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Old 11-03-2013, 06:06 AM   #1
Lynk Former
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Arrow Want to help to create a new, better LucasArts Fan Network?

Note: If this is all tl;dr for you, skip to the title "What can I do to help?"


The introduction

LucasArts is no more, but that doesn't mean it's going to be forgotten. The LucasArts Fan Network, the network to which this forum belongs, is in a unique position to light the eternal flame in remembrance of everything LucasArts has done for video games.

At the same time, we have things to look forward to in the future. More Star Wars games are coming, and while many of us aren't thrilled that EA is the one with the license to make these games, this is still a great opportunity for all of us here at LFN to breathe new life into this place.


The problem

That's all well and good, but we can't take advantage unless some changes are made to this place and none of it will matter unless we can find the people to make those changes.

Right now, this place is built on very old foundations, a number of fan sites under various domains that haven't been updated in years and are falling apart. LucasForums itself is very much the same way, lots of sub-forums that are empty and useless.

We're basically running a huge ancient ship with a skeleton crew and things are slowly falling apart. The few of us left, both staff and members are keeping things together, but we can't go on like this. At some point attrition is eventually going to cause this place to collapse and we don't have the staff availability to do much of anything

Despite the problems, things need to change.


The hope

We all have to be thankful and appreciate the owners of LFN. Despite the decline of this network and the cost to them of keeping it up and running, they've continued to fund this place. Because of them, we've got a chance to do something good with this place and I for one am grateful.

The death of LucasArts and the acquisition of the Star Wars video game license by EA is excellent for us. More Star Wars games, no matter where they're coming from is only a good thing for us as long as we can make the most of this situation.

We also have people who care about this place and don't want to see it die out and would like to help keep it alive and help make it better. That's great, I'm glad I'm not the only one who wants to help this place back on its feet. I'm sure if we can band together, we can do something to make a newer, better LucasArts Fan Network.


What we're aiming for

We have a tonne of small fan sites under different domain names. All of these fan sites, the Star Wars ones at least, need to be consolidated into one web site dedicated to LucasArts games from the past and the Star Wars games coming in the future.

The ideal scenario I'm thinking is that we have three main web sites in our network. Our Star Wars gaming web site, The International House of Mojo to represent the original titles that LucasArts created and finally LucasForums itself.

LucasForums will therefore be the official forums for our two main fansites, our Star Wars site and Mojo and as a result, we'd need to make some major changes to the forum to match.

The idea I have in my mind is that we could archive all of these old forums and stop new posts being made in them and then create a new forum (not starting over, just restructuring what we have) so that everything and everyone on the Star Wars side will now be located in the one forum, the one single Star Wars community instead of many, one single general forum, one single fanworks area, a single place for our modding community. Everyone under the same roof.

We would, of course, transfer what we needed from the archived forums. Mods people are working on and fan works as well. As much as we need that people are still working on can be moved to the consolidated forum.


"What can I do to help?"

Right now at this stage, we need ideas and suggestions. We also need people who are willing to help out in some way.

The big issue is that we don't have the necessary active staff members to run our fan sites any more... or in this case, our one large consolidated fan site. We need a one stop shop for everything LucasArts and future Star Wars gaming related and we need the necessary staff to run that site, create articles and information pages, etc to run that site.

So, now that we have kind of an idea in the direction we want to head, does anyone have any ideas or suggestions on how we can go about getting there?

Throw out ideas even if you think they may be silly. Right now, we're brainstorming and getting as many options in front of us to choose from so that we can choose the best ones and move forward from there. Also, if you have any better ideas than the general plan I have in mind, let's hear it.

And for those of you who would like to help further in some way, such as writing articles for us and help maintaining our fan site, let us know that you are interested and have what it takes to help out. Tell us what you can contribute if you were to become a staff member of our big fan site.



And just so we're clear: We have a number of forum staff, we're not really looking for more, the bigger and more pressing issue is to create a successful LucasArts/Star Wars gaming fan site up and running that can bring people back into the forum. Then, once we have that and the new community of people begins to form, then we can worry about forum staff.

However, until that happens, it won't be discussed at this point in time, especially not at this very early brainstorming stage.


One last thing...

Yes, doing all of this will mean that the resulting LucasForums will not have a political discussion forum of any kind. The stance of the community would need to change to be more video game focused to encourage new membership based around people coming in who are interested in discussing LA games and future Star Wars games.

If you think this is unreasonable, voice your concerns... in a SEPARATE thread.








In the meantime, ideas, suggestions, ways you can help out and any questions you may have are all welcome.

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Old 11-03-2013, 06:27 AM   #2
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Regarding LucasFiles, would it be merged with any of the main sites or just cease to exist? I think the ability to upload files and mods should be an integral part of this place, but then again, I don't know how much is the hosting size and respective costs.



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Old 11-03-2013, 06:45 AM   #3
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Unforunately, I have very little control over that part of LFN. The last I heard, and this was some time ago now, was that ZeroXcape wants to bring it back and back to its former glroy... but again, the lack of staff availability has prevented that. I'm hoping that once we can get the ball rolling with the things I am able to work on, we can encourage other issues such as the one with LucasFiles to be resolved through a renewed sense of motivation.

But yeah, at this point, I'm trying to deal with things one step at a time and that we do want LucasFiles back.

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Old 11-03-2013, 08:59 AM   #4
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Contests for prizes

Videos

PodCasts

Scheduled chat meetings ?

just throwing crazy ideas out there.


