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NavySonicShell

Ideas for Making the Forums More Active

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Hello everyone!

Sim-Monsters is entering into it's 9th year in operation next month and for what started as a very small group of people, it's been incredible seeing the growth the site has had, and seeing it still running today. 

I've been watching the forums lately and there's been an obvious drop-off in posting and discussion on the forum overall, which is fine, but I notice there's a lot of people who still visit the site regularly, and sometimes even daily who never post (such as myself) and I've been trying to think about what to do to get those users active again as well as give the newcomers more discussion when they make an account.

I wanted to open up this topic to see what people thought on the matter and ask for any ideas people have as to how to spark more conversations on the forum that pertain to either the industry or the game. An Idea I had was to make weekly themed discussion topics to try to spark conversations up more frequently on topics such as "What are you expecting from the All-Star Challenge?" or "What was the most memorable show you've been to?" or "What got you started in Rigs of Rods?"

In my mind these seem like they could interest both newcomers, as well as long-time members who still read the site but may not post much anymore, but if you disagree let me know what you think could help.

Overall, I'm curious what people want to get out of Sim-Monsters, if they have any ideas on how we could breathe some life back into the forums, and if people really care about the forums or if they're really just here for the downloads at this point.

Thank you!

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I guarantee I'm not the only one that stopped posting because I didn't like certain people here. now I haven't actively posted here in maybe a year or two, so I've been out of the loop for a bit. that being said, I think I have a few ideas on why the site isn't as active

1: lack of leagues and/or fun runs. I think back in 2016-17 there was a few different types of leagues and everyone was willing to try out at least one fun run a week

2: some people have limited or are no longer interested in monster trucks, which is what this site is for. I wasn't interested in monster trucks for a while, so I didn't come here that much. then my interest grew again and I came back for a bit

3: some people are simply moving on and aren't looking back. I think I've seen this happen a few times here

4: some people have moved on to BeamNG

5: maybe another reason (though probably not) is because of a lack of content creators? I mean we have some really really skilled guys on here but maybe there isn't enough. take a look at the request form for example, there's people making requests a lot most likely because they don't know how to make the stuff themselves. sure there's guides everywhere but maybe they're too confusing for people or they don't want to give in the effort in case they suck at it

6: the same to what i said at the top, some people left because they didn't like other people or vice versa

there's probably more or other reasons and maybe the 6 I just listed are terrible reasons, guess we'll see

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1 hour ago, Helvigster said:

I guarantee I'm not the only one that stopped posting because I didn't like certain people here. now I haven't actively posted here in maybe a year or two, so I've been out of the loop for a bit. that being said, I think I have a few ideas on why the site isn't as active

1: lack of leagues and/or fun runs. I think back in 2016-17 there was a few different types of leagues and everyone was willing to try out at least one fun run a week

2: some people have limited or are no longer interested in monster trucks, which is what this site is for. I wasn't interested in monster trucks for a while, so I didn't come here that much. then my interest grew again and I came back for a bit

3: some people are simply moving on and aren't looking back. I think I've seen this happen a few times here

4: some people have moved on to BeamNG

5: maybe another reason (though probably not) is because of a lack of content creators? I mean we have some really really skilled guys on here but maybe there isn't enough. take a look at the request form for example, there's people making requests a lot most likely because they don't know how to make the stuff themselves. sure there's guides everywhere but maybe they're too confusing for people or they don't want to give in the effort in case they suck at it

6: the same to what i said at the top, some people left because they didn't like other people or vice versa

there's probably more or other reasons and maybe the 6 I just listed are terrible reasons, guess we'll see

I don't think these are terrible points at all. I know the site won't really be as popular as it used to be and many people don't and won't visit anymore. I know having more content creation would help but it is difficult to boost that across a site. I think Chris Hamilton's recent thread outlining what projects have and haven't been completed and what has been partially completed is a great idea to help spur on some new content creation and help others get into modding for the site. I'd also like to make more content sometimes but have lacked the time over the past few years.

