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What Is And What Should Never Be

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:28 pm
by Aristo
Hey shapeshifters, it's been a while!

Though we may seem inactive for the most part, the admin team is constantly thinking about how to improve the user experience for this community and today we've reached a point in the discussion where we all agreed that:

It's 2019. Who the hell even uses online forums anymore?

When SMBX was first introduced to the world in 2009, nearly ten years ago now, the internet was a different place. YouTube was great for watching videos, MySpace existed, 4chan wasn't completely horrible (Quill says that's not true apparently), people used community forums.

Nowadays though, everything seems to have become more and more unified (and monopolized, sic!): You have YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, Discord, and if you're really generous, FaceBook still.

And that's for a good reason. Sites like Reddit have streamlined and perfected the forum experience to where, if the SMBX forums were on Reddit, things we do manually here like moderate or pick the most popular levels of a month, would really easily be replaced by upvotes/downvotes. And let's face it, saying there's a sub on reddit for something sounds a lot more attractive than going to a forum.

And as the great Natalie Wynn once said,


If you're still not catching the drift: We're heavily considering archiving the forums and moving the community to Reddit.

This has several reasons, amongst those already mentioned before the fact that,,, yeah, our community really kinda seems like it's dying? But only on the surface!

If you check the facts, Knux is actually not completely wrong, it certainly gives the impression when you look around here. We may have some odd 8000 registered users (which is nothing if you compare it to the 24k subscribers bossedit8 has amassed since 2014), but only like ~50 people who actively use this place regularely. Most of the action happens on the Discord, which has actively gained 2000 members in the last two years, to the point where we now advertise it on the front page over the forums!

Point is, I think we could all use a change of scenery, a fresh coat of paint, a refurbished 2006 Mustang GT.

Additionally, Reddit is a lot easier to navigate both as a user and a moderator. Everything is streamlined and compact, posts can easily be tagged to be displayed in different categories, and everyone who already has an account doesn't need to log into a separate thing but instead can easily access the community through their main timeline.

Ideally, we would archive the forums and more or less "force" people to migrate to Reddit, of course not before installing all those neat Reddit things like flairs for users and categories for different types of content (episodes, levels, cgfx, the usual jazz). The current mod team (including the new mods instated by that point) would become mods of /r/SMBX (which conveniently is already in my possession, teehee)

... and then?

Then PixelPest, Kley and I would bid our farewells and resign from our position as "heads" of the community.

We've thought this over long and hard and at this point, the forum really doesn't have a lot to offer that other places can't do better. If we were to resign, we might as well hand the keys to the SMBX2 dev team, who would either start their own forum or stay on Discord, so I figured, why not do something different? I personally see a lot of potential in Reddit, and I also take credit for coming up with the idea like a year ago when I first got my hands on r/SMBX, so when it inevitably proves to be a great idea you know whom to thank for. I know this place has a lot of sentimental value for some, but times change and I feel like this domain is only really holding progress back. (Joey already signed off on the idea, just in case you were wondering.)

There is no set date for a move yet or anything, for now I just want to hear your opinions on the matter. This includes the rest of our staff team, who at the time of me writing this have no idea what's going on lol (sorry guys <3)

Re: The Last Global Announcement on this Forum?

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:35 pm
by Scroll
I'm already used to the forums, it's a great place for my taste since I discovered it, but moving the community to Reddit is not a bad idea. But I'll miss a lot this place!

Re: The Last Global Announcement on this Forum?

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:37 pm
by Uzendayo
so let me get this straight, you want to scrap the forums after having a quite thoughrough discussion about the problems of this website instead of y'know, fixing the mostly administrative problems of the website? Im sorry this just sounds like the admins fucking ditching when actually being told that they have to interact with us. This website is more organized and better than any subreddit, and Im so fucking disappointed in the mods' decision if they really fucking go through with this. Im actually fucking disgusted.

Re: The Last Global Announcement on this Forum?

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:39 pm
by Enjl
Can't wait to be literally unable to find any levels, graphics, episodes or what used to be sticky threads anymore.

Re: The Last Global Announcement on this Forum?

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:43 pm
by Scroll
Though..... I have a thought about something that I didn't covered above. A lot of people had a lot of discussion here (a LOT). If the community will be moved to other place we'll be starting over every discussion that we would have been having lately (like projects, showcases, and even important topics). And I agree with Enjl too.

Re: The Last Global Announcement on this Forum?

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:46 pm
by StrikeForcer
Oh my god.

