SimCity 4 Devotion

SimCity 4 Devotion Welcome Portal => SC4 Devotion Site Goings-on => Topic started by: SC4D_Staff on August 14, 2012, 03:57:13 PM

Title: Proposed Forum Reorganization (and Other Prospective Changes to SC4D)
Post by: SC4D_Staff on August 14, 2012, 03:57:13 PM
Over the past month, the SC4 Devotion staff has been discussing possible changes to streamline the SC4D forums, in response to ideas suggested in the "Future of the Community" thread started by Kergelen, as well as general observations from the staff about the general utility of the current layout.

One "textbook" case, in terms of the necessity of realignment of boards, was the so-called "Brainbusters!" board.  The description for this board read as follows:

Quote
This thread identifies only the hardest SC4 "game" issues we need to overcome and invites the SC4D community to work on solutions. While all are both welcome and encouraged to comment, permission to start a new thread needs to be obtained from a moderator.

However, if one looks at the threads on that board [link] (http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?board=174.0), they don't match up.  There's lots of threads, started without moderator approval, dealing with issues that, while they may prove vexing to inexperienced SC4 players, are eminently solvable, and definitely not "brainbusters" in the grand scheme of things (e.g. brown boxes, nightlight issues, etc.).  This is symptomatic of the larger problem of what I have termed the "murky lower reaches" of the SC4D forums, an area that several comments in the "future" thread also identified as a confusing part of the site. 

Discussion amongst the active administrators and moderators on the staff has yielded a potential new arrangement for the forums, and we feel it's progressed enough that it is ready to present to the general membership of the site for feedback.  Here's a brief "bullet point" overview of some of the changes.


Below is the most recent layout mockup that met with staff approval.

Quote
Sim City 4 Welcome Portal
    Site Rules and Announcements
    (Welcome guest! Cannot see it all?)
    SC4D New Members Area
    LEX Support and Discussion (merges together all previous public LEX boards, except Candidacies)
       LEX Candidacies (as subforum of above)   
    SC4D Site Goings-on
    SC4 Community-Related

Of Special Interest This Month
   Of Special Interest this Month

SC4 General Discussion and Tutorials
    SC4 General Discussion
    Show us your...
    Where can I find this ....?¿ (retain existing subforum structure)
    SC4 Tutorials
    SC4 Requests
    RL Pictures needed ¡¡¡
    MacOS Support
    International Support and Translation Requests (merges two together, retain existing subforums)

Sim City 4 Contests/Competitions (new area to house Pic Contest, GRV, etc.)
    Best SC4 Pictures Contest (make Picture Hall of Fame a subforum)
    SC4D Thematic Competition
    GRV II - Bordertown
    TSC Orange Trophy
    Completed Contest Archives

Mayors' Diaries (moving OSITM out, some subforum mergers on "general" boards)
    MD Area Rules
    SC4D Mayors' Diary Hall of Fame
    Classics
    Best Sellers
    Recently Published
    MD Statistics

Sim City 4 Collaborative Region Projects (new area to house 3RR, Dunya Project, etc.)
    Three Rivers Region
    The Dunya Project

Sim City 4 Custom Content Area--Creators, Teams and Projects (existing subforum structure retained, aside from merger of "Creations" boards into root team/project boards)
    AC (certified)
    BSC (certified)
    BNL
    Buddybud
    EBLT
    HKT (certified)
    Japanese Developers (existing So Far, So Near board)
    NAM (certified) (absorbs Bridge Engineering Department)
    NHP (certified)
    NUTs (certified)
       P&T Catalog
    RTMT (certified)
    Rural Renewal Project
    SCAG
    SFBT (certified)
    SC4 Landscape Designers' Studio
    TD
    Triumphal Way
    TSC
    VIP
    PIM-X'd (move to BSC area? CC General Discussion subforum?)
    Indie Developers (old BAT Projects, LOT Projects, MOD Projects merged?  Indie Mappers?)
    Other Projects
    SC4 Custom Content General Discussion (replaces old Help boards)

Sim City 4 Devotion Tools Showcase  (top board eliminated, subforums brought to fore)
    SC4 Terraformer
    SC4Mapper
    BAB Tool
    SC4 Tool
    Ilive Reader
    SC4PIM, the "X" Tool or PIM-X
    BSC NHP DatPacker
    BSC Cleanitol
    Startup Manager
    SC4 Organizer (Private Board)
    SC4LotInfosGenerator
    BSC LEX Downloader
    null45's Tools

