How to Keep Interest in Keen from Fading?

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Gridlock
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How to Keep Interest in Keen from Fading?

Post by Gridlock »

A fair warning, this is going to be one of those kind of threads.
Edit: It seems my language came off as more intense than I really meant it. I'm not trying to be overly negative here.

I can't help but feel that ever since the Keen 9 hype died down, interest in Keen has waned. With the big finale done, people got their closure and sort of moved on. While it is true that the forum has been more active in the past few months, for much of 2012 it alternated between dead silence and stupid flamewars. Maybe it's just me, but I just haven't been able to get as enthusiastic about anything Keen related lately, and I don't think I'm the only one. It seems like every time something big comes around to get excited about, it just sort of falls through the cracks (remember the TUIT parallex demo?). Even amazing projects like Valentines Keen and Netkeen Vorticons aren't getting me as excited as they should.

What do you guys think? Are other people starting to lose interest in Keen? Is modding just not as exciting anymore? Are we all just growing up and moving on? Or is everything going great and I'm just imagining this?

I feel like this community needs something big to reinvigorate it. I don't know if that means some massive fangame/mod project, a simple forum change, or another "acquire Keen rights" movement, but I for one want something to rekindle interest in Keen.
Last edited by Gridlock on Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:16, edited 4 times in total.
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Nospike
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Post by Nospike »

I think that people should just expect a bit less from the community. After TUIT everyone got hyped for what will happen next and then were disappointed because nothing happened next. What's really missing is some smaller scale mods (Vorticons for example), Szemi has greatly helped by making Martinez McMeyer which are a good bunch of mods, but one person just can't do it all. I'm working on Botafloria and hope to release it as soon as possible but it's an incredibly ambitious project for a new modder like me and won't be released very soon. (If I continue working on it, at this rate I expect it to be finished before summer, but who knows.) There are many mods in production, like Atroxian Realm, Ceilick's Sign of the Vool (I hope!), Where Is Everybody, Suburb Shenanigans and more. I think you'll notice that all those mods are Galaxy though. There are little updates on their progress and some people have probably already forgotten about the mods' existence.
I say, let's be more active. Even trying to resurrect the CKCM would help get the community to wake up and work on a collaborative project.
By the way, I don't really feel this way until I read some of these pessimistic emoposts. It might not be a good idea to talk about this actually.
It just might be done someday. The chance is always there.

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thehackercat
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Post by thehackercat »

I'm with Nospike on this one. It's easy to get over-hyped for a big project and in doing so set yourself up for disappointment. The problem, then, isn't that things aren't interesting, but that you've forgotten how to take pleasure in the anticipation of things. It's a state of mind; I've been known to fire up a level editor only to gaze at the tilesets and not get anything done, but just being immersed in something Keen was enough to keep me entertained. Whether I'm working on Keen music or passively enjoying the modding work of our many talented friends in the community, I'm always satisfied with being involved. So I don't think there's a problem with waning interest, just occasional misplaced imagination. After all, a sense of wonder and a dose of quirky humor here and there is what Keen is all about, right?

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Roobar
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Post by Roobar »

@Gridlock: Oh, that topic again. First I thought you'll gonna talk about some interesting fading effects :). Anyway, I think you're making a big deal out of it, but I think I get what you're trying to say. And sadly, you might be right. But you're also wrong.

As for your concerns... Let's face it. We, as a community, have achieved almost everything we've been dreaming, wanting and waiting for for so long. For example: the possibility to make levels for keens 1-3 (later for 4-6 and even Keen Dreams) and the ability to make mods. I remember the time when I wanted to make levels for all those keens, but there was non existing editor I knew of. Now look at the editors. We've got plenty of mods and tutorials. We've made TUIT. We've ported it to other devices. We've added multiplayer. We're now at a level, where we can change not only the graphics and the levels, but the music and sound effects, which was something we couldn't even think of before 5-6 years. We've got all the versions: cga, ega, alphas, betas etc. We've talked to Tom Hall and John Romero and know everything about their thought on this subject, their plans etc..

Isn't that all great? After what... 20 years or so(?), we can finally say we've managed to make almost everything we wanted. The only thing I can think of we didn't manage to do is to secure the rights and make a new game...

