Hacking, the Community, and the state of both


#21

Wouldn’t this site be more functional as a library of resources if it was set up more like a library? FPZero has a really good point that Discourse is really counterproductive in that regard. Even quality content eventually finds it’s way down where no one’s eyes will likely see it again. As you said, people can bump their own posts back up but necroing and double posting isn’t a great feeling.

Add in the fact that online forums just seem to naturally breed awfulness and you have a lot of reason for people to lean toward the Discord server. Also if you write something stupid on Discord it’s gone only a bit later

On a brighter note… I found this gem in the graphics repo


#22

We certainly need more threads posted here that answer questions asked in the Discord. Maybe it’s time for a tutorial/doc request channel in the Discord? Ask about something that needs an explanation and hopefully someone can come along and create a thread here about it? If people are truly interested in the community’s health and being able to include new members, there should be people willing to contribute to this.


#23

I disagree. I’ve got plenty of links that I set up that still get liked and used which are no longer on the front page. We have the search function as well as the wonderful ability to link to other postsand tag users when their opinion is required. Believe it or not, a lot of our traffic comes from Google searches for FE hacking, so even if a topic is not on the front page, it’s quite easy to find via Google. This is why making forum posts is so critical! They’re each their own page which you can access just by searching for the right keywords.

A wiki-style site has been suggested in the past, as well as a homepage. I do like the idea of wiki pages but they’d have to be managed and edited and then this would end up being separate to the Discourse software which would be quite annoying. A homepage would also need a team to manage. I’d rather that each user and topic have equal weight (as they do now) and that each user have the ability to create their own pages if they wish.

We deliberately do not have necro policies here because we want to encourage people to revisit old concepts and post new discoveries where possible. It is what keeps the community alive and it demonstrates to other users that we are constantly learning and still researching. Once again, because each page can be found via search and via Google, it’s important that every thread is kept with the most up-to-date information and links. This is why I always go back and update my old threads with new links so that no one is ever reading old information.

I stress that it is up to you to manage each thread and tutorial - we are basically the pioneers now and no one is going to do it for you. If you want people to contribute to your post, then make it a wiki post so that anyone can edit it.

I must say it again. Use the forums. Make posts. Discuss things. Ask questions. Post pictures. Make example videos. This was how we grew as a community originally and this is the advantage we have over everything else. Remember that every single one of your discussion posts here is archived FOREVER (or as long as we can pay for hosting lol) so that other users can view the page and view the discussion. The more buzzwords you can use in a post, the more likely they are to come up on a search later. I guarantee you that most searches for “Fire Emblem hacking” lead to this very website - this is how we attract new members and inquisitive minds, which is what we need.


#24

Just make a forum post lol. we don’t need more channels than we already have. it’s already confusing enough


#25

On this note, I feel it’s important to state that sometimes veteran users can misunderstand or simply not know what it is that actually could make the more technical aspects of hacking such as ASM or Eventing difficult to get into. Making it more clear what kinds of tutorials the community would benefit from and how older ones may need to be revamped would be pretty helpful imo. I certainly could’ve used with this earlier myself, having struggled with hacking from when I joined 2 years ago roughly to only just understanding eventing and the buildfiles method after/during VBA dropped.


#26

Still don’t understand what the big deal was

Maybe it’s not my place to say it, as I don’t hack very often, but I haven’t seen much of these issues personally. If that’s just because I’m not around as much as I used to be or not due to college I can’t really say, but I myself do not feel there’s any real issues. Sure some asshole might show up and act like a prick from time to time, but in a large and open community like this, that’s a given, and I don’t really see the issue with the occasional asshole as long as he doesn’t violate the code of conduct/if he does, he receives his dues for it.


#27

Still don’t understand what the big deal was

Likewise, it was only one person who had an issue with MC having that much control anyway. Hardly a debate.


#28

I mean on the forums there are so many outdated tutorials I have some trouble finding specially what I want. I think the discord is the quickest way to get a question answered due to how easy it is to send an answer or reply. And more often then not it’s up to date info I receive


#29

I don’t think a thread will be noticed by Discord users. Even if you pinned a link to the thread in one of the channels, it’s very likely that it will go unseen. A lot of resources and tutorials in the pins exist, and yet people ask for them all the time without checking. Portrait sheets and animation repositories are a great example of this.


#30

I mean if u really wanna get attention just ping a group of people for a specific question. Like ping eventers for an eventing issue. With the new roles it’s much easier to ask questions now imo


#31

ehhhh?


#32

Thats not what im taking issue with, im in no way saying that plagirism is okay, Im simply bothered with the way some people choose to police it


#33

You’re not thinking about the bigger picture.

It’s not about you. It’s about everyone else. There will be others with the same question and if you only ask questions for yourself then you will only get answers for yourself. The same question will be repeated over and over again. If you find a tutorial which you feel is outdated, perhaps you’d better go and write a new one and point out that the old tutorial is outdated. You need to do your part and keep the resources alive.


#34

I agree with the spirit of the OP if not the individual examples (an earlier
draft of this post listed out point-by-point responses to the specific issues
but I don’t think that will ultimately be productive).

