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Before you Begin
First, welcome aboard. Second, please take part in the “I’ve Arrived” thread in the "Announcements" forum. At the top of the thread you’ll see a poll listing the most prominent geographic areas for the games industry. This is a repeated topic of interest for our members, so we’ve made the poll permanent. Vote for the geographic region where you work. Feel free to also make a post in this thread announcing your membership. We ask that you at least make one post here; even it’s just a single letter. After that, if you simply want to ‘lurk’ that’s fine by us.

How TCE Works
There are several forum sections on the index page, the first is our only public forum and all others are private forums; this includes "Announcements". Only the "Public" forum is viewable by outsiders. Anything posted in the Private Forums can only be read by other private members.

As you probably already know we restrict our membership for your benefit. We don’t allow management so you may speak openly without the fear of reprisal, we don’t allow recruiters/HR so you aren’t spammed for jobs you don’t want, the public so we’re troll free, marketing so the forums aren’t spammed and journalists so nothing you post will be re-printed or made public.

Please note that we do have a few members from the above fields on TCE. When we first started, we were less strict with our rules and let some people onboard in the interests of diversity. We also have some early members from the Fatbabies forum who were longtime members known to us and are utterly trustworthy. If you have a problem with any of our membership, see ‘Membership Complaints’ below.

Membership also entitles you to ‘vouch’ for additional members, please read the Vouching FAQ for more information.

Anonymity is assured on TCE. We do not keep a record of email addresses, or make your name or address public to anyone else. Some members have joined with their real name, and still others put their real name/job title in their signatures. Most of our membership however wish to remain anonymous and we respect their right of privacy. If you know someone’s identity on TCE, even if they’re a friend, posting any information on the forums that threatens their anonymity will get you banned. Please respect others privacy and don’t ask any of the mods/admin for names, titles, email, or IP addresses; we don’t give them out.

At the top of each forum page you’ll see a bunch of links for various forum features. One of the most useful is the ‘Private Message’ feature, (or PM for short). The PM system is just like email, expect that messages are sent/received within the domain of TCE using forum usernames instead of email addresses. PM’s are completely safe, secure, private and do not threaten your anonymity, so enjoy. Note that there are limits to the number of PM’s you can store and save, so remember to check your inbox when you can.

Finding your way Around the Forums
The main TCE forum is ‘Industry Professionals’. Post absolutely anything in there to do with the industry, games in general, to ask questions, raise polls, gossip, slander etc. We don’t mind light-hearted posts either, as long as it has to do with the industry.

The ‘News’ forum was created sometime after Industry Professionals, as a lot of AP, web-links and traditional media stories were being posted. Post anything News related here, including company press releases.

About Company-X allows you ask and get information about current companies. This forum is primarily for people who are looking for a new job, have an interview at another company or are thinking of applying to a particular company. Use the Search feature to look for a post concerning the company you’re interested in, (chances are your questions have already been answered). If you don’t find a thread, make a new one. NOTE: Please refrain from spamming, flaming or trolling in this forum. We all know how hard it is to bite our tongue when we’ve left a company under bad circumstances. If you have a valid point to raise then please post; if you’re just a disgruntled ex-, (or current), employee please restrain yourself! The information here is to help people make a decision about working for a particular company, not to slag them off.

The only un-moderated forum on TCE is ‘Irrelevant Corner’. If you miss the FB slander and flame wars then please conduct them here. You may say anything you like and post about any topic, even non-industry related. NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT READ IRRELEVANT CORNER IF YOU ARE EASILY OFFENDED. Most of the posts there are in good nature, others are of a political nature that may offend some people. Take note however that we do not moderate this forum so anything goes. If you read something you don’t like in Irrelevant Corner don’t complain to us.

Jobs and Careers is the only forum where we allow sanctioned recruiters to post job openings. Note that the recruiters here are professional recruiters, they aren’t posting here for their health. Also note that this is the only forum recruiters have access and that the public does not.

Lost and Found is a good place to go if you’re new. Post for information about anyone you want to find in the industry, or keep a watch out for your own name. Use the PM feature to contact another member.

Professional Art, Programming, Audio and Design, are obviously forums for specific disciplines.

Game Reviews was started to keep reviews and release notices out of the other forums. Discuss any game in here, as though you weren’t even in the industry.

