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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 6:45 pm 
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How Long Does It Take to LEARN to Build an Age?
How Long Does It Take to BUILD an Age?


I started this question on OpenUru.org. We don't have much information on the age production timeline. I think we all have some basic ideas and concepts in answer to those questions. I just doubt we have the same ideas and concepts. So, I started a poll on GoMa. Hopefully the poll will give us an idea.
Link: How Long to Learn Uru Age Building


There is a second separate poll, once learned, how long does it take to actually build and age? That time is omitted from the poll on learning. That poll is just about learning time. The building poll is just about the time needed to build ages.
Link: How Long to Build Uru Ages?

There is a level of learning that is needed for work to be useful... get to the quality level that shard operators will want your work on their servers. That is the level of learning I am asking about.

Also, there is the issue of actual time needed and elapsed time to complete the learning/building. This is the difference between say 40 hours to learn but only having 2 hours per week to devote to it, so 2 weeks at 8 hours 5 days a week verses 20 weeks at 2 hours per week. I am asking about the actual time not the elapsed time.

The polls are set to run 120 days. You can change your vote, if you change your mind.

Thanks, it should be interesting.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:40 pm 
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The biggest obstacle I've found is the philosophy behind Blender.

And not the "Blender is hard to learn!" complaint. Of course it's hard to learn. Even easy 3D modelling programs are hard to learn, and "easy" isn't Blender's strong suit.

No, my problem is that Blender's functionality (interface) isn't kept backwards-compatible. And while I've no doubt that all the changes are for the better (no, you don't do it that way anymore, look how much better it is to do it THIS way!), it has the huge disadvantage of turning large sections of Blender tutorials useless.

My experience is that both "Blender: Noob to Pro" and the GoW's Blender tutorials have sections that make less and less sense with each Blender version change.

I still muddle around with it but it's hard to make real progress. :(

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:46 pm 
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I have to admit that I did not like blender too much until I decided to render my living room with the Fireplace that my wife and I were going to install.
I had spent about 4 months just learning blender and making small things like trees, bushes, then landscaping before the fireplace idea ever came up. Then I thought about building an age and as I got going I realized just how incredible the imagination of the creator has to be... there are just SOOO many details to a world that are just taken for granite. My hat is off to those that build ages.
After about 5 months of playing with blender and getting pretty good at it, I put it aside for quite a while. Then my wife and I started thinking about installing a wood burning fireplace in our living room. This brought me back to blender. My wife has a hard time visualizing stuff from words... well my descriptions. So I rendered the living with our couch. Then we looked at different fireplace ideas on-line and I rendered one into the room. Forty, yes I mean 40, revisions later we had the thing we could both agree on and now we are just waiting on the custom mantel, I approved the design today actually. URU was great for walking around the room to see how it looked from all angles. It took me about 2 weeks to render the final product from the start of the room thru 40 changes.
When I rendered the fireplace I included all studs, drywall, stone surround, hearth, and chimney.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:24 pm 
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Nalates wrote:
How Long Does It Take to LEARN to Build an Age?


Long, depending on talent, time and effort

Nalates wrote:
How Long Does It Take to BUILD an Age?


Even longer, depending on time, resources, imagination and support.

---

And no, I am not teasing, I just want to emphasize that you cannot shake ages out of your sleeve just like that, and I think a poll like that can only be answered by either people who have done it, or people who add that it is their (un)educated guess.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:33 pm 
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To Sudre:

You wouldn't happen to have a few pics of your living room that you could share?...I'm in the same boat here, and she is already way past 40 ideas...LOL


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:51 am 
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There's no simple answer to that.
It will vary a lot depending on people and projects.
First you need to actually learn the tools. People with some art/programming background may be at ease with whatever tools are available, while other will take months or years to master them.
Then you need to design the Age itself.(I'm talking about the design phase here: plans; maps; story, puzzles gameplay etc). And it's not as easy as it sound. And finally there's the actual production time; and obviously all of this will vary a lot depending on the Age. You might complete something the size of Relto in a couple weeks, but you will spend litterally years on something like Riven. (and even then, you better have a whole team of skilled guys working with you).


