Suggested Brainstorming Forum Rules

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.

Moderators: Oberlus, Oberlus

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Are these rules a good idea? (Please read the thread before posting)

Yes. All of the listed rules should be followed.
2
11%
Mostly. I like some of the rules but some should be changed.
4
22%
A little. I like the idea of having rules but these wouldn't work.
3
17%
No. Having rules like these are stupid.
9
50%
 
Total votes: 18

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Ranos
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Suggested Brainstorming Forum Rules

#1 Post by Ranos » Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:53 pm

Due to some recent problems in this forum which include locked threads and threads that have died due to arguing about topics, I am proposing a few rules for the forum that will, hopefully, help us come up with more and better ideas and keep down the arguing.

I'm going to start out by defining brainstorming. The three sites below are the top three listings on Google when you search for 'online dictionary.'

From http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=brainstorming

brain·storm·ing
n.

1. A method of shared problem solving in which all members of a group spontaneously contribute ideas.
2. A similar process undertaken by a person to solve a problem by rapidly generating a variety of possible solutions.

From http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/ ... &x=14&y=19

Main Entry: brain·storm·ing
Function: noun
:a group problem-solving technique that involves the spontaneous contribution of ideas from all members of the group

From http://www.yourdictionary.com/ahd/b/b0449600.html

brain·storm·ing
n.

1. A method of shared problem solving in which all members of a group spontaneously contribute ideas.
2. A similar process undertaken by a person to solve a problem by rapidly generating a variety of possible solutions.

As you can see, brainstorming is the contribution or sharing of ideas to solve a problem. Although it could be implied or just a tradition when people brainstorm, it says nothing about debating ideas, arguing about ideas or any such thing. All it says is "contribute ideas."

What is the problemwe need to solve? We are making a computer game. Our problem is that we need to know what to include in the game. We need to come up with ideas on what to include, how to include it and how it should work in the game.

With that in mind, here are my suggested rules:

1) No arguing about or debating ideas. Write down your idea whether basic or detailed and let others do the same. Review other peoples ideas.

2) Only post positive responses to other people's ideas. If somebody has an idea that you like part of and dislike part of, say what you like about it, but don't say what you don't like. People get defensive when you say you don't like what they said. If you only say what you like, we can get a picture of what people like about a topic.

3) Think of ways to combine the good points of people's ideas. By combining the good points of ideas we can come up with an idea for the game that the majority of people will like. After a while, we can post polls about the different ideas on a certain subject and see what the majority would like in the game.

4) If you don't like an idea or a topic in general, don't reply to the idea or post in that thread. If you have your own idea about something, write it down but don't be negative about somebody else's idea.

5) No insulting or puting people down. Sometimes people misunderstand what you said because either you wrote it in a confusing manner or the were just not understnading it. Sometimes people say stupid things without thinking. That is what it is to be human. Nobody is perfect and therefore people will make mistakes. If somebody says they don't understand what you said, explain it to them or try to say it in a different way. If you don't like what somebody else said, that is no reason to insult or put them down.

At the moment, those are all that I can think of. If anybody has any other suggested rules, please post them.

If we do these things, we will get things done faster and have a whole lot more participation. I have watched in other threads as an arguement started (at least one that involved me) which caused other people to stop participating.

I scanned over the member list. We have 515 members. Around one third of those never made a post. Only about one tenth are still active posters (I could be off, I'm just estimating from the new posts I see when I log on). Only three members have been banned. How many of the members who no longer post got sick of all of the arguing? How many others felt offended by something that was said or done and decided to leave?

Here's the bottom line, if we argue alot, we accomplish little. If we respect eachother and look at the good parts of ideas, we are more likely to come up with some great stuff.

I am not an administrator or a moderator so these are in no way set in stone. They are merely suggested rules to follow.

The purpose of the poll is to see how many people think we need to have these rules or rules like them and how many people don't. Hopefully enough people will like them or like the idea of having rules like them to make them official rules.

Ranos
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noelte
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#2 Post by noelte » Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:12 pm

Hmm, i think all what you have written it is quite theoretical. You can't teach people how to discuss. (sometimes even emotions get involved).

If someone insults another, he gets banned. I think Aq. can handle that issue very well (he has just proven it again ;-)).

So, at the bottom line i see no need / sense in changing how the fo forum is working right now.
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#3 Post by pd » Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:52 pm

a good read for everyone starting to discuss in the brainstorming forum: Workflow, the Brainstorming forum, and participation.

i don't think it's a good idea to define the exact meaning of 'brainstorming' based on dictionarys. the subhead of the brainstorming boards says 'Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc. Write down all your craziest ideas.' - that's it, not more, not less.
Only post positive responses to other people's ideas.
this is not very aiding, we need honest criticism, positive and negative.

also i don't think it's a good idea of using forum polls to see what the majority would like in the game for several reasons.

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Idea

#4 Post by guiguibaah » Tue Nov 02, 2004 10:17 pm

- I know, let's break rule #2 and have a discussion about sliders! :)

I like sliders because you can slide them back and forth and it's pretty cool!



= = =

As for brainstorming, I see it more as a collective mass of, well, in some ways jargon. You let your brain wander, and sometimes we get really interesting ideas.... other times, we get really WEIRD ideas. But I think they help the Dev. team decide what they want - and more importantly, what they DON'T want.
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#5 Post by Aquitaine » Tue Nov 02, 2004 11:20 pm

I don't want extra rules on this forum because that would mean I'd have to read it regularly...:)

I think the current system works fine.

