Hey Famiclub

Chat about video games, graphic design, whatever!
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Fruitality
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FC-ID: FMC-NMJ
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Location: Brisbane, AUS

Hey Famiclub

How's everyone doing?

It's December! What the hell. The last 4 months or so have been a whirlwind. First of all let me just say that even though I haven't been contributing much lately, it's been super cool to pop in every now and again and see that a handful of people are still coming to post about what they're up to.

As Life Stuff always gets busier toward the end of the year, it gets a bit harder to think about creative and interesting stuff to share here on Famiclub.

For one reason or another, this year has been one where I've probably played less video games than any other year. I've been busy with design and web work, which is great, but it's not really the kind of stuff that's interesting to share in this setting, since it's just commercial work and not cool little video game related personal projects.

It's been super cool to run and design for the Famiclub Arena jams but, to be honest, they actually probably added extra stress and deadlines on top of my life which I didn't really need in addition to my day job.

I guess where I'm going with this is:


- What would you want to see in Famiclub going forward?


More monthly discussion or design events? A retro game club?

It would be great to see more engagement with Arena, but I understand why people don't want to sign up for a whole-ass design project several times a year.


- Famiclub is half Video Games and half Graphic Design, but it's much easier to talk about video games.

It's hard to talk about design, and what's good and what's bad. And I don't really want to be doing like.. Brand analysis or UI and usability writeups.

Let us know if you have any thoughts on how we could open things up to more design-related discussion aside from 'this thing looks cool!'


- Does the forum format actually work after all?

This was fun to set up, and it's cool to mess around with Old Internet stuff, but to be honest it might be the format that has put some people off? Would we actually be better suited to like... one big long topic-less thread for general chat and banter? More of an IRC-style group-chat format? Or an online browser based custom chat experience?

I think there's a barrier of engagement when working with a forum that discourages people from sharing small things because they have to 'make a whole thread' - which is why the 'What are you Playing' type threads work so well.


- Getting the Word out

Lastly, getting people's attention to join and then actually engage with something like this on the internet is hard work hey (which is why I really appreciate you, the girl reading this).

This place was started because I didn't want to talk about Famicase on twitter anymore, but hey, many of the Famicase-adjacent people are still on twitter.

Early next year I'd like to run Arena III (perhaps with an altered format) and do another push for some publicity, since I haven't posted anything online about Famiclub since Arena II.

Perhaps we can all figure out how to tweak things a bit, and get the good word out to the internet again in the lead-up to Famicase 24.



Anyway, those are some thoughts I've had rolling around for a while. Would love to hear from you all about how we can make things great for next year :)
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andrewelmore
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Hey man! Thank you again for all the work you've done on both the back and front ends of all of this.

I think I can try to verbalize what works about Famiclub for me if that's at all a helpful perspective? I just do not want to talk about Graphic Design in general anymore. Not in the "talking shop" sense, at least. I feel like there hasn't been much to talk about for the last few years anyway, beyond crypto/ai bros stealing all our shit, Adobe being bastards, and people being very loud about Figma.

However! Video games are what led me down the dark path of graphic design, and they're still where my favorite expressions of the discipline lie. Games are still my primary source of design inspiration, and the most exciting applications of our collective skill sets exist--in my view at least--in interactive digital space. The "games-adjacent graphic designers" scene has been my only real constant digital community over the last decade. This is the only crowd I really want to actually talk about video games and design with. I'm extraordinarily grateful to have found other people who feel similarly! I don't want to go to like, reddit or whatever. And it's not like Discord is going to magically unveil a completely new UX flow that makes it actually usable.

But I love hanging out with our little Famicase crew. And now that twitter is broken, we've all splintered around the internet. I know Famiclub hasn't been nearly as active as maybe we'd like yet, but I still haven't closed this tab since I first opened it, and it feels good to know it's here, even if I don't always necessarily know what to say.
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malyzar
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I think I somehow deleted my earlier comment, but I'm back and want to reiterate all of what Andrew said. Huge props for getting this thing up and running and for keeping it alive. I do wish it was more active, but even if it's just a few of us: I love Famiclub!

