“This topic is now closed” Can this be removed?

What’s with the auto closing of topics after 60 days? I can think of plenty of drawbacks to auto-locking everyone out of a discussion if nobody speaks for a set time but I can’t think of any benefits.
Alex implemented it but it was never explained why (although, tbf, I never asked).
Get rid of it I say.


Actually I suppose people could be a nuisance with thread necromancy but then shouldn’t that be dealt with if and when that happens?


I agree


The only downside of it that I can think of is if spammers (I mean, there's quite a few of those around) would start spamming in older threads. Could make the forums tricky to navigate in terms of following ongoing discussions.
With that said: I agree with the OP.


All the more reason to show the date/time the thread was started as has been raised by myself and other in the past. This would allow you to either bypass it or click to read.


IE: I'm working on a game and I want to do a new trick...
Looking in the past forum, I see something interesting that I need some more info on...
It would be better to re-open that thread to keep all that idea in one thread instead of creating a new thread
62 days after the last post...
I know of no other forum that closes old threads...


I've often wondered what the purpose of the 60 day thing was...


Unfortunately Alex's vision has been lost since he is no longer around or seems to care what has become of his rather extensive legacy of projects. (Does he ever communicate with any of the surviving team that took over from him?)
I remember that at the time there was quite a bit of argument as to why it should have been left the way it was, but unfortunately Alex was in total control and in the end he had his way with it and then pulled up stumps and left. Others, too, left as they were unhappy with the new forum. Others have stayed the course and will probably be around to fight over who will turn the lights out.


@R2T1 I believe Alex still communicates with The
Pixie and whoever else. He's just very hard to go a hold of, and usually doesn't repond. Also, I'm not sure why you think Quest will go out with a bang, it should go out with a whimper.


As long as there's a community developing it, why should it go out at all?
A bit gloomy outlook isn't it?


jmnevil54 & CheeseMyBaby please reread what I wote. I did not say Quest will go out with a bang
I merely stated that while there were those who were unhappy with the direction the Quest forum went, there are still others that are content with it and would be to the end.
If you want to read words that are not there, then I suggest you take up a career as a political journalist or better yet, a politician.


Well the forum is simply a tool for communicating ideas; the survival of Quest isn’t necessarily dependant on how good the forum is. The bigger issue is online games becoming broke for reasons unknown. That could kill Quest. I don’t see it as an inevitability though so in the meantime no harm in suggesting improvements.


@R2T1

jmnevil54 & CheeseMyBaby please reread what I wote. I did not say Quest will go out with a bang

I was replying to jmnevil54's post.

If you want to read words that are not there, then I suggest you take up a career as a political journalist or better yet, a politician.

Again... I wasn't replying to your post.


@Silver

I agree fully.


I don't think R2T1 was trying to be unpleasant, you guys (and gals).

I think we all want this site to do well, and the forum does lack quite a few features which are quite common elsewhere (and most of said features existed in the old version of this forum).

For example, does anyone know how long R2T1 has been a forum member? Or how many posts R2T1 has made? Or how many times any one of R2T1's posts has been considered "helpful"?

Is R2T1 a textadventures.co.uk rock star, or a newbie who recently joined the site?

The old version of this forum would tell us all of that (and more) upon viewing R2T1's profile. The current version only shows us games published by the user and reviews written by that same notable; nothing shows us whether or not the user is known to be a good source of information. (There are no links to the user's forum posts, either, which is my biggest gripe.)

Also, the site's search feature isn't all that great. (I can't even find most of my own older posts in a timely manner.)

As far as I can tell from perusing old threads, the site was "upgraded" so users games would be accessible from their profiles, and this is when the current version of this forum was introduced, and the changes upset quite a few people.

All that being said, I have no clue how any part of hosting this website actually works, but I assume a major change to the forum wouldn't be a simple thing. I do notice, though, that the majority of users who mention their dislike of the current setup are people who have contributed quite a bit to the Quest community, and their constructive criticism is normally not very well-received.


