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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:43 pm 
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Even this early in the whole process of getting MORE going, it seems apparent that the community is going to be taking a lot of responsibility on. And it seems everyone is ready for it.

I'd like to suggest, or at least open discussion on, organizing ourselves. As it stands, we have a number of important tasks to complete: guild-related, some kind of introductory content for new players we hope to recruit, and a ready repository of information for coordinating community activities are just a few.

To this end, there are already a few websites that address these in varying degrees: http://dpwr.net, http://mystonline.info, the various wikis, and the individual guild websites are all important and serve our needs. These and other forums, too, are an invaluable resource. What I suggest, then, is a bit of a restructuring.

Ideally, there would be one community-driven website acting as a combined resource for all MORE needs. I'll give a brief structural example, using ageofearth.com as the example domain.

Guilds
Each guild would have its own subdomain: gow.ageofearth.com or gome.ageofearth.com, for example. Members and leaders of each guild would have rights within their subdomain commensurate with their responsibilities.

Each guild would have:
-Its own forum
-Its own shared file space for storing and working on documents, resource files, or any other data they could potentially generate
-A public resource area. As an example, the Guild of Cartographers would want to be able to make completed maps available to others.
-Its own gateway for explaining the focus of the guild
-Access to maintenance for any other parts of the site that the guild might be responsible for; the Guild of Archivists or the Guild of Greeters, for example, might reasonably be responsible for maintaining the About Uru section
-Any other resources a specific guild might require

About Uru (or, the What is Uru? section)
Everything in this section would be brief - it should be used as the link given to anyone who asks, "What is Uru?"

-An overview of the history of the D'ni (pre-cavern to modern day) in order to give those unfamiliar with the game some background perspective.
-A description of the type of gameplay involved in MORE; most people familiar with MMOs or other video games aren't familiar with the paradigm MORE uses
-A description of the community involvement in MORE

Player/Character
Each player would have their own unique page, upon which they could communicate information about themselves, write posts about whatever topics they cared to, and essentially have their own Relto within the site.

Chat
Private IRC chat with a web-based front-end so that people could participate either through the website or via third-party IRC clients.

Public Forums
Simply a place for anyone and everyone to have an open discussion. May not be necessary, as we have forums available here.


In this way, we could have a single website that encompasses all salient aspects of MORE. If one wanted to immerse oneself in lore, then heading to the Guild of Archivists area would grant access to anything they had made public. If one wanted to look at maps, head to the Guild of Cartographers area. For information about Ages being worked on, the Guild of Writers. New players, after reading the About Uru section, would be directed to the Guild of Greeters area.

All of this with a single domain, and with a single and unified login.


Making it happen
This could be done using one of the domains already out there, or with a new one (I'm a fan of ageofearth.com, myself). I am willing to commit whatever resources are needed - both monetary and technical - to get it set up. I craft custom software for large corporations for a living, both web-based and not, so that I'm happy to contribute. I have hosting space available, as well as hardware.

I'm not trying to step on any toes here. Many people have put in considerable time and talent to make all sorts of resources for Uru. I'm interested in a clear focus, timely execution so that we have time to work out kinks prior to MORE going live, and utilizing my talents to benefit the community.

Whatever is done, it's going to require participation from as many people as possible. Each guild would have to decide on specific requirements for their section, and those responsible for other parts of the site would have to start working on them. Consider this not only a collaborative resource, but an opportunity to test our ability to work together successfully on a smaller scale than what it looks like MORE will be.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:16 pm 
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Uh, not to pop the bubble here, but each Guild already has its own website, and there is already (at least) one big hub for information: http://rel.to

I don't think it'd be wise to ask everyone to pile into a single website at this point. Personally, as GoMa webmystress, I am highly against the idea. And it's virtually impossible since we have far too much going on just by ourselves to have to share a server or location with everyone else.

I appreciate your desire for unity and whatnot, but I think we are functioning quite well how we are right now. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:46 pm 
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Yeweleed wrote:
Ideally, there would be one community-driven website acting as a combined resource for all MORE needs.


