It has been years since I have been truly the ego-driven maniac that ran this forum, did the PR, wrote tools etc etc, life just catches up on you as priorities shift.
I still would hope to think that among the members, there are those who are young that can give the much needed fresh boost and/or approach, with energy and the right priority. Looking at the results of the poll so far, that should definitely be the case.
Yet, perhaps the new adults of this era, are not as keen on this as we were at that age.
Yeah, it's an interesting culture where you have some guy playing games and making funny voices on YouTube getting 60 million views per video, and a few thousand for someone that is showing something useful or showcasing some feature that someone put dozens of hours into. I think it encourages people to go after the shallow side of perceived fame that they don't really have to work for.
The other suggestion I read is to just keep the forum up, and don't do a thing anymore. Led it run as-is, because a lot of people still need it, and it would not cost any time, just a little money.
Of course, that could be done, and to be frank, is already the case for some time, as no substantial changes in terms of the website have been made, apart from the tools blog, and the Let's MultiEx series. We've also gone back to an open forum, and limited rules set.
There IS a lot of talent here, and excellent people, that could do anything if they wanted to. That's where the defined projects could come in, something tangible to put your teeth in and gain fame and glory for all eternity (that's quite a long time, so w00t).
This is probably how it will continue. Trying to focus all of the talent on this forum would be like herding cats too, it's unlikely we'll ever realize our full potential on a concentrated set of projects at once. Even if only due to people like me that can only spare the time and effort for short periods, and when they do they want it to be on things they really want to be working on. But I'm also too old to care about the fame side of it anymore, as it wears off after a few million-downloads projects, so I don't go after projects that will obviously be popular. It seems that a lot of the more talented members of this community and others that I've met have similar leanings, whether they don't give a shit anymore or they never did, there's always a lot of people putting a lot of time and unique skill into these obscure projects that they value more than most other people ever will. Something about that is admirable, even if it doesn't lead to Kotaku coverage and the devout support of the terrible gaming press.
I think it becomes clear with a certain measure of success that it's all fleeting. Millions of people were downloading my Half-Life AI project 15 years ago as it got regular media coverage and showed up on every PC magazine CD on the planet at some point, and now no one knows what it is. I made a viral music video when I was 16 before YouTube even existed, it survived through FTP, made its way through peer to peer networks, and later made it to YouTube, where there are a bunch of instances of it being uploaded and some of those even have over half a million views all alone
. I made another viral video a few years back slapping Ivy's titties around with mocap, it was good for LOLclickbait and so it exploded, but it provided no substance and got none in return. In the end, if you add all of this crap together, a lot of people know who I am while having no idea who I am. This makes me wonder just how many other people like me are out there contributing quietly to this giant cultural melting pot of software and media crap, eventually coming to the shared conclusion that it's not really worth bothering and refocusing that effort.
I think all of that is to say, who gives a shit? Just make some shit, and find meaning in your own shit. Maybe share it with others after you spend a lot of time on your shit and others start to like the smell of it. I think when it comes to making some shit and not giving too much of a shit about the shit, Xentax is a pretty good outlet, and I like that.