Now, to your point. It's not unusual after all those achievements and years for some people to loose interest. It's not only because our community made all that I point above, but because well, we age and change the way in thinking. For example it's not that unusual for someone after making a mod or two, to lost interest. He has proven himself, achieved what he wanted and voila. Time to move on. People come and people go. So there will always be ups and downs. And because we, keeners, are a very small community, it's not unusual to have long dry seasons.

More and more keeners are loosing interest, which is sad. When I ask people why they don't work on something, their reply is always the same: "I don't have time". For example, what happened to the development of keengine? Nothing, sadly. For years. Because people are busy. But I think that excuse is wrong. If you are interested in something, you'll find the time to make it happen. Yes, we all have work and studies etc., but if you don't believe in a big idea, you'll always find excuses.

So... I think one, if not the most important thing, is that we, as a community, tend to loose believing, thus interesting. All this leads to some questions we should ask ourselves: What are we going to do next?

Aaannd about the part where you're wrong. Thankfully, there are many keeners with a strong keen spirit :). There are plenty of awesome mods in development, including one you're working on, which I can't wait to play :).

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Nospike
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Post by Nospike »

I promise I'll continue Vorticons modding after Botafloria. I shall make it my job to keep Vorticons good. That is, if Botafloria is a success though.
It just might be done someday. The chance is always there.

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Roobar
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Post by Roobar »

What would it be a success?

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Nospike
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Post by Nospike »

People gotta like it man. Why would I waste time making mods that aren't enjoyed?
It just might be done someday. The chance is always there.

Boreas249
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Post by Boreas249 »

My interest in Keen has been growing more and more thanks to this community, and I've seen a lot of awesome mods and whatnot released, problem is, most of the links to those mods are dead, and I see projects get started up and then just whither away and die...

I've been wanting to do a bit of modding myself, but I'm so busy lately, and I don't yet have a computer of my own, so I'm stuck not really being able to do much of anything...

In any case... I don't think this community is dying... I see it trying to grow in some places, with modders like Levellass, Szemi, Paramultart and yes, you too Gridlock, and a few other people starting up and working on their own projects. Zoltan's Revenge was fan-frickingtastic, and then 'Lass releases Valentine's Keen not long after, which was also pretty dang good. You're working on Atroxian Realm, which looks... I mean words can't describe just how... phenominal it looks. Para has restarted and is working on Keen: Crisis Earth, I haven't seen anything new on it. but I know it's coming along awesomely (I can feel it :p), and I think he's working on another mod too... not sure about that one...

So... I really hope the releases of these oncoming mods will bring the community upward even more, and make things much more lively around here.. these things take time, but I see it happening...

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Post by Gridlock »

I suppose I probably overstated this a bit, although I was feeling it when I wrote it. I guess I've been a little burned out lately, and my inability to finish AR isn't helping things.

That being said, I wonder if there isn't more we can do as a community to keep things fresh and exciting? Now that we have some momentum from recent mod releases, is there any way we can drum up interest with people who've drifted away from the community? I know people (often myself) complain about not having time, but maybe something could get people more enthusiastic or at least drum up some discussion? If anything, I miss the days when we bigger goals in mind, like TUIT. As wiivn said, we've achieved most of what we set out to do, and now things have become duller by comparison. Maybe we should set new goals to keep things lively?
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Boreas249
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Post by Boreas249 »

Starting up some more fansites may help just a little, no?

Maybe get in touch with tge folks running the Commander Keen fanpage on Facebook (which has a nicely sized following) and see if they'll post news on upcoming and released mods, aams an attraction method?

These are small things, but they might bring people who have fallen away from the community back, or help fans who haven't yet found the modding community get in touch and get connected...

I can't tell you how happy I was when I found this community, and later got ahold of The Universe is Toast. Originally, I had lurked here years before, downloaded a few mods, fell off, found TUIT, played it, and finally signed up last Winter.

Even though TUIT is unofficial, it's come the closest, and even far exceeded how I pictured the series ending. It sucked me right back into my Keen craze, I was just wowed by it... and I'm continually wowed by the mods this community continues to put out.

That said, I'm not going anywhere. I wanna see how things turn out, and I hope to eventually become part of the action.