Realistically, the Myst community is like a bunch of cats: herding them all in one place is a feat that would bring more frustration than good, assuming it were possible at all. :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:54 pm 
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No bubbles popped; merely a suggestion on my part, not trying to lay out hard guidelines or even suggest that it's ideal.

Thus far, aside from this forum, the Uru community has presented itself as enthusiastic but wildly fractured. rel.to is useful, but it runs into the paradox of choice. I am approaching all of this from the position of a relative newcomer, which I merrily admit limits my perspective. What perspective I have gained has presented me with a vast pile of disorganized and decontextualized information that is discouraging and frustrating.

MORE is comparable to an open-source project. My suggestions, then, are inspired by those projects which have been successful. Without exception, all of them have floundered when they have lacked a central repository of information and resources for both those who are actively involved and those who seek to become so. Once that repository has been established, however, they've worked wonders.

In those cases, egos were bruised and pride disregarded. People who were devoted maintainers of a particular important but outlying resource felt themselves usurped and their importance diminished.

This whole thing fails or succeeds in direct proportion to the ability of the entire community to organize itself, maintain a clean and up-to-date central repository, and push forward with a unified mindset.

I'm not leading the charge - just bringing it up for discussion.


Last edited by Yeweleed on Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:55 pm 
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@ Yeweleed

I did suggest something along those lines a few months ago but
the idea is gathering dust in somebody's folder, somewhere.

At the time, I had the impression that it might have been Rand's wish
for something of the sort to be organized by us. I called it, "The under, one roof idea"

I like the idea of one access to all the Guilds. I also do like the idea
of "small" presentations by every guild for new comers to get a "big picture"
of what Uru is/or can become.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:24 pm 
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My main objections to this are:

1. Its not particularly realistic given the requirements of each Guild.

What I mean by this is that the GoMa alone requires a good bit of customized server space. We already tried the hosting thing, and it didn't cut it. There's not sufficient access to the server, nor is there any kind of customization allowed. I've had need, on several occassions, to have access to the shell of my Linux box. You don't get that when you use a hosting service, and if you find a place who provides it, expect to pay easily $100 or more a month for it. Since hosting on our own, we have had been able to significantly improve our website and the services we offer to our community and the Guild.

We currently serve as a hosting site for multiple Writers and their Ages. If we continue along this line, with the future of UCC even in just Uru:CC, we will be hard pressed to find someone with enough space to keep it up. Ages can easily reach multiple gigs in size. Which also presents the issue of bandwidth. Does someone have a place to host this much stuff with sufficient bandwidth for uploading and downloading?

We have several customized programs running on our server: phpBB, Bugzilla, Wiki, etc. I suspect that on a community server or something of the sort, I will lack the ability to dive into the core of the system to change permissions and other various necessities. Right now, if things get really bad, I can even hack my databases to edit things.

These are just examples of what the GoMa has need of. What about all the rest of the Guilds? We're talking 18 major Cyan-created Guilds, and any number of minor fan-developed Guilds. That's a LOT.

2. Ian's statement about herding cats.

Good luck with that. ;) Its bad enough trying to keep everyone on topic in a forum thread (yes, I'm guilty of thread-jacking too), let alone getting everyone to agree to putting their website in a single location.

3. Its a PITA to have to move stuff from server to server.

I just went through this a couple months ago when we moved from paid hosting to self-hosting. I do not relish the thought of repeating this.


Now, to make this a constructive post, instead of a whiney post... here's my recommendations to you: ;)

If you really feel this is an option, and others agree with you, perhaps consider using redirective links to the current websites, instead of asking people to move their content. I'd be happy if you wanted to post a link on a main site to the GoMa Forum or the various utilities we offer. (However, that's mostly what rel.to currently does.)

