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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 6:26 am 
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First of all, I very much appreciate every comment and viewpoint expressed here and elsewhere. I think this is a really important topic and in fact I have made it a specific topic for discussion for the All-Guild Meetings on the 20th.

Let me just give you my viewpoint instead of an argument or a rebuttal.

The one thing that really drives me creatively in Uru is the possibility of being able to contribute something permanent to the Myst universe. I'm sure that is the spark that drives most of those interested in the Writer's Guild. But I am not an Age builder nor a prgrammer, and I have no desire to become one. I'm a writer and a graphic designer. And I have a lot of ideas. And the way I feel like I can contribute to the Myst universe is by adding to the storyline. Creating an explorer or an event that really catches the interest of the rest of the community and gets them talking and laughing and building on what I have done. The vid thing is a perfect example -- it was completely spontaneous, but suddenly the whole cavern was tuned in and holding their breath.

I don't want to create Ages. I might want to include the idea of an Age in a broader storyline idea, but I don't have the tools or skills (or desire) to build the Age.

There are others like me. Some are musicians. Some are poets, or 2D artists or musicians. And there is some momentum to create a guild where all of these individuals who want to create some small bit of color or a small footnote in the story can collect together and compare notes and review each other's work.

So ... does this group have to be a part of the Guild of Writers to contribute to the creation of the Ages the Writers will create, or if we choose not to are we barred from contributing?

Nobody -- least of all me -- is saying this group should be solely responsible for creating the backstory of the Ages the Writers write. I imagine most Age creators will have a unified vision of their Ages (although not every 3d modeler, puzzle designer and texture painter is also a great storyteller). But can't we contribute if we have ideas and still remain our own guild, independent from the Writers? And if the Guild of Writers, in the formation of their guild structure, discover they could benefit from the services of a dedicated group of writers and artists, could they not utilize such a group that is already formed?

As I've pointed out, there is a lot more besides backstory that writers and artists can contribute to the Writers -- promotion, in-cavern acting, etc. Maybe you, Joe Writer, decide you need a journal in your Age, but you don't feel like you can capture the emotion of the character, or maybe you want to add some nice little pencil drawings to the journal, but you can't draw freehand. Who you gonna call? Keep in mind if you have to create every little detail of your Age yourself, it's going to take you a loooooong time to get it done.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 12:04 pm 
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Oh Lord no, last thing I meant was that membership of the GoW should be in some way mandatory for anyone who wants to make any sort of creative effort at all. I really did just want to safeguard the idea that there was room for the creative side (not actually a term I am that comfortable using because it's not as if the technical work of an Age is without creativity) inside the proposed GoW. Like I say, the people working on Age creation have invited such people and I would like to provide. But it should in no way be a monopoly on such things, just an option.

My point was not 'you must join the GoW', it was merely that I didn't see any reason why any much of what you proposed could not, in theory, be part of the GoW. It's simply a sensible direction for the Guild to take- as mentioned several times, having everything together in one place. But of course I am sure they will be happy to colloborate in other creative projects originating outside the Guild.

It's ridiculous to argue at this point, of course, and I did not mean to sound aggressive if I did. It's simply that these are very significant times to actually nail down the remit of a Guild; I am excited about the whole process and what has been proposed for the Writers so far and I'd like to see that happen.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 4:34 pm 
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Ushgarak wrote:
It's ridiculous to argue at this point, of course, and I did not mean to sound aggressive if I did. It's simply that these are very significant times to actually nail down the remit of a Guild; I am excited about the whole process and what has been proposed for the Writers so far and I'd like to see that happen.

Please don't apologize! It IS a big issue, and so people involved feel like they want to make their point before anything is set in stone. I think, ultimately, you and I agree. We're just coming at it from opposite points of view.

But I think this needs to be mored to a new thread ....

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 11:13 pm 
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Really? I would have thought purpose would be a good topic for a general discussion thread.