If you would like a new forum, then please ask the admin team. We can’t guarantee we’ll create one for you, but we will if there is enough support for one.

Forum Hosting
Ask about hosting a private forum on TCE. If you need a forum for inter-company communication, or your game or programming team for example, we can create a private group and forum your team can use. It will not be visible to other private TCE members or the public. We’ll host a private forum for you free of charge, for as long as you like and also back it up monthly with the regular forums, as long as you have enough members to make it worth it and actually use it.

One of your forum members will be made group moderator and then may add/remove members without going through the TCE admin. You may also add members to a private group that are not private TCE members; they will be able to read and post to your forum, but not the other private forums.

We do not believe in heavy moderation and there aren’t many taboo areas that will trigger moderation. We generally prefer to receive complaints from members about particular threads or posts before we act. If you are offended by a post, or have any problem with anything on TCE, please PM one of the moderators or site admin.

There are a few subjects/areas we take seriously and will actively moderate:

We don’t care about gossip/slander, unless: It compromises TCE or it’s admin legally, or it refers to a current, private TCE member. If you slander another member, the thread will first be moved into Irrelevant Corner, (where anyone may say anything they like). If the member in question then complains to us we’ll remove or lock the thread, (even if it is in Irrelevant Corner). Note that as well as posts directed at yourself, this rule also applies to members of your company, your company itself or your work associates.

We will remove any post that contains proprietary information that is not available on any other public site, or other public media. The same goes for content that breaks copyright. Both pertain to US law where the site is officially, (but not geographically), hosted.

We will remove any racist, overtly sexist or bigoted posts, and retain the right to remove any overtly religious content unless posted in Irrelevant Corner. This includes any far left or far right political content that may cause offense. This rule also covers images, links or pasted outside content.

We tolerate ‘legal pornography’, as long as it’s posted in Irrelevant Corner. Anything illegal or considered overtly indecent under the laws of most civilized countries, including but not limited to snuff porn and child pornography will be removed.

We do not allow ‘commercial’ content or links. That does not include announcements about your latest game going gold etc., announcements about a new company/middleware/technology, and we will also allow a single post advertising your team/company when you first join the forums. We will however remove blatant advertising, advertising we consider ‘spam’, (not pertinent to our industry), and repeated advertising, even if it is in Irrelevant Corner.

Remember, for anything outside of these 5 rules WE DO NOT ACTIVELY MODERATE. You must PM/email us and complain about content before we do anything about it.

Membership Complaints
Once you’re a member, you’re generally considered ‘safe’. As with moderation, we do not actively remove or cancel memberships unless there are very specific reasons, (see below). TCE is a democracy however, if enough members call for you to be banned, (or have your access removed for a specific period), we will do it.

If we receive 5 requests to ban from 5 different members for good reason, we will review the case seriously but reserve the right not to ban. If we receive 6-10 requests and the reason is warranted, we will ban the member in question. If we receive 11 or more requests we will ban the member in question not matter what the reason.

Unless we’ve received 11 or more requests, you may appeal the removal of your membership. If you choose this option, after a period of 14 days we will put up your appeal for a private vote. If the membership votes to allow you back on the forums we’ll reinstate you. We won’t put you up for vote unless you supply at least a paragraph explaining why.

Active banning:

There have been only three bans from TCE. The first was Eiger when he joined the public forums a few weeks after we’d been up, (if you don’t know who Eiger was, ask another member from FB). Another was a member, who happened to be upper management who fired another private member, at least partly for innocuous comments made on TCE. We can’t stress this enough; this is a volunteer effort and at the end of the day, just another internet forum. If anything on or about TCE causes any member grief in the real world, and losing your job is obviously the ultimate here, we’ll ban any member involved.

Apart from anything else, I personally do not want this kind of guilt causing me sleepless nights, (as the previous situation honestly did). Remember, this is just a meeting place. Regardless of anything anyone posts here about your team, company or game, it’s their opinion. Whether it’s posted on TCE or not, they still think it, they still discuss it with co-workers and friends. You would not jeopardize someone’s job because of anything they’re thinking or saying to friends, so unless it really causes your company lost sales or inherent value, why should TCE be any different?

