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4:46 AM
13 hours later…
5:39 PM
We'll get started in about 20 minutes. (:
5:49 PM
6:01 PM
Alrighty then
Hi everyone. (:
Hi there
I wonder if @Tetrad has desktop notifications on.
Kinda empty town hall here :)
6:02 PM
There's a system message up on the site, so we may get some stragglers.
It's going to be up to you to ask all the hard hitting questions.
Well it's only the beginning
the link on the main site is broken though
6:03 PM
you should fix that asap
I'll fix it
Done, I don't know about stragglers Weekends are usually our weakest day
Thanks, I'll let the team know. It's an automated message that was created from the event being scheduled.
Everyone tweet about the Game Dev Stack Exchange and tag it #ggj #ggj2011 #globalgamejam :)
The automated message adds http:/ should only be one.
6:05 PM
@Ricket sneaky :)
Welcome to the Game Dev Town Hall Chat
Bah adds http:// http:// and it turns into http//
We're just here to get to know the candidates and discuss any questions people may have that might help with voting.
Something like this:
Our town hall meeting is going on in the game dev stack exchange! JOIN US! http://gamedev.stackexchange.com/ #ggj #globalgamejam #ggj2011
The Game Development Stack Exchange is having it's new moderator selection townhall. Stop by, and chat #ggj #ggj2011 #globalgamejam #gamedev
Ah, I failed because I didn't put a link. Hopefully they will search :D, or (: in honor of rchern :p
6:07 PM
Alright, so let's start off with any questions y'all have and I can fill in as needed. (:
We've got @Tetrad, @Ricket, and @Noctrine here.
Actually I already voted. I think you guys (Noctrine, Tetrad) did a good job so far.
Thank you :)
Who else was moderator here? I think I saw others too?
Sean James was, but he has been missing since September. I really hope nothing has happened since we haven't seen or heard from him since.
6:10 PM
Kinda strange the other candidates aren't showing up?
Apparently he released a book in December, so I guess he is alright.
I @'d them in chat so if they visit the site they may see it :)
so are you all busy at GGJ?
I am! I'm working on my MUSH :)
It hardly seems like game development since I'm just using the PennMUSH system instead of coding from scratch.
Me? No, just working on my regularly scheduled project. And trying hard to talk a person I'm doing some contracting with out of using an Objective-J framework.
So what is one thing you think Game Dev needs to work on in order to grow? (:
6:15 PM
Some kind of official sanctioning from some of the engine makers would be nice. Sending some of the UDK and XNA people here might help.
I think it's strange with gamedev.. compared to a site like gaming SE, we have very few high-reputation users here
sorry. that was kinda off-topic
From what I've seen, much of the educational material on game development is disorganized, or made by one person (e.g. most books), and at least in the case of my university our curriculum is very loose and created mainly by one or two people. I think there should be more formalized educational practices and maybe a textbook to help make our field into a "real" field rather than a bunch of people doing the same thing and helping each other.
I think having some of the official engine makers, middleware devs involved would be great. I've been trying to get Jeff to consider allowing sponsored tags from them but that hasn't been going to well.
It's probably similar to when computer science was considered part of the "Mathematics" department, years before I was born. :) And I hope we can quickly move to becoming our own department in universities.
Even if not engine makers, more non-indie/hobby folks would be nice
6:16 PM
Haha I misunderstood the question, I thought you meant game development as a field. :-O
The vast majority of answers I see lately are apparently armchair experts or "indie" devs working on their first facebook game (which will likely never be finished)
Hehe yeah, the Game Dev site, not the field. (:
Well as far as the site, I imagine some big-name game developers promoting the site would probably help it skyrocket in popularity and usage... But the trouble is getting those big-name people to pay attention to us.
I'd also like to see some more game-design related stuff. It can get quite heavy on the programming side here
If we could actually get some of them involved (I know some people at Ogre were at least casually interested) we could get a lot more people involved. After that, more Professional developers would be great, the guys we have now are an awesome resource but to really make the site go in that direction I think we would need even more of them, most of our questions are indie/hobbiest in nature and I think that turns a few of them off.
6:18 PM
Given that GDC is coming up, a push for outreach there would help
I absolutely agree with Noctrine's sponsored tags idea too, if we could become THE source of Q&A for a middleware package or company, that would be amazing.
I know JZig will be attending
That's along the lines of this:
Q: Sponsoring a community member to attend the 2011 GDC

Jeff AtwoodThe 2011 Game Developers Conference is Feb 28 - Mar 4 in San Francisco http://www.gdconf.com/ We would like to sponsor someone from the gamedev.stackexchange.com community to attend this conference! That means we will cover your airfare, hotel, and travel fees to make it to the summit, so long...

