Last month, we put out a thread asking for ideas on how to communicate with our creator community better. We thought opening a Discord server might be the answer, but the community disagreed and instead seemed to favor a forum!
We took this to heart, and decided to reorganize the creator-based Ask forums into a central location. We also intend to use these forums for communicating with the community directly.
We’d like to try to get creators active on here – both asking us questions as well as interacting with other creators.
We’ll also be doing our best to advertise these forums to bring new people in. In the future, we’d like to connect them to the VCC somehow, as well as maybe make this place the destination for SDK-based patch notes. We’ll see!
For any comments (or ideas), feel free to drop them in this topic!
The disadvantages and limitations of forums for technical information are considerable and continue to surface every time another one is attempted. Take for example someone asking whether static methods are supported in UdonSharp.
Someone answers “I don’t think so”, then another posts “oh they work” another person says “I use them all the time” and the original poster says “thanks”. Then a month later someone asks “are static methods supported in UdonSharp” and we go through the cycle again.
A wiki or knowledge base would have the definitive answer. If it is a new feature then the knowledge base (or wiki) would mention that it has been available since “version whatever”. And it would include an example or pointers to additional information. Including but not limited to say C# documentation explaining what a static method is.
When the next user doesn’t bother to search first rather than going through the exercise of explaining it all again one can reply by pointing to the “official repository of knowledge”. If there are additional questions not answered through that entry (or the sample code is poor) it can be improved. The wrong and misleading answers don’t need to be searched by a user. It doesn’t matter if this feature didn’t work 3 years ago it matters if it works in the latest version or possibly the one prior.
This is essentially how good software is developed. Rather than in-lining everything, libraries of common routines are produced. They can be versioned, they can be commented, they can be tested. There is no way to test or improve a “wrong answer” in a forum posting. A user is stuck guessing and a novice user has little in the way of experience to determine what is and isn’t true.
We actually are exploring whether or not to make a wiki as well. We’re currently in the process of outlining the purpose of each area (the ask forums, the wiki, the Discord, etc) and figuring out what makes the most sense.
That’s good to hear. There is a symbiosis between the various mediums, one doesn’t exclude the other. There can (for instance) be a discussion about the best way to do on the forum and someone (who cares) can copy the pertinent parts (the question, a couple of options, the answer) and craft it into a suitable wiki page.
Nobody (that I am aware of) would prefer Wikipedia to be in forum format such that if you want to find the population of Canada you search and find the threads from the last 10 years and then read what random unconfirmed guesses believed it to be.
A well-written Wiki would cite the source of the information presented so that it can be confirmed and/or revised. And they track the edits. The veracity of the editor can be determined and edits can be reverted.
And speaking of which… I just opened a test world and remembered that nobody has answered or acknowledged in any way my question about a potential bug.
This is (once again) related to communication. Am I supposed to fill out a form suggesting how such spawn points can be created (it is in the docs) and to document my most recent tests?
Surely this is part of a regression test suite to make certain that some recent change didn’t break existing functionality. Is there a record of it ever having worked? If anyone has sequential spawn points do they work in their project? Would someone be willing to try it out (this takes a few minutes in an existing project) and confirm whether it works?
Here’s one QOL feature I think not just me but maybe some people also wanted it to be added in the first place
I would love to have the [Stream camera] feature for desktop user
My reason is because sometimes I found a good looking world and I really want to record a short video of my avatar in the world.
But sadly there are no option for me to switch the camera mode to [Stream camera] on desktop, I had to get on VR just to record a short video of my avatar in a world. So I’d love to have that feature on desktop soon
I don’t know how to end this so thank you for reading my comment c:
I believe when I provided my feedback on the original thread, I proposed the following:
a forum for people to ask questions and get help
a wiki for people to curate information for easy indexing and access
In my head, a StackExchange-style site would work best.
We are going to need a community-supported wiki if we want to centralize information and update it. Especially since the official VRChat docs are difficult to navigate, are often out of date, or simply are missing important information.
It could even be as simple as running something through github so people can do PRs against the website.
Tom is exactly correct that it’s going to be hard to use a forum as a resource.
We will see how these revamped forums go. I hope that with advertisement in the VCC (or even also advertising to users in-game that have uploaded content), it can get more usage and can act as a better communication channel.
My only gripe is that the last dev update was only a YouTube video.
Edit: Did the theme of the site just get significantly darker? That really hurts my eyes.
I agree that a combination of forums and a wiki is probably the best bet. Sometimes you have a really esoteric question that a wiki won’t have the information to answer but someone else who does know the answer may be able to pop into the forum and give it to you. That and simpler questions can get answers that link to relevant sections of the wiki.
I seemed to have ruffled some feathers. Sorry right but you will notice that the next message is about a “QOL” feature. Did that derail the subject?
My intention was (and still is) to point out that the attempts to organize things into neat boxes isn’t working and will not work. Problems are not neat little boxes they are related items.
