As promised, we've drafted a new and hopefully more comprehensive version of the rules, which you can read below. We encourage you to give us your opinions on these rules, and ask that you do so in a polite and courteous manner. Please try and stay on topic within this thread as much as possible, as we aim to have a productive discussion here. We would love to know what you folks think, and actively welcome your point of view both as individuals and as a community.
By using this site and its associated forums, you agree to try and abide by the guidelines as much as possible. These are put in place to help everyone communicate clearly and to minimize confusion. You will not face punishment for failing to adhere to our guidelines unless you are doing so repeatedly for a prolonged period of time.
1. This website is public, and can be read by anyone. Please bear this in mind when posting, and share only what you are comfortable with sharing.
2. Please use English when you post. This is the official language of the forums, and while we respect people of any nationality, the staff team's only universal language is English. We will make every effort to support those whose mother tongue is not English.
3. Please try to put new topics in the correct forum, and give them titles which have something to do with what the topic is about. For instance, a topic entitled "Hello" in the Introduce Yourself forum would make sense, but a topic called "Hello" in the General Games Discussion might be unclear. If you place a topic in the wrong forum, it will be moved, but you will face no disciplinary action for it.
4. If you find a post that breaks the rules and which has not yet been responded to by a member of the staff team, please feel free to report it. This will give us a notification telling us that someone has flagged a post for investigation and potential moderation. Not all reported posts will result in punitive action, but we will look into all reports to determine their validity. Thank you in advance for helping us do our job. Please note that if you know or strongly suspect that multiple people have already reported a problematic post, adding another report with the same perspective may not be necessary. You will never be punished for over-reporting, but we may bring the issue to your attention if a large number of redundant reports slows down the moderation process.
5. Please consider others when you post. While some users do not mind having game details discussed at length, others do not want their experience spoiled. As such, we ask that you clearly mark any game info that could constitute a spoiler with some sort of text which denotes it as such.
6. Please do not revive very old topics without a good reason. If the last post in a thread is from a long time ago and the topic has clearly been quiet, please post elsewhere or create your own topic. Some threads go silent for awhile, only to legitimately flare up again later. This is fine, so long as it's not being done repeatedly and with no good reason. Excessive "thread necromancy" - raising threads from the dead - may be grounds for a caution or a warning if it continues unchecked.
7. Should you wish to leave the community, you are free to stop using your account at any time. We also invite you to edit your posts in order to remove or correct things as you see fit. In the event that you desire to have your actions on the forum stricken from public record, we urge you to contact Google or other search engine providers to begin that process. We are generally not in the habit of editing or deleting posts or accounts ourselves except in specific circumstances, and this is a precedent we intend to uphold, as it is unreasonable to expect this level of data control from a website with our size and scope.
By using this website and its associated forums, you are agreeing to follow its rules. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action dependent upon the rule that was broken and the effect it has on the community.
1. Each person is permitted one (1) account. Duplicate accounts will be deleted, and users guilty of creating duplicate accounts for any reason will be subject to disciplinary action.
2. Everyone has the right to expect fair treatment. We are all individuals with equal rights and responsibilities. This means you should try and be polite when disagreeing with others. When in doubt, disagree with the post, not the person. Name-calling and personal attacks are not allowed. Moderators and administrators will become involved if members are abusing one another. Please do not attack or insult anyone on the basis of their age, race, gender, beliefs, sexual orientation, political affiliation, intelligence, ability level or lifestyle choices.
3. The sharing or encouragement of illegal material or activities (game cracks, copyrighted torrents that are not in the public domain, etc.) is not allowed. Not only can this hurt our community, but it can also lead to potential legal complications. This also means you should take care when discussing the methods by which you might crack a game or program, and should not make any efforts to undermine anyone's security or livelihood. We cannot stop you pirating software or downloading illicit music, movies and books through other sources, but we ask that you not do it here, and not encourage others to do it either. If links to any material not hosted here at audiogames.net are provided, we cannot endorse their safety or legality, so please consider carefully. This is a rule we take very seriously.
