In my opinion, taking snippets of code/music/gfx from Pico-8 games with permission from the author to put in your own games is great as it helps build the community up and help beginners.
What I don't like is when people keep on taking other peoples games, changing some sprites, then re-posting the game as a "Hack". All this does to the community is make people appreciate the author of the "Edit" (that spent 10 minutes on the game) rather than the original creator that spent hours of their life creating these games.
On top of this, it fills up the BBS with duplicate games (that a worse versions than the original) rather than new, interesting content.
If you're going to make a "Hack" then at least make it a worth while change and credit the author with A LINK TO THE ORIGINAL GAME.
However, this is just my own opinion so feel free to comment your thoughts and ideas on the subject below.
also those "hacks" are clearly in violation of the carts licenses since attribution is a minimum:
|:: Cartridge Licensing|
To release your cartridge under the creative commons license CC4-BY-NC-SA, click the gray CC button and it will turn orange. The license allows anyone to reuse, modify or remix the cartridge for non-commercial use, with attribution, provided that they release any derived work under the same license.
:: Why License?
By default, all copyright for a cartridge belongs to the author. If you don't want to release your cartridge under a license, that's completely fine too -- the orange CC tags are provided as a convenience. Note that you can release your cartridges under any other license or terms simply by putting a notice in the source code, or in the accompanying BBS post.
I'm a little at odds with the way it works though. in fact, at first I thought the orange tag was more restrictive! when I found out (by reading the above) I started tagging my carts but most of them I would rather tag cc0 (well, I can, but I'm not bumping all those old threads just for a cc0 statement). also, shouldn't the orange tag be set by default since you're posting here on the bbs with source code and (proper) remixes are somewhat encouraged?
I think we need something more obvious: a cc0 green tag, the cc4 orange tag (default!), a keep-off-my-lawn red tag, a read-the-notice grey tag. also the CC tag is widely overlooked right now, so maybe have the licensing a little more prominent when posting a cart (icon + descriptive text).
regarding the obvious violations, well, I don't know, should they be moderated? the community here is 99% well-behaving but sometimes you have to mow the lawn?
yes it would be good to see different licence buttons available when posting a cart so that it is more obvious what people are and are not allowed to do with your carts.
I also agree that the tags are kind of ignored seeing as you can view the source code anyway so a lot of people don't care...
Yeah I think that would be the best way to publish a "Hack" as it would be obvious who created the original and possibly help their games get seen by more people.
I don't disagree with anything that's been posted already - I don't like the influx of dupe games either - but until there is some governance over the forums our "rules" and licenses won't make a difference.
I've only been a Pico-8 user for a little over a year at this point, but the oversight on the forum is extremely weak. Considering forum cart submissions end up in Splore, you'd think there would be some better moderating or whatever, but it's not there. I'd like to think someone is monitoring submissions and when the spam games show up, they can be removed from Splore even if they stay as a forum thread.
Relying on the people to select the right forums, tags, etc, is asking a lot - even if most of the regular users follow the guidelines, it only takes 1 or 2 goons to add spam and all that effort goes to pot.
I've managed many forms before and I've seen them burn to the ground due to lack of active engagement from the site manager and moderators. It's one thing when it's just threads but when there are attachments (carts) that impact other systems, it's even more critical.
Personally, there is a short list of features I'd love to see on the Pico-8 web site and forum in general. We all know the community is flourishing pretty well right now but I believe it can be even better with a little extra effort.
The thing is, I get the impression only zep is involved in this. I know he works on the website too.
If that's the case, I think it comes down to what you'd prefer he spent his time on, working on features and updates for PICO-8/Voxatron or policing the forums?
Perhaps we need some volunteers to contact zep and offer to mod the forums?
@morningtoast You said it! I totally get what you're saying but also as @arashi256 says, I think it's just Zep doing it mostly by himself and so whilst dupe games aren't a huge problem right now I'd love to see new features added to Pico-8 rather than extra forum support.
I'm sure things will improve and change in time though, especially if we get some good moderators on here :)
That's fair...and I didn't intend my comments to be a dig at Zep. I know the pains of being a one man band, trying to produce a product and managing a forum/site...especially one that is growing by the day.
I was simply stating what I know to be key to keeping a forum tidy, engaging and productive. I'm not saying Zep, nor anyone else here, doesn't know that too - just joining in the conversation.
