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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:54 am 
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Your model is that of a designer, and people creating the design. It's a good model, but wouldn't everyone want to be the designer? That's what I was getting at - if it's not the world of work, perhaps you want to do it all. Maybe coders want to make their own ages, instead of going along with someone else's design for an age.

Cyan could do it because, in the world of work, people get paid to fill various roles, to specialize. You also have people you pay to pull it all together, and it's expected (and you get paid) to meet the deadline.

I am genuinely curious. I've seen some posts where people say they have ideas for ages but they want other people to implement them, do the "heavy lifting" if you will. Is that sort of thing happening?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:21 am 
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@Jahmen

Is it enough to say it will get done?

The arguments Calam and others (here and elsewhere) raised all seem to point back to one of the Guild of Writers favorite proverbs. That one talented or skilled Writer building on their lessons learned can continually add to their skills and rebuild their Ages in ever better quality. (Ignoring how often the fully educated version of this supremely talented "One Writer" is described as a vanishingly rare person.) :roll: :lol:

The reality is that the GoW is about to get a lot of competition from people that have had nothing to do with building Ages until this point. Toes will get stepped on, and I am sure things will be said but there are more people willing to try working together then there are developers who have released a new Age for Uru:CC in the past year. About the only group that I haven't seen skulking around the edges waiting for open Uru is a group devoted to designing puzzles for Ages. But that's probably because no one is exactly sure how to make a puzzle for Uru:CC leaving nothing to base discussions on..

Anyhow goodnight......er morning. :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:54 pm 
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In questions like this the answer is always both. With an internet community of hundreds maybe even a thousand new content creators. The real key is in how the individuals interact with each other to form the community. The individual must be free to offer whatever skills they are motivated to use. At the same time no individual can be a bottleneck of new content. In a WEB2.0 world we are all witnesses, interviewers, investigators, copy writers, editors and paper boys. Each of these jobs is being done right now; multiple times by multiple people who each just happen to be on the internet reacting to what is already on the internet by adding something new to the internet.

Cyan as company is not in any shape to do anything other than what someone else pays them to do; recently that has been testing code, creating a new OSMO game, converting MYST to the Iphone. We all hope they continue find work like this even if that means they are not doing anything for URU.

This next part is all wishful thinking but it goes directly to the Quality\Quantity question. What I hope Cyan can do is: Once a year produce one high-end age; An Ahnonay or a Todelmer. They would sell this as a new stand-alone single-player game so they can maximize the potential market. It should also be easier to get a potential investor to trust Cyan’s prior single-player successes that to risk more loss on Cyan’s current MMO failure.

However, this new age should be completely compatible with a free open source URU. This compatibity is needed because One) this tech is what Cyan already has and knows. Two) It adds value to the single player game if it has a Multiple Player capability. Even if it only on volunteer servers. Three) Cyan can take advantage of the volunteer servers to download this content if they can’t afford their own professional servers. It’s always good to have a back-up plan even if you don’t plan to use it. Four) It means the open-source community has a chance of benefiting from Cyan’s work even if it can’t be given to us for free.

Back to the quality question, I would love for there to eventually be a super-age-building team that could rival Cyan. I would probably need to be a huge 100-person team, but if once a year they could produce one age of the highest standard I would obviously love to get it for free. No one is going to say no to quality.

Let’s look quantity side of the question. What we would all love is for there to be at least one new thing every day. It doesn’t need to be of high quality, just something to look for and something to talk about for a minute or two.

Imagine a maze age. It has lots of square white walls with matching ceiling and floors. It has lots of halls leading to big open rooms. Elevators, stairs, ladders, trap doors leading to the levels above and below. If we keep the quality very low then even a single person could add some new hallway every day. If every age creator does this with their own age then the new content becomes overwhelming. A bad idea since it is of such low quality.

Let’s try raising the quality level a little bit. Instead of adding endless new hallways let’s do something clever; a spinning wall that reconfigures the maze when pushed, or a door that can be come a drawbridge. Now it takes two weeks for a volunteer new-content creator to finish this one small addition. That means this age would need 14 people working on the same age. They may each be working alone on separate new content. But every day one of them finishes up and loads some thing new to the age.

