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Proposal: A "Shop Talk" Sub-Fourm

Rumors

Or so they say...
Writer
Pokédex No.
258
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
970
Pronouns
male
Pokémon Type
Fire
Pokédex Entry
A Pokémon shrouded in hearsay and urban legend, spoken of only in whispered tales and hushed gossip.
Hello Nuzlocke Forums! Today I have a bit of a proposal for the forum that's a bit more than a quick suggestion. And I felt like I'd be daring and post this publicly rather than do so anonymously! Anyway, enough introduction. Let me get to the point.

TL;DR? Let's make a sub-forum dedicated to discussing the creative process. For discussing art, writing, video making, creating written logs, or any other sort of creative work, whether Nuzlocke related or not.

I would like to propose that we create a new sub-forum for the creative individuals on the forums, those being writers, artists, and all others, to be able to “talk shop” about writing, art, world building, and everything else along those lines. “But wait!” I hear you start to reply. “Don't we already have options for this?” Well, yes, we kinda sort of do. The community currently has five options for “shop talk,” assuming I am not forgetting any of them. Let me go over them and explain why they do not serve this purpose for the forums.

First, and most obviously, we have the “Creative Content” sub-forum. Ostensibly, this sub-forum's purpose includes shop-talk related topics. However, it is almost not used for that. At all. The sub-forum includes a “Process” tag for threads that are to be about shop talk and the like. However, as you can see right here, that sub-forum is not really being utilized for that purpose. Five total “Process” topics, of which only one has been posted in this year.

Now, we could try to revitalize this shop talk in the Creative Content sub-forum. However, it is a healthy sub-forum as is and already being used for a particular, different purpose by the community at large, that being of showcasing creative works, so I do not feel trying to “force” non-showcase topics there will be a successful endeavor. People already have particular views and ideas about Creative Content and that would make “revitalizing shop talk” there more difficult than worthwhile, in my opinion. So, let's just leave it for the showcasing, shall we?

Second option, we have the “Pokemon & Challenge Discussion” sub-forum. We currently have a few “shop” topics there that are mildly active, such as the “Share your pieces of original worldbuilding” topic. However, this sub-forum is limited in scope to just Pokemon and Nuzlockes and is not open to a wider field of “shop talk” related topics, such as drawing techniques, writing prompts, video making, or whatever other more general creative topics that one may wish to start.

Third option is “Off-Topic General”. However, as a community with a lot of creative individuals, going to a sub-forum dedicated to “everything else” isn't exactly a place one would think to go to talk about creative processes. Of course, without a proper place for this sort of thing, some people have tried. I see three topics on the first page for it. But, when they're buried under stuff like “What's your fursona?” or “Chat Group Moments”, I'm willing to expect they've mostly gone unnoticed by their intended audience and were much shorter lived than they could have been.

Fourth option is “Blog”. A lot of the same problems for Off-Topic apply here as well. The only difference is there's (probably) less discussion and more someone posting things and people reacting to them. This is where I have my own writing related blog. I get okay readership (which I appreciate), but very little participation and discussion on topics. And I'm pretty much the only “writing blog” I can see at a glance. There's a few “art blogs”, but, at a glance, appear to be more showcases than anything. Regardless, this is a pretty low traffic area and not a place someone would think to go to “talk shop”.

Fifth option is the Discord servers. Now, I've not set foot into stuff like Comic Chat or the official Nuzlocke Discord, so I don't fully understand those environments nor am certain if they have dedicated channels for this sort of purpose (probably safe to assume Comic Chat does). I've been to Writechat before and it does have channels that do support this type of discussion. “Well, problem solved then, Rumors. Just go talk on Writechat!”

If it were that simple then I'd not be making the proposal!

Discord servers have a few fundamental problems. First, they are real time chats and require a external program or site to access. If you wanna participate in a discussion at your own pace? Too bad. If the topic comes up when you're not available? Too bad. On a system that cannot access Discord? Too bad. Second, they are isolated from the forum. Discussions there are entirely invisible to those who are not members, particularly newer and more “casual” members. And the ways to access them are not always immediately apparent to all forum users (off the top of my head, I could guess where the links are posted, but I might be wrong).

And third, they no doubt have their own sub-communities and cultures which not all wider-community members may fit into and can be difficult to break into. I mean, when Writechat was transitioning to unofficial, one proposal was to merge it into general and quite a few members balked at that idea because of differing cultures on the two servers! Plus, the sheer number of users in these servers can be rather intimidating no matter how friendly and welcoming the community might be.

