MonkeyX on Steam

Monkey Archive Forums/Monkey Discussion/MonkeyX on Steam

Nobuyuki(Posted 2015) [#1]
I know this is a topic that's been discussed before, but after seeing the community page for GameMaker Studio, I wanted to revisit it a bit.

We have an apps section here on the site, which afaik is manually curated by whoever manages the page here (Mark + Simon?). I've found out recently that very similar functionality can be achieved through the Steam community portal using the Workshop functionality, which you can see in action here:

In addition to the previous reasons to get the commercial version of MonkeyX (or MonkeyX Studio, now that BRL has decided to team up to provide this bundle), that being the increased exposure to new users and corresponding bump in sales, the community features of Steam could further help spread the adoption of MonkeyX by providing a way for users of the language to showcase their games on one of the main platforms they'd likely want to publish their game.

As a Steam product, MonkeyX would also get the other community features also seen available on the topbar in the link provided: Discussion forums, shared artwork/screenshots (free hosting for uploads related to the product), video hosting (eg: for tutorials), and so on. All without requiring writing a complicated backend to provide this stuff ourselves.

I alluded to MX really needing another community site which would have a lot of this stuff, to allow the main site to polish its sell page into something more straightforward, but somewhat lamented the fact that we probably wouldn't have anyone willing to put in the effort to create a site like this specifically for our community. If MonkeyX were on Steam, we wouldn't have to -- almost all of those community features already exist right there.

Thoughts? Please check out the included link and maybe hop around a bit and see what the GM people are doing to use Steam's community features. I find it very intriguing stuff.

MikeHart(Posted 2015) [#2]
First, the app section here is NOT currated. Second, to put a product up on steam AND have a discussion/workshop area there, imho it is mandatory to have someone official giving constant support there and we all know how good the official support was on this official board already. You won't believe the amount and types of questions are raised on such boards. And with Monkeys easy nature of getting it to set up and run, I say good luck. It will give the product a bad reputation. Another development tool which I use is imho suffering from a split community and lack of support. I think it won't bring any good to Monkey.

I alluded to MX really needing another community site

Not another, just one. Split communities and it will fire back at you.

Nobuyuki(Posted 2015) [#3]
MikeHart: If it's not manually curated, then how does the site keep people from uploading JS exploits to the apps section? As I said, I'm pretty sure someone has to approve of these apps manually, since the last time I submitted one (albeit quite a while ago), it took some time to appear. That is, however, a bit off-topic.

I'd like to direct the attention towards Steam's ability to provide a community portal as a turnkey solution. The underlying support can be provided by the community provided one which can sustain itself exists. Honestly I believe that this solution is actually better than the one built here, but it has one glaring problem -- this site's community already exists, and the one on Steam does not. So the argument for keeping the status quo is basically self-endorsing. The obvious counter-argument to me would be that improvements cannot be made without a change to the status quo.

So, in light of your reasoning that "splitting" the community could fire back: for the sake of argument, why not consider retiring the forums and app section here and transferring it to the Steam community, which has the more robustly-built and expandable back-end? The main website then could focus on the following two things: 1. A better sell page / front page, and 2. Better documentation with "community features" that the Steam portal wouldn't be able to reliably provide.

That being said, GM:S seems to have multiple portals available to its developers, and doesn't appear to be suffering from it. I believe that may be because they've managed to expand their userbase beyond their own forums. It's not a death knell to have more than one community portal, if either the community is large enough to handle it, or one is clearly superior for certain uses over the other. Both can even co-exist despite superiority in certain functionality, if both portals have functionality which compliment the other.

MikeHart(Posted 2015) [#4]
@Nobuyuki: by "not curated" I ment that there is no pre-selection of apps. You know, the quality doesn't matter. I am sure that Simon looks over it. But anyone can upload it and it will show up.

itto(Posted 2015) [#5]
I like the idea of finding a better suited place for the community, and the idea of Monkey going out of this website into the wild. However, I'm not so sure about Steam as a replacement for this forums. I don't find it particularly attractive and it's full of distracting things going on everywhere. I don't care about seeing all that stuff going on at all times, I just want to see topics and the related messages. Maybe we can find a less noisy place? I have nothing in mind at the moment though.