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Old 11-03-2013, 09:28 AM   #5
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My brain has yet to start to function today but, as I had said in a visitor message to you lynk, I am willing to help in any way I can. I have been learning web programming this's at year-mostly behind the scenes stuff rather than visual aspects- and I'd be willing to help with any of that. I would provide a link to my work but it's all been in an internal webapp for the company I work for. Aside from that I can contribute my knowledge of the modding community here.

As for ideas-the only one I have at this moment is that I think if we consolidate the forums down, the modding community section still needs to be broken up by games and, IMO, should be copied exactly as they are. Maybe make TUCE a subforum of holowan labs like the tutorials and mod requests. There are too many useful threads hidden in holowan to let go because they weren't copied. It would set modding back a lot. So many of those old threads hold secrets and answers to problems that might be rare, and can be found in a quick search.
Also, I know this is a little weird, but one of the biggest reasons I pretty much only stay in the kotor forum is the color scheme. It's very pleasing colors for me and for some reason I almost have trouble looking at the other forums because of this. Maybe we should have options to change the color scheme of the forums to your liking and keep this as an option?

All I have for now.




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Old 11-03-2013, 11:35 AM   #6
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Agreed, I think preserving the modding forums as much as possible is a good idea. There's been a lot of great work put into modding as well as the fan works section that I wouldn't want to disrupt too much.

I also agree about the possibility of allowing people to select between colour themes... though maybe just between a light and dark one to make things simple at first.


@ R15: All good ideas worth considering for the future.

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Old 11-03-2013, 12:03 PM   #7
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fan art section, cause everybody love some star wars art!


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Old 11-03-2013, 12:39 PM   #8
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I think it's a great idea to essentially consolidate the star wars games and original titles under their own separate forums.

Just a thought...since a lot of us have a strong connection to the work of Tim Schafer, and we already have Psychonauts and Brutal Legend on here...does it make any sense to consider including a DoubleFine forum (even if it's just under mixnmojo)?

I'd gladly help write some articles for some of the new sites, so just tell me when you need me!



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Old 11-03-2013, 01:12 PM   #9
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I know I don't post here as often as I used to, but I do still visit this place on a regular basis and would like to provide some help, if I can. What I might be able to help with is:

As a web programmer with almost two years of professional experience, I might be able to help out should any development be required, depending on the technologies used for the fan site and the time frame in which things would need to be done (since this is something I would do on my own free time and, I'm sure you understand, I wouldn't be willing to dedicate all of my free time to more development work. I do enough of it at my day job ).

Other than that, I'm pretty good with Photoshop, so I might be able to fix you up with any new site banners and other "makeup" elements you might need. Perhaps even some basic Flash stuff, if necessary.

And finally, I'm willing to help out in any brainstorming regarding how the site and/or forum content could be organized, since (and this is totally subjective on my part) I consider myself pretty good at organizing things. Well, except parties, I suck at organizing those.

Regarding stuff that others have said, I do agree with the suggestion of allowing forum users to choose between a few color themes.
Regarding modding forums, I'd have to take a look at how it's all currently organized in order to make a proper suggestion, but in general, since this place encompasses a lot of games, even though you might have a general modding section as a root, this section should definitely be divided into sub-forums for each game.
Regarding other forum sections, since I don't frequent the political section, I for one am not going to miss it, if it's gone, but the off-topic discussion section (i.e. Ahto) and the general gaming discussion (i.e The Outlander Club) should remain present in some form.


Last edited by igyman; 11-03-2013 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 11-03-2013, 02:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igyman View Post
Other than that, I'm pretty good with Photoshop, so I might be able to fix you up with any new site banners and other "makeup" elements you might need.
I can help with that as well. I have access to some high-res Star Wars press images.



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Old 11-03-2013, 03:04 PM   #11
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I'm not necessarily saying this is exactly what we need but it seemed to work for another form my friend was telling me about. From the sound of it they were in about the same spot as us. They decided the solution was to make the forum a place that you can go to for more than just the average forum. They added things such as chat boxes and etc... But I think the biggest selling point was one of the members made a flash game (related to the subject of the forum) and hosted the game there. From here two more games were made and their attendance began to rise. People discussed both the topics in the forum and the games hosted on that forum.

Other than that i think that this is a great idea and while I can't help with web design I would do as much as I could to help.


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Old 11-03-2013, 05:55 PM   #12
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I like the idea of having a single forum for all Star Wars games and a separate one for all other original LucasArts titles. The thing that needs to be thought about is how many sub-forums to make. Too many will make it seem cluttered and confusing, while too little and there will be too many different topics being discussed in each one. It also needs to be more personalized with the use of color schemes.

Regardless of how it will be laid out, there should be a few choices for a color scheme. I think for the Star Wars forum there should be a couple light side, neutral, and dark side options to keep with the theme. The light side options can have one be mostly blue with some white thrown in and white letters, and the other can be mostly white with some blue thrown in and black letters. The dark side options can have one be mostly red with some black thrown in and black letters, and the other can be mostly black with some red thrown in and white letters. The neutral options can be similar to the current theme. One that is mostly gray with some blue and red thrown in and white letters, and another one that is the same except with black letters. Since the Mojo forum would include games of different genres and themes, it can include the same amount of color schemes except they will be unrelated to the light side and the dark side. These color schemes can be very colorful, but the overall look of them will be one with a lighter tone, one with a medium tone, and one with a darker tone and each of these would have one with white letters and one with black letters.

I think there should be a sub-forum for each game, but they should have the name be the actual title. The current sub-forum names have personality, but it would be easier for all members, especially new ones, to be able to look and see instantly what they're looking for. I think they should all be under one sub-forum so that when you go to the main forum there isn't a huge list of games and then every other sub-forum way down at the bottom. Each of the games do not need any additional sub-forums. What I mean is if I go to the KotOR section I can have a general discussion of the game (Republic Newsfeed), discuss strategy (Padawan's Lounge), and discuss technical issues (The Work Bench and Ebon Hawk's Machine Room). It can also include role-playing and fan fiction/artwork related to the particular game. These sub-forums can all be forged into one for discussion of all aspects of KotOR and nothing more. The ones for other games can be the same way.

