Suggestion for removing subforums

#1
Taking a look at the new Programming section of the forum, it's nice to actually have multiple categories. However, I can't say I agree with how it's currently organized. Stepping back, I can feel that this extends all the way out through the entire forum. As-is, I feel that the woes of the last forum will manifest as people return and new users show up. To illustrate, lets start by evaluating the programming section. Currently, we have the following:
    Programming
  • Entities
  • Networking
  • Shaders and Rendering in General
  • Misc

I suggest it get revised to something like:
    Programming
  • Programming General
  • Game Code
  • Engine Code
  • Networking
  • Shaders

But even with such a change, I think the biggest problem is that sub-forums are being abused. People posting in the wrong place was a bane of the old forum. But it's hard to blame those users because they were given relatively very little information to make a decision on where to post. By making use of forum Categories as a topic instead of a collection, you have the opportunity to eliminate your use of sub-forums. When that is done, each discussion area is capable of having a description listed from the main page. If you were to actually sit down and write these descriptions, you may see that there are some redundancies. For example, why is there a forum dedicated to getting started with programming outside of the Programming section? Why is UI in multiple places? What is "Game Design - Sandbox" and what does it have to do with DCC assets, programming, and UI? I don't mean this to sound bad, but this layout reeks of the old forum and it's almost like all the reasons for making a forum dedicated to Crytek's current offerings were ignored. It feels like it was either designed by committee or someone who hasn't actually been involved with the community/engine.

Presume for a moment that someone wants to know how to load geometry into their entity and give it a material. In the current programming layout, do they post in the Entities forum or the Shaders and Rendering in General forum? Just with the names of the sub-forums, it would be hard to decide. In this newly proposed layout, the user has more information to make a decision.

Is it a general question? Kinda.
Is it game code? Yes.
Is it engine code? I don't know.
Is it networking? No.
Is it shaders? I don't think so.
Reviewing choices, game code is the only definite so it makes sense for such a question to be asked there. It makes the most sense to post in the Game Code forum.

If sub-forums go away, you have even more capacity to provide information beyond possibly vague forum names. I know in the old forum, "size" was thrown around as a reason for cramming everything into as tiny of a rendered space possible, but why should that be a thing now? The rules description is multiple line breaks tall. If it's still a concern, how about adding CSS buttons to collapse categories? Even then, why worry about it at all, considering Crytek is trying to provide customer service. The more information you provide to a customer, the easier of a time they may have. I've done a quick photoshop to show roughly how this could play out (see attachment).

Taking the issue I have with the current programming section, here is what I propose the forum could be organized into.
    News and Rules
  • Rules
  • Official Announcements

    Cryengine General
  • Cryengine Launcher - Forum for discussing issues with the Launcher, Projects, and Asset Management
  • Marketplace - Forum for the market
  • Feedback - Find a bug? Let us know (concentrate this idea into once place without the concept of builds. ask for build info as property of the bug)
  • Learning - Discussion concerning official learning resources and community tutorials
  • General Discussion - Community discussion for things related to Crytek and Cryengine
  • VR - Special interest forum for VR and AR users and developers (if VR first is still a thing, I expect general discussions surrounding it may start here with users then going to other parts of the forum)
  • Showcase Gallery - Show off your work

    Asset Pipeline
  • DCC Plugins and Tools - Discussion for tools provided by Crytek to bring your art assets into the engine
  • 3D Modeling and Animation
  • Materials
  • UI (Scaleform)
  • Audio

    Programming
  • Programming General
  • Game Code
  • Engine Code
  • Sandbox and Editor Plugins (when available)
  • Networking
  • Shaders

    Sandbox Level Editor (please step away from the term game design as it's too ill-defined)
  • Level Design General - Discussion for how to use Sandbox to create a level
  • Flowgraph and [New Flowgraph] - Discussion for how to use visual scripting to drive level events in Sandbox
  • Sandbox Tools - Discussion for Tools>et all
  • Default Entities - Discussion for how to make use of the Default Entities
  • Sandbox General - Discussion for everything else Sandbox