Promotion/job change into upper management, marketing, journalism etc.
If since joining, your job title has changed and you're now 'technically' breaking the rules it's OK. Once you're a member legally, you're membership is safe. You also shouldn't worry about hiding the fact that you're position has changed, especially if you've been promoted. Promotion from the trenches is a good thing!

Employees or those managed by the above
This is a tricky one; it applies principally when an existing member starts their own company and takes on employees, or someone from the rank and file is promoted. I'm afraid there's not much we can do in this case. The normal rules regarding upper management for example do not apply. We can't penalize the person in question simply because their job title changed. If you're worried about your anonymity or anything you've posted however, please ask us to change your user name and/or remove the posts/threads worrying you.

Quoting Private Forum Posts to Outside Sites
The contents of the private forums here at TCE are exactly that, private. Re-posting, quoting or copying posts from TCE onto any other site or forum, public or otherwise is not allowed.

Even though we take anonymity seriously at TCE, don’t assume that because you don’t know someone’s identity no-one else does. When you repost content you may also be jeopardizing a member's job, or damnaging their peer respect. Also remember, because TCE is a private industry site you are privy to information here that isn’t necessarily in the public domain – even if it is well known in industry circles. Re-posting content may have legal implications for us as well as you.

We don’t mind you posting a general synopsis of a thread to an external site: “I was just on TCE and there’s an interesting thread that talks about ???”, is acceptable. Anything beyond this, which includes specific content and or TCE member-names is a ban-able offense.

Please use common sense when referring to TCE, respect our memberships privacy, and above all remember this is an industry professionals site; much of the information posted here is not for public consumption.

Will this FAQ Ever End?
Finally, miscellaneous notes on our community.

Please don’t troll. Wit, comedy and bravado are welcome, but arguing and flaming like a retarded 14-year old fan boy is not. That was the downfall of FB, don’t let TCE go the same way.

We are trying to start a few ‘traditions’ here at TCE to foster more of a community spirit. Note that we’re all hardworking professionals like yourselves, so everything doesn’t always come off as planned. However, here are the main events to look out for.

In January each year, we’ll produce a short run of TCE T-Shirts. They’re not made for a profit, in-fact last year we lost money on the deal. The goal is get T-Shirts for those that want them in time for GDC if possible, but definitely for E3 if not. If you’d like a T-Shirt please take part in the Irrelevant Corner polls for the design/slogan that start in January.

Each year in December we’ll celebrate ‘Chaosmas’. Even though this is the time of year for Christmas, ii isn’t meant as a Christian celebration and has no religious context. As most people have holidays in December, we celebrate the end of the year too, simply for fun. We will post polls to nominate various members in categories such as “Best Poster”, “Most Prolific Poster”, “Worst Poster” etc., and the winners will receive chocs and candy dispatched the cheapest way we possibly can.

August 15th is TCE’s Bornday, and we encourage all members to send us photo-shopped Bornday “Insult Cards”. If you want more information, take a look at the link on the index page for last years ‘cards’.

Starting this year, we’ll also be playing an April Fool on everyone, so make sure your virus scanner is working on April 1st.

We occasionally see posts or questions about ‘lurking’ on TCE; it appears some members are fanatically against non-posters. Be assured that there is no rule regards lurking on TCE. We hope that everyone at least makes a token attempt to take part, but if you only want to read then go ahead. Please at least take part in the polls as they crop up, especially the occasional poll about TCE membership, rules or site changes; all a vote requires in a single mouse-click.

TCE is ran by volunteer industry professionals just like you. It is funded by us and by any of you willing to donate. We do not accept banner advertising, or paid links. We do not accept commercial affiliate links, hosting, advertising or sponsorship of any description, and we will not in the future. We do however accept donations for the yearly cost of hosting the site and maintaining our server(s); there is a donation link at the top of the page. We reserve the right to hassle everyone once a year, (probably around Novemeber), if we're short on cash. We do not and will not ever ask for membership fees; donations are entirely volutary. In the meantime, if you want to actively support TCE, get the word out. We’ve already had members wearing Chaos T-Shirts on G4TV. You should tell your co-workers and friends about us. We hope that in the future our T-Shirt drive will eventually generate a small profit which will pay for future site hosting and maintenance; so buy a shirt this year because it actually cost me money last year!

If you have any questions about the site or forums, or any suggestions on improvements or changes, get in touch.

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