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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 5:54 pm 
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Judging from the variety of opinions in the forums and chat logs, the most divisive aspect to date about the Unofficial Guild of Writers (UGoW) is membership. Below I've recapped what the points of contention are. Let's try to can come to an agreement on these issues.

Requests regarding your posts:
- Please keep in mind the distinction between membership (are you in or not?) verses structure (ranking, experience level, positions, subguilds, etc). Just discuss membership in this topic; the structure topic can be found here.
- Only discuss what is currently possible without Cyan's support - in other words, please leave all MO:UL age creation/tool discussions out of this for now.

EDIT: I've added people's names below the answer they selected. Bold names represent answers they've given to these questions in this topic, while italicized names represent answers given elsewhere (see Sources in next post). If your name appears under the wrong answer, or if you want your name to appear here, please respond with your answers.


1. Who is eligible for membership in the UGoW?

a. Anyone that agrees to uphold the mission statement and follow the code of conduct
{katreeny, Ushgarak, metaigahn, LaReh, Dovahn, Eleri, isomorphic, Nateo, Seanathon, Hawkin, Ozwell Spencer, Jojon, chucker, ShadowDude, Owehn, Kolian, TomahnaGuy, Stellaflora, Shorahmin, Eltheras, ces, Emor D'ni Lap, goofy, Aemi, mckendall, bahane, boblishman, Chacal, Whilyam, EowynCarter, Gondar, J'anim Paedet, Montgomery, Narym, Kato, Lehm} (61%, 36/59)

b. (a) + demonstrating one of any skills needed to contribute to building an age
{Ian Atrus, Paradox, Herohtar, Tweek, Kierra, RenStrike, Pryftan, Kiril, AdamJohnso, mar, Terminator-X, Tiran, Jennifer_P, Marein, kena} (25%, 15/59)

c. (a) + demonstrating only a subset of skills needed to contribute to building an age (subset = those that result in actual data found in the age files)
{The Noble Robot, Erik} (3%, 2/59)

2. What skills are considered necessary to building an age?

a. Only those that result in actual data found in the age files: textures, geometry, sound, programming, animation, text
{Erik} (1%, 1/59)

b. (a) + design skills (conceptual sketches, age layout)
{The Noble Robot, Ian Atrus, katreeny, Ushgarak, metaigahn, Paradox, LaReh, Dovahn, Eleri, Herohtar, isomorphic, Nateo, Seanathon, Tweek, Hawkin, Ozwell Spencer, Jojon, chucker, ShadowDude, Owehn, Kolian, TomahnaGuy, Stellaflora, Shorahmin, Kierra, RenStrike, Eltheras, ces, Emor D'ni Lap, Pryftan, goofy, Aemi, mckendall, Kiril, bahane, boblishman, Chacal, AdamJohnso, mar, Whilyam, EowynCarter, Terminator-X, Gondar, Tiran, MattyQ, J'anim Paedet, AtionSong, Montgomery} (81%, 48/59)

3. What should a member of the UGoW be called by the general community?

a. Writer
{katreeny, Ushgarak, metaigahn, Paradox, LaReh, Ian Atrus, Dovahn, Eleri, Erik, isomorphic, Nateo, Seanathon, Hawkin, Ozwell Spencer, Jojon, chucker, ShadowDude, Kolian, TomahnaGuy, Stellaflora, Shorahmin, Kierra, RenStrike, Eltheras, Emor D'ni Lap, Pryftan, Aemi, mckendall, Kiril, bahane, boblishman, Chacal, AdamJohnso, mar, Whilyam, Terminator-X, Gondar, AtionSong, Tayr, Narym, Jennifer_P, Rusty_Russell, Marein, kena} (74%, 44/59)

b. Depends on the skills
{The Noble Robot, Herohtar, ces} (5%, 3/59)

c. Depends on the rank/level of experience

d. Depends on both skills and rank/level of experience

e. No special title should be used
{goofy, Lehm} (3%, 2/59)

4. How should the UGoW control access to age creation tools and their documentation? (Note: this does not include access to age resources, e.g. design maps, puzzle notes, story notes, etc.)

a. Everyone (even non-members) should have full access to these
{The Noble Robot, Ian Atrus, katreeny, Ushgarak, metaigahn, Paradox, LaReh, Dovahn, Eleri, Herohtar, Erik, isomorphic, Nateo, Seanathon, Tweek, Hawkin, Ozwell Spencer, Jojon, chucker, ShadowDude, Owehn, Kolian, TomahnaGuy, Stellaflora, Shorahmin, RenStrike, Eltheras, ces, Pryftan, goofy, Aemi, mckendall, bahane, boblishman, Chacal, AdamJohnso, Whilyam, EowynCarter, Terminator-X, Gondar, Auzho, GermanShepherd, belford} (72%, 43/59)

b. Only members should have access to certain tools (e.g. internally created or Cyan-provided) and their documentation
{Kierra, Emor D'ni Lap, Kiril, mar} (6%, 4/59)

c. Only members should have access to any age-creation tool and its documentation
{Kato, GMRGuru} (3%, 2/59)

5. Who should have the right to release ages for the general community?

a. Anyone (members and non-members)
{The Noble Robot, Ian Atrus, katreeny, Ushgarak, metaigahn, Paradox, LaReh, Dovahn, Eleri, Herohtar, isomorphic, Tweek, Nateo, Hawkin, Ozwell Spencer, Jojon, chucker, ShadowDude, Owehn, Kolian, TomahnaGuy, Stellaflora, Shorahmin, Eltheras, Emor D'ni Lap, Pryftan, goofy, Aemi, mckendall, bahane, Chacal, AdamJohnso, Whilyam, EowynCarter, Terminator-X, Gondar, belford, Lehm} (64%, 38/59)

b. Only UGoW members
{Erik, Seanathon, Kierra, ces, Kiril, mar, Kato, GMRguru, kena} (15%, 9/59)

Alphabetical List of Participants (59):
[spoiler]
AdamJohnso
Aemi
AtionSong
bahane
belford
boblishman
ces
Chacal
chucker
Dovahn
Eleri
Eltheras
Emor D'ni Lap
EowynCarter
Erik
GermanShepherd
GMRguru
Gondar
goofy
Hawkin
Herohtar
Ian Atrus
isomorphic
J'anim Paedet
Jennifer_P
Jojon
Kato
katreeny
kena
Kierra
Kiril
Kolian
LaReh
Lehm
mar
Marein
mckendall
metaigahn
Montgomery
Narym
Nateo
Owehn
Ozwell Spencer
Paradox
Pryftan
RenStrike
Rusty_Russell
Seanathon
ShadowDude
Shorahmin
Stellaflora
Tayr
Terminator-X
The Noble Robot
Tiran
TomahnaGuy
Tweek
Ushgarak
Whilyam
[/spoiler]

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Last edited by Robert The Rebuilder on Sat Sep 22, 2007 1:23 am, edited 24 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 5:55 pm 
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Sources:


From the GoW Discussion thread:

[spoiler]
Tiran:
- The GoW membership is open for everybody but in order to apply for membership people have to show that they are interested in becoming an active member. We don't like to have hundreds of dead accounts around.
- The GoW is NOT for coders only. You don't need to be a Python or C++/C# developer. In order to produce high quality ages we need all sorts of people from 3d object creators over designers to story writers and puzzle creators. We need musicians to create sound effects and music and artists to get the lights and colors right. Age creation is team work!
- Membership in the guild should (in my humble opinion) be decided on the merit of the member. The position should be based on the merit as well but also voted upon. It benefits those members who are investing their free time and money for others and IMO fair, too.

MattyQ:
It seems to me that the Guild of Writers shouldn't just be for those who are able to program, but should be a place where people who have a knack for plot, words and a great age concept should be able to collaborate with those skilled in programming and a great visual sense.

Auzho:
The guild of writers will be the channel that age writers need to go through to get an age considered by Cyan, as well as the source of all information, and age writing tools. So I am wandering if you guys would consider allowing access to tools and resources to people who aren't interested in guilds, politics or anything except slowly working on building an age.


Ushgarak:
if you can contribute to Age creation in that way, you belong in the GoW.

J'anim Paedet:
Different people have different styles and ways of creating Ages -- some will inevitably prefer working closely with a storyline or plotline of their own creation, while some will wish to expound upon the ideas of others. And in my experience the best way to serve everyone in such a group is quite simply to allow both methods.

Montgomery:
- Sometimes we have to remember we are a community, and while in a perfect world the GoW would have its own in-house staff of writers engaged in non-technical Age creation, this may not be the best solution for this community.
- Now, I know I've argued against forcing the artists/writers/actors/musicians/etc. to join your guild. But I can see a way to avoid the conflict. There is no reason why members of this (thus far undefined) guild can't also join the GoW and list themselves on your directory. Be on call. In case you need a piece of music created for your Age, or an interesting bit of lab equipment, or even a journal.

Hawkin:
- I agree with the thought that anyone involved with Age creation (be it story/concept writing, art, programming, 3D design, etc.) should be allowed to be a member of the GoW, since it keeps everyone involved together in the same place.
- I agree with Ushgarak and Tiran on this issue.

The Noble Robot:
-I think that we should try to be inclusive, and remove bureaucratic barriers to Guild membership, but let's not go overboard and let everyone in. OOC, each member of the Guild of Writers must have at least a minimally appreciable technical skill to create MOUL ages, or else what's the point? If you wanna be in the Guild of Writers, you should actually be able to create ages, right?
-Guild membership is restricted to Writers and Editors, who produce the actual ages. Guild Ancillaries are everyone else, the "envisioners" etc., but cannot be called a GoW Ancillary unless they have provided a concept or an idea that is incorporated in an age. It's up to the Writer and the Ancillary to agree upon how to share credit in both an OOC and an IC sense.


AtionSong:
- teamwork is definitely the way to go. And inclusiveness is the way to get there.
- It is my firm belief that anybody who does anything involved in creating a new age should be called a writer.

metaigahn:
I suggest that even in our early stages the GoW adopt an application for membership (the Guild of Greeters does this) mainly to assertain who is really serious about being a member (for admission and to get a headcount of interest -- i doubt anyone is taking inventory on the t-shirts! ), but also to learn everyone's various skill sets, interests, and any Ages they have done or are doing -- for eventual placement in whatever structure we adopt and coordination into various future Age projects. The information from these applications could be put into a database for GoW reference.

Tayr:
I say give everyone equal status in the guild, regardless of what they do. "Members" and "Ancillaries" implies rank, which detracts from the goal of age creation.

Herohtar:
* the person who says "You should put some trees here" is more than welcome to provide that kind of input, but they are not a Writer -- the person who actually puts the trees there is. This helps keep confusion down on who is actually working on Ages and who is just supporting them. It isn't excluding anyone from the Guild, as they can still provide input. The only thing it doesn't allow is for them to have the title "Writer", but that's just how it is.
* I'm saying anyone who actually physically creates something for the Age -- code, 3D models, music, etc -- is a Writer.
* 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...

Paradox:
Everyone deserves to be called a "writer"

Narym:
- All people who can and want to contribute on any sort of regular basis should be allowed to have the name of Writer.
- 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

Rusty_Russell:
What would be a better all-encompasing guild name than Writer?

Jennifer_P:
* 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?
* For me, I would prefer that everyone in the Guild of Writers be termed a "Writer," regardless of their specialty.

Ian Atrus:
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.
[/spoiler]

From the 18 August Meeting Chatlog:

[spoiler]
Q: How does one qualify to be a member of the GoW?

Dovahn: Sign up?
Paradox: I was hoping to have a structure wsimilar to the one used by The New Tree
Paradox: You sign up, agree to an agreement that you will abide by the rules (and with the consequence of being banned if you don't)
Paradox: Then you're a member and can contribute to projects
Paradox: However, I think that we will need an extra step in here somewhere because otherwise we could have the whole Uru universe signing up
Dovahn: Now what if someone signs up and doesn't provide quality work?
GermanShepherd: I would go so far as to say that if nobody contributes to a project for a set amount of time, they can be... relieved...
Paradox: I don't like the idea of a "test"; but having something to prove that you can contribute might be a requirement
Dovahn: How could you prove that?
Marein.: Maybe the one and only rank that members can achieve within the Guild would be Writer, which they could do by actually showing work they did?
Paradox: (so a fanfiction story, a blender model, a texture, nothing complicated though...)

Q: What privileges would a member of the GoW have over non-members?

Luetwo: There are some things I cannot do, yet others can
GermanShepherd: hopefully none...?
Paradox: Access to the storyline resources and models for Ages
GermanShepherd: other than making ages :p
Dovahn: Probably nothing besides clothing or a "guild lounge".
Marein.: To send in their Ages to the 'database' so they can be imported by others
Dovahn: A lot of people have mentioned that they would like to independently...
Dovahn: develop ages, not connected with the GoW.
Paradox: I'm thinking that we might at some point want to have members sign an "NDA" about future content, so that it isn't spoiled for other players
GermanShepherd: independent ages? o.O
Paradox: Ideally though, there should be no "priveleges" to being in the GoW
Paradox: I'm not sure how independant Ages would work
Dovahn: I think that having "guild clothing" or something like that wouldn't be a problem.
Paradox: It's possible that all Ages need to go through the GoW; so having a "
Paradox: non-members can submit Ages"
Paradox: section might be a good idea
Marein.: Guild clothing and the like would easily leak though
Dovahn: As for the independent ages, it makes some sense to have it pass through the GoMa.
[/spoiler]

From the 26 August Meeting Chatlog:

[spoiler]
Kato:
- I think that any Guild that arises will gladly take people of all skillsets just as communities like AB and GoAC have always done.
- Access to Guild information: For example, information on our projects. This is just an example: GoAC for the last few years has been working on a game called Search for the Springs of Kehlbet (SftSoK). People must join the team to get access to information--spoilers, NDAs, and such. However, of course, the teams will be communicating with each other too-I'm not suggesting anything elitist or any requirements other than agreeing to the rules and nondisclosure to access this information... It's ticking an "I agree" box to make a forum account
- we want people to participate in Age Writing through us, to become affiliated with us and to work with us.
- We don't want people to release Ages without us, correct?

belford: just the bit about documentation and examples. I wouldn't want to see people ahve to go through a gauntlet to reach those. when it comes to documentation, even that [Ticking a box] is a gauntlet. You want Google to see it.

GMRguru: everyone should be able to visit the Ages, but only members should be able to make ages. There should also be a group of people that members would send their prospective Ages to, where they would be tested for bugs and such before being released for public access.
[/spoiler]

From the Membership Debate announcement thread:

[spoiler]
Lehm:
This is an easy topic to answer.

1. Everyone.

3. Explorers. Writers are no different then anyone else. No elistest attitudes.

5. Anyone....now I will caveat this one and say that only ones that have been decently designed be officially recognized. Can't have everyone who makes an empty box flooding the system.

Kena:
1.B -Must be able to show atleast one peice of evidence of having an interest in pursuing membership in guild ie. scans of personal work such as painting,free hand art (drawings),computer designed art, hand written or typed story, examples of computer created programs/tools.
and must show a desire to advance in rank, even if individual acknowledges advancement may not be possible due to time constraints ect.

2.A- At basic writer, when member's rank reaches 4 he/she shall be referred to as "Master Writer" when addressed in formal setting,or at such time as a non member of the UGoW see's fit to invoke said title in conversation..

When writer reaches rank 5 he/she shall be referred to as "Guild Master" in formal setting,or at such time as a non member of the UGoW see's fit to invoke said title in conversation.

3.B-Unapproved ages written by non UGoW members and which has not been tested and passed by a GoM team can result in accidents and even death and must not be tolerated nor allowed.
[/spoiler]

EDIT: added spoiler tags to reduce size

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 7:25 pm 
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1. c (this one is confusing, we should clarify which "subset" are we talking about)
2. b (this one seems obvious, almost as if it were bait) :wink:
3. b ("rank" is different than "level of experience," right? Rank might mean organizational duties, which is independent of age building skill)
4. a
5. a

The answers to 4 and 5 should be obvious. Any other answer would be a regression, since the tools are available to everyone right now.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 7:35 pm 
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Since these terms were being used interchangeably during the discussion, I merged them together.

There had been several proposals for a ranking system which was based on experience level, e.g. cadet = beginner, guildsperson = more experienced. But as you noted, rank can also be an elected position, e.g. guildmasters, grand master.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:43 pm 
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1. b.
a. b.
3. a., sorta; I'd use a generic "Writer" for external use, and a more specific rank or position for internal use (to make a Discworld example, the Bursar is still a Wizard, even though everyone calls him Bursar and he does very little wizarding)
4. a.
5. a.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:28 am 
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My two bits worth -

1 - a or b. I don't have a strong preference either way here - but option a allows for people who can support the guild without necessarily actively contributing to age writing.
2. - b.
3. - a. Everyone who's in the guild is a Writer. We can attach other bits and bobs internally, as people's skills and specializations become evident. One reason to stay generic is that someone could easily be filling different roles in different age writing projects - forex someone could be developing plot for one age, involved in music selection for another and modeling or scripting on a third and doing the whole shebang on a solo age. The "go to" people for any particular skill can be listed with whatever contact method they prefer.
4. - a. As others have already said, this is where things stand now. I don't see any sense in making things less open, although I can see reason for age teams to keep the specifics of their particular age out of the public eye until it's ready for release.
5. - a. My reason for this is the same as for point 4.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:30 am 
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1. a. I think it is best to be as unrestrictive as possible. I'm not sure what harm can come of this. If there is effective dead wood in the Guild, so what?

2. b. Literally speaking the answer is a, but in the context of what the Age Building communiy has been talking of and what the vision for the Guild seems to be, b. For Cyan it;s always been b, after all.

3. a. In game, definitely all are Writers. If you then have ranks or experience levels, fine, I don't mind. If you are known by your main contribution towards Age Writing out of game, then fine, though it is complex if you do more than one job. But the important factor is a- that we are a Guild of Writers, all within are Writers. We come in as equals; our subsequent contributions, in whatever form, will then show how valuable we are.

4. a... but tricky this. My principle is that the Guiuld should not be about restriction, I don't want a monopoly... but if members of the Guild want to create private tools that are intended for the Guild alone, then that is the Guild's business (I don't want to think about how that would be enforced though). Of course, if Cyan provide all the tools it won't matter.

5. a, definitely. I would like to think the GoW is more likely to make better Ages and to provide better opportunities for people to learn age making, but in theory no-one should be stopped from giving it a go, unless Cyan say otherwise.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:28 am 
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1. a. I agree with Ushgarak and Katreeny. What harm can it do if some are merely supportive members? We will also get those who actively produce Ages and participate in the administration of the (U)GoW too.

2. b. Age building, in my opinion, like most other computer-related endeavors ultimately, should include all steps from design through coding and testing (prior to the rigorous testing of the Maintainers).

3. a. Writer. A member of the (U)GoW, regardless of skill set or productivity should be a "Writer", particularly IC but also as a general title. If the Guild divides into departments and ranks, then more specific titles can be given -- such as "Writer-Design", or "Writer-Modeller", or "Guildmaster of Writers", whatever tbd in later discussion(s)...

4. a. Well, Python and Blender are already out there for anyone to use, as are may other tools for designing, making textures, engineering sound, and so forth. If Cyan provides additional tools, then those of us paying Explorers who are members should have the right to use them, perhaps in a limited fashion. If any one of us developes useful utilities, then that is up to them how generous to be with it. A tricky question to me (see the other thread on the mission statement) involves IP and other items that are copyrightable -- such as unique textures and sound clips. Those might be help by various project teams in a more secure server for a members only or team members only clearance. My hope is we will develop a mix of commonly available tools and perhaps some freely offered elements for Ages (textures, etc), but also a strong encouragement for originality and a growing library of explorer-created resources.

5. a. Anyone should be able to do Age building. But the Guild, it seems to me, offers a more formal organization for those of us who wish to pool our skills and tools to build Ages, help (and mentor) each other in the various aspects of Age "writing', and who wish to support the Guilds in whatever IC role they have in upcoming politics in the cavern.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 4:23 am 
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1. b
2. b
3. a
4. b Certain tools/documentation needed to create Ages should always be available to everyone. However, concept and storyline material for GoW Ages should remain within the GoW, and not be spread publicly
5. a


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 5:41 am 
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So what about this? Forget about "Writer" or even "Guild member" as titles. Consider the positions within the Guild to be *administrative* positions.

Someone has to run the web server, someone has to prune the wiki, someone has to moderate the forums. Those are Guild jobs. If there is organization to be done -- writing up testing schedules, yelling at the guy who was supposed to write the intro page, whatever -- those are Guild jobs. Elected, appointed, volunteered for, however they wind up working.

Then *Age Writers* are the people who *benefit* from the Guild's activities.

This turns the D'ni guild model on its head, I know. But it neatly avoids the problem of comparing skills or accomplishments -- which is subjective at best and emotionally rending when it goes bad. And it makes it very, very clear that being a high Guild pooh-bah is all responsibility, not about having a nice title.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 5:51 am 
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Paradox wrote: "Certain tools/documentation needed to create Ages should always be available to everyone. However, concept and storyline material for GoW Ages should remain within the GoW, and not be spread publicly"

I've been all open-source hippie dude in these discussions, so let me be very clear: I agree with this completely. Tools should be free. Art is owned by the artist. If you want to keep your Age under wraps until it's ready for release, that's your decision -- that's the way Cyan does it, after all.

(I know, tool design is also art, but let's not get into that discussion...)

Really, it may not make sense to talk about "GoW Ages". There will be large and small teams working on various Ages. Any given team will want to decide how much privacy they want for their work. Some teams will say "Anybody can help, as long as you promise not to leak spoilers!" and maybe that will include everybody active in the writing community. But this is one of many ways to organize your work.

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The principle is interesting, Belford, though I suspect IC the purpose of the Guild is to create Ages, not administrate the process by which others do, so there at least all would be Writers.

OOC... the model is possible. I do have this nagging feeling that there may be some projects that would benefit from a large organisation dedicated to actual Age creation (rather than the facilitation of it), and that organisation would be the GoW as previously proposed.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:13 pm 
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To make it easier to track where people stand, I've added people's names below the answer they selected. Bold names represent answers they've given to these questions in this topic, while italicized names represent answers given elsewhere (see Sources in the second post).

If your name appears under the wrong answer, or if you do not see your name, please respond with your answers.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 11:42 pm
Posts: 266
Location: TMP Hood in MOULa
1. a
2. b
3. a
4. a
5. a

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:26 pm 
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Location: Italy
Changed my reply to question 3 from 'c' to 'a', since I was basically saying the same as everyone else who replied 'a'. Maybe the question could be reformulated as "What should a member of the UGoW be called in game / by non members?", separating external titles from internal titles / ranks / job positions / whatever you want to call them.

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