How much WIP is nessecary? Discussion
#21
If you are not familiar with the old site, it might be worth a little bit of your time to cruise around there and see what it was like.

This new site was born out of a necessity to find different hosting services, as the previous site administrator encountered real-life time commitments etc. that kept him from being able to give the site the attention he felt it deserved. Understand that I do not speak for Melly Monkey (the new site administrator), but the sense I get from her and from the other legacy-TG users (including myself) who have made the switch is that this site is very much intended to be a continuation of the old TerraGenesis, with its focus on tutorials, how-tos, and clever ways to make use of ordinary or found items at a variety of different scales for a variety of different purposes (e.g. 28mm sci-fi wargaming or N-scale train dioramas or 1/1200th scale naval combat).

The transition has been both good and bad - good in that the old TG site had a standing 90-day deletion policy for the Work-In-Progress threads. Unfortunately, this policy all too often led to the complete loss of extremely valuable tutorials and practical advice. The upshot was that the old site allowed for the direct upload and hosting of imagery, which meant that once something was wiki-fied or entered into a competition, those images were archived for good and not subject to the whims of the internet (or the original poster, who may have had to clear out crap to make space for hosting pics of their kid's 7th birthday party or whatever). There were thousands of images in the old TG archive, which represents a significant cost in terms of hosting/storage. Additionally, Andy Slater (the previous admin) did a ton of specialized coding work to add features to the site (like blind ranked voting, tagging gallery images with searchable key-words, or tracking and indicating how many competitions a person had entered/won, how many images they had in the gallery, or whether they had made other valuable contributions to the community, etc). Of course this time spent coding was part of what burned him out, so again, good with bad.

On this new site, the WIP threads don't expire, but we don't have on-site image hosting. So it's entirely possible that three years down the road we'll end up with a bunch of WIP threads full of broken image links (which seriously reduces their utility). Similarly, we haven't yet been able to replicate some of the site features that Andy had back on the old site (like blind ranked voting, which was super-cool).

In terms of transitioning some of the tutorials and archived content from the old site, that is absolutely worth doing, because there is some incredibly insightful and practical advice contained there. I'm not sure how Melly wants it done, but I suspect it will be a little bit tedious and time consuming (though again, certainly well worth the effort). A lot of it will depend on where the images need to end up being hosted. Some users (such as ableman) have taken it upon themselves to move over their own projects or WIP threads, which is fantastic (and reminds me - I need to bump his Reputation for it!). But there are 381 wiki entries alone (not including showcases, WIP threads, or competition entries) on the old site, many of which were originally created by Gary James (the original creator of TerraGenesis). Some of them don't have much content, but still, there's a ridiculous amount of useful information contained therein that at some point should be brought over.

This new site is still in its infancy, and it will take some time to get up and running at full capacity/functionality.

But the point remains that it is exactly this exchange of techniques and ideas that makes TerraGenesis useful. While showing someone a finished project might give them "inspiration," it probably doesn't give them the information they need to do it (or something like it) themselves, which means that it's not contributing anything to the community. In that sense we're less about "look at this cool thing I made!" than we are about "here's how you can make cool things like this for yourself!" Many of the old tutorials are about making bare-bones but decent-looking terrain on the cheap such that you and your friends could have interesting backdrop for your games. Later tutorials take some of these principles to very sophisticated levels, indicative that the community as a whole was growing in experience.
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[+] 2 users Like Munin's post
#22
http://terragenesis.co.uk/infopages/index.php

For reference, that's the current link to Ye Ol' Terragenesis' projects page.

One of my favourite experiences on the old site was developing a specific method for making coniferous trees, and seeing people using it to make their own forests, each with their own take on it.
To me, that was the heart of TG, and far more useful than a few pictures of finished pieces.

Finished pictures are a great source of inspiration, but a build thread gives so much more.
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[+] 1 user Likes Caleb's post
#23
(03-09-2015, 06:20 PM)Munin Wrote: In terms of transitioning some of the tutorials and archived content from the old site, that is absolutely worth doing, because there is some incredibly insightful and practical advice contained there. I'm not sure how Melly wants it done...

TG is splitting into 2 different websites - one is the forum, the other is a wiki-site where all of the official articles from the old site will be housed. Andy is in charge of the articles & wiki half of things and I am in charge of the forum because he didn't have the time/patience to deal with the politics anymore. Any transfer of threads from the old forum to the new one will be up to that user to do -- like Ableman has done.

The only reason there is a 'new' site is because Andy manipulated the code so much that no one else would be able to use it. So, when time came for him to resign, a more standard setup needed to be used. I can tell you that as long as I am the Admin here, I will always be trying to make this site emulate the previous one because I feel it is one in the same.

I don't know why the tutorial-type sharing was so apparent there and here it is so confusing... perhaps because there were years & years of posts to use as example. Whatever the reason, I will work on explaining that clearly in the About TG section when I can. In the meantime, let's move forward.
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