Reorganizing [Forum and Sub-Forums]


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Posted (edited)

Hi all, in an attempt to ease navigation around the Atronach Forge and to unify a lot of the different work going on around here, I'm going to start suggesting changes I think would be beneficial. Of course, this isn't just up to me, and I'm open to suggestions and alternatives to just about anything that could help boost productivity and creativity around here, as I think we all agree it has been a little too quiet. This is not going to be a large, abrupt change, and I will only be making changes that the majority of members agree on, as it's everyone's forum.

I'm limited in my free time, especially during my study periods, however I think that starting with a little reorganizing can really help build up a even more solid community than we already have at Beyond Skyrim. From the talk in the Discord Community Chat when I brought this up, many members expressed interest in bringing more life into the Atronach Forge, and I'd like to do my best to see what we can manage.

Keep in mind that I'm in no way suggesting a complete overhaul of how the Atronach Forge works, how it's members are recruited, or anything that might go against the Beyond Skyrim Charter. In the highly unlikely chance that any suggestions come along that result in an overwhelming positive vote that change anything like the way the Forge operates, then I will create a new thread for the topic for it to be discussed in detail. If deemed appropriate and feasible, I will then follow up with a council proposal if required.

Reorganization of the Atronach Forge

As mentioned above, I believe a more unified Forge could be the start to reigniting activity. I'm not sure about everyone else, but I can sometimes feel lost, as well as miss some important things around the forums. I find this mostly due to the vast amount of sub-forums within each province and team. The Forge, for example, has 3 sub-forums, with one containing a further 3 sub-forums. Now, not only does this make it more of an effort to navigate, but it also limits a lot of the posts within them to particular members who frequent them.

Looking at the recent posts within the Development sub-forum:

  • The most recent post in Concept Art was the 15th of December, 2016. The second most recent was the 16th of September, 2015.
  • The most recent post in Characters, Weapons and Armor was the 23rd of September, 2016. The second most recent was the 15th of August, 2016
  • The most recent post in Statics and Tilesets was the 14th of May, 2016. The second most recent was the 14th of April, 2016

That's a whole sub-forum that hasn't been used in over a month. 

For this reason, I am suggesting merging (or archiving, if a merge is not possible) the entire Development sub-forum (and it's respective sub-forums) into what is currently called the General Modelling Discussion, and renaming the sub-forum General. Any posts that would have been appropriate within the Development sub-forums would now be welcome within General. This not only simplifies the Forge for new members, but also increases traffic from members who would not usually visit the smaller sub-forums. The 'What Are You Working On?' thread will remain as is, although if members wish to create threads for their projects they are welcome and encouraged to do so.

I would like to hear of any objections and/or alternative suggestions if anybody has any. I will continue to update this thread if any new changes would be required, and use this as the general voting hub for any new developments made within the Forge for the time being.

P.S. Please reply on if you think this is a valuable change, as I'll be reusing this post I can't really count on the accuracy of likes on a post, so instead will only count replies within the thread.

Edited by Lord Hayden
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Posted

I think it sounds like a great idea.

 

I think the inactivity in the bounty board area is a bit chicken and egg. I've made a couple of claims posts on there but because they didn't really attract any interest - at least not quickly, I've stopped using it as a way to try and get work commissioned.

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I agree the Bounty Board is very quiet, and that'll be next on the list of things to refurbish, hence it gets to stick around for a little while longer. I also want to wait a little bit to see if there is a new Arcane University lead is appointed, and if so, potentially look into somehow partially blending the University in with the Bounty Board, maybe appointing larger claims for use as learning/teaching resources where one asset can be used as the tutorial piece and then the student can go ahead and create the rest of the set with what they've been taught. I think it'd be especially useful when it comes to the many clutter sets as well as larger, cross-province assets such as trees and rocks.