As far as leagues, I know the site gets more activity when there's leagues running, and I think there are some more coming up, so that should help. In the mean time I'm trying to find what might encourage current site members to be more active on the site until that happens or potentially start their own events even.

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Part of the idea of me pitching that idea to everyone is to attempt to see some newer people try their hand at some trucks that haven't been done before or redo some trucks that could use some updating. The people who were here 3-4 years ago are either not here anymore or don't have the time to be dedicating towards projects or this site at all, and people will come and go. Regardless it allows the new people both young and old to come into our community and put in their own contributions whether it be content or not, they are adding something to what we have. Additionally due to that lack of time has lead to the diminishing leagues since those people who did run it can't run those leagues as often anymore. I would love to see the newer generation of members take the flag and carry onward with a few older members (myself included) go along for the ride and help along the way. A good way to do that is just start some general conversation we all could input on, or just some projects that some people are working on as well. Fall/Winter time is the prime time for Special Events,. would anyone be down to continuing one of those special events for another year? I'm sure if there was a Fall Madness, King of the Hill, or Winter Showdown event it would draw some attention from both new and existing members. 

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Believe it or not, YouTube is taking most of the eyes that were once attracted to the site. You see leagues, truck unveilings/teasers,  music videos, etc..  

Maybe open up a thread for videos or reach out to those that only post content on YT to "partner" up with Sim Monsters? Such as promoting the site on their videos, having their videos on the site, or something to that affect.

A lot of trucks and tracks are found on YT channels but never make their way to the Downloads section for one reason or another. Is it possible to ask the YT channel to upload their content onto the site as a means of promoting their channel?

Tutorials are lacking and i have been meaning to make some clear cut videos. If anyone can help me snag a good screen recorder (bc Bandicam is trash lol) that would be appreciated.

just spit balling ideas here, so if you need calrification. lmk

 

As far as what i want to see from the site, I would have to say that progression and unity are the biggest things.

More creators. More diverse content.

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On 8/17/2019 at 5:18 PM, fernBurn said:

Believe it or not, YouTube is taking most of the eyes that were once attracted to the site. You see leagues, truck unveilings/teasers,  music videos, etc..  

Maybe open up a thread for videos or reach out to those that only post content on YT to "partner" up with Sim Monsters? Such as promoting the site on their videos, having their videos on the site, or something to that affect.

A lot of trucks and tracks are found on YT channels but never make their way to the Downloads section for one reason or another. Is it possible to ask the YT channel to upload their content onto the site as a means of promoting their channel?

Tutorials are lacking and i have been meaning to make some clear cut videos. If anyone can help me snag a good screen recorder (bc Bandicam is trash lol) that would be appreciated.

just spit balling ideas here, so if you need calrification. lmk

 

As far as what i want to see from the site, I would have to say that progression and unity are the biggest things.

More creators. More diverse content.

I do think a big part of what made the site so active was having leagues that ran and uploaded videos of an event the same week or week after it happened instead of what seems to be several months if at all (you know who I'm talking about), it's a nice attempt but likely to not draw a crowd in.

 

You can use either of these for streaming and/or recording without streaming: OBS is free and I think Xsplit has a free version you can try.

 

I may still have some tracks but I'd have to look and see but I'd probably just start over at this point if I'm able to get blender to work with me on my current computer and yes it would directly connect to potential feature events as I don't really care much for racing outside of just getting to play around and see what I can do and I know I suck at racing and sadly most events rely on being able to qualify in which I feel also severely dissuades newcomers from wanting to compete. Perhaps a league solely for new racers or older ones looking to get back into it could be one way to attract more activity. I know it's also generally frowned upon but perhaps an actual prize of some sort on the line for winning a feature event or major league would also create interest again.

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I've always wanted to stream or make episodes of how I make a track start to finish to give the community another tutorial and hopefully inspire others.  Time and hardware limitations always prevented me.  I've recently switches systems so I've been wanting to go back to my old computer with literally everything RoR related and clean it out to make it more possible to screen record while in Blender/stream content creation.

