General => General Discussion => Topic started by: Indigo on September 01, 2022, 01:01:00 am

Title: Pixelation's Future
Post by: Indigo on September 01, 2022, 01:01:00 am
As you may have noticed, Pixelation has been on a downward spiral of usability.  It is my intent to summarize the current state of the forums and discuss the future of Pixelation moving forward.

The forums have spun out of control with spam, and despite custom tooling, plugins, settings, and hard mod work we are not able to keep it under control.  Most of the original administration team has departed, and our server admin also left amidst disagreements not worth covering in this thread.  Despite Pixelation being incredibly important to me, I personally haven't been able to stay involved with it as much as I'd like to between parenting and my job.  Yet I hold on to it out of obligation.  It's gut wrenching for me to even think about the forums in their current state. Mods have volunteered to help, and they have helped a lot, but there's only so much they can do.

On top of all this, forums in general are dying. The ones here reading this may not agree, but it's just a fact.  Social media has long ago replaced art forums like these.  We've talked about many ways to resurrect Pixelation in a new form, from extending this forum's features to rewriting a new paradigm from scratch.  Some work was put into making that a reality, but again, my time is limited and that task is daunting.

One of the realizations we've had while talking about this countless times was pixel art now lives and thrives on Twitter.  It's a vibrant community and has allowed the medium to grow in a way that I never thought possible in the early days of tight-knit forums.  Even without the focus on critique, somehow the talent within our medium has exploded and it's truly a wonderous sight.

So this leads me to the inevitable decision to shut down these forums. I am closing registrations, and switching all boards to be read-only shortly.  The forums will be a permanent resource for the knowledge that has accumulated here.

The future of Pixelation will carry forward on Twitter. Twitter has a new community feature we will leverage to retain some of the benefits forums provide while integrating closer to where the pixel art scene largely already is.  This will be a much more sustainable future for Pixelation and one that won't require as much dedicated attention to operate.  Will it be the same as what we've grown to love? Of course not. But is it the right choice? I'm convinced so.

You can join the twitter community here:
https://twitter.com/i/communities/1565124626883063808 (https://twitter.com/i/communities/1565124626883063808)

the focus of this community will be critique as it always has been - something that is not commonly done on twitter.  Over time I will be formalizing rules and guidelines as we feel out this new venue, and I will be looking for twitter-active moderators to assist.

If forums are still your preferred thing, I advise you to go to PixelJoint (https://pixeljoint.com/), or LoSpec (https://lospec.com/forums/). Both are great options.

Pixelation and these forums hold a special place in my heart. I attribute my entire career to discovering these forums long ago.  It tears me up to see them go, but I also look forward to seeing it flourish in a new context.
Title: Re: Pixelation's Future
Post by: hapiel on September 01, 2022, 01:56:06 am
Goodbye pixelation, you will be missed! Thanks for the wonderful times, I'm looking forward to reading more of your archive.
Title: Re: Pixelation's Future
Post by: Kable on September 01, 2022, 02:01:37 am
See you on twitter pixelation  :)
Title: Re: Pixelation's Future
Post by: Vinik on September 01, 2022, 03:36:49 am
Long live Pixelation! The words fail me while trying to convey the gratitude I feel towards this place of learning and teaching, of free exchange of critique devoid of social obligation to praise and yet always offered in good will by the best people you could ever hope to find in the art adventure of your life. The greatest (re)evolutions in the medium since it became avaliable to the public at large surely took place here: new forms of collaboration, new exercises, new trends, seminal art manifestos, codification efforts, later desconstruction and maturation towards an eclectic synthesis of the medium. All of this history happened here, setting the grounds for the current explosion of pixelart on social media. I am so glad and so thankful of having taken even a small part in this sweet corner of the internet, that I feel now exactly like moving away from a home I was born in and lived through my childhood: stepping out towards new things,  but with nothing but gratitude and respect for the spirit of the place. Thank you from the core of my heard.
Title: Re: Pixelation's Future
Post by: Khonjin on September 01, 2022, 04:24:35 am
Feels miserable that this is my first post here, but this site is a great resource and I sincerely appreciate all it has to offer. Hoping the transition is as seamless as can be.
Title: Re: Pixelation's Future
Post by: cels on September 01, 2022, 05:39:51 am
Sorry to see this happen but it seems like the best decision. Thanks for keeping it online as a resource.  :)
Title: Re: Pixelation's Future
Post by: Rosse on September 01, 2022, 07:34:33 am
This forum was in a big part responsible for forming my character (while being a teenager) and connected me with people who were able to support me in making a life-changing decision. Thank you everyone for these things and thank you for keeping this valuable piece of history and knowledge database alive.