Although this is much further down the line, at the moment if we can increase traffic back into the Forge by members making more WIP threads for their work then hopefully the Bounty Board can also get some extra eyes on it at the same time. I'll have a think about it and maybe try and get a message out to Art Directors later this week and see if I can get a small list of things that could be thrown in there just to get the ball rolling. I think the Bounty Board is seriously underused for the amount of claims we actually have across all the provinces. While I might just be being optimistic, and my History of Beyond Skyrim is a bit rough, but I'd like to think the cause of the Bounty Board slowing down was the fact that there was, at a time (I think), only 2 totally active provinces (Cyrodiil and Illiac Bay). I'm hoping now that we have a larger collection of teams (Morrowind, Black Marsh, Elsweyr, Thras, Roscrea, and possibly Atmora soon) we can manage to get the Bounty Board rolling through claims. While I'm not entirely sure if there has ever been less than 3 active teams at a time, I know Morrowind has gone through several leadership changes (although now they seem to have a really solid team) the only provinces that have been active for the entirety of the time that I know of have been both IB and Cyrodiil.

To summarize; I hope with the forum changes and encouragement to be more active will result in more traffic through the Forge. As a result, create more activity around the Bounty Board, and with a little kick start of claims, get the ball rolling to a point where everyone is spoilt for choice in terms of bounties to choose. Hopefully, our growing member roster can start turning over bounties rather quickly. After a while I also hope to partner with the Arcane University and use bounties as learning resources, examples, tasks and challenges for the students.

I apologise for all of the rubbish above, I kind of just started typing out ideas to see where they went and ended up with this, so it's a little all over the place and messy, but I hope you get the idea. Of course, I want to hear what people think about it and if they can see any major problems/alternatives.

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Posted

I agree the Bounty Board is very quiet, and that'll be next on the list of things to refurbish, hence it gets to stick around for a little while longer. I also want to wait a little bit to see if there is a new Arcane University lead is appointed, and if so, potentially look into somehow partially blending the University in with the Bounty Board, maybe appointing larger claims for use as learning/teaching resources where one asset can be used as the tutorial piece and then the student can go ahead and create the rest of the set with what they've been taught. I think it'd be especially useful when it comes to the many clutter sets as well as larger, cross-province assets such as trees and rocks.

Although this is much further down the line, at the moment if we can increase traffic back into the Forge by members making more WIP threads for their work then hopefully the Bounty Board can also get some extra eyes on it at the same time. I'll have a think about it and maybe try and get a message out to Art Directors later this week and see if I can get a small list of things that could be thrown in there just to get the ball rolling. I think the Bounty Board is seriously underused for the amount of claims we actually have across all the provinces. While I might just be being optimistic, and my History of Beyond Skyrim is a bit rough, but I'd like to think the cause of the Bounty Board slowing down was the fact that there was, at a time (I think), only 2 totally active provinces (Cyrodiil and Illiac Bay). I'm hoping now that we have a larger collection of teams (Morrowind, Black Marsh, Elsweyr, Thras, Roscrea, and possibly Atmora soon) we can manage to get the Bounty Board rolling through claims. While I'm not entirely sure if there has ever been less than 3 active teams at a time, I know Morrowind has gone through several leadership changes (although now they seem to have a really solid team) the only provinces that have been active for the entirety of the time that I know of have been both IB and Cyrodiil.

To summarize; I hope with the forum changes and encouragement to be more active will result in more traffic through the Forge. As a result, create more activity around the Bounty Board, and with a little kick start of claims, get the ball rolling to a point where everyone is spoilt for choice in terms of bounties to choose. Hopefully, our growing member roster can start turning over bounties rather quickly. After a while I also hope to partner with the Arcane University and use bounties as learning resources, examples, tasks and challenges for the students.

I apologise for all of the rubbish above, I kind of just started typing out ideas to see where they went and ended up with this, so it's a little all over the place and messy, but I hope you get the idea. Of course, I want to hear what people think about it and if they can see any major problems/alternatives.

That is a fantastic idea, giving people learning something simple to do from the Bounty Board. I am learning to model and am doing clutter for Morrowind (the welcome obelisk for Morrowind cities) to learn how to do it. If we can do this, everyone wins. We get clutter and other easier items done by people who are able to quickly contribute to the overall project. Our more experienced modellers are then able to concentrate on the harder items to create. 