SC4D Off Topic Section - Posts in this section do not increase the post counter.
    Planning and Urban Design
    Other Games
    Tech Discussion
    Artist's Place (merge all subforums, most of RL Pics and Graphics Point together)
    Other/General Off-Topic (merge in Birthdays, Neighborhood Places)
    Forum Games

We welcome your comments and feedback in making SC4 Devotion an even better place to discuss this great game.
Title: Re: Proposed Forum Reorganization (and Other Prospective Changes to SC4D)
Post by: Kitsune on August 14, 2012, 04:09:49 PM
It's still a little on the lengthy side ... but the realignments defintely make sense... so long as there is an easy way to differenate between Tutorial's and help requests (ie it doesnt make much sense to have all this gobbled together, there needs to be something to keep them seperated together.. maybe stickie approved tutorials). Also is a request forum really needed? Very seldomly does something get posted there that someone else creates.
Title: Re: Proposed Forum Reorganization (and Other Prospective Changes to SC4D)
Post by: wallasey on August 14, 2012, 04:11:24 PM
If it is much help, I would support any changes which would make OSITM more prominence, particularly as it is arguably where some "rising stars" as well as established MDs get their moment to shine.

More planning and urban design topics would be great, if only to add more RL contextual relevance to what may be produced in SC4.

Re configuring the "Brainbusters" section will be no small task and I wish you the best of luck with it!
Title: Re: Proposed Forum Reorganization (and Other Prospective Changes to SC4D)
Post by: whatevermind on August 14, 2012, 07:26:51 PM
Overall, I like it.  I posted in depth about this in the thread that inspired these changes, and I think a lot of the major points I saw needing some improvement have been touched upon in this proposal.  A few highlights:


I think Kitsune has a point about the tutorials - the tutorial boards do tend to get gobbed down with non-tutorials, most of which are misplaced help requests.  At the same time, the more prominent location of the SC4 Requests board may make it a more lively catchall for all sorts of help questions, and placing it next to the Tutorials board might help solve this confusion.  I agree it's current function is a bit hobbled, but I think it has potential to be a much more lively corner of the site in the new layout.
Title: Re: Proposed Forum Reorganization (and Other Prospective Changes to SC4D)
Post by: art128 on August 17, 2012, 02:26:12 PM
I think most of what needs to be done has been said in the three previous posts, and I support what was said.
The WIP layout seems to make more sense as  well.

Good luck to the staff for all the ongoing and future changes. Knowing you guys I know this will be great.
Title: Re: Proposed Forum Reorganization (and Other Prospective Changes to SC4D)
Post by: mike3775 on August 17, 2012, 04:25:46 PM
I like the idea's.  The only change I would try about implementing is making a tutorial submission section like the RHW interchange guide section, where someone submits it, and a moderator approves the submission and then gives the go ahead to post it in the appropriate section
Title: Re: Proposed Forum Reorganization (and Other Prospective Changes to SC4D)
Post by: NCGAIO on August 20, 2012, 08:10:14 AM

As I said before here - link  (http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=14228.msg419154#msg419154)- I think the changes are very welcome and necessary to facilitate and make the forum more interesting, especially for new users.


Just as a suggestion think there should be a sign that consolidates in one place the dozens of Tips & Tricks that make the game more interesting. Unfortunately today they are scattered by various titles and posts which hinders their knowledge then maybe an index of links by subject is the solution.


Similarly there should be a Bugs & Solutions which concentrate all the information for corrections of known issues, thus avoiding the repetition of posts and making life easier for new players.


This forum is certainly the largest  technical library information about SC4 among all other, but unfortunately again he too is spread everywhere maybe that explains the lack of new projects.


Finally .... would emphasize the lack of topic for the tool Cogeo Sc4tweaker and too Sc4Paths of Daeley in Sim City 4 Devotion Tools Showcase

PS: If it were possible I would like someone with time could attend to the problem described here (http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=14157.msg406966#msg406966)... thanks!
Title: Re: Proposed Forum Reorganization (and Other Prospective Changes to SC4D)
Post by: Tarkus on October 08, 2012, 01:06:08 AM
As some of you may have noticed, we've begun the process of putting the forum layout changes in place.  We'll be continuing to shuffle some things around over the coming days.  The MD section changes have been implemented, as have some of the changes to the Projects and Picture Showcase sections, and work's commenced on "The Murky Depths".  The new "SC4 General Discussion" board is up and running (http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?board=430.0), and some older threads have migrated there.