I do not know that my report is a bug. Someone will invariably post “write up a bug report”. I asked if anyone had encountered the issue and nobody replied yes or no and I still don’t know if it is a bug.
One should consider these situations as “fluid” not rigid and conforming to some plan. I see it every day in the Unity forums, someone thinks they discovered a bug when their code has an (obvious) error.
So if anyone (not multiple teams) could reply “it works for me” I would know whether to try something else.
This is a big part of the reason that community communication has issues. People tend to blame a person reporting an issue as the cause of the issue.
Being someone who primarily helps creators upload their avatars. Forms can be kinda intimidating to new users. Often brand new creators don’t know how to ask for help, they see the “failed to upload, check console” screen and post that.
I don’t blame them for not knowing what they don’t know. But it often takes a bit of back and forth to get the info to help them at all. Forms are often kinda slow by comparison and could be frustrating when no one replies.
It may be worth building out a bit more onboarding and examples of how to ask for help before users ask.
Is there a difference between posting guides in the Creator Hub (knowledge sharing as it was described in the description) and posting them in the Tutorials category? I’d be interested in making some posts on things I’ve learned making avatars but it doesn’t seem entirely clear where that information is supposed to go
I have a question that is more fundamental and could help us (as a community) help the VRChat team when writing feedback.
What is the best ways us as the community can communicate our feedback and ideas to VRChat? (Also I am aware of the Canny for feature requests and bug reports, this applies to there as well and how we should communicate to the VRChat team there too!)
Is there any formats the team prefers? I.E - More in depth suggestions with imagery (example mock ups, videos, text) and how we should best present ideas using these mediums. I feel like if we get deeper into the specifics it will massively benefit the communication and help our ideas make more of an impact.
Also please if you think this is a good topic, and that it could benefit the way we communicate between channels (or if the only preferred current channel is this one!) create a easily accessible location where this information is posted so new commenters can see it!
I agree with a lot of the feedback given here. A forum is not always the best place to consolidate concrete information, but it is a great place to facilitate more lengthy discussions on topics that may be lost in a constantly moving environment like Discord.
As it stands right now, I see these various outlets as a source of confusion for new users. Between the Discord server, the Ask forums, the Canny, the (both official and unofficial) VRChat Subreddits… there are a lot of places to look before asking something that may have already been asked and answered before. Having a more clear and concise logic path towards the right outlet for one’s topic would be extremely beneficial.
tl;dr I opt to invest in big flashing arrows so we all know where we should go
Reasoning for docs is that the stuff on docs should just move to the wiki, once its up. That way, we can ask you guys to help us keep it up to date much more cleanly. So, consolidation, and feature-add – our docs are much more useful.
For feedback, we use Canny. It isn’t terrible but there’s been lots of times I’ve looked at at other apps and games, and they all just use forums for feedback and even for bug reports. I don’t know if that’s a good idea. Just a thought.
To tangent once more: really, we need to stick links to our community spaces in relevant places. I’m working with the team to get links to the Creator Hub into VCC, for example.
Oh, also: You reminded me that r/vrchatofficial was a thing, so I closed it. Good call. FWIW, we don’t run r/vrchat or have anyone on the mod team there.
I desperately want a wiki! I’m working to get one set up for us, as previously mentioend. It will take work, both from us and from y’all. But it’ll be worth it.
I really do want it to be the best possible place to find centralized guides, best practices, info, etc. Excited to get it going and start writing into it, and also to do some legwork to go to community tech leaders and ask them nicely to write some best practices guides and let us link their tools/assets in our wiki
i am psyched to hear that an official wiki is in the works. i’ve been gradually building up a little personal markdown-wiki of things i’ve learned about VRC and Unity and i’ve been looking for ways to contribute that back to the community somehow!
I think VRChat is missing something important completely.
One of the problems is not neccesarilly information not being available, the problem is that people do not know about them and do not know when stuff changes, gets added etc.
Make a newsletter that everybody who has uploaded an avatar will get invited to from the website. Make it also so people can subscribe without uploading anything (or if they decline on accident for the first time).
The newsletter should be about “We added X, Y, Z, we changed A, B, C”
Exact information that creators want to know. Ideally make it less fluff and more information, I feel VRChat has been communicating with a lot of fluff, which is detrimental to factual value, especially with crucial technical information.
An example would be the recent Canny about parameters not syncing between PC and Quest, somebody explained how the data is synced through order and not names of the parameters.
Apparently it has been noted in the docs for a while. It has been added, but the addition has not been communicated anywhere as far as I know.
I have been making VRChat avatar for about 3 years now and I have never heard of this. I also shared it with creators that I know, some of them make a living from making avatars. They had no idea either.
Most people just do not know about these things. Only top 1% know about these things.
VRChat should be weary of listening to mainly top 1% creators, because they do not reflect the needs and skill level of most creators.