(/me can't justify going when PyCon is a week later)
The problem I brought up with people originally when the site first opened is that Game Dev people are so often under NDAs that the "experts" are not able to ask or answer questions that would be more interesting to other experts.
6:20 PM
So, how do you overcome that? How do you show-off the site? After all, it is all about the content.
Eh, NDAs are often pretty lax in reality
I am technically under one, but that doesn't prevent from speaking generally about stuff like networking
I just can't paste our IOCP handling code
@RebeccaChernoff Not being a professional developer I don't really have many contacts in that world. But whenever we get a question about an engine, or middleware package I usually shoot an email to whatever PR or other contact I can find at that company to get them to chime in. I just wish I could say "You could also brand your companies trademark here with your logo" I think we are missing out on a big marketing opportunity here :p
I'm not very good at Twitter. But it'd be great if when a high-profile game dev person asked a question out on Twitter, we could respond quickly with a link to the answer here. That'd be tough to pull off though! :)
There's general high level concepts, but "how do I do this in professional licensed engine X" isn't something that we can't really answer.
I'm sorry gtg already. I'm looking forward reading the transcript of this discussion.
6:22 PM
@Ricket Maybe we could mirror the (relatively few) questions that Carmack asks on his twitter here :)
@Tetrad Thus many of our unanswered questions...
It isn't just about getting word out. The content has to get them to stick around.
@Noctrine Sounds like a great idea to me
Carmack should post his questions here :)
Ok, as a moderator, how do you avoid burnout?
6:24 PM
One of the best things we can do to help grow the site is keep on encouraging non-programming-specific questions. I'd personally like to see more art-related questions. And fewer "how do I get started" questions.
@RebeccaChernoff Burnout in what sense? I don't think I've experienced it yet, just like too many moderation things to handle?
Burnout hasn't been much of an issue. Our volume isn't high enough to really have a problem with that. And adding a 3rd active moderator will lower the load even more.
Getting overwhelmed to the point where participating isn't seen as fun.
And if someone needs a short break, that's why there are three moderators!
I don't imagine that would happen, there's a huge variety of interesting questions asked here all the time and game development is my future so I sure hope I don't get "burned out" of it! :)
@RebeccaChernoff I can't really imagine that at this point, participating here is kind of like my relaxation time between tasks at work, school, and with my startup. There is always something interesting and it doesn't seem like we get bombarded with things that would change that just yet.
6:28 PM
Unfortunately, it is something we see on the larger sites, so we definitely want to look at avoiding it. (:
@coderanger, feel free to ask any questions you've got. (:
Here's a question for the other candidates: how do you feel about the current level of moderation by the mods currently on the site
It seems awesome to me, I've never noticed a big delay in things getting done
Even this morning a question was labeled community wiki by the time I logged on and got to reading it (and thought "this should be community wiki" and then it already was)
Q: Whats a good setup/toolchain for a project?

acidzombie24I was thinking, what is needed for a good setup and what are good (free) tools to use? Some of what i came up with are Bug tracking Some good (distributed:P) source control (which means no svn fellas) automated nightly builds or a continuous integration (or anything that automates builds and po...

I think it's amazing (:
Another, more specific one: What is your criteria for determining whether or not something is a "community wiki" question.
6:34 PM
@RebeccaChernoff Unfortunately most of my questions these days wouldn't really belong here since I've basically become a Python web guy/devops :-/
Well I meant questions for the moderators. (;
Listy questions like that one. Subjective but not argumentative is typically a good candidate as far as I can see (if it's argumentative it devolves to forum style instead of Q&A and should probably be closed ahead of time)
Mostly, the list type questions. But specifically the generic lists. Questions where a simple Google search could turn up an answer that everyone would be quick to upvote.
Ahh, I've been around for longer than several of them IIRC so I think I've gotten to know them from their actions already :-)
I was actually surprised that a few subjective style questions didn't degrade into an argument here (But I sooo called that Torque Engine one) so I usually wait. For a number of number of them people are able to give some very objective or at least comprehensive answers.
6:37 PM
How would you handle a question that another moderator closed that you don't feel should have been closed?
Personally I think argumentative questions should be closed. Same with "bad subjective" questions. "Good subjective" questions should stay non-CW since the points are usually worth it
Is there a moderator-only private messaging system? I don't know the moderator tools.
The way I've handled it in the past is discuss it in chat with the moderator, plead my case, and let them make the final call.
@Ricket There isn't, but we could make a moderator-only chatroom. I like the public option though, we've done it a few times and it works out pretty well.
Yeah I agree with the public option, I also (as an user) like reading your insight sometimes if I wonder why it was closed. :)
6:40 PM
The issue with discussing something like that in public is it can easily degrade into moderator vs moderator.
In any case, it should be discussed!
