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Modding on the spectrum


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November 1, 2022:

The forum is finished! :dancing:

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

On 10/3/2022 at 4:21 AM, Sigurð Stormhand said:

Thanks for sharing, there are actually quite a few people in the modding community with various Autistic-Spectrum disorders (obsessively dedicating your time to a project and poring over minute details, who knew).

 

On 10/3/2022 at 6:59 PM, Selene310187 said:

I believe a hub for mod authors (Edit: and users) on the spectrum where we can exchange knowledge, ideas, problems,... would be a great idea. Some people may think of a Discord but the problem is that I'm not the person who loves to take part in chats (I use Discord only when I have to like getting mods which you can't get elsewhere).

 

Do you have interest in this kind of safe space? If yes, what is the ideal platform for it? I thought of Discord in the beginning because it's quite popular. But navigating through the channels can become confusing on the long run and finding older stuff is a hassle. The next on my list was Reddit. It's good to find new and interesting things but with many topics posted it can become confusing, too. Another possible platform is a forum. Nowadays, less and less people are using forums and switch to social media sites like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

The more I think about it, a well structured forum would probably be the better choice. Or do you know any popular alternatives which have (most) features of a forum? The most important feature is to differentiate between different games easily.

And I found a name for a possible community: Modders Modding on the Spectrum. I'm open for other suggestions.

Regardless of whether this community for mod authors on the autism spectrum comes to fruition, I took the time to create a logo for it because I love creating stuff:

1289916785_ModdersontheSpectrum-Logo.thumb.jpg.b1b2c54c8140498a5afcb0f0bdf817c5.jpg

 

PS: If you don't want to talk about it publicly, feel free to send me a PM ;).

 

Edit:

The thread title said "mod authors on the spectrum" before. But I realized that it's too limiting. I want to include the mod users as well. They are an essential part of any modding community. I also thought of welcoming people with similar conditions like ADHD/ADD, high sensitivity or social anxiety. Neurodivergent Modding so to speak.

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  • Selene310187 changed the title to Modding on the spectrum

Great design for the logo, Selene!

 

Frankly, my opinion is that all of those social platforms tend to come up short, and really are more geared to the profit of the corporation running them than in making themselves assessable to free and uninhibited speech about people's troubles and the use of said platforms for those individuals who need it (though the corporations will tell people that it is simply not so).  To me, a forum is a much better place - people can post and discuss what they want, the group can be more fairly moderated by those who actually understand the needs, issues, and desires of those posting, and people are not (hopefully) subject to information mining and sampling for marketing purposes.  Whether an existing forum is used, and a group set up in that forum, or a new website is set up (which can be linked to - and probably, this is the better idea) is something that would need looking into.  I myself do not have an idea about where or how - at least not at my fingertips, so to speak.

 

I wish you all the luck with this, and would offer my help, but honestly, I am really spread pretty thin as it is, and am actually taking a small break from helping (mostly that involves helping in the Steam Skyrim forums), as lately it has become pretty wearing - LOL!  Good luck, and though I may not be able to help, I will be keeping an eye on the progress of your endeavor.:)  In the meanwhile, at least have some cookies and a drink :bigcookie::bigcookie::flagon::beer:

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I plan to create a subforum revolving around neurodiversity with discussion areas for people with conditions like ADHD/ADD, autism, high sensitivity or social anxiety. Should I make these areas only visible to registered users? If I make them visible to all users, should I allow guests to post in the neurodiversity subforum?

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Selene, my thoughts on that are, while it is a good idea to have posts visible to guests who are not registered - thereby allowing others to actually see the difficulties that these conditions engender, and thus letting others who may suffer from these things (whether they are aware of it or not) see that they are not alone, permitting guests to post may make it possible for those only interested in trolling to post unhelpful and mean spirited comments (because, let's face it, the internet is filled with people like that).  So, allowing others to view the subforum would be helpful, but to post in it, one should be registered.

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I agree with smr1957.  I think it's a great idea to let non-registered folks read about these topics.  But at the same time I also think it is a good idea to implement a firewall of protection for those who might be suffering, so I think registration should be a requirement to post.

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Update on the forum structure:

1904087971_ModdingontheSpectrum-forumstructure.thumb.jpg.5b1816113ff9ab54ea37bc67145c2601.jpg

 

The forum will not only contain discussion areas for Skyrim but also for Oblivion, Morrowind, the Fallout series (4, New Vegas and 3), CD Projekt Red games (The Witcher series and Cyberpunk 2077) and BioWare games (Dragon Age and Mass Effect series). I concentrate on these games for the time being. This might change in the future if I have enough people who can manage the forums (at the moment, the entire team consists of 1 person - me).