Let’s raise our standards even higher: one new garden age every day. Cut-and-paste is now less acceptable. We will still need to do it, but extra attention has to be paid to every distinguishing detail. The details have to be changed to give every blade of grass or every water fountain its own identity. This raises the total time one person creating a new garden age must spend.

If it takes two months to clone an existing garden age, rearrange the specifics and hide the cut-and-paste then we need 60 people spending all of their free time producing garden ages just to keep up with the one new age every day standard. I don’t think new ‘garden ages’ is what we want from URU but they are whole new ages and 60 people isn’t that large of a number so it is possible to do both quality and quantity.




Computer programmers have an expression: “Don’t shield your eyes, plagiarize.” Programmers never start fresh. They always copy from a program that already exists. This is not only faster but safer. If you type a whole line of code in-from-scratch then any part of that line might be wrong; it all depends on the skill of the programmer to get it right the first time. If you copy a line code that works then you know every part of the line you don’t change will work it because it has already been debugged by someone else and you didn’t change it. This is the fast track to both quality and quantity.

Up until this point, I will assume every age has been produced the old fashion way. With an individual doing all the work and the good or bad of the age is dependent on the skill of that individual. If a small team worked together on one age I will assume they worked together in a way they learned before the internet existed. This limits the potential of URU.

I can’t tell you how this new open source URU needs to work, since I honestly don’t know. But you do need to let go of some old school thinking like plagiarism is stealing. The internet works best when someone downloads something that already exists. They spend 5 minutes or half an hour (whatever free time they have) making this thing better then puts it back on the internet. Someone else starts where the first person left off; downloads the better version, changes it again, and puts it back on the internet. There is an endless list of people all working together as a team to push what exists on internet to be something better without ever knowing of each other. Without ever having a meeting to agree what better is.




The internet makes it possible for a company like Cyan to produce a thing of unique quality and to find all the people in the world willing to pay to have it.

The internet also makes it possible for many individuals to produce a similar level of quality without any one individual realizing they are doing real work.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:01 pm 
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there are people whose job it is to coordinate stuff,


That's significant for any team. You'd really need a project manager.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:15 pm 
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stealth in J'Rahm Age wrote:
I would probably need to be a huge 100-person team, but if once a year they could produce one age of the highest standard I would obviously love to get it for free. No one is going to say no to quality.


Like I've already said, an unpaid team of any size working over the internet inherently has the odds stacked against them. I don't think we'll ever see even one team of 100 people staying solvent on any project for any period of time. Now, your examples of X amount of people requiring Y amount of time to make Z content are all assuming that the circumstances for each project are perfect. Nobody gets sick, everyone works every day, people all get along, everyone is motivated, and the situation never changes. As I said; show me any team in the Myst community working on a content project, and I'll show you a mass of loosely-connected information with little coherency and no products ready for public exposure. I don't say this to be judgmental or critical. It's just the way it goes. There isn't going to be a team with a finished content-related product for quite some time.

stealth in J'Rahm Age wrote:
But you do need to let go of some old school thinking like plagiarism is stealing.


Ok, can we be more specific here? Because this sentence really bothers me. If you're referring specifically to coding, then you need to say that. Maybe in the coding world, people can get away with copy-paste and not have consequences, but in just about every other field, this sort of attitude is what is destroying the whole idea of property ownership and intellectual rights.

The concept that anything posted on the internet suddenly becomes "everyone's property" is absurd. A piece of music belongs to the owner as much as a piece of furniture or any other property. I can sell you my chair, at which point the property rights are yours, but until you hand me the money, it's my chair. Displaying my chair in a public place doesn't mean it suddenly belongs to everyone. When something belongs to you, it's yours. This isn't communist Russia.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:16 pm 
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stealth in J'Rahm Age wrote:
I would probably need to be a huge 100-person team, but if once a year they could produce one age of the highest standard I would obviously love to get it for free. No one is going to say no to quality.


