The Shenmue Dojo - past, present and future.

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The Shenmue Dojo - past, present and future.

Postby Peter » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:28 pm

Grab a cup of coffee or some snacks. Its about to get detailed!

So, hello everyone!

A lot of visitors here may recognise my name, but for anyone who doesn't, or is unsure, allow me to introduce myself. My names Peter Campbell, im 34 years old and live in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Life was going swimmingly until one day i picked up a copy of Official Dreamcast Magazine off of the shop bookshelf, and my life changed course from that moment on. I have been a huge Shenmue fan since that day, and it wasnt too after finishing the games back in the early 2000s that i found this site, The Shenmue Dojo. Over the course of the past 14 years i have regularly contributed to this site, firstly as a registered user, and then as a staff member. After a brief hiatus last year, i was contacted recently by the then current owner, George aka "Yama", and offered the chance to become the owner of the site and begin to get this place ready for the crazy future we have soon ahead of us. If you missed his topic, you can check it out HERE!
Shenmue has been a huge part of my life for the past decade and a half, from playing the games beyond any sort of countable number, to finally realising a dream come true, meeting Yu Suzuki in Japan during the Kickstarter Backer Dinner. This series and this site was dead just a few years ago. It really was. 8 years ago Yama took over and did an outstanding job making the site more appealing and accessible for anyone who visited, and all during that time we lived in hope that it wouldn't all be for nothing. It really did begin to look like a waste of time and effort, but thanks to excellent fan spirit and great community building and campaigning from the 500k Facebook group, Team Yu group and longstanding French partner site Shenmue Master, a relatively impossible dream came true and we are well on the road to actually holding a controller in our hands and walking down to Bailu Village to get some clues on the hunt for Lan Di. Its been an insane ride! But the rides nowhere near over yet!

In this post, i will be going over a few key areas in detail, about what the aim of this fansite is, and any subsequent changes may be coming in relation to the future release of Shenmue games. One of the key words i hope to always stick to is transparency, so everyone knows exactly what is going on. So like i said at the top, i hope you got some food and drink!



We may as well start where we are, and that's with the place most members, if not all members visit the most; The Forums. Its where we all talk and get to know one another. Realise each individuals reactions to all things Shenmue. In terms of changes here, it will mostly be structure based, with a few cosmetic tweaks for reason i will explain.

First off, before even taking over me and Yama discussed at length the staffing of the boards, and what their roles are. A lot of users within the roles were either AWOL or just didnt bother to make any decisions or act when needed to. So we put together a list of names that we both felt from the beginning of my tenure that we felt comfortable with, and also what role they will play. Below is our selection, and what that role means:

Shenmue Dojo Owner & Administrator - Peter
Administrator - Yama

The role of myself and Yama as administrators means that we have access to the ACP, and can make relatively any decisions in terms of usergroups, permissions, cosmetic look of the forum makeup etc. Its all pretty much behind the scenes stuff. We also take the wheel of the ship, and help make sure the site has the right tone and feel in terms of staffing and making sure this place serves the best interests of Shenmue and the site itself.
Yama has kindly offered any advice 24/7, but as owner, the overall look of the site design and any future changes to anything i will have to decide upon. That means everything, from a new site, social media ideas and direction, forum upgrades and design, listening to members, staffing members.... its no easy job thats for sure, and these past two weeks, i could count the hours of sleep ive has with just my 2 hands. I will be active on the boards, that goes without saying, but i wont be as active as i was back years ago as a regular member. Gone are the full weekends of chatting, bottle of wine, and nude pictures (dont ask!).

Global Moderators - BlueMue, Henry Spencer, James Brown, Jibby, OL, ShenSun, Sonoshee, Spaghetti

The team selected i feel is a great mix of everything. Old members, new members, full of ideas and all sing off of the same hymn sheet. First and foremost, this is a Shenmue fans website. We come here for our love of the series, and as of late, it doesnt seem to be that way. Open troll comments which differ from constructive criticism, and branding the entire Kickstarter as a scam are not topics of conversation that serve both Shenmue and this website well. Theres a fine line between keeping negativity off the boards and censorship, and the reason ive selected this team is because i feel they have the experience and intelligence to make a call and do whats right. We are a site for the fans by the fans, and i hope the staff sets the tone and attitude for people who contribute to the site.
If someone is just joining up here to troll for some giggles, or get some hits on their Youtube site by badmouthing the series then they will act swiftly and appropriately. All staff have been given instructions to be as transparent as they can. If a user gets warned, or banned, their post will be edited by the moderator taking action, so that everyone can see. Sadly until the forums are upgraded this is the only real way of being transparent with other users so until then, please bear with us. Any more issues or questions, please dont hesitate to ask!

