2019-02-16 16:52:37

Hello all,

As a community, I think it's safe to say that most of us are trying to make audiogames.net an inclusive place for gamers and developers alike. When things happen which threaten that openness and welcome, there comes a point where the staff team has to consider taking action. Unfortunately, that time is now.

It has come to our attention over the last little while that our community environment has become somewhat toxic. Some users have taken to expressing their opinions forcefully and with little to no regard for the negative effects their words might have. It has resulted in measurable harm, most notable of which is the Gold Gun project's discontinuation; evidence of this harm can be seen elsewhere as well. We must also consider the potential impressions we are giving to the more mainstream developers who might be lurking here.

As such, we feel the need to make a firmer stand on this issue. From here on out, we're going to be coming down harder on users who are needlessly negative or antagonistic in their criticisms of games, developers or forum users in general. We encourage civil discussion and are more than welcoming of disagreeing points of view, but there is a line beyond which one's critique simply becomes a rant or an attack, and this simply isn't good for the community as a whole.

One user has already received a specific warning on this subject, and further action may be necessary if unwanted behaviour continues. Repeated infractions can and will be prosecuted under the community failure clause on a case-by-case basis. We do not enjoy the need for a heavier approach, but unfortunately we feel that it is necessary in  order to ensure an improved social atmosphere here on the forums.

Please help us work toward making our community a nicer place to be for everyone.

Check out my Manamon text walkthrough at the following link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/z8ls3rc3f4mkb … n.txt?dl=1

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2019-02-16 18:05:19

Jayde.
I fully agree with this sentiment, but I do want to at least weigh in on one thing.
I do not believe the Goldgun project was shuttered due to comments made on this forum, but regardless this is a reminder of the power that words carry. I know there were other issues with the project, and though the forum may not have helped I don't believe it was the out-right cause.
I do want to say though that we do need to remember the power that our words have. We may all know the adatage "the pen is mightier than the sword." What we write and say has an effect on those who read it. How we as users conduct ourselves also has a massive impact on how people think of us as both individuals and a community.
I urge everyone who has some time to read about effective communication skills. There are a lot of great articles about how to get one's point across with out being combative.
We are such a small community, and so toxic behavior is extremely damaging. When you see something that upsets you or that you don't like. Try this approach.
Thanks for posting this new game you worked on. However, I don't find it very good and here's why.
When complaining about an issue, always try to provide a solution. And explain why it is an issue to you. Saying that something sucks or is lame is both unhelpful and discouraging.
When in doubt, Bambi's mother gave the best advice. "If you can't say anything nice then don't say anything at all."

My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my space bar. Prepare to die!

http://l-works.net

2019-02-16 18:09:06

Am sorry, but why is this a forum if we can't exchange opinions, even if it's negative? I'm quite sure about that you also aren't positive all the day and you also just cannot smile at everything. If something is bad then it's bad, and if it's good then it is.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering."

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2019-02-16 18:20:55

Liam, I know the Gold Gun thing wasn't all or even mostly an issue of the forum's toxicity. There are/were other issues at play, and I respect that. I brought it up because it's a demonstrable piece of harm I can point at, but there are others, too.

MasterOfDeath, the thing is, yes, negative opinions are welcome. But look at the two following examples:

1. Your game is stupid. It's full of bugs and I don't know why you wasted your time if you're going to release such a shitty product. There's no story, you just kill things until you either hit level 55000 or die. That's not fun. it's boring.

That's...not all that helpful. It's combative, and while it might be true, it's also needlessly antagonistic. Now consider this.

2. I found your game really hard to play, because there are a lot of bugs. It would be better to iron those out before releasing, unless you don't know how and you need help...in which case, it's okay to ask for it. Also, is there a point to this game? It feels like all you really do is make numbers get bigger, and that may be fine for some, but it feels a bit incomplete to me. I hope you keep working on this game and polish it up a bit.

That's still critical, but it's much more polite. Criticizing a game or a dev for a bad choice or whatnot? Totally okay. But just watch how you do it. That's what this all comes down to.

