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GameDev.Net Discussion Forums Frequently Asked Questions
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GameDev.Net Discussion Forums FAQ
Here you will find answers to questions about the GameDev.Net Discussion Forums, to give you tips about how to use them more effectively. Note that this FAQ contains answers to forum related questions frequently asked on the board.

How do I participate in the forums?
There are 3 ways you can participate in the forums:
  1. Registered Registration is free and easy, and it allows you to participate in other sections of the site that allow member-level access. It also allows you to create an online identity. If you allow cookies, you won't have to retype your information every time you post. Click on the "Register" link anywhere in the forums to become a GameDev.Net Discussion Forums member. Note that if you already registered elsewhere on the site, you don't need to register again to use the forums.
  2. GDNET+ By becoming a GDNET+ member, you gain access to additional services to get the most out of the site. Besides giving you access to great new services and features, becoming a premium member is a great way to show your support for GameDev.net. Click here to find out more.
  3. Unregistered You don't have to register to use our forums, but if you're not registered and logged in, your name will show up as "Anonymous Poster" in your post, you will not be able to edit it and HTML will be stripped from your posts. We highly encourage you to register.


The Rules
The GDNet Staff and Moderators are here to ensure a quality experience for all members of the forum. If you break these rules, then you can expect to be warned or even banned from the forums (see below). Keeping this in mind, the rules of the forums are as follows:
  • Topics that you post should be relevant to the forum in which you are posting. This includes posting non-game development related topics in the GDNet Lounge.
  • Insults and personal attacks on other members will not be tolerated.
  • Posting someone's personal address or phone number without their consent is forbidden, and may land you in legal trouble as well.
  • Software piracy is banned from these forums. Posts asking for pirated software or for how to find pirated software will not be tolerated. Admitting to using pirated software or other pirated material is a bannable offense.
  • Offensive language should be avoided. The forum software automatically censors some words, and GDNet Staff and Moderators may censor others.
  • Do not spam. It will be deleted as soon as a Staff member or Moderator sees it.
  • Do not start a topic that condones illegal activities or activities that tend to incite flame wars, such as: drug use, killing, warez, theft, race, nationality, sex, and religion.
  • Do not use the forums as a personal messenger service. That is what email is for.
  • People engaging in abusive activities will have their accounts terminated and be permanently banned from GameDev.net. Furthermore, if necessary, we will take whatever steps are needed to report you to your ISP for abuse, and won't hesitate to contact law enforcement authorities should the nature of the abuse warrant it.
  • Any posts containing language or images that are inappropriate for viewing at work, at public terminals, or by children are likely to be removed. Members who continually post such things will be warned and eventually banned. Links to this type of content, or posting content modified in some way (pixelation, or posting as ASCII "art" for example) will also not be tolerated.
  • You will be held responsible for anything posted using your account. Therefore, you should keep your account details private, not share your account with others, and avoid linking to images that are dynamically updated or that are hosted on a server you don't control.
  • If you feel that you have been unfairly treated by a moderator, you should contact the moderator in question, another moderator you are comfortable with, or a member of the staff in private to resolve the issue. Posting a thread to criticize the moderator is not constructive and may result in a reduction of account privileges.
  • The moderator of each forum is ultimately responsible for determining what is and isn't appropriate material for that forum.
  • No user is permitted to have more than one account. If, for some reason, you feel the need to create a new account, contact a member of the staff to discuss doing so beforehand.

Individual forums may have additional rules. Before posting in a forum, be sure to read that particular forum's FAQ as well.

We reserve the right to edit, delete, move, or otherwise modify any post we deem necessary to keep our forums a nice place to visit.

Tips
Here's a few tips for posting on our forums:
  • Before asking a question, you should spend a few minutes looking through older posts or other parts of the site to see if the question has already been answered (chances are, it has).
  • Try not to post information that is misleading or wrong. If you don't know the answer to a question, you don't have to answer it.
  • You are part of a large community here. Strive to be a constructive member of it.


Why do some people have colored text next to their names?

Staff is reserved for the people who own and run this site.

Moderators are assigned by the staff to oversee individual forums in which they possess a level of expertise. They have the ability to edit, delete, and close posts and threads, as well as to warn other members for inappropriate behavior.

GDNET+ members are forum posters who have signed up for our premium services.

Members who have been Suspended have violated rules and are temporarily unable to post to the forums.

Members who have been Banned have flagrantly or repeatedly violated the forum rules.

How do I put links/quotes/images/code/smileys in my posts?
Our forums support most HTML tags, including the image and color tags, but please use them with moderation. In addition certain other "codes" can be used for certain effects:
Links
Links can be added to your posts using regular HTML. For example:
<a href="http://www.yourlink.com">your_link_text</a>
Don't forget the http://, or the link won't work correctly!


Quotes
To get a quote effect, just surround the text with [quote][/quote] tags. In addition, if you'd like to quote another post entirely, click on the icon.

Images
Images can be posted on the forum using regular HTML. For example:
<img src="location of your image" alt="description of your image" />

Your images will have to be hosted somewhere online, such as in your GDNet+ webspace or a free hosting service such as ImageShack


Code

When posting source code, you may want to use the [source][/source] tag, which will produce a formated, color coded, easy-to-read table. If you only want to preserve spacing, but not use the other features of the source tag, try using the [code] tag instead.