Still, it's all said anyway. Errr, is there anything signifcant going on from the age creation community right now? They are at the centre of all this, after all.

I do actially have a question for them- was it always Cyan's intention (if indeed it is, which seems very possible) that a Guild such as this would have to provide its own tools for age creation?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:00 am 
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Ushgarak wrote:
Errr, is there anything signifcant going on from the age creation community right now? They are at the centre of all this, after all.

I do actially have a question for them- was it always Cyan's intention (if indeed it is, which seems very possible) that a Guild such as this would have to provide its own tools for age creation?

Ah, now here's something I can speak about at considerable length, if properly goaded!:wink:
At my corner of the Age building community, I've been helping with a transition that will merge two well-established groups, Guild of Age Crafters and Age Builder, into a single forum called Guild of Age Builders. The purpose of this merger is to combine the efforts of two communities toward several group projects which have been in development for quite some time now.
Fortunately, we're almost done, and hope to get back to work soon! Projects include the multiplayer Ahra Pahts city Age, to which all are encouraged to contribute, and the Search for the Springs of Kehlbet series.
We welcome anyone who wants to join, of course!

Also, tools created by the fans (such as H'uru Studio, the prp Blender plugin, etc.) continue to be improved, but at a much slower pace than before. They do function as they are now, but the results they provide are generally of a lower quality than Cyan's work. Many improvements are in the works, but things have slowed down since MOUL was announced.

To address your second question, actually Cyan had hinted from very early on that they wanted to provide us with official tools to create Ages with at some point, but have never specified when or what shape these tools would take. With this new guild, we have been hoping that official tools will be on their way, but we have no real evidence that any such thing will occur. Just our own dreams, really. :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:39 pm 
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Thanks for that! Where do you see it all going from here?

Is anyone from the age building community going to Montgomery's meeting, by the way?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:13 pm 
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Ushgarak wrote:
Is anyone from the age building community going to Montgomery's meeting, by the way?


Yes.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:30 pm 
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Okay, her is my own little personal idea for the guild as of now.

Though everyone should be officially in the "Guild of Writers", it simply becomes easier to get things done if there are smaller levels of organizations, or "sub-guilds". I think that, ideally, there should be three:

1) A Sub-Guild for those involved in the creation, updating, and management of the programs used in age creation.
2) A Sub-Guild for those involved in the design of ages.
3) A Sub-Guild for those involved in the coding of ages.

Then, there would also be a group of people to lead and organize the three guilds.

Withing the Sub-Guilds, it seems to me that the following positions would be needed:

DESIGN:
a) Age "Invisioners" - Those who come up with the general idea of ages, including the general layout, environment (desert? garden?), and a general idea of the puzzles and tasks involved in "completing" the age. The only requirements are creativity within the limits of creating a good age, as well as the ability to pass a legible proposal on the a Revisor.

b) Age "Revisors" - Revisors recieve an age concept from an invisioner, and sets upon improving. The main job of a revisor is to improve the tasks and puzzles involved in the age. They should keep in mind that puzzles must be tricky, but not impossible, as well as the fact that a good puzzle should be something that is found naturally in an age, not inserted purely for the point of a puzzle. Once the puzzles and tasks have been refined, and changes necessary to the age should also be added in. Requirements include good editing skills, as well as good puzzle skills.

c) Age "Contrivers" - Once an age has been Revised, a Designer takes the age and writes up a description: What will the age look like? What feelings should it elict from the player? What does the natural flora and fauna look like? How should music sound? Is there any special weather conditions? While writing this description, the Designer should be able to better solidify the ideas provided by the Invisioner and improved by the Refiner, giving the age a more realistic feeling. In addition, full descriptions of all puzzles/tasks and their solutions should be provided. Excellent writing skills are needed, both creative, technical, and expository.