Concerning R2T1:

R2T1 was a forum member long before I came along.

I have found nearly every post I've seen from R2T1 helpful (or at least pertinent).

I'm getting a feeling R2T1 lives in the same country I do (but the UK seems to be going through a similar situation, so I may be off-base). The suggestion to "take up a career as a political journalist or better yet, a politician" makes me think this, because I said pretty much the same thing to a longtime friend of mine the day before yesterday... He had (inadvertently) put words in my mouth in (what I viewed as) an attempt to "Fox" his way out of answering a direct question (to which he did not like the answer)... Grrr...

The problem my friend and I have is that we each think we are the one who is right, and the common ground we once shared is hard to find (and navigate) these days.

You see, there are two realities in America at the moment, and which one you are in depends upon where you get your information, which news you watch and/or which politician(s) you trust (if any). Those of us who are fond of objective truths are a little on edge lately as a result of this. It's hard to talk to friends and family members when you can't agree on what the actual facts are and form your opinions based on a shared reality...

My friend and I ended up exchanging mumbled apologies and deciding to agree to disagree on some things (ahem -- facts), rendering the topics taboo henceforth (which is NOT good for society, but seems to be better than losing a friend).

...but I digress.

I think R2T1 made a valid point, and so did Silver. I see both of these issues (server issues & forum functionality) as threats to the Quest community. The issues with the web player are definitely more threatening to the survival of Quest than the lack of a better forum, but most of us who frequent the forum don't even try to play games online. And I see Quest as more of a learning experience than anything else. So, if the forum were to fade away, the newbies would be at a disadvantage, and quality of games would likely worsen, but Pixie will be around for quite a while. As will manowar, mrangel, HK, XM, DarkLizerd, Pertex, Forgewright, Dcoder, jmne, DavyB, and... well, the list goes on, but those guys alone were the main contributors for the first few months when I found this site and taught me (more than) everything I needed to know to create Quest games.

So, could a substandard forum alone be detrimental to Quest? I don't think so, but a better forum would definitely provide a major boost to the site's popularity, which could only be a good thing; right?

As far as the server issues are concerned, I believe that is a problem which would need to be handled monetarily (but, again, I don't really know much about how the site works, so I may be mistaken). If we had a better forum, we'd have more traffic, which would theoretically lead to more money from the ads, which would probably lead to better servers.

Again, I may be wrong here. Please correct me if I am. (I seek the truth.)


Also, I sense that jmne has been exposed to some T.S. Eliot?


Oh...

I forgot to mention Cheese, didn't I?

Cheese is new, but he's cool; seems to be a fluid-thinker; is a fast learner; and he's a good friend.

(Don't tell him I said any of that.)


Silver, from what I've gathered, is also cool.

So, we're all a bunch of Fonzies, right?

(Yeah, I'm right -- because we're all cool. Hey!)


Also, I know the site has ads on pages outside of the forum. So, the site doesn't solely depend on the forum traffic to make money, but...

...well, I'm just rambling at this point...

Everyone gets the message, I hope.

If not, here it is: I'm a crazy person! Bwahahahaha!!!


... So, if the forum were to fade away, the newbies would be at a disadvantage

I could write 20 pages on this but I won't bore you with it. I'll just say this: The super quick (almost instant) help I got when I first posted a question here was just the encouragement I needed to push on.
I've tried so many times to learn to code... anything, and except for basic HTML I've just never been able to wrap my head around it, the syntax of things, the why-things-work (or not) and most of all the how.
Being able to ask and not only get a reply fast but several! All of them explaining the same thing in different ways was what made me, finally, start understanding.
I think this place is crucial for newbies. It was (is) to me.
I've only been here for a little over six months but the amount of things I've learned is... wicked!
I credit a whole bunch of you guys (and gals) for it.

I'm planning on hanging around for a long long time. I'll stay no matter the functionality of these forums.
I do however agree with pretty much all things that's been said about it.

(Don't tell him I said any of that.)

(thanks man!)


