(UPDATED) SAVE THE FORUMS- Petition!

Hello there. Let’s cut to the chase, shall we? The forums are going to close unless we speak up and work to save them. I have created a petition, as you can see below.

Please sign, comment, and most importantly, SHARE it with anyone in the Episode community. I do not have social media, so I am counting on you, on this community, to help spread this to as many people as possible. Don’t hold back. Spam the comments section of this post. Rant your heart out on the petition. We only have a few weeks to do this, so we need to make our voices heard.

Some of you may feel that it is useless, and that they will never listen to us. Not with that attitude they won’t. As consumers, our power is in our numbers. Every signature counts. I’m not giving up on this community- not without standing up for it first.

UPDATE: There are only two weeks left before the forums are scheduled to shut down! The petition currently has:

  • 457 signatures (Not bad, but we still have a ways to go.)
  • 9 promoters (People who gave money to have the petition advertised so it could reach more people)
  • $50 contributed to these promotions
  • 15 signatures (and counting) gained from promotions
  • 174 signatures gained from Instagram (If you haven’t posted it on your Instagram yet, I highly suggest that you do so!)
  • 4 signatures from Reddit (If you have Reddit, promote the petition post there as well)
  • 3,591 views
  • 508 shares
  • 9 comments

The pace of signatures is slowing down a lot, so don’t stop sharing. Don’t stop commenting. Don’t stop believing. We can do this, but we have to do it together.

Time left to save the forums:
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I’m sure some of you have concerns about Change.org spamming you with emails or having your email shared. I had these concerns as well when I joined about a year ago, but I want to assure you that the option to unsubscribe is simple and I have had only positive experiences with the website.

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Definitely support this! I will repeat this time and time again: we’ve been able to make big changes with our voices. (Namely, the animation update from last year that was deleted after it got major backlash.) If enough of us speak up about why this change is a bad idea, they’ll have to listen. We are the very thing that breaths life into Episode and without us, they will have nothing.
Don’t hesitate to use your voice.

What to Aim For
  • Like the original post states, the forums deserve to be kept alive. They have shaped this community and if it’s gone, so is all the many great things that exist because of it.
  • We need to push for better communication with the Episode team in all matters, including these big changes. Games lose players when the communication is weak or nonexistent, and Episode is becoming yet another example of a game that falls into this description.
  • We also need to push for better promotion of community stories. It’s not right to make gem choices the thing that impacts a story’s success. Stories should be promoted based on quality and reader reception and a lot of great stories have been lost to the void because of the current ranking system.
  • Representation on the app has also been lackluster, if you ask me. While there’s many events to focus on creators and stories with MCs of many minority groups, they are often hidden after their temporary time on the shelf. If you don’t know your way around the app, it’s impossible to find past events because they’ve been hidden.
  • The guidelines are too vague and are easily misunderstood by most authors. There has been several incidents of authors having their stories receive a strike or just being removed because they broke a guideline that was hard to understand in the first place. Episode promotes itself as an app for teens around the ages of 13 to 15, but a lot of the content in their stories are far too mature for that age group. The guidelines should apply to any and every story on the app, and they should be a lot more clear than they currently are.

Why a Discord Server isn't the Solution
  • Not only will Episode users have to switch apps, they’ll have to adapt to an app with an entirely different structure. Such a big change can be pretty overwhelming, especially for those looking for help from the community.
  • Similarly to my previous point, the forums are a huge part in helping new authors and creators grow their skills. Because of Discord’s current messaging system, messages are displayed to show the most recent first, which means some might be drowned out by several others and the person that left the message could miss out on valuable assistance. This will discourage people and some will even leave altogether.
  • Discord has a long history of trolls, spammers, creeps, and general misconduct. Because of this, many people will be less eager to join the new server. In fact, the chaos has already been happening in the server.

While the lack of activity is something to be worrying about, a Discord server isn't the solution; at least, not on its own. There's plenty of other, less drastic ways to solve the issue.
  • Rework the forums website. I’ve heard from others that they give up on using the forums if it’s too difficult to use. While this site is easy to use once you’ve gotten the hang of it, some might struggle with familiarizing themselves. A rework to make the site more user-friendly would help improve the activity here.
  • Keep the forums and the Discord server. You could argue that it becomes pricey to keep the domain for the website, as well as the data on it, but with how useful the website is to Episode users, it’s just not worth getting rid of.
  • Improve the app. It’s no secret that the app has seen a decline in these last few years, and a lot of it has to do with the features. The search system isn’t very helpful if you’re not looking for a specific title or author, the home page is messy, and a lot of the features seemingly exist for the sole purpose of making more money. With all this in mind, it’s honestly no wonder people have been leaving the community.

