WHY ARE THESE FORUMS RELATIVELY INACTIVE?

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Ha, yeah I guess it was silly to assume my numbers are similar to everyone else's when it's been a long while since I actually made any RPGs with RPGmaker. For those, I'd definitely think RM would be a better source of organic traffic. (I still kind of think itch.io gamepages make the RM equivalent not as enticing to new users, though, and I don't think either site is a good source of organic traffic without heavy promotion)

And I don't mean to say RM or its forums are obsolete, by the way -- I'm set up for monthly server donations and I still check the site daily. Sites/forums are better suited for a lot of things (and I think it's ridiculous the discord has a tutorials/assets channel when RMN is /right there/). But as for "why are the forums inactive?" I do think it's the alternatives available elsewhere, not that they're mobile unfriendly or have outdated design or w/e
Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
20073
LordBlueRouge
the one instance that immediately comes to mind is that dude who made that really cool XenoGears battle system about 2 or 3 years ago in one of the more recent rpgmaker engines?


That was AlexNoah.
iddalai
RPG Maker 2k/2k3 for life, baby!!
2160
author=Darken
People landing into this site are gonna think they time travelled back to 2010 let's be real.


..and that's bad because?

Peer pressure is the issue. It's what made everyone get smartphones and what made everyone believe that "old stuff" is suddenly bad so we need to "update and get with the times!"...

author=psy_wombats
Also I don't think Discord "killed" the site any more than the Slack killed it, or the Skype killed it, or the IRC killed it before that.


You simply cannot compare the popularity of Discord with the other messaging services. Discord has become overwhelmingly popular much more so than any of the other mentioned services.
While Discord was not the sole offender, it was a major factor in RMN's current state.

This isn't directed at anyone is particular:

Can't check the forums on a smartphone? Maybe don't check them on a smartphone then. If someone is unwilling to set aside some time to do things right and use a proper computer, then maybe the issue isn't the forums.
When using a smartphone and Discord because it "makes things easier" is the excuse to continuing to pursue a hobby, then maybe that hobbyist mindset is already on life support. The same goes for just chatting in forums.
author=iddalai
Can't check the forums on a smartphone? Maybe don't check them on a smartphone then. If someone is unwilling to set aside some time to do things right and use a proper computer, then maybe the issue isn't the forums.

100% right !

Even if a game ends running on a phone, phones are impractical to develop a game on. Phones are killing creativity ! (on top of controlling you)
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
20742
making the site mobile "workable" has been on my todo list since 2014
author=iddalai
author=Darken
People landing into this site are gonna think they time travelled back to 2010 let's be real.
..and that's bad because?

Peer pressure is the issue. It's what made everyone get smartphones and what made everyone believe that "old stuff" is suddenly bad so we need to "update and get with the times!"...


Because the site doesn't even match most monitor's resolutions anymore? The thumbnails only look great on a 800x600 monitor? The site has a bunch of useability issues? Because I'd like peoples games to be showcased better? Because the site has always been updated... why stop now? I'm talking about making the site better to use so that it's a smooth experience. I use the site as much as anyone else and I would like to IMPROVE THINGS. There are ways to improve the site without tacking on things nobody wants. But sure strawman me with "new = good, old = bad" because going beyond that would require nuance and understanding how people use things. If you're not interested in improving the site then there's no discussion here.

Being able to post from a seperate device easier is just an example of why people are more active and can facilitate it in their daily lives. I mean I post on RMN from the phone anyway (it's just kind of annoying), but it's not some holistic activity it's just sending text to a server. "Don't like it don't use it" is not even an argument and is ridiculous lol. Don't think there's a back and forth worth having on that front.
I actually mostly use RMN from my phone, except for major updates or posting things for my games. But in regards to resistance to change or technological updates, it's kind of a moot point. Technology isn't bad, neither is modernization. If it was, we'd all still be using coal in our engines and heating our homes with fireplaces.
I don't use Discord much for anything but isn't it just the latest evolution of a chatroom?
It strikes me as useful for the members who want to focus on social interaction and immediate feedback. It's a complement, not a replacement.

The forum is better for other things, like keeping track of a specific discussion and new threads and increasing their visibility, which is very useful to me as an artist who gets most of his commissions from the Job Board.

Also, why doesn't RMN have a TikTok account yet? :P
author=Avee
I don't use Discord much for anything but isn't it just the latest evolution of a chatroom?
It strikes me as useful for the members who want to focus on social interaction and immediate feedback. It's a complement, not a replacement.

