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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:23 pm 
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Islander wrote:
Paradox wrote:
I've been working on an Age for almost three months now. What do I have to show for it?

Basic geometry and some messy textures. This is what I've accomplished in three months.

This shows even more that this is not the approach to be taking with the public! How many users are going to have the dedication you evidently have? 10? 5? If that.


My point exactly. I should point out that I've helped write the tools and know very well what I am doing.

Not many people will go through the lengthly process of making an Age.

This is about as easy as it gets.

Ladon wrote:
Islander wrote:
Ladon wrote:
It would have to be drag+drop, there's no other way for simple explorers like us to learn the art so easily. Our ages will be basic, but elegant in their simplicity. People will go 'Hey wow, you use that like that! That's an awesome idea!', similar to people walking into your Relto and saying 'Hey cool, where'd you get that?'.

Like I've said before, it would be like learning HTML or Java. You look at someone else's code, and take stuff out that you like.

See, please explain to me what exactly is wrong with this approach? I think it's a seriously great idea - kudos to you, Ladon.

Thanks :) Although I doubt my idea will really make a difference.
I don't think people are understandng what could be created using 'pre-fab' items and surroundings. Look at Eder Delin and Eder Tsogal. Made entirely from things already found in the game, and they're gorgeous. It isn't about the variety of objects, it's about what you do with them.
What you guys are trying to make is what you think needs to be made in order for it to be cool. Trouble is, for anyone who isn't an advanced modeller like us, it's a roadblock. They'll look at it and say 'Nevermind that then, I'll go and do something else'. I know you're trying to focus on a specific audience, and as Myst has proven before, that sometimes doesn't matter because other audiences will like it anyway. But if modellers wanted to model their own ages, they'd whip out MAX or Maya and do it. This is like making a new saw for a carpenter who already has one. What you should be doing is making a saw that everyone else wants.


I agree, Eder Delin and Eder Tsogal look beautiful. All of the Pod Ages also share a similar design.

The key is that each Age has its own atmosphere and design. They share similar traits, but each have their own.

I'm not against "pre-fab" as much as I'm against a tool where you select a pre-fab terrain, add pre-fab trees, a pre-fab building, and pre-fab details.

I'd like to see a repository of objects that user can import into their Ages. A bench, a cone, a barricade, etc. That way you don't have to model everything yourself; but you can still achieve a unique look to your Age.

The worst thing that could happen would be if pre-fab went out of control and we saw 500 Ages that looked identical but for one small detail here and there.


Last edited by Paradox on Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:25 pm 
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Islander wrote:
There's elitism if ever I heard it!


One should never ripe out a quote from its context! Please quote my entire paragraph or remove your quote.

Age creation is a complex process. I'll try to explain it with an analogy:
Quote:
"If the industry would just release the right and easy to use tools then everybody could build their own car out of a block of metal in their own garage at home."
or
Quote:
"If the shop would sell the right brushes and colors everybody could paint pictures like an artist who has spent years to learn the art."


The tools need a lot of practice and time to learn. Why would Cyan hire expensive and trained developers when they could spent they money on a tool that everybody can use?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:27 pm 
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Islander wrote:
Paradox wrote:
I've been working on an Age for almost three months now. What do I have to show for it?

Basic geometry and some messy textures. This is what I've accomplished in three months.

This shows even more that this is not the approach to be taking with the public! How many users are going to have the dedication you evidently have? 10? 5? If that.


We're not trying to make it difficult, it is difficult.



Side note:

Unfortunately, your argument for tools that can be used by those without the time/inclination to learn more is not going to find much sympathy amongst those making the tools. The people making these tools set out, on their own, to determine how everything works. It's a completely different mindset, and to those (myself included) it can sound like "but I want you to do it all for me!" even when it's truthfully not. You're just going to keep getting the same answer "if you want to do something, then learn how to do it." Personally I think this is an interesting dichotomy I see crop up fairly often, and very few people seem to bridge it with any real success.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:28 pm 
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In the magical world of assumptions many things are overlooked.

Let us pretend for a moment about how things could possibly work. Let us drop all of our previously made assumptions and imagine.

