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General Forge Forums => Site Discussion => Topic started by: Ron Edwards on November 01, 2010, 09:39:39 AM



Title: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Ron Edwards on November 01, 2010, 09:39:39 AM
Hi everybody,

I aim to move the Forge into its winter stage by the end of the year. For those of you who don't know this, I announced quite a while ago that the Forge was never intended to be a permanent site. Especially since, well, bluntly, I (and Clinton, and Ed Healy, and a lot of other people active at the founding) have unequivocally won the battle we wanted to win. "The Big Bang has Bung," I like to say.

That's the main reason besides time and effort that I have never tried to update the Forge into a physical format more suited to 2010 rather than 1999.

However, it's been a slow process to downsize, and sometimes stalled. That's a time and effort thing too, but it's also a matter of deciding exactly how. You see, I want the site to be good throughout the whole process - it may surprise some of you, but I do not think downsizing and closure are a bad thing and necessarily about disuse, stagnation, and failure. I'm kind of hoping the final phase, "winter," will be a really good thing.

Vincent and I came up with a partial plan, which we'll iron out in terms of software and policy details for a little while before implementing. Comments are welcome, but bear in mind, this is not a democracy and your input may well be ignored. The main reason I'm posting it is policy transparency, so you can decide whether the winter-Forge is somewhere you care about and think you can make use of.

1. Most publisher forums will be moved to the Archives. I am hoping that we can either continue to host or to transfer forums to the publishers' ownership, if desired, but they will no longer be an active feature via the Forge page itself. (Please do not post with helpful software advice. Vincent will make his own decisions about that, and I frankly know nothing about it, so it won't help me.)

1'. For purposes of blunt self-interest, the Lumpley and Adept forums will remain, at least for a while. Or maybe they'll go with the others if the whole transfer-technology proves to be easy.

2. The Conventions and Connections forums will go to the Archives. Those services can be picked up by anyone who wants to start them elsewhere.

3. Some of the First Thoughts functions and the Playtesting function will be combined into "Development," which is intended to be a very practical forum about games in design. First Thoughts will go the Archives and Actual Play will go back to where it once was, the top of the page, with an introduction encouraging first users to post there (and how).

4. The current Endeavor forum(s) will go into the Archives, but temporary versions will be implemented on request for a given project. So you know, I'm thinking of resurrecting the Ronnies in early December, in somewhat more practical form.

Well, that was pretty much what Vincent and I talked about. To summarize, the forums are to become (in order), Actual Play, Development, Publishing, and sometimes a specific Endeavor; plus perhaps the Adept and Lumpley forums until they find their new homes.

Let Vincent know if you want your Publisher forum to stay active and you can work out the details of how and all that in that computer talk.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Jonathan Walton on November 01, 2010, 08:24:05 PM
Congratulations on the Forge being successful enough that you can shut parts of it down.  That's a serious accomplishment, Ron, no question, and a testament to how important it has been as an instrument of change.

As a sidenote, if we can keep the special Game Chef 2010 Endeavor forum going through early December, when the playoffs will wrap up this year's activities, that would be great.  The Forge has been a great co-host this year and I'd definitely be interested in coming back here for 2011 if Game Chef is the kind of periodic, productive endeavor that you and Vincent are still interested in supporting.  But if not, we'll make something else work.


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: mcdaldno on November 01, 2010, 08:28:19 PM
Ron,

This is really cool.

The Forge unlocked so many ideas and design processes for me. And for the roleplaying game world, I think.
I think that you're right: it's achieved so many of its goals and helped realize so many diverse potentials.
And it's right and just that it come to a close.

So: props. cheers. good choice.


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Frank Tarcikowski on November 02, 2010, 12:22:48 AM
Huh. Seems like I've been preaching to the choir (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forge/index.php?topic=30496.msg281568#msg281568). So, winter is coming? I'm looking forward to it.

- Frank


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: matthijs on November 02, 2010, 01:54:16 AM
Congratulations to all the people who created & maintained the Forge! Well done. You've done an amazing thing for a lot of people, and I'm personally very grateful for it.


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Jim D. on November 02, 2010, 06:27:26 AM
I'm glad to see we're still keeping Dev and AP -- those are the most useful places for my purposes.