News Posters/Veteran Contributors - alimn, Axm, Bysby, Kiske, Kiyuu, LanDC, Sonikku, Switch

These members have the ability to post in the current News and Updates forum, where we try and bring any and all Shenmue news to the public as quicky and clearly as possible. It was an original group, which has been merged with longtime veteran contributors of the site whom also have been given the same permissions. They have no moderator permissions outside of this.

Shenmue 500k Staff - Shenmue Stare, shengoro86
Shenmue Master Staff - Shendream
Team Yu Staff - Team Yu

The Shenmue Community has grown a lot over the past 6 years, and i will be trying my best to make sure we remain as a team. Any sort of mentality of "us versus them" i want put to bed from the start. We all co-exist and form one entity, and it offers every Shenmue fan their own unique platform to which they want to contribute to! If you dont like the Forums here, Facebook has you covered with 500k. If you want to help with the #SaveShenmueHD campaign, then Team Yu is the spot for you. Shenmue Master has any French speaking Shenmue fans covered and has been around for as long as the same time the Dojo has. It doesnt matter where you contribute, it matters that you contribute in the first place, be it here, there or anywhere! The one common goal here is the success of Shenmue, and thats all we want together. But wait, doesnt the Shenmue Dojo have a Facebook page? Yes it does! But its a page, and we use that primarily as a news outlet extension to the forums. 500k offers a group platform, to talk about everything Shenmue in a more hot take/smaller post type of fashion. The Dojo forums offer intense debate into any little aspect of Shenmue, so again, its all there to cater to the Shenmue fan. Its not a competition if we are all trying to reach the same goal with the same intention.

Shenmue Dojo Coder - MrRod

I finally had the pleasure of speaking to MrRod on social media over the past few weeks, and he is a great guy. I cannot stress enough the work he has done in the past, and to be honest, it would not be online if it was not for him. He has kindly offered to continue on serving as our coder when we need him in the future, which i will touch upon in more detail in a little bit.

But for now, thats what will make up the structure of the site.

One other thing i need to mention is the option users have had in the past to donate to the forums for upkeep and maintenance. Now let me be clear on this topic, this isnt a negative take on Yamas tenure, where he introduced this feature. It just feel that if anyone has any money they would like to give to the site, give it to the Shenmue 3 PayPal campaign. Or hold onto it and buy the game when its released!! I will cover all costs of the site, and look at any upgrades to the service if we get to that stage and need it. Anyone that knows me, knows what i am like with money. If this site is mine, its my responsibility to cover it financially, and it will continue to be 100% free for all members to use. I do this out of love for Shenmue and thats where i stand.
With removing the donation option, i have decided to remove the various "donor" usergroups, and the relevant username colours and titles, and i humbly thank you all for any support you have given in the past. I know this is the Shenmue Dojo, and change usually brings with it a 15 page argument with nothing but popcorn bags left in its wake. But i do have reasons. This site is on the cusp of its biggest moments in its history. Yes we are in a lull now for many reasons, but Shenmue 3 is fast approaching, and possibly Shenmue HD with it. The attention the series will get, and as an extension the community and this site, will rise to numbers we may not have seen before. When get have new members join here, i want them to see clearly who is who, and what is what. The only people with any sort of distinction are those with key roles, and the colours simply make them easy to identify. Green = moderator. White = newsposter. So on an so forth, This means people know who to go to if they need anything, and also who is making staff decisions at any given time.
Another reason the groups have been streamlined and tidied up is because of something that i touched upon earlier. With a site thats been online this long, and one which started out on its own before becoming part of a community, its inevitable that a hive atmosphere can develop over time. Like i also said, we are all friends, but we are all here for Shenmue, and ultimately on the same page. I want things to be as transparent as possible, and as clear and straightforward as possible, so any sort of special privelidges or cosmetic changes have been removed. I dont want a hierarchy here, and if i could run the place without any sort of groupings then i would, but unfortunately thats not how the way the world works. But, outside of the staff, we are all human being. All together. All Shenmue fans, and i dont want anyone seeming like they are above someone else. It cant be helped when a user joined, or how many posts they have made. We all contribute equally, and great users come along at anytime. Being here for 10 years doesnt give you a badge of honour or any sort of hierarchical standing. We are all Shenmue fans, regardless of if you picked up the controller last week, last month or last year.

