2021-04-08 02:46:59

Hello everyone,
At long last, following Jayde's resignation and happenings here over the last few days, our first formal admin meeting took place earlier today. In the name of transparency, I'd like to quickly get everyone up to speed on some changes we have and are actively making, as well as what the future will hold for you and this site at large.

First of all, both Arqmeister and Dan_c have had their original member ranks restored for the time being. Allow me to be the first to thank the two of you for your work over the last few years. It's appreciated, and should you at any time show interest in returning to the team we would be more than open to reconsideration.

Secondly, on account of their demonstrated competence, and also in order to speed up the process of unrestricting new users, Dgleks and Jack have both been elevated to the rank of administrator. I would typically be wary making a decision of this magnitude so early on, but it's nearly been six months since they were welcomed to the team, and they have both proven more than up to the task on multiple occasions.
So there is no confusion, the policy requiring a staff majority will remain in affect even though there are currently no moderators on the team. In other words, all proposals to enact a ban or the community failure clause will continue to be vetted by more than one person.

And finally, the elephant in the room. Our not all that popular stance on asset theft and unauthorized assets.
In the end, everyone seems to have their own viewpoint on how to remedy what I'd almost call a catch-22.
I believe I can speak for the rest of the team when I say we're tired. tired of running this one around in circles and circles, feeling like every step forward is two back and one off to the left. Torn on how to look out for the best interests of the community, actively condoning stolen assets while simultaneously not ripping our database to shreds. In reality, there is a far simpler, more practical course of action we should've taken a long time ago.

I will soon draft an open letter to the hosts (Richard and Sander) and with help clearly outline both sides of the copyright issue so that it may be deliberated upon by the very people who started and actively fund the site. The letter will be sent personally, and posted to a topic where anyone who wishes to be heard may do so. However, the final decision of course rests with them.

The benefits here will be twofold, in that I plan to mention the mounting bugs/DB errors and primitive functionality, among other setbacks. In particular, we're looking at a superior solution for keeping and storing off-sight backups, fixing the bugs that an increasing number of you have been reporting, access to the primary site support email address from which I'm sure many a message has been swallowed, improving the PM system, refactoring searches, allowing mods to unrestrict new users, and probably more that isn't coming to mind right now.
I'm not going to promise all of the above, but I think it's fair to say that we've been improvising and trying to work with inefficient systems for far too long and are honestly just fed up with it. We've been running since 2005. It's been a good run, but I think everyone will stand with us in saying that it's high time to modernize this place a bit.
PHP isn't my best, much less preferred language. I dabbled in it as well as database management and sysadmin for a time, so feel confident I'd be able to make a pretty dent. Thankfully I'm by no means the only team member who can lend a hand here.

Hopes and code aside, depending on the response we get from our communication with the hosts, we may continue our efforts to consult a lawyer, or at any rate someone far more knowledgeable than myself where applicable law is concerned.

None of this will happen over night of course, but it is my sincere hope that soon we can finally begin to chip at the ever increasing list of bugs, and more importantly ensure the longevity of this wonderful community. In the meantime, please hang tight. We're all here along for the same ride for the same purpose, to discuss and promote audiogames. Let's do our best to remember that and work alongside one another.

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2021-04-08 05:03:36

Now that's an approach that makes sense. I think if they're not willing to take at least a semi-active roll doing sysadmin tasks, the staff team is well suited to handle things now, as it was not a year and more ago. Hopefully, Richard and Sandor will give access to one or more of you. And if a lawyer who is well-versed in Dutch law and EU law, and they say we have to do X, Y, and Z, then that's what must be done.

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2021-04-08 07:48:20

Thanks for this update. I hope these things can be ironed out eventually.

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2021-04-08 08:07:31

Thanks for the update.

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2021-04-08 08:44:46

thanks for the update, that's awesome!

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2021-04-08 14:57:29

Yes, that's all good. But what good will an open letter really do if the webmasters don't read it however?

If in doubt, chocolate and coffee. Enough said.

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2021-04-08 15:00:26

wow that's interesting news. This makes things better.

I love audiogames, a specially some offline ones like top speed.

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2021-04-08 15:47:03

I honestly can't speak for anyone else, but as for myself I see a sinking ship without the extra TLC, and may no longer see my position here as a worthwhile time investment.

I'm seriously hoping it won't come to that, but right now I feel like I've been backed into a corner and forced to make due.

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2021-04-08 15:57:18

Thanks for reaching out to the webmasters of the site. Hopefully they'll give you guys access to the servers and site stuff so that we can finally move forward.
Also, that's a really good approach on the copyright thing. I agree with it and think it'd be good for us.