Incidentally, having done a modicum of archive reading, I can safely say you guys did some amazing work, and I'm glad to have found this resource; it opened up my eyes to the things that RPGs can do, and the things major RPGs don't.  I personally have about five times more fun gaming now than I ever did before.

Thank you, Vince, Ron, and everyone who fought the good fight to make this happen.


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Teataine on November 02, 2010, 10:17:20 AM
I just wanted to say that I applaud this decision. (particularly the new Development merger)


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Ron Edwards on November 02, 2010, 10:32:16 AM
Thanks for the kind words.

Jonathan, the current Game Chef Endeavor is certainly going to stay up through its whole course. That's exactly the sort of thing I hope to see running throughout the final phase, one or two at a time.

My current thinking on the Development forum is that the Forge will no longer be a place for initial musings on game designs. Playtested or not, the project in question should be a project with some kind of real material basis - a website, a document, anything like that. The whole point is to be more of a literal forge, a workshop where things are being made. I expect traffic to drop somewhat but I hope the existing traffic will be very productive.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Moreno R. on November 02, 2010, 11:54:58 AM
I just returned from 5 days at the Lucca Comics and RPGs fair, and people called me saying "the Forse is closing"

Well, the eventual "coming of the winter" is public knowledge from something like 2005, so my initial reaction was "already? It's too soon!" (but with the tone of voice one usually use for "the sky is falling! The sky is falling!")

Reading this thread I realize that the reports of the Forge death have been greatly exaggerated, and I like many of these changes (putting the actual play forum to the top again, for example). But at the same time, I am worried about any change that would give the impression to people that the Forge is not THE place to talk about actual play and design anymore. Not because of forum rivalry or something stupid like that, but because..  well, there is still not any other forum that could take the Forge's place on that aspect (not even the one I am moderator of, I have no illusion about that). And after 5 years from the Forge Diaspora, this is not improving (rather the other way around)



Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Jonathan Walton on November 02, 2010, 12:21:50 PM
That sounds great, Ron.  Just like in Mouse Guard, it seems like the winter phase is going to be pretty awesome!


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Rafu on November 02, 2010, 12:53:02 PM
But at the same time, I am worried about any change that would give the impression to people that the Forge is not THE place to talk about actual play and design anymore. Not because of forum rivalry or something stupid like that, but because..  well, there is still not any other forum that could take the Forge's place on that aspect (not even the one I am moderator of, I have no illusion about that). And after 5 years from the Forge Diaspora, this is not improving (rather the other way around)

If the war is over and "we" won, we no longer have the need for a citadel, don't you think? The time has come for all of the harbors and marketplaces of the world to become a little more like the Forge, instead of the Forge being a singular "special place".


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Chris_Chinn on November 02, 2010, 02:10:22 PM
Quote
Not because of forum rivalry or something stupid like that, but because..  well, there is still not any other forum that could take the Forge's place on that aspect (not even the one I am moderator of, I have no illusion about that). And after 5 years from the Forge Diaspora, this is not improving (rather the other way around)

Keeping discussion on focus is a difficult and very labor intensive thing- and so far, no one has come up with an alternative.   

Secondarily, it's also a lot easier to get social reward by forming social forums around "We're excited about this thing!" than it is to build forums, educate people in treating it in a goal-oriented manner, and then having to be the moderator who constantly has to remind everyone to stay focused.

While a lot of people developed great networks of folks to design -with-, carrying over the lessons from the Forge for their own work, there hasn't been a lot of good passing along of that information to newcomers or to the public at large.

When the Forge finally does close, the real question is whether this understanding can be passed along or if it'll be a wheel folks will have to re-invent.  (Several lessons, in terms of play, design, and publishing have been well absorbed already, so those will be fine, at least).

Chris


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Christoph Boeckle on November 03, 2010, 03:15:29 AM
Hello

Looking forward to the winter phase too! Ron, what do you mean by the "physical format more suited to 2010 rather than 1999" (my emphasis)?