In this imaginary world of future Uru with user created content.. Perhaps.. Just perhaps.. Things could work a little like this:

Two levels of user tools:
1) In-MOUL you have a basic editor for dragging and dropping to customize your generic ages to fit your base desires... primarily for customizing your relto, beyond the basic yeesha pages.
2) External toolkit that allows you to do more advanced work on your ages, whether existing or new.

The first tool would mostly be placement of prefab objects (some of which could be made in the external toolkit) around your relto.. and possibly other "personal ages". It could also amount to some basic modifications like in clothing design, etc..

The second tool could ultimately allow the creation and implementation of user-developed ages. This tool would allow an interface with a few different 3D modeling programs and would also have some very basic modeling abilities built in for placement of objects/etc. Could also make use of things created by other users and shared.

The basic tools should be accessible to any beer-swilling john-doe. After all, everyone likes to learn a bit and if things are not a solid brick wall, then it makes things easier. While at the same time reserving more advanced functionality for those that are really wanting to get in and make awesomesauce.

But lets get down to some interesting details. You have made your new ages.. or items.. or whatever.. and you want to put it in the game. Better yet, you want to test it. But how can you do this without PoTS or something to test it in?!?

Well, lets see:

  1. Create External Content.
  2. Export to intermediary format and gi ve it its base rules/starting conditions.
  3. Exporter creates initial conditions file, that is checked for on MOUL startup and sent to the server for authorization.
  4. Server acknowledges content, gives you a unique ID for testing it with. This is "STAGE 1". Stage 1 allows only YOU to visit it and make sure things are "working".
  5. You link to your relto, hit your custom age bookshelf, visit the age, test things out, tweak things until you get them working. If something is really wrong and leads to a condition where the game would crash, it catches it and links you back to your Relto (better safe than sorry) and prints out a little message telling you what happened and maybe gives you some info on how to fix it, if possible.
  6. Once everything is working well in STAGE 1, you pop back out to the age creator/exporter. (which you probably have done numerous times while getting it all working right)
  7. You press the "STAGE 2" test box in the exporter, it exports the content and puts it on a book that can be UNLOCKED (previously it was always locked so you can only use it). STAGE2 asks the server for permission, it checks to make sure none of the "obvious bad things" can occur and checks to see if the age hash is same as last time it was ran or it has been running in STAGE 2 already and since then minor changes have been made .. updates the server with what the hash should be.. and makes sure last time it ran it did not crash . soon as an age "crashes/boots people to relto" for an unexpected event it is degraded to STAGE 1 and requires private testing again.
  8. You log in, you get the beautiful option of inviting people to your personal age either by sending them a link to work in their new-writers nexus or they come to your relto and link through there.
  9. A little P2P magic occurs, sharing your content with other people that you have directly invited. They can not share it, only you can.
  10. You guys play, test things out further, and move along. Once you are satisfied and the age is "completable" or marked "garden" or similar.. you exit.
  11. and.. Apply for STAGE 3 approval. The system checks the last state of the age and does an A-OK for STAGE 3 (or not and explains why).
  12. While starting URU, you UPLOAD your new age to the User-Content server automatically.
  13. You log in, you can share the age with anybody and they in turn can share it with their friends.
  14. Users can RATE the age. You can continue making changes, but in a STAGE 1/2 version that can be upgraded to STAGE 3 and remove the existing STAGE 3 age.
  15. Ages stay STAGE 3 until they receive a required number of ratings (say 100). Ratings can be in both quality and "suitability" for STAGE 4 status.
  16. Once sufficient rating and sufficient count of ratings is received age creator is notified telling them they can apply for STAGE 4 status.
  17. STAGE 4 status makes the age available to anyone who has been designated a "Restoration Engineer" (or similar) for review. These people then review the age and recommend changes and either deny or approve it for STAGE 5 status.
  18. Once approved for STAGE 5, the DRC reviews the age.
  19. The DRC then degrades the age to a lower STAGE or approves it. If approved ... *drumroll*
  20. Age is made available to all users via the New-Writers Nexus.
  21. Any changes made at this point must go through the lower stages and depending on severity are given either fast-track or full-review status and are a "parallel age" for testing purposes.



This all means that an age could take months to be generally available. But it is possible to eventually be available. After STAGE 5, inm a few rare instances, the DRC or Yeesha, or someone may opt to make the age publicly available. Once that occurs the creator can not make changes to the live age, but instead can only modify parallel ages. Thus making it very important for people to consider if they want to apply for STAGE 4 approval too early or not...