Check out my Manamon text walkthrough at the following link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/z8ls3rc3f4mkb … n.txt?dl=1

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2019-02-16 18:22:15

3: There's a difference between being negative and being down right toxic. The whole world isn't icecream and puppies, and no one expect the forum to be as such, but I can understand the moderators concern about the rampant toxicity. I don't want to start combing through topics, but I'd be happy to start quoting various posts if that would help people understand the difference.

My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my space bar. Prepare to die!

http://l-works.net

2019-02-16 18:29:08

Jayde, i agree with you on this thing. Although i don't know what's wrong with the second comment you mentioned. In mainstream gaming crytics are harder, i can imagine...

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering."

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2019-02-16 18:29:43

@MasterOfDeath this is true. What we're trying to get at here is to express those negative opinions in a less hostile manour if possible.  Some users here just need to try to get their point across in a less combative manour. Also, the second comment that Jayde posted isn't wrong, it's a much more polite comment.
As another heads up, in the interests of transparency, this has been in discussions on the staff list for the last week or so, and we reached the conclusion early to post on the forum, and the post went through some drafts between me and Jayde, with at least two other staff members chiming in with their thoughts as we went.

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2019-02-16 18:33:44

So I can answer why it's bad in a community like this. Mainstream gamin gis made of hundreds of millions of users. our community is a few thousdand. A single comment carries massive amounts of weight than it would on a forum like gamefaqs. If you'd like to see toxicity, I suggest checking that out. The thing is, developers don't care in the same way that audiogame devs do as most developers are not companies, but a single user.
It's just the way of things.

My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my space bar. Prepare to die!

http://l-works.net

2019-02-16 18:41:09 (edited by jack 2019-02-16 21:30:23)

@MasterOfDeath: You'd be right in that a forum encourages civil discussion and discourse. Absolutely.
However, toxic negativity is not the purpose of a forum discussion, not to mention there is absolutely no need for it. Saying something is cringeworthy or indeed several users saying the same exact thing over and over after! the developer has specifically stated they are already going to fix the issues save for releasing the first pilot run on a hard deadline, for example, does nothing to move the situation forward. For example, if you were on a testing/development list and this thing happened you'd probably get your ass handed to you for being a nuisance. XDA developers for example advises users to actually search the boards to see if their question was answered before creating a new thread. We need to start getting used to responding to more important threads when we actually have the time to read the whole thing (there are exceptions, for example, if a topic had a truly absurd number of posts, but this Goldgun topic certainly did not.) If you need to speed up your speech, go right ahead, use Espeak, you won't regret it. If English is not your first language then perhaps ask someone more bilingual to help you understand, using Google Translate is not going to help your cause much with complex thought-filled discussions. Or, as Liam said, if you don't have anything useful to say, then just don't say it. Someone else probably has that same thought anyway and will probably convey it better.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'd like to point out that I heard a thing or two about Ian Hamilton advising mainstream developers to steer clear from this forum because of the general epidemic of negativity. Is that the kind of impression we want to give these developers? We all bitch about Steam not being accessible by design (valid concerns indeed) but what if Valve suddenly decided to look up some statistics and accidentally came across such negative threads, they would probably just say screw it. That would be on us. Remember that forum threads are indexable by search engines, so it's not unlikely to come across certain ones.
If we need to turn the behavior warning topic into a sticky topic I'd be one of the first to suggest that. For the record, it's a dated discussion, but post 1 especially I feel is more relevant than ever today, which is pretty sad because this topic was posted in January of 2012 and the negativity has only gotten worse, which doesn't give me much confidence in this community actually improving as more young, clone-driven developer wanna-be's take over the next generation of gamers (I'm sorry, but that had to be said.)

I'm the only adventure at c: master hahahaha I have unlocked just about everything!

