial section, or youtube before they ask their questions. The resources are available to them and they need to take responsibility for that. Blaming other people for being cold because it isn't their responsibility to spoon feed you is... and I am sure this term will pull down a negative response but I can't think of a better PC term right now... childish. Again I say the resources are there for you to find... any help provided is 100% extra bonus to you and is a privilege you should work to earn.


    That is my 2 cents and people can take it as they will. Negatively or not. It is an opinion and we all should know about the weight of someone's opinion. (It means zero unless you give it the power to mean something).


    Edit: Also please take this for the emotionless response that it is and not some heated tirade. I have no emotional attachment to this conversation or topic. Just an expressed opinion.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2016
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  5. Leon Kennedy

    Leon Kennedy Restaff Novice Restaff

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    Only time I felt that way so far, being only a month now is this guy I helped like 3 times everytime I solved his problem he didn't say thank you then the 4th time I realized he had a problem even the most simple of tutorials would cover I let it go xD. Generally I help whoever with what I actually know or can at least find the answer to unless they were dismissive towards me in the first place like the guy I was talking about above.
     
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  6. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    All I can say is this...if anyone thinks this community is cold or heartless, they should go to the rpgcodex (where I used to hang out about a decade or so ago). Those guys will rip you to shreds faster than you can blink. Compared to that site, this place is the nicest corner of the internet.
     
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  7. HexMozart88

    HexMozart88 The Master of Random Garbage Veteran

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    Seriously?! How possible? You put smiley faces after your mod voice for God's sake!

    Anyway, not about that. If you look at my activity, I've tried to be as helpful as possible, and I... think I've been an OK person(?) Of course I've had my moments on here and as has everyone. If I sound like a complete and utter jerk, I try and apologize. I even sometimes say that it might be a little hard to figure out and give me a while. And admittedly, I've steered the conversation off-topic sometimes because I was having a horrible day and was getting really down on myself. But, I apologize and go back on topic. That's really all it is.


    I've seen quite a few people who've said they've regretted posts they've made because of the "rudeness" they've gotten in return. When really, all the person said is that they might want to look at x video or read y thread. I've seen so many nice, amazing people here (some of which I think I've befriended...? Correct me if I'm wrong). But even they've had their moments. I know I've gotten frustrated because such-and-such moved my thread without even replying to the actual topic, or someone posted about a million different questions about the most basic elements of RPG Maker and I've wanted to wring their neck through the screen and shout "Look at some stinking tutorials and leave me alone!" But I've refrained because I know that some people learn in different ways than others. I can never resist helping someone if I know how to do so, but sometimes I just don't have time or I'm having a really awful day and I feel like trash. Or I'm just in a really bad mood. But heck, If these people can (somewhat) help me with my self-esteem issues, I say they're pretty alright, most of them.


    I haven't gotten any comments that have said that I sound robotic or what have you, but I guess that's because I'm not a mod. I haven't really done any commissions, but I'm currently part of three development teams and from what I've seen, they're all pretty approachable and if I have any questions about something I can just shoot 'em a PM and they get back to me quickly. My art style is questionable at times, but never once have I seen "That looks like complete and utter garbage." That is hard to refrain from saying even with my own artwork, so kudos to whoever did that. I want to throw it in the garbage and never show my face again and these people still find something good to say about it, even if I find absolutely nothing good about what I've just made. And you'd think the best artists in these forums would be complete snobs but they're really not. I'd say about 90% of the stuff they've posted about my art has been either compliments, or constructive criticism. I thought that I was an average composer compared to the rest of them, and my songs were kind of lame child's play, but some of the best composers out there have given me compliments.


    The point of that: keep an open mind. Trust me, I've had problems like this before. I've been bullied so much in my life, while having little to no friends, I figured that all people were just some idiots designed to make you feel as useless as possible. That's worked several times. I've been suspicious of people for years and years, and now I'm an introvert with zero self-esteem known for blurting out self-defeating comments at random times. But once I got onto this forum, I actually felt just a little bit more useful to the world. Because when I would help someone with a problem, whether or not I'd get thanked for doing so, I feel happy. I was able to help someone. I just do not understand people saying they feel shunned and unwelcome on these forums. These are the for me because nobody cares about how old I am, my gender, where I'm from, or how horrible my voice sounds. They care about the kind of person I am and how I act to people here. And I guess I act okay, though I sometimes don't feel like such a good person in real life. 