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:18 am 
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It is a good idea start a group. It will involve working together as a team and I will think that it will go faster as a team than apart.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:23 am 
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aloys is right. It heavily depends on what you are trying to build. Maybe the best idea for this poll is to qualify it. You might want to change it to something more like. "How long you it take to write an age like one of the PODS?"

To Gandhar,
I do have a few pics but not many. Pics were not real necessary since the point was what it looked like in 3D but I did grab a few back early on... actually it's around version 12 when we switched from using a ledge stone to an artificial stone. The other catch to these simple pics is you can walk thru the fireplace and wall and see the framing and chimney. I wont post the actual pics since it's really not what this topic is about. I will post a links to them.
pic1
pic2 notice here I just used low res pictures for the other rooms.
pic3

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:54 am 
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How long to learn Uru Age building?

The only tip I can give is that if you tackle each little problem individually, and research how to get around it, then it shouldn't take a normal individual more than a year and a half to understand Blender and level/map/Age making

For the genius' around, they should be able to really understand everything in about 6 months.

This is all assuming full documentation and examples for the plugin.


Please do learn Blender, it took me 6 months, but its a skill that will live longer outside of this game


Lastly a level/map/Age making is an art in itself, if by chance you are not sure of how to do something, chances are that you have another game installed on your computer that you can take advantage of to view shortcuts, and efficiency tips


How Long to Build Uru Ages?

This depends entirely on the individual and depends entirely on the project(s) they are committing themselves to.
A simple Age/Shell can take up to a month and a bit to build to a polish, where as something like Ahnonay can take over a year and a half, by yourself.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:37 pm 
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An important thing to remember is that: although it may seem long and complex it is very enjoyable; as long as you like creating stuff.
It is sometimes tedious and difficult, and there are times of doubt and frustration but overally it's really enjoyable. You are creating Ages, places that you can then explore in the game and interract with. As soon as you link inside your first Age, you'll understand it is worth it.

Also, more than simply creating a 'regular world' you are creating an Age, something part of a whole (Uru), coming from a very long and deep background. The sentence "linking to an Age" has more than one sense, as what you write can (and should) be linked to the rest of Uru. Every Age doesn't only exist by itself but is also part of something larger than itself. (Although it is also perfectly possible to create an OOC Age, or something just not tied to the rest of Uru.)

So yes, it is a lot of work, but it's worth it. You just have to have realistic expectations about it. If you don't know anything about game development/3D/programming etc don't expect to be able to re-create the whole d'ni Cavern in a week. :) But if you're really commited to it, if you know it won't be easy, but if you really want your ideas to become reality, if you're wiling to learn new skills, if you think you can spend the time and energy needed, then you'll be in for some really great times. :)

And heck, even if you just want to tinker around a bit and you have realistic expectations, it may be fun.. It can be a good occasion to learn some new skills. There are skilled and helpful people around making all this possible, and most of them are nice folks too. ;)


Last edited by aloys on Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:31 pm 
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But did you vote @ GoMa?

I expect it will be different for everyone. I also believe learning Blender never ends. HOWEVER, I can tell someone it is likely to 8 to 24 hours of actually using Blender for someone to get to where they can do something with it.

If they want to be good and reach a reasonable level of production, figure 40 or more hours of use.

I know those are ballpark answers and they are based on my experience. That may be way different than someone else's experience. Some may think Blender takes 100+ hours to learn. Others may give up in frustration. After one hears enough answers one starts to get a sense of how people in general experience it.

With that general sense I can predict how long something is likely to take me. If it is based on geometry I'll likely get it quicker than the average bear. If it is related to chemistry, I'll likely never sort it out. So, one take me less time and the other way more.

