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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:18 pm 
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DocOlanA wrote:
...and bad ages cannot be explained away as easily as someone in the cavern telling lies about the D'ni.


With due respect, Why Not? Doesn't the story talk about age writers? If the age writer isn't a tad good at his or her job, we know there isn't a bit D'ni in 'em. The explorers can quickly come to that decision, and they will. Neither will the age be visited. I can certainly explain away a bad age. In fact I can see a whole new CCN program dedicated to the review, dissection and discussion of extremely poorly written ages. If an explorer with not a bit of D'ni in em writes an extremely nice, stable and wondrous age, then that is a headline for sure.

The hoopla is fodder for more story: a mysterious professor of D'ni culture could embark on a crusade to rid the cavern (the entire of community) of these explorer charlatans (most likely second life Dr. Who merchants), who are adding ages, and wreaking havoc in the once pristine cavern, where nothing unacceptable or inappropriate ever happened. There could be sit ins, websites put up, messages sent out by KI, a newsletter started to alert the explorers (forget the fact that something like that happened once already). The entire mess could be lots of fun. At least we'd be talking about something and not each other.

Just kidding, sort of.
A moment of seriousness, DOC. I think there is cause for Cyan to be concerned about copyright infringement, hacking and canon, but the story of the cavern will take care of itself. It has so far, even with many a spit and start. The real objective now is to keep explorers interested, get open source opened up for age creation and linking opportunities. Let the story and the games begin (Including the game of seeing who can produce a clean, stable, gorgeous, age with a story and puzzle or two). Otherwise, how will we know what works and doesn't?

I really don't see what all the fuss is about. The Uru community is a unique community. Even when cavern refugees gather in other places, they stand out like sore thumbs. They are a stubborn, wonderful, fearless, sometimes silly group. If some wacky age creator strays from producing family entertainment, or makes big mess, everyone will hear about it.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:42 pm 
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Really? The story of the cavern has taken care of itself? Don't get me wrong, I'm all about the explorer groups. I've founded two of them, one of which is still in existance in the reboot. I'm helping out with others. I love them, I want there to be more of them, and I think they are the reason that MOULa will continue until MOUL OS becomes a reality.

But seriously, do you know what we talk about when we talk about the story of the cavern? The Bahro attack. Yeesha appearing. Willow's death. And among those of us in the Students of D'ni Knowledge, we talk about Nick White giving us the Yahvo creation myth. How many of those took care of themselves? The correct answer is zero.

This whole discussion is becoming far too polarized. It's like people think you can either give up on Cyan entirely, or give up on the community entirely. Why can't we have a strong, creative community, making fan-made stuff, but under the auspices of Cyan? Why is that such a difficult concept to grasp?

As for explaining away ages, please offer your explanation for the dancing bahro age where they randomly link you places and you breathe in space. Please explain it in such a way that it does not completely destroy all suspension of disbelief. And don't pretend that in a truly open game where anyone can submit ages that someone won't do this.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:51 pm 
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DocOlanA wrote:
But seriously, do you know what we talk about when we talk about the story of the cavern? The Bahro attack. Yeesha appearing. Willow's death. And among those of us in the Students of D'ni Knowledge, we talk about Nick White giving us the Yahvo creation myth. How many of those took care of themselves? The correct answer is zero.

You apparently can't count. The correct answer is all of them. Individuals agreed, mostly independently, that these events were canon.

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This whole discussion is becoming far too polarized. It's like people think you can either give up on Cyan entirely, or give up on the community entirely. Why can't we have a strong, creative community, making fan-made stuff, but under the auspices of Cyan? Why is that such a difficult concept to grasp?

Because you frame it in absolutes. We either accept your multi-tiered nonsense or we are supporting ideas that need to "die right here." You're not putting forth ideas that allow gradation, you have a tiered system of subjective fan filters, each one getting smaller in number of participants, until you reach Cyan. Meanwhile you ignore what the community wants or, what might be more important, what the community doesn't yet know it wants. The idea of making things people will want is the motivator behind Apple (along with making money) and it should be ours too.

