So our old system had campaigns and operations. The former being more complex group builds with a theme and highly planned and structured setup. The latter being informal group builds with maybe a subject (type, brand, or model of vehicle/aircraft/ship, etc). The ‘Campaign’ option basically became the default choice for everyone setting up a ‘group build’ and thus… we called them all campaigns. But that was not the original intent. Also I think campaigns were longer and operations less so.
So… do we keep the ‘everything is a campaign’ vibe or do we try to differentiate between group build organizers who are obviously trying to make something special and not just ‘hey… anyone want to do another Sherman group build?’. Not that I am knocking the Sherman campaigns, just not sure why we can’t have both.
Also I don’t like that every single group build has evolved into being a year long. That seems like a long time to me. I think our original group builds were more like 3-6 months and sometimes they crept into longer than that. I did some digging on other sites though and I was stunned that on may sites a time range isn’t even mentioned. Nada. I didn’t get that. Yeah we have been doing this Sherman group build for 2 years now. You wanna try it? How is that a group build?
I know some of you guys are saying… hey Jim… don’t mess with what works or how we want to do it. But… you all wanted me involved in this process, so you get what you get.
Feedback? And yes I will listen.
I think first people want their ribbons back and the rest is secondary.
I get the point about year long builds but it’s a good way to get more people involved unless you cycle through that topics more frequently and come back with a Sherman (since your picking on them) group build ever 1.5 yrs or so. Some are based on market forces, T-34/85 for example. New kits hit the street and folks don’t want to wait but also have other irons in the fire. Year long allows for more building in more groups.
Without the ribbons, the deadline doesn’t seem to have much meaning?
I would like to see some shorter build windows, but some things just need more time. If folks are doing interior kits, they take longer. I may get my mini-art T-34 interior kit done in 6 months, but I’m not positive I will. Dioramas seem to need more time. Ships need more time (big ones at least or things with lots of PE additions).
Apart from kits that need more time, a longer build window allows more people to participate - there are both participants who have something they want to start RIGHT NOW and others who can’t start until they clear some existing projects out.
What are the possibilities of this forum/software?
How can we make groupbuilds or campaigns more attractive to join?
Maybe distinuish between a groupbuild (building a certain type of vehicle/kit) and a campaign, where also relevant info on the historical event can be shared?
While I get the issue, I’m worried about shortening the timescales. For me it takes a couple months to assemble the average modern 1000-part kit to the point that I have sub-assemblies ready for painting. And that assumes my day-job doesn’t get in the way! Then I need to prime it, wait a week or two for that to harden, then spray base colours, wait, spray on some gloss, wait, add decals & do basic hand painting, wait, spray more gloss, wait, add washes, wait, spray flat… If I finish within 6 months it’s a miracle! So shorter builds put me out of the running - simple as that.
I’m the guilty one about setting up the year long campaigns. Sorry.
I think a lot of people just participated for the ribbons. If we can figure out how to get the ribbons back that would go a long way toward getting more campaign participation. I’m not a super-fast builder myself…about one every 4 to 6 months.
Personally, I’ve never liked joining anything labeled “group” — never been a team sports enthusiast, “team player,” or “social media” over-user. That said, I do allow KitMaker as my guilty media pleasure. And without being analyzed by a professional, I do believe that KitMaker “campaigns/group builds” actually helped drag me out from under my rock and prompted me to get some model building done along the way. Not to mention… I’ve learned a lot about history and met a lot of fine folks whom are always willing to drop some knowledge!
My final 2 cents… guess I’d say I prefer the term “campaign” over “group build” — catchier when appropriately used. As far as ribbons, rankings, medals, awards, gold stars, certificates, diplomas, proof of life — not something I’m a huge fan of. Though admittedly, the ribbons became increasingly more fun as I began racking-em-up on my old profile page… count 'em, six, (6), half-a-dozen, uh …
Tom, You nailed that one right on the head. … “Wait, wait, wait”… I don’t even have a job or a SWMBO… and it still takes me forever to complete a build!
Throwing in my 2 cents from the AutoModeler side. I think 6 months is a good time frame for a build, I would struggle with shorter time frames and would rather shelve a build than rush it and compromise the finish.
The term “Campaign” has a military connotation so we have been running with “Group Builds” on AM for the past couple of years.