-Aq
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Ranos
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#6 Post by Ranos » Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:28 am

Okay. Bad idea. I just don't want to see threads die or get locked because of arguements. That doesn't accomplish anything.
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#7 Post by utilae » Wed Nov 03, 2004 5:48 am

Ranos wrote:Okay. Bad idea. I just don't want to see threads die or get locked because of arguements. That doesn't accomplish anything.
It didn't seem like that spacecombat counters thread should have been locked. I didn't see anything too bad. THe odd muttering between people and minor arquements, but I think that didn't really hold us back (the locking of the thread has).

Ranos your ideas are common sense, and I see no harm in them becoming rules.

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#8 Post by Ranos » Wed Nov 03, 2004 5:58 am

@ utilae

The SpaceCombat Counters thread was unlocked less than an hour after it got locked. We can still discuss the countering system.
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#9 Post by utilae » Wed Nov 03, 2004 10:02 am

Ranos wrote:@ utilae

The SpaceCombat Counters thread was unlocked less than an hour after it got locked. We can still discuss the countering system.
ok sweet as

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#10 Post by MisterMerf » Thu Nov 04, 2004 9:34 pm

Discussing disadvantages of proposed systems is pretty necessary. It just has to be done carefully.

Tiptoeing around and trying to propose new systems that fix problems you see with others WITHOUT revealing those problems would be, in my opinion, both tedious and ineffective.

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#11 Post by Impaler » Fri Nov 05, 2004 12:19 am

What I would like to see more of is the capturing of sumaries of the Brainstorming work. The full thread is much to large to work through. Without a good synopsis of whats been discussed we opten do some nice work on one topic, drop it for a wial and then some new fellow comes along and starts from square one.

I think we need a semi-formal process (and designated person, I nominate Drek) of Sumarizing Brainstorming threads and storing them in some kind of Archive either on the Forum (a new Sub-Forum called "Brainstorming Synopsis Archive") or on the Wiki.

This could alow newbies to rapidly assimilate the distilled content of the several thousand Brainstorming Posts. Also it can smoth the transition from Brainstorming to rubber meats the road Designing and give us a handle on prioritizing what Brainstorming deserves to be incorporated as a fully fleshed out Game Concept (aka Aquitaine 'might' be more inclined to read the summary and bless it)
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#12 Post by Ranos » Fri Nov 05, 2004 2:33 am

That's actually a pretty good idea Impaler. Although it should be somebody who isn't part of the team since they already have their hands full actually working on the game.

Are there any volunteers?
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#13 Post by MisterMerf » Fri Nov 05, 2004 3:47 am

I wrote a summary on combat timing and multiplayer battle selection methods.
http://www.freeorion.org/wiki/index.php ... mbatProCon

However, there were a lot of other ideas and posts that went in to the discussion that would not distill very well in the summary. It's hard to stay up to date or evolve the summary in new directions.

I propose that we nominate certain important topics for summary and have one (or more, I suppose) volunteer responsible for staying up to date on each.

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#14 Post by Impaler » Fri Nov 05, 2004 4:28 am

We should waint until the thread has basicaly run itself out (which they inevitably do) before the Sumarizing process begins. Idealy thouse who are storming in the thread should anounce and agree that they are mentaly "spent" for the time being and either invite or perform the Summary themselves. A copy of the summary goes into that thread and onto the Archive, the summary contains a link to the thread as well. The thread is esentialy dorment and will drop down the forum list untill someone wishes to restart it. If such a thread revival occures and produces more usefull tid bits the Summary should be updated upon the re-dormenting of the thread.

I was being somewhat facicus when I nominated Drek ofcorse, its possible and quite desirable for just about everyone to partispate in Summarizing. I myself might write some. Still I think it would be valuable to have someone who has is as a semi responsibility and/or title "Official Brainstorming Archivist".

The Major desion to make is the place of Archiving, the Wiki or on a new Sub-Forum. What do people prefer?

On a related note I think the Wiki could use a bit better organization, their are a number of usefull pages that are orphaned and are not linked to from the main page, Merf's being one of them (and a nice summary it is by the way). I think we shoud have a "Brainstroming Summary" link right on the Main page taking us to a table of links one for each big summary and some Misilanous ones for collections of many smaller ideas. Also we need a disclaimer "Dont make a new page without first haveing a good Brainstorming thread FIRST".
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#15 Post by Aquitaine » Fri Nov 05, 2004 9:56 pm

I'm afraid I have to say no to the notion that we assign any FreeOrion official to archiving or summarizing these threads. The fact is that this board is not official, and that if you have the best discussion ever on space combat, I'm still going to want to have the best discussion ever when we finally get around to it. You are free to pull things from these threads for when the real discussion does show up, but this forum is provided with the understanding that it's an outlet, and not a preview of any official discussions.

My inclination is to lock threads the minute people start calling each other names and such. Even if you're getting something out of it, I'm going to come down like a ton of bricks on anybody who steps out of line, even on this board. In this case, Ranos requested that I unlock it, which was fine with me.

I do poke through here from time to time, and certainly am more likely to when we are discussing something that's been on here before, but even if it seems like it would be a good idea to provide some kind of official path for an idea to grow from brainstorming to the design board (and there are good things that would come of it), it's simply too much work.

Plus, if you look at the design archive, it's not like ya'll get close-mouthed when we do discuss official things. :)
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