The main thing I would like to see is more cool folks hanging out on a regular basis. I don't have any great ideas for making that happen, but I'm very eager to help!

I personally like the forum set up, but am open to other ideas. I agree that starting a new topic can be daunting. But other methods have drawbacks, too. Like trying to bring something up in one big chat can feel interruptive. It's also easy to miss out on an active conversation and come in after the topic you cared about has been left behind. And potentially harder to navigate and refer back to old conversations, etc.

Forums are nice because conversations are segmented out, allowing for more focus and a slower pace. And the conversations don't ever technically end, they just go dormant. On that note, one potential way to handle design events (or other types of events) is to leave off the deadline. It could just be a thread with a prompt or other activity, and people can participate at their leisure. Maybe it could be pinned for a month or whatever, but the window never closes -- it can be revitalized at any point.

But to be clear, I'm not married to the forum idea at all. I just like 'em. And that's probably because this year is the most I've ever used them. So maybe I'm in a honeymoon period that everyone else has grown out of. Maybe there are better, newer ideas. Totally open to it!

I wish I had a more helpful response. But hopefully my enthusiasm can make up for the lack of great ideas. I'm here to help, lol. :character-yoshi:
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breakfastcowl
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Like Andrew, I've pinned this place in its perennial tab and do check in every now and then. There's a certain warmth with it being there, and towards the forum format in general. Long gone are my '1000 post' days where I wouldn't shut up but I like piping in on occasion, even if most of my involvement doesn't feel fully-formed enough for its own thread. I think a more open-ended approach might work well, "dormant" threads revitalized whenever there's something of worth to inject into it. Those ongoing thread catches like "Now playing" are also nice to have. I do think this place's design/game overlap and Famicase jump-off is a good niche, even if I don't have much to say on the design front. I enjoy reading the thoughts from others.
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Fruitality
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Location: Brisbane, AUS

Damn, sorry your post got deleted @malyzar. I actually migrated my web host in the last couple of days so it's possible that you happened to post in the middle of all that and it was sent to the Shadow Realm

Anyway, I also super appreciate all your comments, and your dedication to checking in and hanging out! I also really like the forum format - so with a lack of any immediate better ideas, I reckon it's good to stick with what we have for now.

As Matt said, live group chats etc also have their downsides. It's great that I could come back today and bump a post from months ago and it doesn't feel like its interrupting anything.

Maybe we just need to encourage more small threads, to reduce 'new thread anxiety'.

RE: @andrewelmore Talking about Graphic Design - Hard Agree. I also don't want to talk about Trends for 2024 or whatever-the-fuck outside of my day job. But also I don't think that was supposed to be the intention of the 'Graphic Design' part of Famiclub - more-so that we could make a post or thread like "The menu UI in Signalis fucking rules check out these icons!" and know that it's gonna be received well by likeminded people.

Do you think there's any benefit in broadening the scope of Famiclub from 'A Video Game + Graphic Design Community' to like .. 'A Video Game + Creative Culture Community' or some other wording that might encompass and encourage more general Video Game adjacent creative folks including music, developers, artist etc - who may see 'Graphic Design' in the name and think 'that's not for me.' ? There's surely be a better way of wording that than 'Creative Culture'.

@breakfastcowl love to hear Famiclub described with warmth, and I think you're spot on with that. I think there's a real coziness with checking in here which is super nice. And that atmosphere probably clashes with deadline-based jams. We'll workshop some ways to make that sort of thing more of an open ended creative thing rather than a homework assignment.

Once again, thanks all for checking in with your opinions and kind words! Love to have you all here :)

Long live Famiclub! (stolen from Matt's deleted comment lol)
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