Game Engine -> Game Development Forum Restructure?

Hi all :slightly_smiling_face:

I’ve been a bit of a ghost here for a good few years but after starting a bunch of projects all heavily involving Blender its lead to me once again browsing these forums regularly.

The one thing Ive noticed (other than the slick new redesign which is working really well btw) is that the Game Engine forums, my old stomping grounds, seem to feel a bit outdated.

While its great to see so much activity with Eevee/UPBGE (and various other closely related Blender Game Engine alternatives) a lot of game developers (such as myself) have moved to other game engines. With a lot of alternate-game engine projects still heavily using Blender theres no where really suitable to post WIP threads/finished games/open general discussions. I know some people are posting Unity/UE4/etc games in Artwork/WIP and thats the general recommendation but it doesnt really feel like a game development section and the posts seem to get lost among the more general 3D art threads.

Ive read around and found this topic has come up a couple of times in recent years, the most notable being this post by Cyborg… I mean, Ace Dragon:

I agree a lot with what Ace is saying here. I feel like the ‘Game Engine’ sub-forum could become a ‘Game Development’ sub-forum with the addition of 1 or 2 new sections. That way the focus can be on all Blender related game development in one central spot, while leaving all the current/original Blender Game Engine forums as they rightfully are. I mean, even the Blender discord has dedicated Unity/Unreal sections!

So my proposed solution:
The best solution Ive thought up so far would be to rename the forum to make it more general and all-encompassing ‘Game Engine’ -> ‘Game Development’ and add 2 additional Game Development sub forums: Alternate Game Engine Discussion (for talking about works and issues with other game engines & Blender) and Alternate Game Engine Games (for WIP threads and finished game projects which used alternate game engines but still have a Blender focus)

Mockup:

Does anyone else have any ideas? Suggestions? Issues?

Its good to be back and its good to see so many familiar faces/accounts. Look forward to getting more involved again throughout 2020 and while I havent touched it in many years - may the BGE never die! :slight_smile: :fist:

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I should also note, Fweeb’s response to the past thread has another solution, which now that I think about it could be even better (as much as I like the Game Engine being its own little corner!):

I’d almost rather that the Game Engine forums be smoothly re-integrated with the rest of the subforums (game engine support and discussion becomes it’s own sub-forum in Support, Team Projects get merged with Volunteer Work in the Jobs forums… and so on).

Of course, that’s all stuff for after the Discourse migration. I’d rather pick a solution that brings game development folks closer to the rest of the Blender community, rather than sift them off to their own corner.

Perhaps a better solution would be something like: ‘Works in Progress and Game Demos’ and ‘Finished Game Projects’ sections moved to Artwork, ‘Game Development Discussion’ and ‘Game Development Resources’ move to Support. Im not sure about the mentioned Team Projects merge with Volunteer Work, but I guess any bigger projects that arent volunteer related could just do WIP posts in the game project section anyway so that could certainly work (it seems to work like that at the moment anyway).

I’m really uncertain what the best solution is, but I know the Game Development side of this forum could do with some changes. It could certainly bring in a lot more traffic, more interesting projects and expand the community and forum overall.

I don’t see why other game engine developers would ever be active on our forums.They already have larger, mature communities on their own respective forums.

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Selling the place a bit short I think ethical, I see a lot of Blender artists who have moved to other game engines, but still remain involved in this community (including myself in that) that could very well like to post their projects here and discuss game development with Blender and other game engines. Id also say its not crazy to think people who have already posted on other forums would look to branch out and see what feedback they can get from other communities that could be interested in their work.

But the issue is theyre a lot less likely to post here at the moment with the way things are laid out. You take one look at the Game Engine section and realize its just for blender game engine projects so thats out, and then the WIP Art section isnt really game development orientated so while its recommended thats the place to post, its far from ideal.

They restructured the the official blender discord game engine channels to bring in other game engine users after the deletion of the BGE from 2.8. Those channels are ghost towns after a solid year, not the bustling hub of game development discussions.

People come to the blender forums for sharing and getting help with Blender specific stuff. Its a great resource for that. When someone wants to share or get help for unity, unreal, godot etc, they go to their respective forums. Not because our forum isn’t inclusive enough, it’s because they’ll get 10-100x more valuable and relevant information from those sources.

Outside of sharing or seeking help for game art or import/exporting to their engine when they have problems, there’s no good reason to come here, no matter what kind of way we lay the forum out. I doubt you could even pay them to migrate.

I’m not saying its a crazy idea, i’m just saying its pointless and only achieves in making the what’s left of the existing parts of the community feel less welcome than they already do. Not that the broader community ever cared about how they felt.

I’ve moved this thread over to the #site-feedback category. I’d promised to get back to this subject after 2.80 was released (and the game engine officially removed). Now that it’s been out a bit, it’s probably a good idea to revisit this.

Obviously, I’m biased in favor of my suggestion. I’d really prefer that the game engine categories be re-integrated back into the rest of the forum, reducing the overall number of categories here, and making more use of tags.

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Current art creation for game development in Blender is quite fragmented in various game engine forums and such. Personally I think rebranding the game engine forum as general game art and engine integration (with Blender) forum would be a great idea. There’s really no such focused place to discuss game art creation with Blender as far as I’m aware of, so there’s certainly a niche for it.