The last thing i have to say about the forums is it is currently on an old version of PHPBB. Thats why it looks the way it does, doesnt have Emoji support and other bells and whistles which other more modern platforms may have. The plan is to upgrade the forums ASAP, but it will take a lot of work. As i touched upon earlier, MrRod has kindly agreed to help out with this, and we will try to get to work on it as soon as we can. In preparation for future Shenmue games, we know we also have to move forward. We will have more information on that in the future as it happens!



The website runs off of both links of, with as a redirect. We pay and own both domains, and each will take you to the website designed by Yama almost 10 years ago. Along with the forums we will be aiming to update them and bring them in line with modern day sites. At the beginning of the process of the handover, Yama had designed a brand new site which i had seen at various stages along its development. Yama has done a great job with a new website design, with a more clear structure, greater social media integration, community partnership and mobile response.


As much as i would love to use the new design (it would be in place right now!), its been designed on a Wix site for ease of access and user friendliness. The problem is however is that its not our first option. The most ideal method would be to build a new website from scratch, but if anyone who has any experience knows, this is indepth and time consuming. As well as needing knowledge of HTML, CSS, databases and other such technological wizardry.
Another major issue with the Wix site is that the forums cannot be brought along for the ride, and the support isnt there on the Wix end. This would mean one of two things; the forums as we know them would be deleted with new forums created over on the Wix end, or, the furrent forums have a domain change, and run separately on another link. This could be an option, and linking it to the main site would be straightforward, but that means the new domain would be starting from scratch. All previous links that exist across the internet from the past 15 years would essentially be broken. We would also lose our Google hit rating and for a time, the new link would not show up for any searches.
The option i think is best, is to build a new site with Wordpress, and retain everything together. I have been reassured by a lot of people supporting me that its more then accomplishable, but despite that, its a much deeper job then just putting a few things in place. Ive toyed with the idea of a new logo, and that means design work. Then theres the look and tone of the new logo defining the look and tone of a new site. Image assets need to be obtained, a new layout needs to be designed, what plug in options are available and how will they be implemented, all links to social media, community sites, wiki links, forums etc all need to be working. All of that takes time and effort not just from me,but from anyone willing to offer help and support. Will i get that? I dont know, and if i have to i will outsource a new site to a company here in Belfast, which could compromise the Shenmue feeling this place has always had. All of that is in the future which i will have to decide on, but for now i just wanted to keep everyone updated.

~~~~~SOCIAL MEDIA~~~~~

The site has various forms of social media, which are generally used to post news updates as well as other content.

Facebook Page (Shenmue & community news posts)
Twitter Account (Shenmue & community news posts)
Twitch Channel (Streaming service)
Instagram Page (Shenmue artwork & image service)

We did have a YouTube Channel, which i would like to go into in a bit more detail in the interests of transparency.
The second owner of the website was a person by the name of Hellraiser, whom you would know better here now as Ziming. In 2009-2010 he then passed the website to Yama who built it to its current stage. Unfortunately i am not sure of the arrangement they had or how we was still involved with the site. But he did own the YouTube Channel which, for many years was under the title of The Shenmue Dojo. There is a difference between just a title change and an actual domain ownership, but it doesn't change the fact that he does, and always owned that channel. He also was responsible for all of the content added to the channel, and no one can argue it is a huge Shenmue resource.
Recently during the MAGIC 2018 conference a video was shown with a disclaimer for it not to be recorded. The video was an extended cut of the released Shenmue 3 teaser from last August, and was only shown to journalists at the event. Of course people either missed the instruction or chose to ignore it, the video was recorded and it appeared online, including the YouTube channel owned by Ziming. This wouldn't be an issue except not only was the disclaimer clear for it not to be recorded, but i spoke personally with Deep Silver staff after the event as well as Yu-san himself and both said that the trailer was not to go online. Other members of the community at the event were also told the same thing, and we all have refused to host the video as per request. Of course, individual people posting it was inevitable, but a YouTube Channel with the content and subscriber size that's supposed to stand for Shenmue going against the wishes of both the creator and the publisher is not something i can support or endorse.