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As for explaining away ages, please offer your explanation for the dancing bahro age where they randomly link you places and you breathe in space. Please explain it in such a way that it does not completely destroy all suspension of disbelief. And don't pretend that in a truly open game where anyone can submit ages that someone won't do this.

The Writer violated the laws of writing and has created an unstable Age in which space consists of a breathable gas and is populated by creatures resembling Bahro. Maintainers have otherwise determined the Age safe to visit.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:19 pm 
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Whilyam wrote:
Meanwhile you ignore what the community wants or, what might be more important, what the community doesn't yet know it wants.


[spoiler] :lol:

Say what? I could comment on this but I think it is safer for my own sanity and everyone's peace of mind to bow out of this conversation right here and now....... all I can say is THANK you Whilyam for finally letting me know, as part of this community, that I don't know yet what it is I want... I had no idea... oh my gosh...

:roll:[/spoiler]

Edit: put all the above in a spoiler tag, for after receiving a PM from Whilyam explaining what he meant, clearly I misunderstood what he meant to say :lol:


Last edited by Sophia on Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:24 pm 
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I think what Whil means is that things might be created that you have never seen before, therefore you can't know that you want it until it is created.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:26 pm 
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Whilyam wrote:
It is time for this community to grow up and finally be tolerant of other's preferences instead of clinging to mommy Cyan..


I thought this is what Whil meant, Marein... and as I said, bowing out of the conversation, my friend, I have no issue with you :)


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:34 pm 
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I think some of the "absolutes" you think I demand are all in your head. Yes, I favor a multi-tiered system. I've seen it work in other settings to allow lots of content to be generated while not overwhelming the parent company. But that's hardly the only possible option. The only absolute I'm positing is that, ultimately, either Cyan or a Cyan-appointed continuity editor needs to have final review over everything. And the only reason I stipulate this is because every time there is no such editorial body quality and story go way downhill. A bad editor can absolutely destroy a good story, but no editor is even worse when the story is collaborative.

I simply think a multi-tiered system of fan review is the most efficient way to lessen Cyan's workload, allowing them to push through as much new canon content with a minimum of effort and funding. I'm sure others have different ideas, and I would welcome a discussion about them.

And your "explanation" for the hypothetical poorly written age? Completely breaks suspension of disbelief. That explanation is even worse than explaining system crashes as Bahro interfering with the link.

We're not talking Cyan mandated ages. Cyan simply has final editorial review. This means fans can still come up with awesome ideas that the rest of the fanbase doesn't yet know it wants, and can still create them. It just gives some degree of quality and canon control. And if you're designing something that breaks canon, go to a fan shard and put it up there. I'm sure there will be lots of people who don't care about canon or the main story, and will have a great time going to all the fan shards and solving new ages every week. Heck, I'd probably do that, it sounds fun. But there are lots of us who love the D'ni, and the story, and canon, and we'll be happy in Uru.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:35 pm 
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DocOlanA wrote:

But seriously, do you know what we talk about when we talk about the story of the cavern? The Bahro attack. Yeesha appearing. Willow's death. And among those of us in the Students of D'ni Knowledge, we talk about Nick White giving us the Yahvo creation myth. How many of those took care of themselves? The correct answer is zero.


I am a bit confused. I am D'ni Knowledge student, and yes I remember talking about the Yahvo creation myth. I did not think we came to a consensus. I had my own opinion. I won't elaborate here. My tomes are too long already. I wasn't all that keen about the Willow death story. Some of my reservation comes out of my opinion about the delivery of the story. I am not a fan of episodes. Who the heck was Willow to the reader/explorer? No backstory, no empathy. No creation of character to care about (IMO).