I do agree that there has been a significant decrease of content put out and overall activity on the site.  Could blame other social media to get information on the industry, or just a large portion of the fan base growing older and moving on/not having time to create and post.  I 100% fall into that group, but still enjoy creating and pumping things out, I just simply don't have the time like I used to.

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I am going onto my third year of college and hopefully I will have some time on my hands this year but i honestly miss it. I never play, i did just build a gaming PC so i lost all minor track progress and honestly forgot everything i feel like. I was considering to get back into track making because it was a great passed time and calmed my head, they weren't the greatest but some of my later projects were getting to a good level. I have that track making tutorial where i went into good depth but i couldnt even tell you if that is even still relevant. But if it is, it is a good starting point. I have played BeamNG a few times and really like it but RoR is always gonna be a home. I do stalk the forums about once a day still and have seen a lack of post, as far fixing that it would just be up to the people. A lot of us grew up and free time is no longer in existence.

I do also stalk the BeamNG forums and their is a lack of content creators their and a bunch of kids begging for stuff just how SM started out, I do feel like SM is out of that phase as like I said most of us have been here a decade and growing up really shows.

I am glad to see that their is a push to try to make people active again because I am all about it

 

EDIT: We are pretty close to 6000 members, maybe something special for that??

 

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16 hours ago, RKM said:

I do think a big part of what made the site so active was having leagues that ran and uploaded videos of an event the same week or week after it happened instead of what seems to be several months if at all (you know who I'm talking about), it's a nice attempt but likely to not draw a crowd in.

 

You can use either of these for streaming and/or recording without streaming: OBS is free and I think Xsplit has a free version you can try.

 

I may still have some tracks but I'd have to look and see but I'd probably just start over at this point if I'm able to get blender to work with me on my current computer and yes it would directly connect to potential feature events as I don't really care much for racing outside of just getting to play around and see what I can do and I know I suck at racing and sadly most events rely on being able to qualify in which I feel also severely dissuades newcomers from wanting to compete. Perhaps a league solely for new racers or older ones looking to get back into it could be one way to attract more activity. I know it's also generally frowned upon but perhaps an actual prize of some sort on the line for winning a feature event or major league would also create interest again.

i kind of meant reaching out to the channels solely post content on their own. Possibly having them shout us out in the videos or representing us in some way.

 

I actually like the idea of creating a novice league with open entries. Im not sure how a price would work, as i've never really been behind that, but a brainstorming session may bring up good ideas.

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I think I've only made one thread, and a few forum posts, maybe a few comments? Yet I'm active on the BeamNG forums, so I think I'm qualified to say atleast a few things?

Honestly, if I can take from my own personal experience, the drama/words said inside of the leagues and tours (Pretty much behind the scenes) is what distanced me from the tours and forums in general. One specific example that was uploaded is what pretty much made me quit, alongside other smaller incidents and insults, mostly having to do with what my profile picture portrays.

The lack of content is another decent point, yet I always wasn't a huge fan is a ton of private mods. Yes people have their reason, and it sucks, yet I understand. I usually just make jokes about it, never meant to be mean.

Since I quit, near the beginning of 2019,  (Involving laptop issues) I haven't been too interested in Monster Jam. Now, I'm trying to get back into it, yet the overarching thought of drama happening again always looms over (So far it's been good). Some people say I am actually pretty good at most things, yet I don't find myself so good.

This is all just from personal experience however, so I just might be the worst example.