For modding there can be another sub-forum and under that sub-forum a list of all games exactly like the game discussion one. Then there can be a third sub-forum for all random discussion and within that there can be as little or as many other sub-forums as people see fit. I some what feel that under this random sub-forum there shouldn't be any others. This way people are free to discuss anything that comes to their mind whether it be other forms of media or serious topics, and aren't limited if they have something to share and don't know where to put it. I know some people are against the discussion of anything other than video games, but you have to give people somewhere, even if it's a small sub-forum to discuss their own topics. Every forum I've ever been to has one. Another one I feel is important to add is one for Star Wars movies/shows. There can be a sub-forum for each movie/show within it. I know forums tend to be just about video games and most video games don't have movies/shows, but this one does. We should be open to all aspects of the Star Wars universe and it would expand the things people have to talk about on here. The Mojo forum can have the same thing if there are any movies/shows based off of those games.

This way when you go to the Star Wars or Mojo forum, there will be only 4 main sub-forums: Game Discussion, Movie/TV Discussion, Modding Discussion, and Random Discussion. Under the first 3 there will be more sub-forums for each game/movie/show, and under the fourth there can be more sub-forums or none at all. Feel free to expand on what I've said, but that's my general idea.



Last edited by Sith Sizzle; 11-04-2013 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:50 PM   #13
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There are certainly a lot of challenges when it comes to restructuring the forum. This is precisely why we haven't tried to attempt anything like this since LucasForums was created and merged those numerous individual fan forums into one single mega-forum. It's a big job with a lot of complexity structurally and technically.

However, the thing I think most people are losing sight over is the fact that this network is a lot larger than people realise. The HUGE problem being overlooked isn't the consolidation of the forums, but the consolidation of the fan sites themselves.

There are a large number of fan sites, all made by a large number of different people over the years, all created and maintained differently... we're talking a decades worth of work spread out over all of these sites and formatted in a number of different ways.

We're talking information, guides, articles, the works... and while we can back them up so they're not lost forever, we can't really archive those sites as they are because a lot of them are broken and falling apart at this point.

The big hurdle is to recover all of the work that has been put into those sites and try to renew/restore them into the larger consolidated mega-fan site... and this takes a A LOT of work, far greater than the work that would need to be put into creating a new forum structure.




@ supreme kotor: The flash games idea is interesting.







EDIT: Since forum structure is a point of concern for many, in the future, I'll post up an idea of a consolidated forum structure (as a site map) in this thread or a future thread for people to look over and see how it looks so that we're covering all of our bases and giving our modding and fanworks community the spaces they need to do their thing.

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Old 11-04-2013, 02:31 PM   #14
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Note: Reposted with permission from Lynk Former with moderation points removed to avoid debate in an idea-driven thread.

I've had my issues with this place. Boy, have I had issues. But I'm not the stunted, frustrated adolescent I was back in 2005. I genuinely lament the potential friendships I let my immaturity prevent me from making with some really awesome people. There was actually a time I'd have loved to see this place fail, because all I cared about was my own selfish satisfaction. That's nowhere near the case anymore - I feel I owe this community, its members, and its leaders something in return for all the drama I've inspired over the last 8 years. Drama that likely only still matters to me, probably.

I think part of what keeps an online community thriving is the sense of... well, community. The very thing that's kept many of our older members, myself included, coming back even just as lurkers is what we need to focus on in order to make this place hum again. It has to be about more than the games and movies. Anything we can do to encourage the forging of relationships with the people behind the avatars should be our top priority.

I feel we need something a little more personal sometimes than the "Getting to Know You" thread. I know the old SWKnights website had a chatroom, and I know that many members forged friendships through it that stand quite apart from LucasForums itself now. And yes, I'm aware that one or more the people in this group became a problem for a number of members who felt excluded, alienated, paranoid, blah blah drama blah. The point is that it was not the existence of these friendships that led to the ensuing drama. The problem was that these perfectly wonderful people were forced to take their discussions and growing social circle to a more technologically reliable medium inaccessible directly from the forums themselves, creating the illusion of an exclusionist clique. If we could find a more reliable way of engaging each other in chatroom style discussions, I think that alone could go a long way towards making the community feel a lot warmer and more approachable - as it is now, all a new member sees is the dozens of different message boards each with a dozen or more areas with hundreds or thousands of topics. It's a little intimidating making your first post, regardless of how you do it. It's a lot easier for someone to say hi in a chatroom and get their feet wet, as it were, before diving into the forums themselves. I know for a fact that such chat interfaces exist for vBulletin, as I've been a member of vB forums that've used them in the past. There must be one that would allow for friendly, open conversation with simple moderation tools.

I could be accused of bias when it comes to the creative boards here at LF. They're where I spent a great deal of my time over the years and where I met a number of people who are still my friends today. But I think part of what drags that section down is the stigma surrounding fan fiction, fan art, and text-based roleplaying. These kinds of boards need more than just someone to enforce the rules - I mean, the rules are pretty minimal in such boards. Basically so long as you don't involve genitals, your post is basically in the clear. What they need is leaders. Story builders to inspire new worlds and characters (Star Wars/LucasArts related or otherwise), community organisers to properly coordinate contests and events, and experienced artists/authors with the tools to help people who want to become better at what they enjoy. Make these boards a destination, not just a side show or extra feature. A properly cultivated creative community can stimulate any themed discussion boards. Let a creative community grow around and expand on an existing idea or universe, and you've got the makings of a thriving forum for years to come.

