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Old 12-10-2008, 11:55 AM   #1
Zooch
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Default Adding a Forum Section

I propose that GameCareerGuide add a section to their forums dedicated to Mod teams. This would include (but not limited to) recruiting, discussion, help/tips section and a showcase section.

This would require some heavy moderation to keep with the quality of the rest of the site, but your current moderators are extremely active and supportive. I could forsee having to add one moderator to focus solely on this section of the forums.

It seems that in several write-ups by Jill as well as other professionals, design competitions and member/moderator responses, they recommend building a portfolio through joining teams and accomplishing projects. At the very least, join a team and produce work for them, which you can later add to your portfolio.

You can also integrate this with the design challenges. You could have a section for people who want to work together to complete the weekly challenge.

Programmers have their niche forums - gamedev.net
2D artists have their niche forums - conceptart.org (and several others!)
Animators have their niche forums - aigamedev.com
IGDA.org have forums as well, which are often used for business, legal and development process questions.

Each one of these forums cater to every aspect of game development, but they all have a "focus" that's defined by what their website offers. Where's the designers' niche? It should be here!

Just a suggestion

PS - If you're concerned about these sections being used often enough, don't be. I could bring in 15 different teams across several 2D and 3D engines to post a recruitment thread on these forums within the first few days.
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Old 12-17-2008, 01:33 AM   #2
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This sounds like it would be an awesome idea. I'd like to see something like this, however I would suggest naming it something like "Project Showcase & Recruitment". This is because I'm sure some people would be interested in more than just perhaps modding (for example team programming projects).
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Old 12-17-2008, 04:58 AM   #3
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I second what Adrir is saying. I'd definitely use this new forum if it was set up.
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:45 AM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestion!

Let me make sure I have this right: You want a separate forum section where modding teams can recruit volunteer developers. These positions are unpaid and unaffiliated with universities. Is that right?

Before I approach my colleagues and ask them to do this, I have to make sure I understand the idea fully and can anticipate the objects they will raise so that I can formulate a defense to all the possible objections.

Is my basic understanding of this correct so far? Can you go into a little more detail about what kinds of posts we would see on the forum, how people would connect with one another, and things like that?
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Old 12-17-2008, 06:01 AM   #5
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Sure thing. I'll be working today so I'll have to slowly chip away and edit this post tonight with my details.

I'll post a few different scenarios so you aren't cornered into working one angle.
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:39 AM   #6
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Please pardon me; I just had another brainwave while I was doing the washing up. If I understand Zooch's proposal correctly, the main purpose for this board would be to assist people develop their own projects:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zooch
It seems that in several write-ups by Jill as well as other professionals, design competitions and member/moderator responses, they recommend building a portfolio through joining teams and accomplishing projects. At the very least, join a team and produce work for them, which you can later add to your portfolio.
Therefore, if we want to expand the scope of the board beyond simply modding requests we could refer to it as "Portfolio Development".

It seems clear that developing a great portfolio is a pre-requisite for obtaining a development position in the games industry. Providing a board for this topic would not only reinforce this concept but also provide support for those people who are creating their own. I could imagine the main purposes it serves would include:
  • Discovering information about the various approaches to developing portfolios and discuss them as appropriate;
  • Which games to mod;
  • Roles that can be advantageous to modding;
  • Legal implications of indie projects;
  • Differences between art, programming and design portfolios;
  • Content of a portfolio;
  • Delivery methods;
  • Answering questions about portfolio development or specific modding issues;
  • Providing a platform for people to showcase their portfolios in order to receive feedback from the community;
  • Enabling people to develop team work and communication skills;
  • Promoting team-based project work by enabling people to advertise their own projects or join other projects;
  • and to perhaps provide a platform for people to assist each other through producing guides.

Of course, this is not a complete list of items, however it does cover what I imagine it could involve. At the moment, I believe that the emphasis would be on finding people for team projects, requesting portfolio feedback and discussing portfolios in general.
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Last edited by Adrir : 12-17-2008 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:37 AM   #7
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We already do a lot of portfolio feedback, it would be nice to have it be in one section so people could find where to post easier.
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:38 AM   #8
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"Portfolio Development" sounds a bit too specific for all the purposes of the new forum. I suggest: "Projects".
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:40 PM   #9
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[NOTE: I think it would be nice to include paid and university involvement, but it isn't necessary.]