    That's literally me. Feedback makes me sad sometimes, and I obsess over it for days before picking out about ten other things and eventually saying "this is absolute trash!!!" BUT, it's helped me improve. I won't say I'm particularly amazing, but I'm better now because of constructive criticism.


    Lastly, sometimes people dropping links is an on the fence matter, but I do see why they do it. They want you to be able to make your own game, and be proud of it. I mean, if you're a newbie, and you post a million questions about how to use the engine without using a single tutorial, and people just hold your hand the entire time spouting rainbows into their keyboard and holding your hand the whole way through, how much of the engine are you really learning? How much of the game have you really made? And on your next game, how likely is it that you'll come back with the same questions that people will have to answer again?         
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2016
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  8. jamalMV

    jamalMV Villager Member

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     I just wanted to add something to the discussion based on what i quoted. It is a fair statement but i have found that sometimes people don't give back unless you have some sort of status or reason that you deserve to be helped. I have used this forum in the past and i found the experience of sharing tutorials via YouTube a bit overwhelming from my experience it seems sometimes when it comes to sharing stuff it can become a little competitive to the point where you feel that your contribution doesn't matter and i think that's more about separating how many people view your tutorials from wanting to help others which is something i am learning to accept.
     
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  9. HexMozart88

    HexMozart88 The Master of Random Garbage Veteran

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    In what way? What do you mean by that?
     
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  10. Bonkers

    Bonkers Bioware, do you need a nap? Restaff

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    I gave the video a chance, and wanted to hear the exact message.  I listened to all of it.


    I'll be honest.  I don't want to hear someone drone on for an hour, without being entertained in some way.  30 minutes is pushing it even for a regular blogger, and you failed to edit out a lot of "dead air".  You need a filter or a pop screen.  Like you said this was more for your benefit than anyone else, so I can't really get anything else other than you are unsatisfied for not being recognized for having visited a forum casually.  Relationships take time to grow and develop, and they aren't all up front with what could potentially be offered.  


    You have less than 20 posts as of this response, and I don't see that as a reason for acknowledgement.  I can understand your anxiety issues, but game dev is not for the faint of heart.  You aren't going to get anything out of life you do not give.  It's clear you don't like communicating with people.  You also have to understand we've seen a great number of people come and go here, and that includes people with this same detached attitude that don't tend to do well communicating.


    It's great you want to be creative, and are engaged behind closed doors; but no one here is going to encourage you based on simply wanting more.  You cannot get anything out of it without socializing and interacting.  It's two way street.  You say it yourself over and over again.  You give, and sometimes you do not get back.  That's true for any real human relationship.  You will not always reap rewards for your time.


    I'm not familiar with the 'mental health community', but things work differently here.  If a community/forum didn't want you to express yourself, you wouldn't be able to post/register.  It's that simple.    


    I really think you need to work more on yourself more than any community needs to work towards improvement.  I don't mean that negatively as in you are flawed, but that you are not connecting in the means you wish to do so; and that is through blood, sweat, and tears.  You won't have anyone here telling you that you have value, because we aren't here for that reason.  This isn't self help, it's game dev. No one in a community, any community is going to make you feel like you are justifying your time.  That comes internally, and from accomplishment.  It comes with sacrifice.  We don't assign each other roles.  We gain an identity by our actions.  If you feel you lack that identity because a group doesn't accept you, it's because you are lacking self awareness.   


    I think you are misunderstanding what support in a community/forum means.  

    Thankfully we have certain workshops for genuine criticism and discussion >>  *hides torch and pitchfork behind his back*
     
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  11. Amysaurus

    Amysaurus Digital Artist Veteran

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    *Finishes listening to the video at 1.5x speed.*  Welp. That was a thing.
     