so long <3
Title: Re: Pixelation's Future
Post by: HarveyDentMustDie on September 01, 2022, 08:28:04 am
I'm sorry to hear this as well, although I understand the reasons behind it. First time when Secret Santa was transferred to PJ it was clear that forum is on its last breath.

Hanging out here were some of the best times I've had with pixel art in general and I've learned some important things. So far I was never able to find similar "pixel energy" so I want to tank you everyone and to wish best luck to all who contributed in any way to this great place. :)

Best regards.
Title: Re: Pixelation's Future
Post by: Morganne on September 01, 2022, 10:14:49 am
Goodbye core memory, you will be missed. Haven't taken you off of my 3rd place bookmark for decades <3
Title: Re: Pixelation's Future
Post by: eishiya on September 01, 2022, 11:18:42 am
While forums aren't necessarily my preferred medium for pixel art discussion, almost anything is better than Twitter =_= I don't use that service any more, and don't plan to return. The communities feature seems neat and I'd love to interact with the people who used to be here, but *waves arms at Twitter*. The community has gone to lands where I cannot keep up with it.

I'd love to use the PJ forums, but I feel like there's an obstacle to almost everything I try to do there, though I keep trying. And LoSpec is just too broad in coverage, its forum too disorganized ;_;

All that to say: Pixelation was the best place for me. Thanks for keeping up the fight against spam as long as you did. I miss this place, I miss the people I used to talk to here, and I miss having amazing guidance on my pixel-pushing path.

And thanks for leaving it up as a read-only archive!
Are there any plans to locally back up the various images from the crit threads? I've been keeping mine up, but image hosting sites inevitably crumble... Perhaps submitting this site to the Internet Wayback Machine might be the easiest approach?
Title: Re: Pixelation's Future
Post by: Amorphous on September 01, 2022, 03:30:47 pm
Thanks to everyone who worked to keep Pixelation up and running for so long. A great space that will be missed by many, but pixels and the internet live on.
Title: Re: Pixelation's Future
Post by: Mathias on September 01, 2022, 08:29:00 pm
Thanks, Dan. You're the best.

And also a thanks to Sven, Telemachus, and the other mods over the years. It meant a lot.
Title: Re: Pixelation's Future
Post by: JACKjcs on September 02, 2022, 03:15:41 am
I've been waiting for a long time for this site to come back to actively join this community and this happens, I've been following this platform for a few years and having it at the top of my list of places to go for help, work or something related to Pixel art and now it will be no more. Although I respect the decision taken, Twitter is one of the worst places to put a community like this.

It's unbelievable that this is my first post.

This is all very depressing for me, really, how unlucky and disgusting the reality we live in.

I guess it's true what they say about "it's now or never" I shouldn't have waited so long to join you guys.
Title: Re: Pixelation's Future
Post by: JinnDEvil on September 02, 2022, 02:32:54 pm
Title: Re: Pixelation's Future
Post by: SeinRuhe on September 02, 2022, 03:50:11 pm
My heart almost bursted out of joy when seeing Pixelation was online again, only to read this really devastating news, although it makes perfect sense.  :'(

This forum will always have a special place on my heart, without it I would've never become a pixel artist. I will miss reading threads, interacting with others and trying my best to understand topics to be able to help others. Somehow the interactions I had here felt way more meaningful than interactions over social media.

Still, I think there's a function that Pixelation covers amazingly that other sites, forums, social media, instant messaging softwares, etc. don't do really well and it's the Portfolio section, I hope any of those step up now that Pixelation is retiring, otherwise finding Indie jobs will be a lot harder. :(

Anyway, Thanks for all of your efforts Dan! As well as Atnas, Kiana and all the mods over the years too!  You guys really made a place that felt as good as home.
Title: Re: Pixelation's Future
Post by: SeDiceBisonte on September 02, 2022, 09:24:06 pm
Like JACKjcs, I also regret not joining sooner. I used to lurk around 2006-2008 and I really missed out by not building up the courage to join in.