The forum is better for other things, like keeping track of a specific discussion and new threads and increasing their visibility, which is very useful to me as an artist who gets most of his commissions from the Job Board.

Also, why doesn't RMN have a TikTok account yet? :P


Donation goals to get Libby and Avee to do those TikTok dances that are popular with the kids. Hello fellow children, we are hip with the hop.

Avee doesn't use Discord because she can't have animated schoolgirl avatar.
iddalai
RPG Maker 2k/2k3 for life, baby!!
2160
author=Darken
Because the site doesn't even match most monitor's resolutions anymore? The thumbnails only look great on a 800x600 monitor? The site has a bunch of useability issues? Because I'd like peoples games to be showcased better? Because the site has always been updated... why stop now?


I can see how the really bad useablility issues should be addressed. The rest not so much.

From where I'm standing, a large part of the userbase still seems to be using RPG Maker 2000/2003. Not too sure if those users will feel bothered with low resolutions and such.

All this for what? A modern website is not going to attract new people into this. Only very specific types will wander into RMN. This isn't mainstream.

It's not like it's gonna happen either way, things seem to be getting grim when it comes to funds. For now it would be good enough to at least keep the website running.

author=Darken
I'm talking about making the site better to use so that it's a smooth experience. I use the site as much as anyone else and I would like to IMPROVE THINGS. There are ways to improve the site without tacking on things nobody wants.


You see, I can agree with this. But it's completely different from saying "People landing into this site are gonna think they time travelled back to 2010 let's be real".

However, I bet that what we'll actually get with those so called "improvements" will be an inferior website than the current RMN (warts and all). That's how these things go. I'm not even blaming anyone in the site Administration, I actually believe they are doing (and will do) what they think is best, but modern technology is engineered to collapse.

author=Darken
But sure strawman me with "new = good, old = bad" because going beyond that would require nuance and understanding how people use things. If you're not interested in improving the site then there's no discussion here.


Oh, stop with that strawman bullshit. We get it, you have a high opinion of yourself.

author=Darken
"Don't like it don't use it" is not even an argument and is ridiculous lol. Don't think there's a back and forth worth having on that front.


When Discord is the alternative, then "Don't like don't use it" starts to make a lot of sense! What does it matter if RMN's community is thriving, when all that means is that a bunch of new users are playing forum games or discussing non-game design topics over at Discord?

But you're certainly right about one thing, there's no back and forth worth having with you.

author=Strak
But in regards to resistance to change or technological updates, it's kind of a moot point. Technology isn't bad, neither is modernization. If it was, we'd all still be using coal in our engines and heating our homes with fireplaces.


I strongly disagree. Not all modernization and technology is as beneficial as the alternative to coal engines and fireplaces. Technology is a tool, and tools can be used for both good and evil.

Netflix, Steam, Spotify, etc, are good examples of detrimental modernization, where you no longer truly own what you buy or even choose what to consume, instead you rent it by means of a subscription and let others pick what to consume on your behalf.

author=Avee
It's a complement, not a replacement.


Once people stop posting in the forums, then you can bet Discord will replace the forums. I don't believe it was planned, but I believe it will happen.
Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
20073
Concerning funds, there is something of a donation drive happening right now. Please consider pitching in if you can.
author=iddalai
From where I'm standing, a large part of the userbase still seems to be using RPG Maker 2000/2003. Not too sure if those users will feel bothered with low resolutions and such.

Citation needed, just a quick glance and you'll see that there are more RPG Maker VX games posted than RM2K/3 combined (not even getting into MZ or MV). at best it's the largest gathering of RM2K/3 users but a huge portion definately use the latter makers. Even if that was true the average user is likely using a 1920x1080 monitor, the text and scalability is SMALL without compensation (see those empty blue bars in the background of the site?). If you boot up an RM2K3 game it will upscale to compensate. This justification makes no sense, a preferred game engine doesn't affect how the common user browses a site.

author=iddalai
All this for what? A modern website is not going to attract new people into this. Only very specific types will wander into RMN. This isn't mainstream.

Well for myself I'd like to just be able the navigate and use the site a little better. People DO post games here, and if the experience is even slightly improved then maybe it'll help out with other aspects like say retention or activity. Which is why I'm saying in the previous sentence that it's the harder/longer roundabout answer to the structural aspects to site. You're the only person who mentioned mainstream here.

author=iddalai
When Discord is the alternative, then "Don't like don't use it" starts to make a lot of sense!

