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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:59 pm 
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Thanks for the clarification, katreeny! I've added your responses above.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:56 pm 
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I am also of the strong opinion that this (official or unofficial) Guild should not be overly structured and restricted. It’s apparent (to me) that, even with these initial attempts, the hierarchies involved are already becoming inordinately complex and topheavy.

I’m in agreement with Jojon on a number of points here. I think that there are ways to structure the Guild more organically, without using a top-down model.

And in order to support honesty and democracy in the Guild, I believe it’s imperative that an easy, honest system of voting or polling be established by which members or subgroup members can weigh in on even small issues, and the results can be viewed as open-display databases. These votes could be Guild-wide or within subgroups, but need not be cast by all members – if you’re not available or not paying attention, your vote simply is not there.
(No, I don't have a readymade solution for what I just proposed, but a starting point for such research could be here)

As Age Creation projects are proposed and discussed in the open group at large, various individuals will be attracted to some, while unsound or impractical proposals will naturally fall by the wayside. When core Age Project groups form around a concept pitched by advocates, these groups may elect to have one or more coordinators (as opposed to leaders), whose function would be to maintain the schedules agreed upon by the project participants, to fill gaps in the project’s skillsets, and so on. But the opinions of the active participants would remain the driving force, and the coordinators would act as facilitators for those opinions. The frequent-vote principle should permit the group at large to feel that consensus opinion is always the rule. Conversely, members of one Age Project may prefer to have one or more traditional "leader" types, while other more driven groups may not even want or need a coordinator.

As an alliance of creative individuals working entirely on a volunteer basis in every timezone on the planet, I feel it’s unrealistic to force a weekly schedule of in-cavern meetings – especially when there are so many options available online, for either realtime discussion or non. Face it, a huge majority of Age Creation work is not going to be done in-cavern.

And as someone who has worked in these fields for many years and has dozens of friends with all the skills in these categories, I can say that none of them possess or utilize only one of these skills. Sure, they might take a paid job where they only do modeling – but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have strong opinions about the texture work that goes on their models. So in a volunteer environment like ours, it doesn’t seem to make any sense to limit the creativity and involvement of our group in any way. If someone wants and has demonstrated the skills to model and texture and animate a character, and the coordinator determines that the project schedule can be met, then why not?

That said, it would still be helpful - as an ongoing focal point - for there to be a members-only Guild website to act as a repository for the Guild's knowledge, to encourage the group by displaying work-in-progress, and to foster a sense of unity and common purpose. But the advantage of keeping the Guild project-based and project-driven is that our members will never be of one artistic or aesthetic temperament, and it will be futile to try to force all the various pegs into any common hole.

So my vote here falls into that same similar and simple pattern:

1. Which of the following ranks should be included in a ranking system?
a. None - every member has equal rank, even on an age creation team.

3. How does a member become a team coordinator?
b. Each age development team must nominate and vote for this person.

9. How should departments be organized?
a. There should not be any departments - only age creation teams.

Lastly, while I applaud the efforts of everyone involved in the advancement of this cause, and I have huge respect for everyone that’s been involved in all the various agebuilding efforts over the years, please keep in mind that this does not automatically confer upon you authority that can only come from the members of the group at large. As an example, you have every right to use the Guild imager to call meetings. But until the members of the Writer’s Guild bestow it upon you through election, you do not have the authority to decree exclusive rights to its use.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:55 am 
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Added answers from Emor D'ni Lap.

Thank you, Emor, for your detailed response - especially the recommendations about voting and age creation teams. At the very least, I hope these opinion polls capture some of the spirit of open-display voting that you mentioned.

One equalizer in all this is that exclusive access is impossible to enforce. For example, anyone can put something up on the Writer's Pub imagers - and anyone can erase everything. So, even if a Guild of Writers decrees that no one else shall upload/erase images, they cannot enforce it.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 6:07 pm 
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Few creative people will fit in the ranking boxes, since most like to think outside of them. I think that there should be some leadership, but there comes a point when
"Too many chiefs and not enough Indians" can ruin a good thing. This is an exciting diverse group. I would like to see it grow to its full potential.
My votes are as follows;
1. Which of the following ranks should be included in a ranking system?
a. None - every member has equal rank, even on an age creation team.
9. How should departments be organized?
a. There should not be any departments - only age creation teams.

Another thing that I found interesting is Cyan’s allowing use of its assets for fan created third party work.
http://www.cyanworlds.com/legal/guidelines.php

Who will be responsible to make sure that the guild of writers has an asset request form already in place once we get to writing ages within the guild?
Would this be up to each team leader, or the elected guild master?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 2:56 pm 
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Added your answers, mckendall.

Regarding the use of Cyan's assets: that's a good question. It seems like team leaders would be the likely candidate to handle the legal requests. At the very least, the team leader will need to ask Cyan's legal department if they approve the age concept (something that all age creators must adhere to).

By the way: you can support having a team leader without supporting the rest of the guild ranks by choosing 1.e.2. Do you support having age creation team leaders, mckendall?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 9:16 pm 
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You know, the reality of something like this is that there's going to be many, many more "writers" who don't have the technical experience to add to the development process and have joined the guild to help develop the conceptual side of the Ages that others build technically. I think in that sense a hierarchy won't necessarily have to be set out, but will emerge all on its own.

However.. I do like the idea of an "apprentice" or "guild cadet", but maybe we can extend it a little. Those who do have technical experience can take on an "apprentice" and teach them some of what they know so that they can contribute more substantially. I feel like we'll need to increase the pool and that those of us who can use the various tools necessary for Age Creation should be able to pick out others who, while they haven't the experience, could learn if guided.

