The End Of Praxis

edited January 2014 in Story Games
Hey all! While there have been some cool discussions on it, I think Praxis: Game Design ( ) has reached the end of its lifecycle. There are some great resources and tools out there for building communities around game design (I've seen G+ communities work really well in a lot of different circumstances), and so I recommend those.

That said: if you are thinking: "James, what are you doing, game design forums are awesome and I could totally run one." then you should totally create one, and I will totally help you get the word out about it, and help point people there.

Current plan is that I'm going to turn the lights off in about a month, after taking one last database backup. Thoughts?


  • Yep! (thumbs up!)

    I'll do an eventual postmortem on why Praxis existed, why it had to exist, and why moving away from it (and putting it into the arms of other enthusiastic community-creators/maintainers) is the best decision.

    A single tear rolls down my cheek for the past, but a bright future lies ahead. I'm sure we can leave it on permanent archive mode (that is, can read without posting to it) for at least a few years from now so that we're sure that it's internet archived, as there is little bandwidth and space consumed.
  • How does/did Praxis differ from Make Stuff! and Game Design Help?
  • Andy mentioned long, long ago the possibility of merging Praxis threads into the rest of SG proper. Is that still a possible idea, or will it end up being a whole separate archive?
  • I think for now, let's assume it's a whole separate archive. It's not to say that a merge won't ever happen, but there are some tricky issues with users and threads and what not.
  • @catty_big - Ah! History time.

    So, Praxis was meant to be a place to discuss this: "The ground-upwards creation of new games". So, if you were looking for a place to, say, post an ongoing journal of your new design's progress, or you wanted to suss out basic ideas about your game, it was what Praxis was made for.

    "Make Stuff!" has always been the creation of materials (words or products) for existing games or tabletop experiences. Frex, "Achievement Cards for Any RPG", "New Moves for Hardholders", "Alternate Armor rules for D&D", etc.
    "Game Design Help" was basically for nudges in the direction to completion. The idea is that if you didn't have at least a draft of your game, Praxis was the better place for that. But if you did have a draft or solid framework, and you were looking for an exacting, specific piece of advice or help somewhere, Game Design Help was for that. Ex "I have these new elves, and they are like this: (3 paragraphs of text). But I would like to add an etherial/magical ability. I have these three ideas. Which one sounds best?" or "I'm designing an adventure generator, but need another way to say X. Ideas?"

    The reason is this: For about 2 years or so, posters would regularly post RPG design stuff, anything from "help me with this specific idea" to "Hey guys what do you think of this general game idea?" posts. Which was okay then, because it was about maybe 1/20th of the normal traffic, and didn't get in the way of the core competency of the site: Discussing Play, News, Games, Techniques.

    When the Forge closed up shop for idle RPG discussion, we got a FLOOD of general game design discussion. Overnight, we went from 1/10th to 1/20th of the threads being about "Hey guys look at my new game design idea!" to 1/2 or more of the discussions being that. From new posters, who hadn't participated in the community, nor did they continue to participate in the community outside their bloggy game-discussion-live post. We went from applicant messages of "Hey, I want to talk about Dogs in the Vineyard" or "I heard about Game X" or "I saw Y's post on another forum and wanted to see more" (about 10-20 applicants a week), to nearly Every New Applicant joining with the message, "I'm working on a new RPG and want feedback". Not kidding when I say out of 10 new applicants, 9 of them would have that exact message or something nearly like it.

    There was a real risk of S-G turning into The Forge's Runoff/Garbage Dump. The board was flooded with new people who had no interest in doing anything more than talking about their own game ideas without contributing much else. Praxis was an admittedly imperfect step to channel that to another area, so that S-G could remain a place to talk about Play, News, Games and Techniques. Still, it was something. For many months I too was an active participant.

    So, that's sort of the origin story of Praxis: It started as a way to bail out S-G from being overrun with a horde of otherwise well-meaning people who heard somewhere, "Since the Forge closed its general game design forum, you can now just go to S-G and talk about your game design there!".

    @Johnstone - Unfortunately it couldn't work; the databases too unwieldy, it's now its own archive. There are folks talking on the interspheres about potentially creating a new place for game design discussion ( @DanMaruschak is a potential leader in that regard, you may want to talk to him if you are interested in helping), so it may just be a bit of time before there is a new site/area to discuss game design.
  • I just created a Google+ community: ReForged: An RPG Design Community of the Old Forge Renaissance, more info at the link. While I'm not certain it will end up any better than things that have been tried before, I felt like it was worth the effort to try.
  • Cool, I hope it goes well.

    Is there a reason it's set to private?
  • I thought that making it private rather than public would give it a more "participatory" than "broadcast" vibe, since both approaches are possible on G+. I also thought it would make moderation seem more legit than if it was a public forum, if I need to do any.
  • edited January 2014
    @Andy I see. So the chronology of a game design log was effectively Praxis> Game Design Help, then, when your game had become a chart-topping cauldron of hotness... Make stuff! Interesting history. I can see how Praxis was useful in the early days, but I can also see how it could be confusing having several design-focused fora on the same site. So, as the digital ashes of Praxis are scattered over the Internet, I incline my head a fraction and offer a prayer for its eternal rest.
  • Alright! It seems like things are well in hand here, so Praxis should be closing to new content in the upcoming days/weeks.
  • Wow - I never even realized Praxis existed.
  • Wow - I never even realized Praxis existed.
    That did end up being a major problem for it.

  • Hey guys, sorry for rezing this thread but I really want to ask: I want to get the kind of design help that Praxis offered, have any communities come forward to replace it, or could you direct me to similar?

  • edited March 2014
    I want to get the kind of design help that Praxis offered, have any communities come forward to replace it, or could you direct me to similar?
  • Yeah, ReForged is definitely the promising leader in that regard. But you have to put as much in as you expect to get out. If you do, it'll be worthwhile.
  • Thanks. Sent a request, do they take the unsolicited and curious?
  • The request process is basically a spambot filter, as far as I know. Dan is interested in a wide cross-section of folks participating, but G+ community requests take manual approval so he may be asleep/busy/working or whatever.
  • edited March 2014
    Yes, the ReForged approval process is mostly to keep out spam accounts or sometimes people who don't seem like they're really interested in the Community's subject matter (e.g. app or video game developers who don't seem to have any interest in non-digital games). If someone has made a join request that hasn't been approved in a reasonable timeframe they should contact me so we can resolve the situation. Right now I don't have any join requests pending, but human error in the approval process or G+ being weird are always possibilities.
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