And so on and so forth.. I could have written that in a less rambling way, but honestly, I did not feel like it.. nor do I feel like editting it.. Sorry. Feel free to rewrite what I said to make sense to the masses.

-M


PS: As for the elitism of the H'uru posters.. well, what do you expect? Offer a hand in the tool creating process and work on making it more accessible. With time that'll happen, but the first versions are always rough around the ages and take improvement. Right now the guys are just trying to get things out there.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:32 pm 
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Deledrius wrote:
We're not trying to make it difficult, it is difficult.


You have three options if you want to have easy to use tools:

* write the tools yourself
* pay someone to write them for you
* wait until somebody else writes the tools

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:34 pm 
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Tiran wrote:
Deledrius wrote:
We're not trying to make it difficult, it is difficult.


You have three options if you want to have easy to use tools:

* write the tools yourself
* pay someone to write them for you
* wait until somebody else writes the tools


4) Once the tools are created, add to them to make them simpler. It will come. Advanced tools are always what is available first. It is the nature of the beast that goes meow.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:37 pm 
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maztec wrote:
Tiran wrote:
Deledrius wrote:
We're not trying to make it difficult, it is difficult.


You have three options if you want to have easy to use tools:

* write the tools yourself
* pay someone to write them for you
* wait until somebody else writes the tools


4) Once the tools are created, add to them to make them simpler. It will come. Advanced tools are always what is available first. It is the nature of the beast that goes meow.


4 = 1 :)

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:38 pm 
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Paradox wrote:
Islander wrote:
Paradox wrote:
I've been working on an Age for almost three months now. What do I have to show for it?

Basic geometry and some messy textures. This is what I've accomplished in three months.

This shows even more that this is not the approach to be taking with the public! How many users are going to have the dedication you evidently have? 10? 5? If that.


My point exactly. I should point out that I've helped write the tools and know very well what I am doing.

Not many people will go through the lengthly process of making an Age.

This is about as easy as it gets.

Well, then please explain to me why, with a userbase of 10,000s, Cyan should even bother toying with an idea that'll only be beneficial to 10 or so. Your logic seems fundamentally flawed to me.

Tiran wrote:
Islander wrote:
There's elitism if ever I heard it!


One should never ripe out a quote from its context!

Err, I didn't. It still seems just as elitist if you look at the whole paragraph.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:44 pm 
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Islander wrote:
Paradox wrote:
Islander wrote:
Paradox wrote:
I've been working on an Age for almost three months now. What do I have to show for it?

Basic geometry and some messy textures. This is what I've accomplished in three months.

This shows even more that this is not the approach to be taking with the public! How many users are going to have the dedication you evidently have? 10? 5? If that.


My point exactly. I should point out that I've helped write the tools and know very well what I am doing.

Not many people will go through the lengthly process of making an Age.

This is about as easy as it gets.

Well, then please explain to me why, with a userbase of 10,000s, Cyan should even bother toying with an idea that'll only be beneficial to 10 or so. Your logic seems fundamentally flawed to me.

Tiran wrote:
Islander wrote:
There's elitism if ever I heard it!


One should never ripe out a quote from its context!

Err, I didn't. It still seems just as elitist if you look at the whole paragraph.


Please read my post...

On that note..

--- Timeline is forthcoming. The time-line will make this discussion clearer and hopefully improve upon the overall atmosphere in this thread.

-- On another note... Islander, The "Toy" that is being created is a first stage toy - which will be evidenced by aforementioned time-line.

Can we all sit on our haunches for the next hour please. Thanks.

-M


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:50 pm 
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I hope nobody is finding my comments to be irritating, especially those who are working on this. I just have a habit of reacting irrationally to things that I consider illogical. Guess that's a bit weird when I'm playing a game involving magical books.

I'll try and be a bit more quiet now :)


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 7:27 pm 
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Equally I hope that I'm not being too irritated. I just dislike the attitude that Age creation should be reserved for those with the greatest computer knowledge.

maztec wrote:
Please read my post...

I did...

maztec wrote:
--- Timeline is forthcoming. The time-line will make this discussion clearer and hopefully improve upon the overall atmosphere in this thread.