DocOlanA wrote:
This whole discussion is becoming far too polarized. It's like people think you can either give up on Cyan entirely, or give up on the community entirely. Why can't we have a strong, creative community, making fan-made stuff, but under the auspices of Cyan? Why is that such a difficult concept to grasp?


The community has always been a mix of separate thinkers. I like it that way. It evokes story. It makes a mess and I happen to like messes. I am a grass roots, love from the bottom up kind of girl. I think too much order and structure stifles thinking. I am not in favor of anarchy, but I like to see creative abundance.

Neither do I mind if Cyan decides to take the storytelling lead. Who then will they lead? What group and how will the group be determined? I need to know what the leveling up requirements will be (to become part of that group)? Storytelling contest? Age writing submissions contest? Illustrations or graphics contests? Different categories for different jobs? Sounds like a lot of contests to deal with? So long as it is fair and open, I will play that way too. Where do I submit my ideas? For one game development company I won a contest. It was part of the game. My reward was to take a character they named for me, and start writing a believable red herring. The red herring would be tied in and intersected by a developer filter.

A real developer filter (editorial board) like this costs money. This filter is not feasible is it? An age creation developer/filter/editorial/board would cost money. My steady, but small donation won't cover the costs.

DocOlanA wrote:
As for explaining away ages, please offer your explanation for the dancing bahro age where they randomly link you places and you breathe in space. Please explain it in such a way that it does not completely destroy all suspension of disbelief. And don't pretend that in a truly open game where anyone can submit ages that someone won't do this.


In the persona of Ruby the "not-so-clever" and sometimes "star struck" reporter, I would say "some explorers who recently set up shop in the cavern are expecting the cavern news media to come and out look at their dancing bahros. We may have been gullible enough to cover the Liaison Election, but we won't be that gullible again. For those explorers who still want to see some explorers dressed up like dancing bahros, here is the address. This is Ruby O'Degee signing off from the ever wondrous cavern. Shorah b'shem and good night or day".

That is what I would say more or less. 8)

EDIT: (cross-post) oh gosh, DOC we are talking about the same editorial board kind of thing, albeit there are most likely differences. I offered this idea up a long time ago at the DRC and to RAWA. I never got a response. I figured it was just too darn cumbersome and expensive. But have at it. I just want the entry process to be fair.

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Last edited by Ahvree on Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:48 pm 
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Well I wasn't a big fan of episodes either, but only because they once again broke suspension of disbelief by making me feel like I was playing a game. I liked the pre-episode way, when plot would just happen. I think Thend wrote a KI Toon about the change of atmosphere prior to episodes, and I agree with him. But at the same time, I understand why they did it. It was to get more people involved in the story. I would hope they learned from what they did, and can perhaps find a way to get people involved that doesn't feel so artificial. But as far as the plots go, I loved the plots. The plots were incredible. And sure, there have been some pretty incredible things that were entirely explorer driven. Some of the dance parties, a lot of the lectures, the annual St. Patty's parade, and lots more. But you know what? Cyan's always supported that. I remember Rand dropping in for one of the St. Patty's parades. And Victor Laxman worked with the Pellet Points Hood on their project.

People keep talking about Cyan stuff and Explorer stuff like they are two separate things that can never fit together. I never saw it that way. The goal was to have Cyan and the explorers work together to create new content, as much new content as possible. Our goal should be to find ways to help them do that. Cutting Cyan out of the process entirely is not a new way to help them do that. Neither is acting like Cyan is this inefficient dinosaur that will only block explorer ideas if they are left in charge. We should be trying to work with Cyan, with Rand, with the design team to merge our efforts together.

And yes, I imagine that is exactly how you would cover such a horribly designed age. And note what you did: You ignored it, and did not dignify it with an answer. But that doesn't change the fact that there would be a link in the cavern to an age with dancing bahro and space breathing. On a shard you can justify it. It's a video game, it's got lots of designers, some of the ages are awesome, some are good, and some are really bad. But how do you justify that IC in Uru? You can't. You simply can't. You make up reasons why it was poorly done, or why you should ignore it. I do not enjoy the thought of ignoring part of the game in order to maintain canon. I mean, what do we tell newbies? "Well, this age and this age are canon, but this one, despite what the age actually says, is obviously some sort of hand-waved explorer trick to cover up the fact that it was a poorly written age that would never have gotten past a decent editorial team."

