Fall '17 Updates & Going-ons

Howdy folks, we haven't had an update thread in a while have we? As luck would have it, I actually have a few things to talk about. Amazing!

Staff Updates
At this time, Atomic Reactor has decided to step down as an administrator due to his busy schedule. He'll still be involved behind the scenes with major decisions, but he feels it's best to take a step back. We wish him the best!

In October we had a pixel slam jam, and this week an iron mapper trial has gone up. I realize we've slowed down with events after our last game jam, but we plan on picking up the pace again. We should hopefully have a brand new event in December for you all. We're very excited to reveal it!

Post Likes
As a bit of an experiment, we've gone ahead and disabled the ability to like posts. This isn't a permanent decision, and we're interested in seeing the results. Existing post likes will still be there. We're also considering replacing post likes with emoji reactions to posts, but that would be far off in the future.

Our theory is that some users would be more inclined to leave a like and move on from a post instead of replying with some constructive feedback. Of course, it's very likely that some users wouldn't post in the first place and leaving a like lets the poster know their post has been noticed by them. There's certainly arguments to be made for both sides, but we're curious to see if there's any actual positive effect from doing this.

Please be sure to give us your feedback on this change, but preferably after a bit of time. Hot takes on a change like this aren't what we're really looking for. Thank you for giving this a shot! <3

Night Mode
...is almost here! While it's a work in progress and not yet complete, we've enabled it for regular users. Simply click this at the bottom of any page on Relic Castle to switch to it. Big thanks to @Cilerba for his help!

Weekly Discussions
We've had a freeze on weekly discussions since August. We plan to do more, but for the time being we've actually opened them all up for replies. Feel free to take a look and leave your thoughts on a topic you may have missed!

...And that about wraps up everything I have to talk about! Feel free to use this thread for discussing the above, and reporting any issues and oddities you find with night mode. Love you all lots, please drink a glass of water. Or whatever.
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The beetle is waking up
I've got to say, I'm excited about these changes and what's to come.

More competitions and events sounds great. It really gives people a chance to show off what they can create, and also provides them with an opportunity to get feedback and improve.
The whole like things just depends on the results, but it should be interesting to see if more people decide to reply and give feedback since they can't just leave a like to approve of something. It will be interesting to see what happens.
Other than that I don't really have much to say, I'm looking forward to what is to come from the near future from relic.
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Hope your schedule takes it easy on you, Atomic-Reactor!

I'm super excited to hear we've got more competitions coming! I love the creativity contests bring out-there's unique prompts and just enough casualty about them to make them more accesible for busy people! And, on a more personal note, I think I might be able to finally participate in them! Definitely not Pixel Slam, and probably need a bit more experience for Game Jam, but I've already got an idea for Iron Mapper that I think is going to be really fun to tinker with! (and I'm very curious about our new competition! I'm hoping it's a writing one?)

(I hope three days after the update isn't too soon to talk about likes?) I think removing likes is going to be great for feedback! Even if people don't have constructive criticism in mind, it can encourage them to tell people the specific details they like about a work!

But while it's fantastic for creative feedback, I think it might not have such a positive effect with discussions. Opinions and insights don't really have as much to discuss as creative works-the main responses are probably going to be "I agree", "I disagree", or "That's a new insight I hadn't considered", and two of those aren't really going to merit a whole new post.

I don't have any experience in making forums, so I have no idea if this is doable, but perhaps an option to turn off likes for individual posts could be a sort of happy medium? It could keep the functionality of likes while still encouraging people to elaborate on creative feedback!
So a couple updates for you all!

  • Post likes being disabled didn't boost activity, which isn't all that surprising. That being said, we're going to be looking into disabling them in certain forums. We'd also like to move away from likes and into post reactions. We'll see!
  • Night mode is basically done! Give it a whirl if you haven't, and be sure to let us know if you notice anything amiss with it!
  • We had planned a new event to debut during this month, but we just didn't have enough time to get it ready. Maybe in the Spring we'll get that ready for you all.
  • Expect a new Iron Mapper trial and a Pixel Jam Slam this month! Along with something else!


Have they found the One Piece yet
Kind of hate to say this, but I like . . . Likes. I, uh, enjoy being able to acknowledge to people that I've seen a post without posting something spammy like "Okay!" or "That's good!"