Like I've already said, an unpaid team of any size working over the internet inherently has the odds stacked against them. I don't think we'll ever see even one team of 100 people staying solvent on any project for any period of time. Now, your examples of X amount of people requiring Y amount of time to make Z content are all assuming that the circumstances for each project are perfect. Nobody gets sick, everyone works every day, people all get along, everyone is motivated, and the situation never changes. As I said; show me any team in the Myst community working on a content project, and I'll show you a mass of loosely-connected information with little coherency and no products ready for public exposure. I don't say this to be judgmental or critical. It's just the way it goes. There isn't going to be a team with a finished content-related product for quite some time.

stealth in J'Rahm Age wrote:
But you do need to let go of some old school thinking like plagiarism is stealing.


Ok, can we be more specific here? Because this sentence really bothers me. If you're referring specifically to coding, then you need to say that. Maybe in the coding world, people can get away with copy-paste and not have consequences, but in just about every other field, this sort of attitude is what is destroying the whole idea of property ownership and intellectual rights.

The concept that anything posted on the internet suddenly becomes "everyone's property" is absurd. A piece of music belongs to the owner as much as a piece of furniture or any other property. I can sell you my chair, at which point the property rights are yours, but until you hand me the money, it's my chair. Displaying my chair in a public place doesn't mean it suddenly belongs to everyone. When something belongs to you, it's yours. This isn't communist Russia.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:05 am 
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Calam take a few nice easy deep breaths. :lol:

Even if he wasn't talking about coding, and was instead talking about <Gasp> copying models; Who really cares?

People are going to find things that don't stink, stuff that they like, and take it apart to figure out how to build there own version. All trotting out buzz words like "property ownership and intellectual rights" does is drive off dev's from other games that might have decided to work in Uru. Everywhere you go games with mod communities have tutorials like "Dustin's Age" to pick one form the GoW I am sure you are probably familiar with. The difference is that instead of it walking you through building a ridiculously simple Age that is on par with calling "Hello World" a good coding example; It instead teaches you to open Kadish, duplicate the pyramid/vault, re key the floor lock to a different pattern, and create your own version of the home stretch for that Age.

If Cyan grants it will happen with their Ages and Fan devs can go on singing Kumbaya in a corner happy they dodged a bullet instead of rising to the occasion. :P

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:20 am 
Property ownership and intellectual rights are not buzzwords. They are the law and if someone breaks the law that someone is going to be in trouble, and rightly so: the law is not pick'n'mix. More importantly, they are the concepts that allow companies like Cyan to make any money at all, and if they get weakened by repeated violations then we can say goodbye to any more games like Myst or Uru, ever. No-one will want to waste their effort.

If Cyan were to allow fans to muck about with the source code of their Ages, yes, that could be neato and possibly peachy keen. For one thing, we'd all find out just how hard it is to make an Age of that calibre work. But that is one thing they have said they will not do, and the responsible course is to respect that decision.

Who cares? Cyan cares. Their lawyers care. And, if we truly want to support Cyan, so should we.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:24 am 
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The EULA as it stands doesn't permit reverse engineering. Do too much "plagiarising" and I am sure that it won't be too long before you get a C&D notice from Cyan legal.

Open Source URU isn't abandonware - it will still be covered by some form of licence.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:09 pm 
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Sometimes I think it's hard to get across that fact that new content is going to be done by fans.

This means more than the fact that people won't get paid for it. It means that people do it because they want to. What they do has to be personally rewarding for them. I'd say that odds are good that most people won't be duplicating the world of work, even if someone thinks better ages would come of it. It's also not clear that better ages would come of it - I thought that Calam's analysis was quite good! I see proposals where we duplicate a production game development shop - why would anyone go along with that?

As to whether we'll have, for example, a library, where someone makes a whole bunch of things other people can use in their ages - I think we'll have to see what happens.

stealth in J'Rahm Age - I think you want to "sort of" grow an age, organically, without having an overall design. It's an interesting concept, something that would be fun to try - make an age without an overall design, an overall point of view, a structure, a mashup? That sounds to me like a legimate form of play, but you aren't going to get the same kind of age you'd get from a more formal design. If you did something like that, it would be interesting to see how it turned out. I also think that's not a fair statement of web 2.0. Do you think, as an example, that's how the developers who work on facebook work on facebook? I think there's a difference between a mashup and something that is, by it's nature, more structured.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:19 am 
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No in the legal sense of the words they are not "Buzz Words" but how they are being used as rhetoric makes them such.

