Veterans: what has changed about Choice of Games and the forum over the years?

Yep, it’s one of those sappy posts. I am honestly curious and feeling sentimental because I’ve finished working on my project for today. If I succeed at publishing this thing in the future, I’ll be finally (hopefully :sweat_smile:) contributing in some meaningful way to this awesome company I’ve only ever loved and supported from the shadows since forever. I occasionally come across posts from way back in 2011-2014, and while I have been playing these games practically right from the first one’s release, I didn’t join the forum until two years ago and wasn’t a regular (or really on ever) until a few months ago.

So, what has changed since you joined? What’s been special and makes you all nostalgic? Who’s been around brightening the place that you’d like to give your Oscar acceptance speech thank yous to?

@rose-court and @Eiwynn get a big thank you with a capital T from me for putting up with my stupid questions when I was getting a handle on the forum.

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Do you want the truth about it or just a rose lies about how all is now perfect and better?

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It’s a positive post from my personal perspective, but I did say what has changed in general so feel free to give your honest opinion. :blush:

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There isn’t a 20 character minimum anymore, so that’s an improvement!

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Since when?
Test

It’s now required to be 3 characters or more. (Which still sucks if you’re answering a post with a simple “no.”)

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Oh, Then better I will shut up I don’t want to depress anyone with my opinion about how the forum is lately.

I’ve only been here for about 400 days, not much has changed from what I can see. Except now I dont have that blinding white background and switched to night mode.

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Criticism has its place and is important too, even in positivity. Nothing is ever wholly amazing or wholly terrible. And without acknowledging that, the forum (everything in general) could easily stagnate, regress and become decidedly not what I’m feeling nostalgic and warm about. I don’t see why you should be silenced and if that’s what I made you feel, I apologize for that. I for one am interested in hearing your thoughts. I don’t think honesty is depressing at all so long as no one is being intentionally cruel.

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Well, I am isolated from 80% of the forum where I can’t directly post because fans of the two most popular franchises launch over me like hyenas. That’s nothing to do with the company with I have improved the relationships and I think is giving positive steps in modernisation and integration. Then, I am afraid posts in most new wips as the acceptance of criticism is below zero. Anything not remotely close to appraisal is followed with or a flag or twenty different people calling out the critic. I have learned to keep up in the tiny bit of forum when Fans of Infinity universe aren’t. Think is really sad as those people were during the years, my friends. But now I am too aggressive and sincere for most of the forum.

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I’m not sure what the two most popular franchises are or your exact situation. I can say, however, that I feel you on a little of what you’re talking about. It didn’t happen here, but I pretty much got dogpiled for disliking an exorbitantly popular series and laying out my reasoning in a CoG/Hosted fan group when we were opening discussion threads on games we find overrated. My thread failed quite miserably. That’s life I suppose. People are just highly passionate about their viewpoints, and it can be easy to develop misunderstandings and points of bitterness if someone feels like they’re being called out or nitpicked unfairly.

I haven’t witnessed criticism not being accepted in wip threads, but I also don’t usually directly post in any of them. If I find a game I like and want to support, I personally message the author because the perfectionist editor in me has to give in depth, line-by-line style critiques or nothing at all and that can get awkward on the main post. I haven’t had any complaints so far; the authors have actually been quite grateful and kind. In my experiences, taking time to give feedback at all is mostly appreciated around here, but that’s just me. I am sorry that you haven’t been seeing the same acceptance.

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Thank you for bringing this to my attention, Mara.

Aside from my usual advice (if someone’s being rude, flag it), here’s a word from Toonami’s TOM. I hope it encourages you to keep engaging with the forum and making our games better.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4Ai4G6ccfA

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I’ve been here for about 3 years so idk if that makes me a veteran or not, but there are definitely some changes I’ve seen.

