Tuesday, October 9, 2018

NGR Updates - 10/9/2018

So today I wanted to give everyone a heads up on some changes happening here at NGR, and on some changes that are yet to come. Honestly most of these were forced on us, but I'm sure it's better off this way anyway. With that being said, first up is:

THE NETTO'S GAME ROOM FORUMS HAVE SHUT DOWN!

Noooooo-oh well. When we first opened the NGR forums it was to create our own version of what we once had over at Capcom-Unity. I've had quite a bit of experience running forums in the past, and most of them were pretty successful. Typically the forums I created became populated with people who quickly became close like family, and a lot of long time friendships were made. Of course the problem with running such forums was the fact they were fan forums aimed at a specific game, and when interest dies in the source material, the demand for fan forums goes with it. So with NGR's forum I was hoping to bring that to a wider audience, but by then times had changed. When we opened in 2013 forums were already a dying breed, and that's something that has only gotten worse as time marched on. With even large official communities struggling to stay afloat, it's really no wonder we too met the same fate.

First of all I'd like to thank everyone who was involved with the NGR forums. While we weren't the biggest community in the world, you guys were great, and I am happy for the time we spent together. I just want to let all of you know that it isn't because of you that we decide to close the forums - in fact, this is what I meant when I said some of these changes were forced on us. Sadly the service that the NGR forums used was bought out by another company, and all existing forums were forced to migrate to a new service. This new service not only locks many key features we used behind further paywalls, but it removes the freedom of having your own forum, and instead turns it into a "group" that's a part of a much larger overall site. Basically that forum is no longer truly "ours," and it even asks that members make a full account for the service instead. So to put it simply, it's a mess, and not worth putting up with.

Now I'm not saying this is fully the end of the "NGR Community," but currently I have no plans when it comes to opening another forum. Sure I could migrate almost everything over to a new service, but at this point it really isn't worth it. Again forums are dying out, and with other options out there like Reddit or even Discord servers, there isn't much of a reason to go down the same path again. So basically what I'm saying is, the forums may be done, but that doesn't mean we won't replace it with something else in the future. But until then, feel free to leave comments on the blog, or even email us... And that leads into the second major change.

Google + is dead!

Google announced that they are putting an end to the consumer version of Google +, and that means there are some changes we will be dealing with as well. Since NGR runs on Google's Blogger service, Google + was actually integrated into the site as well. This was mainly seen in our comment section, but our accounts and some behind the scenes features were linked to G+ as well. Now with the service shutting down in the near future we have decided to make some changes of our own ahead of time.

First of all, Google + is no longer linked directly to NGR. Our new blog posts will no longer be shared to Google + as well, and you can no longer access our Google + page. (Not really that big of a deal honestly.) The second change is the fact that our comments no longer use Google + as well, so EVERYONE is free to say what they want. Now the comment section WILL default to your Google profile (or YouTube, or Gmail, or whatever else you might use Google for) so most of you will still be able to comment just as you did when we were linked with Google +. On top of that, you no longer actually have to USE that Google profile to comment. You can if you want to, but if you'd rather stay anonymous you can. Accounts are no longer required to post here, but that means we will be a bit stricter on moderation of said comments. Now sadly because of this change we have lost ALL past blog comments, but I'd like to think of this as a fresh start. What was said in the past has already been said, and now it's time to move forward.

As for our final changes? That's yet to be seen. We're still posting using our Google + accounts as our profile, so what happens to those profiles is for Google to decide. Again this won't be a change you guys will care about, but it does mean our usernames may be altered. (We'll see though.)

And as for the future...

A bit hard to say really. Not too long ago Google released a pretty massive update for all of Blogger. This update gave us new features to play around with, which greatly enhanced what we can or cannot do with this site. With that being said, I'd like to make some changes to the blog overall, but I simply haven't had the time to sit down and do that. I have some ideas of what I'd like to add/change, but I rather not announce those plans until I am actually ready to do them. In the meantime I'll be testing out some of my ideas to see if they are worth incorporating, but until then that's all I can really say. Although I do want to make it clear that I don't want to make changes just for the sake of change. I only want to do things that NGR would benefit from, and that will make you, the reader's, life easier. Sorry if it sounds like I'm talking in circles here, but I want to make it clear that changes will only happen if they are worth it.

Anyway that's all I have for today. Until next time guys!

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