I swear, every time I check out this forum, there's another topic from someone complaining about how bad it is these days. Features missing, weird design issues, etc, etc.

How much longer is this shambles going to go on for? I mean, being perfectly serious here, it's been two years since Alex well and truly fucked this place up and then left and it's still a shambles. The only improvement that's happened in all that time is the addition of the world's most basic and useless private messaging system. How difficult is it to upgrade this forum into something that actually works? Or just revert back to the old forum, which was a massive improvement in every respect? Does everyone have to abandon Quest before whoever's in charge these days decides to just fix things?


I found quest like 6 years ago, knowing absolutely NOTHING about programming/coding/scripting, nor of game making (though, I've played lots of games, so had some ideas on stuff), but with help of members still here and no longer here, I've been able to learn to program, and am currently taking college classes on programming.

my memory is likely (~90%) wrong... but... lol....

I think R2T1 was already on the site for awhile before I found it (quest is like 10+ years old now, so its been around awhile, starting with around version 3.00 to 4.00, maybe even into the 2.00, and now its at version 5.XX, with the failed hope of version 6.00 of converting it over to fully using JS, so it can be used by everyone, as it would use browsers to run, called 'QuestKit', well, KV and mrangel made some progress on further developing it a bit... before they gave up... on it. Six years ago when I joined quest, they were on version 5.2X: https://textadventures.co.uk/forum/quest/topic/3348/noobie-hks-help-me-thread , this was my first thread and very first post in dec. 6 of 2012, using quest version 5.2X)

'pertex' (and 'the pixie' too) has probably been around since the beginning, though pertex doesn't do that much public posting on the forum but he's still around.. when not busy with real life...

I believe... Silver joined sometime after I did (not sure exactly when though, if a year after I did, or a few years, or less than a year. I just think I'm pretty sure that he joined sometime after I did, but then he left a bit while the more recent guys and girls joined like KV and others that joined around this same time)

I think forgewright joined sometime after silver but before KV

I've seen some waves of new people over my 6 years of using quest, but most of them haven't stuck around, some good coders and some newbs to coding, alike, sadly


@David W
We have a favorite games button/list now. Just saying.


What has that got to do with the state of the forum?


I think I joined in 2012 - maybe 2013. First Times was the most popular game and hadn’t been released long. I still think that’s one of the best Quest games on here. It’s a shame Jay isn’t about anymore (unless he is under a different name). He knew his stuff and his game Spondre pushed the boundaries of what Quest could achieve.


KV's Postulate

A site which is hard to navigate earns more money.

site which is hard to navigate = more pages visited = more ads seen = more ads clicked = more money


Simplified:
site which is hard to navigate = more money


So a crap website makes more money than a good website? If that's true, the site admin must be raking it in.

Alternatively: a site as bad as this one has people abandoning it in droves and so no one makes any money.


I don't think this forum is purposefully difficult to navigate (like grocery stores are), by the way, but it is usually hard to find what we seek and there are many distractions.

...and I wouldn't say the site is bad (or crap), although I respect your opinion. I just don't like the way the forum is set up.

I'm quite fond of the people here (and the things they share).


I didn't mean the main website is bad - I actually think it's pretty damn good - but the forum itself is a complete mess. What Alex was thinking when he downgraded from the old forum to this thing I can't imagine. There's so much wrong with it that nothing short of nuking the place and starting again would ever fix it.

Is anything ever likely to happen with it? Does the current admin just not care how bad it is?


>I didn't mean the main website is bad - I actually think it's pretty damn good - but the forum itself is a complete mess.

I read you loud and clear now. and we are on the same page.


>What Alex was thinking when he downgraded from the old forum to this thing I can't imagine.

I found this stuff (I assume the forum was changed during this process):

https://alexwarren.uk/2013/04/10/textadventures-co-uk-migration-scheduled-downtime-on-20th-april/

In addition to a new look and feel, the entire back-end has been rewritten as well. I’m moving away from a hacked together collection of PHP scripts and WordPress, and to a new site built on .NET and hosted on the Azure cloud platform.