    I can understand feeling like an outsider when you’re new to a community, but placing the blame on the community itself isn’t the right way to go. We don’t know if you struggle with anxiety, we don’t know what sort of fulfillment you’re seeking, but most importantly - we aren’t responsible for catering to your personal needs. Nobody here wants anyone to feel like they can’t express their ideas, concerns, creativity, what have you; however, it’s up to the individual to decide whether or not they’re actually going to share these things. If someone isn’t willing to participate, then they’re only excluding themselves. I see you, lurkers. I see you.
     


    I see discussions/comments about this forum being "elitist" pretty often, and, while I understand it where it's coming from, there are a lot of problems with believing that. If someone has been here longer than you, posted more than you, etc. - why the heck wouldn't people will like/comment on/notice their posts more? It's nothing against you - it's just that we're more familiar with them. If you really do feel like you’re being ignored or overlooked, you may want to reflect on what you’re putting into this community. If you’re being overly negative or rude, nagging at staff/creators, or simply not posting - these things all affect how we’re going to see you. Small impressions add up. 
     


    As for staff - colored text and a generic message does not mean they're cold and robotic. I've moderated communities before, and I've tried writing a message for each individual circumstance - it was exhausting for me, and I have no life. Imagine how that goes for the people that do have lives.  


    >>> On a semi-related note (mostly pertaining to the video itself), I’d suggest keeping a list of talking points when you’re planning this kind of video. Many of those moments of silence and/or scrambling to get to the point of a topic can be avoided with even a bulleted list. I think quite a bit of your message was muddled because of the disorganization at times. 

     
     
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  12. Lord Vectra

    Lord Vectra Master Eventer Veteran

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    Imma give you two examples.


    Look at my profile page on this forum, that is an example of someone who hasn't put much in.


    Look at another profile of mine on another forum: Link, that is an example of someone who has put a lot in.


    There is only one forum (I won't say names) of which I dislike and this forum is nowhere near that one. At least, with this one, people actually give you constructive criticism and when you reply, they actually reply back. They don't come back, see your reply, and then don't reply back (happened in all my posts in that forum (-_-)). At least you can bump your post on this one. It's not like "Oh, 0 replies in the past 3 days? You didn't get any help? Sorry, your thread will just have to die." (they don't say it like that, but they might as well). On this forum, you get, at least, 1 person that will talk to you. Not a bunch of posts that either one just stopped replying or you just have no comments at all.
     
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  13. Diretooth

    Diretooth Lv. 23 Werewolf Veteran

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    I've been to a lot of web fora, all of them are different, each fixating on an aspect of interest. I'll list a few, and my overall experiences and my observations of their actions toward newbies. This, however, is merely a relatively objective examination of my experiences elsewhere and some of my opinions of such.


    The very first actual forum I went to, The Dink Network, is a relatively small community centered around people who like and made mods for a game called Dink Smallwood. This is where I spent my noob days, learning how to interact with people over the internet despite being under thirteen. I occasionally see some of my earlier posts and cringe. The people, in general, were not too rude or condescending, and though it occasionally devolved into flame wars over religion and politics on occasion, in spite of actual good conversations on politics and religion, the people were friendly, helpful, and generally awesome. Even today, there are some who are newbie-friendly. My overall experience, however, can be best described as a roller coaster.
     


    Therian Communities (In general). I am a Therianthrope, a person who believes they are, non-physically, a non-Human animal. I've found kindred spirits on multiple communities dedicated to this. My experiences, in general, were positive, as all of the members were generally newbie friendly and were eager to help me with my overall dysphoria with my species. While there are certainly sites in this category that are not worth going to, primarily due to elitism, there are a lot that are friendly, even to people who are not Therian. These are the only communities I have been to aside from the aforementioned one that I've been to that spirituality is discussed in a polite manner. Even on fora that focus on spirituality and religion. The only negative, however, is people with elitist attitudes, which generally get banned within a few posts, or trolls who show up insulting everyone. Hell, I'm certain some of you guys would have good experiences with a few of them I've been to.