If someone is willing to instantiate an LDAP server for the entire community to use, that'd be lovely. I'm already looking into this for the GoMa site. This will allow the "single login for everything". But it provides a security hole if you are going to use it across the entire community And it gets compoundedly worse (yes, that's a word now) when everything is hosted in one spot. If one person gets in, everyone's stuff is compromised. Right now, we have some sort of security in our solidarity, so that if say, the GoMa site is hacked, everyone else is still free to continue, and we are the only ones who need to do clean up work. (I believe the TCT site recently experienced a back-door hack.) I trust that each site has their own form of backup right now.

I love the idea of an IRC area. That'd be huge. The chat we currently have for GoMa is hosted outside the server and is measly at best for reliability. It doesn't allow for logging, either. :P If there were a way to set up an IRC server for the community to use, with the ability to create private rooms for conversations, that's a great thing. I know we have Mibbit right now, but is there a way to expand this at all?

While I agree that things may seem a bit shattered and scattered, I think that for the most part, each Guild has firmly planted its roots in the place it currently sits. I generally don't dig my heels in about things, but this one is something I'll push back on until someone gives me a dang good reason to go with it. :) I suspect most of the other webmasters around will do the same. (The Writers can be more stubborn than I can. (I love them though) :D)

Perhaps instead of asking people to move their content to a new place, we should consider the options around organizing and promoting the community with what is currently available and set up out there.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:56 pm 
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Myself being a person who is rabidly protective of any and all public-facing resources I provide - and who encourages his clients to be just as rabidly protective of their resources, I cannot agree more with your sentiments on all topics. Security, customization, unique Guild needs, and system-level access are all areas where your concerns are entirely reasonable. I myself would accept no less.

As far as capacity goes, I have an 11TB NAS RAID array that's currently unused, sufficient spare hardware to put several servers together, and a dedicated T3 that's available for use. Additionally, there are hosted services that grant shell access while charging a reasonable rate (quite a bit less than $100). It's not dedicated hosting, but it's an option.

I'm happy to provide the resources, happy to provide support, and happy to commit my text editor and compiler if necessary.

Leaving all that aside, your idea that we need also to consider how to leverage existing resources is important. The current rel.to is valuable, but I believe we can do better.

Allow me, then, to propose a scaling back of my initial proposal.

The individual guilds are currently comfortable with their setup. They've put work into establishing their sites, and they address the particular needs of each guild. No reason to mess with success there.

Each guild would maintain its own site, as it currently does, for its internal work and non-public resources as well as more esoteric internal news and the welcoming and processing of anyone who wishes to join its ranks. It could even provide hosting, as you currently do, for large files or for that data which it would rather not give up personal control. Any new or unestablished guild could avail itself of the resources of the central site, but would not be compelled to do so.

In this scenario, what I proposed would function as something of a central public information and resource location. Its sections would still be the same, but each guild would only publish to the site those things which they wish to make public. In terms of development and maintenance time, this would actually be preferable all around. Each guild continues to work the way they want to, and guild management code doesn't have to be written.

The central site would still have a subdomain for each guild where that guild's appointed individuals would be able to post news, links, summary information about the guild, and generally keep in touch with those people outside the guild. The About Uru section would still be maintained by the appropriate guild. News posting could even be handled automatically on the site if a guild's site currently has an RSS feed - just plug the address into the central site and it will process the feed.

Chat will be hosted on the central site using private IRC and granting people the right to create channels as needed. Each guild will have its own private channel.


This, with some tweaking, would address both issues currently standing before us. Guilds would not lose their useful resources and already established gathering places, and we can present a unified face to the world at large whereby current players can keep track of the entire community's activities and new players can avail themselves of overviews without being overwhelmed by the daunting amount of information out there.