Such as when I first joined there was no subcategory dedicated specifically to the Infinite Sea lol. But I think the biggest thing that I’ve noticed, specifically in the past year or so is the increasing diversity of WiPs. Before, about 60-70% of new WiPs (at least that I saw) were high fantasy. Now, while there’s still a large chunk of high fantasy WiPs, there are more Sci Fi and urban fantasy WiPs than before.

Also I’m not sure if this was there before and I’m just noticing it now, or if it’s always been like this, but I’ve definitely noticed fan culture becoming more prevalent. What I mean by fan culture is that people seem to stick to the threads about their favorite games/WiPs, not engaging with other threads too much. That’s not to say people don’t engage in other threads of course, it just seems to me that we tend to stick to one or two threads which we post on regularly, and then post maybe once in another thread.

Of course, that’s not to say that this is a bad thing. People will talk about what interests them, there’s nothing wrong with that. But it does seem that before people engaged with a wider part of the community.

Last but certainly not least in my opinion is the way attitudes about romances and ROs have changed over time. It seems to me that earlier, having well developed and fleshed out romances was something people very much enjoyed but never really an expectation. Perhaps I’m wrong but now it seems like there is an expectation every game (or at least WiP) includes some decent ROs, even if romance is not the focus of the story.

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The migration/integration to and of social media has been the biggest evolution in the community.

Today, Discord servers, Tumbler, Twitter, and Patreon all are huge pieces of the puzzle and even Facebook, although not as much for “reasons”.

Before, this forum and the CYA forum were the only two places to be a part of a community.

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I joined the Forum back on Feb. 2015, so I’m not sure if that makes me a veteran?

Anyway, there were quite a lot of changes. In the past, I feel as if I can check out any threads I like and comment whatever. Now, though, I feel as if I should just stick to what I know best, you know? It seems difficult to branch out; sorry, I’m having difficulty explaining it. It’s like how we’ve solidified our penchant for a certain game or a series and we stick there, and seldom look at other games.

I also noticed that there are more users who’re rather aggressive and impolite (I speak in general terms, and this is not targeting anyone specifically). I miss the tranquility of the old days, where we’d discuss and hypothesize about what will happen on Chapter X, or if Character Y would survive, and so on, and to do so without any worry of any insults. Now, I’m not saying that uncivil discourse is common now; it’s just that uncivil discourse seems to increase as time passes.

And there are more games now! The variety of the genres, too, are expanding! When I first got into CoG, games were mostly fantasy or historical. But now, I see some contemporary (is that the right term? Those games take place in today’s time) and science fiction ones.

I also like how the games and the community are getting more inclusive and open-minded. The Forum members too, are getting more inclusive as time passes.

That is also another thing I like very much: when I first arrived here, I enjoyed the idea that we may freely exchange ideas, even controversial ones, as long as we treat each other with respect and respond to the argument. I am happy to say that, in general, this open-mindedness has increased; it was already present when I arrived here back on 2015; but it’s higher than ever now.

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I’ve been a forum member since 2012. Let’s see what cobwebs I can dig up. Speaking purely from the catalogue of games put out?

  • Word length (anyone remember HG’s Popcorn, Soda… and Murder? title)
  • The capabilities of the choicescript software
  • The inclusion of other sexualities/genders/etc.
  • Just my personal opinion that I don’t know if it’s supported or not, but I feel like in the HG label in there wasn’t much of a ‘story’ element… until Zombie Exodus came along.
  • Like Eiwynn said, we’ve moved beyond just the forums for specific fandoms
  • Eventually, stories got more character customization options, there was more focus put on including minorities (thanks to the Heroes Rise trilogy I feel), more branching storylines and just got bigger and grander overall
  • Price increases from like… I wanna say 2.99 to what they currently are to compensate for the epic proportion of writing
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Well. personally I feel the forum has grown far less tolerant over the years. Used to be if you said something someone disliked, they would try to talk it through with you, rather then just flag the heck out of your post…

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Well, logically, most veteran people here can’t really hate me anymore than they already do, so I can address what people want to tiptoe around without fear of anyone losing respect they never actually had for me to begin with.

