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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:34 am 
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I'm hardly surprised that there have been communication problems over the last few years between you guys and Cyan, if all a minority of you do is jump on them at the first opportunity...

To me, the newbie, it seems like this community has two choices:

1) No content ever again.
2) Fan created content.

Am I wrong here? And if we all agree that the above is basically true, until the mechanisms for how fan-content will work are revealed, there's really not much point tearing each other's throats out. Everyone should spend their time learning to create Ages in Blender or something. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:50 am 
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Nye_Sigismund wrote:

it seems like this community has two choices:

1) No content ever again.
2) Fan created content.



Yup - that's it. Well, maybe "even again" is not quite true -- I'd go with "not in the forseeable future".

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:31 am 
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mszv wrote:
Nye_Sigismund wrote:

it seems like this community has two choices:

1) No content ever again.
2) Fan created content.



Yup - that's it. Well, maybe "ever again" is not quite true -- I'd go with "not in the forseeable future".


Or perhaps "but with Cautious Optimism."


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:59 am 
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There are other options, but even if it's not no content it will be limited content. I think we all agree fan related ages are the way to go. It's just a matter of whether there will be any oversight or not.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:42 am 
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DocOlanA wrote:
A fan makes an age.

Agreed.
Quote:
They submit it, not to Cyan, but to the fan community.

Agreed.
Quote:
If that community likes it, then it goes for final review, which is nothing more than a review to ensure it doesn't violate canon.

There's the problem. Who gets the final review? I see three options:

Cyan gets the final review: This is not logistically possible. Cyan needs to spend their time making money, not checking Ages. If Cyan agrees to do this, they essentially forfeit their business in the process.

Fans get the final review: This is not culturally possible. The fanbase has a well-documented history of ripping apart people perceived to have more power than themselves. This is not healthy, but it is also likely impossible to change. The DRC Liaisons are a perfect example of a nightmare scenario for both Uru and Cyan. For Uru because the inevitable power struggles build greater tensions between the fans. For Cyan because they bear the brunt of a PR disaster and are still burdened with managing this review panel (like they should have for the Liaisons).

No one gets the final review: Ages are submitted and people explore what they enjoy. I think this is the best way to encourage creative development so we don't end up with the same canyon/Kemo-clone Ages and actually get some fresh Age ideas. A rating system, while imperfect, would at least give people some idea of what is interesting (even if it is just an average of those who bothered to vote).

Now, there's a fourth option that might work as a compromise. I don't like it, but it's an idea.

All fans get the final review: The community decides whether they like it and then decide whether it is canon or not. On Cyan's shard Cyan gets ultimate veto power when they want to use it. The community as a whole is extremely unlikely to approve any of the sillier canon-breaking ideas (Bahro in miniskirts) and Cyan only comes into the picture when something major is being dealt with. Writers are encouraged to either make up their own story or follow RAWA's rule when making an Age with Cyan's work/with the D'ni.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:55 am 
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Quite frankly the final review either needs to be done by Cyan itself, or by an organization appointed by Cyan (possibly of volunteers that Cyan trusts.) Otherwise there's really no point, and you may as well let all ages through after fan review. Which I'm against because that has never worked anywhere on the internet. If you allow anyone to make ages with no review restrictions beyond peer review, then you're going to end up with a bunch of crap. Some good things, but a bunch of crap. Check fanfiction.net, deviantart, YouTube.

Ah, but you say, the fans will be our defense against this! Great. Filter it. View only the things that are average-to-highly rated on those sites. You will still have to search far and wide to find good stuff amidst all the crap. John Q. Public makes a bad editor, that's just the truth.

We need some sort of regulation. Quite frankly I think eventually all the shards will form regulatory bodies out of necessity, to avoid their shards getting filled with poorly designed ages and such. But that will be up to them. The Cyan shard, on the other hand, has Cyan at the top. Now I agree, Cyan's got better things to do, but they do have people willing to volunteer to be on this committee. Enough people that they can choose those with a proven track record of understanding the mythology surrounding Myst and Uru, who will be able to maintain canon and quality with a minimum of direct Cyan oversight. At that point it can be as simple as them summarizing new ages into a few bullet points, such as:

Age, "AgeName"

* D'ni food resource world
* Contains evidence of food regulation by the D'ni upper class
* Suggests that the threshers were brought in piece by piece from a mining age

Rand or whoever can look that over, rubberstamp it, and there you go. Minimum of effort by Cyan, but they still have oversight.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:03 am 
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DocOlanA wrote:
I think we all agree fan related ages are the way to go. It's just a matter of whether there will be any oversight or not.


I think that is a good summary of where we are at.

Different shards will have different levels of oversight; it seems all of the contention has arisen over what sort of oversight will apply on Cyan's shard... which is awkward, because I doubt any of us will be empowered to decide what sort of oversight happens there.

Having had a few days to mull over Whilyam's "two rules", and also taking into consideration Cyan's past behavior, I am inclined to believe that Whilyam will get his wish, or something very close to it. I had to put aside my own fears and desires, and look at it logically: If the inclusion of Ages includes subjective criteria rather than pure objective measure, when an Age is rejected there will be opportunities for hand-wringing and accusations of favoritism. But if instead Cyan takes a position of being unbiased and open to all Ages that don't violate the basic objective rules, Cyan can avoid the greatest amount of community drama. I'm not saying there won't be drama; I'm just saying this is the path of least drama.