-Alex
Title: Re: Proposed Forum Reorganization (and Other Prospective Changes to SC4D)
Post by: vortext on October 08, 2012, 08:07:38 AM
Good to know there's some action going on behind the scenes. A few general remarks regarding the site.

First of all, in the lefthand menu under diaries, it still says 'cassics', instead of 'classics'. Or I should say it happened again because with the site's overhaul last year I pointed this out to Jeronij and he has corrected it for sure. So, somehow it sneaked back in there.  ??? :D

Secondly I noticed the board 'mod projects' has been relabelled 'indie mod projects'. I'm not too sure what the term 'indie' actually stands for, however, where I live the prefix 'indie' is exclusively used to refer to 'indiemusic' and this usually has a negative, deragotive connotation / intent. So I would like to suggest to use a more neutral name. What was wrong with 'mod projects' anyway?  ()what()

Finally a longstanding frustration regarding navigation in the topbar. Kinda hard to explain, so a picture to illustrate.

(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimageshack.us%2Fa%2Fimg204%2F8641%2Fforumnavigation.jpg&hash=1a8aed44d4dbecbb21c8f9a9a90b2986fb46f87c)
The link underlined in red doesn't work, ever!

Say I want to get back from here to the 'SC4D Welcome Portal'. Logically I would click on SC4D Welcome Portal. However, this brings me back the forums homepage. Moreover, this happens for the entire site. Somehow it's impossible to get from a 'child' thread back to the 'parent' board. Hope this makes sense.  ::)
Title: Re: Proposed Forum Reorganization (and Other Prospective Changes to SC4D)
Post by: art128 on October 08, 2012, 08:20:26 AM
Quote from: vortext on October 08, 2012, 08:07:38 AM

Secondly I noticed the board 'mod projects' has been relabelled 'indie mod projects'. I'm not too sure what the term 'indie' actually stands for, however, where I live the prefix 'indie' is exclusively used to refer to 'indiemusic' and this usually has a negative, deragotive connotation / intent. So I would like to suggest to use a more neutral name. What was wrong with 'mod projects' anyway?  ()what()


It's the same as Indie Game.

An Indie game is a game developed by a small studio, or someone [or a small group] alone, which doesn't have a big name on it ( EA, Activision etc). I'd say Indie Mod is the same. Mod developed by people who are not part of a team or NAM.
Title: Re: Proposed Forum Reorganization (and Other Prospective Changes to SC4D)
Post by: vortext on October 08, 2012, 08:26:58 AM
Ah I see, kinda what I figured already. That said I only know the term for indiemusic, which isn't too positive (not overtly negative either, just kind of ambiguous, depending on who you talk to). Perhaps Miscellaneous Mods? I like the alliteration better anyway.  :P
Title: Re: Proposed Forum Reorganization (and Other Prospective Changes to SC4D)
Post by: Tarkus on October 08, 2012, 10:10:11 AM
It's basically short for "independent", and the main reason for changing it was because the "Indie" boards will be moved into the same hierarchy as the team boards.  The term is viewed very favorably here in the Western US, at least.

As far as "Cassics" go, we've known about that a long time, but as far as I know, it's on the PHP side, so we can't fix it--jeronij would have to do it.

-Alex
Title: Re: Proposed Forum Reorganization (and Other Prospective Changes to SC4D)
Post by: vortext on October 08, 2012, 10:15:56 AM
And the navigation thingy I mentioned? That's been bugging me quite a while  &sly
Title: Re: Proposed Forum Reorganization (and Other Prospective Changes to SC4D)
Post by: mave94 on October 08, 2012, 10:16:24 AM
Quote from: Tarkus on October 08, 2012, 10:10:11 AM
It's basically short for "independent", and the main reason for changing it was because the "Indie" boards will be moved into the same hierarchy as the team boards.  The term is viewed very favorably here in the Western US, at least.

[...]

To my knowledge, topics of custom content creators in the OSITM section are not always individual projects, because I remember some team members' topics being highlighted in the OSITM section. I thought that was Debussyman, who is part of the BSC, in June or July somewhere. I'm not shore whether I like the indie prefix or not.

Why is there a second child board "projects" in "archived region projects"? Is there not another way not to show the individual  child board on the board index?

Apart from that, I like how the new forum structure is going to be. :)

-Matthijs
Title: Re: Proposed Forum Reorganization (and Other Prospective Changes to SC4D)
Post by: Tarkus on October 08, 2012, 03:59:51 PM
It turns out the "Cassics" bit was tucked away in some obscure TinyPortal settings that I was able to access, so I've gone ahead and fixed it to read "Classics". :thumbsup:

Quote from: vortext on October 08, 2012, 10:15:56 AM
And the navigation thingy I mentioned? That's been bugging me quite a while  &sly

That's done that for a long time . . . I don't know if it can be fixed, and I can't make any guarantees, but I'll look into it and see if there's something I can do from my end.

