So here I am, after spending some time in the forums and noticing that some people commit rather unfortunate mistakes (and I want to believe at least SOME do it by accident). This guide will hopefully provide some help for one of the most important things of the internet: etiquette and behaviour. Since I don’t think I could write a guide to the internet in general, I’m going to stick to user behaviour on this site.
Without further ado, here goes:
Arrival to the forum and starting out So, you’ve got internet, found RMVX and found this site and got an account. That’s great! Maybe you were just looking for christmas presents and never really post anywhere, or you want feedback on your project right away. In any case, there are some things you should know before you, you know, you make an ass of yourself.
Step 1: Introductory post (Optional but recommended) Make an introductory post in the Introductions and Farewells subforum. Don’t expect the masses to greet you enthusiastically, but it never hurts to introduce yourself. Remember, this is pretty much giving people a first impression of you and therefore it’s important. Things to keep in mind about an introductory post: -Try not to make too many grammar mistakes and phrase it correctly. Remember this is the first impression people are getting of you, and we are not taught to respect people who don’t care about grammar much. -Be careful with what you say. Are you coming off as too arrogant/clingy/stupid? Are you trying too hard to get a reaction? Are you trying to create a fake persona? Believe me, people can usually tell, and they’re not impressed.
Step 2: Looking around You may have done this first, but actually put some effort into it if you want to be an active forum user. Look once at every subforum. Read the rules, see what goes on in each one. It’s totally fine if you don’t care for that subforum and never look at it again, but it’s not cool to post a request in General Discussion where there is a subforum dedicated to it. Tips: -It may be a good idea to take the time to actually post comments on threads you find interesting. It’s a good way to get your name out there and see what the community is like.
Step 3: Your account settings and profile page (Recommended) You may have done this before, or you may have not. If you browsed around, you may have noticed what sort of things people use as their avatars and signatures. It’s a good time to take a minute to fill out your About Me page, slap on an avatar and maybe make a short signature. Tips and recommendations: -The About Me section is a nice way to let people who take an interest in you (enough that they would bother visiting your profile), so it’s a nice way to go into a bit more detail than your Introductory thread. Be wary that long assed narratives and autobiographies will get promptly ignored. It’s simpler and more effective to write a few lines/paragraph with some overall info on you and what you do in the forum. -Your avatar is your “face”. I won’t go into my own manias and prejudices about avatars here, but keep in mind it tells a LOT to other people about your attitude. Be careful of offensive avatars and forum titles. -Signatures are nice, and it’s horribly easy to go overboard with them. Try to keep them as compact as possible, and if they occupy too much, put them in a spoiler.
Posting So, you’ve filled out your profile, looked around and you decide you want to start seriously posting. There is sooo much I could go on about here, but to keep things easy let’s split the types of posts you can make:
Short posts and comments These are casual, usually one lines used to reply quickly to threads. Overall, it’s fine if they have typos or grammar errors (they are usually typed fast and without using a spellcheck) since usually people don’t look for novel-level writing skills in them. Things to keep in mind: -This type of post is NOT an opening post for any thread. If you use this as an opening text for your thread, it gives the distinct impression you don’t give a damn or were too damn lazy to actually properly express your idea. -Allowing typos and grammar mistakes doesn’t mean you are allowed to make no bloody sense. If you English is weak, for whatever reason, try to make sure at least it’s readable. -If the post is short and has no point at all, do you really have to post it? Is this a “me too” comment? If it is, you may not need to add it at all, or you may want to add some more details (even if very briefly).
Paragraph-size posts These are the usual size of posts destined to actually expose your point in a discussion, open a thread or simply be a long-winder person. They can have a few typos and errors, but I strongly recommend you at least revise them once before posting them. Things to keep in mind: -This type of post can work as an opening text to a thread (unless it’s a project dev thread). -Keep it as clear and to the point as possible. Nobody likes reading a long ass paragraph only to find out the writer had nothing else to say than “I can write for a long time without saying anything”. -Punctuation is your friend.