    Furaffinity. Dear GODS. The furry community is fascinating, my research into them for my stories has turned up quite a bit of interesting factoids, but holy hell is the official forums for that site not fun. Certainly, there are people who are genuinely nice and fun to chat with. But they are not very newb friendly, a lot of the forum-goers are just plain rude, and the drama can be overwhelming. Not to mention one troll decided to flood my message box with porn because I said I wasn't a furry. That particular fandom is not easy to research. Or interact with. Some of the artists? Especially the good ones? Very helpful. Just not on those forums.


    Deviantart. At least they didn't flood me with porn? But holy hell, the llamas. I don't know if I had a bad experience, or if I got on during the wrong moon phase or something, but the drama was even worse than FA.


    This site. I've actually enjoyed my time here, everyone is amazing, I've not had one person being patronizing even during my worst moments. Except for one member, I've not met anyone who's an obvious troll or rude. Though, I wouldn't really expect to see much politics or spiritual talk that isn't strictly in reference to a game someone was making.
     
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  14. mlogan

    mlogan Global Moderators Global Mod

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    I'm glad it seems you are trying to come to terms with this. Because yes, they are very different things. I've actually looked at your topics and you got some positive feedback. The thing is though, your tutorials were very specific. So, only people looking to implement those things in their games are going to watch your videos. And that's a small number of people here.


    So as you seem to be recognizing, you have to decide your motivation for making and posting videos. Is it truly because you want to help? Or because you want a lot of views? If it's the former, I would say, take it a step further. Post your tutorials, yes. Help the people who respond there. But, look through people's questions. You seem knowledgable. So, don't just post a tutorial on ABS systems, but look through and see if people are asking questions about ABS systems and answer them as you can.


    If you are wanting more views, make tutorials with a broader topic that more people will have questions over. But then, still go out and answer people's questions. Then they will be "hey, that jamalMV guy knows what he's talking about. Oh he has tutorials linked in his signature, I should give them a try."


    It all comes down to the effort you put in.
     
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  15. Scinaya

    Scinaya ~ Veteran

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    I took the time checking the podcast on background while drawing and ended up listening it to the end. I already had idea of what you felt from the topic's discussion. Don't get me wrong, when I say this, but I don't think the issue is communities per se, or what they have become nowadays. It sounds very personal problem to me and I say this as a person, who had terrible time finding out how to fit in even in university life (one'd expect it to be not too bad at that age, wouldn't they?).


    Perhaps large group discussions are just difficult for you. And that's okay. They're difficult to several people. There's most of the time vague topics that move on, before timid person can finally figure out, what they want to chime in with. There's more often than not several discussions between smaller sub sets of people going on and it can get overwhelming to follow one or pick one to follow. These are just examples of issues I've had with grouping. Similar things apply to forum topics (I'll just go with context of forum, since we are on the forum now, if that's fine), except, you'll likely have time to chime in. :>


    What I've noticed is that being interested and active on several regions of forum community will lead to getting know the people. Aside just topics, there's all the hidden communication too. There used to be IRC channel (idk about current situation), several smaller cliques here have Skype or Discord channels for coworking on projects or just discussion and then there's status discussions, blogs (do they still exists?), site external blogs, other RPG Maker related communities... It may seem exhausting, but truth is, people are not trying to exclude you, nor me, nor anyone really. There just is bunch of hidden connections, like invisible strings, that already bind people together, when you join a community as a new member. It is kinda lonely and even scary place to be at. The one new person with no connections to others, but if you give yourself time, you will build the connections. And you don't need to do all that all the time. I have received few life long friends, by just hanging first in IRC (and some people I haven't talked to in few years, but who I still remember fondly). First, you might feel ignored, but if you take your interest in seeing what the people are like there and joining in, you'll get slowly more to the discussions.


    Thing just is, not to try too hard... Desperately, trying to connect with others may end up you stuck with that assigned or self-assigned role that you assume while doing so. Sometimes it also happens, that there is no one too fitting to friend there at that moment. But it doesn't need to make your contributions completely vain or useless... There's huge amount of people in this community, I have barely commented to, but I still respect and enjoy seeing around.


