Later this week (if all goes according to plan), we’ll be migrating the OtherSide forums to new software, called Discourse (https://www.discourse.org/). Sam and I have been working on this behind the scenes, but the bulk of the work is being done by an external agency so that us OtherSide people can stay focused on our games. I know some of you visit the Quarter to Three forums—that’s the same software we’ll be using: https://forum.quartertothree.com/c/games
We’re very excited to make this change and are doing so for a number of reasons, but before we go into those reasons, I want you all to know that we intend to l retain all of the information, users, forum structure, posts, images, etc. from our current forums. I.e., other than looking different, and perhaps some bugs, the forums will be substantially the same as they are now. We have numerous backups of the current forums because we don’t want to lose what we have already. One manual thing we’ll have to work on is making sure people have the right badges as we haven’t found an easy way to migrate those over.
Migrating means we’ll pull down our current forums for maintenance for a short period of time to pull everything over and then deploy it. Since we don’t have a huge amount of data, we don’t believe that will take a long time. I’ll update this thread when we have a definitive day/time that we plan to do this.
So why are we doing this? At a high level:
- First and foremost, our current forums were set up and administered by a guy who sadly passed away last year. With his passing went some institutional knowledge about the existing forums (I’ll spare the details) that make it hard for us to change, update, fix, etc. them. That’s no good. Note, since you’ll ask, we did try to get the information from him, but it didn’t come together before his passing unfortunately.
- We want something easier for Sam and I to completely administer ourselves. We are not web developers and we really don’t want to take time away from our game devs to help us on it. Discourse gives us all the tools we need to do at least the things we foresee wanting to do. Discourse integrates much better with our current website so with Discourse added, Sam and I can now take care of most our web needs ourselves.
- Discourse has a bunch of features that we really like, that we think will make our forums more usable and hopefully will attract and keep more people participating in them. For example: 1) We love the UI and refreshing design, 2) Topic summaries, 3) Better spam blocking, 4) Support for various social logins as well as single login if we go that direction in the future, and more.
- Scalability – this relates a lot to the first point, but we also want software that will grow well with us, as we hopefully grow over the coming years.
As always, we’re curious what you think. Also, I’ll apologize for the short notice on this, that’s entirely on me. With all of the work on UA as well as the “new” work on System Shock 3, I’m stretched pretty thin these days.