Well for me it's not an alternative? I don't use Discord for community stuff, Discord is way less passive and not the same thing. I use RMN and I would like it to be more active, I post blogs, I shitpost on the forums, argue for fun, I check on archival games. I prefer communicating in long form especially between gamedev. I would like the thing I currently use to be better. Again your suggestion is reductive.

author=iddalai
I strongly disagree. Not all modernization and technology is as beneficial as the alternative to coal engines and fireplaces. Technology is a tool, and tools can be used for both good and evil.

Netflix, Steam, Spotify, etc, are good examples of detrimental modernization, where you no longer truly own what you buy or even choose what to consume, instead you rent it by means of a subscription and let others pick what to consume on your behalf.

Let's actually unpack this here. You state that technology can be used for good or evil, then you say some examples of it being used for evil. Your examples don't disprove the merit of technology modernization though, just the evil intent. In fact subscription based models and ownership has more to do with policies/laws and the underlying state of capitalism/monopoly than technology.

That's not the same thing as suggesting an improved webpage UX or whatever. RMN has no incentive to make the overall experience worse for the sake of profit (that I know of yet). It's better to attack something for its own merit than putting it under an umbrella and then saying the umbrella is bad for different reasons. Otherwise you're conflating unrelated bad things with specific improvement suggestions when you should be critizing the suggestions themselves which you conceded to some anyway.
author=iddalai
When Discord is the alternative, then "Don't like don't use it" starts to make a lot of sense! What does it matter if RMN's community is thriving, when all that means is that a bunch of new users are playing forum games or discussing non-game design topics over at Discord?

while the discord is admittedly 10:1 general chat to gamedesign chat, there is still way /way/ more on-topic discussion there than on the forums, especially for the newer generation of users that only picked up the software via Steam sales and aren't 10year+ vets, even for 2k/3.
iddalai
RPG Maker 2k/2k3 for life, baby!!
2160
author=Darken
Citation needed, just a quick glance and you'll see that there are more RPG Maker VX games posted than RM2K/3 combined (not even getting into MZ or MV). at best it's the largest gathering of RM2K/3 users but a huge portion definately use the latter makers. Even if that was true the average user is likely using a 1920x1080 monitor, the text and scalability is SMALL without compensation (see those empty blue bars in the background of the site?). If you boot up an RM2K3 game it will upscale to compensate. This justification makes no sense, a preferred game engine doesn't affect how the common user browses a site.


Never stated it as a fact nor did I say rm2k/3 were the majority, as I said: from where I'm standing. I.E.: personal experience.
Every time I come here there seems to be a large number of rm2k/3 games being worked on and some new ones.
As I said, it doesn't bother me. I can afford to use a lower resolution on my monitor. I know I'm not in the majority.
If people are OK with using an RPG Maker from the years 2000/2003, then I don't see how those same people would have an issue with a website from "2010". That's where I'm coming from.

author=Darken
Well for myself I'd like to just be able the navigate and use the site a little better. People DO post games here, and if the experience is even slightly improved then maybe it'll help out with other aspects like say retention or activity. Which is why I'm saying in the previous sentence that it's the harder/longer roundabout answer to the structural aspects to site. You're the only person who mentioned mainstream here.


Sure, I can get behind that. I mentioned mainstream because it seems that's what all those "improvements" are aimed at. To make the experience better for people who really wouldn't care about RMN otherwise.

author=Darken
Well for me it's not an alternative? I don't use Discord for community stuff, Discord is way less passive and not the same thing. I use RMN and I would like it to be more active, I post blogs, I shitpost on the forums, argue for fun, I check on archival games. I prefer communicating in long form especially between gamedev. I would like the thing I currently use to be better. Again your suggestion is reductive.


I don't use or like Discord. And while I don't use the forums often, I still prefer them to Discord and think they should be kept for all the information and history they have.

My suggestion may be reductive, but it works for me and needs less funds. Your suggestion seems unfeasible right now. It's my understanding that it's hard enough to keep the website afloat.

