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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:45 am 
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In reading through the Quality vs Quantity thread.
It seems the thread topic quickly turned to being about team vs individual age builders and then fell into a proprietary copyrights debate.
:shock: Talk about some mind numbing, glaze my eyes over long winded posts! Sheesh! :roll: and I thought I was bad! :lol:
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I started this thread to focus on the Topic of Teams and Individual Age Builders and how they might become better organized to produce quality ages. Individuals don't have to do teams, they can just use help from others here and there to age build.
I don’t believe quantity is a real issue, because I believe only the quality ages will be the ones released or played.
So make all the ages you want as fast as you want, but few will want to play them if the quality is not their.
NOTE: When I speak to Quality, I mean everything i.e. stories, puzzle logic, graphics, textures, music, sounds, the over all feel one gets from these things well combined and done.

WHAT to DO! I thought I might start helping with developing a comprehensive list of links and collect some basic knowledge outlines for some to use in forming/ building teams .

The below link is to the thread listing Guilds with sub-links. Great places to find information on Writing and testing Age builds.
http://mystonline.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=14908

Paradox posted this Link below for list of those with skills who might be interested in being part of a team Age build.
http://www.guildofwriters.com/wiki/Forming_An_Age_Project_Team

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First off Physx and it's SDK are free. (See below) Not all the tricks of whatever version Cyan was running may be there but the heart of the Physx library is out there and ready to be used.

http://developer.nvidia.com/object/physx_downloads.html

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Second I agree with The stranger that Age creation really does need to be groups of people working on a Age instead of just the one original writer. Modeling, story, or artwork if you try to do it all you find out that it is a very rare person that can manage it. There was such hope in MOUL that the guilds were being shaped to become a better means of producing Fan Ages then the community currently enjoys. I still hope a better way can be found, but I don't know who will be the leader that does it.

The Quality vs Quantity thread posts have some very good insights and made good points.
All together they make a great read and analogy of Individuals vs Teams or groups addressing the pros and cons of both well. But the posts had me think of another part to the arguments for both individual and teams. One exception might be called Organization/ Leadership skills.
While some fan explorers might not have very good creative skills, they may have great organizational and/or people skills that could be applied to a team(s) to get the most of each members skills and skill levels and keep differences in check. More of a Director/ Producer/ Coach.

Teams vs individuals within the Uru Community.
Teams, as with individuals, will all gain in quality with experience.
Simple logic dictates that teams of individuals working together can produce a faster and better end result.
Teams can recruit members skilled in particular areas of expertise such as stories, puzzle logic, music, sounds, coding, textures, etc.... while individuals must attempt to master all these skill sets to produce a well rounded quality age.

The right Team Captain Explorer with time and success could refine a system template formula for others to emulate.
Something proven to work at encouragement, nurturing, organizing, delegating, and settling differences. The stranger posted teams would be best and gave reasons why.
He seemed to have a great sense of what is likely to come and evolve within the guilds and uru community as far as the potentials for developing ways to get ages tested and working bugs out and quality in. He suggests building a system(s) to which individuals and teams can follow and come together to test and building their ages. I think The stranger is on to something. I think it just need some Leadership skills coupled with organizational skills to help make it happen. I hope this thread will encourage this. Other Posts speak of not wanting a Uru Age Building Police. Absolutely Not! We need some explorer leadership to develop some sort of a system formula template that teams can form around with some basic rules of conduct and expectations of success. It certainly couldn’t hurt.

Both teams and individuals will grow and evolve with time and experience.
For now, the real questions to Quality vs Quantity is what will the Cyan release of code and tools bring the Uru explorer community in the way of, how well will it all work, change or convert what has already been created?
I see the greatest difficulty with teams or individuals succeeding in Age Building at any speed being other explorers attacking some minor point or nit-picking to the point to which the point of the thread and idea posted gets lost, side tracked, hijacked off into some other direction enough to loose the momentum of the threads intended purpose to generate something positive for the uru community.


Last edited by Jahmen on Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:50 am, edited 8 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 4:40 am 
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Ah... The pipeline versus the indiviual. The hive mind versus the ego.

Maybe I'll dig up some previous posts of mine because this is a subject which interests me, and it has been a popular topic on this forum and others.

