I am not a flash regular (I haven't posted here regularly in about three and a half years, I'd say) and nowadays I rarely ever touch flash, however I was lurking here in the flash forum, looking to soak up some nostalgia and seeing this place so quiet when it used to be the second busiest forum on Newgrounds made me feel compelled to take a look at this thread, considering it's where I used to spend my early days on the site. Considering I'm here, I realised that I might as well answer those questions that still apply to me after this time away.
How do you feel about the games factory?
Although I have never personally worked in it or seen the interface of the program, the majority of games I see that have been created using it tend to be pretty generic things that rarely ever feel too polished. As I said above, I haven't seen the interface, but from the look and feel of the games I've seen in the portal using it I assume it's a matter of preset game engines with modifiable art and things such as physics properties.
Should this forum be renamed ActionScript?
Although it'd harm my sentimentality regarding it, I think this would be a pretty accurate change for the forum to undergo. Through the decision of splitting all the different aspects of flash the change pretty much makes the discussion of everything other than Actionscript ill-fitting, and as such calling it the flash forum when there are other forums pertaining primarily to subsections of flash just seems ill-fitting and I can imagine it being confusing to outsiders.
In addition, changing the name to Actionscript would likely please the regulars of the programming forum, whom I know at the very least used to be inundated (well, perhaps that's a slight exaggeration) with questions asking about actionscript despite the forum's description stating otherwise - by having a forum specifically dedicated to Actionscript I'm sure that less people would post in the wrong place due to confusion regarding the names.
What other forums do you visit?
If we're talking the other boards on Newgrounds, I primarily post on Clubs & Crews, General and Video Games, however I spend a lot of time lurking on Where is/How to? and a fair deal of time on Politics, just reading but never posting lest I make myself look like a bit of a cock considering despite being interested I'm not the best political commentator around.
If we're talking off of Newgrounds, in my times of inactivity from here I tend to lurk a few chanboards; despite the negative stereotype of their users there is actually a lot of interesting discussion, it's just under the surface somewhat.
What's your opinion of the forum right now?
I think that the flash forum, as it stands, is past its prime. I think the main reason for this is the fact that when individual forum for animation was created the previously unified flash forum began to separate from each other, causing less communication between the two sides of production, thus causing this thread to begin to lose activity and members. When members checked in here, they'd usually pass through the flash forum and if they saw anyone experiencing issues that they can help with then they would help out the person who is having the problem, and you can see now from the slower rate of questions being answered that this is definitely the case.
Along with that, the existence of collaborations in a separate forum means that unless you check up in there regularly you're less likely to end up hearing about a particular collab, and with less ideas going between members of the flash forum community (that seems, even all amalgamated together, to be smaller than the single flash forum of the past) I can imagine that even with a separate forum there will be less (successful) collaborations being created.
Admittedly, at the time I was fully in favour of the forum being separated, but looking at the flash forum in the rather quiet state it seems to be in nowadays looking at the most recent page and of this thread, I don't think as a whole it paid off. As a whole, it just seems to be a little bit more clutter on the main BBS page and needless separation.
How could we improve?
Although I acknowledge that it's unlikely to happen (to say the least) and that many people are likely to disagree with me, I think that a re-merging of the forum into one unified central flash forum would be a good step. Of course, nowadays I'm an outsider and my knowledge of the flash forum is based on the positive visions seen via my rose-tinted nostalgia goggles, but from what I've seen I think that'd be a start towards bringing this place back.
That's all for what is likely to be my first (and last) post in this thread since I was eleven. Off I go, now, although I intend to lurk a bit more to see the responses of a few other people to this questioning, especially if there are people whom I remember from my time here doing so (unlikely, most seem to have moved on long ago).