Im going to tell you why Reddit is a bad idea to move - The upvote/downvote and karma system doesn't encourage thoughtful discussion from people who are outside the perspective of the people who start the topics and also the orthodoxy of the subreddit. It encourages people with likeminded opinions to say whatever, dissenting opinions get buried, and it doesn't have to be a thread that has a hot take. I can only imagine how it can impact certain criticisms levied at level and resource creators by the fact that they wont be able to see such a thing. You can claim that it "streamlined" the forum experience but remember that the flaw I just said and pointed out exists as a result of such a system.

I wouldn't mind leaving the forum open in a half-open state but it should serve as a repository for level uploads and whatnot, as I find that to be a better option. The community aspect I feel is largely fine on Discord.

Re: The Last Global Announcement on this Forum?

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:51 pm
by FanofSMBX
Enjl wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:39 pm
Can't wait to be literally unable to find any levels, graphics, episodes or what used to be sticky threads anymore.
Reddit has tag/flair support as can be seen on the Mario Maker subreddit. It also has stickying, though this is only subreddit-wide.

The bigger concern for me is that threads are not bumped to the top with new comments, are not viewed in chronological order by default (it's more of a main post with comment threads spinning off of that), and all threads get locked after 6 months. This cuts down on stupid necroposting but is bad for the necroposts that actually have value. If someone leaves the community you have to make a whole new topic instead of PMing them or bumping the original one.

Also, who says the SMBX 2.0 team wants to be in charge of the community?

Re: The Last Global Announcement on this Forum?

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:56 pm
by Aero

Re: The Last Global Announcement on this Forum?

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:14 pm
by Fuyu
I do agree that the upvote/downvote system is problematic, mostly because of misuse. I mean, it was implemented long before on this very forum but it was ultimately scratched because of the issues it came with. To me, moving to reddit with this as a selling point is just ridiculous. Not sure about FanofSMBX's point though, there may be a way to fix that, but can't say much because I haven't used reddit myself.

I do see where you guys are coming from. True, the community's lack of activity has been a long-running concern ever since Redigit left SMBX to die. Knux's forum, NSMBX, Cloud's forum and this one, iterations, desperate attempts to keep it alive. Moving to reddit would indeed give SMBX some exposure and in the long run, possibly increase activity. I get that, but at the same time, I think there are some problems with that. Giving SMBX exposure through reddit can also get undesired attention, say Nintendo. I don't know if the whole Nintendo shutting down SMBX is true or not, but it is a fear of mine nonetheless. Take fangames such as AM2R, Pokemon Uranium, Zelda Maker (which now goes under the name of Runiya), Super Mario 64 HD Remake, all of these examples of Nintendo's groundwork. Not to mention SMBX 2.0 Beta 4 is cementing for me the idea that the developers are trying to make this engine a Nintendo homage game, with characters such as Mario, Kirby, Samus, etc, unlike PGE which tried to be more generic as to not instigate problems.

If I said here and now that the forum format isn't important to me I'd be a big fat liar. Yes, on the inside I don't want to part ways with this site, though moving after moving has made me kind of dull to the idea as if expected at this point.

Can I really say which is best? No way. In one end getting exposure is good and moving to a platform with a bigger population can be what transforms this community, but it comes with risks that I'm not comfortable thinking about it. I'm staying neutral for this one.

Re: The Last Global Announcement on this Forum?

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:30 pm
by Eclipsed
I honestly think this is a terrible idea, by nature of how smbx and this forum works.