Speaking as someone who was working on several WIPs that were intended for the Episode app, I’m feeling incredibly discouraged to continue making them for the app. I don’t want the quality of my works dwindled in favor of people even being able to view them. At this point, I’m wondering if they’re best posted elsewhere.

Apologies if my reply feels overly negative. I’m just incredibly frustrated seeing an app with great potential make the greediest decisions. I truly hope to see things turn around for the better, as this app holds a special place in my heart.

15 Likes

bump :heartpulse:

1 Like

Bump!

Just sad to see years worth of coding tips, overlays, backgrounds, edits, artworks, friendships and r4r and g4g threads all gone :frowning:

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Bump

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Exactly!!

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We have to be loud. One thing that I would like to add is that, while speaking up about this issue on the forums is a way of speaking up, I do not believe that it is the most effective. Episode expects the people on the forums to be upset about the forums closing. However, if there are posts outside of the forums that express concern (even if they are just regurgitated from a post on the forums), they may be more likely to listen as it shows that this has an effect on way more people than just those who use the forums.

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Agreed, I created a post on instagram to spread awareness outside of forums!

https://www.instagram.com/p/C7zQxQyOVDM/?img_index=1

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bumping! i hope more people see this!

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Bump! Bump! Bump!

Episode can’t say we are being inactive here when they are the ones who spent months making a Discord server when they could have been making announcements here and being active in their own forums. Even when we aren’t making posts the tab is constantly open so we can find answers to our questions.

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This is a great point! We were reasonably active considering their lack of engagement.

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support! i just signed!

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Thank you! Make sure to comment and share if you can.

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Hey everyone! We see your comments and we understand that this is a huge and scary change.

It is scary given that there is a lot of information that has been added over the years to the forums. For that reason the team has copied a lot of information from the forums to ensure that we preserve as much as possible. We’ve been adding helpful templates to our Help Center in Zendesk, and are continuing to update as we can.

We are sure that once used to the Discord, it will become just as beloved as the forums!

If you are new to Discord, I recommend checking out our useful guide here. This is sure to help! :slight_smile:

People want both, though. It’ll be a huge and difficult change to get used to- I personally feel like there’s nothing stopping Episode from using both! Almost all game companies do that.

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While your efforts are appreciated, many in the community feel this decision is misguided, under-explained, and disrespectful as whole to the community. It’s not that we are scared of change, it’s that we feel this is not a good change.

Do our concerns and criticisms matter to the team? I think that last question is a larger one that should seriously be pondered amongst those who made the decision to switch to discord. Why is discord a better option at all? At what point will our voices be heard?

It also seems that the point keeps getting missed here. The majority of the issue isn’t with the change being confusing (it is confusing, but that isn’t the main issue). It is with the fact that it is not a suitable replacement.

Forums threads offer so much room for creative shop designs, story promotion threads, and so much more. It’s actually perfect for that. Discord may work for that, but it isn’t ideal or suitable. Why go with the worse option? Discord is hidden. Forums is a very public and easy way to literally GOOGLE a question and usually you can find a forum thread with help. Forums activity isn’t what it used to be, yes. But just because people aren’t engaging doesn’t mean they aren’t using forums for resources and directing help DAILY.

@Nika_mod

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It’s less a matter of “getting used to a new platform” than it is a matter of the complete destruction of an old platform- as well as all of its content. I understand that the community is working hard to try and preserve as much artwork and as many coding guides as possible, but there will almost inevitably be content that is lost.

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I am used to Discord. I’ve used it for several years at this point (long enough to see how it’s already started its own decline). Confusion isn’t the problem. I simply understand the massive shortcomings of the platform when it comes to being a repository of information. If Episode wants to become Steve Buscemi in that meme saying “what up, young people” in a desperate attempt to connect with newer, younger users they can’t possibly please, that’s their choice. But please stop pretending like this is an improvement for all. It’s not, and it insults our intelligence to suggest otherwise. It would literally cost nothing to allow the forums to become a searchable archive, unless you’re planning on shutting down the entire website as well. You’re destroying a decade’s worth of institutional knowledge and I’ve yet to hear a compelling reason why.

24 Likes

U bring up a good point further.

When the forums are GONE GONE…how will ppl know about the discord

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