Darth Marsden

Greetings from the Telltale Games forums!

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Even as reddit, it fails.

So.

Goddamn.

Hard.

(here I am, testing how much profanity I can include. I want to see the gibberish.)

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An explanation seems appropriate...

your kind!

why thank you very much.

but fyi it's 'you're'

Somebody mention Hitler. I'm one away from Internet Bingo.

Hitler is my homeboy. Someone should photoshop that. Actually forget someone, hot should photoshop that.

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Actually, I use Hitler as a unit of measurement (SI, of course) for determining how bad someone is. In the number of net deaths, the only person who is actually worse than Hitler is Stalin, who is 5 Hitlers. If you count non-deliberate deaths, then Mao would also be worse. Most people fall into the femptoHitler or picoHitler range though.

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Actually, I use Hitler as a unit of measurement (SI, of course) for determining how bad someone is. In the number of net deaths, the only person who is actually worse than Hitler is Stalin, who is 5 Hitlers. If you count non-deliberate deaths, then Mao would also be worse. Most people fall into the femptoHitler or picoHitler range though.

If you factor in the total amount of the world's population at the time against the total death toll, then a lot more people fall at or above the Hitler range. Napoleon, for example.

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Unfortunately, there aren't accurate enough accounts of actual deaths to really measure those accurately. I mean, I'm sure Genghis Khan or Attila the Hun would probably factor, but it's unclear exactly what their death toll is, given the records for the time.

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An explanation seems appropriate...
Oh sure, let's leave it for 'The Man with the Mane' to explain everything. I had nothing better to do this morning. [/sarcasm]

I posted about the behind-the-scenes stuff of what happened in this post here, which was promptly ignored (thanks guys), but allow me to go through what happened from more of an outsiders perspective.

Basically, the TTG forums were falling apart. The same forum software had been in use for years, and it was horribly outdated - there were infestations of spambots (my most common job as a mod was getting rid of them), the mod tools were tricky to access, IP addresses were impossible to detect/IP ban and there was an absurd amount of downtime needed (3-4 hours), which took place from 9:30 GMT - which was when I'm active, since I work afternoon/evenings, meaning I, and others, couldn't be around as much as we'd have liked.

On top of this, the blog posts had to have comments disabled, since mods were unable to actually, y'know, moderate stuff there, which meant that entries would be flooded by angry TWD fans demanding the next episode be released now NOW NAOW!!!. The horror... the horror.

Ahem. In short - the site needed updating. BADLY.

Unfortunately, the higher ups felt that the best way to do this was to make a really strong push for a Reddit-style system. They got all-new software and put it all together, and then let the mods give it a Beta Test. The response was almost entirely negative - which isn't that surprising given that most of the mods are old-school in their methods and, for all its faults, liked the style of the old forums.

The one thing people took away from the experience was that the old guard would thoroughly despise the new style, while younglings (I call them that until they prove they're capable of not acting like 5 year olds all the time) would get on fine with it.

If you want to check out what the Beta looked like - clicky click.

Anyway. The beta period lasted a week or two, and despite most of the mods making numerous suggestions on how to improve things - most of which could basically be summed up as "throw it in the bin and start again with actual forum software" - very little actually changed. The higher-ups were stuck in their ways, and seemed to be perfectly happy courting their newer fans as opposed to reaching out to younglings AND the old guard. Sound familiar?

After the open beta period ended, things went back to normal with the old forum and everyone kind of forgot the Beta happened. It was like a bad dream - if we don't think about it, it can't hurt us. Then we were informed there'd be an open Beta which everyone could take part in. They did, and echoed almost exactly the same concerns as the mods.

Once that Beta ended, we all quietly hoped that the massive amount of negative feedback would convince them to redo the site. But then a couple weeks ago, us mods got notice that the new site design was coming and it'd be a total changeover.

We were... apprehensive, to say the least. Especially when we got an advance preview and realised... huh.

You may notice that both links I provided go to exactly the same place. That's because the new forums are almost exactly the same as the beta, with minor tweaks that don't really seem to have changed much at all.

The response? Exactly what most of us feared, and exactly what the higher-ups seemed to want. Courting the new fans while giving the middle finger to the old ones, leading to us classic TTG fans leaving (and mostly coming here, for better or worse).

It's really a big shame, especially when you count the number of mods who've started posting here as well as normal folk (which I guess is what we are now as well... *sigh*). There's me, Jenni, Vainaimonen (who's name I can never spell right - think I've got an i wrong somewhere), GuruGuru... Not to mention those who weren't mods. I'd estimate you'll be getting a good dozen 'refugees from TTG' in total, if not more.

Anyway. That's what happened. Not all of us have abandoned TTG completely, but a large number of us who aren't happy with the new direction will no doubt be leaving it soon enough. I myself am on the verge of doing so, and I know I'm not the only one.

So... there you go. And so as not to end this post on a negative beat, here's a gif of Guybrush Threepwood dancing, which was horrendously overused by younglings and morons. It's one of the few things I will not be sad to see go.

guybrush_dance_small.gif

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Ah jeez, if I knew that second gif was a thing I could totally have saved myself half an hour.