In the same vein, a community focussing on any specific theme - be it gaming, movies, television, or whatever - needs leaders who do more than just enforce the rules. And I don't think this community's leaders have been given the proper tools to be leaders beyond rule-related buttons. Disney's acquisition of LucasArts is probably the biggest news to happen to Star Wars since the prequel trilogy, and the news was broken in the form of a link to a third party website, in three or four different threads scattered across multiple forums about different elements of the same basic thing. I guess this comes down to the forum structure that's already been acknowledged multiple times as being outdated. But it's more than that - not only should we have one place where all discussions about these different elements can be seen at once, but we need people who will actually gather information as vital to the community's interest and tell people about it themselves rather than simply posting a link to a third party website and inviting comments. We should be the place people use as a source for such information, not a place where we say "I'll believe it when a reputable source says something". We should be a reputable source.

That's all I can think of for now. Though I'll definitely have the matter on my mind over the coming weeks, for sure. I'm definitely eager to help this place become a destination for fans again. It's a shadow of what it once was, but it's not too late to restore it to its glory days again.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:43 PM   #15
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However, the thing I think most people are losing sight over is the fact that this network is a lot larger than people realise. The HUGE problem being overlooked isn't the consolidation of the forums, but the consolidation of the fan sites themselves.

There are a large number of fan sites, all made by a large number of different people over the years, all created and maintained differently... we're talking a decades worth of work spread out over all of these sites and formatted in a number of different ways.

We're talking information, guides, articles, the works... and while we can back them up so they're not lost forever, we can't really archive those sites as they are because a lot of them are broken and falling apart at this point.

The big hurdle is to recover all of the work that has been put into those sites and try to renew/restore them into the larger consolidated mega-fan site... and this takes a A LOT of work, far greater than the work that would need to be put into creating a new forum structure.
While it would not reduce the amount of work needed, considering my own experience at refactoring existing code of a well-established project and improving it to support additional functionality and be more maintainable, I'd say the smart route here would be to create this mega-site (or rather a mega-web-app) from scratch. All and any uploaded files, articles and whatnot can then be moved to this new structure with relative ease (it would be tedious work, make no mistake, but it would not be too difficult), as long as the new site is well-designed with an architecture that supports everything it would need to support (i.e. file upload/download, blog-like articles and whatnot, user accounts, different user roles and permissions, you fill in the blanks ).

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Old 11-04-2013, 03:05 PM   #16
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@ igyman: Yup, that's the plan, though there's still a lot of useful information that can be taken from those old sites and transplanted to the mega-fan site. To be perfectly honest, this entire idea of renewal I've posted in this thread isn't a new one, and I've had my own thoughts and ideas about this for quite some time now.

I even know exactly what the name our of consolidated fan site will be, though... I'm keeping this information close to the chest right now because it's all just a jumble of very unorganised notes right now and some wacky ideas. I don't want to start revealing details until I'm more organised and actually have something decent to show.

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Old 11-04-2013, 07:22 PM   #17
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Just throwing these two things out there, which may or may not help.

How about a thread & forum ignore system for the members. Which can be used by those who don't want to see certain types of threads/forums and don't want to mistakenly get involved or post in any future discussions of those particular threads/forums, they don't like or having regret they already did before. Something a lot of members here might appreciate in the long run, especially after they feel or wished they hadn't participated in particular threads or forums. Reason I'm suggesting this is because I noticed some members here had regrets posting in certain forums in the past and it could be a way to keep certain forums around for the members here who like those specific forums, but keep other members here from seeing forums they don't like or want to see. (I noticed they were working on something like this at vbulletin.org, btw )



Maybe a thread rating system. Some people think they're useful, some think they're not. I don't know. But it could be something a little less suggestive than the usual 1 to 5 star rating thingy, as in having a plain and simple "like" button at the top of the thread instead, which indicates how many members like the thread overall. The 1 to 5 star rating might be a little too informative.

Anyway, that's all I got for now.


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Old 11-04-2013, 07:39 PM   #18
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I said I'd do anything to help, and I intend to back it up. I essentially made a basic layout of a possible new LucasForums design based on what Lynk and a few others pointed out.


Show spoiler


It's pretty rough, but at least we could get a basic idea of what we're trying to do.



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Old 11-04-2013, 08:07 PM   #19
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I said I'd do anything to help, and I intend to back it up. I essentially made a basic layout of a possible new LucasForums design based on what Lynk and a few others pointed out.


Show spoiler


It's pretty rough, but at least we could get a basic idea of what we're trying to do.
I actually like your idea better than mine! Having a whole separate forum for everything that has nothing to do with playing Star Wars video games since that should be the forums main focus. However I think that modding shouldn't be included in the same sub-forum as the game. This is because me and other people might just want to read about gameplay and things of that nature sometimes and it would be hard to do that when people are posting numerous mods every single day, making other types of new posts hard to find.


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Old 11-04-2013, 08:22 PM   #20
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I thought that the 'all existing sub-forums' would be easier than listing every single thing.

Well, everything would be in its own separate subforum in the KOTOR subforum. For example, there would be one section dedicated to modding (which would have sub-forums under that for WIPs, questions, tutorials, releases, etc). Another would be dedicated for bugs and glitches. And yet another would be dedicated for basic gameplay discussion. And finally there would be one for just talking about the lore and the era of the game.



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Old 11-06-2013, 12:17 PM   #21
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I've been silent the last couple of days in this thread but I'm actively working on the design of the consolidated mega site.

