Is the FP Good for the Community?

  • Plasmey_401k
    21st May Member 1 Permalink

    Let's start off with some declarations. If I mention the question "Why is this on FP?" in this post, you can assume I am refering to the psychological aspect rather than the hard numbers of FP, which haven't changed in years and should be common knowledge (if you don't know, Jacob1 mentions it here: https://tpt.io/.312189). Also, there seems to be some dissonance between what the community (and I use "community" very loosly here, since I'm assuming that they are the vocal minority based on votes and time on FP) believes the qualifications of FP are vs. the actual qualifications of FP (i.e. not breaking the rules, getting upvotes quickly). Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the Vocal Minority's beliefs are that every FP save must have these qualities: 1) it must have a function, 2) it must not be something that is avalible on other platforms (i.e. art), and 3) it must have work put into it (this one I agree with). These rules, in my often wrong oppinion, seem to have appeared out of nowhere.

    But if I were to talk about art saves, I would have mentioned it in the title. What I want to know is whether the Front Page is good for our community. The obvious answer would be "Yes, of course!" for a myriad of good reasons. Cheifly, it provides something for makers to work towards. TPT have a very different community (if there even would be one) without some incentive to apply oneself for. If By Date was the only section avalible, things would be very different, obviously. Creators would have to make things for the sole point of making things, rather than 15 minuets of fame. But isn't that what this game is about? TPT is for creativity in (probably) all shapes and forms, not some bland content farm. I'd rather see electrical engineering than social engineering to get attention, but when there is a means to get fame, there will be people who will cheat the system. Of course, those people are in the vast minority, and I haven't really seen that many people who are interested in FP only.

    Let's all remember the Powdercoin incident. I was around at the time, but I'm pretty sure I just didn't go online that day, but from what I've managed to learn about it showed that the FP is generaly not needed. If anyone (again, used loosely) can permote a save to FP, than its significance is vastly lowered and the community survived. Of course, this may have been because it is in the nature of April Fools updates to last one day, but still, there were only very small amounts of rioting. Nothing neurotoxin would fail to handle (joke).

    Looking at the FP now, a few of the saves there are... contriversial, to say the least. Words have been exchanged, comments have been purged (which I think is the right call, but that's a forum post for another time), and the nature of TPT has, once again, been questioned. Save creators know what can happen when they post (ignoring the ones who comment "Why the downvotes," etc.) and so the arguement that I will make can be considered largley invalid, but important to at least consider. When a save that doesn't fit the Arbitrary Mold of Goodness(tm), the vocal minority will heckel it. Everyone knows this, espically save creators (a category which no longer includes me, so take that with a pinch of salt), but I can imagine that it doesn't feel good to hear it, unless it's an objectivly awful save, which is, by nature, entierly subjective (for the record, everyone but me is wrong). Large arguements have erupted on these saves, tearing the purpose of the comments away from discussing the save and essentially launching into a political debate. This is, and I am quite confident in my oppinion, definatly not good.

    I don't have the hard numbers, but the majority of heated exchanges seem to have came from the Front Page, which is unsupprising. Obviously, there can never be a community that is always at peace, but it seems like having FP around is like leaving nuclear waste in the corner and never acknowledging it. It's harming us subtely, but it has been there for so long that it would be weird to mention it.

    To summarise, I believe that the Front Page is not good for this community. I think it is tearing us apart (and, more importantly, helping me procrastinate by writing leangthy forum posts) and rewriting the narrative of The Powder Toy in a harmful way. I don't think we can get rid of it, though; it seems too ingrained in the game's culture to change, and I fear it may be our downfall.

    As a postscript, I know that changing something like this would be boatloads of work and I expect nothing to come of this post. I wouldn't want to cause any more work other than reading to this point in the post (admitantly, a lot of work), and I don't want to come off as whiney or entitled. I'm just curious to see how others feel and to put my thoughts out there for the good(?) of the community.