Now, I'm not saying the Discord servers are bad. Not in the least bit! They're great for those who fit right into them. But they don't serve the needs of the entire community and letting them have a monopoly on creative discussion isn't good for those who won't, or can't, participate in them. Plus, their “invisible” nature kind of hides the community from newer users and can also leave non-participants feel like there isn't a creative community on the forums.

Besides, we've paid and are paying for this forum out of our own pockets. So let's use it!

Hence, again, the proposal: a sub-forum alternative to try to cater to those the servers do not work for. There is nothing wrong with options, after all! The goal here is clear: The Nuzlocke Forums community is either a creative community or at least has a rather sizable portion that is creative. A “shop talk” sub-forum would allow more people to participate in this facet of the community, be more accessible to the community as a whole (particularly to new and casual members), and hopefully bring more interaction and discussion among creative individuals. Especially those might not have the opportunity to interact otherwise. I mean, hey, maybe those artists have some great world building ideas and concepts I'd never hear about since I'm not in Comic Chat?

Now, what would such a sub-forum look like? I'm imagining it'd be inclusive about the creative processes of all sorts of creative works. Writing, art, screenshotting, and possibly video making are the biggest facets I'd think would be there due to the usual mediums of Nuzlocke runs, but there's no reason people couldn't talk about, say, song writing. Okay, that's pretty broad but, hey, we kinda don't have a dedicated spot for such a broad thing as is! Either way, unless the sub-forum just happens to explode in popularity, I see no reason to make multiple sub-forums. Even then, tags ought to work fine, just like they do for “Fan Challenge Runs.”

However, just because we make it doesn't mean people will necessarily show up. How do we get the ball rolling? Personally, I'm planning on doing a series of weekly discussion topics at least for the initial few months or so to try to get people to participate. However, it's a forum, so older topics ought to be left open and nobody ought to be barred from starting their own topics. Just a personal initiative I'm thinking about! Anyone else would be able to help just by posting topics on subjects they wanna discuss or participating in any existing topics. Getting things going, if the community is into this sort of sub-forum, ought to be super easy, barely an inconvenience.

Additionally, some “functions” of the forum could be easily off-loaded to this sub-forum. For example, “New Run Round Up” could be made into a topic here that's open for anyone to post links to new runs into rather than something that's done entirely by staff in the newsletter. And, perhaps, encourage those posting other people's runs to inform or tag the owner of the run so that they're made aware of the sub-forum and perhaps get to feel more involved and acknowledged. We could also move the user made “Feature a Run” topic here as well? Threads for beta readers and banner requests could also be found here too!

I've also had the idea for a topic here called something like “Feature MY Run” where users could feature their own content (once per run or something). This sounds like an excellent idea on paper, but I feel like there might be a big problem here I'm overlooking. Still, an idea for something that the sub-forum could be utilized for and could be good for people to feel like they can at least seize a little spotlight on their own accord.

But really, I think a sub-forum such as this could be a great addition to the forums as a whole. We could use a place for dedicated, on-forum shop talk that's easy to approach whenever you're ready to jump into it without having to sit down and dedicate your evening to participating in a real time chat if you won't, or can't, do so. And, hopefully, it'll generate exposure, both for the community actually discussing with each other and perhaps the works of the community members itself. (I feel being able to mention one's own runs in this sub-forum should absolutely be allowed to help the sub-forum thrive, so long as the user is not trying to abuse that privilege). I mean, if Jimmy Bob is talking about some really awesome world building in a topic, maybe I might feel encouraged to go look at his stuff?

What do you guys all think? Is this a good idea? Any problems or pitfalls or other important details I've overlooked? Other suggestions for how this sub-forum could be used to fulfill purposes along these lines?

And, if you think this is a good idea, what would we even call the sub-forum? “Creative” is essentially already taken (though “Creative Content” could be rebranded if necessary, but would rather not to do that myself) and “Shop Talk” works but might not quite get across to those unfamiliar with the term (particularly non-native speakers). A Pokemon-themed name could be cool but... what would it be? “Smeargle's Corner?” “World Building Hard Mode?” There's gotta be something good!
 