As a side note: intent will be taken into account when citing the invocation of this rule, as will a user's prior history. Someone who is discussing security flaws in an attempt to help improve them, or in a general conversation about security, is very likely not intending malice and, so long as they don't provide tools for others to cause harm, they will not be punished. In cases where users have demonstrated a willingness to crack software or share illegal material, however, or in cases where clear support of piracy is evident, this rule may be enforced.
4. Spam will not be tolerated, and we will make every effort to keep spambots and the like away from the forum, or to limit the annoyance they cause when they inevitably show up. Please do not encourage or spread spam in any way.
5. Please do not hijack someone else's topic. Conversations change and evolve, but users who make a habit of derailing other people's conversations may face disciplinary action.
6. When moderators or administrators do choose to step into a discussion in an official capacity, we do so because we believe it is necessary. Usually, such intervention takes the form of closing a topic, or asking a subject to cool down. We ask that users in such a situation follow all related instructions from staff members to the best of their ability. Staff will attempt to maintain a hands-off approach wherever we can, but in the event this is not possible, we expect your help in making sure the forum continues to run smoothly.
7. If you are banned from the forum, you may appeal it formally, but you may not attempt to get around it and access the forum by any means.
8. This forum possesses a community failure clause. In the event that all other available methods fail to stop someone's problematic behaviour, the administration may cite this clause in order to bring punitive action outside of the natural discipline protocol. The administrators and moderators will verify their punishment based on demonstrable evidence of wrongdoing. A staff majority, including at least one (1) administrator,must be reached before this clause can be used to punish someone. Staff may, at their discretion, attempt to give the user in question one final chance to improve their behaviour, but if problems persist, the agreed-upon punishment will be enforced immediately and without further deliberation.
A caution is an action taken when someone has breached one of our guidelines or has broken a rule in a small way. Cautions are not punishments and will not affect a user in any way except to notify them that they are stepping a little out of line; they are meant solely as a way to get back on track. A user might be issued a caution if they post in the wrong forum or use an unclear subject line for a new topic, or if they issue a potential personal attack whose status is in doubt.
A warning is an action taken by a staff member to alert a user that their behaviour is unacceptable. Each user will be allotted three (3) warnings. When those warnings are used up, the next offense will lead to a ban.
Warnings expire at a rate of 1 every thirty (30) days. Users who attempt to use ban expiration to their advantage may be punished under the community failure clause (rule 8) in accordance with their actions.
If a user is banned, they will have a flag on their character for exactly one (1) year following the termination of their last banning. This flag means that their warnings will expire at a reduced rate (every sixty (60) days). This is to indicate that a banned user has demonstrated that they need more watching than another user might.
A user can only ever be banned a total of 3 (3) times; the fourth ban will be permanent.
The severity of successive bans is as follows:
First ban: 30 days
Second ban: 90 days
3rd ban: 1 year
4th ban: permanent
A user returning from a ban has their warnings reset so that they are not constantly in danger of being re-banned.
Certain actions will result in an immediate ban, which may or may not be permanent depending on severity:
Issuing threats of harm to another user (physical violence or death threats)
Providing links to cracks or other illegal material
Hacking or attempting to hack anyone on the forum, or the forum itself
Any operational interference meant to stop the website from running
Attempting to scam any forum user out of their personal details (passwords of any kind, address, personal social media details, etc.))
Public sharing of personally identifiable information of any user without their express consent where that information is not otherwise available (such as divulging real name, telephone number or physical address)
Proven illegal activity which threatens the community (sexual predation, exploitation of a minor or of a person of limited faculties, etc.)
This list is not exhaustive, and we reserve the right to add to it if we see problematic behaviours that were not mentioned here but which represent a danger to the community.
A personal attack is a statement which directly attacks another user, either by denouncing their behaviour in a negative light or by straight-up name-calling. Some examples follow.
"You suck" - this is a clear personal attack
"Your game is stupid" - this is a personal attack in that something you have created is being called a derogatory name; this will likely result in a caution instead of a warning unless it is often repeated
"I don't like you" - this is sharp, but not a personal attack; users are free to dislike one another
"You're power-hungry/you get your kicks from shutting people up" - this is an indictment of one's character without definite proof, and can be interpreted as a personal attack; it is subject to individual interpretation
Some cases of personal attacks are very clear, and will be dealt with under rule 2. Others are more questionable, and where this occurs, we will ensure that at least two (2) staff members hold the same opinion before engaging in any disciplinary action.