Ziming has been a unique character over the course of the history of the Shenmue Dojo, and an opinion on him will very to neutral to negative depending on whoever you ask. But in terms of the YouTube Channel not being owned by the Dojo exclusively, it was asked of Ziming to remove all Shenmue Dojo links and branding in light of not removing the video. 2 days ago, i sent him a message asking for him to remove the video and explained the reasons why. As far as i know, i am certainly not the first person to do so. If he feels differently to the hosting of the video that's his business, but with no responses to my messages i will be banning his account here, with no promotion of that Shenmue outlet. If anyone posts a video that's linked to his channel, and its in the context of a conversation at that point in time, then it will be allowed to remain. We are not going blanket banning videos to his site at the punishment of the user. But there will not be dedicated topics to videos that appear on the site.
This was not an easy decision, or one that was quickly made. Nor was it a personal decision, and the list of people i spoke to about the matter for advice should emphasise that. I should also say that i understand if it was such a huge issue, then perhaps Deep Silver or YSNET should issue a copyright strike against it and i shouldn't be making this decision. That may be true, but that's their business, and maybe they don't want the hassle. Again i don't know, but what i do know is i need to make the best decision for both this site as well as Shenmue. One final point is that this call does not reflect or represent the Shenmue 3 team in any official way. This is a site decision, and I wish him all the best with his Channel.

That brings me onto the resulting matter.

Its because of this, that we will need to build a new Shenmue Dojo YouTube Channel. Now as tempting and as easy it would be to begin ripping content or duplicating the channel we once had, its a messy road to go down, and one which benefits no one. There's no point confusing that platform for a user searching for Shenmue related videos. So, the idea which Yama had for the entire Dojo will carry over to the new channel. It will serve as a fan service, with playlists and links to fan created content. A Rolodex for the amount of excellent fan content that's on YouTube. We will of course have our own content being added to the site, aiming to serve as an introduction to Shenmue for new users which, again, we will be expecting with the release of the new games and the attention it brings. Also on there will be a library of live streams and Shenmue Lets Plays both conducted by ourselves at the Dojo, as well as across the web. All content not ours will be play listed only so that when people click on any said video, the proper content creator will get the view, not us, which is fair.
Again, that's the plan, which will take time and manpower to create so bear with us. That applies to all forms of social media which i open the doors to any fans who feel they could contribute to the brand. From updating Facebook and Twitter with news, posting images and artwork to our Instagram etc. I used to stream and work across the board on all sorts of social media when i was a staff member but i very much doubt i could handle it all on my own now.



Yea i know. A huge intake of words. I know. I apologise if i've rambled in any areas but its been 3 days and i cannot remember what sleep is like.

One last personal request i can only ask for is from everyone, to help get this site to whats generally regarded as its former glory. I don't want to see people at each others throats and attacking each other which the Dojo seems to bring out in people throughout the years. Also, if you can keep in mind I've never been in a position such as this before, and to please help be supportive. We are all human and make mistakes, and again in the interests of transparency, I've already clicked the wrong button and deleted a forum which was created for a members work, so i am reluctant to even type on this keyboard right now in case i nuke the site by some mad ass command. I apologise to Mittens too for the forum deletion. He undertook a Shenmue Project with other fans of the site to make a fanmade shenmue game. The project was dropped a while back, and no valuable content was lost thanks to him having back ups, but still, i made the mistake of deleting them instead of hiding them in the ACP and humbly apologise. Even if i mess up, you will hear about it. Theres no brushing of anything under the rug anymore. Not even from me.
But in the run up to this, i can only say thank you to the numerous people that have said the kindest things to me, encouraged me, and gave me confidence that actually makes me believe that i can do this and make this place a success!

I genuinely hope we can all move forward together towards Shenmue 3, and hopefully Shenmue HD. I don't think i need to reiterate that i will be giving this my all, and if you ever want to talk to me about anything then drop me a message on here, or do a search on Facebook for me and drop me a message!

Oh and thank you for lasting this long if you read through it all!!

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Shenmue III
Joined: February 2004
Location: Belfast
PSN: TheGasmeter
Favorite title: Shenmue II
Currently playing: Shenmue 2x

Re: The Shenmue Dojo - past, present and future.

Postby Let's Get Sweaty » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:59 pm

Okay, let me begin by listing everything that's wrong with that post.

And now that's out of the way, here's to an exciting future for the Dojo. :beerchug:

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Re: The Shenmue Dojo - past, present and future.

Postby Jibby » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:00 pm

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I see.
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Re: The Shenmue Dojo - past, present and future.

Postby Niowiad » Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:34 pm