But I predict I can sum up my words just by saying that it is incorrect for anyone to cast this (not to say you have, Jahmen) as an either/or proposition. Individualists can express their talents. Collectives can build their pipeline. And individualists are certainly not excluded from the pipeline when they see fit to offer their talent to it. Each has its rewards and they can mingle and coexist without philosophical conflict.

I am interested in supporting teams or individuals with whatever means I have or can make available. It's a big open source world. No one is in authority. No one is in control, except Cyan for commit rights to their main trunk. Beyond that, as Zardoz says, it's a matter of persuasion. What does an organization have to offer? That determines where people go.

Edit: Eeek! Typos!

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Last edited by JWPlatt on Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 4:55 am 
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Such a list already exists on the GoW wiki. http://www.guildofwriters.com/wiki/Forming_An_Age_Project_Team


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:08 am 
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But I predict I can sum up my words just by saying that it is incorrect for anyone to cast (not to say you have, Jahmen) this as an either/or proposition. Individuals can do their thing. Collectives can do their pipeline. And individualists are certainly not excluded from the pipeline when they see fit to offer their talent to it. Each has its rewards and they can mingle and coexist without philosophical conflict.
I am interested in supporting teams or individuals with whatever means I have or can make available. It's a big open source world. No one is in authority. No one is in control, except Cyan for commit rights to their main trunk. Beyond that, as Zardoz says, it's a matter of persuasion. What does an organization have to offer? That determines where people go.



I agree! :shock: Did I type that out loud?

But I really think beyond persuasion, who will get organized and serious first! Who can lay the A,B,Cs of it in steps. List of talent here. Agreements, here! System parameters for all to follow! Here! Control it! Here! Legal Guideleines/ copyrights! Here! Etc....

I don't see it as either individuals vs teams or groups. In fact, I would predidct that as individuals start to learn Blender and all about the different things it takes to create or build an age, they will evolve. They will discover what they are best at! Then develop that skill into something they can trade on i.e. work for others in exchange for.... Seems a natural progression for both individuals and teams to grow in this way. While teams stand a better chance of producing a quality age faster than any individual might and individuals might sacrifice their individuality some what to the process. Or not if the right system gets built! Systems, thats what I want to see happen. Template/ guidelines.

I am motivated in part for the community, but also my own interests. I have writen a rather enormous community age project that I know I couldn't do well with out the expertise of others. Though I am still sifting through the Quality vs Quantity posts of copyright and control. I am trying for myself and others to get a tangable place and system/ agreements for which individuals can come/ get together. A library of individuals with listed skills to offer and trade?
With agreements and rules to make working together work? TEAM TOOLS.

Something I can build my age with. There I just said it!

I think ya get my drift here. Maybe it could be said with less verbage tho!

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Paradox, Great! Exactly what I was talkin about. Super start! OK now where is the rest of it at? The agreements being used? Who controls what? Copyrights? Guarantees? Rules? What is the process being employed? recognized by Cyan Legal?

P.S. Paradox got in before me as well JW so many Edits to mine here!


Last edited by Jahmen on Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:17 am 
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Drat those time warps. You caught my post pre-edit. :wink:

Edit: Ah, I meant the first paragraph, but fine. heh. ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:53 am 
Organisation? Leadership? Sounds ghastly. I'd rather work on my own, thanks.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:42 am 
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Jahmen wrote:
Paradox, Great! Exactly what I was talkin about. Super start! OK now where is the rest of it at? The agreements being used? Who controls what? Copyrights? Guarantees? Rules? What is the process being employed? recognized by Cyan Legal?

As the current coordinator of one such group, I can tell you that none of what you laid out matters once you have a group together. The leader is the one who deals with issues like group copyright and those may change frequently (new person comes in, doesn't like the copyright rule, team needs them, thus it is changed for them or for all). The list you mention also seems rather redundant ("Guarantees? Rules?") which makes it sound more like throwing up barricades before people. "Who is in control? Barriers? Bureaucracy?" In short, I don't think something like a list of groups or people complete with their rules, etc. is necessary anymore than someone requires nations to list their stances on policy issues. Furthermore, these are internal matters of the group and thus should be private.

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 Post subject: Outlines?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:34 pm 
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As the current coordinator of one such group, I can tell you that none of what you laid out matters once you have a group together.


First, this is the kind of post I want to see here in this thread. Those involved in a group or team effort building an age to post what they know, experienced good or bad. Up front, out in the open, what can we expect to have or have happen, Some problems we might avoid. Help synthesize the process down some for individuals who might need help, but to scared and unknowledgable.