I'm thinking of going for a magazine-like layout for the home page. Something that looks modern and attractive but can also be viewed on a mobile device. If you click the link in my signature and go to my site, you'll see what I mean. Restore your browser window if it's maximised and then drag the window width down below 800px wide and then below 400px wide. You'll see that the site design changes slightly to conform to the narrower width... or just view the site on your smartphone, probably easier, but it's better to see the change happen before your own eyes to get what I mean.

As I said, getting this site up will take a lot of work and we're going to face the obvious challenge of coming up with content for the site due to the lack of actively played Star Wars games at the moment.

We're going to need content for this megasite and we're going to need to have it coming at regular intervals... and it's going to need to be something good that gets people to the site. We need content that is worth reading that makes the reader want to come back to the site again after they've discovered it for the first time. It needs to be the kind of site they bookmark and check regularly... only then will they be encouraged to click the "forum" button and join in the community.

We need all types of articles, game reviews, hardware reviews (say, for a good mmo mouse to use with swtor?), random pictures from games in image galleries, a game modification spotlight, a fanworks article highlighting a great fanwork, general star wars articles, advise and tips for running old lucasarts games on newer machines, reviews of much older star wars games, a retrospective on a particular series, perhaps a roundtable discussion of some sort? ...and a lot of other things...

There's room for a lot of content just as long as we have the people to write that content and put in the time and effort needed to produce them.

In fact, this is a great opportunity for people because if you're interested in producing content, this new megasite will be great for you.




So, for the people who are interested in contributing to the mega site and becoming a staff member of the site, what kind of articles would you write? Let's throw out the ideas and what you think you'd be best at. Let us know of your interest and maybe there are other things you can do to contribute. Maybe there's someone out there who has what it takes to edit other peoples articles so that they can iron out the terrible grammar... I know any article I write is going to need a lot of ironing out lol.

The bottom line is that we need this site to make an impact, we need to get it out there and we need to make it relevant and last long enough on its own merits until the first of the new generation of Star Wars games are released.

The plain truth is that we have no active staff here at LFN any more. If we're going to make this place a success again, we need new blood. And the best candidates are people here in our own community to take up the flag.

Who knows, perhaps you can make this a learning experience and maybe gain some experience from this to use elsewhere...

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Old 11-06-2013, 03:23 PM   #22
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Bigger avatars!

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Old 11-06-2013, 04:00 PM   #23
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I was thinking the exact same thing Bigger signature image would be nice too.

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Old 11-06-2013, 04:57 PM   #24
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Regarding that large text in your previous post, Lynk, if you need a grammar Nazi, I'm your guy. I also wouldn't mind trying my hand at writing a review on the odd occasion.

As for avatar size, in terms of pixels, I don't think we need to go too larger than what we have now, but it might be a good idea to increase the avatar file size a bit (for those who like animated gifs and such) and/or add a resizing/cropping feature to image upload.

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Old 11-06-2013, 07:28 PM   #25
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I'd be more than happy to promote and help stimulate interest in a reborn community's fan-made media. Until we get new official stories and games, fan work is really all we've got. Fan fiction in particular gets a bad wrap, but it can be so much more than just angsty sexual re-pairings or wall-of-text Revangasms. And we've got some really great contributors here already whose work deserves to be shared with a wider audience.
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Old 11-06-2013, 10:24 PM   #26
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I'm a Grammar Nazi guy as well, haha. If there happens to be a music section on the forum I wouldn't mind being heavily involved in there. And no, it has nothing to do with me playing guitar. Okay, maybe a little bit.



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Old 11-07-2013, 07:39 AM   #27
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I'd be more than happy to promote and help stimulate interest in a reborn community's fan-made media. Until we get new official stories and games, fan work is really all we've got. Fan fiction in particular gets a bad wrap, but it can be so much more than just angsty sexual re-pairings or wall-of-text Revangasms. And we've got some really great contributors here already whose work deserves to be shared with a wider audience.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:45 AM   #28
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I ship Revyar. Revan and Javyar the Hutt.

"I want more money for this fight"
"You are brave to bargain with a Hutt, but for you...anything"
Ohgods the slime...
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Old 11-08-2013, 04:04 AM   #29
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*snip* --Lynk

Now for the fun stuff.......

I would hate to see the general forum games die. I realize that's *just* a place where me and mah crew horse around anymore, but it's about as close to /b chan as LF (or any PG-13 forum for that matter) can get to it. Still, there does need to be a place for forum jackasses to simply be.


There is the general Tech discussion thread and TBH, a forum jump (like SWTOR main subforum from the ancient outer regions Kotor sub-subforum) wouldn't hurt for any SW game technical issues that pop up there from time to time. With the mind to keep things organized.


Guides and resources in the SWTOR section written by our members: Sure there are guides in general all around the net for this game, namely its professions and crew skills. However, I think LF's players could make our own threads regarding the practical side and perspectives on it. There's much to be learned form experience. This admittedly is a nuanced sort of thing, but still, I do think we have the people to do that. I've been impressed by people like Darth Parametric and Mav, for example. Even began writing one of my own but have not posted it b/c I didn't want to make something nobody would read that would just take up space. I do think the devs at least listen to fans sometimes--some items which show up in the game IMO is evidence of that when they need ideas for new things.


Sections on Cosplay and gear: Am I the only guy around here who likes costumes and IRL crafting things like lightsabers? I'm sure with some people being knowledgeable about electronics engineering and the like (Rhett, Chainz, Sam D), SOMETHING can be done. Also, I know a lot of you here know what the "Vader's 501st legion" is.

Does anyone else around here give half a flip about fan films or is it that I care because I have some background in video production?


