I thought it was about time we discussed the world of click and what people are after in a click community. I remember submitting some truly awful games on here many many years ago, and on the same night I had a barrage of comments. For me, TDC was always a place which was not too serious and dull (sorry CT forums), not too aggressive, and it had quite a bit of camaraderie.
So here comes the question. What do you think has happened to the community? Do you think it can be fixed, if so, how? Feel free to air any ideas
Hagar's old man thinking (warning, this may be a senile ramble!):
I personally feel this "indie" (bearded, horn rimmed glasses with no lenses types) scene has really had an impact on the the click community. Instead of making games for fun with your mates (how many click groups was there? Also, how many of your early click games was just a compilation of in house jokes targeted at your mates?), our little world has been influenced by a commercially driven scene. If you make a game for commercial purposes, it makes sense to do so with as small as team as possible (more portfolio credibility and money!).
Also, I think the biggest problem is that new clickers are extremely rare. Back in 1999, Klik & Play was a freebie on a game magazine. After using TGF on my friends brothers computer, it was awesome to get on the click ladder. Shortly after, I managed to get TGF1 from Toys R Us, and the rest is history. In the early 2000s (2003/4 ish) Clickteam gave TGF1 Pro for free on a game creation magazine. Apart from the recent addition of Fusion 2.5 free edition, what is clickteam doing to get new people into the hobby? I remember seeing MMF2 on the humble bundle, but considering Fusion 2.5 is their latest and greatest, why not give some copies of MMF2 away, like they have done with K&P and TGF1 Pro?
The clickers from the communities peak era are just getting old I guess (myself included!). Jobs, mortgages, marriage, kids, etc. I can understand the pressure to try and make revenue from what is predominantly a hobby.
I think the whole commercial thing you mentioned is a large part of the cause.
The being busy thing is too. I used to have a lot more free time when I was in middle school and high school to do this sort of thing. Also my standards weren't as high. It's nearly impossible to live up the the standards I've set for myself and still release in a timely manner (before I get tired of working on the project that is)
Also I do programming for a living now, so I tend to stay away from the PC when I get off.
and Cranium Conundrum by tristanjmnz.
Is about the only attempt i've seen to use box2d. When all these advancements happened i thought the click would be crawling with box2d examples and contest.
Damn, I could ramble about this for hours. But I'll spare you. I'll ruminate only a bit, though I think I'm short on solutions. AND I can't claim to ever have the answers to such a huge question.
To sum up my dilemma with Click products: I personally find it tough to want to keep going with a hobby when there's so much pressure to be a professional at it. It's intimidating to make a fan game or try out a new idea when there's pressure to 'take it to market' or put it on the iPad store or whatever.
What would I like to see out of the Click community?
Bug fixes (though I think the regular ClickTeam site/forum covers this well enough).
Recognition and reinforcement of those brand-new to the game-making scene, as well as their projects.
Legitimate critique of finished games and/or works in progress.
Incentives for constructive feedback.
Incentives for any kind of productive/positive participation in the community.
Appreciation of "old skool" aesthetic and design tropes (at least until Click moves away from 2D games).
Appreciation of those who push the conventional envelope and donate their time and efforts to the betterment of the community: examples, archives, tutorials, etc.
Assertive - not necessarily aggressive - moderation, which establishes criteria, maintains it as a "living document" that evolves over time, and especially enforces it.
An overarching structure of community involvement, creative production of new material, and incentives for being positively, productively involved are all things that can revitalize the community.
Holding someone's weekend project to the same standard as a big-league published release is a joke, and only serves to push people away from the community. I'd like to see much more of a focus that leans towards those who want to stick with the hobby and grow over time, building their skills and experience with actual finished projects and feedback: feedback that encourages growth and learning as opposed to simply slagging it for being "unprofessional."
And the notion of "selling out" by actually taking the step of going for commercial releases? To hell with that noise. I'd like to see much more of an incentive within the community for supporting commercial releases of games made with Click tools. Personal financial limitations aside, earning a few dollars for the hours upon hours of tinkering, trouble-shooting, agonizing over design decisions, pixel-pushing in sprite editors, and more is a huge inspiration to keep going at it.
TL;DR = Encouragement regardless of someone's level of accomplishment. Competent moderation of the community site(s).
I know this is long. But I've personally thought a lot about this very thing.
Not sure how those slipped through the front page net. Dynabrick looks amazing, and I am going to try out unstrong and Cranium Conundrum.
@Urban: I suffer from that a fair bit too. I design/invent lab instrumentation day in and day out. This consists of circuit and circuit board design, C programming and VHDL programming. After a day of this, I really do not fancy doing yet more PC based work when I get home... I do not miss school at all, but I miss the care free life and all the time I had.
@ SMR: I agree with what you are saying, I am not knocking the commercial aspect. I am still in the midset of doing this for fun , but if it earns me cash, even better. I found it a bit surprising that the majority of questions I got for Midget Machines (my personal case of big, stupidly complex game fever) at the UK click convention was "Are you going to sell this?". It is something me and my friend Allan work on for fun. If we ever finish it, iron out the bugs and get all the music done, we will definitely try to sell it.
If I could make money from one of my hobbies or trades I enjoy, (like many electronics/gamers do on youtube) it would be a dream job.
In terms of moderation, I am trying my best here . If anyone see's anyone slating any person's work, please let me know, I will deal with them.
I think apart from the things mentioned the decline of this community had a lot to do with what happened between 2009 and 2011 with things like "accidental" deleting of posts and members and fights over that. Many people left at that time (me included). I was actually teaching MMF class at the time and tried sending the best of my students to this site, but the silliness scared them away. It left TDC with a very small audience for the games submitted.
