Forum Guidelines & FAQ

edited in General
Welcome to MakeGameSA

This post is a living document of how to get started on the MGSA, provides recommendations on posting to get the best experience, listing of the current moderators, rules of the forum and lastly answers to frequently asked questions. We are always looking for additional feedback on these items and please PM one of the moderators if you have new content or ideas on how this can improve. This is a long post but well worth the read so bare with us.

First off WELCOME!!! Its great to have you here we hope you enjoy your interactions here and find it to be a great place to learn, share and discuss all things game development. Whether you are a lurker or an active user you are welcome and we always look for feedback. Things we recommend you do after reading this post:
  • Read through this post - hopefully it will provide some recommendations on how to post as well as give you the rules on how the forum works
  • Go to the Welcome Thread and introduce yourself - Here
  • Check out our Facebook Page - here
  • Check out our Facebook Group - here
  • Follow us on Twitter - @MakeGamesSA
  • Start reading and if you like, start posting and interacting.
Guidance on Posting and Interacting:
General Rules
  • Remain respectful of other members at all times - All posts should be professional and courteous. You have every right to disagree with your fellow community members and explain your perspective. However, you are not free to attack, degrade, insult, or otherwise belittle them or the quality of this community. All people on the forums including admins and moderators are expected to adhere to this rule.
  • No hate speech will be tolerated: Definition of hate speech is, is speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of attributes such as gender, ethnic origin, religion, race, disability, or sexual orientation.
  • Do not post personal information such as email addresses or contact numbers, use the Private Message system to share this information.
  • NO SPAM or Advertising - if you want to post a job or event place it in the correct location.
  • Moderators are here to help make sure MakeGamesSA stays a happy place if something is said that needs to be addressed you can also PM a moderator. There is a list later in this post.
Creating a new post
  • If you are posting a question, search the forum first. Your question may have already been asked.
  • Be descriptive with your topic names, "Need Help" is not helpful to people trying to filter what to read and not to. "Need help trying to bridge the phase angle" is much more helpful.
  • Select the appropriate category for a post
  • Jobs posted must adhere to the following guidelines (in order to prevent misinformation and to help people make accurate decisions about jobs, forcing users to follow up on job offers just to find out basic information is an inconvenience to users and is not in the spirit of MGSA): A job must be posted by the company offering the position/contract and the company must be clearly identifiable.The position must be clearly stated as a game development position/contract.The job post must contain a description of the skills/qualifications required, an indication of payment/budget/salary, expected timeframe for the job and a job description that clearly communicates job responsibilities.The job post may not be solicitation for spec work or in the form of a competition reward.
  • If you are looking for outsourced resources there is post here - makegamessa.com/discussion/3054/list-of-south-african-companies-that-are-interested-in-doing-outsourced-projects#latest
Responding to a post
  • Flag a post before responding in anger and provide a reason for the flag. This will help moderators handle the situation and engage with the issue.
  • Try to add something constructive. While "that's cool" is always nice "That's cool and this is why based on these things" is always preferred.
  • Please stay on topic, if you want to discuss something else start another thread.
  • Try to understand someone else's view before responding to something
  • Its ok to have different opinions make your point but don't try force a change in someone else's opinion
  • Respond to the problem not the person.
  • Try think of how you would feel to be on the receiving end your post.
Current Moderators
@DaveRussellSA
@LexAquilla
@Bensonance

FAQ
What is MakeGamesSA?
Make Games South Africa is aimed at being a single place where anyone who is interested in building games can share, learn and interact with fellow people who love making games.

Are these rules and guides set in stone?
No, these are just the rules as they exist today if you have something you would like to add, change or thumbs up reach out to a moderator or comment below. We are always looking for ways to improve the community.

Comments

  • edited
    This is a first stab at these rules, i am going to leave this post open for now to get feedback but will be clearing it out once i update the list and information.
  • It may be worth highlighting that sometimes taking disagreements offline via direct PM would also be cool. Especially if someone feels personally offended. This will give both parties an opportunity to clear the air without having to defend their positions publicly.
    Thanked by 1mattbenic
  • These should be obvious but I feel it needs to be said and discussed. I assume we all recognise that there is no age restrictions on the site. But we don't have clear guidelines on what that means to content.

    No adult content (drawn, photos or text).

    That having been said I don't want to sugest we can't have games featuring comically represented male genitalia. Problem is where is this line to be drawn. We should assume children interested in games development would be here. We want them to feel welcomed even. How do we responsibly handle content then?

    No hate speech will be tolerated

    I don't suspect there is much debate around this. I do suspect the definition of hate speech might come up as problematic at some point.

