Sonic Retro operates on the basic assumption of trust: we trust you not to be ignorant, and you trust us not to treat you as though you are ignorant. Therefore, the boards do not exist to cater to people who don't think for themselves. We're not going to hold your hand every step of the way, and we're certainly not going to tolerate you acting like you know what you're doing when you don't.
2. Don't poop in the punchbowl.
The thing that makes Sonic Retro special and cool is that we allow everyone to speak their opinion, even when we think that opinion is misguided or silly or just plain stupid. By opening dialogue, we hope to work together create better ideas and games and cool things. We want really awesome, insightful conversation.
What we don't want are people who behave like jerks when the conversation doesn't go their way or who hijack the conversation with their outrageous statements. While things might get heated, they should always be civil. That said, if anyone says something stupid, we expect all the smart ones of you out there, especially with higher ranks, to answer them back and explain in a detailed and objective manner just how and why that is stupid. We can do this without hurting each others' feelings or being complete assholes to each other. We can have good discussions and a really fun party, too.
3. Write in proper English.
We're not HUGE Grammar Nazis, but it is expected that basic spelling and punctuation will be evident in all of your posts. If you type in all lowercase, use "txt talk" and other various incorrect English conventions, and slap ten emoticons into each of your posts, expect to be banned quickly. If English isn't your native tongue, then don't worry too much, but still try to put effort into typing properly. There's a difference between not knowing English and being a lazy typist.
4. Spamming is not tolerated.
On the Internet, there is generally a very fine line between messing around and spamming. If your post adds nothing to a conversation, says something completely off topic, is written poorly on purpose, or contains anything else that can be commonly identified as spam, it will be trashed, and the author may or may not be punished. Take a look at topic 8808 for examples of what spam generally consists of, and most of all, please don't play around with us. We will not hesitate to take out people who do nothing but spam the boards, intentionally or not.
5. Bandwagoning makes you look ignorant.
Memes are OK every once in a while—after all, who doesn't like some lulz every now and then? However, it is expected that you will be mature in your meme use and not start bandwagons consisting of using the same phrase over and over again in rapid succession. The best way to preserve a joke is to use it sparingly, and if we see you abusing memes in a way that makes you look like an idiot, we'll be sure to trash your post and smack you a few times for continuing.
6. Show respect to fellow members.
While flaming is allowed on the boards, it is generally discouraged since a lot of the time, there really isn't much justification for it. If somebody does or says something wrong, and they're not being outright disrespectful about it, then don't be a dick and tear into them just because you can.
That being said, we don't care if you don't like furries. We don't care if you don't like fancharacters. If there's any kind of outright discrimination that needs to made against members, it's something we'll handle when a member registers. Ultimately, if you're not sure how to respond to a situation, let us know and we'll take care of it.
7. No drama whoring (aka the Wetflame Memorial Rule.)
We will not tolerate excessive bitching and whining from various members about this board, other boards, your mom or how people are being "mean" to you. If you have a problem with certain aspects of this board, then you're free to bring them up in a mature manner in the Site Affairs forum; however, remember that while we are understanding and generally open to suggestion, our word is final. If we say something, that's how things are gonna roll. If that's not how things fly with you, the door's always open. Retro is NOT a democracy.
If you decide to be a drama whore, know that it's perfectly valid grounds for banning. Don't do it, please.
8. No backseat modding.
We're the staff, you're not. If someone's breaking the rules, we'll take care of it. If someone makes a stupid topic, we'll take care of it. Your sole existence is not to tell other people how the board is run, and it's extremely annoying for us to come in and see people acting like staff members when, in reality, they have no authority to do so.
If shit goes down, feel free to tell us and we'll take care of it. Not you.
9. One account per member.
You are only allowed one account per member. There are no exceptions to this rule. If you have an old account, be sure to mention to us; we'll merge them for housekeeping purposes. If you do make an alternate account, and it happens to be a joke account, the joke account will be banned and the creator of the account will face similar punishment.
10. Keep it work safe.
Any posts you make on the boards should, as a general rule, be safe to view at work, school, or any other type of public terminal. Any posts, images, or whatnot that are not safe for work should be clearly marked as such with a "NSFW" warning. Any posts that violate this rule will have the offending images removed, with the potential for a suspension based on the severity of the offense.
11. Do your research.
When posting topics about something you think is "new," stop and think—is what you're posting really something that hasn't been posted before?
