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Hey guys, you might know me from the Project Eternity forums. My first few threads were a bit of good-natured trolling, but I would hope that since then I've proven that I'm very interested in discussing games on a deep and serious level. Like many of you my gaming background includes playing classic RPGs by great developers like BIS and Obsidian, and I've played more recent RPGs as well in addition to other genres of games. In an age of blockbuster titles with huge budgets, it's remarkable what Obsidian (and several other studios including inXile) has achieved via Kickstarter, and I believe that this bold and innovative move on the part of the developers has great potential to benefit gaming in general. However, I think that if progress is to be made, we can't simply rely on the production end; the consumers must make efforts as well, and there are many ways to do this, ranging from talking with one's wallet to simply creating and sharing new ideas. In fact, I think that activists, critics, designers, and theorists all have a part to play in the progress of gaming, and I want to foster these efforts by creating a common home for them. The level of discussion in the Project Eternity forums has been very inspiring to me, and I've actively participated in a lot of exciting discussions. I suppose I can only speak for myself, but in my eyes the thing that tends to happen is that, in the course of giving suggestions specific to Project Eternity, we reference other games, and then we find ourselves making theoretical statements about RPGs in general, and finally we end up dreaming up cool stuff that is probably beyond the intended scope of Project Eternity. While I'm ultimately sure such ambitious suggestions don't hurt, it's got me thinking about whether there might be a better place for some of the brainstorming. Project Eternity will be a great game, but it's obviously not going to include all of our crazy ideas. However, that doesn't mean that the ideas that are left out aren't great ideas, and I think it would be a shame for such ideas to languish, buried by tons of other Project Eternity-specific stuff. Needless to say, I'm not proposing a replacement for the Project Eternity forums, but I think all parties stand to benefit from there being a place where broader discussion can take place among like-minded individuals, and to promote other games similar to Project Eternity. To that end I've been doing some searching for a gaming community based around discussing the theory of game design and ideally also promoting more grass-roots development and consumer activism. The thing is that I have not really found anything that entirely suits these purposes. RPGnet seems to be the place to go for tabletop RPGs but it's a bit lacking in video game-related content. The Forge used to be another popular place for such things, but now it's closed. Gamasutra has some quality blogs, and there are a lot of other cool game design blogs out there, but ultimately I don't quite think blogs achieve the objective. I'd like to see a place where everyone, not just the minority who are committed enough to run their own personal blog, can share their ideas about game design and promote projects they feel are worthy. I just don't know of such a place currently, though feel free to correct me if you do. With this in mind, I was just like "what the hell, I'll give it a go". Yesterday I started messing around with creating a free forum, and I'm a complete noob at it, but I'd really like this to succeed because I think something like this could greatly improve the gaming experiences of those involved. If any of this resonates with you or you've always wanted somewhere to post your ideas about RPGs or gaming in general, I encourage you to come visit what I've got so far. As you can tell the work has only just started, and there are plenty of opportunities for anyone to help out and have their own influence on this endeavor (nothing's quite set in stone yet, especially the name). Please feel free to post in there or on this thread if you have input or suggestions, or if you feel like this is enough of a worthwhile endeavor that you'd like to assist me. -mcmanusaur