ID:45372
 
Keywords: review
Chatters by Xooxer
The greatest chat program on BYOND!
370 fans · Created Sep 8 2006
Gameplay(Quality of play experience, user-friendliness of interface)
Chatters has the potential of being great, but it falls short due to certain members of its community, the lack of being complete, and lack of being worked on. It is also an open source project in which users of the community can append changes to the program.

The experience is rather negative for newer users, particularly if they are not recognized in the BYOND community. Also, if your key includes some kind of anime associated subject in it you will be looked down upon. Most of the time you would then be greeted with insults and could possibly be vote muted.

There are also some members of the community who use racism and stereotypes as a joke, but nothing will be done to them if the Operators are “acquaintances” with them. So it would be best to ignore that user as if you try to argue with them you will get muted.

But do not get me wrong, even though if the community some times seems sour there are a few helpful users in there who will contribute their time into helping you with any troubles.

Presentation
Upon logging in for your first time you may be somewhat confused on what to do, mostly because the help guide for some reason chooses not to popup majority of the time. But at least, you can go to the bottom right hand side to view the guide, but beware, most of the features which are shown in the guide are not available.

Chatters does have a few nice features such as being able to fade your name, customize your login and logout message, and vote muting players (which does get ill-treated). But it still falls short of being a complete program. One reason is due to you not being able to create your own channel. If you wish to communicate privately with a few of your friends you either have to use the IM feature, which you can not use for group conversation, or you will have to host your own version of chatters.

Originality
Chatter is not original with being a chat program, as they have been around for countless years and has additional feature. But as with BYOND, it was one of the first programs in which users can freely communicate.

Overall
As said before Chatters had, and may still have, great potential but for the lack of being complete, disrespectful members, and “elitism”, it causes this program not to be the best chat program on BYOND, even though if it is the only one. The only way to get some kind of respect there is if you constantly use this program. If you are searching for help on any kind of topic I would recommend the forums as you will most likely get no help on Chatters.
Unlike the space station 13 review, I did this mostly on the community, mainly because this is a “community” chat.
Sounds like someone got picked on when entering.
Actually, I have not been picked on while in chatters and have been somewhat of a long time user. So it sounds like someone does not know what they are talking about, no offense. Jumping to conclusions is great though </sarcasm>.

Anyways, I had no bias while doing this review, I join chatters every day, obviously I use it more than you. I enjoy it at some times but the disrespect other players receive is saddening.

if you disagree with my review why not post your thoughts on what you believe?
There certainly seems to be a lot of bias. You mention a lot of the bad things and few of the good things. You complain about how some players are obnoxious, but fail to mention the /ignore (you say to ignore people, but I doubt this is what you had in mind). Additionally, you can't justify marking on Chatters down because of the community when any and all multiplayer games rely heavily on the community aspect.
It was a joke, clearly you didn't understand that.

The big problem with your review is you completely ignored the fact that you are welcome and encouraged to start your own server if you don't like the way one is being managed.
Vex:
I mention a few of the good thing maybe because there are only a few. I'm not going to speak about every single feature because that would be pointless. Most of these features are in any game anyways (ie. Chatting, who list). But if I failed to mention a great feature feel free to post it.

I said to ignore those who attempt to insult people. So I am not sure how I failed to mention such a feature.

Chatters is a "community" chat program, with a bad community there will be no use of joining such a community, especially since there are no channels. I did not judge the community on ss13 mainly because there is more than one server up, in which not every one of those servers have a bad player base.

So all in all, I was not bias against chatters. If I was bias at all I was for Chatters. If I disliked it so much then I would not be using it every day huh?
Danial.Beta wrote:
It was a joke, clearly you didn't understand that.

Not sure how, "looks liked someone has been picked on" is a joke. But if you insist it was one here is a laugh for you, haha.

The big problem with your review is you completely ignored the fact that you are welcome and encouraged to start your own server if you don't like the way one is being managed.

Which I stated in my review, by clearly it was ignored. "If you wish to communicate privately with a few of your friends you either have to use the IM feature, which you can not use for group conversation, or you will have to host your own version of chatters."

This makes me want to start hosting NChat again. Just about all of the issues you mentioned with the software itself are remedied in NChat. Such as being able to invite users into your IM conversations. I steered away from the multiple room system older versions of NChat included, which used a tab control to let you have multiple rooms open at once which just led to a ton of interface issues.