As for the splitting communities, it's something you simply cannot avoid once the product gets famous enough. It's simply natural to see communities arouse in every corner, like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, unofficial forums, etc... but of course we should focus our efforts in one place.

GarBenjamin(Posted 2015) [#6]
Hey people. I am still visiting the forums of course despite currently testing HaxeFlixel.

Anyway... odd timing... I just dropped in to mention if you wanted to get some good publicity for MonkeyX start joining game jams such as ludumdare and the many others out there. Better yet start featuring game jams right here in the MonkeyX community.

I say odd timing because while on my way in I just noticed a post about GBJam. lol

But yeah getting some events going around here gives people a reason to come here. Make it so the gamejam is MonkeyX GameJam meaning you must use MonkeyX. Better yet have First Timers and Veterans so the new people are on fair ground.

Alright that's it. Just wanted to make the suggestion.

Playniax(Posted 2015) [#7]
Another GameJam could be a nice idea!

itto(Posted 2015) [#8]
Another GameJam could be a nice idea!

I don't know the outcome of the previous one, but if it turned out to be a good idea, why not doing it on a regular basis?

Paul - Taiphoz(Posted 2015) [#9]
That was my intention but life happened and sadly I wont be able to kick another one off now, but pleas some one else do it in my place, this community really needs something like this.

Why0Why(Posted 2015) [#10]
I just recently installed the Studio version and it was a nice clean install with the auto download of the targets. I think it could work on Steam in that version.

Danilo(Posted 2015) [#11]
I don't think Steam is a good thing for MX(2). Who cares about Steam, anyway?

BRL products become more and more open source with every version. See:
- BlitzMax > Libs comes with it as sources
- Monkey-X > OpenSource (HTML5, Desktop), additional commercial targets that come with sources
- Monkey-X2 > fully OpenSource, no restrictions, whatsoever

Monkey-X(2) has nothing to do with Steam. And Google. And Microsoft. MX(2) is an independent project.
And, it's heading open source more and more. It's completely different from anything Steam or Windows or OS X -
MX(2) is not bound to any of those commercial platforms.

Steam is a thing for gamers, an add-on. Made for people playing games, often and mostly kids.
Just another commercial platform. Nobody needs Steam outside the gaming community. Most people can live without it.
I don't need it. My mother doesn't need it. My sister does not need Steam.
A free programming language like MX(2) has nothing to do with Steam... and MX(2) is completely
platform-independent anyway. Independent from 3rd party products like Steam - MX(2) only directly
depends on the underlying OS, and it virtualizes access to the underlying OS to be even more platform-
independent, and to stay above -and independent of- ANY 3rd party platforms.

Supporting SteamOS isn't the problem. It's just another OS and target for MX(2).
Moving the website and community forum to such a specific 3rd party website may be a problem -
because MX(2) has absolutely nothing to do with such a commercial gaming platform.

MX(2) is standing above all that.

Nobuyuki(Posted 2015) [#12]
Danilo you should read my post, since I talk a lot about the community features Steam offers and not much about putting Monkey up for sale on the platform. That particular topic has been discussed to death already. MX2 may very well be a great general-purpose language but this is not what I'm talking about either. I'm talking about Monkey, its use as a game development toolchain, and the (barely existing) community which surrounds it. Practically no one outside of here or the Blitz forums (particularly in amateur game development, Monkey's original target demographic) has even heard of Monkey, and that's a bad thing. I am not in favor of remaining insular, either, although the consequence of that is that this forum will not likely be able to handle any real influx of new users if it were to ever get one.

Whenever I see a discussion of game development tools on other forums, Monkey is almost never mentioned unless one of the core users here happens to be there and brings it up. I am pretty sure that a year ago, there were less than 1000 confirmed users of Monkey based on forum IDs. It has practically no traction in the game development community outside of this small group of dedicated people. Discounting the potential demographic of a place like Steam seems very short-sighted, if we're to assume that people here still want to eventually see Monkey as being considered one of the best toolchains to make games in.