I don't mean to pick on Calam but he happened to be handy in this thread and I offer my apology if it's needed. Call it a quality of quantity. People defend the status quo around Uru Complete Chronicles without questioning how it applies to Open Uru or looking beyond Uru to see how it's done elsewhere.

Since ABM was released in '03 the only two hard rules have been don't distribute Uru files, and don't do anything that makes Cyan take "Official" notice of unsupported unofficial activities.

Open Uru is coming into a world painted in shades of gray that escape anything as easy to define as black or white. Mszv libraries are happening, models are being shared, textures are being swapped, but talking about it happening with the results visible in a online sense still provokes a gut level reaction from most Uru:CC Dev's. Cyan talks about wild west servers and what will happen to their work being a bit scary for them. I know and accept working solo I could have a "Until Uru" Open Uru server, it makes me worried however after seeing so many responses to Fan on Fan Age modding what use a "common" Uru:CC dev will put Cyan's gift to.

Uru:CC already answered the question of "Quality or Quantity" in Uru:CC, very few seem to be looking for a different answer.

I'll bow out of this thread now.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 2:00 am 
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Sometimes I think it's hard to get across that fact that new content is going to be done by fans.


And sometime it's equally difficult to convey that just because something is done by a fan doesn't mean everyone automatically has the right to butcher their property. IF they gave you permission, hey, go ahead, reverse-engineer their Ages until you pass out-- the point is that you have to respect not only the law, but other people's rights.

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No in the legal sense of the words they are not "Buzz Words" but how they are being used as rhetoric makes them such.


I'm not really sure what you're saying here. I'm not using legal terms as rhetoric because I have no reason to. Cyan and RAWA have already made it fairly clear that adding to and/or messing with 95% of Uru's existing content is not acceptable. I seem to remember him saying that certain areas like the Neighborhoods might have certain limited editing options, but just because they've made this program open source doesn't mean there aren't limits to how programmers and modelers can tweak things.

J'Rahm's comment was extremely vague, and it's when people start saying things like 'let's forget that plagiarism is a crime' that aggravates an already gray situation. I am particularly sensitive to this issue because I am a musician, and I have been watching people with the "it's not really stealing if it's on the internet"-attitude corrode the industry I'm in. If we suddenly decide that plagiarism isn't stealing, what does that do to copyright law? If someone starts hacking an Age I write, what will stop them from the stealing the music in my Age, too? I didn't respond the way I did because I'm scared that people are going to somehow destroy Cyan; my concerns revolve more around a degradation of respect for internet property in general.

Too many people already do things like this without permission, and vague comments about stealing don't really help.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 1:54 pm 
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I think you want to "sort of" grow an age, organically, without having an overall design. It's an interesting concept, something that would be fun to try - make an age without an overall design, an overall point of view, a structure, a mashup? That sounds to me like a legimate form of play, but you aren't going to get the same kind of age you'd get from a more formal design.


This is closest to the idea I was suggesting, but it is not so airy-fairy a process nor is the end result as up-for-grabs as you make it sound. The end result is something that would need to be agreed on before the team is formed. I think Ahnonay is the best Cyan produced, others might think a Scars-like episode is a better model for new content, different others might want a pod age done right. The phrase Cyan-quality implies a age like Cyan would make if they were still making ages. But what that means can be different to different fans. However, once all members of a team agree to which high Cyan standard they are shooting for then the process can be more free-form. We are counting on the fact that people of a like mind are pushing in the same direction.

What we are really need to change is the way team members communicate with each other. Imagine we limit this interaction to being through the new content itself; no e-mails; no phone calls. We can't talk about new content, we can only create new content and let it speak for itself. There would need to be a special sever/shard for the entire team. It would contain 100 ages; one for each team member. Before you can be on any team you must have mastered the basics and be able to create a small room with collision panes so an avatar can walk around. Since the age is only way to communicate through the age so if you have a word document spelling out your proposal then need to use it as the 'texture' for your walls. Others visiting your age will need to read-the-writing-on-the-walls to hear what you have to say.