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Moreno R. on November 03, 2010, 05:57:32 AM
At this moment, I am trying to explain the "4 seasons" concept to people in the Italian forums who never played Ars Magica and are still in the "the sky is falling, the forge will close at the end of the year" phase (but I have seen that it's a very common misconception even in the American forums). To explain how the concept apply to the Forge, Ron, what do you think was the transition from Spring to Summer?  (I suppose Autumn started with the closing of the theory subforums, the site reorganization and the start of the "two year" policy at the Forge Booth)

@Rafu: the Forge never was a "Citadel", not a fortified and closed one at least. If Ron like the Ars Magica Covenant metaphor, I am not against the coming of the Winter. The problem is that I really don't see any other covenant like it not even in Spring phase. Most of the ones that started at the time of the diaspora become deranged like Calabais.  So the Forge is still "a singular Special Place" by fact, not by my desire.


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Ron Edwards on November 03, 2010, 09:18:22 AM
Hi everyone,

The interview thread Moreno linked to has some text about this that I'll paraphrase here.

The beginning of Winter doesn't mean the end of the Forge. The end of the Winter is the end of the Forge.

Here's what I want to clarify about the content of Winter, which has only become clear in my own mind over the past few months.

1. The duration of Winter is not pre-set. Autumn lasted for three years, for instance, somewhat longer than I'd informally expected. I have no idea how long the Winter will be.

2. The activities during Winter will be much more directed toward the production of games, rather than merely musing and speculating about them. The bulk of the current function of First Thoughts will become off-topic for the site, so don't think that the new Development forum is merely combining First Thoughts and Playtesting. It's more like Playtesting without the absolutely strict playtesting requirement, instead with a concrete requirement in terms of available documents.

3. I'd like to encourage a focus on discovering and highlighting outstanding intellectual issues about role-playing, especially those which still seem problematic in the context of the Big Model, but not limited to that construction. I'd also like to encourage a more dedicated actual play discussion culture, in terms of discovering existing independent games which aren't well known, and in terms of playing older games with a critical eye. All those are good things as it stands in Actual Play, but I would like to see some great things. I also want to break the uncritical devotion to New Hawtness and Indie Designer Celebrity over my knee like a dry stick.

4. I would like to see some Endeavor forums really be exciting, and for people to learn from what works and what doesn't when organizing an on-line activity for our hobby. Obviously next year's Game Chef will be welcome again if the organizer wants, and we can use the same model perhaps to organize and add value to the Forge Midwest convention. Anyone can ask me and Vincent about setting up such a forum at any time; one of these forums' features is that they will have planned start and stop dates (with some flexibility in practice; things don't always go as planned).

5. I desperately want help in setting up the Forge Wiki we almost got going a few years back. What I have in mind is not a standard multi-user Wiki, but rather a means of understanding the ideas developed here through user-friendly explanations with organized linkage into the whole history of Forge threads. The Winter will be dedicated to making such a thing functional, perhaps including a Forge Forum specifically for bitching about the Wiki's contents once it gets going, not only for corrections purposes, but also so nuances and alternate views can be acknowledged as part of the resources too.

With any luck this will help alleviate the "sky is falling" reactions happening here and there.

Moreno, you asked about which phases are which seasons. I might have to go back and check a few time-periods on the Forge to be sure, but my current thinking is:

Spring: 2000-2004
Summer: 2004-2007
Autumn: 2007-2010
Winter: 2010-?

Very roughly, the conceptual transitional point in 2004, 2007, and 2010 could be placed in August, at GenCon, but that also means that by that point, the old season is showing its limitations and flaws, and the features of the new are becoming evident. As it happens, transitions in topics for intellectual development, waves of new arrivals and departures at the site, and distinct shifts in the culture of design all fall into those same rough transition points.

Also, using the seasonal terms doesn't have anything to do with Ars Magica. It's a pretty standard metaphor when talking about something which is born, delivers something, and passes away. I mean, sure, it's consistent with the Ars Magica usage, so I don't mind the connection, but it's not like I was directly inspired by that game.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Troy_Costisick on November 03, 2010, 11:56:41 AM
Heya,

Ron, you've done an excellent job of recognizing when The Forge has needed a transition.  I feel my life has been quite enriched by the struggles and battles that have been fought out here.  I'm looking forward to the Winter phase, and especially the return of the Ronnies.  That was such an important time for me.  Thanks.  I, too, hope that this is a very productive season for The Forge.