Long and elaborate posts Here we are, the real king of posts. Usually done to open threads regarding Project Development, exposing a theme for further discussion or simply having a lot to say. It is VITAL you keep these posts correct in grammar and structure. Spacing and separating the text neatly will do a lot, and a huge wall of text will scream “DON’T READ ME!” Things to keep in mind: -While depending on the theme of the post you may want to give out many details, keep them clear and don’t get long-winded if you can help it. Being wordy just for the sake of it (or looking smart) is silly and makes you look like an idiot. (And no, being naturally long-winded and rant-prone doesn’t count, but try to keep to the point). -Keep a clean and ordered structure. Think of it like a school essay, if that makes it easier. Remember, walls of text are EVIL. Punctuation and spacing are the Saviours of the Universe. -If you’re trying to sound reasonable, run a spell check and check for typos. Nothing undermines your point more than a text riddled with easily seen errors. It gives the impression you don’t care about what you’re saying.
With that out of the way, let’s go into some other tips and rules on posting as a whole. -Always, ALWAYS, read the rules of a subforum before posting for the first time. -If you’re not sure your post is in the correct place, take a look at the subforums again before simply posting anywhere you feel like. -Don’t double post. If you forgot something you had to say, edit your posts. -Don’t quote enormous posts or huge images. -Use spoilers for long, optional texts and images.
Now for posts in certain areas. As always, start by reading the bloody rules.
Request posts -Before asking for ANYTHING, use the request and showcase subforums to see if they have what you need. Use the search function. Use the pinned master threads. THEN, if you don’t find what you’re looking for, make a new post. -Be polite. People have no obligation to help you at all. Don’t you dare get all prissy and offended because no one jumped up eagerly to help you. -Be concise and give all the information needed. You may have to create a faily long post to truly describe what you need, depending on what you want to request. The rules in the request forums will usually give details as to what you need to say, so visit them before posting. -Keeps the bumps to their correct times (72 hours) and don’t get all whiny when nobody answers. -Thank people when they help you. Seriously. -Report the post to be closed when you’re done. -Keep your requests reasonable. Nobody wants to make 50 sprites or 30 facesets for someone they never met for no compensation. On a different note, if it seems the request is not going forward at all, you may want to consider what’s wrong. Is the request lacking info? Are you asking for too much? Is it something anyone could easily do and makes it look like you’re a lazy slob? If any of those points ring true, reconsider your request and remake it, if needed.
Project Development threads There is already a detailed rule thread for this, so I’ll be brief: -Read the rules. -Don’t panic when your thread doesn’t show up immediately. They have to be manually accepted. -Unless you totally hate your project, try to make your thread as appealing as possible. This means no grammar errors, good spacing, concise information, screenshots, etc. -Don’t try to sound like your project is the greatest thing ever. Nobody is going to believe you. -Learn to take criticism. Keep in mind there MAY be some criticism that is too senseless or biased to be of use to you, but you should give everyone a chance to say their piece, even if you don’t agree with their points. -Before getting offended by what someone says, take a moment to calm down and consider if it seriously needs a response from you. Was the person trying to be offensive? Did he/she just phrase that poorly? -Screenshots are great. They are the first thing everyone looks at. Try to make them as good as you can, and as exemplary of your project as possible.
Project Recruitment Ahahaha, oh boy. So, this is a pretty…interesting subforum. Here goes: -Read the freaking rules. Seriously. -Before launching a great recruitment for a team, ask yourself if that’s what you need. Won’t a few resource/script requests cut it? Are you sure? Think it again. And again. -The vast majority of teams don’t work out for many reasons we won’t go into detail here, but keep that in mind. -Make it clear what is it that you need and keep it realistic. (No 10 writers, 12 scripters, 15 spriters, etc). -Don’t get all defensive when no one jumps up to help you. Is your idea good? Maybe it’s not very appealing? Should you revise it? -Don’t throw a fit when people who said they’d help you are never heard of again. This is the internet. Working in teams is hard in any case, and simply saying “I’ll help you” isn’t exactly a blood oath, much less with a complete stranger. -Pay attention to what other users say. Do users criticise you for asking for too much? You probably are. Are they saying the game seems boring? You probably didn’t express it well.
