This page lists the rules you should follow to avoid getting banned, and to avoid getting your saves or posts locked, hidden, demoted or deleted.
Moderators make the final calls on the interpretation of these rules. This is not an exhaustive list - if you find an innovative way of being a nuisance that isn't listed here, you could still be banned for it. Generally, you will be fine as long as you (a) use common sense, and (b) pay attention if a moderator tells you to stop doing something.
No self-voting. This equates making more than one account, and then using those accounts to vote for your own saves, or even someone else. It's very obvious when it happens, we can see this easily. People get banned for doing this. Don't do it. It's still possible to make an account for multiple people to use and post saves on, provided no votes are made with the group account, and no posts are made on the forums with it.
As an extra precaution, we must warn you and your family members to NOT VOTE ON THE SAME SAVES. It looks highly suspicious, and may result in a ban. We cannot independently verify that the accounts belong to different people.
General save contents
- Please don't swear excessively. Saves containing excessive swearing or rude language will be unpublished.
- No hate saves please. So no shooting Jews, killing Bieber, etc.
- No penis drawings. Or any other explicit or non-explicit sex please. We like to think this is a game that people can play with their family around. Don't post anything too inappropriate.
- Don't make laggy saves. If a save is so laggy that it crashes the game for some people, it's just really annoying. Saves that do make it to the front page that purposely lag the game will be demoted.
Asking for votes
Don't ask for votes. Do not have anything relating to or mentioning votes inside the actual save.
- Saves that remind you of or point out votes.
- Boxes or signs that keep a numerical counter of the current number of votes.
- Saves that request you not to downvote, which in the process of reminding you about votes, is essentially like asking for a half-vote.
- Saves that suggest commenting if you downvote.
- Saves that "thank" for votes in any form or shape.
- Arrow shaped objects indicating for a person to vote.
- "Vote farming", which is producing a save which promises improvements for a set amount of votes.
- Saves that allow copying or any other activity in exchange for a vote.
- View farming or any other type of farming that may arise later is also still against the rules.
If your stuff is awesome, you shouldn't have to beg for popularity to get votes. People tend to downvote when they see a lot of this anyway, it is not effective.
Signs and logos
- Keep the number of logos and signs to a minimum. They not only slow the game down, but can also make saves unappealing for people to use. Saves that contain excessive numbers of logos will be removed from the front page or even unpublished.
- The front page isn't really meant to be an advertising spot. You can link to as many directly related saves as you want, but if you link to more than one or two unrelated saves, this is just too much advertising, and it will probably be removed from the front page.
- No fake update or similar fake notification signs.
- No "Thanks for FP!" signs, signs listing how many times you've gotten front page before, etc. People went over the top with it in the past, putting massive light-up, pixel-drawn signs thanking for FP in their saves, so it is now against the rules.
Art and text-only saves
Saves are much better when they actually use some of the features of the game.
- Don't make text-only saves. They will be removed from the front page should they ever get there.
- Any element suggestion save will be removed from the front page. It's recommended that you make a thread on the forum, so it's more official and you can get actual criticism from developers and other users. You can make the save and link to it on the thread if you want.
- Art saves are not against the rules. However, art saves that only rely on the deco layer are generally removed from the front page. Art using elements may stay longer if it's more impressive.
No image plotting. If you have to use a program to draw out pixels from an image outside of Powder Toy without drawing it by hand, then don't be surprised when the save gets deleted and you get banned. Jojobond has his on the topmost votes because he was the first to figure out how, but the grandfather rule no longer applies.
Don't claim others' work as your own. If you didn't make it, don't resave it for yourself, this is taking credit for something you didn't make, and can take votes away from the original author. You can favorite a save instead of publishing a copy if you want to see it later, or you can resave it privately (by making sure the "Publish" checkbox is not ticked when saving it).
This doesn't mean you can't modify or improve saves though; building on the works of others is encouraged. If you give credit to the original author, it is usually OK to resave unless the author specifically prohibits it.
Also, note that we do not protect ideas in Powder Toy, only implementations. Moderators will only take action in response to a report if there has been direct copying (i.e. at least some part of a copied save is virtually identical to the original), but not if it just works on a similar concept to the older save.
Tags are for categorising saves. This means they should be objective, accurate descriptions of what the save contains. For example: "city", "electronics", "reactor", display".
They should not be:
- opinions (e.g. "nice", "horrible", "cool", "boring")
- insults (e.g. "youareanidiot")
- rude words
- irrelevant (e.g. tagging a city as "walrus")
Inappropriate or irrelevant tags can be reported by using the report button for that save and mentioning that the report is about the tags. If you report an abusive tag, don't delete it - moderators can only check who made a tag if if is is still there!
- Don't make rude or offensive comments.
- Criticism of a save is allowed. However, this should be kept reasonably polite, and should preferably be constructive. Avoid insults (e.g. "you are an idiot who makes rubbish saves").
- Don't spam adverts for your save everywhere (people tend to downvote if they see this anyway).
Report a save for breaking any of the rules, it is not just for inappropriate saves and stolen saves. You may also report a save for the comments or tags on it, even if it's your own. This is the easiest way to notify a moderator of something they may need to delete or unpublish. They can also see who creates tags, so if there is a large amount of tag spam, reporting may be better than deleting the tags yourself, losing the data of who made them.