I noticed that the Archive Forum is open for posting.  Does that mean there's an open-ended invitation to begin culling thread links and posting topics there?  I've read the sticky, but it didn't make things especially clear to me.

Peace,

-Troy


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: lumpley on November 03, 2010, 03:35:41 PM
Troy: there is. Please do!

- Vincent


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Jono on November 03, 2010, 04:05:55 PM
Hello everybody,

I rarely post here since I rarely feel that I have anything to add to the discussion, but I've been reading the Forge and enjoying the hell out of many Forge-derived games, since 2007.  It's not an exaggeration to say that the Forge saved role-playing for me.  I probably would have dropped out of the hobby out of frustration by now if I hadn't found it.  So I too am sad that it's moving on to the end of its life-cycle, but it seems like the appropriate finale to end the site with decisiveness rather than letting it die with a whimper.

I was recently talking to Chris Chinn about the issue he mentions upthread: how to preserve the wisdom gleaned from the discussion here, in a form that makes it easier to share with, and explain to, the gamers of the future?

That's why I was very interested to read this:

5. I desperately want help in setting up the Forge Wiki we almost got going a few years back. What I have in mind is not a standard multi-user Wiki, but rather a means of understanding the ideas developed here through user-friendly explanations with organized linkage into the whole history of Forge threads. The Winter will be dedicated to making such a thing functional, perhaps including a Forge Forum specifically for bitching about the Wiki's contents once it gets going, not only for corrections purposes, but also so nuances and alternate views can be acknowledged as part of the resources too.

Ron, do you mean that you're looking for help with the web-development/server-administration side of setting up the Wiki, or are you looking for help mostly with writing the entries and organizing the links and information?

Either way, I think this is a fantastic idea and I'd like to offer my help.  I've been doing some Forge archive-crawling of my own lately, and put up a blog post here:  http://www.evilbrainjono.net/blog?showcomments=true&permalink=864 (http://www.evilbrainjono.net/blog?showcomments=true&permalink=864)  that attempted to summarize the old discussions about Illusionism/Participationism and Narrativism, in a way that would be easy to follow for my readers without assuming prior knowledge of theory jargon.  I want to do more along these lines anyway, and a wiki seems like an ideal format for that.

(The labels on my flowchart in that post are a bit snarky; I really dislike Illusionism, and I was in a snarky mood that day. I would think that the wiki articles ought to be from a more neutral point of view, without the snark.)

Ron, what do you think?  Can you tell me more about your plans for this wiki?

Thanks,
--Jono


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Ron Edwards on November 03, 2010, 10:49:12 PM
Hi Jono,

Good to see you again.

I don't have the time or energy to concentrate on that topic right now, except to say that some of the answers are in place and some aren't, and that I'll be able to refine my ideas about after finals. Resources like your link will definitely be involved.

Hi Christoph,

Sorry to forget your question. I realize now that the term "physical" is really loaded. I suppose "look and feel" is the meaning I was groping for, simply what the page looks like, the opportunities or options that are immediately visually obvious, and the mechanics of how one moves around the site and makes use of stuff there. Basic webpage design.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Mathew E. Reuther on November 04, 2010, 02:49:01 AM
Aside from a question of organization of archived material (which a wiki tends to go a longs ways towards handling with relatively little effort from any one person) I at least  see nothing wrong with the format of the Forge.

One advantage of being set in a forums structure is that it is an almost "timeless" method of information exchange.

Look and feel for something like that is far less important than site formats which tend to evolve as technology does. Looking at forums from 10 years ago and those of today there are far fewer differences than you'd find between web sites of such disparate ages.

There's always room for improvement on any site of any type, but at least forums tend to stand the test of time far, far more easily, and I certainly don't see them becoming obsolete any time soon, no matter how much sites try to shift towards social networking models like facebook. There's a purity in the way forums do things that cannot be matched in many respects.


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Tomas HVM on November 04, 2010, 11:59:36 PM
Hi Ron!