I'm sure the Pico-8 community isn't short on web developers and designers. I fall into that group and would be more than happy to contribute. I got good experience marketing and managing communities. I've brought up some ideas before and reached out as well.
dude that's a really good idea; the BBS should totally have community moderators! I never even thought of that until now but that would totally help with a lot of the posts in the wrong category and violations of CC license. It does seem like it would result in a higher quality experience. It certainly seems to work well for a lot of other online fora at least.
Having oversight and enforcement is crucial. Not only should there be moderator(s) to flag spam, licenses and generally keep the peace, there should be someone actually managing the "content" of the forum so it can be highlighted and brought to the surface.
There is so much gold buried deep inside the forum that it can be hard to find and mine. There shouldn't need to be a separate zine to guide people into Pico-8, that should be something done by this web site via posts, carts, etc. and it should be front and center with all the "deep" knowledge following close behind.
A forum is a great way to get people sharing and building a community but it's not a content strategy. This community and the deep well of games is what sells Pico-8 and what makes it better than other "fantasy console" products at the moment.
I think we should tread very lightly here.
Pico8 is being positioned as (among other things) an educational tool for children. I'd hate to think that some 8 year old, proudly posting what he thinks of as his "first game", is met half a dozen posters telling him that he's a thief and that he didn't follow the rules.
Taking existing stuff and modifying it is a normal part of learning, and in this day and age, posting online is as natural and innocently intended as showing it off to a schoolyard friend. Nobody thinks of it as "publishing".
Agreed, treading lightly is important. But exactly to your point...people doing the "hacks" for the sake of learning is fine and wonderful, but that needs to be categorized or handled differently then so people know how to treat it and react. Without any context, people will come to their own conclusions (hence we're talking about it right now). The authors don't know any better if they're new, and that's where a site manager comes into play.
And to my point about strategy, if Pico-8 is intended to be positioned as an educational tool, that's awesome, but then the message of the site/forum/etc needs to convey that. That will change how people approach conversations and how they choose to contribute...and ultimately, help them decide how seriously they want to invest.
And to your thought on "publishing"...I tend to agree with you regarding putting stuff online as commonplace. But if you view Splore as the "App Store" of Pico-8, then you start having a different conversation. Although even that just really just goes back to keeping things nicely organized and accessible.
I agree largely with a lot of what has been posted here. Here are a few thoughts/things I've noticed:
I see carts being updated a lot as a new post (rather than just updating the cart within the old post). This is one thing that helps create a sea of the same game showing up in splore or on the boards.
I am unable to delete a cart once uploaded. I made an early version of my first game and posted it. Upon posting the final, I tried to delete the old one. I deleted its post...but the cart remains. Being able to 'clean house' a bit would be nice.
I agree with the above post that we dont want to discourage people from experimenting with other people's carts (so long as it is within the license they have used). But I also agree that it is not the same thing as developing your own game from scratch. Having a specific area of the board to post mods/hacks/new-tilesets/etc would be a pretty easy solution to that. However, because people dont always post their carts int he proper categories we would need moderators to be available to reassign posts to the correct areas.
- I know this is more of a wish list item, but I would love to be able to search by loose genre/convention for games. I know if people tag stuff I can go through the search function (that works in very curious ways sometimes). But to be able to look for platformers in splore, or sports games, or 3d games....would be very cool.
Anyway, i'm getting rambly and off topic a bit: Some forum moderation would be really great. Count my vote in that category (not that this is a democracy, but if zep wanted to anoint a person or two to take the forum load off of his shoulders that sounds like it would be a good thing for the community that I hope he will consider)
Yeah. Definitely agreed.
I'm definitely not for rules lawyering in general....but some basic moderation would be great (or at least organizing things in a way that people are able to see the kind of content they want....but with no content being refused).
Zep went and helped out our friend STEAMBOI with his hack carts, which is great. But he noted that Workshop category carts don't show up in Splore...which is good to know.
So if you want to post hack/edit carts, do so under the Workshop category. Makes sense but I don't those "hide from Splore" is noted anywhere, is it?
Now that I know, I'll be more likely to post carts that are concepts, ideas, tutorials, etc under Workshop...I just didn't want to clog up Splore with a bunch of test carts and experiments.
And hopefully in the near future there can be some more guidance added to the forum posting process to let folks know the best place to put their thread and carts.
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