Swablu

:)
Pokédex No.
1749
Caught
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
23
Nature
Impish
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
Electric, Flying
I think this is a good idea, the biggest working point is, like you said, getting people to frequent it and make posts!

Something I unfortunately don't have the time to start myself but I think could be neat: a specific art critique thread, where one can comment with a single drawing or short written passage (or other sort of art) they're working on and get crit and advice from others. (Unless this already exists somewhere and ive missed it, in which case, oops)

I think a self feature thread could be great, maybe for that specific thread it should have a template and max word count, both to help creators make a helpful and readable feature and so it's all relatively standardized and easy to search through for audiences. (Unless I'm misunderstanding the function of a feature.) I'm thinking, like, 1. a part at the top where you put all the info like title, format, game, and stuff like is it a gijinka run, does it have an alternate setting like pmd, content warnings, how far into the story it's at, etc, 2. a section for the summary/description, 3. a section for an excerpt/example.

Maybe a thread for cameos could exist here too. Idk if that's something writers or comic artists here do, but on deviantart people make announcements where you can send in your main character to appear somewhere in their comic, so having a thread on the forums for that might be relevant? Though maybe creators would prefer to keep it in their own posting threads so only followers respond, idk.
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,392
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
After leaving writechat for reasons which I would rather not get into, I am fully in favor of options.

The one thing I miss most about writechat is the writing discussion questions that were so much fun to answer. We do get those on the forums occasionally with The Writers' Locke posts, but sadly they don't get nearly as much attention as the writechat questions would. And honestly, I want us to do more of that sort of thing on the forums as well, because of all those reasons Rumors stated as to why writechat isn't for everyone.
 

Memento

The Princess of Darkness
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
202
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
443
Location
St. Louis, Missouri
Nature
Timid
Pronouns
She, her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Ghost
Pokédex Entry
She is known to spend hours daydreaming about her stories.
Does this include talking shop about original fiction? Because if it does, I'm definitely down for that.
 

Bramble

Conqueror of the Celadon Gym
Pokédex No.
824
Caught
Sep 20, 2019
Messages
33
Nature
Quirky
Pokémon Type
Steel, ???
I really like the ideas you've mentioned so far. Like, Discord has its niche but you've made a solid argument for why the forums are better suited to some people/ certain kinds of activity. As one of the mods for the Nuzwriters Lounge server, I (and the other mods of course) would definitely be up for helping out any way we can.

For starters at least, since the Discussions of the Day were mentioned, we have some resources for those that could come in handy. This is the old Writechat spreadsheet with all the discussion prompts going back to 2017 (it's a bit of a monument, some really good prompt ideas in there to dig through). Then there's our current submission form, and previous submissions can be seen here. You're more than welcome to post them here and get some parallel discussions going! Ditto if anyone not on the server has any prompt ideas they'd like to submit. Likewise, we've started to get some new events running lately like Fanwork Friday and the Halloween One-shot thread and honestly it'd be great to see more people not in the server getting involved with those.

So yeah, let me know if there's anything we can do to help get this off the ground and get some more discord/forum cross-pollination going!
 

Rumors

Or so they say...
Writer
Pokédex No.
258
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
970
Pronouns
male
Pokémon Type
Fire
Pokédex Entry
A Pokémon shrouded in hearsay and urban legend, spoken of only in whispered tales and hushed gossip.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
@Swablu Don't see why an art critique thread or a cross-over type thread would be problems for such a forum. (Unless mods say otherwise for whatever reason). Honestly, I sometimes find myself brainstorming crossovers myself, even if they would be very, very (hilariously) poor ones most of the time.

@Memento My suggestion is with the intention it's open to fiction, art, and other media in general and not necessarily just Nuzlocke/Pokemon related. I mean, I'm sure a lot of the creative minds here have plenty of other projects and the like to share!

@Bramble Thanks for that! If this goes anywhere, I'll definitely give those links a looksie.
 

Inksword

Conqueror of the Celadon Gym
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
1784
Caught
Apr 9, 2020
Messages
42
Nature
Calm
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
Bug, Normal
I'm personally always a fan of these sorts of subforums. I love the process of critique and talking shop about writing and art. Count me as a supporter!

I don't think the "feature a run" thread should be moved there, just because those threads are trying to get people interested in reading nuzlockes to look and find new runs, not necissarily the creators who make them. Many people intersted in runs would benefit seeing those wouldn't click on a non-nuzlocke specific subforum. I also feel like new run round-up would be better served in challenge runs or challenge discussion for similar reasons, but I like pretty much all the other thread ideas!