I find it refreshing, and kind of natural, that you do this. A good way to end it, and go on. Thanks for the years of insightful discussions!


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Ar Kayon on November 05, 2010, 02:09:06 AM
Why is everyone happy that the forge is going to explode and die?


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Ron Edwards on November 05, 2010, 05:55:38 AM
For the back-story, please read the posts Moreno has collected in the Archive forum. All of my rationale is present there, or at least I think it is. I'd rather answer questions that clearly indicate familiarity with that background.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Joshua A.C. Newman on November 05, 2010, 09:21:19 AM
I, too, am just now back from Lucca, and I consider this great news. As a New Englander, winter is a time for me of furious weather and furious creation in its face. The beginning of Winter is also when everyone looks sexy in their sweaters and scarves.

Avanti al'inverno!


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Baxil on November 07, 2010, 02:23:42 PM
I'm interpreting the announcement here as a signifier that, largely, all of the theory discussions that can be productively made, have been, and have been stated reasonably well.  Which makes sense to me - I'm familiar (via other communities) with the cycle of "shake out new ideas, refine them, and then endlessly answer newbies' same basic questions forever".  So breaking the cycle out of that fruitless last step seems a Good Thing.

Of course, as a newbie (found The Forge due to Game Chef 2010), I do need a crash course to get up to speed with what everyone here has figured out over the course of a decade.  Reading the articles has been eye-opening, but I think I'm starting to realize just how much I've missed, and the literally thousands of pages of threads are a little intimidating.  For example, I followed the link to JonO's blog post, and from that back to various discussions on Illusionism, Force, and Murk - all of which was new to me, and too new for the Articles archive. 

So - I'm asking here because it sounds like this is one of the Winter goals (if not, perhaps it should be) - is there some sort of "Best Of The Forge" list?  I see some of that starting to stir in the "Archives" board, but it's sparse as of this writing.


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Ron Edwards on November 07, 2010, 04:03:58 PM
Hiya,

I should clarify that I don't claim that discussions here are concluded or their conclusions have been established beyond critique. With any luck my planned (and perhaps to be modified) means of summarizing them can serve as a decent foundation for later discussions without the current high bar to entry. It may help to know that none of the essays at the site were written for newcomers, but rather as "state of the art" pieces for fellow participants in the discussions.

Anyway, if you want to see some beginning attempts at summarizing interesting issues/threads discussed here, see the stickies in the Archived forums GNS Discussion and RPG Theory. There are some pretty good readings, I hope.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Emily Care on November 08, 2010, 12:49:31 PM
Thanks for the continuing clear communication, and stewardship of the community, Ron. I hope these changes work well for you and Vincent, and that if anything is needed that you won't hesitate to ask for help.

Also, agreement and congratulations on seeing the change happen! My gratitude is endless, and my hat's off to all the Forge is, was and will be.

Best,
Emily


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Paiku on November 09, 2010, 11:09:44 AM
Disbelief!  Dismay!  Reading past the Subject line.  Understanding.  Hope.  Tentative agreement with the plan.

I too like the idea of a wiki project.  There's a fortune of insights in this thing, some of which I've dug out and some I have yet to stumble across.  Even of those I've read, it would be nice to have a well-structured reference document/site.  I have a terrible memory, and like to re-read things.

Acceptance.  Enthusiasm.

What about the social aspect?  "Where" are Forge types going to chat and hang out after the planned transformation? 

-John


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: M. J. Young on November 11, 2010, 09:20:15 PM
Baxil--

There are probably many summaries of much of the theory, and I'm not certain how basic you want to be, but there has been a certain amount of praise for my Theory 101 series at Places to Go, People to Be, which attempted to capture some of the basics and make sense of them.  (The series has also been translated into French and will be published in a French RPG magazine shortly--but I'm afraid I don't recall the name so I can't point you to it there, if French even helps.)

The three articles are (in the original English versions):
  • System and the Shared Imagined Space (http://ptgptb.org/0026/theory101-01.html)[/url] covering the Lumpley Principle, credibility and authority, stance.
  • The Impossible Thing Before Breakfast (http://ptgptb.org/0027/theory101-02.html) covering referee styles.
  • Creative Agenda (http://ptgptb.org/0028/theory101-03.html) wrapping up with explanations of GNS along with some links to other articles (not all of which are probably still good, given the nature of the Internet).