Different people are good at different things. So one age might sketches on the walls. Another a cloud texture; at this point there is no sky, it is just on the walls. Another age has white walls but mood music is playing. In another the sound of breaking glass plays as the avatar walks.

When you visit this team shard you will be limited to solo instances in two ages. The two ages are chosen at random. The idea is for you to pick the one you like best and download the source files and use it as the starting point for next version of your age. There are three different ways for you to 'vote'. The first is you picking the best of two existing ages. The second is fixing or improving any files in that age or removing what you don't like. The third is to add back any of your stuff from the first version of your age (and any fixes or improvements to your own work).

Phase one is just picking a set of files to start working with, to end phase one there needs to be a kind of double elimination round robin competition. No new content is added, no downloading of file; ages which are not preferred are removed from future consideration. In the end there can be only one.

Phase two is just like phase one except now we are now creating a whole age using the files from the one age selected at the end of phase one. The clouds are now in the sky and glass breaking sounds are connected glass objects. But it is the same process of picking, improving and adding new. Ending with a another elimination round.

Phase three would start with the one best age picked from phase two. And now we can do all the normal stuff your would think a team would do. We can have a multi player instances so we can play together and talk about the age. We can have meeting, table suggestions, discuss, vote and ask for volunteers to implement the last decision.


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I also think that's not a fair statement of web 2.0.


I am using the phase 'Web2.0' in a very non-specific way. All I mean is that some processes existed before the internet existed. We can use these 'old' ways on the internet to great effect but it is a case of the internet maximizing the potential of the existing process. Web2.0 is any new way of doing things that was created after the internet with the intention of maximizing the potential of the internet.

In my world view of things there are only tools in a tool box. For any given problem; pick the tool that make it easy to deal with that problem. If the tool in your hand doesn't fix the problem then put that tool down. If none of the tools in the box are good at fixing your problem then invent a new tool. This is what separates humans from the rest of the animals; we are tool makers!

When newspapers first started putting articles on the internet they required that the article be printed in the paper first. They only made money through the paper so they couldn't give the 'good stuff' away for free. But now look at from the other side. The internet makes it possible for a writer sitting at one computer to hit submit and seconds later people sitting a different computers can read it. In order to make money the old way requires you to cripple the internet of its own unique strength. I understand you want to make money; but why do you have to slow down the internet to the speed of a kid riding a bike while throwing a paper at a stoop. This is like putting a rock in a river; the water will just flow around it. Newpapers tried to slow down the internet and only got left behind.

WEB2.0 is new because the internet itself is new. But the WEB2.0 concept is older than man’s understanding of it. In the simplest terms: complex systems become ‘organic’ super-computers that make collective decisions on a level on intelligence much higher than the decision/intelligence level of individual components of the system. Evolution and Capitalism are good examples but they are also hot-button-issues so it is best to just avoid them. The ‘ant colony’ is a much safer analogy for us to model our Open Source interactions on.

Of course, there is an actual queen ant that indeed is vital to the functioning of the whole colony. The mistake we human make is in thinking she is in charge the way a human boss would be in charge. In truth the queen ant doesn’t have a brain that is capable of self-awareness. The queen does what every ant does; she reacts to her immediate surroundings. So the question becomes: how can she run the colony when she is not even aware the colony exists?

Before I try to answer that question let’s jump sideways to a computer analogy. This starts with registers that can be on or off. We collect 8 together to be a memory location. The processor can only do a few basic things like ADD, COMPARE, MOVE. For example it might compare two memory addresses and copy the greater one into a third memory address. That’s it! At a machine level what the processor does is surprising simple. Each step only has meaning because it is in the middle of a very long list of very simple commands and each step builds upon what the step before it did. Every step must be in-synch with the step before and after it or the whole process becomes gibberish.