I don't think one "guild master" is necessary (and I think Kadish's bones will be a lasting monument against one for a good while). But I think the people who do the final "packaging" of all an Age's components - individual renders, music, objects, etc - will end up being a sort of higher authority considering they will be the final say as to what goes into an Age.

If we choose to go with this sort of system though, here's my votes:
1. b,c,d,e1,f
2. a (though we should clarify "helping to produce an Age"
3. b
4. b
5. c
6. c
7. -
8. -
9. b,c (we'll need to organize the large population of people who want to create Ages conceptually, but they'll have to understand those actually making the Ages can alter their ideas to what's practically possible.)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:28 am 
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Added Pryftan's answers

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:29 am 
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Pryftan wrote:
I don't think one "guild master" is necessary (and I think Kadish's bones will be a lasting monument against one for a good while). But I think the people who do the final "packaging" of all an Age's components - individual renders, music, objects, etc - will end up being a sort of higher authority considering they will be the final say as to what goes into an Age.


Pryftan, I'm glad you mentioned Kadish's warning to us all - pretty appropriate to the GoWs! :o

But the way that Ages are likely to be developed doesn't necessarily lead to the hierarchical model you envision!
Ages will come together slowly, with element after element being added, and there's no reason that all team members working on that Age shouldn't be privy to every step. I'd like to think that everyone involved in an Age will get to have their voice heard, even on the things that aren't their own niche: there's no reason a modeler can't have an opinion on the quality of the music and sounds that will fill the building or garden they have created.

The people that take on the role of compiling the elements involved in an Age need not be the controlling factor in what is accepted or rejected; this should be the decision of the group at large.

The consensus opinion of an Age Project's entire crew should be its only gatekeeper!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 3:36 am 
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I was interested in the GoW, but you lost me at "ranks".

Sorry, no ranks, no hierarchy, for any reason, ever.




Why, why must we humans always mess things up?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 5:36 am 
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Chacal wrote:
I was interested in the GoW, but you lost me at "ranks".

Sorry, no ranks, no hierarchy, for any reason, ever.




Why, why must we humans always mess things up?


..ranks are necessary for any organization. They've already arisen somewhat.. the development teams that have worked on what we have so far in the way of Age Creation tools, the team that has assembled a working plan to do something like this, are obviously our organizers and leaders in a respect. Even moving from that, if we don't have designated people to lead projects, we'll have too many voices and no final word. We don't want too many chiefs, but we don't want to have a million ideas and nothing getting done either. It's about finding the proper balance.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 6:04 am 
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Pryftan: "ranks are necessary for any organization."

Not at all. An organization needs people who take responsibility. Ranks are merely a means to keep track of who those people are... and hardly a necessary means, for a small group of volunteers.

You said earlier that a hierarchy would emerge... which might be true, but not in the sense of a *command* hierarchy. There will be people who know more about Age creation; and people who know more about particular aspects of Age creation. But that isn't to say "These people will be the ones giving orders." They could act as team leaders, or as highly productive team members; they could tutor individuals, or answer a lot of questions on the forums, or just go off and work solo. None of that needs to be formalized at the Guild level.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 6:22 am 
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But this isn't a "small group of explorers". The Guild of Writers is the largest of the new Guilds; many people have taken a black shirt without knowing what Writing entails. It's the kind of situation where ranks are crucial to sort out all the people in the Guild, to ensure that no matter what direction people want to go in, there are people with technical authority to unite them on one project when it becomes necessary to do so.

We will have artists, modellers, texturers, animators, musicians, coders.. if they all want to work on a seperate Age, we won't ever finish anything. If someone unites them on one project, we'll actually do what we were established to do.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 6:49 am 
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Hmm, sounds like what's being discussed is less ranking, and more categorizing, then. And one of the categories would be, in essence "project manager", who's job it is to gather the people needed to work on an age, and make sure progress is made.

I would say that knowing who the advanced skill holders in any category is VERY helpful, so they can mentor and teach those who want to improve their skills.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:55 am 
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Chacal wrote:
I was interested in the GoW, but you lost me at "ranks".

Sorry, no ranks, no hierarchy, for any reason, ever.


There is a way to represent your opinion on this poll, Chacal. You can select answers 1.a and 9.a.

You can also choose to have age development team leaders/coordinators by selecting 1.e.2. If that is the case, please provide the answer to question 3 - how the team leader gets into that position.

Eleri: The term "rank" is being loosely applied to various positions. For example, rank 3 is the team leader (or project manager). Rank 2 would be the experienced age creators you described.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:42 pm 
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1. a
9. a

Every project is different, so I think the issue of organization should be dependant up on the need of each age creation team. Some will want to vote for a project leader and have separate department heads and others will have a clear defacto leader -- for example a single person creating a small age mostly on their own, with a very small amount of help from others (yes, some people will want to do this and I don't think the guild should place restrictions which would prevent them from doing so if they choose.). Each team should be able to organize themselves whichever way makes sense for that project. The guild shouldn't control how people create, just provide the means to do so, while providing reasonable quality control after the age has been submitted to the guild for approval.

I do however see the need for administrative organization as far as the overall running of the guild, liason(s) to other guilds/cyan, forum moderators, website maintenance, etc. And I think that most of those positions should be held by people democratically voted into office, as opposed to automatically being held by whoever has the highest "rank" or has been there the longest.


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