Paradox Post of the "The Guild of Writers" - Forming an Age Building Team Link is a good place start, though not the only place posted. Maybe post some information on what most groups going have used to guide or form them? Basic premise of to use in forming a team? Copyright rule(s) What are they? How to set them up? Baby steps please.

Quote:
The leader is the one who deals with issues like group copyright and those may change frequently (new person comes in, doesn't like the copyright rule, team needs them, thus it is changed for them or for all).


On the surface rules or understandings of leadership might seem un-necessary, but they help to avoid problems and chaos!
Other side of coin, I am guessing that change and flexibility to accommodate artistic differences would be necessary.
That such a floating arrangement with agreements or understanding leaves room for growth and change. The above case cites copyright rule. And you did use the word "rule". How do those wanting to form a group or team around their age project find out about copyrights and the "rule" or rules being used? I was searching for the words or things being used to keep it all organized and on track for a group. So instead of writen structure, agreements, rules... we just use..., Trust? Faith? LOve? and when someone has a problem with how, what or when another does something, then what? Then talk about guidelines, rules, agreements then? Obviously I exaggerated some here. Now don't get angry with me Paradox, but your post is one post of one opinion based on one experience so far? Perhaps more from others will help build a concensus of things here. That is what I am after. General sense to set up ways others like myself might set up and run a group or team effort for an Age Build. Lets get some baby steps going. Spoon feed us please.

Maybe by getting some steps and basics out in the open being used by others to help others wanting to do something. Including myself. For some, the first step or steps to getting going are the hardest. Thus this thread to try to help establish enough information for those on the fence to jump off and get started. I don't care what group, Guild, Organization gets these kind of things put together into some step by step outline for us to TRY. But that we get some more stuff for explorers to use or try to improve chances for their Ages to get built.
P.S. does anyone else have trouble staying login when posting? I constantly have to relog and often lose what I have typed.


Last edited by Jahmen on Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:24 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:02 pm 
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Jahmen wrote:
Paradox, Great! Exactly what I was talkin about. Super start! OK now where is the rest of it at? The agreements being used? Who controls what? Copyrights? Guarantees? Rules? What is the process being employed? recognized by Cyan Legal?


Nothing stops you, or anyone, from right now adding a new wiki entry, which could list, say, suggested template models on team organization and management, perhaps with little accounts of personal experience and tips. Let each team choose for themselves: if some guys collaborating on an age, want to have a vote on every little aspect of the age, that's up to them and if one dictatorial super-ego manages to gather a group of talent, who don't mind being his faceless slaves; good for him, I suppose.

I am quite proud of the egalitarian hands-off approach that the guild of writers, from what I can see, have adopted. During early discussions, some were promoting a more authoritarian structure, with ranks and access levels, where all work would be delegated and controlled by guild bigwigs and you had to somehow prove yourself before even getting to touch any tools provided through the guild. I can't fully express how glad I am THAT didn't happen. At the end of the day, all these groups, whether calling themselves "guilds" or not, that are forming, are simply a bunch of people gathering around a common interest and it's good to see people acknowledging this, rather than going all military with a chain of command and some degree of delusions of grandeur. It does seem that some people become a bit lost, when there are no absolute powers to turn to, but with a bit of observation, they soon enough discover who knows what they are talking about and whose company and workflow they enjoy. :7
There is certainly no general aversion to working in teams, that I can see, although some seem to suggest differently - it's just that some of us are still learning and/or can not afford the committment (as in time and expectations). Maybe some of those who *are* currently working in a team should consider making a brief presentation on themselves and their project, to calm those who see fit to worry... :7


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 Post subject: Re: Outlines?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:19 pm 
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Jahmen wrote:
Now don't get angry with me Paradox, but your post is one post of one opinion based on one experience so far? Perhaps more from others will help build a concensus of things here. That is what I am after. General sense to set up ways others like myself might set up and run a group or team effort for an Age Build. Let get some baby steps going. Spoon feed us please.