Discussion threads So you want to talk about a theme. Nice, but… -If you just want to talk about aspects of your own project, this probably isn’t the place (that’s what early dev is for). -Don’t start sure to be problematic discussions (religion and racism, suffer from this something fierce) -Don’t be offensive, You’re as entitled to your opinion as others are to theirs. While in your mind you are RIGHT, you are not the universal standard. Remember your view on things isn’t shared by everyone. -Discussion doesn’t imply you have to CONVINCE others of your opinion, remember that.
Forum and behaviour and etiquette So here we are to the point I REALLY wanted to make. Don’t ask me how it took so long to get here >< I notice some people, while not meaning to, commit some rather unfortunate mistakes when expressing themselves on the forum. Here are a few tips you may want to keep in mind at all times: -Be careful of what you write. Remember in the internet people can’t easily see if you’re meant to be joking, sarcastic, or whatever else. If you assume people will notice you are not being completely honest, SOMEONE is bound to misunderstand you. -Don’t treat everyone like they’re your good buddies when they are NOT. Don’t use jokes that could be labelled as offensive if you’re not actually close to the person. This also goes for “affectionate” name calling (aka insults). -Don’t be too arrogant, but don’t be too humble either. People can smell desperate attempts at getting friends by acting like a lowly asslicking lapdog a mile away, and it tends to turn people off. I don’t think I have to explain nobody likes arrogant assholes. -It’s one thing to “be yourself” and another to be an idiot spouting random bullshit because you claim you’re just “crazy”. Or anything along those lines. -Be polite, because remember, people on the internet don’t have an obligation to take your bullshit. At all. -If someone is giving you grief and you find yourself getting angry, take a deep breath and consider what you’re doing. Chances are, you’re either overreacting, being an idiot, or the other person is simply trying to get a raise from you. -One bad post can color everyone’s impression of you, so stay the fuck away from forbidden topics like racism, religion bashing, etc, etc. -Don’t start whining when people don’t immediately consider you awesome. Or comment on your project. Or don’t want to help you. -Don’t get the “the forum is against me” complex, because it’s never true. Even if it WAS, that only happens when the user is being an absolute idiot and a jerk fayse D8<, so consider what the heck it is that you’re doing wrong. -“I’m 10/12/8/5 years old” IS NOT an excuse. Neither is “I was drunk” or "I was having a bad day". Remember, nobody is forcing you to actually post. If you feel you’re too young to participate, just DON’T. -Don’t start farewell threads where you accuse people of chasing you out. Nobody cares about drama queens. -Don’t get stupid and start pulling bullshit all over the forum only to apologize in the most fake and irritating manner the next day. It doesn’t matter if you’re sincere, you sound like you’re just being an ass and a bad liar.
Well, that’s it for today. I may add more at another time, but I’ve run out of steam ; ; I really, REALLY hope this helps people out there, because some severely need it. And no, this isn’t mean to be criticism to anyone in particular, just to a trend.
Nowadays I'm in perpetual development hell. Shoot me a PM if you need something.
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Alignment: Chaotic Good
I also don't like one of the terms used in the title... so it has been removed.
Thanks for the effort Indra, but like sev said; the people who need to be reading stickies are exactly the people who never will. We have forum rules that we can link to, but stickies like this end up cluttering the forum and doing little to combat the endless swarm of mindless members who will never learn.
While sloppy writing does not invariably mean sloppy thinking, we've generally found the correlation to be strong -- and we have no use for sloppy thinkers. If you can't yet write competently, learn to. - Eric Raymond
Well thats fine, but you don't have to say sorry to me, I wasn't the one who suggested the sticky or anything :x And besides, this was made more to get the whole topic off my head than as actual instruction (as people who don't listen won't look at this anyway XD) But EH! Thats something off my chest (and it was kinda sorta fun to write anyway).
Nowadays I'm in perpetual development hell. Shoot me a PM if you need something.
I was thinking that maybe this can be sent with the forum account validation/activation email with the activation link hidden somewhere in the text. New members would atleast have to skim through the texts to find the link.