EDIT: Noted --Don't blame ya Lynk. In fact, forget I even said that here at all.

Moderator note [11-08-2013 10:20 AM]

Snipped out forum politics related topics in post. I don't want to turn this thread into a debate thread.



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Old 11-08-2013, 10:50 AM   #30
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While forum reorganisation is a hot topic for many, since the forum is clearly the most important thing in everyone's mind, I need to remind people that to most new visitor's this forum means nothing to them.

This is why I'm focusing on the fan site right now. The fan site is what will bring new people to the forum. As long as it's up and running, has content added to it regularly and is put out there for people to discover, it will be the big spotlight that attracts people here to this community which is why, at this point in time, it's the most important part of this project.

We really need more ideas and interest in the fan site and once we are far along with that, then we can focus more on the forums. Because if we don't get the consolidated site to a certain point in development, any ideas we come up with the forum will never happen.

Site 1st, forum 2nd.

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Old 11-08-2013, 04:55 PM   #31
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While forum reorganisation is a hot topic for many, since the forum is clearly the most important thing in everyone's mind, I need to remind people that to most new visitor's this forum means nothing to them.

This is why I'm focusing on the fan site right now. The fan site is what will bring new people to the forum. As long as it's up and running, has content added to it regularly and is put out there for people to discover, it will be the big spotlight that attracts people here to this community which is why, at this point in time, it's the most important part of this project.

We really need more ideas and interest in the fan site and once we are far along with that, then we can focus more on the forums. Because if we don't get the consolidated site to a certain point in development, any ideas we come up with the forum will never happen.

Site 1st, forum 2nd.
The Network sites seem to have become very much 'secondary' in the eyes of a lot of LF members in recent years, I think.

The way I see it, the forums grew to be such a massive part of the 'LFN experience' (it is where the majority of the community is based, after all) that the sites seemed to just fade into the background and fell into disrepair.

As far as i'm aware, a lot of new members come to the forums without even knowing that the Sites exist, which is sad, because there's a lot of really useful and interesting content.

Focussing on the new site first and then looking at the forums afterwards is definitely the way to go, I think.

Just saying. >_<




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Old 11-08-2013, 06:26 PM   #32
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The Network sites seem to have become very much 'secondary' in the eyes of a lot of LF members in recent years, I think.

The way I see it, the forums grew to be such a massive part of the 'LFN experience' (it is where the majority of the community is based, after all) that the sites seemed to just fade into the background and fell into disrepair.

As far as i'm aware, a lot of new members come to the forums without even knowing that the Sites exist, which is sad, because there's a lot of really useful and interesting content.

Focussing on the new site first and then looking at the forums afterwards is definitely the way to go, I think.

Just saying. >_<
Recent years? I once was one of the most active people on the site way back when and I was barely aware of the sites attached to the forums.

Besides that, this is a pretty good point.

-----------------------------------

Stating the obvious: What you need, first and foremost, is content.
  • Articles speculating on possible new Star Wars games, and what Star Wars gamers might or might not be able to expect in the future. Including various more specific fanbases, and more general thought pieces, such as: What would a Star-Wars-y Borderlands-style couch co-op look like? How about other currently popular genres? Or upcoming genres? Or bringing back old genres? What might be most promising for the next big new Star Wars games? Perhaps even with competing viewpoints.
  • EA or another company posts an article about a Star Wars game? We post articles in response with analysis -- if we can find people with specific interest in the announced franchises if they're not new (perhaps by "WANTED" forum topics at the very least) so much the better. (For instance, a Battlefront article with speculation or article analysis from a fan or fans of the previous Battlefronts.)
  • Addressing current topics in the gaming community at large. The current "women in gaming" debates, for example: How might they apply to upcoming or past Star Wars games? A dangerous subject to get into if you don't have an author who knows what they're talking about (GIRLS DON'T PLAY VIDEO GAMES!!!!!!!!!1 ITS A MANS WORLD), but it's a subject with high potential if you can get it right. There are many other potential examples (inclusivity is just the one that immediately comes to mind for me).
  • Include the more casual games, like this one: http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2013/11/tiny-death-star/ and Angry Birds Star Wars. Those don't need to take the focus, but they fall under our umbrella.
  • Having a place for fanfiction for Star Wars game universes would be a good thing, even if some want to turn up their noses at the idea. Yes, including silly romance fanfic (the PG-13 & below kind); if people want to submit it, there should be a place for it here.
  • If there's interest, maybe staff (or interested non-staff users) could do Let's Plays of old Star Wars games to cover the lead-up to the coming new generation. If there are people available to do them, anyway. I know I'd love to watch or read them, though I don't know that I could make them.

Full disclosure: I have not been reading the sites in a very, very long time, so apologies if I'm covering old ground.



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Old 11-08-2013, 11:42 PM   #33
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Speculation and "Fanalysis".

I'm not sure what, if any criteria, you'd have as a standard. As far as SW lore goes, I like it quite a bit but am so self conscious about how and what I write. I do not mind dissecting stories and such, getting a feel for the inevitable "what-if" scenarios that always arise in fiction. Also, predictions and speculation is often inaccurate. I was thrown for a loop several times with SWTOR's development, but maybe that just goes to show anything can change and take turns one wouldn't expect.

Blogging text is one option, another is a video personality. Has anyone watched AlphaOmegaSin's YT channel? He's an opinion "fanalyst" for video games and consoles. I think an opinion "fanalyst" in similar style to him and others but dedicated for all type of SW media might be a possible feature. LF did its own podcasts so this wouldn't be too far out of the realm. --Just a thought. Take it for what you will.