You also have the option of utilizing the source tag to highlight different programming languages. If you do not specify the language, C++ will be assumed. The following languages are available:

C[source lang="c"][/source]
C++[source lang="cpp"][/source]
C#[source lang="c#"][/source] or [source lang="csharp"][/source]
Java[source lang="java"][/source]
Javascript[source lang="javascript"][/source]
JScript[source lang="jscript"][/source]
Python[source lang="python"][/source]
X86 Assembly  [source lang="asm"][/source]
Visual Basic[source lang="vb"][/source]
VBScript[source lang="vbscript"][/source]

Forum FAQ
If you're posting in a particular forum and want to link to that forum's FAQ, you can do it quickly and easily by putting the [faq] tag into your post. You can link to this FAQ by using the [gdfaq] tag in your post.
Smileys
The forums will convert a number of character sequences into images. Those currently supported are:

CODE  CODE  CODE  CODE 
[attention][bawling][caution][cool]
[crying][dead][depressed][disturbed]
[embarrass][evil][flaming][google]
[grin][headshake][help][ignore]
[imwithstupid][inlove][lol][looksaround]
[oh][pig][razz][repost]
[rolleyes][sad][sick][smile]
[tears][totally][wink][wow]
        

Allowed HTML:
  • a
  • b
  • big
  • blockquote
  • br
  • center
  • em
  • font
  • h1 - h9
  • hr
  • i
  • img
  • li
  • ol
  • p
  • plaintext
  • pre
  • small
  • strike
  • strong
  • sub
  • sup
  • tt
  • u
  • ul
What are these rating numbers under users' posts?
The rating system was implemented recently in a new revision of the site software. Its purpose is threefold:
  1. To serve as a method of isolating problem users by the community's ratings of troublesome/disruptive posters,
  2. To give users an idea of their "position" in the GDNet community and what others think of them, and
  3. To allow users to ignore other users below a certain rating threshhold.
Your rating does not affect your site privileges; it is intended solely for the above purposes. In particular, you will not be banned or suspended if your rating drops too low. You're free to ignore them if you want.
How can I find out how other users rated me?
In your Control Panel you can access the Personal Rating section and see the users who have rated you positively. Users who have rated you negatively are hidden to prevent revenge ratings.

Moderators and staff will not tell you who rated you down for this same reason; don't ask.

My rating just dropped a point! Why?
Don't worry about small changes in rating. Gamedev has a very diverse audience with from many different walks of life; this includes people who may take offense at something the majority of people consider to be completely harmless. Don't sweat the small stuff; if one guy can rate you down a point, another guy can rate you back up.
I rated someone, but I changed my mind about them. Can I give them a new rating?
You sure can - just hit the 'Rate this user' link again. Your old rating will be repealed first, as if you'd never made it.
Bah! This is just a method of repressing people with unpopular views!
It's a form of community self-moderation, yes. But it's still very possible to express an unpopular opinion - if you remain polite and calm as you do so, people generally won't rate you down. Sure, there's always a few who will use the rating system as a way to express their disagreement with your viewpoint, but there's an equal if not greater number of people who will actually rate you up for having both the guts to speak out and the intelligence to do it well.
Why do some people seem to be able to affect my rating more than others?
The higher your rating, the more effect you can have on other users. The basic principle is that if you've got a high rating you must be helpful or trustworthy, so we allow your opinion to carry more weight. This is also the reason that all the staff and mods have such high ratings - they were given high values at the very beginning so that they could 'seed' the system, rating up the people they knew to be most helpful and trustworthy in an effort to get things rolling.
What are these "warning levels" above some users' posts?
A user who has a warning level showing up has misbehaved in some way. Warnings can be issued by moderators for any disruptive behavior or violation of the rules. Warning levels are incremented in amounts of 10%, and are taken into account by moderators when punishments are issued.

If after 2 weeks you've stayed out of trouble, your warning level will automatically reduce by 10%. Time suspended does not count towards this. Note that every warning issued is permanently recorded and your warning history is available to moderators.

There is no set level at which you will be suspended or banned, and either can happen without a warning being issued, but the higher your warning level already is, the more likely it is that a moderator will be harsh when issuing a punishment. Your warning history will also be taken into account.

If you currently have a warning level displayed above your posts, clicking on it will allow you to view your warning history. You are unable view the warning history of others. If you have a warning level, you have probably also recieved a brief PM explaining it.

What's "Your Forum Favorites" and how do I use it?
"Your Forum Favourites" is a quick way of bookmarking the forums that you visit the most. If you click the 'Bookmark this forum' link on a forum listing page, that forum will show up in a dedicated section at the top of the main forum index page. To remove a forum from your favourites, tick the box on the right side of the forum listing page and press the 'Remove' button.

Oops, I made a mistake in my post or double posted. What can I do?
As long as you are a registered user, you can edit and even delete your own posts. To do so, click on the icon above your post, and either edit it, or click on the "Delete" box, then resubmit it.

Why doesn't the date of the last post change when I edit a post for some particular topic?
This was done intentionally to avoid problems associated with users bumping a thread (bringing it to the top of the list) by editing it and not really changing anything.

How do I change my user name?
In order to change your user name, e-mail or PM a staff member. If you are a member in good standing they will change your name for you. Please do not try to open a new account to change your name.
Why can't I reply to this thread?
This thread may be retired, which means it has had no new posts in a while. These threads have a grave-stone icon in the forum listing. In order to post to a retired thread you need to get a moderator or staff member to wake it up.
Hey! I have questions that aren't answered here!
Good, post them in one of the forums, or e-mail us at webmaster@gamedev.net. We'll add questions that are asked frequently to the FAQ.