A question, if we create a Group Build template and proposal, does it appear in the relevant forum, or in a specific staging forum with all of the other interest groups?
I’m excited to see this develop, looking at the framework so far it appears to echo the old system but with updated features.
I’ve always felt that an average out of the box build that one works on regularly, shouldn’t take more then 6 months to complete. Thus I’ve always pushed to have our GBs on AutoModeler 6 months in duration and only two per year. No over lapping.
What I’ve seen and still do is that members who sign on, don’t start their build till the GB is well under way, which in many cases is months, thus leaving little time to complete their build within the given time frame. Some never even bother to start their build.
As for ribbons, I’m a huge believer in their value that they indeed increase GB participation as they’re a goal for each member to achieve by completing his build within the time limits.
One issue that really needs to be addressed is that we’ve always had a GB as a thread where we just posted an update or a comment on another build. The trouble with that is that it’s impossible to follow a build from start to finish. Many times I wanted to back track a build for some reason which required a great deal of time by going through pages and pages of posts. What I’d really like to see is the ability to have within a GB each member have their own thread so that following a build becomes realistic especially for non GB members just stopping by.
Joel - just a tip but when you want to quote something you can use this tool. Much easier and the </> one is more for code and stuff.
This is exactly the point I want to try to address in this new setup. However being that we only have a single parent/child forum category system that is going to mean we will have to be clever with how it’s done. There are two ways we can access topic groups. One being by category and the other by tag. My initial idea is that we have a Campaign HQ forum with a few required sub-forums and then all the active campaign/group builds as their own sub-forums. Completed campaigns would probably need to get moved to a Past Campaigns parent forum. To access group builds by genre we could employ tags to stand in for the various sites. So it would still be possible to go to campaigns parent forum and click the aeroscale tag to see all aircraft active or proposed group builds.
My only catch with this is the issue with the forum homepage and what happens once there are 20+ active campaign sub-forums. This will seriously start to over-crowd the formatting unless the Discourse devs have foreseen this kind of issue and have a way to block excessive sub-forums from displaying. I need to post a question on the Discourse forum to see how that might work. Or at least propose a potential change or setting to filter the view.
This sounds somewhat complicated, but I’m really glad that we have some options to accomplish it.
yep I’m guilty of running 9-12 month campaigns but it’s usually because people have requested that since the are involved in other campaigns.
I have seen a slight down turn in the numbers participating and I think it is down to the lack of ribbons available right now.
I know that is something that I have discussed with you and the idea that all campaign organisers should create a csv file contain people’s email addresses which you have mentioned in the past.
personally, I think we have a very good set-up here and once we sort the ribbons out it will be perfect.
One thing we still need is some kind of table of active and proposed campaigns/GBs that lists the start and end dates, as a way to advertise what’s running. We had this in the old site, and I appreciate the new one works differently, but if some kind of table could be generated and pinned at the top of the Campaigns forum it would be a great benefit to folks deciding whether to sign up to one. (The alternative at the moment is a trawl of all the topics.) Not sure if some/all of the info could be auto-harvested from the topics, or if the Campaigns Admin would need to manually update it…
That’s not going to happen unless someone wants to manually create a list and manage it. We don’t have anything like the code I created on the old sites to do something like this.
What we will have is a category/forum called “Staging Area” which will have ALL of the campaigns currently being proposed. And at the parent level of (currently) Campaigns 2.0 that will list all the active campaigns. In addition we will have tags on the topics to sort them by genre, site, proposed, active, and completed.
That’s unfortunate - such a list would help encourage more participants. As it is, there’s no way of knowing whether an active campaign has six months to run, or only six days! People could trawl through each thread to find the date info, but I bet most won’t bother. The tags are good as far as they go, but builds are all about the schedule…
(Is it possible to include start & end dates as tags in some kind of constrained format? That way presumably we could filter by both “active” and “end date value”?)
Now THAT looks good! It goes a long way towards what I think we need - will we be able to sort by that date info too?
Is it possible to perform a search function for a Username within a specific thread, rather than site-wide? This would enable you to pull up progress reports relating to a single build within the Group Build thread. There would also be comments from that user regarding other builds, but it would filter for the relevant info quickly.