The SMBX Forums consists of multiple categories and I will be going through each have them to provide a quick analysis of why this move is bad
Spoiler: show
Currently, the general consists of multiple discussion topics about how the engine works, updates on the engine and how things work that are sometimes brought back when the thread already exists.
A. A topic such as What controls do you use for smbx is a popular example. Instead of it being consolidated in one thread like it currently is since reddit never bumps up threads, instead a topic of this could be posted each week to the point that it becomes essentially cumulative spam since new people won't know about past thread.
B. Currently, there are around 8 announcement threads and 7 pinned threads (not to mention pinned threads in other subforums), which is 15 in total but even if you remove some threads about links and rules, itd still be around 7. On reddit, you can have only 2 pinned messages at a time, so it's going to be really hard for some unpinned important announcements to stay visible. Sort by hot, it disappears within a week. Sort by new, it does by one day.
C. Also if anyone wants to run a contest, good luck getting visibility with it due to the fact itll be buried after a week.
Spoiler: show
I have used reddit for a while and the search function in reddit is actually quite terrible from when I have tried to search for specific things
A. All It essentially takes into account all of the words and tries to link you the most popular post from a given time frame that includes around 60% of your search, which is terrible for trying to find lunalua scripts, episodes, projects or levels. If it's not popular enough and you know it exists it might not give you the result you want yielded.
B. Episodes/Projects - Currently the system for episodes/projects is post a thread and each post adds onto the discussion. Instead with reddit comments, it will be heavily unorganized and really hard to filter what you need when the top comments could be this looks really great. Furthermore, since people who lurk exist on reddit, they might downvote comments that say it is bad and gives valid constructive criticism which hides it, either making it harder to find or the OP (Original Poster) ignores it due to the downvotes. So the only real way to earn feedback is to essentially spam a new thread about your project every week.
C. Levels - Currently the level system is one thread per user, switching to reddit will revert it back to the worse system of one level per thread if people want others to see their new levels. This system as shown before was majorly flawed and unorganized. Now if we impose the new system, the posts again will stay buried even if their from the best designers of the community. Not to mention if most people are not in the same timezone as someone else, chances are they would not see the post so it'll be harder to gain visibility.
D. Graphics Request - Now that you can't search graphics, you have to ask which is an issue when your post is not visible enough due to not being popular or new enough
Help and Support
Spoiler: show
Currently it is clear whenever a new post arrives in help and support, on reddit questions are rarely if ever upvoted, so they lack visibility which leads to them being unanswered due to that. The help and support currently works because it takes place on a forum. This applies to Site Discussion as well.
Other Subforums
Spoiler: show
Subforums such as Sandbox/Video Games/Art Board/Roleplaying if sorted by new if transferred to reddit will just spam the whole community. Otherwise, they would probably get buried or hide more relevant posts about SMBX, so essentially these subforums could not practically take place on the site.
Also the reputation system could potentially lead the community to act in more toxic behavior.
The bigger a subreddit grows the more likely it is to converge to memes and fan art, if this is banned the above issues still persist
It's too easy to rig the voting system for visibility also.

In conclusion, the main issue here is comparing apples to oranges.
1. Forums are not used for the same thing reddit is used for. They serve distinct and different purposes. Using r/SMBX is not a bad idea but the current suggested use is, it must be useful in a different outlet due to the nature of how forums and subreddits work.
2. Gaining visibility through works is harder on reddit and the best way to do so is essentially borderline spam or unethically rigging the reputation system if it's not sorted by new
3. The search function on reddit is a mess and only takes into account reputation of posts within random time frames.
4. This change brings back the old issues with reputation on the forums and unorganized levels.
Overall, this change would be a step backwards to the systems in place with the current community.

Also all of the forum issues can be solved through what Uzendayo stated more efficient moderation.
I care about this community, and honestly think this is a step backwards

Re: The Last Global Announcement on this Forum?

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:51 pm
by MegaDood
I don't know... On one hand, you've got a nostalgic forum which is comfortable, and with episodes, levels, graphics and projects that are constantly being updated. How would people import all the current content over to a subreddit?
Secondly, all the progress we've made and updates would have to be put onto something completely new, not to mention, I don't know if all the things like Signatures from this forum even exist on Reddit. (I don't have an account as of yet.)

On the other hand, it is an easier to access place which could encourage new users and would be more forgiving on those who just start out. And I agree to some extent about it making new progress, but would it really progress this community? What would it have over these forums?

Overall, I'm torn. My gut tells me no, but my brain says it's a smart decision. I don't know what to do, but I ultimately would prefer to stay in our nostalgic forums.

Re: The Last Global Announcement on this Forum?

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:03 pm
by NegativeBread
So, because I've been on the forums almost never, I might not hold much weight in this decision, but I believe that the community should remain on these forums. Any problems caused here are community-based, not website-based, and moving to reddit (as seen by the posts above mine) would cause more or less a rift in the community. Reddit won't revive the community, either, though that would imply that this community isn't still alive, just small. Besides, there's a Discord server if you guys decide to just dump the forums.

This isn't to say that change is a bad thing, it's just that nothing really needs to change.

Re: The Last Global Announcement on this Forum?

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:07 am
by Aero
So I've said my thoughts on this with the staff already but will make a public post with elaboration.