However, I can see the appeal of the feature MY run being there as it's more a place for artists and writers to do something like an elevator pitch and practice fluffing up and seeing the strengths of their own work, which is an art in and of itself, and if someone really likes it they can do a feature a fan run of it without it being self-promotion haha.
 

Rumors

Or so they say...
Writer
Pokédex No.
258
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
970
Pronouns
male
Pokémon Type
Fire
Pokédex Entry
A Pokémon shrouded in hearsay and urban legend, spoken of only in whispered tales and hushed gossip.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
It's been about two weeks since I've posted this proposal. Now, I know the staff are probably busy. Holidays, Nano, prepping for the Ganza, and whatever else you guys are up to. But it could you guys please met us know if you have seen this proposal and if it's like... on the docket to be discussed in the future, you're giving more time for feedback from other users, or you're rejecting the idea, or whatever else. Again, I don't wanna rush you guys since busy time of the year and all. Just would like to know the status of this proposal if you guys don't mind, even if it's just "We've not really gotten to it yet."
 

Bug

👉😎👉
Administrator
Moderator
Artist
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
1
Caught
May 13, 2019
Messages
2,394
Location
in a pile of bugs
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
Bug, Cute
Pokédex Entry
oh fuck oh shit my dots...............................................................................................................................
@Rumors been super awol for personal reasons, but I’ll get some eyes on it for ya. If everyone else is also just as busy, I’ll see what I can get done but no promises.

Thank you all for what looks to be an awesome, fruitful discussion. And thank you for the patience.
 

0 Anonymous

Conqueror of the Mahogany Gym
Pokédex No.
193
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
448
Location
Zetaboards
Pokémon Type
???
So I've been watching this topic for a while and finally feel like I know enough about the situation to actually contribute.

First up, I don't think that creating a new subforum is actually feasible for several reasons. More to the point, I don't know if it's actually possible for one to be added.

From my limited understanding of the technical side of how everything's going, the forums are kind of on life support. The tech team's focus has been on keeping the forums alive via ensuring that they are actually functional and avoiding significant slowdowns / crashes for a good part of the year, now, and they've done an amazing job with the limited resources they have. From a hardware perspective they're basically making do with about 60-70% of the RAM that would be ideal, though.
Where that impacts the addition of a subforum is that, even though they can keep things alive despite being RAM-starved, they can't really make any significant changes. They've been using SWAP memory since December unless anything has changed recently, which in a TL:DR form basically means they're pushing the hardware beyond the physical limitations, in a sense. In addition, they've had some issues with changes causing problems down the line with later software updates.

In summary, they really don't want to make unnecessary changes because they may cause serious problems with the actual functionality of the forums. As a result it's seriously unlikely for the subforum to be considered, even though I believe one would genuinely be beneficial to the forums. I don't even need to wait for an overall staff response to be able to infer that it's unlikely.


From a practical standpoint, there's also one immediate question, namely whether the staff is capable of taking on the additional work that a new subforum would bring.

Staff (officially, at least) made Writechat and a lot of the discords unofficial because they didn't have the manpower to support / moderate them. There's a serious question of whether they'd actually be capable of taking on the burden of another subforum, especially considering how many of them are understandably busy due to current events.


Irrespective of my guesswork, I'd like to hear an official statement since it's been about three weeks.
 
Last edited:

Bug

👉😎👉
Administrator
Moderator
Artist
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
1
Caught
May 13, 2019
Messages
2,394
Location
in a pile of bugs
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
Bug, Cute
Pokédex Entry
oh fuck oh shit my dots...............................................................................................................................
While I apologize for the delay, Shop Talk is now open for business.

If there is a need for y’all to have a place on the forum to use the forum for forum things, we’re always happy to listen! And again I’m sorry it took so long.

The forum is a blank canvas. I know plenty of discussion has been had here and elsewhere on what you all would like to do with it, so now it’s time for full steam ahead on all your ideas! Feel free to post here, or poke me on discord about suggestions. I’m, again, out of commission for personal reasons, but my Discord DMs are always open to help you all where I can

Now, have fun, and happy Shop Talk!

edit: if you’ve published any previous threads that fit the sub that you would like to see moved over, just tap me and I’ll be there.
 

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