Happy Day-After-Valentine's Day

Posted by noklu noklu
I would have posted this announcement on Valentine's Day as an expression of my love for you, but I forgot Valentine's Day was a thing.

Instead of the rose-red hearts that would adorn this announcement had it been posted on the 14th, I can give you a rundown of the work we've been doing behind the scenes and in front of the scenes to revitalise these forums. If you go to the main forum page, you may notice some restructuring. The skeleton of the forum still remains largely the same, but it is now streamlined and generally better. Trust me. Along with the forum restructuring, we have been writing FAQs that essentially explain anything and everything. Eventually, there will be a FAQ for nearly every forum, explaining individual quirks and guidelines, and all held together by the keystone thread: the Reaching Perfection FAQ Hub. It currently only has one complete FAQ within it.

That FAQ is our Membership FAQ. Some of you may not know about our membership system. Some of you older and returning members (hello there, how have you been?) may remember it. If you want to learn, need a refresher, or want to be entertained – I promise! – follow that link. Our membership system makes a distinction between people who have registered an account and people who have joined the community. The latter are called "full members".

FAQ wrote

What's full membership?

Full membership is what makes this forum different.

Full members are those who have shown themselves to be truly members of our community. Here at ReachingPerfection, we're not interested in large member counts. We are interested in valued members and friends. Those who have earned their place here gain recognition of their participation in our community.
For full details on how to become a full member (very easy), what happens if you go inactive (arduous cataclysms), and why you want to become one (free cookies), visit the Membership FAQ.

Moving Forward: Our Vision

Another FAQ that has been written is the Game Design Discussion FAQ. That FAQ was one of the first to be written because we felt it was integral to this forum. Game Design has always been the heart of this forum. It's how it began, it's how it grew, and it's how we will move forward. GodlyPerfection puts it best:

GodlyPerfection wrote
So a big part of this blog was centered around looking at forge from a game designer perspective, rather than just a "forger". A broader aspect on a specific tool... a way of applying what we know from game design to forge and from forge to game design. So to "revitalize" what RP is I say that we take the plunge into the full aspect of design. While a lot of us have gone our separate ways in terms of Halo Forge, most of us still appreciate the decisions and reasoning behind game design decisions.

The level design resources were a great source of discussion for you guys who have taken a look over at it. It was a way of getting people to look at general level design and then re-apply it back to forge in general. I think reworking the game design section to mimic what the level design section did may be a solid way to go. Those who aren't really deep in the field may feel like content is sparse, but there are dozens of articles being written everyday about game design topics.

One of my major sources for game design has always been the Gamasutra Blogs. It was the place where I used to get the forge lessons published for other game designers to read. If we can get some of the old members and current members to start regularly discussing select blog posts I think eventually I can start posting the links to our discussions as a comment on the Gamasutra blog posts and we can use that forum as the main draw for anyone who finds the subject of game design interesting. There are thousands of resources out there that people don't know about and I think bringing attention to them would be great.

Even the Armored Core V players could appreciate some of the topics. They don't need to want to be game designers, but as gamers themselves I'm sure they have their own opinions on the design of games. Here is a good blog post that took two seconds to find on Gamasutra about Player Skill, Character Skill, and Skill Progression Systems. I'm sure those who have played RPGs have their own thoughts on the matter. I think it would foster a much more engaged community and allow us to get to know each other better by having these deeper discussions. It would only be a matter of picking one of the featured articles on gamasutra's front page.
I've spent time doing a nip-and-tuck job on the Game Design Discussion forum for you guys, and there is a lot of good discussion floating through there - so check it out and enjoy. As an occasional amateur designer, a design theorist, and a player, I find these resources immensely useful. Understand how games work allows you to play them better. It allows you to adjust your playstyle or mech builds in response to the limitations and mechanics of a game. Design is not just for designers. It is for all of us.

Promotions and Retirements

You saw earlier the link to the Membership FAQ. If you read that, some of you will realise you are eligible for earning your own portfolio but some will realise they may be retired from full membership. Remember, retirement does not mean account-deletion. We plan to do our first promotion round of 2013 on March 1. If you are a returning full member, we encourage you to start threads and reply to them forum-wide, especially in the Game Design Discussion forum. If you do not have full membership and want it, you can essentially do the same. It is very easy to earn full membership. Just chill.

If you know anyone else that may be interested in joining us – so if they like game design, Halo, or ACV – then spread the word. The more, the merrier.

If you are a returning member, reply here so we can keep track of you and don't, by accident, retire you on March 1. You can also start a thread in Introductions, as can anyone else who hasn't introduced themselves or feels like doing so again.

Closing Out

It is the day after Valentine's Day. Well, for me in Australia, it is the day after the day after Valentine's Day. I live in the future. Perhaps I therefore have a career in long-distance fortune-telling. My international-date-line enhanced foretelling ability tells me that this forum has good things in it's future. We just need to make it so.