There are a number of things I’ve wanted to add for a while now, but the old site architecture made it difficult for me to change things. On the new website it will be much easier for me to implement new functionality...

https://alexwarren.uk/2013/04/20/the-new-textadventures-co-uk/

I have completely redeveloped the website from scratch. I’ve kept the design fairly minimal - the idea is to let the games stand out, make it easy to browse them, and make the site more accessible to smartphone and tablet devices.

https://alexwarren.uk/2013/05/07/how-am-i-doing-the-quest-annual-review-201213/

It’s also been really positive to see the site stats going up, loads of new games being created, and the forums getting busier. The new-look website which I launched a couple of weeks ago is doing well - it looks cleaner and more engaging to me, but more importantly the feedback is good and early indications from Google Analytics suggest people are staying longer on the site too.

Later on that same page, he mentions you (DavidW):

Anybody got anything negative to say? To me, constructive criticism is more useful than a nice slap on the back. I’ve not actually seen much in the way of “bad press” this year, but one can always rely on forum member davidw for a choice quote. Over on the Adrift forum he writes:

Quest may attract the lion's share of the IF market right now, but it still doesn't produce much in the way of good games. "Quality over quantity" after all.

Personally, I am perfectly happy for most of the games on the website not to match up to davidw’s standards. Some poor quality games are, I think, the price to pay for giving people accessible tools with which to build things and express themselves. Many users are young and are trying out writing and programming for the first time - we’ve all got to start somewhere. This site relies on user-submitted reviews to highlight what’s good - and authors value feedback too. So whether you like a game or not, be sure to leave a review!

NOTE: If we were to review games honestly, we'd be in for a fight nearly every time we reviewed a bad game.


>There's so much wrong with it [the forum] that nothing short of nuking the place and starting again would ever fix it.

If that ever happens, I hope it sort of works like the freecodecamp forum. I don't like the looks of the freecodecamp forum, mind you, but the features are nice. For instance, if a user were to create a new forum post to ask how to use stats in a game, the site would search through all the existing threads and display the links to any similar threads, asking "WOULD YOU LIKE TO VIEW ANY OF THESE SIMILAR THREADS BEFORE CREATING A NEW THREAD ON THIS SUBJECT?"

That is the bees knees! Most of the threads here are asking the same 5 or 6 questions over and over again, and each "duplicate" thread contains its own, little nugget of wisdom. This is not very efficient from any perspective.

If the site popped up similar threads before the user actually posted a question, and the threads stayed open until a moderator chose to close them, that would be a major improvement. It would also be nice to click on a user to view all of their posts (and that includes our own posts). While I'm rambling, I may as well wish we could mark a reply as "helpful".


>Is anything ever likely to happen with it? Does the current admin just not care how bad it is?

I think that's where my postulate may come into play.

I may be way off base here, but, from what I've gathered, Alex was done with Quest, Squiffy, and this site in 2016. At first, no one was willing to step in and take over, and Alex was leaning towards shutting the site completely down.

https://blog.textadventures.co.uk/2016/12/07/looking-for-a-new-owner-for-textadventures-co-uk-and-quest/

Eventually, it seems that JayNabonne convinced The Pixie to team up with him to take over the Quest side of things (including the software and answering Quest inquiries on the forum), and manowar decided to take over the site and Squiffy. (Alex mentioned two others who would be in charge of the servers, but I think manowar ended up doing that as well. Again, I may be mistaken.)

Now, if I've pieced it all together correctly, Pixie was supposed to have help from Jay, but Jay didn't hang around very long. (It seems he decided he could create his own engine.) And manowar was supposed to be able to focus on the site and Squiffy, without worrying about the servers crashing every other day. (Again, manowar may not be the server guy, but I assume so, because I've never noticed any mention of those other two guys. I know that doesn't mean they definitely don't exist, though.)

https://blog.textadventures.co.uk/2017/01/11/meet-the-new-textadventures-co-uk-team/

So, it was supposed to be a team effort between five people, but, in the end, only Pixie and manowar stuck around.