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2021-04-08 17:23:42

Yeah, there's no point sticking around if nothing can be done. It's like trying to use buckets for bailing an ocean liner with a gouge in it the size of a torpedo head.

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2021-04-08 18:59:58

I brought this up when the prospect was discussed on discord. I asked what our contingency would be, as a community, if the webmasters continued to stonewall. Because the thing is, if you're not willing to exert pressure where necessary, then your opponent can just block everything you want to do and then nothing happens.
I don't think anyone wants an adversarial relationship with the webmasters, but there comes a point when you have to do more than just pay the server bill. As much as that's appreciated, it's not enough. And if you can't be bothered doing more than that, at least give those who are interested in bettering the community the keys to the house, so to speak. There are currently three members of the team with the know-how to push forward, so I'm hoping that putting some pressure on the webmasters is enough to get them to realize that times and circumstances have changed.
But yeah. At the end of the day, one has to be willing to take further action, even if it means walking out and letting the community fall to pieces, if there is absolutely no other way. I hope it's clear to all that none of us actually wants that, staff and non-staff alike. Other attempts to start new communities have proven just how difficult that sort of prospect can be, so it would be preferable to just enhance what we've got here.

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2021-04-08 19:10:17

Time and time again, the admins and mods prove that they got things under control. Yawl are definitely smarter than me. I must say, great job on coming up with a solution that could work without dissecting the entire community and reassembling it somewhere else. You guys have once again given me hope that this site can be restored.

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2021-04-08 19:30:13

Don't hope just yet. There's a good chance the web hosts won't even respond, and nothing changes.

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2021-04-08 20:06:05

That's a good point GCW. They may not even see it, and if they do they may not care.
But then again, maybe they'll see it, and it'll turn out that they cared a lot but were just finding another way to learn a better method of coding the site, and plan to re-code the whole situation when they come back.

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Discord: MatthewSmithYT #4496

2021-04-08 20:30:51

I very much doubt that. Remember, I think they're developers. They have even made their own games. If that was what they  were about, they would have done it by now. They've just got lives now, a family, etc.

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2021-04-08 20:38:23

@1 I'm glad to see that the admins are moving forward on this. While we await news of the copyrighted assets from the webmasters, among other things, what is the stance that we'll take on using stolen assets? Are we going to still stifle all direct links to the content or sites that exclusively host that content? Or are we going to do something different?

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2021-04-08 23:10:34

What are those two working on these days. I'm very curious.

I have a website now.

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2021-04-09 00:03:44 (edited by Ethin 2021-04-09 00:04:01)

@15, I don't buy the "I have a family" excuse from them anymore. Yeah, they might have a family and other obligations, but if you happen to run a very popular forum and your other obligations do not permit you the required time to manage that forum, then you should delegate it to others. Their last post was in 2019. They shouldn't be running the forum anymore if their other obligations take so much time that the forum becomes the lowest priority.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.
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2021-04-09 01:19:06

Oh I agree. It's ridiculous the position they left us in.

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2021-04-09 02:00:24

Right now we're going to stick with the current policy. That having been said, only games that are being reported right now will be investigated in case we're force to overturn our actions later. The big list hasn't been forgotten, it's just not highest priority at the moment out of the hope that it'll work itself out with everything else.

In other news, there are at least eighty mentions of "hosts" or "webmasters" and inactivity in the last couple years, probably more with different queries. I think we'll get the point across.

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2021-04-09 08:00:02

@1. Great update. However, what will happen if they don't respond?

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2021-04-09 15:50:02

@15
Probably not, but was just bringing other ideas to the table.

"They say money can't buy happiness... But I'd rather cry in a Ferrari."
-Scrubby

Discord: MatthewSmithYT #4496

2021-04-10 19:58:31

Thumbs up from me! Hopefully they'll respond to the letter and show some much-needed presence here for once.
And I also agree with your point about remembering what is the purpose of this forum. If everybody did so, I think this would be a much nicer place than it is now (no offense to anyone here)

Greetings and happy gaming, Julian

If you say you never lie, you're a liar.

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2021-04-11 22:12:52

@21 I think that is part of the reason people are trying to make database downloaders, so that all of that can be moved to a new database.

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2021-04-11 22:54:16 (edited by JayJay 2021-04-11 23:00:03)

I Believe one of them is a university professor if I'm not mistaken, or something along the lines of teaching blind people to code. They also have children, about 4 to six years old.

Who has any time for the letter h?

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