Regarding Reddit:
I've never liked Reddit for the reasons mentioned above and more. Functionally Reddit is not a great place for communities like SMBX. It's just threads sorted by popularity and not a forum board like phpbb is. The SMBX subreddit is dead, and even if there were a forced move there a lot of people would just not move there and drop from the community. It just won't work and it's a really bad and silly idea to try and force it. Moving SMBX to Reddit would not make anything better, and only serves to make things exponentially worse when things are going relatively well for the community.

Regarding moderation:
Moderation is not a function of upvotes/downvotes or similar tools. Moderation is playing a role in the community to ensure the rules are followed and everyone is able to enjoy their time here. The reason why I push for some changes to be made to the forum is to have focus on moderation rather than routine upkeep tasks. Cleaning up level threads without screenshots, merging double posts, and that sort of stuff is just upkeep. The auto-merge extension practically eliminated reports for double posting and that is what tools are for. Tools can't be used to make sure posts are friendly, appropriate, and constructive nor can they help keep discussion open for everyone to participate in. This requires activity and interaction with the community which can't be offset by some tool or design change. I've seen complaints that the staff are not active enough, but I respectfully disagree and really haven't been convinced of this. Some staff haven't been posting as much on the forums which is a fair point, however the community of course branches off onto other platforms where activity generally seems acceptable. The way I see it is that moderation is a function of participation and handling cases that need intervention to build the community up. I do see plenty of that on here and Discord, and feel the staff are doing the best they can.

If the admins are burned out then that's understandable. They have school/work and other irl priorities that would take precedent over SMBX. However trying to offset SMBX as a community is just not a solution. A lot of staff problems emerge from the unnecessary splits in the team that cause miscommunication. There was a staff team shake up several months back that really damaged the team and this announcement is a continuation of the problems arising from the lack of discussion regarding important community matters. I don't see any good that can come from a few members that want to resign discussing a major decision like this without consulting the rest of the staff. It caused a backlash that had to be dealt with and going by the responses here, on Discord, and the poll this was incredibly unpopular. This goes against moderation and leaves everyone guessing what's going to happen next.

I don't see this move to Reddit happening and that will be for the best. The staff will be discussing this more and everyone can be assured that something will be worked out that the community can accept.

Re: The Last Global Announcement on this Forum?

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:24 am
by Zeldamaster12
Yeah I'm not in favor of the move to reddit. People are happy with the forums so I don't see any point in forcing a move to another platform when we already have a large forum that has had 5 years to grow into what it is today. Activity obviously isn't as high as it was in 2014 but it's nowhere near dead and killing the forums seems counterproductive and obviously many other people don't support this, myself included.

Re: The Last Global Announcement on this Forum?

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:26 am
by Electriking
The day the community is forced to move to Reddit is the day SMBX dies.

Re: The Last Global Announcement on this Forum?

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:51 am
by Daring Tombstone
Gonna be a no for me dawg.

Re: The Last Global Announcement on this Forum?

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:56 am
by Sancles-Chan
I'm just gonna mirror enjl's statement because even with tags, finding anything worthwhile on reddit is like impossible.
Forums are a lot more organized and let you actually find something you're looking for no matter how old it is.

I don't want big episode releases and contests (though they'd probably be stickied if I think about it) to be mixed in with a bunch of shit I frankly don't care about. There's no valid reason to up(down)grade for "publicity" which frankly, how would you even get it? Oh right, you're gonna resign and leave it as somebody else's problem, meaning that this could also end up not having any positive impact on the community at all.

Absolutely and unquestionably a no from me.

Re: The Last Global Announcement on this Forum?

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:05 am
by Eri7
Guys are you crazy?! The forums are already perfect, there are so many people who have worked really hard to be active here and help the community!
Moving to reddit will be very disrespectful to the community and already all of the users above who stated the obvious problems with reddit should open your eyes and rethink this decision! You don't need to move the forums to reddit, you just need to interact a bit more here instead.

Re: The Last Global Announcement on this Forum?

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:12 am
by MmmMario
Seriously, a horrible idea. How exactly do you plan to encourage more activity on Reddit? Like, what advantage is there? And no, the upvote/downvote system would be highly unreflecting of actual quality.

If the staff are tired, that's fine. But that doesn't mean a place that works well enough needs to be fixed.

As the famous saying goes, 'if it ain't broke don't fix it'.

Re: The Last Global Announcement on this Forum?

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:27 am
by Taycamgame
The whole point of delaying SMBX beta 4 is to avoid problems which could arise with SMM2's release in June.
But you're saying you want to move to reddit to get a larger community? I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the big N takes us down if we get to that point