Now, "shitposting" and "arguing for fun"? You're practically admitting that you argue for the sake of arguing. How can I trust what you say?

author=Darken
Let's actually unpack this here. You state that technology can be used for good or evil, then you say some examples of it being used for evil. Your examples don't disprove the merit of technology modernization though, just the evil intent. In fact subscription based models and ownership has more to do with policies/laws and the underlying state of capitalism/monopoly than technology.


Subscription base models exist because the infrastructure and technology necessaries were finally available. What you are missing is that said infrastructure and technology was purposefully created for that sole objective. Politics are also involved, yes, but without developing the necessary infrastructure and technology they wouldn't get very far.

If that isn't enough for you then I can say that the majority of modern appliances will last much less than say, appliances with the same use made 15 years ago.

It may be that such technology was made to fail after a certain period, and you may (correctly) assess that it's not an improvement of said technology. However those appliances are officially sold as being the latest sate-of-the-art technology. A modernization of the old decrepit technology (as marketing would put it). Even if that is a marketing lie, it essentially means that in our current world the modernization of technology leads to an inferior technology.

So when we talk about the modernization of something, it has a negative connotation.

Apply this to anything: food, music, videogames, films, books, constructions, cars, etc. A website update wouldn't be any different.

author=Darken
That's not the same thing as suggesting an improved webpage UX or whatever. RMN has no incentive to make the overall experience worse for the sake of profit (that I know of yet). It's better to attack something for its own merit than putting it under an umbrella and then saying the umbrella is bad for different reasons. Otherwise you're conflating unrelated bad things with specific improvement suggestions when you should be critizing the suggestions themselves which you conceded to some anyway.


Indeed it's not the same thing. But I have no reason to believe that the final result won't be inferior.

Neither was I saying RMN was doing it on purpose for profit. However, those who made the programs/etc necessary for a new updated modernized website to happen, may have the incentive.

The umbrella is as bad as what's beneath it. And sometimes that same umbrella was manufactured by what's beneath it. Then there's whoever is holding the umbrella.

They're not unrelated to me, or I wouldn't mention them.

I already criticized the suggestions: there's not enough money to keep RMN afloat, let alone update it and modernize it.

author=Marrend
Concerning funds, there is something of a donation drive happening right now. Please consider pitching in if you can.


I wish I could.

author=psy_wombats
while the discord is admittedly 10:1 general chat to gamedesign chat, there is still way /way/ more on-topic discussion there than on the forums, especially for the newer generation of users that only picked up the software via Steam sales and aren't 10year+ vets, even for 2k/3.


That's something, I guess. But I still feel that Discord isn't the way to go.

I think that if there was no Discord, that new generation of new users would probably be on the Steam forums, regardless of RMN being modernized or not. It just feels that if people will only talk about RPG Maker because there's a Discord, then the issue isn't really with RMN or the forums, but the people themselves. Times have changed.

That said, I understand that it's in RMN's best interest to adapt.

Unlike someone said earlier, I don't care if "RMN lives on" if that means becoming something completely different.
I won't argue with everything here, just cause it's honestly not worth the effort, but I will say this. Technology is evolving. Whether we like it or not, whether it's fair or not, things change. You think record stores are happy that Spotify exists? Is it fair to them that it exists? No, but life isn't fair. Advancements to technology and infrastructure will inevitably push out otherwise successful industries and potentially reduce the economic benefit of creators of intellectual property, but that's life. Here's my perspective. Either we can keep up with evolving technology, including adapting to the immense shift from PC's to mobile devices and the ever increasing number of users that check these websites from mobile devices, or we can be swept away by it. If RMN doesn't keep up with the times, it will ultimately be replaced by other communities that are, such as Itch and Steam, regardless of whether or not those communities offer the same as what we get here. Is that fair? Maybe not, but the point is that technology is changing whether we like it or not. We can either react to it, or adapt to it. That doesn't mean we need to ditch the forums or change any of the features of the site, we could literally accomplish that just with an overhaul of the UI and the mobile responsiveness of the website. That's it.

As for how this can be done, yes, finances are necessary. Which is why I'm happy to have donated. Guess I won't drink Starbucks this week. Oh well. I vote with my spending dollar who I want to see succeed and progress, and I want to see RMN remain strong for years to come. That's more important to me than having a sandwich at McDonald's.

That's just my 2ยข. Make of it what you will.
author iddalai
Subscription base models exist because the infrastructure and technology necessaries were finally available. What you are missing is that said infrastructure and technology was purposefully created for that sole objective. Politics are also involved, yes, but without developing the necessary infrastructure and technology they wouldn't get very far.


