The Winter Phase and the end of the Forge forums

Started by Ron Edwards, March 20, 2012, 08:33:47 PM

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Ron Edwards

Ye Olde Winter is drawing to a close ... let's see, if I remember correctly, the original Hephaestus' Forge went live in the fall of 1999, and the forums of the renamed Forge began in April, 2001. And now it's time to set the date for the official closure of the site in its current form.

I'd actually planned for it to be a year from the December 2010 announcement about the winter phase, but life was busy and crazy, and even more so in the past couple of months. I'm seizing the opportunity at the moment when things seem a little quieter in my ordinary life.

For those who are wondering what will remain, there's a pretty cool Wiki design that will serve as a summary of various ideas and events that have arisen here. I'll get that running so that it can be available at the transition point. The actual forums will in fact remain in their current form, to serve as archive and general evidence. I'll talk more about the eventual goals and possible participation with the Wiki later.

Right now, I want to talk about the ending. First, the tentative full-stop date for forum posting is June 1, 2012. I'm also contemplating a kind of bacchanal in the last week or two.

Which is another way of saying, now is not the time to come and deliver any tearful eulogies or triumphant pissing on the grave or anything in between. That'll be for the last little bit. Right now is the time for simply getting anything done you want to get done, and for actually participating in those endeavors as a community. It'd be great if anyone who benefited from the site in the past could show up and put in a few posts toward those ends.

Let me know if you have any questions about that. Seems pretty straightforward, but there are always questions ...

Best, Ron

P.S. If this post surprises you, check out The forge will close down, a summary post of the relevant history.

Darcy Burgess

Hi Ron,

What's going to happen to the Forge Bookshelf?  I don't care if it's old and possibly out-of-date.  I like it; if my opinion is to be counted, it is this: the bookshelf should continue, and expand.

Black Cadillacs - Your soapbox about War.  Use it.


The Bookshelf will continue uninterrupted.


Moreno R.

Hi Vincent!

If the Forge will become a closed archive, it would benefit from a more customizable search function (I know I wanted one a lot of times the last years...).  Are you planning some changes?

Some of the things I would have loved to have when I searched the archive (I have really no idea if they are doable and the amount of work they would cost...)

1) The date range now is in "message age" in days.  It would be useful to have the option in a "from" date format (I used to calculate the exact number of days from the dates, but it's rather annoying if you have a lot of searches to do)

2) The possibility to "save" a search, and return to the same exact search page (useful when I did searches that did return so many threads that it took days to read them all)

3) The possibility to read the forum, from a specific date, in a chronological manner (I did read the first threads on the forum, one by one, from the beginning until the end of 2001, I think. To be able to do so I had to type the number of the thread in the browser every time (for example, this is the very first thread archived:
to read the next one, I had to type "2" over the "1" (the thread #2 doesn't exist, so I am typing "3")
A simple button "to the next thread" would be very useful and allow this to work much faster.

4) The possibility to order the threads in chronological order using the first post, not the last one.

Last, and not tied to the search function suggestions: the Forge will be reunited to the Forge Archive, in a single archive, or they will stay separated?

(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)

Devon Oratz

If after years of cooling down the forge is finally being extinguished for good: where else on these wide and wild internets is the ongoing centralized discussion of how creator-owned-publishers can publish, promote, and sell their own games going to continue? Leave aside the game design and theory stuff; I never expected the Forge to teach me anything about game design, or even to really challenge any of my underlying assumptions about game design--although it actually did both in little ways--but the discussion of indiestry publishing and creator-owned marketing and promotion seemed invaluable. I can't think of anywhere on the internet, at least the chunks of it I'm aware of, where that centralized discussion is continuing. Point me in the right direction, by all means.

I came to the Forge very late, in the final stages of its "Winter". But even if the Forge has been around since forever and has been being gradually, actively euthanized for over half a decade, this creator-owned publisher thing is still very new and very scary to some people just getting into it, and a static archive of collective knowledge will never be as valuable of a resource as an interactive community of experts and enthusiasts. So like I said: Point me in the right direction, by all means.

Not an argument and I know I'm not going to change anyone's minds; this is a historic event I just thought I should leave my own footnotes on.
~"Quiet desperation, it ain't my goddamn scene!"~
My Blog: tarotAmerican

David Artman

Quote from: Devon Oratz on April 04, 2012, 07:55:59 PMwhere else on these wide and wild internets is the ongoing centralized discussion of how creator-owned-publishers can publish, promote, and sell their own games going to continue?
I'd suggest for that (and their Game Design link at the top goes to Praxis, for design stuff... ideally... but not always). I spend most of my forum time there, post-Forge (and, really, since the start of Winter Phase).

Not SUPER active, but there's also
Designer - GLASS, Icehouse Games
Editor - Perfect, Passages