    I'm of course not sure, but it sounds like slight issue with loneliness. (Sorry, if that is too meddlesome to comment on.) If so, it is terrible place to be in, but the only person, who can change that in the end is you. You seem to know already most of your issues, so perhaps you can try figure out what you can do? Discussion about communities overall is good though. Every place should try to check their atmosphere every now and then. Just good luck, here and elsewhere anyways, even if I was looking too deep onto your post and video! Stay around (if that feels good for you ofc!)! :>
     
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  16. jamalMV

    jamalMV Villager Member

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    FYI, I did write down a few point on paper before i did the video. But my anxiety got in the way and i'm sorry for that, I'm Sorry if was so long and i'm sorry if this comes across as rude as i don't mean it to sound that way.




    @ScinayaThank you for understanding the underlying issue, yes i am extremely lonely and i turned to the internet to try and fix that because in the real world i was struggling to make friends and form relationships with others because people always made feel like an outsider and would be complete dicks towards me every time i gave my time to them.


    @Palladinthug Forgive me if i don't sometime give a lot did you maybe think that out of fear of rejection or that what i do will not be good enough for others and not the fact that i'm just plain rude and expect people to acknowledge me without putting effort in.
     
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  17. mlogan

    mlogan Global Moderators Global Mod

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    What I see part of the problem as (and I could be wrong) is that you came online expecting friendships to be a lot easier. But no matter how you go about getting friends, it takes effort.


    I've always been a bit of an introvert (though that has increased greatly as I've gotten older). When I was in college, I worked at a summer camp as a counselor. I remember one particular day sitting in a room with other people and feeling lonely because all around me counselors were becoming amazingly close friends with each other and I didn't have that. And I remember wishing someone would just come over and talk to me. And then I had the thought, "What if someone is sitting there thinking the same about me?" It really changed my perspective.


    So, even though it wasn't easy, I tried reaching out more. And it worked. Not always, but it helped. There's some kids' book (can't remember which one) that says "to make a friend, you have to be a friend".


    I guess the simple idea is, people can't get to know you or become friends with you if you don't give them a chance to know you. Whether in real life or online, if you don't make some effort to interact, regardless of how hard that is for you, they simply cannot get to know you.
     
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  18. Lord Vectra

    Lord Vectra Master Eventer Veteran

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    Where have you been all my life? :o  


    SAME! I'm the only child who can rarely have people come to his house (or sometimes vise versa). My "friends" do make me feel like an outsider sometimes. My fear of rejection is not the same context, but rejection is rejection nonetheless.


    Luckily, on the internet, it is easier (due to the virtual benefit of anonymous), but it still takes effort. If you stick around, I'm sure you'll make tons of friends, and maybe even rule the forums. Maybe not that last one, but still lol


    *Hugs you until your eyes pop out, then I push'em back in* <= I do this about 5 times before I stop
     
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  19. Touchfuzzy

    Touchfuzzy Rantagonist Staff Member Lead Eagle

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    If I ever come off as cold or robotic, it is probably because I'm super tired and busy. Not an excuse, but an explanation. I don't post as often as I used to. Casual posting used to be a normal thing for me (I mean, hey, my whole life revolves around the fact that I casually posted a lot on an RPG Maker forum 10 years ago). Now it depends on how much my schedule frees up (honestly I should be writing something right now instead of posting >_>)


    I'll admit that I don't remember every username nowadays. I feel like I used to know everyone, but now I recognize people here and there.


    Cliqueishness is going to happen. It is inevitable. We should of course, try to include everyone, but it is fairly unconscious. Just seeing a name of someone I used to talk to a lot that I haven't shared words with in a while brightens me up (HI SCINAYA), But I do try to engage with people when they are talking about something that interests me. And I jump down to off topic and comment on random conversations there occasionally. I think it is important to try to not develop into closed off circles.


    I think most people though get a good impression of me. Maybe.
     
    #39
    Scinaya, Zeriab, RishigangiX and 3 others like this.
  20. HexMozart88

    HexMozart88 The Master of Random Garbage Veteran

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    I can't speak for everyone here, but I certainly do get a good impression of you  :)


    Same with most of the mods here actually. I see that they do try to be human when they can, so I try to be patient. It's hard to enforce the rules while still trying to be a "good guy".
     
    #40

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