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:59 pm 
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As the famous quote says "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" (misattributed to Voltaire), I feel it applies in this case as well.

I may disapprove of your Ages (and probably will), but I will defend your right to include them online.

Please remember that Ages must be granted an FCAL before Cyan would ever consider putting them online, and that the FCAL process involves checking the Age against existing canon.

Note that many of the current Ages for PotS do not have FCALs (for a variety of reasons, some were written before the FCAL system, others have never received a reply from Cyan).


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:15 pm 
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DocOlanA wrote:
I mean, what do we tell newbies? "Well, this age and this age are canon, but this one, despite what the age actually says, is obviously some sort of hand-waved explorer trick to cover up the fact that it was a poorly written age that would never have gotten past a decent editorial team."


There will likely be some story line (a guild of maintainers) who determined what ages are suitable for inclusion, or there is the nasty ole age_o_meter poll/contraption that Ruby is asking Merle to produce for her. It is not the best idea, entirely fan driven, but when there is no contributions to cover costs such silly options do arise to clear the clutter.

I simply believe that newbies will figure it out, once they go out to see the Bahros dancing. For some odd reason I think it will work. I've been a newbie at Second Life every day since I went there to work the technology. I never got involved with the community (even the refugees, although I like them:) for the most part ). I was too busy trying out this or that for an educational project I am working on. Moreover, I am not at all impressed with the culture at large. I've never had a problem getting around SL though. I don't go where I know its going to upset me. If I do happen to make a mistake, I get out in a hurry. I have free will to do that.

Aside: I agree with you wholeheartedly about the intersection of the Cyan driven and explorer driven stories. I know first hand that Cyan does like explorer initiative. I've had the privilege of working in that way with Cyan. I am thankful for my atypical life experience working with them.

The cavern free market of opinion takes care of a lot of issues. Sometimes my own opinions are in sync. Sometimes not. It has certainly been an interesting ride, and it continues to surprise me. Mostly, because I am not running down an inside track. And that is perfectly okay too. Then I get to say I did not like this or that. I am, after all the reader of the cartoon and I own my own interpretation (even if I don't own the cartoon) :wink: :lol: :

Edit: I don't want this post to misconstrue my meaning. I certainly don't think the metaverse needs another SL. One only 18 and over universe is enough. (I wish there to be no need for one at all).I like that I can suggest my students visit Uru. I also let them know that any world, even Uru can be a good or not so good experience. They need to go in knowing fully well how to handle themselves, and with their parents' "watch over their shoulder" permission.

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Last edited by Ahvree on Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:28 pm 
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Marein wrote:
I think what Whil means is that things might be created that you have never seen before, therefore you can't know that you want it until it is created.

Exactly.

DocOlanA wrote:
I think some of the "absolutes" you think I demand are all in your head. Yes, I favor a multi-tiered system. I've seen it work in other settings to allow lots of content to be generated while not overwhelming the parent company. But that's hardly the only possible option. The only absolute I'm positing is that, ultimately, either Cyan or a Cyan-appointed continuity editor needs to have final review over everything. And the only reason I stipulate this is because every time there is no such editorial body quality and story go way downhill. A bad editor can absolutely destroy a good story, but no editor is even worse when the story is collaborative.

See you think of a single editor, I think of everyone as an editor, choosing what to see and whether it is canon or not.

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I simply think a multi-tiered system of fan review is the most efficient way to lessen Cyan's workload, allowing them to push through as much new canon content with a minimum of effort and funding. I'm sure others have different ideas, and I would welcome a discussion about them.