Provided that people actually want to expand Monkey's userbase with fresh blood, the way to sustain a healthy community without it "aging out" with the diehard BRL fans would be to have a place that better suits the expectations of that demographic. People "like" social platforms like GitHub/Steam Workshop/whatever where they can share their creations with others and get some positive feedback from a large interconnected community. It's hyper-networking beyond the small forums and mailing lists of yesteryear. With that in consideration, please go and read my original post again if you want to understand the context in which I'm pitching this idea..

itto(Posted 2015) [#13]
I think Danilo may have misread the original post, however I'd like to address some of his concerns to make sure we are talking about the same thing.

The focus is on creating a community

BRL products become more and more open source with every version.
Open-source doesn't automatically mean community. In fact, even though Monkey has now been on GitHub for some time, the situation regarding the community hasn't improved a bit. It is a big plus towards creating a strong community though, I believe.

Monkey-X(2) has nothing to do with Steam. And Google. And Microsoft. MX(2) is an independent project.
And, it's heading open source more and more. It's completely different from anything Steam or Windows or OS X -
MX(2) is not bound to any of those commercial platforms.

And it will stay that way. A community focused around Monkey development in any of those places you mentioned would do good to Monkey though. We need people who use the language to start talking about it, post resources, make noise, share, etc.

Steam is a thing for gamers [...] Made for people playing games [...] Nobody needs Steam outside the gaming community
If you mean that we should look for a place where game developers gather, instead of gamers, then I think you're right. We need to be where gamedevs, not gamers, gather.

I don't need it. My mother doesn't need it. My sister does not need Steam.
wut? My sis and mom cannot even program, of course they don't need it either... We are talking about people who use Monkey, not people who don't use it.

Anyway, I think many people who have tried Monkey in the past, or try it now, are left disappointed because even though the language is good, the infrastructure is not. Meaning, you are not able to do great things with little hassle like you were able to do with other BRL products. Or to put it in another way, Mark may have spent too much effort into creating a great language, and too little into creating great libraries. Mojo 2 is a big improvement on the graphic department, but it took years. Meanwhile people have looked elsewhere.

So, whatever the place we will end up choosing to focus our community efforts, I think we should focus on making real-world examples to show people how quickly you can achieve great results with Monkey. Bananas inside the downloaded Monkey package are not enough. We need online examples. And since we can compile for HTML5, there's not excuse in not having them working and playable in a browser.

That said, I strongly believe we should make noise on Twitter. All the gamedevs are basically there. Using tags like #gamedev we can be seen by all of them. So people who #gamedev in general will hear about Monkey, and see it working by themselves. There's a lot of movement regarding game development there. And it solves the problem of the splitting communities. Anyone can have its own blog or whatever, and thanks to the hashtags everything will come together anyway. That's a great thing about Twitter, and other places where hashtags are used (but not when they are broken, like on Facebook). So my advice right now would be, everyone starts writing about what he's doing with Monkey (current project's development diary, or simply Monkey examples) somewhere (can be a personal web page, or a topic on these forums, or on, or whatever) and starts posting on Twitter with #gamedev and maybe #monkey-x hashtags at every new entry. This way we can start immediately and the whole game devs on Twitter will hear about Monkey.

Anything else will be harder to realize, because people don't want to leave these forums for a new place (laziness and change), and there would still be the discoverability problem. With Twitter + hashtags, we are automatically discoverable by anyone, and all of us can continue to write in their favorite places. A global hashtag like #gamedev (or #indiedev if you're an indie), plus an hashtag only for monkey, like #monkey-x or whatever we choose. So our new community will form and start to merge with the global gamedev one.


GarBenjamin(Posted 2015) [#14]
Just wanted to mention that Unity3D has a user base of over 4 million people. Yes you read that right... 4 MILLION. The vast majority of these people were gamers with no dev experience at all. The one thing in common for a lot of gamers is that not only do they like playing games... they have their own ideas for games they want to make. Unity, Gamemaker and others did not get such a huge community by targeting developers. They did it by targeting gamers and saying hey you can make your own games here with us.

Just throwing that out as something to think about.

tiresius(Posted 2015) [#15]
A product like this is selling the dream of making games. It is up to the consumer to actually put in the time to do it.
But from brain-to-wallet, it is all about the dream.

It will be interesting to see if BRL can exist with Patreon only or if there will eventually be a package for sale of something here in the future ...