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Post by Benvolio »

There are some people who have been around a while (I guess I could count myself among them) who still drop by from time to time... I redeveloped the habit of checking PCKF at least once a day over the past year, as part of my routine of 5-minute procrastinations from study. And study, study, study, that's the crux of the matter. Well, or work for those who not only work but work so hard they've no free time left. I'm no longer the young lad in a fairly empty neighbourhood with little to do many days except sit at a PC with no internet or modern games, and conveniently the wherewithal to churn out mods. Now I have been swept into a busy adulthood but I think I still carry with me the Keen spirit, at least a vestige of what I felt when I first played the game. Keen1 really loses something on Dosbox compared to a PC1640. But I digress.

I can imagine how Gridlock was feeling writing that post... but it is a personal choice whether you give up on PCKF or not. Once upon a time Keen probably displaced the myriad of things a healthy citizen does for me. Now it's the opposite. But that's not giving up, it's growing up!

As for something big to invigorate the community, that will be difficult. A good Galaxy mod like Valentine's Keen goes a good way in that direction. As does a KeenRush mod :P But as others have said we've surpassed many milestones to the point of taking a lot of what people (such as Gerstrong and Levellass to name but two) do for the community maybe a bit for granted. There was a time in the mid '00s when relatively little programming went into the community, in proportion to the amount of creative art. Maybe the opposite is the case now.

A lot of things from 5-10 years ago seem to be the opposite of what they are now but I am going to go to bed now so good evening. And yes there is no reason to be afraid to have a topic like this. Just cross fingers that there will be no unpleasantness!

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Rorie
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Post by Rorie »

i have been around for a very long time i went by the usernames keengamer and rorie1983. that was back in the ezboard days. i too lost interest after many years of playing the same game over and over again. i wasn't really much for mods and fangames when i look back on it all

i am not even sure why i still hang around here?. perhaps it is the friends i have made?. present and long gone. i don't really have time for keen anymore with work and school and all that, sadly i believe that i have grown up and realized that my life is completely different now.

i am not getting any younger so i need to start putting away for the future which is why i am committed to my job. not the best place to work but the company is flexible if i need to take a day off for doctor's appointment they will accommodate to that

many of us are getting older and have work or families to look after. which is probably the reason why the interest in commander keen is dying, but as what have been said we are the community past and present have achieved everything we all set out to do, well we weren't able to secure the rights to tom hall and john romeo but we still achieved a lot. we all should be at least proud of that
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Levellass
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Post by Levellass »

Things change, that's the way of it. Keen has had a pretty solid 20 year run. How much longer will e go on? Until Spleen gets his mod done, then we're about through.

And it won't be that bad methinks, we have had a good run of it and done much. heck right now I see us doing more than we have done in previous years, even if it's not that big-scale.
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NY00123
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Post by NY00123 »

To add some more, I'd say that it seemed to me like this place was less active, say, about half a year ago (or maybe rather a whole year earlier). To compare, it's more common to see Keen-related posts now, and a few MODs have seemed to pop up in the latest few months. Even when it comes to non-MODs, someone may work on something. For instance, one may see that Commander Genius is still being updated by gerstrong, even if there is no actual public release of a new version for awhile.

One thing that some of you may remember is the threads discussing the development of MODs like the Unofficial TUIT episodes, even before the releases. There are great chances that MODders who used to start such threads have migrated to the approach of not telling anything before something is released (or at least when it's nearly completed). After all, it's better to not tell than to tell and later disappoint, ones would say.

To the ones who wonder, yeah I may not post here often, but I surely check the forums. That has actually been the case, more or less, since I've joined the forums.

Oh, and while a bit more specific:
Benvolio wrote:Keen1 really loses something on Dosbox compared to a PC1640
Well, if you're talking about the PC Speaker sound effects or so, I know what you're talking about. This is why I made them sound more like the real thing on Commander Genius, and later on Chocolate Keen1. I suppose these may be counted as a minor form of activity.

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Post by Fleexy »

I check these forums nearly every day, but post pretty rarely. I've started to mod Minecraft (offtopic: I'd like some testers) and of course, school takes up more of your time as you advance.

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