Repeated, prolonged or targeted personal attacks will eventually fall under rule 8, the community failure clause.
Character assassination is defined as the slandering of a person or group of people with intent to destroy or seriously undermine confidence in that person or group without adequate reason. This falls under rule 2, but will be explained here in more detail.
"Bob is always banning me from his game because he doesn't like me." If Bob is doing this as advertised, this is not character assassination; if Bob has done this once and for legitimate/demonstrably good reason, this would count, as it exaggerates a negative opinion out of focus.
"Jill has made bad decisions and I don't think she deserves to run that website anymore." This, again, is not character assassination if there is some sort of proof. If there is no proof, it is considered a form of character assassination, as it attempts to remove trust in Jill without good reason.
The simplest way to look at it is this. If you have a good reason to question someone or to call out their behaviour, keep to the facts. If you blow facts out of proportion, or make one example look like a pattern, or try and speak as if you know exactly what the person is thinking instead of just telling us what they're doing, that is probably going to count as character assassination.
Any instance where this is deemed to have taken place will be investigated by at least two (2) staff members, and hopefully more, to ensure that personal bias is playing as small a role as possible. Serious examples of character assassination will fall under both rule 2 and rule 8, so please consider before you post..
It can be difficult to determine what does and does not make info a spoiler. Generally, something is considered a spoiler if it talks about plot, secrets or some other gameplay aspect that isn't purely mechanical.
Example: The boss on level 6 uses ground-tracking fireballs, but they didn't program him properly because as long as you spam jumps, he'll never hit you.
This is a spoiler, as not everyone knows this, or even wants to know it. It speaks of a specific part of both the plot (now we know there's a boss in level 6, for instance) and a trick to beating that boss.
Example: The combat is similar to A Blind Legend, but faster.
This is not a spoiler. Most people probably would not object to knowing this, and it is very unlikely to ruin anyone's gaming experience.
Example: Oh my god! I can't believe Dr. Claw wasn't the villain after all! What a twist! To think, you go all the way through the game with Penny, and she turns out to have double-crossed you!
This is a huge, huge spoiler for someone who has not finished the game. You could ruin most of the plot of a game this way if you aren't careful.
Remember, we aren't saying you can't talk about spoilers. We simply ask that if you want to divulge that sort of info, you mark it somehow. If you're in any doubt, mark it anyway; worst case, you waste a couple of lines of a post, and best case, you save someone potentially being upset for having their experience spoiled somewhat by inadvertently reading something they didn't want to know.
1. In the event of cautions and warnings, any moderator may issue them it their discretion. When doing so, the staff member should clearly denote that their words are coming from a position of authority, and should cite the rule that has been breached.
Example: Moderation: JaneDoe, you are in violation of rule 2. By telling JohnDoe that he is a "stupid worthless idiot", you have engaged in a personal attack. This is your first warning. Please refrain from breaking the rules in future.
Staff members may issue a warning even within a topic to which they are already contributing in a non-staff capacity, but only where the offensive post or posts are clear-cut examples of broken rules. Any questions of personal attacks and the like should be vetted by a second staff member before any official action is taken.
2. When a staff member feels that the community failure clause should be used, they will speak to other staff members and, if at least two (2) other members agree, publish the examples of previous behaviour by the affected person or people publicly in a closed thread.Changing the discipline protocol will only happen if consensus is reached.
3. Staff may, at their discretion, reach out to a given user privately in order to attempt to resolve issues. This may be particularly important when the community failure clause is at play. This is an option, not a requirement, but every reasonable effort should be taken to ensure that a user is never ignorant of the case against them.
4. It should go without saying, but staff members should never punish other users for differing stances, differences of opinion or other non-rule-related disagreements. If a staff member is suspected of doing this, they will be subject to internal audit via the other members of the team, and may face disciplinary action up to and including the following: a formal public request to avoid moderation decisions for a specific user, an official public warning, loss of rank, loss of all staff rights, banning in accordance with the discipline policy above. The action taken against the offending staff member will depend upon the severity of action and will be prosecuted using the community failure clause (rule 8). We take our accountability and transparency very seriously.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/z8ls3rc3f4mkb … n.txt?dl=1