Ron, my concern is wondering what happens after Winter.  Between the forums and the articles, there is a great deal here worth preserving.  It sounds like the Wiki format is going to link to the existing threads, and thus that everything will be archived; since it also sounds like the forum will be closed, it must be the expectation that all posting will be disabled at some point (not merely that you will have asked everyone to stop posting).  That seems fine to me as a solution, but I would be concerned if it were to be threatened with erasure or even simply removal from the public view.

One alternative is, of course, to determine whether any other RPG site would be interested in "housing" the material as a reference resource.  I'm not sure of the feasibility of that, but it's not my area.

In any case, you continue to have my respect for all you've done here (and Clinton and Vincent).  Thank you for your contributions.

--M. J. Young


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: M. J. Young on November 11, 2010, 09:25:10 PM
Quote
What about the social aspect?

John, there is still a forum at Gaming Outpost.  I'm a bit embarrassed at how Multiverser-oriented it has become, but that's only because we're the only people who haven't emigrated.  Several posters are into game and scenario design, and all are into conversation.  (In fact, two threads were launched recently, one for Random Chat about all kind of things, and the other a Peanut Gallery for people to make comments about events in the game threads they're following without disrupting the game, so socializing is certainly part of the forum.)  It's also still small enough that we all know each other, but big enough that there's a lot of interaction, and we get new people often enough.

--M. J. Young


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Alfryd on November 20, 2010, 01:59:15 PM
Hi everybody,

I aim to move the Forge into its winter stage by the end of the year. For those of you who don't know this, I announced quite a while ago that the Forge was never intended to be a permanent site. Especially since, well, bluntly, I (and Clinton, and Ed Healy, and a lot of other people active at the founding) have unequivocally won the battle we wanted to win. "The Big Bang has Bung," I like to say.
Uh... I'm kinda new here, and I don't dispute that the theories expounded and developed here have had a tremendous impact, but... I just don't see the compelling benefit of closing down the site entirely (which presumably happens at the end of the Winter phase.)  I mean, regardless of whether you've 'won' the battle you originally intended to, the knowledge and discussions that take place on the forge is a great resource that, to my knowledge, isn't readily available anywhere else on the net.  There will, presumably, always be indie games designers struggling to get their ideas off the ground, and ways in which RPG experiences can be expanded on and improved.  As long as that's the case, I wouldn't forsee the forge becoming obsolete.

I mean, in one of the earlier threads, I think you mentioned that "I can't hold hands and wipe noses forever".  Well, I mean, fair enough, if push comes to shove and you feel obliged to rescind your role here for personal reasons, I can understand, but I don't see why that requires taking down the site as a whole.  Are there no other moderators that you feel you could entrust the general task of 'stewardship' to?


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Callan S. on November 20, 2010, 04:33:48 PM
Hi Alfryd,

It's going an archive format, as I understand it, so it's not dissapearing. How to actually organise that archive though so it doesn't dissapear out of being an information chaos, I'm baffled on that one. I've had a couple of lists of threads, but they are pretty idiosyncratic to me, not exhaustive and I think the first list is on my old hard drive, sitting on the shelf. I think plenty of talk has been done - it's getting at it via archive that seems a problem to me.


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Ron Edwards on November 20, 2010, 05:23:50 PM
Hi Morgan,

One step at a time. I have my own notions about the eventual archive, and they're good enough to develop in the possibly lengthy time remaining to the forums. There's no point in getting anxious about the Forge simply disappearing. I aim for more of a legacy than that.

If anyone wanted to set up their own website for people developing their games which tapped into that archive, that'd be quite nice. I am considering doing something of that kind myself, and as I see it, more than one center or sub-center for such activities would be a good thing.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: contracycle on November 20, 2010, 06:14:01 PM
I don't think any structure or body of thought survives as a real and effective force without human activity.  Only people, engaged and involved, and organised, keep concepts current and relevant.  In shall wait and see, but I hope this doesn't amount to disbanding the regiments that won the battle and thereby ultimately losing the war.