    The rules need to have a suggested recourse if you feel unfairly moderated against. I suggest something about asking another moderator for arbitration in private not a public argument. After that arbitration the decision is final.
  • @farsicon

    I think in a situation where you have a disagreement, if you feel that you can have the conversation directly without it deteriorating all good, else my advice is get a moderator involved.

    @tbulford

    WRT Adult content, i do feel that there needs to be a place for this on the forum but you are completely correct that right now there is no mechanism to segregate the information. This is definitely something that needs to be discussed further.

    Will add the Hate Speech Content

    With regards to the moderation issue, this is really why there needs to be a group of moderators. I do think that once we have that, people can PM the moderators if they feel unfairly moderated. I will be adding a list of guidelines that the moderators will use, Most decisions will be taken by more than one moderator if its more complex than spam etc. Additionally all moderation actions will generally be taken after the moderator has discussed it with the offender, unless the case is severe.
    Thanked by 2mattbenic tbulford
  • edited
    A bit of user experience feedback: I would make the "Posting jobs" rules under their own sub header. It's likely if I'm posting to this forum with a position, and I'm new, I'm going to scan only for information relevant to me (the job poster). Putting this under some kind of Jobs header helps me find this information and therefore increasing the chances that the community will receive the behaviour/posting they desire :)

    Edit: I think is important enough to also have the points separated out in bullet points like you have with the others
  • What we will do is for each forum have a sub set of guidelines for posting in that specific area. This may require a change of forum backend but once we have a set of features we will find a way to get there. in the mean time what we will do is put together a category sticky that will explain how best to post in that category
    Thanked by 1Boysano
  • I'm also looking at this thread for some reference.

    It seems like there's no mention of the warning system here. Has that been removed? Or is that maybe something that's more of an internal process for moderators?

    There is no mention of sexist, racist or discriminatory content being disallowed or anything about safe spaces (that I could see). These are different (but related) things to hate speech IMHO.
    What we will do is for each forum have a sub set of guidelines for posting in that specific area. This may require a change of forum backend but once we have a set of features we will find a way to get there. in the mean time what we will do is put together a category sticky that will explain how best to post in that category
    Why do we need to have a change of forum backend? It seems likely that such a change would result in the thousands of threads here being lost or (at best) archived. Migrating the content seems like a potential nightmare of note. Also, having separate sections could very quickly result in some of them dying out because of a lack of content. It feels like there are some good reasons for keeping the forum backend the same and I don't see many good reasons for switching. Note that my understanding of the website upgrades that were/are in-progress did not rely on a forum backend change.

    Thanked by 1Karuji
  • edited
    @francoisvn warning system is still coming and will add it as soon as I have a basic framework.

    With regards to the backend change, basically it all depends on what can be done with the current forum framework so far it has seemed very limited but I stand corrected. I do agree if we can get away with staying on this platform awesome but adding new features etc may need work
  • I would make the "Posting jobs" rules under their own sub header.
    Agreed on this. People posting jobs probably have not been here before.

    Also regarding the requirements for job postings requiring a pay figure. It may not be effective. Someone may be asking for quotation and salaries are often experience related. If the poster has a pay in mind that's great but as a requirement it may effectively reduce the opportunities posted.
  • edited
    I want to second the points regarding adult content, hate speech and content specific sections.
    Knowing the exact definitions will help users avoid posting things that they thought were okay but then turns out not to be okay.

    - Adult content : will have to be more specific, Some would consider a woman wearing a bikini as adult content, Others only draw the line at nudity.

    - Hate speech : needs to be more specific. Some would consider the content in a game to be "hate speech" if it depicts a certain character in a way they don't approve of.
    Others only consider it hate speech if the message explicitly targets a person or group of people with discrimination and contains fighting words.

    - Content specific sections will be great as it would allow for all kinds of games to be shown and discussed freely, but I understand the challenge in setting it up and controlling the access...
    Perhaps what might work is to only allow access to those topics after performing an Age check against our profiles (or a checkbox for people to tick if they do not wish to see content posted in those sections...

    Of course, the specified age would have to be verified by an account manager, otherwise the content is regarded as blocked by default.
    We could maybe consider how adult specific sites such as dating sites handle the age verification issue.
  • So Hate speech, outside the law, is speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of attributes such as gender, ethnic origin, religion, race, disability, or sexual orientation.

    Additionally I think anything done to intentionally cause harm be it physical or emotional would also be considered against forum rules.
    Thanked by 2tbulford dammit
  • I think there should be a mention of not using the upload function to host games on MGSA, and rather point people to itch.io or dropbox. The server already has some issues with uptime ;)
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