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i spend a lot of time in the game engine area, to have all the bge stuff smeared across the place would be incredibly annoying.

now i can just click on the top level game category and browse all the stuff i mostly find relevant to me. then i drop in the artwork section and see whats new.

having all the game related stuff spread across the place would make it much more tedious to find what i want to be updated on.

EDIT: i almost never visit the support section anymore since i know nothing about 2.8 and cant answer anything. but questions in the game engine area i can help with. theres a good chance i would disappear completely if the game section is disbanded. :slightly_frowning_face:

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FWIW, if we require tags in sections like support and artwork, then you could simply look at the #bge or #upbge tags and get basically the same functionality you already enjoy.

Fweeb just to clarify, are you saying youd like to move the game engine subforums out of the ‘Game Engine’ section and into other sections (therfore keeping the game subforums as they are for the most part)? Or that youd like to merge the game engine subforums back into the rest of the forum, ie ‘Artwork’ becomes for all artwork including game development, and so on, effectively removing all the game engine sub forums?

Just a bit confused by your recent post in this thread vs the old topic when you said:

game engine support and discussion becomes it’s own sub-forum in Support, Team Projects get merged with Volunteer Work in the Jobs forums… and so on

Because that indicates more of a reshuffle, with a couple of mergers, rather than merging in most/all of the game subforums.

I’d outlined a more complete plan for this somewhere, but at the moment I can’t remember where I’d done it. If I recall, the proposal went something like this:

It’s called asset making and it goes under artwork.

The sub being BGE centric isn’t doing all that much to drive people away. I’d say it’s the some-other-game-engine centric board that compells them to lurk somewhere else, but what do I know eh?

Anyhoo if you want to make browsing more confusing for us go ahead, I’ll still be here. Mostly to say I told you so a whole bunch of times.

Ok, I think Im of two minds when it comes to this.

On the one hand I get that game art/game projects fit into the WIP and Finished Projects forums, as they are ofc art as well - so that makes sense and would certainly work. Also that it would be nice to have a more concise forum with less sections, especially niche sections. But at the same time I see how much of a niche the game development part of the forum is and how a lot of users are here only for that part of the forum. For me personally back when I was here a decade ago I spent 90% of my time in the game engine forums and see myself doing the same these days, since thats the medium I spend most of my project time working in. I feel like integrating that subcommunity into the rest of the forum, rather than letting it coexist as it always has, would definitely damage it.

While it might be a bit of a ‘stunted’ approach, ie keeping the section separate from the rest of the forum as it currently is (which isnt ideal either I know), it seems to have always worked for this forum. What I feel like Ive suggested in my first approach (or something like that) is a solution to enhance that section. To take it from a specific BGE section to a more open ‘Game Development’ section and to continue to support the subcommunity here thats focused around game dev. With merges Id also be concerned that game development WIPs and finished projects will get somewhat flooded by regular 3D art in those already established sections, which are already quite busy.

So yeh, I know Im biased towards my own perspective, but having discussed it here I feel like the best approach would be a balance between continuing to support the game development section of the community in its own cozy little space, while updating it to support more than just the (now outdated/removed) BGE. Rather than what many would look on as the ‘removal’ of the ‘Game’ section of this forum.

My concern with mixing art and BGE support categories is how difficult it will end up being trying to find a Python solution to a BGE issue that doesn’t involve importing bpy. Tags will help for using the search built-in to this site (for new topics only, but that’s another can of worms), but it won’t help when I’m doing a Google search of this site.

Other than that, I’m all for the merging of:

  • Works in Progress and Game Demos
  • Finished Games
  • Team Projects

as Fweeb suggested because it’ll give more light to great achievements in the BGE.

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Upbge 0.3.0 has open pulls, merges, retro builds, specialty builds.

They are restoring the game engine as we speak.

Most recent is the ability to use clay engine and workbench in ge standalone, and grease pencil I think after LOD which was just restored

If anything it’s destined to rise like a Phoenix from its own ashes.

Dont chance anything please.

Yeah, and we still say leave the game engine section alone!!

you are i aint.

change it and i’m gone simple as that, not going trough a jungle to find a book either!

we’ll make our own board, with blackjack and hookers. dude.

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Folks. This thread is about the structure of the forum. Any discussions about the viability of the BGE are entirely off-topic. I’ve already flagged and hidden a few posts headed in that direction. Let’s stay on topic.

As I said, it’s a proposal and it’s up for discussion.

However, if you’ll allow me a moment to lobby for my own idea, I do think it has merit. For one, as @TheDave pointed out, such a merge is likely to heighten the visibility of BGE projects. It’s never really been beneficial to BGE users for them to have a separate silo from the rest of the Blender community. The rest of the forum is an exciting mix of art from a wide array of industries and outputs.

We have a set of forums where character designers and sculptors and animators and architectural visualization artists and illustrators and industrial designers and scientists and video game artists (on other engines) and programmers and visual effects artists and motion graphics artists can all comfortably play in the same sandbox. Why is it so strange to think that BGE users can play there, too?

I think that the BGE users will adapt quickly. The question will be, will the rest of the users be able to withstand the whole torrent of BGE comments?

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