All the best ;-)

A little saddened by the YT channel circumstances :sad:
Hope there will be a chance to reconcile and join forces again in the future.

About the donors member groups and nickname colors... although I was in one of the donor groups, I honestly can agree on the fact that the forum probably looks "clearer" and a little cleaner this way.
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Re: The Shenmue Dojo - past, present and future.

Postby Raithos » Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:11 pm

Congrats. I wish this place all the best moving forward. I will, however, always mourn the loss of my name being purple. Not joking in the slightest either.
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Re: The Shenmue Dojo - past, present and future.

Postby The_Fuzileiro » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:07 am

What a great surprise! Congratulations Peter! You have done a great job here in the forums as a member, posting news, discussing all piece of new information received, and so on... and now you are the new owner of this beloved site and all I want to say and wish to you is good luck! May the Shenmue Dojo reborn bigger, greatter and stronger than ever! I'm totally confident you'll do a great job!

Just a personal request... just think about an international forum area here ok!? For that non-english speakers could find a warm place for their hearts here! Lol
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Re: The Shenmue Dojo - past, present and future.

Postby Sappharad » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:15 am

Thank you for being transparent about the YouTube and trailer situation. I understand your desire to respect the development team's wishes and I'm glad you finally explained the deleted posts. I'm sure a lot of people were upset that they showed that trailer at MAGIC instead of a new one, but honestly creating trailers is very time consuming. I learned this firsthand by remastering the Shenmue II trailer recently.

I've found that the opinions you've shared over the past few years have been very reasonable and I think you were a good choice to take over this site. Good luck.
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Re: The Shenmue Dojo - past, present and future.

Postby spud1897 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:32 am

Thanks for the clarification.

I've been a member on here in some shape or form for ages. This place has some excellent discussion and is generally well loved by everyone who uses it.

We all appreciate the transparency around everything and wish you luck Peter on your plans which sound awesome. While I can't offer technical skill I can offer support in spades.

You're quite right we need unity here to undertake a massive challenge and historically the 500k, here and Team Yu have been united in their quest and I am glad this remains so. Lots of us are active on all 3 social platforms as it were.

I look forward to the future, good luck it couldn't have gone to a better person.
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Re: The Shenmue Dojo - past, present and future.

Postby Kiske » Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:03 am

Thank you Peter for all the passion, sleepless nights and sweat you have and are putting into building a new, better Dojo.

You are doing your part, it's time for us to do ours. Success will (also) depend on our collective capacity to stay united and work all together for the good of the Dojo and the good of our beloved Series.
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Re: The Shenmue Dojo - past, present and future.

Postby ShenGCH » Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:32 am

I'm gonna miss my coloured username, but I'm really looking forward to what the future might bring for the Dojo :)
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Re: The Shenmue Dojo - past, present and future.

Postby DreamcastPast » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:46 am

It's all sounding good for the future of this site, I think you are the man for the job Peter.

Thanks also to Yama for your work over the years!

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Re: The Shenmue Dojo - past, present and future.

Postby The_Intruder » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:02 am

Wow Peter I'm so happy for you. You always been a passionate Shenmue fan. Congratulations!
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Re: The Shenmue Dojo - past, present and future.

Postby SheepheadCG » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:16 am

All sounds perfect to me! Great start Peter! I am very excited about the future and what it holds!

I would be more than willing to help with anything on the web side. I'll be the first to admit that I am not a design guy, but I have converted many websites from design PSD files to bespoke Wordpress themes, and have a lot of experience with Wordpress (and responsive design) in general. I do have a design guy and we would be extremely happy to help. All in all, I would love to help in any way.

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Re: The Shenmue Dojo - past, present and future.

Postby AnimeGamer183 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:49 am

I expect to see the word "cunt" on here much more often now! Grats Pete! 8)

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Re: The Shenmue Dojo - past, present and future.

Postby shengoro86 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:52 am

Congrats Pete!

In my opinion, you are best fit for this role. I look forward to seeing you lead the Dojo sir :)

Much love!
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