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2019-02-16 18:55:56

@MasterOfDeath: Liam is absolutely right.
Let's also not forget that some mainstream developers really don't care about the negativity because they don't have to, as long as the stacks keep rising for them. Unless there's piling negativity, and by that I mean more than 50%, that being thousands of negative comments, which is also denoted by crippling returns on investment. This is shown in the recent and troubling reports of developers like Rockstar Games being truly thankless places for the q a testers/voice actors to work for due to their unspoken crunch-time requirements, them being told they could take time off if they need yet inwardly shamed if they show up after a few days off as if every day is all-hands-on-deck when it really isn't. The thankless hours spent redoing voice actor's lines after their already hard work, just because of one bloody city name change in a game. The hours of extra time spent on cinematic elements that seem to overtake most modern games. Granted, an audiogame developer or even an indie developer isn't required! to do all this work, but they have their own problems to deal with (being only a small team, struggling to find financial stability, and in this case being pressed by a deadline). And then after all that work they have more than 50% of the comment s destructive criticism? How demoralizing is that?
Again, it's true that a developer should have a reasonably thick skin and do what is best for them and their true customers. That does not officially give us the right to dick over the developer though.

I'm the only adventure at c: master hahahaha I have unlocked just about everything!

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2019-02-16 20:12:49

Hello,
    I'm in full agreement with everything said here. I actually wrote quite a few messages regarding the Goldgun situation specifically, but they aren't anything that hasn't already been stated here and elsewhere so I feel no need to produce yet another vast wall of text. wish I had happened upon this topic earlier. In the past, the community failure clause has been a matter of deliberation, careful consideration, and apprehension. Toxicity is subjective by nature, so might I suggest we incorporate this into a rule within itself? That way, when handing out cautions or warnings your able to state more than subjectivity. The examples here should suffice, but I feel it more than necessary for new users to be aware of each and every guideline. Remember that many past issues stemmed from a far off and for all intense and purposes unofficial topic. As I'm sure you've undoubtedly noticed, I have high hopes and expectations for our new rules. At the heart of this very community are the developers who bring about games for us to enjoy and I believe it important to create the most welcoming of environments.

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2019-02-17 01:12:04

Technically, everything we talk about here is actually in the rules already. We're just going to be a bit firmer on the interpersonal side of things, that's all. This isn't a new rule, so much as it is us saying we are going to deal with other rules a little more decisively.

Check out my Manamon text walkthrough at the following link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/z8ls3rc3f4mkb … n.txt?dl=1

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2019-02-21 06:36:43

Agreed with everything up now, so I will not repeat what has been said, but @6, do not forget that it's not because they do something bad elsewhere that we should do it here, two wrongs don't make a right.

Sometimes I roam around on the forum and I'm not proud of our community. I wanna give good impression, a welcoming community. But it's still rather rare. I'd say it's a pretty nice place until lines get crossed somewhere and then it starts snowballing. I hope moderation will stop the snowball from the start, because the only good thing with toxicity is to remind me of system of a down.

Reading is one form of escape. Running for your life is another. ― Lemony Snicket

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2019-02-21 12:11:45

being nice is a foreign concept to me.

I felt the wind of your passing
        is preferable to
I felt the passing of your wind

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2019-02-21 14:18:53

hiyes, I agree with ironcross, maybe not as harshly, although I'm pretty sure that was a joke, not that some people know what jokes are, cough cough...
But anyway, I feel like the no attacking rule is a bit vague and unrealistic, I've been warned for it twice.
The truth is, you can't have a comunity without negative, and positive! toxicity. I use toxicity in this place because I don't have any other words for it that make is sound good.
But I feel like moderators have overreacted harshly to that rule, taking it too deeply.
I feel like the moderators should just stop and think about that rule, and think about where the line is and where it should be. Just my 326 cents.

yo! so I'm working on programing, it's really hard. But I'll tell you where you can contact me if your stupid enough to do so.
Contact information:email: [email protected]
Skype: Brennan Draves
I'm usually found on online games, chatting, and being warned bye admins for talking to much, f**k you admin!

2019-02-21 20:55:32

Yeah but fox, you really do come off like the backside of a donkey though. It might be like joking to you, but it really doesn't translate well in text. I think I do the same thing, just not to the same level of extreme, people generally don't know when I'm joking either.