Adding a Modding/Projects/Portfolio Building section to these forums will indeed have a big impact on the rest of the site. It will increase your flow of traffic, which is a good thing, but it will also increase your flow of uneducated traffic. Sometimes it can be overwhelming when trying to keep up with the questions or incorrect posting styles. You have to have a successful layout in order to make it work. The three layout suggestions listed below would all work depending on how you want the forums to work for you.

The three names I'm giving these options are 'Minimalistic', 'Functional' or 'Full Monty'.

Minimalistic

The minimalistic approach to adding a project development section would be to have as few forum sections as possible. All you would really need is one section with a general title such as "Project Development". The most common way to moderate this type of forum is to have a strict posting template for everyone and have the poster define what the project is about in his title.

Examples:

[CRISIS MOD] Mechwarrior: Living Legends is Recruiting!
[CHALLENGE] Design Challenge: Collector's Edition!
[PAID] Xyz Studios is Hiring!
[PORTFOLIO] Please Review My Portfolio!
[PORTFOLIO] Looking to Expand My Portfolio!

While the minimalistic approach is much easier to set up and manage, you will bottle-neck your traffic to the section. It's one thing to have a template for people to follow. It's quite another to force people to copy your words. Also, sometimes people will get tired of looking through the mod recruitment posts to look for portfolios. This style is succeptable to overpopulation of one type of post, which will drown out the other topics.

Functional

The functional approach is the middleground between Minimalistic and Full Monty. A good setup for the Functional approach would be to have a main forum section then 3-4 subsections. The layout would be similar to this example:

Project Development

---> Portfolio Building
---> Hiring - Mods and Educational
---> Hiring - Industry and Contracted Work
---> (Optional) Design Challenges / Misc Groups
Typical titles within these forum sections would be similar to this:

Portfolio Building

---> Please Review My Portfolio!
---> Looking to Build Up My Portfolio!
---> Where are Some Good Portfolio Examples?
Hiring - Mods and Edu

---> [CRISIS MOD] Mechwarrior: Living Legends is Recruiting!
---> [UT3 MOD] Looking to form a team
---> [MODELER/ANIMATOR] Looking to join a team
Hiring - Industry and Contracted Work ---> [JOB TITLE] Xyz Studios

The optional thread of design challenges and misc groups would cover everything else. Thread titles would be more random than the above examples.

This style provides more flow and organization than the Minimalistic approach, but without the bells and whistles of the Full Monty.

Full Monty

This is the highly detailed style. All of the sections in the Functional style would be included, but additional sections would be found similar to the examples below:

Portfolio Building ---> Reviews and Critiques ---> Please Review My Portfolio!
Portfolio Building ---> Showcasing ---> Just Finished My Sweet New Website!

Hiring ---> Mods and Edu ---> Crysis ---> Mechwarrior: Living Legends Looking for Level Designers!
Hiring ---> Mods and Edu ---> UT3 ---> Warm Gun Recruiting Animators!

Hiring ---> Industry and Contracted Work ---> Full Time ---> [WEB ADMIN] Xyz Studios
Hiring ---> Industry and Contracted Work ---> Contracted ---> [ANIMATOR] Xyz Studios

The full monty could also include other benefits such as image hosting and ratings/feedback systems. The benefits to this style is that it looks highly organized and professional, but it requires the most time and money to set up. Image hosting would require a database, which costs money. I'm not sure where you guys stand with that. You will receive the most traffic out of the three styles, but you'll need to weigh out if it's worth putting the extra work into fleshing this out. Be careful not to make too many categories or people will get confused or think no one posts in these sections. This style is also the easiest to moderate, as it's highly structured.

Honestly, this website seems highly dedicated to the development of my peers. I don't think a Minimalistic approach would be the best deal, and I wouldn't be writing this huge response if I thought you'd settle for that. The ideal investment-to-return ratio would be gained if you can find common ground between the Functional and Full Monty styles.

Last edited by Zooch : 12-17-2008 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 12-17-2008, 03:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zooch View Post
[NOTE: I think it would be nice to include paid and university involvement, but it isn't necessary.]
We can not do paid positions due to conflicts with our sister site gamasutra.com and their job postings.
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