Consider this, then, a PR site. Its purpose is not to obviate those resources that already exist, but to gather, organize, and present them in a beautiful and understandable way. With more detail and welcoming structure than rel.to currently provides. Responsibilities are clearly delineated, and upkeep is minimal. Players can keep in touch in something closer to real-time, and it presents a gradual progression into the entirety of the game for new players rather than the currently precipitous leap.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:12 pm 
Artic_Wagon wrote:
At the time, I had the impression that it might have been Rand's wish
for something of the sort to be organized by us. I called it, "The under, one roof idea"


Well, there's your problem. The D'ni didn't have roofs. :D


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:03 am 
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zander_nyrond wrote:
Artic_Wagon wrote:
At the time, I had the impression that it might have been Rand's wish
for something of the sort to be organized by us. I called it, "The under, one roof idea"


Well, there's your problem. The D'ni didn't have roofs. :D

I know of at least two. Image

1- Relto roof, green page
2- Classroom rooftop for a marker, in Bevin.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 12:12 am 
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Don't forget the Tokotah building rooftop in Ae'gura that you can link onto.

And a lot of the buildings in the Myst series other than Uru have roofs, too, but they aren't in the cavern.

I think the D'ni used roofs in outdoor areas, but in the cavern (where there was no exposure to rain) sometimes they didn't.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 1:10 am 
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It seems to me that this, in a sense, has already been done/tried. There are many forums and places like Rel.to that try to tie things into a one stop shopping spot for URU. Maybe there isn't one that has it all.. well besides this place which has been paired down since the GameTAP cancellation. Using the "Community" link above takes you to a page that shows many sites with a brief description. Look under Fan Websites.
Once things get going maybe this place could be overhauled a little to have a "Guilds" link at the top. Next to that a "Resources" link that would show the sites that have information like Rel.to. Basically clean this place up a bit, no offense to Cyan or the mods, and make it a good easy to use spot for new ppl to get what they need.

Your idea has Merritt. Maybe, it would be best to put all that right here without piling every place on one server. They can stay in their nice happy homes as they are. There just needs to be an easy... real easy way for them all to be found. If you come to this site to check out what it is, right now, you only get a few quick links up there and this HUGE forum. a new explorer is pretty much stuck going "help" on the forum.

Cyan is it your plan to fix this place up a little for launch?
or are you hoping the community will do it. If it's something the community can do, would you allow someone or a group to add those "Guilds" and "Resources" buttons? Oh and CHAT yes that would be cool! There is a space up there, second spot from he right, for a chat button, leaving one more spot for the "Download" button that we are all dieing to see.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 1:55 am 
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There are already a lot of resources in place, spread out all over. Leveraging them would be spectacular.

My initial thought was that Cyan would be best to handle something like this, but with the effort they're putting into getting MORE going, I thought it something the community could probably handle, leaving them to focus on the most important parts of getting things running again.

Perhaps I'll mock-up an idea of what I've suggested and pass it on to the guilds and the people here to see if it's something that seems worthwhile. If it is, and if anyone wants to run with it, I'll either offer all the support I can or put in my own effort to realize it fully. Nynaveve brings up really good points, and I'd like to see what can be done with the guilds' input.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 3:23 am 
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I would really like a central resource repository for all resources tied to the Guilds (map templates, greeter handouts, textures, music, etc.). Gather all the people in the community (who wanted to) and have them all pitch in to make a large community-wide resource for the guilds.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 10:59 am 
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Whilyam wrote:
I would really like a central resource repository for all resources tied to the Guilds (map templates, greeter handouts, textures, music, etc.). Gather all the people in the community (who wanted to) and have them all pitch in to make a large community-wide resource for the guilds.


Which makes the point of guild sites pretty moot.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 12:48 pm 
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Tweek wrote:
Whilyam wrote:
I would really like a central resource repository for all resources tied to the Guilds (map templates, greeter handouts, textures, music, etc.). Gather all the people in the community (who wanted to) and have them all pitch in to make a large community-wide resource for the guilds.


Which makes the point of guild sites pretty moot.

Could someone with a good english knowledge share what Tweek means
with this last comment ? please !

Does it mean a good idea or a bad one ?

Once and for all, I sure would like to know Rand's opinion on this matter.


Last edited by Artic_Wagon on Sat Jul 12, 2008 12:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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