To some degree, I’m in agreement with @Alusq that the community is about as
welcoming as it’s ever been, with the possible exception of the first ~6 months
or so (and we weren’t saints then either). Anyone remember FECafe? That isn’t
to say that the criticisms of elitism are ill-founded, nor that there’s no room
for improvement, but it pays to have some perspective. One direct thing I
will comment on is that, if the FEBuilder vs buildfiles debate is really such
a hot-topic issue to the point of being a community wart, please get the
staff involved. This isn’t the first I’ve heard of this issue, but it’s
certainly the first time I’ve heard of this “witch hunt”. For that matter,
especially reach out to the staff if there’s a member of the staff involved.
Arch was always a fan of extremely lax moderation and avoiding rules-lawyering,
and I’m of the same mind. I am always available and willing to listen via PM on
this site or Discord (I am “Camdar”) if you want to make your voice heard.

@Agro has said many of the things that I would have liked to wrt the forum vs
the advent of the Discord – the Discord is much better for moment-to-moment
conversation, but it helps to have a more permanent record of things. I won’t
say that switching to a more traditional forum software has never crossed my
mind, but, setting my philosophical objections aside, there are too many
logistical concerns for this to be a practical solution. (CC @FPZero)

Part of the issue is that the general community known as “Fire Emblem Universe”
has drifted significantly from the scope of what Arch’s vision initially was.
Arch wanted this place to be a library of hacking resources, tutorials and a
place where people could be on the “bleeding edge” of advances in ROM hacking.
Before Archgate happened, we were even considering putting together some kind
of FEUniversity redesign. Something Circles mentioned during the staff
discussion of this thread was that “FEU feels like an awkward teenager that
grew up too fast and now none of their clothes fit”, which I think is apt. It
kind of feels like FEU has become a weird amalgamation of SF’s Fan Projects and
Sprites board – it’s great that we’re now attracting those sorts of users, but
it’s absolutely a departure from the original intention for this board.

Arch is no longer in charge, however, and I welcome the discussion with regard
to how we move forward. When Archgate happened, our community presence was on
the order of maybe ~300 people. Nowadays, we’re a much bigger name as far as
“community weight” goes; it also doesn’t hurt that we now have a big project to
our (well, Circles’) name in Void’s Blitzarre Adventure (I’ve said my piece on
“blitz culture” in the past, but I’ll say more in a moment). Do people believe
that we should be moving more towards being a “project-based” community? Or
a “intro to FE making” community? Or what, and how can we (the staff) be more
involved with moving in that direction?

As far as blitzes go, I think that they’re absolutely a good thing to have
around. I don’t mean it lightly to say that Void’s Blitzarre Adventure is
possibly the first completely successful community project (the only other
contender, as far as I’ve seen, is The Last Promise, which is in a bit of a
different boat). I don’t have an opinion on what constitutes a “canon” blitz,
but I also am in favor of running smaller, community-headed (as opposed to
staff-headed) blitzes to get people involved.

In fact, I would argue that this is possibly the biggest problem that I see
amidst the community today. “Success” and “failure” seem to be the be-all
end-all amongst many of the would-be project leaders. During the “why is MC
writing the blitz???” debacle, it was brought up that only “respected” leaders
really have a chance of running a “successful” blitz. Well, what’s wrong with
that? What’s wrong with failing? We went into the original VBA with zero
expectation that this would work; it had never been tried before! Have fun,
experiment, learn! That was the entire intention of the original blitz, to
get people who might not otherwise think they could contribute to a major
project to get their feet wet! Sure, you might not like the idea of “wasting
your time”, but look – whatever progress you made towards a “failed” blitz can
be recycled towards the next one! Who cares if the project is a non-starter?
You’ll never know if you don’t try. Why does it need to be a blitz? Why not
make a standalone project, or even try something completely new with regards
to project organization? Arch was a fan of saying “I’d rather be outdone than
flattered” in response to imitation, and I think that applies here as well. One
of my biggest mistakes from earlier in the collective community timeline was
taking too hardline of a stance about “realistic” expectations. Shoot for the
moon, dammit!

I’m going to end this wall by reiterating that we (the staff) are always open to
suggestions and concerns, and would be happy to discuss ways you think we could
be operating this community better. Thanks to Kirb for starting this conversation.


#35

Also a reminder that we do have anonymous feedback forms available:

https://goo.gl/forms/tNQczPJnSPFVm7KN2


#36

Meh. Just sounds like different people having different opinions about stuff, aka every community ever.


#37

I still use FEditor for a lot tbh. I find formatting dialogue and importing portraits/animations a lot easier with it. However, FE Builder is certainly miles better. I couldn’t even imagine hacking without it, though I’m glad people are willing to teach others how to do stuff like hex editing and the like.


#38

It’s always been that, to be honest.


#39

Everything gonna be all right, i hope


#40

What the community needs is someone willing to necropost with dry humour!

I had no idea the history of FEU was so errr… shaky?

From my personal experience, the members I’ve reached out to have been fairly supportive (answering questions and some actually getting invested in my hack), I’m a total scrub when it comes to hacking (would’ve quit by like day 2 without FEB).

So there’s hope?

Sekrit

Slow day at work, started scrolling through the forum. Please don’t tell my boss.