I would respectfully disagree with the idea that building a consensus about how to build Ages (or really, about anything) is something to strive for. We haven't even started Open Source Uru, and so any arguments about what is "best" (such as those in the Quality v. Quantity thread) are mostly hypothetical. Wait a year after Open Source gets going, and then some retrospection will be useful. Before that, arguing for a consensus gives the appearance (I stress, appearance) of attempting to prescribe how Ages are built. Also, I have a distaste for consensus building because it will always represent a very small percentage of those active in this community, and so will never have a true claim to being anything like a consensus. Finally, what Open Source really needs (to be prescriptive myself!) is some true Schumpeterian creative destruction. Once Open Source gets going, trying many diverse approaches to Age building and every other aspect of re-inventing Uru will let the cream rise to the top, and allow everyone with the conviction that their approach is the creamiest to give it a shot. Creating a "consensus" about what works "best" just seems premature. If you want guidance, go find some GoW Ages that you find most enjoyable, and drop a note to their creator asking how they did it.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 4:52 pm 
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I'm something of an infrastructure person myself, but this works for me because of the organizations I like to work for. I like to work for an organization that's big enough that we have to be a bit more formal in how things work. Not that you can't be creative, and bend and twist the organization around sometimes, but I'm comfortable in working in an organization where certain groups have certain roles.

In getting people to create ages together - I think you have to think "startup", where it's a lot more flexible. I also think, that leadership and persuasion is going to be the thing. One thing to remember is that no one works for anyone and they can leave at any time.

I think it's extra tough for people who have big plans for an age, and they want help doing it. It's their vision, it's no one else's vision - why would anyone work on "your" vision, rather than their own vision? Making ages is not the work world. That's the thing - that's what you have to convince people to do - to somehow make it a shared vision. The figuring out "rules and how we work" - that has to come later. First you've got to convince people, particularly since you aren't paying them(!) that's it's going to be great fun to join your startup.

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 Post subject: Can't please everyone.
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 1:59 am 
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Zardoz
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We haven't even started Open Source Uru, and so any arguments about what is "best"

No arguments here, just discussions. And not about what is best. Just what is being done and use by others in group/ teams now and how it is working or not for them.

Zardoz does like Consensus with reasons!
Quote:
I have a distaste for consensus building because it will always represent a very small percentage of those active in this community, and so will never have a true claim to being anything like a consensus.

I can’t disagree with you and your post about the limits of getting any real consensus from the Uru Community as a whole. Even running multiple threads of the same topic in all the known forums would still probably not fetch an accurate representation of a majority opinion. Perhaps trying for a concensus was over reaching.
I will try to clarify myself better. :roll: :idea: I don’t want to reinvent the wheel! :idea:

If I can find out from others some of the things they have done that are working or not working I have saved time and effort. This is what I am trying to say and get posted here in this thread by others. Yes, it would be great if those who are having some success with their group efforts and would like to post some of how they set theirs up and run it here or on the wiki board or any other place, that would be a great share for us all.
Post us the url link please. :wink: How are teams or groups structuring working together. Maybe some shared experiences? Maybe the Messengers could do some details in some interviews for the News?

Quote:
Nothing stops you, or anyone, from right now adding a new wiki entry, which could list, say, suggested template models on team organization and management, perhaps with little accounts of personal experience and tips. Let each team choose for themselves:

Jojon, You are right! Good post! There is nothing stopping any one from posting on any wiki I am guessing, how their group is set up and working together.
Maybe a general outline? How they are working out the copyrights?

zander_nyrond
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Organisation? Leadership? Sounds ghastly. I'd rather work on my own, thanks.

I might agree more with you more towards the end of this threads life! :lol:

mszv, thank you for you post. It was helpful and encouraging. Your shared insight of collecting others together for an Age Build being about leadership and persuation was great! :D

Quote:
I think it's extra tough for people who have big plans for an age, and they want help doing it. It's their vision, it's no one else's vision - why would anyone work on "your" vision, rather than their own vision? Making ages is not the work world. That's the thing - that's what you have to convince people to do - to somehow make it a shared vision. The figuring out "rules and how we work" - that has to come later. First you've got to convince people, particularly since you aren't paying them(!) that's it's going to be great fun to join your startup.


Yes I see mszv. I can use your suggestion. Clearly enticements are in order! First; a great story line with good puzzle logics that are dynamic enough to peek the interest of those talents required to Build it. I am also thinking fame! Proper shared credit by all for when the age is done and launched could be part of the incentive. But I think the real ticket item would be that those coming together can wrap themselves around the Age it self.