And, if you read through this blog post (particularly the section titled "Some numbers"), it doesn't sound like anyone is making very much (if any) money off of the site. As an American (and a true capitalist), I find this hard to swallow, but it still seems to be the case.

Now I'm contradicting myself; right? (Saying the site doesn't make money while saying the fact that the forum is difficult to navigate actually brings in more money.) I don't know...

My theory is that the site in its current form is probably bringing in just enough revenue to stay afloat most of the time. I also assume there are more players visiting the site than there are creators, so most of the improvements we've seen since the new team took over cater to the players. (Even the messaging system is for the players to contact the authors for help. It can't be for the creators to share ideas or anything, because we can't send any code or attachments through it.)

So, the forum... It's not all that grand, but a lot of people still use it, and we are the true criminals. Each time one of us posts something, we are saying, "hey, it's okay to leave the forum just like it is. We'll still use it!"

...and, even if everyone decided to boycott the forum until it was improved, The Pixie couldn't join the boycott. He is Quest. Also, he (like many of us) seems to simply enjoy helping people, especially when helping someone learn how to code. (Plus, I'm pretty sure that Pixie (like the rest of us) doesn't make a dime from any of this.)


So, when users seek information on the forum, it's hard to find it. That means the users have to look through more pages, which means we are subjected to more ads.

If the forum were improved, this would not be case.

It also seems like it would take a lot of time and effort to replace the forum. (I have no clue what would be involved, but I assume it would need to be totally rewritten, and the author would need to be fluent in .NET and Azure.)

Being that new users are on the forum every day, and only 3 to 5 people complain about the forum (which only happens about 3 to 5 times a year), it would seem that the best business decision would be to leave any forum improvements on the back burner and focus on attracting more players.

If the goal is to increase the number of pages visited, each page displaying a different ad, any improvements made to the forum would be counter-productive. ...unless this were to quickly attract a large number of new users, which seems doubtful to me, no matter what the improvements were.


Basically Alex wanted to coalesce the website profiles with the forum ones (back in the day you would create a profile for each) and he succeeded with that aim. Unfortunately a lot of useful forum functionality was lost in the process (a private message system has now been implemented but I still have to go outside of the site and use google to search for anything and there’s no simple way to track historical threads) and it was never explained as to why.

The issue I raised in this thread though (threads being auto closed after a set period) DID exist on the previous forum. So it’s almost like we kept the annoying stuff whilst getting rid of the useful.


K.V. - that's actually pretty depressing to read. I was under the impression Quest was in a much better state than it seems to be. Is Manowar even around these days? Admittedly, I don't browse the forum much, and the search here is next to useless, but I haven't seen him posting whenever I stop by here. Certainly he hasn't posted in this thread which has now been active for two weeks so that kind of indicates he's gone, or at least he's taking a lengthy break from things. Which doesn't give the impression things are ever likely to get better. Without someone actively maintaining the site, there's no way Quest will survive indefinitely.

It's a similar situation to what we have right now on the ADRIFT forum. Campbell Wild has been absent more often than not for years now, ADRIFT hasn't been updated in two years, no one has a clue what the future holds for it, and new game releases have slowed to a crawl. It's pretty depressing when you consider how active the ADRIFT scene was years ago. The only positive note in all of it is that at least we have a nice shiny forum :)


I may be totally wrong about how much money the site brings in. All I'm basing that on is Alex's old blog post. For all I know, those crappy WarriorCats games alone bring in thousands per day from ad revenue...

...and Pixie, HK, XanMag, Silver, mrangel, and Pertex (just to name a few) are doing a heckuva job helping people out with Quest, and there was just a major update to Quest, too. So, there's definitely still a good, strong community.

...and Manowar is still involved, I think. I'm pretty sure he's just been working out all the bugs which popped up after recently updating the online Quest editor and player to 5.8.


The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced I'm mistaken. If this site was merely breaking even, I doubt anyone would have taken over after Alex left.