I'm thankful that the wisdom here will at least be archived. There's so much to learn from these old threads and, even if it's only remembered by a small group of people, this will always be an important corner of the internet.
Title: Re: Pixelation's Future
Post by: Crow on September 04, 2022, 06:44:01 am
On top of all this, forums in general are dying.

Hey, I remember having a solution to that problem ;)

Are there any plans to locally back up the various images from the crit threads? I've been keeping mine up, but image hosting sites inevitably crumble... Perhaps submitting this site to the Internet Wayback Machine might be the easiest approach?

The Internet Archive has luckily already archived a lot of stuff on the forums. Submitting it manually may actually be worth a shot, but I'm not sure if they accept "just a website" to crawl through and archive stuff from.

Back in the day™, I had created a (very simply) Python script to automatically retrieve images from the Internet Archive for Pixelation threads based on their thread ID. Here it is: https://gist.github.com/Ennea/92fa14fde3f466837467a5a99382cf52

Let me point out a few important details, though. It's a bit old, so it may not (perfectly) work anymore. It's also still Python 2, but updating it shouldn't be much of an issue. The domain that's used in the script is still wayofthepixel.net, so if you'd like to use this for newer threads, using pixelation.org instead might be a better idea. Finally, scraping the Internet Archive is technically against their ToS... :lala:

Edit: Well, looks like the Wayback Machine website is now a lot more reliant on JavaScript than it used to be, so that script needs a lot of adjustments to work again :yell:

Edit²: Oh yea, can I market our stuff here? Check out the cool stuff we've been doing on Pixonomicon:
Title: Re: Pixelation's Future
Post by: Eggy on September 05, 2022, 07:24:01 am
I've been here mostly for the Secret Santas that would occur every year, but other than that I sadly haven't paid much attention to this forum. Depressing to hear that it's not able to really stay up anymore, but an archive is still a nice idea since I'll be able to revisit the forums anytime I like.
Take care!
Title: Re: Pixelation's Future
Post by: fskn on September 12, 2022, 12:56:06 pm
Thank you admins, mods and everybody that has been posting all this years. I have learned a lot visiting these forums, got to know (not personally, but still) many amazingly talented artists with a variety of different styles and ideas of how to tackle pixel art. I wouldn't know half of what I know today if it weren't for Pixelation and its users.

I do prefer forums as a medium to post art-related stuff in general, pixel art in particular. For me, not even Discord comes close in terms of usability no matter what they do there. Conversations just get lost.
Twitter is just bad. Sure more people will potentially see your stuff, but that's really not important to me, personally.

In regards to spammers, I have been helping some friends for I believe more than a decade now in checking for new registrations and that has kept them away. Of course it's a much smaller forum than Pixelation (or at least I think it is), but it has worked for us.
I also wonder if changing the forum engine from SMF to some other wouldn't also help solve this particular problem...

But anyways, I'll keep coming here while the forums are still up and new posts can be made, and I'll keep an eye on Discord because I have to use it in a daily basis.

Thanks again.
Title: Re: Pixelation's Future
Post by: pixelblink on September 14, 2022, 05:29:27 am
I rise from the deep dark abyss of the past to pay my respects to the greatest of all pixel art communities. You will be missed.
Title: Re: Pixelation's Future
Post by: Darien on September 17, 2022, 05:06:54 am
Goodbye Pixelation!  This place was such a formative place for me and many others as budding pixel artists.  Thanks for keeping it running as long as you have.
Title: Re: Pixelation's Future
Post by: Tuna Unleashed on October 03, 2022, 05:38:43 pm
A genuine shame. This place was a priceless resource in my career as a pixelartist. I remember when I was first starting out stumbling on this place felt like I'd found a community where you could get professional level art critiques for free. It truly felt like my dojo and I use the job board here to find work to this day. I wonder, can anyone save Pixelation?