Do not post about "discoveries" that are already covered on the wiki or other major sites. Do not state the obvious. Do not report hoaxes, hacks, or simple misinformation as real (it's YOUR responsibility to verify). Search the forums and wiki for the subject you are about to report on. When in doubt, stay away from the word "discovery" at all cost.
12. No half-assed "theories."
Since the earliest stages of the Sonic community's inception, there has been speculation regarding certain aspects of Sonic game development. As a result, many members would make "theories" to try and explain what could not be backed up by any sort of concrete evidence. The problem with this, however, is that about 99% of "theories" were total crap and did not make any sense whatsoever.
If you wish to post any speculation on the board, then realize that it is up to you to back up your speculation with concrete evidence. All theories and ideas must be supported by facts and elaborated with reasons. The burden of proof is on YOUR side to support the theory, not on ours to debunk it. Generally, opinionated theories are obsolete as they've been replaced by fact-oriented research. DO NOT start any theory unless you know what you're talking about.
13. No bullshitting.
Back up all your claims with evidence, especially when involving discoveries/experiences with other prototypes. DO NOT start a topic until evidence is ready to be shown to the public.
14. No relaying.
NO relaying banned people's message onto the board (e.g. copy and paste.) NO sharing accounts with banned people. NO facilitating banned people to dodge the ban. Helping unauthorized people to gain access to the board is considered as a security risk, and violators will be removed.
This also applies to approved members relaying for trial members to avoid using posts, or those in Pending Approval.
15. Privilege is earned, not given.
Sonic Retro acts as a meritocracy, and as such has varying member levels depending on their status in the community. These statuses are given due to achievements by the individual member, not by social status or other arbitrary metrics. If you are Pending Approval, do not ask to be made a Member. If you are a Member, do not ask for Oldbie status unless you can document that you were a member of the Sonic scene before January 2003; do not ask for Tech status, as it will be given to you when you earn it. Do not ask for an achievement; if you have earned one, we'll get around to getting it to you.
Asking for a promotion will greatly hurt your chances of ever receiving one. Unless otherwise stated, we are not recruiting for staff at this moment. You'll be contacted if you're needed. Do not ask to be a staffer. If you ask, I'll assume you didn't even read this topic and thus are not suitable to be a staffer.
16. Do not link to final copies of games. Do not link to prototypes before the final game is released.
Under no circumstances should you post links to final copies of games, be they old Genesis games or something that has just come out. We do not condone piracy—period. In regards to prototypes, do not link to prototypes before a game is complete, and as a general rule wait until after a few months. It'll still be there when we can handle it without getting yelled at.
COMPLY WITH ADMIN INSTRUCTIONS
Comply with any additional requests and instructions given by an admin. For example, if an admin tells you to remove a certain element from your posts, remove it—period.
Finally, relax, don't be too uptight, and have fun.
Rules are to be followed
The moment you break a rule is the moment you automatically forfeit the privilege of being here. You are not "entitled" a second chance, and you should not expect one to be given automatically.
Failure to follow the rules, intentionally or otherwise, may result in a permanent ban. "Social status" such as postcount, usergroup, gender, popularity or seniority play NO role in the degree you may bend/break the rules over other members—although you're welcome to test at your expense. Any "test" or "experiment" on the boundary of the rules will be considered as a consented gambling on your membership—don't bitch at us if you lose, and don't bitch at us if someone else wins, either.
Rules or guidelines?
Following all the rules increases, but never guarantees, your chance of staying here. Breaking any of the rules reduces, but not necessarily immediately eliminates, your chance of staying here. Nothing is guaranteed.
Rules or guidelines? THE WORLD MAY NEVER KNOW—MAKE YOUR OWN DECISION AND YOU'LL FIND OUT.
Staff has the final say
The staff determines whether a rule is broken, and the staff determines what reaction is needed. This is not a democracy.
You don't have a right to be here; your access is a privilege. The staff can deny access to anyone at anytime. We decide, and can change how this place is run as we see fit. Exceptions may be made solely at our discretion. This is a dictatorship run by cranky people. WE WILL CHASE YOU OFF OUR LAWN.
Disagreement with staff's actions
Any opinions on recent events should go into Site Affairs. You have the freedom of speech to disagree, but you may not take actions to nullify or override the staff's administrative decisions (e.g. helping ban/PA dodge).
Dead issues should stay dead. We don't pledge to re-consider every settled issue every time it is annoyingly raised again.
You can suggest changes to the rules!
Please post any opinions of the rules in Site Affairs. Until/Unless the rules are revised, you are still expected to follow the current set of rules, even if you don't agree with them.