Then why haven't you addressed the idea of a community wide vote? I don't like a progressive chain of command, getting smaller as we ascend. Two criteria: Does it violate the ToS? Does it predictably crash a user who meets the system requirements? From there, if you want to do a "do we send this to Cyan for their server" I guess you put it there. But I still think it's essential that everything is allowed and then users decide what to link to.

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And your "explanation" for the hypothetical poorly written age? Completely breaks suspension of disbelief. That explanation is even worse than explaining system crashes as Bahro interfering with the link.

How so? Don't just make a claim. Tell us why!

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We're not talking Cyan mandated ages. Cyan simply has final editorial review. This means fans can still come up with awesome ideas that the rest of the fanbase doesn't yet know it wants, and can still create them. It just gives some degree of quality and canon control. And if you're designing something that breaks canon, go to a fan shard and put it up there. I'm sure there will be lots of people who don't care about canon or the main story, and will have a great time going to all the fan shards and solving new ages every week. Heck, I'd probably do that, it sounds fun. But there are lots of us who love the D'ni, and the story, and canon, and we'll be happy in Uru.

But the problem still is that you system won't do that. It will produce stale Ages that only the upper crust approves of. nothing daring, nothing new. Just variations on the same concept. At least if the entire community voted we'd get a larger sample, but that still restricts the people who decide what Ages make it to those that can take the time to vote.

DocOlanA wrote:
And yes, I imagine that is exactly how you would cover such a horribly designed age. And note what you did: You ignored it, and did not dignify it with an answer. But that doesn't change the fact that there would be a link in the cavern to an age with dancing bahro and space breathing.

Still, so what? We do the same thing with a huge number of IC issues and it doesn't matter.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:39 pm 
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The upper crust? What, is there a fan class system? Are the poor people who just want new ages to play in being oppressed by the wealthy elite who just want to see the same old thing over and over again?

Take a step back and listen to yourself, Whil. You're talking like Thomas Paine, which is fine if you're an oppressed colony being taxed by a tyrannical overseas power without representation, but it's needlessly combative when you're a player in a community in a game run by a company that has ALWAYS listened to its community.

I think the problem might be you don't know how good you have it. And I know that's an old and crotchety thing to say, but seriously you don't. Do you have any idea how many companies have the vision and storytelling drive of Cyan? How many have actually done their best to work with their community, getting them involved? How many would actually release their game for free mostly just to keep the community alive? Cyan is really one of a kind, and I think they deserve a little more credit than you're giving them. And I know the community deserves a lot more credit.

There is no "class system". There is no "old boy's club." There is no "us vs. them". And as the Pellet Points Hood and the Students of D'ni Knowledge and countless other fan groups have proven, Cyan wants to work with us. I'm just not buying your us vs. them philosophy. Especially since you seem to consider me one of the "them". I think your whole premise for your arguments is non-existent. I just don't think you're viewing the issue, I think you're viewing a mythical version of the issue that you came up with. The fact that you don't seem to have a problem with an age with dancing bahro and breathing in space would seem to confirm that.

Cyan went to all the trouble of setting up five guilds! Maybe that's not the best structure, but if nothing else it proves that Cyan wants the community to be more involved in Uru. Instead of trying to make believe there's an elite upper crust trying to crush your hopes and dreams, why don't you actually try working with Cyan?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:40 pm 
Ahhh, it's nice not to be the one getting all aerated for once...

DocOlanA wrote:
Why can't we have a strong, creative community, making fan-made stuff, but under the auspices of Cyan? Why is that such a difficult concept to grasp?


It's not a difficult concept to grasp, but as I pointed out earlier, Cyan don't have any spare auspices right now.

If you want Uru to be wholly run and controlled and Maintained by Cyan, and you're prepared to wait another x number of years to see if Cyan ever becomes profitable enough that they can afford to do this, then that's your call. I think the majority view here might be that we've waited a good long while already and sooner would be nice. And we're not waiting for a totally unfettered 3D world in which we can do anything we want. There are plenty of those out there already. We're waiting to continue the story of Uru. Why do you think we won't do this? Why do you believe we'll break it?