What time-line are you on about? I think I've missed something...

maztec wrote:
Can we all sit on our haunches for the next hour please. Thanks.

...why? What happens in the next hour?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 7:50 pm 
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Islander wrote:
Equally I hope that I'm not being too irritated. I just dislike the attitude that Age creation should be reserved for those with the greatest computer knowledge.


You still don't get the point. We don't make the tool complicated to keep the people from creating ages. It's the job itself that is so complicated.

You won't be able to produce good results when you don't take your time to learn. But you can help even if you don't know how to use tools. A team of age developers needs more than just coders and 3d object creators. You can help by creating story elements, creating puzzles, designing objects or making music and sound effects. The design and story part of an age is as important as the work of the coders.

Age creation is team work

You don't have to be a developer to help.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 7:50 pm 
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Dear Everyone:

We at The H'uru have been working on creating tools, as a group, for the Uru engine since February 2004. The tools have taken many different steps and stages. Initially we were playing around, trying to find out what was not discovered in Prologue. We were also starting a server project to make Uru available.

These activities quickly resulted in some concessions with Cyan that led to their release of Until Uru. Simultaneously, Alcugs was under development in anticipation of Cyan not releasing UU. Alcugs was up and running nearly a month before UU was released.

After that, we started to explorer the creation of new content. In order to do this we had to reverse engineer a significant portion of the then mostly-defunct Uru engine. This was accomplished by a fairly small group who made themselves open to new membership. Few people showed the ability or interest in joining, but availability was made periodically and the group grew. In fact, it still grows.

Skip a few years of development time. Several versions of the tools came and went. The Age Builders and similar groups came into existence over this time.

At the same time, due to lack of participation or interference by certain people.. some of our membership disappeared some of it returned.. things changed with time. But overall, the group grew. Currently the group consists of just over 10 people. Some of us are not counted, because our projects are not central to development. Some are not active anymore. Others are merely window-dressing used for negotiations. Over time we have had roughly 30 members.

This brings you roughly to where we are now. At this time we are actively developing tools intended to be used with MOUL for user created content. Integration with MOUL is going to depend on Cyan. Cyan is aware of our ongoing work, but is waiting for us to present to them usable tools and for their legal department to come to terms with what we are.

To that end, the following is our current rough-development outline or roadmap if you prefer:

1) Develop advanced export and creation tools that support MOUL. These are meta-tools that are about implementing the functionality needed for later tools. These tools will never become easier to use, they are primarily used for development purposes.

2) Advanced users will be welcome to use the advanced tools for creation and export of full ages and prefab objects.

3) HuruStudio will be expanded to incorporate prefab objects and act as intermediary steps in the age creation process. With enough prefab objects users will be able to create their own compilations of content.

4) Approval for public use of these tools will be requested from Cyan. Cyan will be in charge of their integration with MOUL.

5) We will continue development. Making the advanced tools more powerful and the intermediate tools more flexible and friendly.

6) Cyan will, hopefully, extend these tools into MOUL for some basic user editing and development in-game, potentially similar to the closet for modifying your avatar.

7) Over time something for everyone will become available. Cyan will implement the import and sharing techniques and we will continue developing the Studio tools.

8) Eventually other people start improving the tools and they get better and easier to use.

9) A new golden age of Writers arrives.. (or not).


That is about it. That is our rough roadmap. Internally we have sets of goals for each section. These goals include both development goals and negotiation tasks with Cyan. The support of the community is an important part of this proces. Without it, Cyan, ourselves, and GT will probably lose interest.

Thank you for your understanding and input.

Sincerely,

The H'uru


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:04 pm 
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Tiran wrote:
You still don't get the point. We don't make the tool complicated to keep the people from creating ages. It's the job itself that is so complicated.

Ahh, well in which case, we're talking at cross purposes.

I was under the impression that this discussion was centred around Cyan making certain things available to aid in the creation of user-created Ages. You seem to be talking about user created tools, though.

What I'm saying is that, in my opinion, it would be more logical for Cyan to create tools themselves that could aid many, many users create ages, in a 'wardrobe' style fasion, as Tahgtahv puts it, than for them to help a small few creat tools which are far, far more versatile.

My opinion, nothing more.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:09 pm 
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The day Cyan releases Age Creation tools is the day the moon falls out of the sky. (at this point)


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