I got Klik & Play when I was just 14. At that time it was a product targeted towards kids. I grew up using it and continued to use it through high school and college, slowly graduating into bigger click products. It's my generation that made up the click community. The problem is that I got old, and so did a lot of other clickers, and there wasn't a fresh generation to fill the void. It all happened kind of suddenly when you think about it.
Clickteam is marketing Fusion 2.5 as a professional game development tool, and rightfully so, but in the process it's lost another huge market- kids who want to make their first game. These days kids are growing up learning Unity instead.
I think Clickteam needs a fresh marketing campaign to sell their products not just as professional game making tools but as family friendly products that can help kids make their first game again. If new seeds aren't planted then other programs will keep gaining ground.
As far as community sites, well, you can't have a thriving TDC if all it's members are in their 30's and 40's, can you? I'm too old for this crap.
It's a new era. TDC came up during a time when Clickteam already had a large defined user base and nothing but a forum and news frontpage to support them with. TDC was supposed to be an alternative community site that offered designers far more support while restricting them with fewer community rules. TDC basically handled users who either felt unsupported by Clickteam or were disgruntled with their site policies.
I think the biggest problem is that Clickteam no longer gets an excessive amount of traffic. The official community has declined considerably since 2009 as well. Fewer users in general means fewer users looking for community site alternatives. Clickteam products aren't stressed as rapid-development or prototyping platforms outside of gamedev conventions. Clickteam focuses most of its online advertising at newbies to game development, not established developers in search of faster methods. I'm not saying it's a bad strategy, but it's the same one that's been used since CT dropped MMF1. I don't think it's as effective now as it was then.
The Klik Community hasn't exactly 'thrived' since 2008. Previous to that, there wasn't much in the way of competition. Game Maker was a relatively new product at the time and most other game makers were seriously limited in scope and ability. Today, there are a long list of 'programless' game creation apps. They all share the same market and because of that, users who may have found MMF1 the only option ten years ago might stumble upon a competitor's website first and never know Fusion 2.5 even exists.
I agree with Hagar; the indie game development scene has ruined hobbyist game creation. The general message that gets spread around the indie community is that game creation software like MMF and GameMaker are generally wastes of time, aren't capable of making 'professional games', and are only used as crutches by amateurs unable to design and program conventionally. Most game maker apps aren't even respected as rapid-development or prototyping platforms.
Active users on tDC today are exceptional in the regard that most of us have moved onto programming and more advanced design techniques, but we continue to use Clickteam products because they're fast; we know what CT apps are capable of and most of us know all of the little quirky work-arounds that generally limit new users to producing half-assed 'inside-jokes' and fangames. We've survived the frustration stage without giving up and moving onto true programming languages as a replacement, not just an alternative.
It took me four years to truly understand Photoshop, three years to learn web design, and three years to feel comfortable programming in .NET. It's taken me six years to achieve what I feel is a profound understanding of MMF2. I still come around here asking questions every now-and-again. Learning new programming and design methods is a chore and most new game designers are told to jump right into programming and skip learning simple programming concepts first.
I'll admit I'm mostly a 'graphics guy', but I wouldn't be half of the programmer I am today if I couldn't mock-up clients in MMF then jump into .NET and program using event scripting as a model. I've also made lots of little personal utilities in MMF I didn't want to waste time trying to program in .NET.
I don't think the Klik scene will ever be the same as it was, but I don't mean to say I think it's dead. If Clickteam re-approaches their marketing strategy to embrace programmers and the indie game community as opposed to operating as an alternative to both I'm sure that CT would benefit from an influx of new users, some of whom will inevitably become bored or frustrated with the no-nonsense, humorless content on clickteam.com and end up here.
tDC desperately needs a redesign and CT's website is vastly underdeveloped. At least Rikus and Clubsoft can claim that tDC hasn't been overhauled in years. In Clickteam's case, the site has been redesigned over and over again, but the set of community support features are profoundly lacking. Frankly, it's appalling that tDC hasn't been fully redesigned in the last decade and still sports features Clickteam's official support site does not. Still, mainstream indie gamedev websites offer better public and private project management utilities, more robust rating systems, better collaboration support, project hosting options; and with a community of active users, project advertizement impact.
The only path to recovery I see is a complete overhaul on tDC, support for CF2.5 and new developer support features, a willingness to conform to or even accept 'indie game mentality', plenty of time spent advertising, then adding lots of new content. I think the most important part is finding a new team of mods who can be active more than two days a week. Sounds pretty straight-forward, but it's a lot of involved work all at once.
ChrisD> Employer: Say, wanna see a magic trick?
ChrisD> Employee: Uhh… sure, boss.
ChrisD> Employer: Your job! It just disappeared! Pack your things and leave! Pretty good trick, huh?
Why keep reinventing the wheel a thousands times and still come up with some kind of the same non-functional site?
(reply about CT site vs tDC)
Anayways if people want an overhaul, just about any kind of forum software will do and then host a front page to feature news and other items that need attention. That's why I said GitHub, just host your project over there, post in our forum board in the new stuff section and some kind admin will front page it. Or if not: people can still look for themselves in the new stuff section of the board.
Now back on topic:
Click is just click and part of the community probably needed to work in order to live, which requires time that cannot be dedicated to click anymore.
Then there is the fact about game quality mentioned many times.
And something with decent or better competition.
Peblo Custom ratings must be 50 characters or less
7th September, 2014 at 07/09/2014 22:42:22 -
I think it would be fun for a couple old developers to get together for a small competition to see how well their prowess gained from their careers translates into a klik medium.
"Isn't it always amazing how we characterize a person's intelligence by how closely their thinking matches ours?"
Originally Posted by Peblo I think it would be fun for a couple old developers to get together for a small competition to see how well their prowess gained from their careers translates into a klik medium.
Sweet let me get on middle managing the raw materials needed for...oh wait.