I'm not giving up on Cyan or the community. I trust both. I accept that Cyan's role will be limited for the foreseeable future, but I hope they'll come back and play a larger one some day. I know that there will be those in the community who will play with the format as they did in UU, but I believe that this will be a minor part of the Uru experience and that most explorers will cope with it, and most fan Writers will welcome the opportunity to work within canon.


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Well if that's all you want, to be able to play around while Cyan becomes profitable again, great. Again, I'm definitely not against the idea of fan-run shards. I think most video games are made better by the ability for fans to mod and add on to them. I'd probably even participate in some of that.

But I don't want that to be the only thing going on. I want Uru. And as fun as the above might be, it's not Uru. Maybe you think you can do better than Uru. Maybe you can. But it's still not Uru. So yeah, lets get a full open source for shards with fans able to add on ages to those shards. Lets get that as soon as possible, that sounds great. But lets also work on how to make Cyan more profitable, and lets design a system where Cyan can still have editorial and quality control, but be able to do that as cheaply and efficiently as possible.

Last I heard, we're at CAVCOM 4. That means Uru, at its current level, is profitable. Lets keep that steady, or boost it higher. And then lets see what sort of Cyan involvement we can figure out within that margin of money.

So, the tools to build ages are already pretty much there. They just need to open source a bit of code. Great. Step one would be to submit a finished age to the fan community at large. This will weed out exceptionally buggy ages, exceptionally lame ages, or ages that obviously violate TOS, canon, or quality standards. This will probably involve a lot of back and forth between fans and the author.

Once a final version of the age is submitted that gets at least 4 out of 5 stars from the community (or 3 out of 5 stars, or something,) it goes to the editing body. The editing body will be a group of fans anointed to the position by Cyan, probably after signing an NDA since they might have more access to plot than standard fans. They will need two things: A good knowledge of quality, and a good knowledge of canon. Their job is not to approve or disapprove of new stuff, but only to make sure the ages are good quality and don't violate any existing canon. They'd write up a summary of all story elements in the age, as well as puzzles, and send any ages that pass to Cyan. The bug testing would already largely have been done by the fan community. Again, their job is not to decide whether or not an age is fun. That will have already been decided by the fans. Their job is simply to test the age for canonicity, and general quality standards (graphics have to be of a certain quality, no dancing bahro in space, that sort of thing.) They either send it through to Cyan, or send it to the original author with a list of necessary revisions.

Cyan then simply has to look over a summary, ensure that any new material added to canon fits their vision, and either integrates it into Uru or else sends it back with a list of revisions that need to be made.

There you have it, a tiered system where the community at large has the greatest amount of power, an editorial group whose real purpose is simply to weed out unacceptable ages and decrease Cyan's burden, NOT to act as an elite ruling class that kills hopes and dreams, and Cyan still being in charge but with a significantly decreased workload because most of the work has already been done by the fans. They'd probably need more cashflow than they have now, but significantly less than they would need to run the whole cavern themselves.

Now, here's an added benefit to this plan: Cyan suddenly has this huge new talent pool to draw from. Lets say that B'ubba has written six different ages, and they have all been of the highest quality, excellently designed, and expanded on canon without violating it. Well, Cyan can now go to B'ubba with an NDA, and ask him if he'd want to design an age that reveals that Yeesha had a daughter by Kadish. B'ubba's fan ages have proven him capable of doing this, and because Cyan had final editorial review Cyan was exposed to his ages and saw the quality of his work. Now the Uru fans have an age that significantly moves the plot forward, and B'ubba gets to claim credit for "discovering" the linking book that led to this age IC, and for designing the age OOC. And even better, Cyan didn't have to spend a penny to do it.

That's companies interacting with the fanbase to create something awesome.

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