Last edited by Jahmen on Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 2:34 am 
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mszv wrote:
I think it's extra tough for people who have big plans for an age, and they want help doing it. It's their vision, it's no one else's vision - why would anyone work on "your" vision, rather than their own vision? Making ages is not the work world. That's the thing - that's what you have to convince people to do - to somehow make it a shared vision. The figuring out "rules and how we work" - that has to come later. First you've got to convince people, particularly since you aren't paying them(!) that's it's going to be great fun to join your startup.


I don't think, in the process of making an age collaboratively, you would ever stop convincing people to help you. That's basic leadership. Saying "Hey, your textures for the Pahts shell walls are awesome! Would you like to help me finish the mural in the hub?" or "The looking-through-the-binoculars puzzle in that one age is yours, right? That was pretty sweet. I'm trying to do something similar in my age, and I'd really appreciate it if you could assist" is really all there is.

Jahmen, you are not clear in what you are saying or asking. If you want to know how other groups have worked? Then look up actual groups and ask them specific questions. I'm sure anyone who works/worked on, say, Ahra Pahts, or Springs of Kehlbet, or Verenia or the ERC would be happy to answer questions. I'd recommend looking at Verenia in particular - it covers how and why interest in completion was lost.

Individual research is important, far more than trying to build a consensus.

You need to understand well the technical background of age building (expecting to garner people to make models, people to make textures, people to write scenic code, people to write puzzle code, people to choose a license, and people to host and release the age for you is presumptuous if you do know how already - not spending the time learning those basic steps yourself increases that to ridiculousness).

Take that time, learn how to make and release small but working ages.

Then put your plan in mind. Look at Paradox's list - look at other ages, other projects, and find interesting and helpful people involved in them.

Then ask those people specific questions. Ask those people if they can help with specific problems.

Leadership springs from that. It is that.

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Last edited by quahog42 on Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: For me and maybe others.
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:13 am 
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quahog42 Thank you for your post. For me, it was another important part to what I was wanting to bring out in this thread.
What myself and others can do and where to GO to find answers to Age building and building a team.
We got the GoW link to List of those with abilities to help.
We got some suggestions as to leadership and enlistments of others through persuasion and enticements.
Now we got links to more places to go and ask others about what to avoid and what worked.

More importantly I think, was the suggestion to take on a small age build for experience to better understand what it takes and what would be needed for larger projects. Leadership through experience and hands on knowledge.

Quote:
Jahmen, you are not clear in what you are saying or asking. You want to know how other groups have worked?

I am sorry if I haven't been clear in this thread as to what it is I am after for those posting here.
I am learning as I am going as to what it takes to build ages and teams through posted information and responses.
I am collecting for myself and others, I hope, what it takes to Build ages and some tips on How!

I think this thread has gotten some really good links, suggestions and ideas so far.

Is it becoming any clearer now as to my purpose and this thread yet?


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:24 am 
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I am going to write a few blunt and rather unfair things now, as counterweight to one single, tiny point from the Verenia lecture, namely that of keeping a firm grip on leadership. '"Do whatever you like" doesn't work. Honestly', it says. While there is something to that statement, I'll put out that although it didn't work for him and his team, I, for one, don't buy the inevitability of it.

There are ways of resolving conflicts within a group of equals. In situations where two people insist on duplicating work, maybe one could, for instance, state right away: "Ok, if you can't cooperate, you guys go at it and then we'll have a team vote on which we'll use, or which parts of which". I wouldn't mind hearing what sort of experience people have on getting jobs that are are more boring than others done.

Also, that certain people have specialities, does not neccessitate a chain of command - if anything, it should make certain conflicts less likely to arise.

We must remember that each member of a team is just one cog of a neccessary whole, including any administrator, who is just as replaceable as anyone else. (S)he needs to be even more humble than other participants, I'd say, to manage inspiring empathy in others.

Some (quite long, I suppose) time ago, over at Myst/Uru Obsession forums, a few people were talking about making a fan-made Myst movie. The guy who got the thread started, had the embryo of a script in his head and a few talented people, who also liked the idea of a Myst film, were drawn to the project - some early renders of Ae'Gura landmarks were shown.

This project fell apart because of ego issues. Let's face it; at the end of the day, the script writer could be described as no more than a fanfic writer. He, however, thought higher of himself; this was his vision - his alone; he wanted total control and everyone else was just a tool in his hand - why should mere paint/modelling/code/piano/acting/whatever monkeys get to steal any of his thunder. The monkeys, of course, were none too amused and left, leaving the high and mighty one high and dry.


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