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Re: RFOR: Is LGDC really crap?
Christian Reiniger wrote:
> So - is it really that bad? What is missing, what needs to be improved,
> what would be nice to have?
I don't think it's bad - there just isn't much happening to make it good.
There is an issue with "know your audience". Much of the content seems
directed towards games *players* rather than *developers*. I don't think
you should aim at the players - HappyPenguin already has that covered IMHO.
What we don't know (and this is a major flaw of the survey) is whether
the people who were dissatisfied with LGDC were game developers, game
players or some other audience group. If games players visiting the
site are dissatisfied with it, you may not care - so long as your core
audience of designers are ecstatic about it.
I'd like to see news about tools that games developers are interested
in ("New release of GDB - Has these great features" - for example). I
don't have the time to look at Freshmeat and 99% of the things it covers
are useless to me. When a bug is discovered in something that I care
about (Mesa for example) - it would be great to see a report of it and
it's eventual resolution or work-around.
I like to read game design post-mortems (of the kind posted on
OpenGL-Gamedev recently about how we think HALO does some of it's
tricks - or the kind of thing you see in the Game Developer magazine
"We wrote it like this - but we would have written it like that if
we'd had the time").
> * The site content is almost static currently - no new news items, no new
> articles, no new/updated links. I know that's my duty but, well, I simply
> won't ever do this as much as I should. By a far shot. These tasks simply
> aren't something I enjoy, and since I work on lgdc in my spare time I'll
> concentrate on the "fun" stuff. And of course there's the thing that I
> never ever developed a game :)
I think you should go the slashdot route and have a number (say three or
four) people whom you get on with and trust who can each contribute items -
then put up a mailing list where anyone can send ideas and news snippets to
those people for posting. This divides the workload of posting items by
a factor of four or five - and increases the volume of news by some larger
If you manage to put up enough interesting items that don't duplicate other
news sources (or at least scoop them so you tend to be first with the news)
then your readership (and hence contributors) will grow. However, without
readership you won't get contributors and hence you won't get readers.
To get past the initial 'bootstrap' period, you and your trusted co-editors
may have to hunt for news yourselves.
> * The poll clearly lists the mailing list as the least valuable part of
> lgdc (14 votes, with the others at 35, 38, 39 and 41), and the mailing
> list traffic also indicates that.
When you need it - it's there for you. My thread about keyboard problems
for example - was promptly and accurately answered by people who knew what
they were talking about. I don't know where else I could have asked that.
However, one doesn't have questions like that on a daily basis.
Mailing lists don't have to be high traffic to be utterly invaluable.
Quite the reverse in fact.
I like the traffic on the OpenGL-Gamedev list - but it's very narrowly
> There's a group of 10-15 people who
> know each other (partly got to know each other via lgdc, granted) and
> post to the list from time to time, but that's about it. So lgdc's
> original goal of building a (and serving as common "communication
> platform" for) a Linux game development community has not been reached.
Just how many active game developers do you think there are?
It would be interesting to do some kind of a search on the named authors
in the HappyPenguin database to get some kind of an idea.
Once again though, content is king. More people would subscribe if there
was more good stuff on the list - if more people subscribed there would
be more good stuff (unfortunately, there would probably also be MUCH more
junk - but that's life).
> Not even remotely.
> I don't think I can do much about that. As I said before I'm no game
Perhaps a mailshot to every author in the HappyPenguin database asking
if they'd like to join in? That's perilously close to SPAMming them
A mailing list is not like a newspaper. It's somewhere where you can
ask a question and stand a good chance of getting a correct answer -
and somewhere where you can return the favor on the odd occasion where
you know the answer. If there is no traffic it's because everyone
knows what they are doing and have no questions right now - that's
If the list was full of off-topic posts and flames, the people who
could give good answers would stop reading it.
> * I have some plans to allow everyone (well, everyone with a valid site
> account) to post, edit and delete news and resources. Of course all
> changes only take effect after someone trusted has reviewed them, but it
> allows everyone spotting an error, a missing thing etc to simply "fix it
> on the spot" (using the nice web forms that are currently reserved for
> maintainers) and it simplifies the maintainer(s'|'s) job of handling such
You risk lowering the quality by doing that. I think that would perhaps
be worse than having too little content.
> Well, I don't really know. It would be nice if a big, friendly and active
> community could grow around lgdc, if the mailing list would have
> (non-noise) traffic worth mentioning, if our (admittedly way
> underadvertized) irc channel (#lgdc on irc.openprojects.net) wouldn't
> have to be held open by bots etc. But I don't see that happening and I
> don't think I can do anything about that.
(I hate IRC and will never use it - as for the mailing list, I said before,
I can stand low quantity if the quality is there...which IMHO, it generally
> Side note: The poll lists the resources section *after* articles. IMHO
> resources are *more* important than local articles, simply because it's
> much easier to link to many good articles than to write many good
> articles anew (and the ones we have are a bit dated..).
Yes - the articles section seems a little redundant. Anyone who is writing
games will almost certainly have a place to post articles of that sort
(mine is at http://www.sjbaker.org/steve/omniv BTW). I don't see the point
in placing the actual text into the LGDC site - although it might be good to
mention the arrival of a new article there, maintain a link to it, and give
people a place to comment on it.
Content I create goes on my site because I can control it that way. Making
a correction is as easy as firing up 'vi'. Unless the traffic from LGDC
readers directed towards my site became *really* high - I can see no reason
to have them stored on your disk drive instead of mine. It would be
different if a posting about (say) my keyboard article generated a
Slashdotesque deluge of readers - but I don't think that's ever likely
for the simple reason that there just aren't that many Linux games
developers on the planet.
> Perhaps the
> situation would be a bit different if there were a big community with
> several good writer-gamedevelopers around lgdc - and even then it's much
> easier (and better) to link to e.g. Steve Baker's ramblings
> (http://www.sjbaker.org/steve/omniv/index.html) than to convince him to
> write them on lgdc ;)
Er - yes - it is. ("ramblings"? **RAMBLINGS**!! Humph! :-)
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