I thought Alex pays the bills. Everything I have read, which KV has given me, says the website was pretty much breaking even. In fact, it is the first time it has made back such a profit in a while, apparently. Alex always paid out of pocket for this site.


I'm pretty sure Alex is completely divorced from Quest, Squiffy, and this site (but I may be mistaken).

https://youtu.be/gfT1YcCaSDQ

(Alex begins speaking at 2:20.)


I think KV pretty much has it right. Manowar is still around, and he runs the servers (I have less access than mods like XanMag to the servers/web site). I do not know what that involves, but getting updates to Quest (the only bit I see) have certainly taken hours to do, so it is not straightforward. I have offered to look at the forum software to see if I could help there, but I do not even know what language it is all written in.

The site does make money from adverts, and that is used to pay for the servers. Again that is Manowar. I do not know what the amounts are, but I am sure he is not making much, and I guess he would stop if he was making a loss.

Hmm, I guess what I am saying is I do not know much more than you already said...


@ KV,
Watched the video. Was cool to see Alex. Followed a link to one of his tweets and had a laugh.

Alex Warren (@alexwarren) January 4, 2017


Also:

  • Searching is tough but I have gotten better at it and can find most issues.*
  • Give the top 25 games a recommendation from Quest to show it as a quality game. Maybe a special heading from those in charge.
  • How about a donation button?
  • Better explanations of material in the Wiki. Just giving a technical explanation blows. Needs scripting examples.

*I do have problems searching due to my focusing issues. I will start a search and an hour later I'm watching monkeys pick each others bungholes and can't remember what I needed in the first place.

I have tried every text game engine I can find and Quest is by far the easiest to use for someone without coding knowledge. (opinion)

Glad to see there is opinions about the state of the forums. That is how change comes about, but I have learned one thing in business...

Never blame your boss or customer. Always point to the business system and always offer solutions to any issues you may bring up. Leave others with an open invitation to help and not on the defensive.

Never steal another man's sack lunch. His wife may have handle his sack before making it.

Never expect a lot from my posts.


Ha!


image


Never steal another man's sack lunch. His wife may have handled his sack before making it.

Ha-ha!


Also, just for the record, I wasn't trying to find out how much money the site brings in. I was just trying to say most of the people helping out around here are doing it for free, and I'd bet manowar is involved more due to willingness to help than as a money-making venture.

UPDATE

I just found this statement from manowar from August 2018:

currently textadventures with their advertising just gives to be able to pay for the hosting of the site plus the game server hosting.

http://textadventures.co.uk/forum/general/topic/kl4mqmx2au_ywjsskco2uw/separation-of-adult-material#18936a28-778c-4ef8-9399-26e9bd59fc6e

So, yeah:

It appears no one who contributes to this site is making any money from doing so.


...and back to the OP:

The issue I raised in this thread though (threads being auto closed after a set period) DID exist on the previous forum. So it’s almost like we kept the annoying stuff whilst getting rid of the useful.

Yeah...

I (for one) vote to abolish the auto-closing of the threads.

If a thread needs to be locked (for whatever reason), a moderator should be able to handle it.


I see threads left unanswered or something that could be added later as we all learn new things and rather than having to make a new thread then "yes" on the unlocking of threads or "no" on auto-closing as said.

Spam may be an issue, but I'm on here almost everyday lately and have been removing them because that's how I roll.


bump


I had one thread/post that had ALL of the helpful snippets I’ve picked up along the way. Kind of like a “sticky” thread. Can’t find it now that forum was changed and thread was closed.

EDIT: huh. What do you know?? All I had to do was search properly.

http://textadventures.co.uk/forum/quest/topic/5835/my-most-helpful-threads


EDIT: huh. What do you know?? All I had to do was search properly.
http://textadventures.co.uk/forum/quest/topic/5835/my-most-helpful-threads

I have a tab in Notepad++ for the same purpose.
It's now 300 pages long.
I wish I'd done it your way.


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