I feel there’s kind of an issue with the idea of looking at it’s people getting worse so much as that as popularity and site population increases, the amount of users as a base grows. With more added users the percent of them that it’s actually possible they really are just pretentious/rude/or all around assholes increases. I’m all for supporting new authors. I wish when I first started writing I had people to support me and we should be careful not to let people just starting out get discouraged…at the same time…not necessarily everyone who shares your love of something is going to be a nice person. Some writers actually are just extremely thin skinned and refuse to take any amount of criticism because they feel they have nothing more to learn, which is a bad attitude.

But if you take a look at most things, most writers welcome not entirely positive feedback. Fanbases have a tendency to get so zealously militant they take any traces of dislike as “Just hating” which is a problematic line of thinking. So why fight battles for the author when they don’t support you on this?

Remember when people sent death threats to review sites because they didn’t rate Breath Of The Wild as a 10/10, absolutely perfect and above all flaws(Except for all the flaws)? It’s not any different than what you see. People confuse liking something and needing to defend it. You can find a lot of attitude that is “I like this and if you even think about the slightest amount of criticism to it, you’re a bad person. Every single possible thing is pure genius and you’re just a hater because I like it, therefore it’s above all criticism.”

Which sounds like an extreme case where clearly I must be exaggerating this logic…except not really. It sounds extreme, because it’s an extreme view to have. It’s okay to enjoy things or see things you liked that other people didn’t, but if your reaction is “You’re just a troll because you don’t fully approve of every possible decision!” Well…you’re wrong.

Yet, it must be emphasized while this is actually an extremely common train of logic in movies and games, the amount of people actually like this, while they most certainly do exist, is actually a lot narrower than the common population.There are jerks in every group, and as population rises, we are far more likely to see a more visible amount of that group. As the player base expands, so does stubbornness and intolerance by a natural effect. Not everyone with an internet connection and a keyboard qualifies as a good or even mentally stable person. Not even every content creator is a morally upstanding person. Some actually are just smug jerks with overinflated egos and an unjustified sense of superiority who’d rather just shrug things off as people being too dumb to get it than actually consider if they might have a genuine point.

And again, as time goes on, the amount of people who share that line of thinking grow. It turns into the feeling that nobody cares what someone’s point is anymore. They just take a look at something not entirely positive and dismiss it as inherently wrong without actually considering any of the reasoning behind it which ultimately, just hurts the natural development of letting the games grow into the quality they deserve and authors better than me could provide if they were given the room to actually develop and grow instead of cutting down anything for not immediately falling to the general sentiment.

If you love a franchise, then accepting criticism is an important part in helping it become better and grow past that. To see actual improvements made, that means allowing people to voice what they feel needs to change, even if you aren’t going to completely agree.

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I didn’t even know there was a dark mode option, sweet !

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Yes and no in my opinion. While I think there is a stronger push for more time and options to be devoted to RO, there’s always been a bit of an expectation that they’ll be there while I’ve been around at least. One of the complaints I had for Wizardry which was published a number of years ago was that it didn’t have RO’s.

I also agree this seems to be more common than it used to be.

I think there is a bit of an increase, but they seem to go in waves. High fantasy always sticks around, but sometimes there’ll be a shift to include pirate games, or urban fantasy, or supernatural or zombies on the forums. Superheros has been an increasing trend for a while as well. Other genres do pop up from time to time (comedy, sci-fi, slice of life etc) but rarely get the following that fantasy genres do, so they don’t tend to get written as often. (That’s not a new thing to the forum.)

Sigh I haven’t moved with the times it seems. (Only have Facebook :stuck_out_tongue:).

Just as an aside, the fact there are people mentioning that they feel they’re hated/excluded/not respected for giving constructive crit or that they feel they can no longer discuss games without starting arguments is concerning. I thought the forums did go though a turbulent period a while back, but I’d hoped that this wasn’t still happening much anymore.

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