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Alfryd on November 22, 2010, 03:36:38 AM
I don't think any structure or body of thought survives as a real and effective force without human activity.  Only people, engaged and involved, and organised, keep concepts current and relevant.  In shall wait and see, but I hope this doesn't amount to disbanding the regiments that won the battle and thereby ultimately losing the war.
That's sort of what I mean, yeah.  Digging through the archives is all well and good, but it's access to the participants in those debates and their insights that's the real resource here.  Sure, in theory, you could shut down the active site, archive the discussions, and essentially hope that enough forge-ites are willing and able to migrate to new sites devoted to the same general topic that you can see the same kind of dialogue taking place.  I just don't see the inherent benefits to that second diaspora.  The first diaspora was about- as far as I can gather- shedding undesireables to preserve the core of the community.  This is shedding the core of the community to save... what, exactly?


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Paiku on November 22, 2010, 08:19:28 AM
I think the idea is that The Forge has accomplished a discrete goal.  That accomplishment is complete, it is wonderful, and now it is being diluted by ongoing lesser chatter and the constant buzz of newbies (I include myself) asking questions that have already been answered and amply explained.

I think a wiki based on, and linked to, the Forge archives will make The Forge's legacy more accessible and more likely to survive.

Yes The Forge continues to serve certain purposes beyond that original goal, and those purposes are worthy.  The idea of winding down The Forge is not meant as a belittlement of what it's doing now, but as a protection of it's originally-intended and hard-won accomplishment.

Also, note that The Forge is not NOW being shut down, only focused.  In it's winter, The Forge will continue to serve a subset of the story-gamers' population: those who develop and publish new story games.  Focus has value.  And I don't really see that ever needing to end - I think it will be a long winter.

-J


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Frank Tarcikowski on November 22, 2010, 09:59:51 AM
On a more personal note. Seems like the right place to say this.

There are a lot of great people who have played a vital part of forging (heh) the indie developers’  scene around here, of which I consider myself a part even though I chose not to self-publish, mostly because I was too busy/incompetent/lazy to pull it off by myself. There are a lot of great people who have nourished the culture of discourse at the Forge, the way actual play is presented and analyzed, which is quite unique and worthwhile. Many of these people are posting very little these days, some others are trying to step into their footsteps but its hard.

However, there is one man who is holding all of this together with a titanic effort, and has been throughout the years. To me, clearly, there is no Forge without Ron and I wouldn’t want anybody else to continue the cause, because that just wouldn’t be the Forge. Ron, I’ve said it before, I haven’t always agreed with you and sometimes I’ve been rather mad at you, but I have great respect for what you have achieved with the Forge and what incredible effort you have pulled off to do it. That’s not to diminish the contributions of others, but I just don’t see the Forge going on when you’re gone.

So by all means I support the closing of the forums the day Ron Edwards will no longer be the content moderator of the site. Whatever people will go to thereafter, it will not be the same.

- Frank


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Frank Tarcikowski on November 22, 2010, 12:15:00 PM
To me, clearly, there is no Forge without Ron and I wouldn’t want anybody else to continue the cause, because that just wouldn’t be the Forge.

Um, surely you already guessed that I meant continue the cause at this website.


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Troy_Costisick on December 03, 2010, 11:40:47 AM
Heya Ron, Vincent,

3. Some of the First Thoughts functions and the Playtesting function will be combined into "Development," which is intended to be a very practical forum about games in design. First Thoughts will go the Archives and Actual Play will go back to where it once was, the top of the page, with an introduction encouraging first users to post there (and how).

I have a question about this Development forum.  Ron didn't mention waht would happen to the Publishing forum.  Would it be rolled into Development?  If a designer has an experimental or innovative publishing method they are thinking about using for thier game, could they bring it up in the Development forum for feedback from the Forge Community?  Is that something you would be comfortable in allowing once the redesign is done?  Or is the Publishing forum staying as is?

Peace,

-Troy


Title: Re: The Winter of the Forge looms near
Post by: Ron Edwards on December 04, 2010, 11:47:32 AM
The Publishing forum will remain, unchanged.

Best, Ron