You can send a report by clicking the "Report" button when opening a save in the game. Alternatively, you can contact a moderator directly, though this will usually receive a slower response than sending a report (since all moderators can see and act on reports, instead of just one moderator).
Some notes about what NOT to do when reporting saves:
- Do not misuse reports. It wastes moderator's time, and may lead to saves wrongfully deleted. If you misuse the system we have the right to ban without warning. Do not spam in them either.
- The more information, the better. We can do research to try and figure out what you're talking about, but if you just say "it's stolen" and the save reported isn't well known, the report will probably be ignored. Include the ID of the ORIGINAL save in reports, the author of the original and ID of the save being reported are not needed. If you do not know the original ID, you can try including the author's name, but if you have trouble finding it, chances are the moderator reading it also will, and will ignore it.
- Do not ask for saves to be removed from the front page. It might not be good, or maybe you don't think it belongs there, but you don't need to report every bad save, or every art save, that ever gets onto the front page. They will be removed eventually if they don't deserve to be there, but a report will not get anything removed. If you don't like it, try voting it off instead.
The moderators can browse the saves index like everyone else, but it takes time to find things that people would report, so sending reports for stolen or otherwise rule-breaking saves is helpful, otherwise the rule-breaking save may not be found.
Forum rules also apply to groups, and moderators are members and moderators of all groups by default (in case of problems that can't be dealt with from a normal user)
- Use proper grammar and spelling so others can understand you. Avoid posting any curse words or foul language. Using **** instead to replace foul language is OK. If you don't speak English, use google translate so that others can read what you say. Please be polite, as trolling is a quick way to get threads locked.
- Spam is against the rules here. Major offenders will be temporarily banned. If you don't have something useful to say, then don't post it at all. Double posting is prevented within a day due to a forum-wide software limitation on them. This also applies to bumping, which is when you post in an old thread in order to bump it back to the top of the most recent threads. This is only really allowed if your bumping post has something relevant to the topic, or a serious question is left unanswered in a help thread. Otherwise it is considered necroposting. Generally, try not to post in a thread more than a month old unless you have something useful to say.
- When you make a new thread, try to make your thread title as descriptive as possible. If people don't know what's in a thread, they'll never read it. Similarly, avoid using all caps or unusual characters, they're painful to read. If we can't figure what's in your thread from the title alone, don't be surprised if it gets locked.
- Don't impersonate people with similar names, or use someone else's account here. Expect to be banned if you do, there's not much tolerance for it here. Multiple people using a single account specifically designed for that purpose is fine, as long as you don't post on the forums or break any rules with it.
- Please do not post large images. Many people still use slow internet, and large images will prevent them from reading your threads. If you want, post a hyperlink to the large image instead.
- No "+1" posts, if you agree strongly enough then you can post why, otherwise don't post at all.
- Please don't talk about stuff the mods or admins are doing. Conversation about people who've recently been banned tends to cause drama, and spams threads with unrelated info to the original topic. If you don't know why they've done something, ask a mod yourself using the Conversation feature.
- Don't ask how to be a moderator. There are no guidelines to follow for being made one, and the status is given for private reasons. New moderators are rarely promoted, and will be handpicked by Simon if there is ever a need for more. If you do ask about it, the chances of being made a moderator become significantly smaller.
- Please don't advertise for other games, forums, programs, services or bagels outside of The Powder Toy here. We have enough activity dealing with just Powder Toy. This includes links to unofficial discord servers.
- Piracy, or condoning piracy, is not tolerated. This includes, but is not limited to, posting links to pirated software, links to piracy websites, or talking about it in general.
- Don't be a back seat moderator. Defined as a user who acts like a moderator, but doesn't hold an actual spot as one. This gets very annoying, and only a real moderator knows which rules to enforce properly at which times. Calling "necro" in a thread may even get you banned. Don't ask for threads to be locked either unless they are yours.
- Don't be a troll. Trolls are just very annoying for everyone to deal with, and you will be more likely banned than others that follow the rules more often. This includes trolling anywhere, or in any thread / group / PM.
We don't have rules specifying what you can change in the code, you are free to change whatever you want. These rules only affect how you release the mod when finished, and should be followed to make sure your account stays secure and the GPL license followed.
- PLEASE don't include your powder.pref file if you post a Powder Toy mod! Any smart person can take this file and login as you in an instant. The same applies even if you're not posting a mod. This has happened many times before on accident, and the results are never pretty. If we catch you posting something with this in it, the link will be deleted until you remove this file.
- Always post the source code for your mod alongside the link to your mod. Otherwise it will similarly be deleted, since no one can tell if there are viruses or other malicious code inside. This is because The Powder Toy is licensed under the GNU Public License (GPL). This means that it is required by copyright law to release the complete source code for all public releases you make.
- Do not upload viruses. This should be obvious, but some people have uploaded suspicious links with no source code, that seem to cause large annoyances to anyone who runs the program. If we can't tell if it's a mod or not, the post will be removed, and you may be banned.
- Do not post mod announcements. These are threads that announce a mod that will be released in a year or months from the thread. They may also ask for suggestions. Most of these never end up getting released for a few months, or ever, and just give false hope to the people who think it's real. If you want suggestions, there is the feedback forum, and a mod suggestion thread. You can post these threads if you have proof you have started (ex. Github commits, or a few elements made)
- Do not post lua scripts or ask for help with lua scripts in the Powder Toy mods subforum. No matter how much like a mod it is, it still belongs in the Lua scripting subforum.