Housepets Community Forums also simply known as the Housepets! Forums is an extension to the main Housepets site which allows fans of the comic and of Rick Giffin Studios to interact with each other and, on occasion, with Rick Griffin himself. They can be found here.
The forums started in 2008, shortly after the creation of the webcomic. As of May, 2015, it has over 1700 users, 13 staff members and nearly 3000 discussion topics. The forums can be found here. On the forums fans can discuss an enormous variety of topics in six simple yet unique sections which are as follows:
In this section users can talk about anything relating to the comic, ranging from discussion on the latest strip and fan-speculation on future plots to suggesting voice actors for the cast, to listing favourite strips, panels and characters. It also contains a subforum called "Old Comic Discussion" where discussions regarding all the outdated strips go. Users are more than welcome to comment on old strips. Ever since comments were closed on the main site after Love And War, "The Comic" section of the forums is the place for commenting on past, current and future strips. This section is moderated by Kitch and D-Rock.
This section includes many topics ranging from community projects, to fan-art and most prominently, Fanfictions. It contains two subforums: "Translation Projects" in which the comic is translated into several languages as well as presented as blank templates for users to add their own text, and "Abandoned Fics" in which can be found fanfictions which have not been updated in six months or more. The "Fan Projects" section also contains a Fan-Art Gallery. This section is moderated by D-Rock.
Not the ComicEdit
This is the biggest section of the forums and contains topics on everything not related to Housepets! as well as a Chat Thread for general discussion. It contains the subforums "Media Median" and "Forum Games". The "Media Median" subforum contains non-Housepets!-related art, videos, photography and other bandwith-heavy discussions and the aptly named "Forum Games" subforum contains a huge variety of games and challenges for users to enjoy. This section is moderated by ArcWolf and the "Forum Games" subform is moderated by Render and ArcWolf.
One of the most popular sections, the "Roleplaying" section allows users to create their own characters and have them interact with those of other players in a variety of neighbourhoods ranging from Housepets!-esque towns to a pirate ship, a spaceship, a town on the moon and the world of Brian Jacques' Redwall . Users are also welcome to create their own neighbourhoods either from scratch or based on existing worlds or fandoms but it is asked that they PM a moderator for permission first to avoid repetition of extant neighbourhoods. The "Out of Character" subforum is included in this section for better managing the roleplays. This section is moderated by Serence Frostbite.
Announcements and Feedback Edit
In this section, important announcements are posted and users are encouraged to share feedback on their forum experiences, both positive and for areas of improvement. This section also contains a thread for posting user introductions and welcoming new users. Only global moderators and administrators may moderate this section.
Rules and Moderator Discussion Edit
This section allows and encourages discussion of forum rules and policies. It also provides transparency to the moderating process as it allows users to publicly question moderator actions and appeal staff decisions. Only administrators may moderate this section.
The staff on the forums are all regular forum users and consider themselves customer service representatives and not just rule enforcers. Many of them were elected by popular vote and the remainder were selected by the admin team as being the most suitable user when their position became available. All staff are available for assistance, support, or conversation via PM on the forums at any time. The forums are managed by staff in three tiers of authority - Administrators, Forum Moderators and Global Moderators. Staff are easily recognised by their coloured usernames and custom ranks. Some staff members have additional roles as indicated below.
Administrators are the highest power on the site. They have authority in every forum as well as the ability to manage user accounts, assign permissions, create and modify forums and set staff and user policies. They have the final say in all issues and can be contacted for any general queries as well as escalations should both forum and global moderator responses prove unsatisfactory. They have red, gold, orange or grey names.
A group of special users who have jurisdiction only in specific forums. They can enforce rules and perform basic management tasks like locking, unlocking, moving, and stickying threads, editing or deleting posts and changing posters. These moderators should be the first point of contact should any issues arise or if there are any questions regarding anything on the forums. Their names are in dark blue.
Moderators who have authority in all forums with the additional permissions required to manage user accounts (such as the ability to warn or suspend accounts) for the purpose of maintaining discipline on the forums. They can be contacted for any issues including escalations should forum moderator action prove unsatisfactory. They are easily identified by their bright green names.
- inaki - the current owner and technician of the server
- Hlaoroo - the Game Master Liaison
- The forums run phpBB software.
- There is a Premium User Forum which is accessible to any user who pledges $3 or more to Rick Griffin's Patreon. Premium users are denoted by an asterix rank but have no additional permissions.
- There is a "Standard + Polls" user class which users may apply to join after one month of activity on the forums. This allows users to create their own polls but grants no additional bonuses. Instructions for joining this class are found here.
- Game Masters - those users who control one or more roleplays - are denoted by the Game Master user rank. They have access to a special subforum within the Roleplaying section for discussing all issues regarding the running and managing of roleplays but have no additional permissions. They have authority only in the specific roleplay or roleplays that they run. Any user who creates a roleplay will be added to the Game Master usergroup.
- The Game Master Liaison (GML) is a recently created position. The role of the GML is to manage the Game Master usergroup and act as a go-between for the Game Masters and other staff. This is in addition to performing regular moderator duties.
- Since 2013 there has been a competition to design a new banner for the forums at the start of each new season, with the winning banner being used as the official forum banner for the subsequent three months. This was discontinued in early 2015 due to lack of community interest.
- Invitations to send in guest comics are posted in the "Announcements and Feedback" section whenever Rick Griffin is going to be away for a week or more.
- There is a semi-official Skype chat and a Telegram chat for users of the Housepets! forums. Details of these chats are available in the Not The Comic section of the forums. The chats are run by Dissension but have not been officially endorsed by Rick Griffin, hence the semi-official status.