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Old 11-09-2013, 06:04 AM   #34
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  • Having a place for fanfiction for Star Wars game universes would be a good thing, even if some want to turn up their noses at the idea. Yes, including silly romance fanfic (the PG-13 & below kind); if people want to submit it, there should be a place for it here.
  • If there's interest, maybe staff (or interested non-staff users) could do Let's Plays of old Star Wars games to cover the lead-up to the coming new generation. If there are people available to do them, anyway. I know I'd love to watch or read them, though I don't know that I could make them.
I'm going to quote Redwing here, but The Doctor also brought up some great points about the general forums.
I've been following this thread but haven't responded yet due to just getting back to LF last week after a couple of years of absence. Honestly I was surprised it still looked the same as when I left.

But to the point, the fan community always has a place for creative writing, videos and art. Right now in the current forum setup that side of the community is sprinkled on several different hard-to-find subforums within subforums. That's one major change that should be done; move fan-made stuff to a more prominent role. Just like the modding community is vital for old games, RP, fan-fics, art and videos are a basic side to fandom and it shouldn't be hidden away. Building that community alone can get some new blood in here, there's plenty of people both young and old who have now grown up with Star Wars and especially with the young, they have creative juices pumping that should be given some outlet. This community would also include cosplay and/or replica making as well. I don't really mind if it's hidden inside some forum or another, but it should be given more prominence since this is a huge fansite.

Now to get more into the quote, I think Redwing brings a great point in calling out for let's plays of old games or video guides to modding and such things. But, as always, there is a but. Unlike what people might think with prominent youtubers having gaming channels and stuff like that, Youtube abhors gaming videos to be uploaded. Basically the only way for someone uploading gaming videos to survive without having their channel taken down because of copyright strikes is to either be a part of a bigger company that has deals with publishers and good lawyers, or they need to join a so called network, which is an umbrella company such as machinima or polaris, that handles the same deals with their lawyers.
At least that is so if you monetize the videos, which I suggest LFN doing since ad revenue on videos is a good way of getting that extra to keep the servers up.

Of course there is always the possibility that you could just contact the rights owners (LucasArts/Disney) for permission (regarding videos at least) and let them make up their mind if they want to support a fan community such as the LFN. At least before the purchase by Disney LucasArts was pretty warm towards the fan community.

Whatever happened to the podcast by the way? That could easily be revamped into a news-ish format with speculation and commentary on whatever tidbits of news there are about LucasArts and Lucasfilm projects. Especially now in the future years where leaks and new info will be hitting the public quite frequently about the new movies and any related merchandise, doing something like a news-podcast along with indigenous articles or other commentary on the site could easily bring not only more blood but more prominence to LFN.
I don't meant that in the "we're taking over the world" sense, but rather as a credible source and a big fansite, which it already is. There's a lot of great history for LFN, all we need to really do is to make it relevant again. The fact is that the forums and the network in general are all a product of the late 90s and early 00s, and it really shows.

I remember when the LFN podcast was announced and scoffed at the idea because I liked the quaint forums and made use of some of the sites as they were. In hindsight, during that time was the best opportunity for LFN to grow exponentially if more than the podcast had been thought up. But better late than never to renew the network.
Wow, that was a ramble. Hope it makes sense at all.


EDIT: Oh I should add that I have experience with screen-capture software and video editing. Albeit not in any professional sense, but I am willing to throw in any knowledge I have if it's required. I would also be interested in writing some commentaries or articles if that becomes a thing. Honestly, LFN is like a second home (despite some absences I have taken, I always return) to me and I'd do anything that I have any knowledge of doing if it helps the place grow and stay alive.


"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe,
are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity in all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
"

- Carl Sagan

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Old 11-09-2013, 09:23 AM   #35
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Purely speaking from an SW:K perspective, I don't really venture out of here too much, I think partly the success of SW:K was/has/is the modding community, back in the hey day many posters were modders or aspiring modders. I think in some respects the biggest killer of the forum has been the lack of new titles and the lack of any new titles really being modable - TOR being an example in that it is quite limited as to any mods you can make.

One suggestion I would have is any games which are very easy to mod - make offers to communities, that if they are making a TC of that game to say Star Wars or Indiana Jones they would get their own forum hosted by us to support their project.

Other idea's - the Let's Play one I think is certainly a good one; some seem to have gone missing certainly KotOR'2s one seems to have gone missing, it was excellent - perhaps a Let's Play of all the various LA games we can.

Additionally could we to a LA review style show - possibly broaden it, and go for a Zero Punctuation style review - or something unique that could draw people into a cult following?



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Old 11-09-2013, 10:59 AM   #36
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I think a new podcast series would be kind of cool. Even though there are no new games coming in the immediate future, doing a commentated Let's Play of Jedi Knight, KotOR, or the like might actually be kind of cool. There are lots of titles we could wax nostalgic over for a year or so until we hear word of new games coming down the tube, as it were.
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Old 11-09-2013, 11:04 AM   #37
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On the topic of podcasts, I think a 'podcast-esque thing' related to the topic of this 'new and improved' LFN might be a good idea, where the current ideas/plans could be discussed and then have it posted like LucasCast used to be, so that everyone can be 'on the same page', so to speak.

Just because I know some people might have difficulty getting to grips with the whole concept if its just in a written format like this thread, with different things spread out across multiple posts and eventually multiple pages.

Plus I think it would present an image of progress being made and probably inspire a little community spirit, as it's something everyone could listen to and discuss.

I have a feeling that I may have explained myself appallingly there... Just an idea, though.

As for the Let's Play idea, I definitely like the sound of that. There are a LOT of games that have the potential to make for very entertaining footage. Really hope that idea goes somewhere.