There's been subscriptions before netflix you know, like magazines and stuff. You can take out whatever's enforcing the subscription model in Netflix and basically have 2006 Youtube . Youtube eventually got ads and has a subscription model nobody uses but the technology came first and vastly improved how we consume video first and formost. A lot of technology is made first because some privledged whiz kid stumbled into an idea and then a bigger company buys it and milks it for what it's worth. That's like every runaway tech success story, when it isn't, it's still not hard to seperate innovation from exploitation. There are entire industries that are publicly funded and improve our lives purely because they exist to serve the public, and yes, also thanks to advancements and the passage of time.

author=iddalai
Neither was I saying RMN was doing it on purpose for profit. However, those who made the programs/etc necessary for a new updated modernized website to happen, may have the incentive.


I didn't say you thought that but adding a "may" doesn't really take away from your admitted belief *shrug*. That said RMN is a hobbyist site made by and for hobbyists. It's a donation driven library essentially. I trust the admins to maintain that much. If I was suggesting it to be a for-profit or implementing a revenue model and way to enforce it then there'd be cause for conern.

Just clean slate on the matter before the modernization debate goes into more circles, like forgetting all previous posts/statements for a second:

I think RMN needs to adapt somewhat. Not pivot to a brand new thing or anything, but just enough that someone with a commonly used display device can interact with it. I don't mind getting new users I don't want this to be a cranky old person ground. I say this as a fucking dinosaur of an RM user who runs a blog about rm2k/3 games and cannot bring myself to play any game beyond VX. I've been on this site since I was 16 years old (30 now jesus). I love this site even during my most pessimistic jaded phases. I would also not consider myself an arbiter on what RMN's culture should shift to or ought to be. Just that there'd be some optimism and forward positive change. Hopefully that's not asking too much.
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
28444
Yes, I start with a direct response to something Darken said, but this is mostly directed at the entire conversation here.

RMN did adapt. The RMN server on Discord isn't somehow not RMN. There seems to be the idea that the RMN Discord server somehow exists in isolation from this website it's a little irritating considering the Discord server would be basically useless outside sharing memes and giving each other on-the-spot gammak advice if this site didn't exist. Tutorials and resources link right back here. Events that are managed there basically can't work without a corresponding page here (the games that come out of events would have to have another archive or we couldn't present them.).

If this site were for some reason to close down, it would mean having to go to another site in order for the Discord server to even function in the capacity we're using it for. RMN has adapted. Nothing has replaced or is threatening to replace this site. That isn't even close to true. It barely replaces even the forum section and is too impractical to use as an archive. You certainly can't put organized tutorials into a reply post on Help Me as you can here.

Moreover, Discord has helped this forum expand. Art, videogame, and media threads aren't languishing in obscurity like they always have here. We now have a growing group of active TTRPG developers and users.

This thread, which started as, "People don't talk much here because there are places that are better for that,"--which is true--has turned into "Discord is killing rpgmaker.net," which has absolutely no basis in reality. Discord CAN'T replace nearly any of RMN's core functionality--game pages, resource archives, event hosting (it can partially supplement event hosting, but that's about it.). It has no framework for it. None of these external social media apps can handle what RMN does. It's frankly not what they're designed for. Whatever threat there is to RMN's continued existence, it's not Discord. Frankly, it's like saying Twitter will make RMN obsolete.

Roden said it best just now, as I'm writing this. Discord could replace the "What are you thinking about right now" thread.
Discord is not killing the site. It's opening avenues for more people to talk in real time to each other, which is the natural progression of the forum-based conversations. The site is still active, we still get games and have events and they're site-centric because Discord isn't set up to make game pages or hold sign-up events.

The most affect it has on the site is help forums and random chatting (welp, usually, but mainly just interactions with each other and showing off what we're making in real time.)

The site isn't just the forums - and the forums are used to communicate in more long-term ways.

Discord handles the short-term and fast-and-furious interactions, whilst the forum handles the long-term and languid ones. They're both useful and both get used. Cutting off discord would be like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Sure you can do it but why would you when it brings more people to the site and opens us up to more interaction with each other, more often, allowing for more than just game-centric talk and interaction?

The site is more important than the discord because that's what the discord is built on - this community - but removing the discord won't magically make people want to talk here and will close doors instead.

I prefer to have our cake and eat it too.
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