It isn't exactly what I'd like to happen. But I can see why it is the most likely scenario, and I can live with that.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:37 am 
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If Cyan agrees to do this, they essentially forfeit their business in the process.


That would actually be an assumption not be be stated as fact. Cyan is not putting any of their money into Uru at all right now, they are in fact going off donations. If ever the donation money is enough (Cavcon 5?), they could in fact use some of that for the age reviewing process. It'd probably be slow, but could work.

Edit: And just in case it seems like it, not trying to argue, merely making a correction. :D

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:08 am 
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Neereus wrote:
Quote:
If Cyan agrees to do this, they essentially forfeit their business in the process.


That would actually be an assumption not be be stated as fact. Cyan is not putting any of their money into Uru at all right now, they are in fact going off donations. If ever the donation money is enough (Cavcon 5?), they could in fact use some of that for the age reviewing process. It'd probably be slow, but could work.

Edit: And just in case it seems like it, not trying to argue, merely making a correction. :D


I may be wrong, but I don't think Whilyam is talking about money as such, but about man-hours and resources, the non-negotiable cost of doing anything that isn't Paid Work. We none of us know exactly how much Paid Work Cyan has at the moment, but anything they do on Uru takes up time and energy, electricity and coffee, that comes out of the firm's expenses but is not bringing anything in. Donations are good, but they're not guaranteed income and they don't come with any of the benefits that Paid Work brings in terms of further business and so on. Cyan needs to survive as a company and so their emphasis needs to be on Paid Work or they'll stop getting it. That's how I read Whilyam's quote anyway.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:19 am 
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So we keep the CAVCOM level up and streamline the process so it costs them as few paid hours as necessary. I'm not saying it will happen automatically by itself, but it's definitely within the realm of possibility.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:30 am 
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Yes, basically was saying that is possible and not necessarily a forfeit of their business. Now if people agree to it, or if Cyan goes with it, well that's another thing all together.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:45 am 
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Frankly I'm fine with Cyan doing things for Uru as donations provide the money. If CAVCOM levels stay up, we get lots of shiny new ages, Cyan involvement, plot, etc., after waiting long enough for a bankroll to build up. If they drop, then we don't.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:45 am 
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See, this is the thing. I mean, you're perfectly entitled to envisage
DocOlanA wrote:
lots of shiny new ages, Cyan involvement, plot, etc.
if that's what keeps you interested, but it just seems a little unrealistic to me to be looking for that any time within the foreseeable future. I'd love all of that too, but Cyan could not do it before without the financial support of a titanically huge entertainment company, and I don't think, from what I've understood over the past few years, there's ever going to be a point where they can do it on our spare change. And if they could do it on their own, I don't think open source is the route they'd be going. I think they would be involving the fans in a way that would give them more of a hands-on role, and allow them to retain greater control of the property.

Open source is, to some extent, a letting go. Cyan have come to terms with that, I think.

Maybe, if the CAVCON meter goes to 5 and stays at 5 for a year or two years, maybe then we'll see the beginnings of some reinvolvement by Cyan. Maybe a small Age, maybe a reappearance of the DRC as a force in the Cavern, maybe something quite else. Maybe just the Minkata sparklie.

Hope, by all means. But know that not everybody can sustain that hope in the face of what we know.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:00 pm 
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Whilyam wrote:
People should be free to treat Uru as they wish, not be dictated that it is always IC.

As I have said elsewhere, we need two criteria:
1. Legality
2. Does not crash user who meets system requirements.

Objective, verifiable criteria. Not vague preferences of quality or bendable ideas of canon.

I can accept this IF the books were set apart in a specific area and it was obvious to players that they might find anything here, including canon-breaking ages.

But, I have a suggestion: approval stamps. Allow anyone to put their books in this new UCC Library. If the creator is a member of the Guild of Writers, the book gets a GoW stamp. If the Maintainers determine that it's safe (no crashes, freezes, other glitches, etc.), it gets a GoMa stamp. If the Archivists determine that it adheres to canon, then it gets a GoA stamp. And, if the age is really good, then maybe it will even receive a DRC stamp from Cyan. Then, let the player choose according to what they're willing to experience.

Each group that's willing to participate in this should post their criteria the way that RAWA has for Cyan.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:07 pm 
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Tai'lahr wrote:
But, I have a suggestion: approval stamps. Allow anyone to put their books in this new UCC Library. If the creator is a member of the Guild of Writers, the book gets a GoW stamp. If the Maintainers determine that it's safe (no crashes, freezes, other glitches, etc.), it gets a GoMa stamp. If the Archivists determine that it adheres to canon, then it gets a GoA stamp. And, if the age is really good, then maybe it will even receive a DRC stamp from Cyan. Then, let the player choose according to what they're willing to experience.

Each group that's willing to participate in this should post their criteria the way that RAWA has for Cyan.

Tweek has already covered, previously in this same discussion, why the above is suggestion is not desirable; there may be an IC reason to not want such stamps on a book. For example, a book may contain an Age that is very much canon, but for story reasons is intended to be an "illicit" Age, traded and shared in secret. Don't you agree, it would look rather silly for such a book to be covered in more approval stamps than some passports?

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