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I've been using the Bounty Board to learn modeling and I think it is a great place for newbs, like me, to get experience with something practical.  My complaint with the bounty board is that it is way too cluttered.  Things that have been completed or are no longer needed need to go away.

That is my two cents.

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I'm totally in favor of combining the Arcane University with the Bounty Board. People learning modelling have more of a relation to their assets when they see them integrated in the project and are probably less likely to abandon. And yes, some kind of archive for the completed bounties would be nice.

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Posted (edited)

Alright, the general consensus looks like everyone is in favor of my merging suggestions thus far, and there also seems to be a few requests for an archived Bounty Board for completed claims. I'll look into reorganizing the forums today, the only question I have is what would people like done with the current Bounty Board claims? There's a few that have been finished, while a lot still remain open or unclaimed from what I know. Since the current board is severely underused, would anyone have problems with simply archiving the entire board as it is and starting over? I won't be doing this until I have at least a backlog of new claims to throw up there straight afterwards. Alternatively, I'll start digging through the claims and following them up/updating them. Once a new Arcane University lead is appointed then I'll look into making these changes.

 

EDIT:

I've made an archive for Bounty Board claims, as well as a temporary archive for the old Development forums, currently looking into if it's possible to get them merged into the current General section.

Edited by Lord Hayden

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Posted (edited)

I'm thinking I will ask at least all the Art Directors what they intend on keeping, although I wouldn't be surprised if most of the stuff in there has been completed or dropped. The only ones I know of that are recent and still open are the recent Roscrea ones, but yeah I'll follow up all the claims that have been posted within at least 6 to 12 months before removing them, the rest can probably be archived if nobody has touched them by now.

Edited by Lord Hayden

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Posted

I'm in favor of linking (if not combining) the AU with the AF for the main reason that the trainees will be more likely to join a province team and put their skills to use at BS, if they feel more of a connection with the project after working on an asset. Of course, it may be optimistic that someone's first asset will be high enough quality for our use, but it's worth a shot.

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Posted

Would that require locking AU recruits into doing BS work? What if they're just generally interested in the art aspect of it and don't intend to join BS?

Do we actually train people who aren't interested in working on BS? There are so few people willing to train that it seems a waste of pretty limited resources not to prioritise on people who will help BS!

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Posted (edited)

Do we actually train people who aren't interested in working on BS? There are so few people willing to train that it seems a waste of pretty limited resources not to prioritise on people who will help BS!

I was under the impression that's what the AU was when it was first started, just a place for tutorials, learning resources and people willing to teach others how to do art related stuff? But if the AU is only for Beyond Skyrim members then yeah that's not problem at all.

EDIT:

Development and all of it's sub-forums are now merged with General.

Edited by Lord Hayden

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Alright, I've been going through the Bounty Board and taken a list of claims and possible people to contact as to weather the claims are still valid or not. I've read back until December, 2014. I'm going to have to assume if there hasn't been a post in the thread for over 2 years that the claim is no longer valid or up to date (or possibly completed). I'll be contacting the authors of the threads and/or the appropriate art leads within the next few hours to sort out which threads can be archived. I'll also ask art departments if there are any new claims they might be willing to post up and if so, discuss further with them.

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I was under the impression that's what the AU was when it was first started, just a place for tutorials, learning resources and people willing to teach others how to do art related stuff? But if the AU is only for Beyond Skyrim members then yeah that's not problem at all.

I think tutorials and the like should be accessible for everyone since we also profit from knowledge from people outside of BS, but like it was said the individual teaching is very specialized in most cases and only offered by few people. Therefore it would be good if it benefits the asset creation of BS directly.

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This is creeping away from the forge discussion but I do wonder if there's something we can do with the tutorials to organise and promote them externally and maybe draw more people on that way. We do have a huge repository of knowlage but it never comes up on google searches - as appears to TES alliance and the CK wiki which are usually the top two hits for every topic I want a tutorial on.

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I think a reason is also the visibilty of them. There are two tutorial sections, one in the AU and another one in the general modding section. They don't have subsections like "Modeling" or "Scripting" and a lot of them don't use tags.

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