I felt the wind of your passing
        is preferable to
I felt the passing of your wind

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2019-02-21 21:35:20

14. Finally you speak some truth. big_smile

My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my space bar. Prepare to die!

http://l-works.net

2019-02-22 01:59:51

@ironcross, I"m a vary blunt and to the point person, and my sense of humor is... what most people like to call questionable, and I  really don't use it that much anymore, I damn well used to, but I've learned a modicum of self control.
But my points in 15 still stand for me.

yo! so I'm working on programing, it's really hard. But I'll tell you where you can contact me if your stupid enough to do so.
Contact information:email: [email protected]
Skype: Brennan Draves
I'm usually found on online games, chatting, and being warned bye admins for talking to much, f**k you admin!

2019-02-23 21:07:54

As long as it doesn't go beyond caussions, minus the official warning aspect, without consideration by more than one mod than I'm cool with it.
Otherwise it's just too subjective and personal bias based on ones individual experiences will enter into the judgement, not to mention how your feeling that day, anything you may have against the other person, ETC. And any number of other things could play too much of a roll.
I get it, mods are supposed to be elected to their positions by showing their ability to detach their personal feelings from the conflict, but when your talking about toxicity as a general concept, your just asking for that kinda shit to creep back in.
Yet at the same time I can see it too, and so I understand the wish to fix it. I think we need multiple examples in the rules them selves, in order to help people, and not just a pair of archetypal responses to one specific kind of situation.


I still hold to my opinion that the moderation directed at post 36 on the crime hunter topic was incorrect. That post fell far more into example 2 than example 1 in my eyes.


Also, if a company finds people bitching about their bad choices in the past and takes that to mean they just shouldn't try to improve the situation at all, then the representatives of that company are acting like short sighted children.
I know their is a degree of ass kissing expected when it comes to this kind of thing, if we want to open a dialog with these companies, but I don't think I want to be part of a forum that white washes opinions if they aren't just totally aggressive attacks or full of bad info.

Buy the worlds greatest machine gun. It's about 50 inches in length, It's huge! & it can shoot really far, &, it's cheap!
Lets demonstrate this: stand still Thom...
Okay ma.aaa!
Oh! crap!

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2019-02-24 07:34:32

agreed about #36 in ch topic.

I felt the wind of your passing
        is preferable to
I felt the passing of your wind

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2019-02-24 08:22:28

I don't even think that 36 in ch topic falls under two.
He litterally just pointed out that he thinks, and he said just oppinion, that th is over priced, The caution was completely unworented in my opinion, remember, an opinion is just what I, think.

yo! so I'm working on programing, it's really hard. But I'll tell you where you can contact me if your stupid enough to do so.
Contact information:email: [email protected]
Skype: Brennan Draves
I'm usually found on online games, chatting, and being warned bye admins for talking to much, f**k you admin!

2019-02-25 06:09:37

The issue, as stated before, is that we were talking about CH, not TH, and he even had his facts wrong. I'm pretty sure TH was never thirty bucks, for instance. Giving misinformation that is also somewhat negative runs the risk of causing people who might otherwise try a game not to try it, and dragging up potentially negative stuff (right or wrong) when an entirely different game is being talked about is probably not a good idea. It is absolutely not worth being punished over, it is simply something to watch. I still stand by it, but I respect that you folks didn't like it, and I will remember this going forward. Given that it was a caution, however, and has no future ramifications at this point, there is nothing to reverse and, for me at least, not a compelling enough reason to reverse it.
You'll note, too, I hope, that I am totally down with constructive criticism or even some annoyance when it comes to stuff like this. How can I now be? I've slammed Paladin of the Sky, Manamon, TH itself and a few other games pretty hard over the years. I've tried to stay on the right side of the line, but in hindsight I've probably at the very least scuffed at it a time or two. I have no interest in presenting a whitewashed version of events and have no desire to simply eliminate all opinions that aren't glowingly positive, but the last little while has convinced me - and the entire team, as well - that we have to be more careful about the image we present. This is an issue which may be revisited if things calm down and become a little bit more civil for awhile, as the very last thing we want to do is straight-up limit the way you're supposed to express yourself.