  • LBPHacker
    21st May Developer 4 Permalink
    I personally think (more as a creator than a staff member) that the advantages of well-liked saves being promoted and given a bit of special treatment far outweigh the disadvantages. The most important advantage here is the power to reward authors, inspire other creators and showcase ongoing trends, while the disadvantages are, as far as I can tell, limited to the whining about what and how quickly gets on and off FP and whether it "belongs". This we can and do deal with, when it becomes uncivilised enough.
  • Plasmey_401k
    21st May Member 1 Permalink

    I totally see where you're coming from. I'm on the fence about this issue, and I think both sides have really good points. I do wonder if there would be a way to get everyone (most people) on board with how FP works, though. I think having large ourbreaks of arguments unrelated to the save's subject is bad and hurts the creators as well as reinforces a false idea of what people should strive to do.

  • coryman
    21st May Member 2 Permalink

    A lack of FP would really make it harder to find good saves though. Looking right now, at least 10 of the 15 FP saves would interest me enough to click (though I have already seen them), while about 3-5 of the recently uploaded ones look interesting. I suspect a lot of the anger on FP is just because it's there and it's visible; if all the trolls and immature users were forced to comment on new saves, I would imagine a lot of newer inexperienced users would recieve hate for "spamming" the save browser with "low-quality" saves, and it would make it a lot more intimidating for new members of the community.

    I've been using TPT for years, and it's had FP for as long as I can remember. There have been ups and downs, but for the most part it's been good. There does seem to be an unusually high amount of complaining recently, but it seems to me that's mostly from a few very active users with very strong opinions, creating the illusion of a consensus
    EDIT: A point I forgot to make. I disagree about front page encouraging people to make certain types of saves just for the popularity- I think the people who really enjoy making things like art or computers do it regardless, and the people who do just seek attention would probably do that regardless

    Edited once by coryman. Last: 21st May
  • Fusionftw
    22nd May Member 1 Permalink

    @Plasmey_401k (View Post)

    While I do think that the FP is flawed (literally saw a save that was just LAVA(WATR)), it is vital, just like coryman said.

     

    I think the FP should be reworked, making the criteria harder to acheive. Currently, only a few votes (2 or so) and views shoots the save right up to the first position. Saves should instead need at least 4 votes, 20 views or so, and no more than 1 downvote to even reach FP for a second. But, this could be too strict.

     

    I also think that with enough reports, a save should be demoted from FP, with a moderator's approval of course. That would weed out the low-effort, made in 5 minute saves, but would come with flaws of its own. This brings up the age-old question: Who determines what saves are crap? If we give moderators that power, the moderation team could choke TPT's influx of new saves. If we give users that power, TPT would be dead in a day.

     

    The only choice is to live with the current FP. Making rules to prevent low effort, "crappy" saves would kill the community. Removing it entirely would mean a lack of a place to find "good", quality saves. Making the critera to reach FP could possibly work, but might prevent a whole horde of users from getting their saves in the spotlight.

    ____

     

    @Plasmey_401k (View Post)

    I know what 2 saves you meant when you were talking about controverisial FP saves. The reason why those comments were nuked (and people were supposedly banned) was the fault of immature users, not the save makers.

     

    Art saves are another hotly debated topic, that you discussed, too. I think that they shouldn't be exculded from FP. Using your "Arbitrary rules of goodness", even though art can be made on other platforms, doesn't mean that TPT shouldn't have it. Deivantart is mainly used to sell art, or as a portforlio. Reddit has completely different rules for art and has a different feedback system. Imgur is meant to host images to display in posts. Giphy is also meant to host gifs/images, and is vastly different from TPT in terms of feedback.

     

    Lol, this is the big brain forum thread, since we're all posting paragraphs.

    Edited 4 times by Fusionftw. Last: 22nd May
  • Plasmey_401k
    22nd May Member 1 Permalink

    Firstly, thanks for your responces! I really enjoyed hearing your thoughts!