Quote from: mave94 on October 08, 2012, 10:16:24 AM
Why is there a second child board "projects" in "archived region projects"? Is there not another way not to show the individual  child board on the board index?

That's just a temporary setup, and I'll be adjusting that in the coming days.  A few of those boards under there will end up getting moved elsewhere, since they're not actually regions (e.g. buddybud's old board will get moved in the custom content area).

Since "Indie" has proved somewhat controversial, I'm considering using the full word--"Independent"--instead.

-Alex
Title: Re: Proposed Forum Reorganization (and Other Prospective Changes to SC4D)
Post by: vortext on October 08, 2012, 04:06:03 PM
Quote from: Tarkus on October 08, 2012, 03:59:51 PM
It turns out the "Cassics" bit was tucked away in some obscure TinyPortal settings that I was able to access, so I've gone ahead and fixed it to read "Classics". :thumbsup:

%BUd%

Quote from: Tarkus on October 08, 2012, 03:59:51 PM
Since "Indie" has proved somewhat controversial, I'm considering using the full word--"Independent"--instead.

Seems appropriate to me.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Proposed Forum Reorganization (and Other Prospective Changes to SC4D)
Post by: whatevermind on October 08, 2012, 07:00:10 PM
Regarding the link issue that vortext brought up, it's a code error in the site. The link is pointing to an anchor id that doesn't exist, so it just dumps you at the top of the page, instead of the part of the page it should link to. Using this page as an example, the link in question points you to this address:

(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1129.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fm503%2Fwhatphots%2Fimg0286_wrongaddress.jpg&hash=d933aa6786e0b0505f6c8231a2add6aa39b12d4e)
Which puts you on the top of the page. Note the anchor #2.

Looking at the source of the forum main page, where the code for the Welcome Portal begins,
(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1129.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fm503%2Fwhatphots%2Fimg0285_forumsourcea.jpg&hash=7a88d2e28aed9bb378382405809e790c17ae15b5)
You can see that the correct anchor for the Welcome Portal is #c2.

Editing the bad link in your address bar to change the anchor to #c2, and
(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1129.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fm503%2Fwhatphots%2Fimg0287_rightaddressa.jpg&hash=28c0a7ae400dde8aa0469df923fd1f28c6903256)
You end up at the beginning of the Welcome Portal, instead of the top of the page.

I suspect this would be true for each of the main forum sections, that the links are simply pointing to the wrong anchor id, since as it was pointed out, this link never works right.
Title: Re: Proposed Forum Reorganization (and Other Prospective Changes to SC4D)
Post by: Kitsune on October 13, 2012, 03:45:01 PM
What happened to the help boards? The main post referenced a "SC4 Custom Content General Discussion"... but it doesnt seem to exist (unless it was put under a different name?)
Title: Re: Proposed Forum Reorganization (and Other Prospective Changes to SC4D)
Post by: catty on October 13, 2012, 03:52:08 PM

The SC4 General Discussion Board is now here

http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?board=430.0

it and a few other boards are now in the top-level "SimCity 4 General Discussion and Tutorials" board

-catty

Title: Re: Proposed Forum Reorganization (and Other Prospective Changes to SC4D)
Post by: NCGAIO on October 26, 2012, 05:54:39 PM

&apls Just to acknowledge the use of suggestion on the topic Tips and Tricks that makes searching much easier, although there are still other lost amid other areas ...


I also congratulate the inclusion of useful tool by Cogeo but most of all I thank especially the release of the tutorials that can now be translated without loss of diagramming page by google!


thanks!
Title: Re: Proposed Forum Reorganization (and Other Prospective Changes to SC4D)
Post by: RickD on October 29, 2012, 03:15:25 AM
I needed a while to get used to the new organisation. Overall, I like it. But I find the location of the "Show us your" board a bit strange. I constantly keep overlooking it there. I would have put it into the MD section as the threads contain ingame screenshots just like the MDs.
Title: Re: Proposed Forum Reorganization (and Other Prospective Changes to SC4D)
Post by: Lowkee33 on November 30, 2012, 05:04:22 AM
I want to get the Help Categories (Mod/Lot/Bat/Etc) back.  No one is going to go through 40+ pages of help looking for his/her question.