Even includes a nice SIMPLE help interface that loads when you want it to, and the first time a key joins.
NChat looks fucking ugly as hell. It would be pretty awesome if it wasn't for the interface.
I don't understand why people rate the program based on the community around it. If the program is open source, then anyone can take it, modify it if they like, host it and start a totally new community. How can the program be rated bad by its community if anyone can form their own community?

Why don't you just say that "in this reviewer's experience", the main community was bad, so you recommend hosting your own community if you use this program.

Saying that the community makes one program inferior to another makes no sense at all.
Foomer wrote:
I don't understand why people rate the program based on the community around it. If the program is open source, then anyone can take it, modify it if they like, host it and start a totally new community. How can the program be rated bad by its community if anyone can form their own community?

Sure the program is open source, but it is not my job to make it better. I reviewed the current program as is.

Why don't you just say that "in this reviewer's experience", the main community was bad, so you recommend hosting your own community if you use this program.

I said what the flaws were in the program too, but I assume no one read the whole review.
172.16.0.1 wrote:
Jumping to conclusions is great though </sarcasm>.

You forgot to open your sarcasm tag. :)
Mutes should only effect enemy players instead of everyone around the Channel OP.
SuperAntx wrote:
It would be pretty awesome if it wasn't for the interface.


I've redesigned the thing again, total recode and whatnot. It uses a much simpler interface with less going on than the previous versions. This one is your basic 'input at the bottom, output above it, info on the side' interface that lets you customize what colors it uses. You can select which side the info is on as well, of course. (And it's all resizable for more customization)
I'm not objecting to your complaints about the program (although from what you wrote it sounds like Chatters has regressed since I last used it... like 3 years ago. You can't make your own channel? That's news to me.) I'm just tired of people posting reviews stating that a game sucks because of its players or staff.

Unless the community is hardwired into the game, as in, only the owner hosts it and you're forced to play with that community, then there's no reason to judge a game by the community who plays it. If you don't like the community, host your own server and form a different community.

If Chatters is open source, then its obviously hostable. If people don't like the available Chatters community, they can host their own server and change the rules to support a community that they DO like.

All I'm saying is, don't judge the program by its community. If the active community surrounding it is bad, its worthwhile to mention that, just don't call the game or program bad because of that. As in:

"Chatters has the potential of being great, but it falls short due to certain members of its community"

I want to hear people reviewing the PROGRAM, not the community. Because of if its a BYOND game, then odds are the community will automatically suck.
Hmm, I guess I should put in the title "a review of the game plus the current community that uses it". As I stated the flaws in both categories.

(If you want to look at a review based on a program and not the community itself please check out my space station 13 review)
But Foomer, the purpose of a review is to tell people what they will experience when playing a game.
This is the default (and as far as I can tell only) community so a new player will interact with it first.
It's 100% relevant to a players first time experience and thus an important issue that needs to be brought up in a review.

I think BYOND Reviews also have a second function, to tell the people responsible for the game what needs to be improved. In this case improved moderation policies in the main room is also something that should be brought up.


What would be the point of this review if it glossed over the biggest flaw?
My point is that there needs to be some distinction between judging the program as a program and judging the program by its community. When a person looks for a chat program, they could be after a couple different uses.

Some people might just be looking for a place to chat, but other people might be looking for a program that they can host so that a group of friends could get together and chat.

If I'm looking for a good chat program to host so me and me friends can chat online, I really don't care what kind of community frequents the publicly hosted version. I want to know about the program and its features, not the people who use it.

I'm not saying its bad to mention it if the users who frequent the community around that program have a bad attitude. But don't tell me its a bad program BECAUSE of its community.

(Unless the program requires you to use the community, as stated in previous post.)
Foomer wrote:
My point is that there needs to be some distinction between judging the program as a program and judging the program by its community.

But neither of those alone are what the reviews are for. They're for judging games. Because its a community based game the default community plays a big part for the majority of the readers.
If it has moderation or player problems those impact the game as a whole just as much as poor interface design. Even when avoidable they still need to be brought up.
Lines like 'hosting your own session with your friends is advisable because the established fanbase tends to be quite hostile towards new players' or 'the established community is really friendly and welcome new players with open arms' should be a part of pretty much all BYOND games.



All that aside, you are 100% right about how far too many of these focus entirely on community.
The key motivator for writing a review seems to be that someone likes the game enough they want to play it, but get forced out by bad players/moderators.
The average BYONDer would certainly be interested in community when looking for a new game to frequent but the entire review can't dwell on the subject anymore than it could be all about graphics or sound.
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