    Coryman, I definatly agree that finding good saves would be harder without an FP. I do admit to not thinking it completly through with how it would affect new users, and I am now realising how awful that could be. Conversly, I've seen new users "accidently" get FP and recieve heckeling for it, which would discourage me, I'm sure. I would like to note your edit about saves designed to get there. I haven't seen any of those (other than the promptly deleted "Get me to FP" saves), and I realize it was probably silly of me to mention it, but I've seen sites like Reddit go down the rabbit hole of dumpster fires with all sorts of attention-craving and validation shenanigans. I suppose it leaves a bad taste in my mouth...

    Fusionftw, I also agree with you (lots of agreeing here, I suppose the only person I really disagree with is myself...). The way FP functions could benifit from a retooling, but what sort of changes would need to be throughly discussed. If anything were to come from it, I'd suggest some sort of public democracy thing. Report demoting is a thing, but I also think it could be too eaisly exploitable, depending on the circumstances. To your second point, yeah, those comment sections were scary. I suppose it may have hit me harder than I thought, as I always (perhaps too idealisticly) envisioned TPT as sort of a safe haven from typical internet behavior. I am a firm supporter of art saves on FP (provided that they have effort put into them, like every other type of save that ought to be there). I only threw that bit about other platforms in because it came from one of the comment sections on those saves. I personally think that's completly not true.

    Again, thank you all for your responces! I really enjoy being able to have a good conversation, espically during these times!

  • coryman
    22nd May Member 1 Permalink

    It is nice having a civil conversation to be honest! I respect that you're open to discussion :P
    I suppose my question would be, how do downvotes currently affect front page saves? I think they're the most "democratic" way to judge saves- the entire point of voting is to show the community's opinion- so perhaps having too high of a dislike:like ratio could lead to demotion (if it doesn't already)?

    Overall, I agree- optimising the front page would be nice, but too many suggestions I've seen either come from a standpoint of "We need to remove art", or "None of my saves get FP and I blame other peoples' bad taste". This is the first FP-related thread I've seen in a long time that's not like that tbh. There are a lot of factors to consider though- how the experience would be for new players, how old players will find the changes, how more controversial things (like art) will be handled... So even raising points that aren't currently much of an issue (like attention-grabbing saves) is good, or it could become a thing later on

  • EnganK
    22nd May Member 1 Permalink


    Some observations made on the basis of several of my saves. Two of them (not spark mase and spaceships parts) I did for a long time and saved in the cloud. The third - about terraforming - I saved to disk and saved to the cloud for publication only. He hit the FP. Conclusion: save on FP or not depends on how long it was saved in the cloud, even if it was not published. Noob bombs and memes are saved only once and are immediately published, and then fall on FP after some upvotes. And masterpieces require a very long work and a lot of save. Publish them long after the first save to the cloud. And they don’t get to FP. Sorry for my bad English.

  • LBPHacker
    22nd May Developer 1 Permalink
    That's actually a well-known fact. There's even a practice to avoid getting FP by publishing your save a few hours or even days after it was uploaded.
  • Lockheedmartin
    22nd May Moderator 1 Permalink
    Here's what I say - after awhile the frontpage doesn't actually matter. People take the whole status as being a sign of quality and approval. The whole system is taken too seriously, even though no one's livelihood is depending on any sort of popularity. There's no monetization like Youtube. No one is paying their rent or feeding the families from saves getting to the frontpage.

    No one gains anything tangible by being on the frontpage. Your save gets more up votes and then slowly fades away. Nothing distinguishes the save from other saves that haven't been on the frontpage. There's no award, badge, or trophy. That's fine and I'd say perfect.

    The algorithm for the frontpage barely attempts to pretend a save is trending, but otherwise it's terrible. Everyone's save is terrible and everyone's save is excellent. It's subjective between users - we have different demographics that demand different types of saves.

    The frontpage cycles through and introduces new saves every week. Creating a save that you or anyone else may find to be interesting or high quality doesn't automatically entitle said save to be given special status. Really the frontpage should just cycle through saves at a rate where people can see and enjoy new saves. This could be through recommendations or simply giving a random selection of saves related to their viewing history. That way no one wins or loses.
    Edited 6 times by Lockheedmartin. Last: 22nd May