d) Age "Designers" and Age "Depictors" - Once a Contriver has written up a description, a Designer and Depictor get to work. The Designer perhaps can be a member of the Guild of Cartographers, since the job of a designer is to create many maps of the age. These should include a top-down image of the age, as well as top-down images of necessary areas in detail. These images should include and scenery or objects wanted in the age. Requirements include good and acurate drawing abilities as well as innovative design skills. The Depictor, on the other hand, recieves the description from the Contriver and begins sketching items in the age that a 3-D artists may need to create. These will later be used as the concept art whn the age is physically made. Requirements include acurate and imaginative drawing skills.

e) Age "Reviewers" - Along with representatives from Cyan Worlds, this is the point where a created age is reviewed. Will it be enjoyable to play? Does it fit in with the storyline? Does it feel like an Uru age?

I can't really speak for what would be needed for the technical end, since it is not my area of expertise, but this is how at least I feel the creative end should run.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:56 pm 
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We are planing the sub guilds in a quite similar fashion. It is good to know that outsiders (people not yet involved in age creation) have the same ideas although we have a slightly different sub guild system in mind. For example the Guild of Maintainers will do the end user testing and reviewing of ages.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:24 am 
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AtionSong wrote:
Though everyone should be officially in the "Guild of Writers", it simply becomes easier to get things done if there are smaller levels of organizations, or "sub-guilds".


I do think sub-guilds are a good and viable idea, though perhaps not necessarily something that should be implemented right away (I didn't gather that you were saying that, by the way), as I don't know if there are strict numbers as to how many people the initial GoW will be. The problem with sub-divisions, is that with too few people, they can be more trouble than they are worth to organize. BUT, I do think it's a great idea, and as Tiran says above, it sounds like it's being considered.

I'm back from Virginia by the way. Missed the meeting, I think, though I'll have to check the time to make sure.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 5:43 am 
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MattyQ wrote:
The problem with sub-divisions, is that with too few people, they can be more trouble than they are worth to organize. BUT, I do think it's a great idea, and as Tiran says above, it sounds like it's being considered.

Something Ja'de posted in the GoG topic seems to be an excellent solution for you, as well as the other Guilds. Instead of a half-dozen sub-guilds, why not committees? That way people can move around from committee to committee as their time or interests allow. It's something I intend to suggest for the Maintainers.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:24 am 
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AtionSong wrote:
a) Age "Invisioners" - Those who come up with the general idea of ages, including the general layout, environment (desert? garden?), and a general idea of the puzzles and tasks involved in "completing" the age.
<...>
b) Age "Revisors" - Revisors recieve an age concept from an invisioner, and sets upon improving.
<...>
c) Age "Contrivers" - Once an age has been Revised, a Designer takes the age and writes up a description:
<...>
d) Age "Designers" and Age "Depictors" - Once a Contriver has written up a description, a Designer and Depictor get to work.
<...>
e) Age "Reviewers" - Along with representatives from Cyan Worlds, this is the point where a created age is reviewed. Will it be enjoyable to play? Does it fit in with the storyline? Does it feel like an Uru age?


Uh, this sounds really bureaucratic to me. What if I want to design an age top to bottom? I mean, none of us are experts in everything, but I for one can model, texture, code and design, as well as write creatively. So I will need help when I want a second opinion or when I need troubleshooting help (which surely all of us will need from time to time, and for which I will need another Writer for), and I may want to build an age that someone else came up with the idea for, but to say that the people who actually build the ages are but one of 5 or 6(!) co-equal devisions of the Guild is great for the people in the other 4 divisions, but a little insulting to the people who put in the technical skills and the hours upon hours upon days upon weeks required to make Ages.

It seems to me that not everyone can be part of this guild. Since nearly everyone in Uru surely has some measurable creative skill, and most would love to be part of creating new ages, we can't realistically include everyone. It's sad, but building Uru ages is hard, hard work, and I don't think it's right to give the impression that everyone can be a part of it as long as they sign up to be an "Invisioner," which, forgive me, is something most of us can do in their sleep.