Check out my Manamon text walkthrough at the following link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/z8ls3rc3f4mkb … n.txt?dl=1

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2019-02-25 09:02:55

Oh my god. I mentioned the TH thing, because that CH also costs money and i was thinking if it worths it when we think about that highly overpriced game. Twas not about the games, but the prices themselves, but i thought it was obvious. But if it wasn't, then i'm sorry.
And yeah. We must be nice all the time, but when something turns out about a single developer or a company, they even don't give a damn to answer, or they want to improve their status in the whole thing. If rudely, then rudely, they don't really care. Nah, if for example Mason thought i wasn't right in the case, he just should have faced me in the topic and said why i wasn't right. Many many people won't behave like the crowd, just cause being kind is the most important, not opinions themselves. If we have negative opinions, we can't act like, oh, dearest dev of all, i kindly, gently wanna tell you that something is not ok with your game, and please improve it. After these clones and stupid games, what do you wait from the community?

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering."

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2019-02-25 10:52:50

@23 agreed. It's sometimes a hard place to know where to draw the line. We don't want to be too eager, saying we'll basically drool over any new thing like a pathetic dog, but we also want to respect our devs, because they do a lot of hard work. A lot of games out today are free to play, and I see that getting taken for granted. I'm just flabbergasted when a paid game comes out and the response is something akin to how dare you do this, I can't pay or won't pay. Well, sorry but the way the world works is that if you don't have the money for something, you don't get that thing. Do I wish the  people could play it who even could buy it but can't due to paypal not being available in their country, sure, but its really entitled to basically whine about how everything should be free.

You then have developers who have done the community a bad turn, either consciously or otherwise. I feel there is some leeway there, some wiggle room. Not everyone is perfect, hell, none of us are, so you learn to code, but you've also got to learn to manage other things like a team of admins, and your PR. I don't think we should jump down the throat of someone if they make a mistake, if they seem willing to fix it, however, I have a problem with people who repeatedly do things, then either apologize later, while even later still, they continue to do things. I also really, personally do not like people screwing with my money. If I pay for something, then I want access to the thing I paid for. Now, that's not to say I'd be upset if a game went freeware after like 5 years of being paid or something. Though I do have the opinion that if I choose to patronize your business, then you owe me a certain level of customer care. That doesn't mean literally set up a call center or a support ticket thing. All I mean is just do business like a decent person. Show that you have ethics that guide your decisions, and don't screw over your customers.

That was my main point of concern. If people are having bad experiences about a particular title, or with the person or company behind a series of games, I think its worth them making a post about it so we all know. As I said in my other post in the CH topic, not everyone has that kind of money, so its best they know what they're gonna get before they commit to buying it.

I felt the wind of your passing
        is preferable to
I felt the passing of your wind

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2019-02-25 11:27:19

Thirty bucks is not eighteen bucks. That's, like, a 66.6% price increase. That's fact #1, and it's inaccurate.
Mason has never had issues of not delivering his games. You get what you get. Is TH worth eighteen bucks? Depends on what you want. For me, it's not. I think the game is way too random and odd and all over the place. But I'm not going to walk into a CH topic and spout that, generally, about TH, as Mason, however wobbily, is trying to improve, it looks like. He's not stealing people's money, and he absolutely does -not need to tell you where every dollar goes. If you don't want to buy his games, don't do it. Simple as that.

That said, I'm actually in complete agreement with your last post, Ironcross. It is sometimes tough to draw the line of where an opinion becomes damaging or not. We aren't going to try and muzzle people from expressing dissenting opinions - far from it, in fact - but I stand by the fact that this one, in particular, needed a little bit of intervention. I understand better the intent now, at least, and that's cool. You'll notice, in a different thread, that I've been pretty highly critical of Breakerbox's financial practices. Yeah, still not happy about that. People have been legitimately screwed over there, so I think getting the facts is important. But Mason offers the first third of TH for free, and you can play the entirety of CH for free (it's only the endless mode which costs five bucks, right?). So it's not as if you won't get what you're paying for, or won't have an idea by level 10 that TH is a bit of a crazy game that may or may not be to your tastes. Point is, I don't think anyone is really being screwed over by Mason here, so spreading info about TH that may be negative into a topic about CH struck me as a bit needless, frankly, especially given that Mason appears to be stitching some sort of reputation together here.

Check out my Manamon text walkthrough at the following link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/z8ls3rc3f4mkb … n.txt?dl=1

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