    Community
  • Web Services - Feedback for the Cryengine website, Answer Hub, Ideas Space, Road Map, Documentation, and Forums
  • Indie Fund (if this is still going to be a thing)
  • Off Topic - Everything not Crytek/Cryengine
  • Events and Meet Ups
  • Team Building - Forum for recruitment. Paid and not-paid. Free Agent
Attachments
after.jpg
after.jpg (170.31 KiB) Viewed 326 times

Re: Suggestion for removing subforums

#4
Zeph

These are all valid points and early on I am open to changing the forum to how the community would best find it useful. I kind of disagree on abolishing the sub-forums and will continue to hold strong on this. That is not to say the categories listed are not something we will seriously consider. Since after all the forum refresh is for the community to grow from and not for us to dictate control over.

If others have tips and suggestions we will look back over the responses and act quite quickly due to the ability to organize is a lot easier early on.

- Collin

Re: Suggestion for removing subforums

#5
collinbishop wrote:ZephI kind of disagree on abolishing the sub-forums and will continue to hold strong on this.

Worded in this way, it can sound bad. What I intend by saying remove sub-forums is in terms of the forums hierarchy only. Categories, Forums, and Sub-Forums are organizational means in terms of levels and placing the actual locations of discussion at the Sub-Forum level bypasses some of the tools that the forum provides. By removing Sub-Forums and placing discussion at the Forum level, more tools of the forum can be utilized. Of all the forums I've managed and frequented, this is the only one I've encountered that has typically held general discussions soo deep into the forum's hierarchy. The only things that get removed in the dictionary sense of the word are redundant forums (UI).

When used, Sub-Forums are typically structured in order to cater towards a niche like so.

Coding
- General
- Game Code
- Sandbox and Editor Plugins
- - Editor Plugin Releases
- Engine Code
etc

In light of my proposed layout, the Team Building category could make good use of them

...
- Events and Meet Ups
- Team Building
- - Paid
- - UnPaid
- - Talent Showcase

The Team Building Forum in this case may not be open for new topics, but at the index level it would be capable of holding a description. The Sub-Forums would be in line with that description verbosely due to their names as opposed to something like the current Programming Forum and its child Sub-Forums.

Re: Suggestion for removing subforums

#6
I agree with Collin here, Zeph and while some of your suggestions make sense and will be considered, they are coming from a very singular point of view.

We have designed the forum structure with three major angles in mind; three very different user groups with very different requirements that are vastly apart. Thus, we had to compromise when making a decision. The three groups mentioned are experts, newcomers and administrative staff.

All your suggestions come from your point as an expert user, mostly, and don't take into consideration that for community members new to CRYENGINE or game development in general, your very precise and specific naming of categories doesn't necessary make sense on first glance. But it's those newcomers that we want to welcome and make sure they find easy access to the community. Not presenting such an easy identifiable space might scare them away, and has, allegedly, in the past. and that's not even touching the behind-the-scenes stuff that has been decided due to security- or internal reasons which I won't talk about here because it carries the discussion too far.

Fact is: Somebody will always post something into the 'wrong' category and that's what moderation is for - we just have to make sure that over time, the community agrees on and educates one another as to where something makes the most sense. That said, if over time the majority of the community feels confused and uncomfortable about the categories, still, we won't force them on you, as Collin said, but make amendments.

So far I have heard vastly different feedback regarding the categories from people who like them, or want even more sub-levels or ways to segregate between specific topics - and we are looking into all of those so please keep them coming. Put please refrain from aggressively pushing people - or us - to see your point. :) Rest assured we read all your feedback carefully and will consider it.

Thanks!

PS:
I took one of your suggestions to heart and am renaming the Programming - Misc category. I feel like it's a too ambiguous name and 'Programming General' makes much more sense.
CRYENGINE Community Manager

I'm manning the CRYENGINE stations on Facebook & Twitter as well, so come and say hi!
My personal Twittering may contain nuts.

Get to know me.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest