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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 2:34 am 
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My main sticking point on TNR's and Herohtar's point of view is this: You don't want the concept/story designers to be called "Writers," because, though those jobs require a good bit of brainstorming and writing to be done, they don't require nearly as much technical skill as programming, modeling, or whatever.

...

Wait.

We don't want to call the writers "Writers" because they write and not program?

[voice="Scooby"] Buh? [/voice]

My head asplode...

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 2:57 am 
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Hawkin wrote:
My main sticking point on TNR's and Herohtar's point of view is this: You don't want the concept/story designers to be called "Writers," because, though those jobs require a good bit of brainstorming and writing to be done, they don't require nearly as much technical skill as programming, modeling, or whatever.

...

Wait.

We don't want to call the writers "Writers" because they write and not program?

[voice="Scooby"] Buh? [/voice]

My head asplode...


No, it has nothing to do with the level of difficulty or amount of skill required or anything of that sort, and I'm pretty sure I made that clear. Go reread my posts.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:41 am 
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I suppose it really depends on how many people, and which people, want to join. I suspect that there will be plenty of people OUTSIDE the guild who go "Hey, can you make an Age full of lost civilisations/waterslides/llamas" who don't participate actively in the Guild and don't want a full position. Even if they do, they likely shouldn't be called Writers, because all they are doing is saying "I want this"

This may just be me, however, but I think there will, on the other hand, also be plenty of people who go "Hey, I have this mad idea for an age of lost civilisations/waterslides/llamas. I've been thinking about this for a while, here are some examples of alien languages you can use (or whatever) and I'm prepared to add more imput, and contribute on a semi-regular basis, in conjunction with other people's ideas, and which of my ideas can possibly be created"

People like this, who aren't coding, or creating music, or actually designing the layout of an Age, are still prepared to stick around, churn out ideas for what Ages there can be, and most importantly, actively contribute. Surely, if they are prepared to do so, they should be given the title 'Writer'. Within that title, you may want to have things like "Grammar checker" (coding) "Concepterizer" (ideas, concept people), etcetera.

Okay, so I suck at naming things :p, but my point is that all people who can and want to contribute on any sort of regular basis should be allowed to have the name of Writer. If you want to have sub-titles for distinguishing purposes, fine, but I think, in a Guild of Writers, all contributing 'Guildsman' should be able to have that title. It's only fair.

Here, with the GoW, probably more so than any other Guild, membership is really only restricted by how many ideas people can come up with and, of course, software limitations. With an infinite amount of possible ideas, I would think you can never have too many people ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:01 am 
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((In reference to Herohtar's post...Narym posted while I was still typing.))

Ok, now I'm seriously confused...
If it isn't the level of skill or amount of difficulty, why do you consider programming to be more important than designing?
You've said that you believe that everyone who works on an Age deserves just as much credit as anyone else...but isn't denying someone the title of "Writer" simply because they didn't create something "physically" (which is another term I have a big problem with, since none of this is "physical") denying them equal credit for aiding the Guild in its efforts? Those two concepts cannot go hand in hand. Sure, an Age concept may not be something you can point to and say, "Here it is," like a 3D model, but the model is no more physical, because you can't hold an idea or a piece of data in your hand. They are both data, only the model is primarily on a computer, and an idea is primarily in a human brain. Besides, designing is just as "physical" as programming is (which is to say, not very). It takes a lot of time, it takes skill, and it is not something that one can simply pick up and be perfect at right from the start...you have to learn to do it well, mostly by trying. Despite your statements to the contrary, you are downplaying the importance of the part of the Ages that gives them a story and gives them life, that makes people want to play them. If you truly believe that concept and designing is just as important as programming, I cannot understand at all how you can also want to have separate (and not particularly equal) titles. The idea that someone who is in the Guild of Writers but isn't called a Writer is getting just as much credit as those who are called Writers makes no sense, and quite frankly, is foolish.

"OOC, it helps clarify what they do -- Writers create content, Planners/Designers/whatever contribute design ideas, etc."

Actually, that makes what they do unclear, at least in my mind, since I associate "Writers" with...well, writing, not programming. Yet, I still want everyone to be called "Writers" because we are all to be members of the Guild of "Writers," and we all are to contribute equally important aspects to the Ages.

I'm trying to understand your side, here, but I simply can't see how your ideas are fitting together.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:38 am 
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Hawkin wrote:
Ok, now I'm seriously confused...
If it isn't the level of skill or amount of difficulty, why do you consider programming to be more important than designing?
You've said that you believe that everyone who works on an Age deserves just as much credit as anyone else...but isn't denying someone the title of "Writer" simply because they didn't create something "physically" (which is another term I have a big problem with, since none of this is "physical") denying them equal credit for aiding the Guild in its efforts? Those two concepts cannot go hand in hand. Sure, an Age concept may not be something you can point to and say, "Here it is," like a 3D model, but the model is no more physical, because you can't hold an idea or a piece of data in your hand. They are both data, only the model is primarily on a computer, and an idea is primarily in a human brain. Besides, designing is just as "physical" as programming is (which is to say, not very). It takes a lot of time, it takes skill, and it is not something that one can simply pick up and be perfect at right from the start...you have to learn to do it well, mostly by trying. Despite your statements to the contrary, you are downplaying the importance of the part of the Ages that gives them a story and gives them life, that makes people want to play them. If you truly believe that concept and designing is just as important as programming, I cannot understand at all how you can also want to have separate (and not particularly equal) titles. The idea that someone who is in the Guild of Writers but isn't called a Writer is getting just as much credit as those who are called Writers makes no sense, and quite frankly, is foolish.

"OOC, it helps clarify what they do -- Writers create content, Planners/Designers/whatever contribute design ideas, etc."

Actually, that makes what they do unclear, at least in my mind, since I associate "Writers" with...well, writing, not programming. Yet, I still want everyone to be called "Writers" because we are all to be members of the Guild of "Writers," and we all are to contribute equally important aspects to the Ages.


I don't consider programming to be more important than designing. Maybe I'm the only one who thinks about it this way, but I'm talking about the IC/OOC correlation here -- IC, you have Writers and everyone else (non-Writers); the Writers know the Art of Writing and have the ability to write an Age. While everyone else may have cool ideas for Ages, they haven't learned the Art of Writing. However, they can go to the Writers with their ideas and have them create the Age.
OOC, you have basically the same thing: the "Writers" who know the "Art of Writing" (coding, music, art, modeling, etc...) and everyone else, who might have design ideas, but don't know the "Art of Writing"

I think it is important to have the distinction between the "Development Team" (Writers) and the "Design Team", not because one is more or less important than the other, but because they are different areas. For example, someone would take a puzzle idea to a member of the "Design Team" so they could approve it and make any necessary modifications to the design. On the other hand, if one had a bug report or the like, they would give it to one of the "Development Team" people.

I'm also not saying that the "Design Team" people shouldn't have a title, they should just have a different title. Maybe what I'm looking for is a sub-guild kind of thing... Writer - Development, Writer - Design...

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:49 am 
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I'm also not saying that the "Design Team" people shouldn't have a title, they should just have a different title. Maybe what I'm looking for is a sub-guild kind of thing... Writer - Development, Writer - Design...


I'm glad you've clarified things there. I think people in general agreed that there was obviously a need to distinguish between different people with different skillsets, but it sounded for a bit like they ('designers', as you termed it) would not be "Writers" at all. In a GoW, if you are not a Writer, you would, I imagine, straight away feel inferior. As I said earlier:

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If you want to have sub-titles for distinguishing purposes, fine, but I think, in a Guild of Writers, all contributing 'Guildsman' should be able to have that title. It's only fair.


I think that's a fair compromise, myself.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 6:25 am 
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Herohtar wrote:
I'm also not saying that the "Design Team" people shouldn't have a title, they should just have a different title. Maybe what I'm looking for is a sub-guild kind of thing... Writer - Development, Writer - Design...


I can agree completely with having different titles, as long as it isn't one being called "Writer" and another not. "Writer - Development," "Writer - Design," or "Writer - Whatever" is perfectly fine by me, because it designates them as separate areas (which they should be), but also shows that they are equal. It just feels to me that if one is called "Writer" and another is not, it makes the other less important, whether officially or semantically, because they aren't even given the name of the Guild of which they are a member.
I can understand what you mean now, and thank you for your effort to communicate your ideas.
If such a system is acceptable to you, then I believe we have come to an agreement on that point.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 8:13 am 
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As I alluded to before, we need to stop calling Age Builders "coders" or "programmers" or "engineers." They are artists. You don't call a person who commissions a public mural, and describes to an artist exactly what it should depict, a painter, do you? And you don't call the person who used the brush a "technician," do you? The person who commissioned the concept will get whatever credit that they're owed, but they are simply not a painter. It's that simple.

And more importantly, by granting these unique artists the title "Writer," it has the added benefit of motivating more people to learn those skills, which would greatly benefit the Guild. If the only way to become a "Writer" is to produce something for an age (models, textures, music, etc) then I guarantee you that it would lead to more actual "Writers." If you don't have to learn these skills to become a Writer, then how will the Guild grow? It won't, it just won't.

And on the other side of that coin, giving proper and special credit to the actual age builder is needed or else a fair number of skilled people may not be motivated to put in the (tortured) work required of them to create ages. It becomes next to thankless.

As for the titles, I think we are getting closer to a partial consensus here (or more accurately, we're all realizing that we all pretty much agreed on this stuff already), but I still have major worries about how the Guild will be structured, and I'm afraid that actual age builders may get a more reduced role in the Guild than they are owed.

Know that I totally understand the notion that if you contribute your ideas and efforts, but don't get the title "Writer" that you may feel inferior or something (which may very well happen, but I think is silly and a totally overblown concern), even then you are still part of the Guild and a known participant in the process of creating an age, on top of that, you will get credit for your work, and everyone will understand what that means. Anyone feeling inferior under that arrangement over titles is just being insecure.

But if you allow me to use the same reasoning... what happens to the morale of the hard working modelers (who are also designers, too, let's not forget) when they have to watch people run around the cavern calling themselves "Writers" when they didn't put in the time to build anything? This isn't about skill, this is about labor. Surely designing an age is as difficult as building one (and I hate that I have to say that every time I make this argument because it's obvious), but a loose IC analogy is appropriate here, in that the "Writers" are the people who "write" ]the age.

If people do attach such value to the titles, as some propose, then some group is going to be demoralized no matter which option we choose... so then, which situation is worse: Fewer "concept designers," or fewer Age Builders?? I think the answer is obvious. I'd be satisfied to make a few "concept designers" feel undervalued, if it means that the Age Builders get valued at all.

No one solution will please all people, so we need to find the least "bad" option. Can we all understand that?

But what I just don't understand is the emotional need to make everyone feel equal by way of a uniform title. Why bother with a Guild at all, then? We *have* to distinguish people from each other by skillset, so that the Guild can actually be organized. Who has voting authority? Shouldn't the "ruling council" of the guild, however it's formed, represent people from diverse skill sets? Without titles and some kind of distinguishing system, we're left with ambiguity at best and anarchy at worst.

In the end, the quality of a person's work is what will determine their standing in the community, not their title. People on a film set don't all get the same title, do they? And in this case, building ages is a special skill (under which the Guild is wholly and completely dependent upon) that frankly deserves a special IC title.

Using an example someone else posed: The Rand brothers devised the ages of Myst, and many of the ones in Uru, and they get the credit for them. They didn't model the Cleft, and yet we credit them with it's design. If they had built it in the GoW, they wouldn't be called Writers, but their reputations would still be as they are. Can anyone argue that being not called a "Writer" would take anything away from the people who designed and conceptualized the ages in Yeesha's Journey?

Think of it this way: how many people, off-hand, can name who "wrote" Kadish or the Cleft (and no fair looking at the credits)? The credit is with the game producers and designers, and that's perhaps the way it should be, but my point is that giving the age builders the exclusive title of "Writer" isn't going to change how credit is perceived one iota. All it does is define who did what, it doesn't take anything away from anyone.

And I can't believe that I have to say this with a disclaimer, but here it is: Don't take this as a judgment on "designing" or whatever, because I've made clear that I give it the same weight as any of you, but... without age builders, there would be no ages. From a purely objective standpoint, they are the *only* people who are absolutely required for the process. Please don't extrapolate anything else from that statement. It is undeniably true, and doesn't that mean something?

Perhaps, in an attempt to find a useful title for "concept designers," we can call them "Outliners" "Sketchers" or "Notetakers" or some other title which implies a contributed effort? I think the sticking point is that non-builders want a proper title. I don't disagree, and maybe you don't like my suggestions (anyone else have a good one?), but it's not "Writer."

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 8:43 am 
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Look, as of this moment I am taking a break from transcribing the Uru Radio interview with Reteltee. Why? Because it is there to do, and I am doing it because I am available and am a participating member of this community. It is a lot of work, since it is very long and at times the sound is not top quality. Will I get any special recognition for it, or a cool title? No. Do I care, or want one? No.
If the merit of someone's work determines their status in the community, why do they need a special title in the first place? It seems kind of redundant to me. But whatever...maybe I'm wrong. I'm pretty much through arguing the point by now because we're pretty much beating a dead horse. You know my belief that there shouldn't be special titles or positions based solely on the type of job someone does. That will not change.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:43 am 
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Well, let me just throw my bit of wood into the fire.
I wouldn't worry about having members of the Guild who aren't contributing anything called "Writers." Every popular group has its own dead wood, and that's pretty much inevitable. One possible way to cut down on the number of these people is to make membership a little more difficult. Maybe require that they complete a small, easy project (in the person's specialty field) in order to enter. For those without the devotion to do such a task, but who still have great ideas, why not have a suggestion subforum on the Guild of Writers' forum for them?
Now, as for members of the Guild who don't specifically model or code being termed "Writers"... I don't know know, it sounds a bit silly IC, "I'm a member of the Guild of Writers, but I don't really write Ages." As for OOC, I think that everyone involved in Age creation, as a member of the Guild, should be called a Writer. For one thing, if we limited the title of "Writer" to only modellers and programmers, then half (but probably more!) of the Guild of Writers won't ICly be called Writers!
And here are some test cases for the "only programmers & modellers are "Writers" scenario...should the title "Writer" be applied or not?

1. A skilled 3D modeller ends up in a supervisory position over the 3D modelling group. Their supervisory duties are so many that they have no time to model anymore as part of their job.

2. A person who knows how to write code for an Age but who does not help with code at all but instead contributes concept art.

3. A person mainly writes character journals but also knows how to do fairly basic 3D modelling tasks.

Hey, why worry about contaminating the word "Writer" at all? Even now, in the Creativity section of this forum, there are plenty of people who aren't doing a scrap of 3D modelling or coding but who claim to be Writers. They won't stop calling themselves Writers just because the GoW says that only 3D modellers and coders are allowed to call themselves Writers. And what if other Age creation groups spring up and hand out the title "Writer" to all their members? Are we going have special Writer-Lawyer and Writer-Enforcer people as part of the Writers Guild to go crush such rebellion against our special, exclusive, trademarked word, "Writer?"

We have people (not only modellers and coders) who are *creating* an Age. *Creating* is close enough to "Writing" for me. I'm also a concept artist for Ages of Ilathid... If I draw a piece of furniture from front view, back view, side view, bottom view, and at-an-observer's-natural-skewed-angle point of view then have I not *almost* created a 3D model of it? I don't think that it's either realistic or true to call only coders and modellers "Writers" and furthermore, I don't think anyone will be able to stop people from calling themselves "Writers" anyway. Probably in the end, all that would be achieved by making coders and modellers "Writers" is that some title will be created for modellers on the GoW forum that says "Writer" in the avatar caption. People in the GoW may understand the obscure reasoning that led to the decision that only coders and modellers are called Writers, but the layman will go right on using the common definition of the word "Writer." It's like the Physics definition of the word "Work"--to a physicist, it means (to simplify much) "the force exerted on an object multiplied by the distance the object moves as a result." If you hold a big, heavy board steadily up in the air as part of a construction project but you're not moving it at all, then by the Physics definition of work you're not doing any work even though the sweat may be pouring down your face. Well, I don't like jargon...let's just use the common definition of the word "Writer," shall we? For me, I would prefer that everyone in the Guild of Writers be termed a "Writer," regardless of their specialty.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 11:09 am 
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TNR, I don't really think there is any need to struggle for a 'least bad' solution. I very much think the majority of people will be happy with all the people in the Guild being called Writers regardless of what kind of work they contribute. I think that is a solution right there that will not present any significant problems at all.

I also don't think there is any truth behind your idea of how by restricting the use of thew word 'Writer' we will somehow encourage talent and motivation. It will do nothing of the sort, it will just aggravate people.

By calling it an 'emotional need to make everyone equal' I feel you are missing the point. It is about a basic level of fairness, and something that recognises that erveryone is making a valuable contribution to the creation of an Age, which IC is writing. Hence- Writer.

And this is the point that people like Herohtar don't quite seem to understand is being made. You keep saying that oinly those who create models or textures or something in an Age are Writers and the designers etc. are something different. But that is absolutely not the case. There is no reason at all why these people are Writers and others are not. That does not match up to IC at all- as mentioned several times bnefore, NO-ONE is actually matchign up to the IC idea of Writing. The IC idea of Writing translates, OOC, to any contribtion towards the final presentation of an Age. Hence all of those OOC contributions make you a Writer, whether you created a texture, a model, came up with a puuzzle idea, or even cenceptualised the Age. OOC, it is all work towards Age creation out-of-game. IC... it makes you a Writer.

And yes- the Millers were definitely Writers in the example you give. There is absolutely no reason why they are not.

Trying to find a different title for all these other types of people is a complete waste of everybody's time. Let's just stick with Writer. It's simple, it certainly seems most people are happy with it, and frankly I think trying to find suitable other titles like "Outliners" or some such thing would just descend into ridiculous farce.

It's a Guild of Writers. To have people in it who are not Writers is immediately a logical contradiction. Everyone within it is helping to create Ages. That's the only definition needed to be an IC Writer. Hence, everyone within it is a Writer. If people then have sub-titles that define what kind of Writer they are, then fine. But all are Writers. That's is what being in the Guild means.

I certainly think it is time to move on, especially as most people are decided anyway.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 12:59 pm 
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The Noble Robot wrote:
This is a false analogy. Of course it counts for something, in fact, as many have pointed out, it may count for more than the modeling work. But that doesn't make the "conceptulizer" a writer of that age.


And as I said, I disagree. I think Rand is a Writer for the Cleft just as much as the guys who modelled it for Uru. No Rand, no Cleft, no matter how skilled the modelling guys are.

Quote:
And as for the film analogy, you wouldn't credit the screenwriter as the director, and you wouldn't call the gaffer a filmmaker, would you?


If by "film maker" you mean "film director" then no, only the director is one. If you mean "someone involved in the making of films" then yes, as long as he works as gaffer on that set, he is a film maker.
Of course he's not a film maker when he works as an electrician for Ted&Todd's Electric Store, but then a director is also not a film maker when he's directing a stage play.

To get it back to the GoW: if an artist makes a tapestry and then hangs it in your Age, he obviously isn't the builder of the Age; but if, IC, you first linked to the Age and the tapestry was already there, then that artist IS part of the Age making process.

Quote:
People have to stop thinking that limiting the definition of "writer" in any way means that people shouldn't be credited or allowed to help.


The point is, if I am in the GoW and I have to adhere to the rules and standards of the GoW and I work my tushie for the GoW then I should be a member of the GoW with the title of Writer. If only the 3D guys and programmers get called a Writer and everyone else's a cadet or a helper, you'll only have the first ones as guild members.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:27 pm 
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Quote:
If I draw a piece of furniture from front view, back view, side view, bottom view, and at-an-observer's-natural-skewed-angle point of view then have I not *almost* created a 3D model of it?


No.

Quote:
People in the GoW may understand the obscure reasoning that led to the decision that only coders and modellers are called Writers, but the layman will go right on using the common definition of the word "Writer."


Actually, I assume that if you asked people who were not part of this discussion what the OOC equivalent of an IC Age Writer is with no other qualifying statements, you'd find that the common accepted translation is Age Builder (modeling, texturing, etc.). That doesn't prove my argument or anything, but it goes that the IC argument, that I and others have made is important and totally valid.

Ushgarak wrote:
frankly I think trying to find suitable other titles like "Outliners" or some such thing would just descend into ridiculous farce.

Ushgarak wrote:
If people then have sub-titles that define what kind of Writer they are, then fine.


Hm, those statements don't seem to match. Using "Writers" and "Editors" (another term which could work for this, and sounds just as important as Writer) is a farce, but using "Writer:Modeler" and "Writer:Conceptualist" is fine!?!? :lol: :roll: :lol:

So under that system, what would you call me, a modeler *and* a designer *and* a musician *and* a graphic artist? I'm afraid my business card is not big enough.

Clearly, you are only interested in defending the title "Writer" for everyone, and not the practical application of the Guild structure or identity. That's fine to have only that one concern, it is, because it's important that that concern is raised, but you have to balance your concerns (which I do share) with other equally important concerns.

So other than the semantic use of the word "Writer," what's really the difference between your argument and mine (which makes my proposal only a hair better than no Guild at all :lol: kidding! :wink:)? Can you actually propose some sub-titles that would be "fine"?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:42 pm 
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I'd like to turn this argument upside-down and ask a question. If developer = age builder = Writer, to what guild [of the 5 we have at present] would the contributors of the non-physical components of an age belong?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 6:37 pm 
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I'd like to turn this argument upside-down and ask a question. If developer = age builder = Writer, to what guild [of the 5 we have at present] would the contributors of the non-physical components of an age belong?


If you're talking about those who make concept sketches or "idea people," well clearly they still belong with the GoW, they're just not writers. I think people are too hung up on Guild of Writers, as if Guilds can't include people with different but vital ancillary occupations, just because it's not literally in the name.

But do you mean music or other OOC elements that are not 3D models? In that case, we could come up with another title for musicians that has an IC ring to it. I have included them in the past in my definition of "Writer," because in this case, they have produced something tangible (and don't give me this "data isn't tangible" business, you know what I mean), although I'm not firm on that, and it might be nice to come up with another name for Musicians that sounds cool and won't get them confused with either Age Builders *or* concept people.

Am I following you correctly, Rusty?

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