After much deliberation and internal discussion the decision has been made to suspend the current season of Forza Motorsport 7 racing due to the low turnout in the early rounds of the season. At this point in time we are not abandoning the season but suspending further rounds until we can find a solution to our attendance issue.While this is a disappointing position to be in it is important to highlight the issues and some of the shortcomings of the planning that went into this season, and how we might look to improve some of these issues moving forward.
Issue #1: Rebuilding
2018 was a nothing year for TSG at a time when we really didn’t need it. 2017 was already a year of transition as we moved from RGL to the new community and having the busy year I had in 2018 while z00lu was already absent for personal reasons didn’t really help our rebuild phase much. I assumed (incorrectly) that in 2019 I could pick up where 2017 ended, planned out a mammoth season and scheduled in Thursday night as was tradition.
Issue #2: Tradition
Which leads to issue #2, the desire was to stick with tradition. Thursday night racing was a staple for many years during RGL and the start of CANZ. In the interest of not clashing with other racing communities (as much as possible) Thursday was locked in. Again, I assumed incorrectly that business would resume as established in years passed.
Issue #3: TSG/CANZ is not RGL
This is the biggest point. It seems to be the one I’m personally getting stuck on that I hadn’t really realised until a message from z00lu. That Screwed Gamers/CANZ is not RGL, we don’t have the community we used to have. The clout that came with RGL’s history is gone. We can’t judge the success or failure of anything against the successes and failures from RGL. Things can’t be organised and expected to run as well as they did in RGL where we are at the moment. As z00lu said to me, during RGL’s growth it was setting the benchmarks, during TSG’s growth I’ve been comparing against those benchmarks rather than setting our own. The objectives had been based on where RGL had managed to get to at its peak not where TSG needed to be at this point of its growth.
So with those points out of the way, lets look at the plan moving forward and how we hope to achieve these objectives.
Solution: Get social
The plan is, at this stage, to host several social nights in place of the scheduled upcoming Forza rounds. These will not all be on Forza, nor will they all be on Thursdays. We’re trying to find a balance now of what we can do to grow our community back up again. Generate more video content without excessive effort. Foster a social gaming community.
Solution: Reduce the Serious Factor
RGL was a competitive gaming community with a social aspect. Later in its life it began to focus more on the social aspect and move away from the competitive scene. With TSG we’ve kind of gone the opposite direction and taken social factors and tried to over engineer them into everything becoming a competitive activity. This has been a likely contribution to the position we find ourselves in so it’s a barrier we’re aiming to remove moving forward. More social nights, more social games. Whether that is something like GTA V or Minecraft we don’t know, but we’re going to try things and see what happens.
Solution: Forget Tradition
TSG has operated, from the beginning, on traditions built in the RGL days. Things stayed as they were because there was an air of familiarity to it. Racing on a Thursday night being a prime example. Traditions established as long as six years ago don’t necessarily work today though. As we see with the racing, people are working different jobs or have classes at different hours now so they can’t race late into the night, not to mention living in different timezones. If that means we have to move timeslots or move days around we should be prepared to do that. Clashes with other communities will happen, unfortunately that is the nature of things and some will choose other communities over us but we cannot restrict ourselves based on unknowns.
Solution: Get People Involved
RGL fostered a community that allowed people to get involved. Not just being part of a community, but being involved in the organisation and operation of events and social nights. If there’s one thing I personally would like to see remain a staple of the community from RGL to now it would be fostering anyone’s ability to organise an event, social night, or competition at any time and get people involved. Again, foster a social gaming community.
It has been a rough 18 months for us, no doubt, circumstances outside the community have affected us at times we didn’t necessarily want them that has taken the wind out of our sails. However this has granted us an opportunity to chart a new course and, for fear of over repeating myself, foster the growth of a new and reborn social gaming community that doesn’t take itself to seriously (for the most part).