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Okay, so here's how things went down. The previous incarnation of the Telltale website was created around six years ago. Unfortunately, after Doug Tabacco left the company, there wasn't really anyone left who knew how to properly manage the backend of the website. This caused a lot of things to fall apart and not work correctly after a few years. On top of that, there was a downtime every night that lasted at least an hour and usually more like four. The site was in bad shape and in need of replacement. We were all eagerly waiting a new site. Boy, did that come back to bite us.

There had been talk behind the scenes for a while. First we were supposed to get a new forum that used Vanilla, like Penny Arcade uses. Then we were supposed to get just an update on vBulletin. Then it was Vanilla again. What we actually got was something built in-house by people who hadn't made forum software before. Naturally, this eventually led to bad design choices and missing features.

Last year at PAX, two of the other moderators and myself got to meet Kevin Bruner, (Telltale's co-founder, president, and chief technical officer). The topic of the site came up and we were told that he was looking forward to our input on the new site. What was concerning was that he made mention of an upvote/downvote system "like Reddit".

In November, the moderators were invited to a brief private beta of the new site. We were all horrified that it used threads with nested posts, like Reddit. Most of us started speaking out against it immediately. It felt like we were being ignored, but we were assured that our input was being heard. This build didn't include any mod tools, which concerned us.

In February, the rest of the forums were invited to an open beta that lasted about a week. It barely looked any different. Most of the forumites started speaking out against it immediately.

The new site launched today, and it was pretty much exactly the same. It's awful and a bunch of people are jumping ship. I haven't left yet, but I'm getting myself established over here.

Edit: DAMMIT, MARSDEN. How dare you ninja me and write a better post to boot!

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DAMMIT, MARSDEN. How dare you ninja me and write a better post to boot!
tumblr_kpowmc5CAf1qzma4ho1_400.jpg

Actually, you added a few details (namely the PAX stuff) that I wasn't even aware of, so you could say we compliment each other. But that's too nice, so I'll just do a little dance and yell "IN YOUR FACE" a bunch of times instead.

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It's fine when the zombies are doing the thriller, but watch out when they stop!

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Well, I guess it's time for me to become something more than a lurker on these forums. Hi peeps!

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NOOOO! Now I totally want to adopt all of you.
Absolutely not. If you did that, it'd be all weird any time I hit on Jenni.

(I never actually do that)

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On a side note, I've been in a somewhat similar situation before.

Nival Interactive forums (developers of Rage of Mages, known as Allods in Russia, Evil Islands, Etherlords, Blitzkrieg, Silent Storm, Heroes of Might & Magic V) had a very big and tight community. Even though a lot of people were fan of different games, there was a lot going on in the general discussion forums. When Allods Online got close to release, the forums as they were closed down. And Rage of Mages and Evil Islands sections were transferred off to Allods Online forums (which were very buggy, I might add), and the rest were transferred to the Zzima portal forums (Nival owns the Zzima portal). Basically, the community broke down in two.

And, well, most of the Rage of Mages/Evil Islands fans kinda stopped visiting both forums (one due to disappointment from Allods Online, the other due to it being pretty much cut off). From time to time I visit the Zzima forums, but... not as active there as I was before.

What's even worse, for us RoM/Evil Islands fans (Evil Islands inspired me to get into Game Dev, after all), is that the forums were merged into one big 'Old games of the series' forum section, AND like 85% of the threads and posts from all the years vanished as a result, and, well, they don't exist anymore (we asked). :-/ So, practically no history left there. :(

The era before the divide is known as the 'Blue Forum Era', because, well, the Nival forum was blue. And it was awesome.

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NOOOO! Now I totally want to adopt all of you.
Absolutely not. If you did that, it'd be all weird any time I hit on Jenni.

(I never actually do that)

Well I am your wife after all. Well, I was, since the car bomb exploded and I seemed to be in it. But I could have survived for all we know! :P

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Well I am your wife after all. Well, I was, since the car bomb exploded and I seemed to be in it. But I could have survived for all we know! :P
Oh, now you're just confusing everyone.

Y'know, even more than they already are.

I guess it would be helpful to clue them in a bit.

I'm referring to this, which I really hope still gets finished despite the forum change.

I want to see how it ends.

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This is actually a good time to try and be active more instead of lurking with the occasional post.

Though I doubt this active spell will last more than a week.

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I'm referring to this, which I really hope still gets finished despite the forum change.

I want to see how it ends.

As do I. I know I'm inevitably going to be killed, and I want to see how imaginative NoName215 gets.

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I don't know how many of their TWD-Fans will accept this forum though. I guess it just takes one of them making a fanforum for their game that is actually useable and they'd all wander off.

I wish them good luck with their new comments section but I will not be a part of it.

I think at least one fan forum has already been made. And actually that could be the one thing that makes Telltale change. If they lose their new customer base as well as the old guard (not that they care about us really) then they might rethink their strategy.

Or they could just go on alienating everyone who was a fan of theirs.

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Or they could just go on alienating everyone who was a fan of theirs.
I think they're going to be doing that whatever happens.

*sigh*

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