I was in the process of answering a question and had to convert it to a clump of poorly formatted comments when it got moderated. The specific question was a relatively typical off-topic one, essentially: "How should I 2D?" It got me thinking, though..

Rather than moderating 1,000 duplicate questions per month, allow the (meta/moderator) community to vote/decide on a very small handful of "off-topic" questions to give good, solid, "best way" answers to. The purpose of the questions and answers could still be aligned to the site's principles by giving them a minimal starting point and/or diverting their question AWAY from this site.

Questions like "What is the basic outline for a 2D game?"
This could be opened, a minimally-comprehensive, single, (meta/moderator/community) answer generated, and immediately closed with no further answers or comments; a "sticky" so-to-speak. Anyone searching for approximately that, would get some basic highlights of what to Google (and not StackExchange) next. The "community" answer for these few questions could just be external links to wiki or book titles in quotes. Duplicates that get posted anyway could be linked to the sticky which would, again, divert them away from here until they have better questions.

Just an idea...

  • \$\begingroup\$ meta.gamedev.stackexchange.com/questions/1372/… \$\endgroup\$
    – House
    Commented Mar 28, 2015 at 0:18
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Byte56 Yes, "Canonical Questions". So, was there any consensus or action in the last year? The general vibe I got was "Yeah, do that"?? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jon
    Commented Mar 28, 2015 at 0:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Byte56, would be neat if moderators could "delete" the question from the general pool, while leaving it visible for only the asker (Closed++). When the asker visits their question, they are automatically redirected to the "Canonical", instead. Neat, indeed. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jon
    Commented Mar 28, 2015 at 0:40
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The other thread is for lowball questions that are on topic. Essentially generic versions of common questions, so we have something to point to when those common basic questions come up (without the typical mess of the non-generic versions confusing the asker). The stack exchange site is great for a lot of problems. But getting started or opinion based questions are not welcome here. Who decides what the one answer for these "best way" questions will be? I see them generating a lot of disagreement and discussion, the exact reason those questions are off topic in the first place. \$\endgroup\$
    – House
    Commented Mar 28, 2015 at 0:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Byte56 I think the idea here is that the question be converted to a community wiki, and closed immediately after the first answer; and where the answer can be edited by the community to update links to external resources (to keep it current). Then the 'how to get started' question could be flagged as duplicate to one of these. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vaillancourt Mod
    Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 13:11

1 Answer 1


Q: "How do I 2D?"
Q: "What's the best 2D library?"
Q: "How do you XX in 2D?"

"Questions about "how to get started," "what to learn next," or "which technology to use" are discussion-oriented questions which involve answers that are either based on opinion, or which are all equally valid. Those kinds of questions are outside the scope of this site.

This question cannot be reworded to fit the rules in the help center.

Please do some initial research:
[Wiki link]
[Link to Reimer's main tutorial page] (very specific step-by-step answer to "how to get started")
[Link to RasterTek main tutorial page] (very specific answer(s) to "next" and "which technology")
[Some book]
[GPU Gems] (Post-Reimer "what to learn next")

[Read-only forever]

This, at least, directs them SOMEWHERE (that isn't here). Closing them typically leads to "Why?" comments.

Edit: Added more link examples. 1000's of questions could be avoided by handing out those 3 specific links right up-front. This would cull many derivative questions too by walking newbies through matrices, order of operations, coordinate-spaces, etc..

  • \$\begingroup\$ (You cannot "reword" the question to make it SE-appropriate, so moderating it as such just sends it to the top of the giant [Forever Closed and Unanswered] pile) \$\endgroup\$
    – Jon
    Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 23:04
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ If someone can't be bothered to type in "game programming tutorial" into Google before asking someone, the damage is already done. Adding links to the close reason would require a bunch of maintenance and debate for what I see as little gain. \$\endgroup\$
    – Anko
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 0:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ To some people, drawing their first triangle to the screen is like discovering the world isn't flat. I feel like you may have been doing this for so long, that you have lost the beginners' perspective. Someone that is already in over their head learning graphics, isn't going to come to a Q&A site and do more research to learn the personal preferences of the Q&A site. This is witnessed by the massive amount of existing off-topic questions that get posted despite the existence of 100+ other already-moderated, nearly-identical, questions. Have question, will ask. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jon
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 0:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not answering their question (at all) makes them ask a new one. I've seen moderators, occasionally, put a blurb in comment as they close a question and the blurb was all the person needed to get going. Replacing the verbose "this is moderated" banners with a link gives them the same banner and explanation but also provides any relevant comment-blurbs automatically. "Deleting"(hiding) those posts would also "un-do" the damage. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jon
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 0:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ I read your question thinking we'd give them some kind of basic overview tutorial. This answer you sound like you're proposing is just a larger close reason, which is disappointing. If people weren't reading all the other close reasons, why would this do anything? At least being helpful and focused on a basic overview would be useful to people. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 6:02

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