 

21 hours ago, ghastley said:

Register to post is needed anyway, or your site will become a magnet for spam-bots. Filtering those out in the registration process is not trivial, either.

Yes, I will keep that in mind and I will probably install some anti-spam extensions, too.

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Looks like it is coming along very nicely!  A nice clean layout with sections clearly labeled.  The only thing that I see missing (at least from the screen you posted) is a clearly defined section where people can talk about the issues that either bother them or elate them - something like:

Share, rant, rage, praise
A place to get miscellaneous things off your chest about modding and games in general - both the good and the bad.

And this especially would require careful moderation to ensure that people do not cross the bounds - but still allow registered users freedom to discuss things that are on their mind, whether to dis or praise.

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5 minutes ago, smr1957 said:

The only thing that I see missing (at least from the screen you posted) is a clearly defined section where people can talk about the issues that either bother them or elate them - something like:

Share, rant, rage, praise
A place to get miscellaneous things off your chest about modding and games in general - both the good and the bad.

This could probably be a part in the planned "The Lounge" area where people can talk about movies, music and the like.

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Just now, Selene310187 said:

This could probably be a part in the planned "The Lounge" area where people can talk about movies, music and the like.

Yes!  Excellent - a place where people can go to relax and just hang out,and talk about whatever comes to mind.:clap:

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Avatar gallery and post layout

Yesterday and today, I put together some public domain resources in Gimp and Photoshop to create avatars for the avatar gallery. The results were 5 fantasy themed and 5 Sci-Fi themed avatars. Credits for the clip arts go to Isac Vale and andsproject.

 640649159_ModdersontheSpectrum-fantasyavatars.thumb.jpg.713a753f8e9511706a4cca55a1f5260a.jpg 1685128915_ModdersontheSpectrum-sci-fiavatars.thumb.jpg.c63c8f1654a5270283cea2b55567000e.jpg

 

The post layout:

109975806_Moddingonthespectrum-postlayout.thumb.jpg.e33f2e31d648e82545eb947422c1fd1e.jpg

You can change the side of the post profile (the part with your avatar image, rank, etc.) in your board preferences ;).

 

 

Technical stuff:

 

Spoiler

About SMTP

Then I managed to get the SMTP setup of the board working which is needed for sending emails from the board. This was kinda a hassle. I searched the internet a couple of days for a solution. And in the end, it was rather simple: I just needed to create an app password in your Google account (which is only available after you have activated the two factor authentication) and use this app password as the SMTP password.

 

Newly registered users group and anti-spam measures

Another couple of days were spent to understand how the user groups and the permission system of phpBB works. There are a "registered users" group (everyone belongs to this group) and a "newly registered users" group (as the name indicates, only newly registered users belong to this group). The latter can be disabled. I disabled it at the beginning but enabled it again as I came to the conclusion that it can be very handy to reduce forum spam. If you want to disable some features of the forum for all people in this user group (e.g. BBCodes) you need to set the permission of the respective feature to "Never".

If the users of the newly registered users group reach a couple of posts, they are removed from this restrictive group and the anti-spam measures are lifted. But if new users want to be removed from this restrictive group right from the start, they can send me a request via PM after registration. Their message should include a link to their profile on Nexus Mods (or similar modding sites like AFK Mods). This will allow me to better assess whether they are spammers or not.

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I integrated Collapsible Forum Categories which let's you collapse and minimize forum categories by clicking on a tiny button in the upper right corner of each forum category.

244298685_ModdingontheSpectrum-CollapsibleForumCategories.thumb.jpg.edd2a1224c7de94bf108ed0ea699227e.jpg

 

 

What still needs to be done:

- discussion areas for CD Projekt Red Games (Edit: done)

- "Other Games" discussion area (maybe I put it under "Lounge" instead) (Edit: done; it's part of the "The Lounge")

- the "Neurodiversity" subforum (Edit: done)

- the "Lounge" (more or less off-topic) subforum (Edit: done)

 

I noticed that phpBB is a pretty basic forum software. It's easy to manage but lacks certain features like topic tags. I found an extension which adds topic tags though. I made several changes to the extension in order to make it compatible with the current version of the forum software. Unfortunately, the developer stopped the development of the extension and it's the only extension that adds tags to topics. I don't know if can make it compatible with newer versions of the forum software again as I only have a very basic knowledge in programming and mostly find solutions for my problems using my research skills. In case of doubt, I might need to disable this topic tags extension in the future.

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