Well hopefully the moderators that are in place are patient and mature enough to not take things personally and are able to communicate their ideas in a non-insulting way.
I think, given that the moderators would presumably be intelligent and generally friendly people, anything could be resolved in a civil manner and the one who closed it should have the final say as to whether it should be reopened.
And also, it's not really a community site if the Janitors get the final say in everything without being able to be questioned.
Another reason to keep things public
6:44 PM
Also, I think we benefit because most of the people who idle in chat are some of our most experienced and most respected users we would be wasting a valuable resource if they didn't have the opportunity to chime in.
All and all, the results speak for themselves. I think as far as the other SE sites are concerned we are certainly one of the most, if not the most, drama free :D
Sometimes even questioning a closing can be seen as undermining another mod. It can be slippery.
How do you handle having a binding vote while at the same time trying to lead by example and teach the community?
if it's a borderline question that isn't worth a binding vote I downvote and explain why.
In any case I would wait and basically have the last say, heavily influenced by community choice.
For example, this question had -3 until I went in and gave some advice to the asker: gamedev.stackexchange.com/questions/6156/…
@RebeccaChernoff That was a tricky thing for me in the beginning. I was a pretty big advocate of being able to have a community vote during the beta. Especially for questions that I wasn't so sure about. Now, if it's something I am not sure about I'll downvote and either leave a comment or upvote a comment that explains my reasoning. Also, I'll usually post that question in the chatroom so that I can get a feel for it.
6:48 PM
(This is particularly an issue on smaller/newer sites where there may not be enough high rep users that can even cast the votes)
The comments also usually give good hints too, or commenting on a question and maybe explaining to the author the problem could lead to a fix. Such as Tetrad's example...
@RebeccaChernoff We are definitely one of those sites. With only 5 users capable of casting close votes and sporadic activity amongst them.
Oh yes, I just remembered. Great example of a discussion on a close vote. gamedev.stackexchange.com/questions/7638/…
How do you draw a line between leaving a question open for discussion on what to do about it vs closing it before it collects answers or causes other harm? For instance, not actively closing questions leaves them there and a new user seems them and thinks that kind of question is ok.
A closed question can still be commented on; if it's a bad enough question for me to need to close it immediately I would do so and continue the conversation in comments. (closed questions can also be edited, correct?)
It seems very much a case-by-case basis question though. From what I've seen, questions on our site have been pretty clearly one way or the other.
Yes, closed questions can be edited.
The question is related to the previous one about handling a binding vote. (:
6:58 PM
Back, had to make tea.
Welcome back (:
It's important to take action quickly regardless. The more obvious questions get a lot of close votes and turn into a dumping ground of negative comments.
What's your opinion on off-topic questions that get answers and lots of upvotes where the community wants it to stay?
If it's very bad, I am an advocate of closing it and working it out through comments and editing. A ton of negative votes will turn people off more than a moderator closing it (and they can go away saying things like "The community there sucks") I'd rather take that action, though I remember one user in the past who became destructive because his question was closed quickly.
It's important to keep the content on topic for the purpose of attracting experts to the site.
7:02 PM
@RebeccaChernoff I dislike them, if they are off-topic they are off-topic. Those kinds of questions are the ones that have actively discouraged people from wanting to participate in the past.
If the community likes the discussion I would advocate taking it to chat, or raising a meta discussion about how it would be on-topic for the site.
What the people think is best is not always actually best for the people. Sometimes, maybe often, but not always. Hopefully the question is closed early on, or some community members vote to close due to off topic; otherwise, moderators are looking out what's best for the site and the community and need to do the dirty work even at the expense of popular opinion.
And then to follow up on that, how do you handle questions raised on Meta about your activity?
@RebeccaChernoff I accept that as a moderator I am to be held accountable for my actions. As such, I will state my reasoning for taking any action and leave it up to neutral third parties to discuss. If it is an action that I HAD to take and the community disagree's I will more than likely bring it up in the Teachers lounge as well or send an email to Robert and I guess now you @Rebecca :p
The only example of that I can think was one time that I changed my decision to close a question. Generally we don't get any feedback on the moderation decisions and I wish we had more.
Explain yourself as thoroughly as possible with no argument and let the community talk it out
7:09 PM
Alright, well we've been going for an hour, so shall we wrap things up?
I'm just a moderator, Not SO-staff or anything my word isn't law and in general I'm a subject of the community. It's really the same action politicians should take when they are called out :p. I know for sure arbitrarily closing things that are created to hold me accountable doesn't at all raise the communities respect, or trust of me.
Yes please I'm hungry to be honest... :-\ Great questions though!
Any final comments?
I'm here all day if anyone has any other questions in the main chat room :)
Alright then. (:
Thanks for coming - I'll be adding a summary and link to the transcript to the meta question.
And good luck in the election (:
7:12 PM
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