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you know it's funny I've noticed that ROR has been dead in the water for some time. Recently, i did a signup series style event, and got 18 people (some of them big guns in the community like Digger's Diecast, MonsterjamOCD, and others that are smaller) to sign up! the show itself didn"t go off without a hitch I'll admit, but it shows there's still an eye for this! People are still interested in ROR MTs! i think one thing that pushed people away (and certainly did for me back when i was just a viewer and not at all active in the community) was the lack of variety in tracks and trucks. it started feeling like IRL Monster Jam, and I think we need to embrace the WHAT IF factor. In my first show, I had 18 trucks, plus some Box5 crushables on Montreal 2010, and it felt upon rewatching the show after I uploaded it to YouTube, like the old magic of Monster trucks had been channeled into this show. Carnage, huge air, unpredictability, car crushing......... if I had seen this show as a little kid I would probably still regard it as one of the coolest things I'd ever seen! I guess what my point is, is that we need to shake it up. Bring older trucks and concepts into the shows. Have Bigfoot and Grave Digger next to Predator 2001? SURE! appeal to people's nostalgia, draw in new fans that never got to see what once was, and blow them away. I'll gladly help bring ROR back to life. I have the channel, I have the following, and I most importantly have the TIME to do so. Or we can just spam "ok" on my entry post like a bunch of Super Smash Bros players. IF we want ROR Monster Trucks to get a resurgence, we gotta put in the effort to make people notice it. 

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On 8/20/2019 at 9:45 PM, maxdman said:

I've always wanted to stream or make episodes of how I make a track start to finish to give the community another tutorial and hopefully inspire others.  Time and hardware limitations always prevented me.  I've recently switches systems so I've been wanting to go back to my old computer with literally everything RoR related and clean it out to make it more possible to screen record while in Blender/stream content creation.

I do agree that there has been a significant decrease of content put out and overall activity on the site.  Could blame other social media to get information on the industry, or just a large portion of the fan base growing older and moving on/not having time to create and post.  I 100% fall into that group, but still enjoy creating and pumping things out, I just simply don't have the time like I used to.

well said, I feel like personally ive just hit a brick wall with track creation. Like I know how to make decent tracks, and well preforming tracks. however the lack of tutorials especially from a content creator like you rlly bars me from furthering my knowledge, not to mention college....

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On 10/12/2019 at 10:17 PM, erhminer said:

well said, I feel like personally ive just hit a brick wall with track creation. Like I know how to make decent tracks, and well preforming tracks. however the lack of tutorials especially from a content creator like you rlly bars me from furthering my knowledge, not to mention college....

I also kinda agree because im starting to get back into it as my 3rd year of college is super easy, but so much stuff has changed i just don't know where to begin. I have some cool ideas but just something is holding me back. There is some nice content being created on this site tho

I even tried to try to create some beamng tracks and no one over there is willing to help so i tossed that idea out the water.

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I think the general idea is that people have gotten older and there has been a lack of upcoming content creators to let's say "replace" the ones that got older and don't have the time to make stuff like they used to.

Like @erhminer said, I think there's a lack of tutorials for people to get started with making stuff. I like @monster jam fan's track making tutorial but I haven't actually used it yet due to lack of motivation for making stuff.

And this is just speculation, but maybe one of the things that's holding people back from making things (like mjfan posted above and myself) is that they wouldn't be utilized. There's lots of tracks on the site that were made just to be used for a certain league. If you spend a week's worth time (idk how long it takes to make tracks on average so we'll just say a week) making a track for a league and the league doesn't even happen (I've seen this happen before but I won't name names) or the guy who's running the league doesn't even like the track, you feel like you've wasted a lot of valuable time that you could have used on something else. Same thing if you make your own custom truck for a league and the league doesn't start.

I think the community here would benefit from a "comeback" league or something. Nothing over the top, but just something to get people back into the game and to get new people interested, and maybe to get people like me who have been here for a bit but haven't really done anything. I would prefer someone who has been here for a while and knows what they're doing to run it, but that's just an idea.

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On 10/14/2019 at 11:33 AM, monster jam fan said:

I also kinda agree because im starting to get back into it as my 3rd year of college is super easy, but so much stuff has changed i just don't know where to begin. I have some cool ideas but just something is holding me back. There is some nice content being created on this site tho

I even tried to try to create some beamng tracks and no one over there is willing to help so i tossed that idea out the water.

about beam, same lol. Now in ror I would love to make more stuff but honestly there not enough updated resources or props, and I still cant get help with ripping models from other tracks... so that leaves me to use the same stuff over and over and that gets boring.

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