I am hoping to get a sense of how long it takes to learn 'how to' and to actually 'build' and age. It is in fact an estimate on everyone's part.

As of not it seems 6 months is an answer for Blender. But we have Blender and age building. Is 9 months learning reasonable? If so vote that.

I'm hearing 2 weeks for easy ages (long nights 2 weeks - guess 6 hrs * 10 nights = 60hrs/40= 1.5 weeks actual full time) and 1.5 years for Teledahn like ages. SO I guess we need to say something about the complexity of the age to be built. Lets say something like Minkatah. Is 1.5 years reasonable? Is that working 4 or 8 hours a week on it? If if is 4 or 8 then its 78 weeks and 312 to 624 hours... or (312/40=7.8)/4=1.9 months to 4 months full time.

/me goes off to change to poll information...

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:25 am 
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Down and dirty computer modeling
2-3 hours each week playing with ten or twelve of the most basic commands.

Making your very basic model look "Better"
15-20 hours per month looking for answers in/on the blender artists websites listed at Blender.

Learning Pyprp

learning time for bleeding edge releases = infinite
learning time for older release = 2-3 months if you can get help from someone knowledgeable and can devote minimum 4 hours a week to it. If you seriously want to learn Pyprp you pick one release and ignore the bleeding edge stuff. As a caveat Pyprp in all likely hood will not be the only game in town "soon" if you know nothing of "Age Creation" I would say spend the time till OS Uru learning how to model better in blender without worrying about "Age Creation" at all. Cyan's OS Uru tools, or OS Uru Pyprp it doesn't matter which ends up the leader because both require you to know about computer modeling so spend the bulk of your time learning that..

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:47 am 
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I think Grogyan's estimate above comes closest - if he's talking about full-time work for one person, not just dabbling.

But as MustardJeep indicates, with the impending release of Cyan's plug-in, many things will change, and Blender will no longer be the only game in town.

I posted about this topic around a month ago, so won't reiterate my thoughts again here.

Enough to say that if you want to learn agebuilding, do a bunch of research, download free packages and demo versions of everything you think you might enjoy working with, and test them to figure out which of the many 3d modeling/texturing applications best suits your style, because you're going to be spending a ton of time with whatever you settle on.
Once you've made your decision, get to be as fluent as possible with that piece of software. Start modeling some of the little things you know you'll want in your age, then work up to more complex stuff as you improve.

Whatever software you're using, you can be assured there will soon be a way to get your work exported to URU game format.
If you begin this process now, and Cyan releases tools in the next two months, you'll be able to test some of your early models by the time the tools are understood and in use by the community.

Emor

Free or cheap 3d packages:
Blender: $0
Truespace: $0
3DStudioMax's GMax version (not much advanced texturing but almost all of Max's modeling functionality) : $0
AC3D: all of US$79
Tip: You may want to hold off on doing sophisticated texturing until the tools are released; it's rumored that much of the texturing work may be best done through the plug-in.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:41 am 
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So...we are down to polls.....LOL ......I'm still at odds with the whole thing..........I can't wait to see this ...........

For the most part I'm an optimist......(or optiMYST)

Then again I've seen worse....

Spring.... yee-hah... maybe the feathers might be active again....


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 7:18 am 
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I should mention that i've done map making for other games as well, none of which are released as the scaling I wanted I couldn't get right, its stuff like that you learn and there is no documentation to say how big something should be relative to you.

My estimate is based on someone with 3 to 4 days for about 4 hours at a time each week, people have jobs to go to, this is the real world.

Emor, you forgot Bryce :)

Though to be fair, only TrueSpace and Blender are free, but Blender is open source so it will always be developed on, unlike TrueSpace

Aloys' and Robert the Rebuilder's big project is amazing, and Pahts was being worked on soon after Prologue died in 2003, so you can imagine the time frames involved, there is no clear cut answer

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