In an ant colony the ants are the processors. Each ant is only reacting to what is right in front of it with a very short list of very simple things that it can do. The dirt itself is a part of the hardware. Like a memory register; either the spec of dirt is there or it is not. Every time an ant moves a small piece of dirt it is changing what is ‘right in front’ of the ants around it. If a colony has one hundred ants in it then the colony is like a super-computer with one hundred parallel processes running simultaneously. Each processor is changing the same memory at the same time as every other processor. They are just changing different parts of it.

Two important ideas; The first is that we who hope to become new content creators for greater good of all URU kind are like the ant or the processor. We can be individuals with no responsible to the collective. We only have to do what we want; when we want; in the simplest of ways. Provided what we want is for URU to get better and each of us pushes towards a better URU then the collective will take care of its self.

The second is that the strength of the collective is in its parallel nature. None of us has to work hard if everyone does a little work. Strength comes from parallel weakness. Take a single strand of metal. Try to make it hold the entire weight of a car and it will surely break. Test 100 hundred individual strands one at a time and each one breaks. Now wrap 100 unbroken strands into a single cable; Now it holds the weight of the car!

This is different than a chain. In a chain every individual link must be strong enough to hold the car on it own. If one link is weak then it will break and the car will drop. We build suspension bridges with cables and not chains.

If you are worrying about things like: sickness, vacation, motivation, squabbling then your are not thinking of the internet. The Internet's strength is in so many people all working in parallel to each other. No one works hard, and what ever little they do is on their own schedule. Yet there is more good on the internet than I will ever have time to look at.

You need to lower the bar on new age creation so anyone inclined to try will produce something. Once you have a large number of new content creators then you need a organizes them as a 'team' in a parallel structure. The outcome will take care of itself. If this parallel tools doesn't produce the result everyone likes then switch to a different tool that will work. But be afraid of use the internet for what the internet is uniquely good for.


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If you're referring specifically to coding, then you need to say that.


I bothers me that you think it makes a difference. Software is protected by copyright law! I would say 'more than anything else' because it is the current coin of the realm. Publishing Rights were more important when books were actually read. Patents were important when we were an industrial society that actually built things. Today computers and the internet are at the core of all businesses so the software rights are more fiercely defended than anything else.

Ethics are really easy: you give more than get! That's it. When I said plagiarism wasn't stealing I was wasn't telling you to steal anything. I was asking YOU to let go of YOUR copyright on any new content YOU created. You are never, never, never allowed to profit at the expense of another human being. Never! Stop thinking of ways you can take advantage of other people.

What we want is to trade for mutual advantage. We want the win-win. We want both people to profit from their interaction with each other.

What I don't need is for you try slow URU down to the crawl of a paperboy so you can some how profit from it. If you create something for the benefit of URU don't just limit the benefit to the new age itself. Let URU profit from it a second time when someone else uses your source material as a starting point. And let it profit a third time when another someone uses that age as a starting point.


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The internet makes it possible for a company like Cyan to produce a thing of unique quality and to find all the people in the world willing to pay to have it.

The internet also makes it possible for many individuals to produce a similar level of quality without any one individual realizing they are doing real work.


I'm quoting myself to make it clear I was saying two things at the same time. I am a self defined power extremist. You go to the extreme to gain power, but you must go to both extremes at the same time to gain balance.

I never have been and never will be against people making money in a trade for mutual advantage. I want Cyan to produce a new age every year so I can give them $25 every year. If Cyan wants to charge me $25 for 6 months of access to the OSMO super shard I would pay it gladly. If there are those among you create an age so good that you ask Cyan to sell it as if they had created it. I'm still willing to pay $25 to get it that age. Cyan decides if it is good enough to be of Cyan quality and they gets their cut of the profit. You get a cut of the profit because you did all the work. It is Win-Win-Win. I win because I get a Cyan quality age for only $25. How can that be a bad thing?

We need professional reporters. They do a job no one else can do. But allowing newspapers to cripple the internet just so they can make a profit is wrong. Newspapers holding the process 'hostage' so they can force us to paid them to do what we can to for ourselfs is wrong. If we pay for anything it must because it is a unique produce/service that we value enough to pay for. Old equilibrium points can not be sustained. New equilibrium points will be found. Things we lose but miss enough are the things we will pay to get back.