And another thing: IC, writing ages is often the work of one person. If a 3D designer wants some help crafting a history (which shouldn't be mandatory) or designing puzzles (which probably won't even exist in the first batch of ages), they can elect to work with interested parties (or what Tiran calls "Guild Cadets"), but I imagine that most ages will be the work of a single designer who has at least 70% of all of the required skills to envision, design, model and code a new age. The remaining 0-30% that they can't handle themselves, or would like help from more experienced people in those areas, they can solicit from others (guild members or otherwise) at their discretion.

I think that we should try to be inclusive, and remove bureaucratic barriers to Guild membership, but let's not go overboard and let everyone in. OOC, each member of the Guild of Writers must have at least a minimally appreciable technical skill to create MOUL ages, or else what's the point?

I think a lot of creative people, those who want to help out but don't have the technical ability (or inclination) to build ages, really want to be part of this Guild, but to be honest, it's not for them. Creative writers can join the Messengers or Greeters. 2D artists can join that cartographers. Dedicated Uru-ites who don't have an interest in OOC asset design can join the Maintainers. If we try to remember that "writer" doesn't mean in MOUL what it means elsewhere, then this isn't a hard concept to grasp.

People who want to create "storyline" can do so without guild membership. But of course, some 3D artists will need help. So people who want to provide ancillary creative skills to Writers can do so, but let's not make it an official part of the Guild (although credit should be given to anyone who helps make an age). Tiran has a good idea with his "Guild Cadet" concept, so officially, there should be "Writers" who can actually build ages, and then there can be people who are available to help the Writers, but those people should be one group, with one title, and honestly, if I want help with an Age, I don't care if the person who helps me is part of the Guild or not. Age building is a OOC thing, but IC, those people can be the people who produce writing and bookmaking materials. They are not part of the Guild, but are "aligned" with the Guild.

The DRC note in Kiral said that this was the guild with the most difficult prerequisites, so let's not pretend that it's easy to write ages and let everyone in. This may sound harsh, but seriously, if you wanna be in the Guild of Writers, you should actually be able to create ages, right?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 11:00 am 
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Sub guild is just a nicer name for committee. In my ears the word committee sounds too modern. We are planing to use sub guilds to categorize our members, nothing more and nothing less.

You are good in writing story elements? Join the Storytellers sub guild. You are good in 3d modeling? Join the Modelers sub guild, too.

You are looking for a musician for your age? Ask the Musician sub guild.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 12:21 pm 
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You may end up with a bureaucratic overload if you have too many subguilds. For example, I see no need for a distinction between 'envisioners' and 'revisors'. They are exactly the same people and to forcibly split up their jobs like that is a bit strange. If a person creating an idea for an age wants other creative people to give feedback and suggest improvements that's great- but we don't need two entire sub-guilds for it, or committees, or whatever.

TNR- whilst you are indeed correct that creative people will be ten a penny compared to skilled 3d modellers, it absolutely does not follow that therefore only modellers should be in the Guild. Actually coming up with a decent concept for an Age and the contents within is not at all easy. Yes, a potential GoW will recerive a lot of attention from people with ideas but the sad truth is that a lot of those ideas will not be viable, or at least not of sufficient quallity. Finding people that are actually good at age concept, age fiction, or whatever, will be harder and to imagine that you can find that amongst people who can also 3d model is foolish. But such people are out there and they will want to help create Ages- why the fiery abyss should they not be in the GoW?

The inclusive ideas for the Guild, again as Tiran talks of, is much more sensible, and making it an offiical part of the Guild is equally sensible. It's ALL part of Age design, which is what being a Writer is about. To make the Guild only accessible to those with technical abilities would be a huge error.

I'm not sure about a Musician sub-guild though- might be a bit too niche.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 12:30 pm 
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Ushgarak wrote:
I'm not sure about a Musician sub-guild though- might be a bit too niche.


We need musicians and sound engineers to create background music and sound effects for an age. Realistic sound effects and non intrusive music are *very* important for a successful age.

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