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Old 11-09-2013, 03:37 PM   #38
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I've been quiet for a bit now... working on the design for our consolidated fan site... and watching the entirity of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica while I'm doing it... just finished the entire thing... BSG, not the site design lol. I'll show it off to the community once I'm ready to show it off, but I think people will like it. I did try to push more toward a magazine-like layout and I hope I succeeded.



Note: While I'm referring to different people, I'm answering stuff generally to the community.


@ Marius Fett: We have a bit of a problem when it comes to attracting new people to the network. In the very early days, it was the web sites that attracted the people who then became the community who then attracted more people through the community interaction alone.

Unfortunately, to restart the process, we can't simply jump straight into getting the community to attract new membership alone. While we do have a somewhat small and loyal community left, it's become pretty isolated in relation to the rest of the Internet. Basically, it's become a Dromund Kaas... once known, a jewel of an Empire but then lost.

To get people back here, we need some kind of beacon that will lead them here, and that's what I'm hoping the consolidated mega fan site will become. Once people do get here, we can use the community to generate more interest.

As we've come to realise, our modding community. fanworks and roleplaying community are huge assets that need as much support to grow as we can give them and more.

If we are successful at creating the beacon, attracting people and then giving them a reason to stay, both on the fan site and forum community aspect without them losing sight of either of those two aspects of the network, then we'll have a better chance of netting people for LIFE.


@ Redwing: It's always good to hear from you Pinkywing thanks for the participating in this thread, I was hoping some of the existing staff would come in and take part.


@ GTA: I'm actually really self conscious about what I write too. But I believe if we have a good group of staff members gather together, we can help each other out with articles instead of it being some kind of "every man for himself" scenario.

Also, one doesn't always have to write unique content... they could always choose to be the new reporter and simply post news about recently Star Wars games happenings (which I'm sure will escalate soon).

We would like to retry doing a podcast, though different from LucasCast. LC was focused inward toward the LFN community specifically. If we were to create a new podcast, it would have to be focused outward a whole lot more to anyone who loves Star Wars gaming and LucasArts if we want to reach people and not be so LFN-centric. Being LFN-centric all these years is part of what's been slowly killing us since we're making our current members comfortable but ignoring the possibility of attracting anyone new.


@ Keno: Yeah, as I said before, the modding, fanworks and roleplaying communities are all very important to us, which is why special attention will be put into trying to help nurture those communities and help them grow within LFN. Expanding into other areas such as cosplay would also be a really good way to go.

I also agree with the efforts to try to produce other forms of media such as videos. I'm also open to people who aren't regular staff but still want to contribute to submit in content to the site.

As for the official connections. Back when LFN was still a huge thriving site, we did have close ties with LucasArts. IN FACT, our Battlefront forum was the OFFICIAL Battlefront forums on the Internet. I'm not kidding. Back when it was released, if you went to the official Battlefront web site by LucasArts and clicked on the forum link, it would take you to OUR BATTLEFRONT FORUMS, right here, in this network. We also did a whole number of other things, we were really deep in bed with LA... however... sadly... that changed when the staff of LA went through several major changes during the course of a number of years. After a few years, the people who were at LucasArts didn't even know who we were because everyone who did know who we were were booted out of the company.

We're definitely planning to get in bed with Disney/LucasFilm and EA though, to get some official support back into this place. But, just like everything else, this process needs to be done in steps... we first need to hold ourselves up before we'll get the support, and in order to do that, we need to get that consolidated fan site operational to show everyone out there that we are the go-to place for Star Wars gaming.


@j7: Good ideas, I think Jeff was interested in trying to do some Let's Plays for games at one time. I'm all for video content and feel that they're huge generators of content/interest... the only problem I see with them is that they require certain skills and commitment... and right now, I'm not sure who among us will be able to commit that deeply. This is one of those situations where we'll have to start small and simple and work our way up to the more complicated stuff.


@Doc: Yeah, there have been some musings on and off about bring back a podcast for a while now... the only problem is trying to work out the logistics. It's difficult to do a podcast, especially when all of the people involved end up being from different parts of the world. I'm sure we'll come up with something though, and as I said before, it will be more general focused instead of too community-centric. No in-jokes.

That and it also take a pretty dedicated person to edit what we've recorded lol. We saddled Niner with that job during LucasCast.


@Marius: That is a good idea. Getting the community to help outline what is discussed during an episode of a podcast and getting some interaction on some level. Questions, etc.

We'd also need people with some pretty charming personalities on there too... and I lack any sort of charming personality at all lol.

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Old 11-09-2013, 04:10 PM   #39
Marius Fett
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Good ideas, I think Jeff was interested in trying to do some Let's Plays for games at one time. I'm all for video content and feel that they're huge generators of content/interest... the only problem I see with them is that they require certain skills and commitment... and right now, I'm not sure who among us will be able to commit that deeply. This is one of those situations where we'll have to start small and simple and work our way up to the more complicated stuff.
If anyone else feels interested enough to get involved in this idea too, I know i'd definitely be up for giving it a shot.

Only issue is, i'd be fairly limited as far as 'older' games are concerned, as I can't seem to run any 'old' Star Wars games other than Rebel Assault II, these days.

As far as newer games go though, I have a PS3 and a HD PVR. I'm good to go.

I actually just got into LP'ing somewhat on YouTube, so I have a basic grasp on how to edit one together and whatnot, as far as adding commentary and game footage and syncing them up are concerned.

Really looking forward to seeing the site design, though. I think once the design has been seen by a few people, more ideas might start flowing, as there'll be more of an idea of what we're working with.

Definitely liking the sound of this so far, though!




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Old 11-10-2013, 06:23 AM   #40
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