Companies like Newpapers or Cyan need to find away of making money off the internet. There are ways. There are ways for you make money off the internet.

Don't worry about copyright laws but do worry about yourself. You control you! You don't want to profit at the expense of others. Take nothing! Give what you have generously. Wait to see what others give you freely.

An oppressive society is an depressed society. I know you think you can cheat the system. To some how get away with something. But all you can do is become the king of a very small hill. The more you destroy what is around the more what around you is destroyed. The only way to profit from stealing is to GET AND GO. You have to leave the wreckage behind you. The internet connects the whole world together. There is nowhere for you to hide from the consequences of your own behavior.

The key is always the same. Look at what is right in front of you at this moment. Make it a little better than it was then put it back where someone else can find it. If we all do this all the time then things get better all the time.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:52 pm 
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stealth, you are making a specific design claim. You think that structured design can be done in an additive, organic fashion. I don't think your ant analogy is right. Ants don't have much in the way of control or self expression. I don't know about you, but it looks like more of a natural selection thing going on, not explicit design, when we talk about ants.

I think you can make an age in improvisational way and it's not "airy fairy", as you put it. It might be interesting and surprising. Will it have a single point of view, will it look like a coherent whole, will gameplay work, particularly the structured gameplay where one piece depends, absolutely, on other pieces. I think not. Will your age be a wonderful improvisational effort? Perhaps so.

In the Renaissance workshops, making big stuff (huge paintings, for example), worked in a way that we could consider like a factory, also kind of like making a computer game. Lots of people did their part. But - it wasn't under the control of everyone. In the large paintings you see that don't work that well, from an organic whole perspective, there can be a fun sort of energy, where you can see - this person made this decision, the next person made another decision, and so forth. In the big works that look like one coherent whole, the best work, it succeeds because everyone followed the Renaissance designer, who we would consider as the artist. The work looks like one work, not work pieced together by a bunch of people. That's also how games design studios work, to some degree, Everyone does their part - this time lots of creativity, but your designer (or designers) make it fit into one coherent whole. The best games, in my opinion, look like everything fits, like they are done by one person, and the gameplay works so well you don't go around saying - "well, I can see that one person designed this, and another person did that".

You can try to reproduce that in the world of volunteers, but again, why would most people want to do that? That's the world of work - where you do your part. If you are doing something creative, I'd think that you'd want to have more control. After all, people don't taking painting classes (just an example), so that they can help paint someone else's mural. They do the whole thing themselves.

Another analogy - I have a family member who taught art classes. What you teach your students to do is to think about the whole picture - you block out the big shapes first, the overall design. Then you work to fill it in. Get that overall design wrong, and no amount of working on it and working on it to make it better - it's not going to work. Working on something that takes more than one day - also interesting. Say you have one day where your marks on the paper are very tight in one section, and another day where the marks are more fluid. It's still you, but the work is going to look wrong - it won't fit. And we aren't even talking game structure here - level design, all that.

The great thing is that this dicussion doesn't matter, really! People are going to do what they want, not what you are I think they should do. And we'll get to see how it all works out.

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mszv, amarez in Uru, other online games, never use mszv anymore, would like to change it
Blog - http://www.amarez.com, Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/amareze


Last edited by mszv on Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:29 am 
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No one has 100% the skills required to produce and complete an age that would meet the required quality that cyan have produced with their team.

People don’t have the time, wiliness and effort to learn the required skills and still be able to produce quality and quantitative output.

From the technical side Blender, plasma and its limitations, Texture building, Python logic, model building, sound engineering, interface design, the list goes on...

Design is usually the stage where one person takes control, of a specific area. Story, modelling, sound, visual etc

Implementation is something that can be done by a team, because there are more people with those kinds of skills.

Content building is done best in a prototyping cycle, where parts are implemented, the prototype then goes back to the designer for evaluation, changes are made, cycle continues till designer is happy.

"Designers" need more than just creative skills; they need leadership and communication skills as well, which is why they can sometimes come off as been controlling.

More heads are better ... proven fact, you just need a leader that can control the horde ... which round here is impossible anyway :twisted:


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