It is currently Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:09 am

All times are UTC




Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 13 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 2:24 am 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 12:35 am
Posts: 747
[NOTE: This post will be written from an OOC point of view.]

Recently I've been thinking about what it means for the Cartographers to be one of the "Big Five." Before Cyan's new Guild system was begun, we were somewhat inactive, but our goals and methods worked very well: we were to go through the Ages, mapping them for the benefit of the explorers. However, now that we are part of the "Big Five," I have felt a sort of worry about the nature and future of the Cartographers' mission.

Let us imagine that the Guilds are working in their intended way, the Writers modeling fan Ages, the Maintainers testing them. What would be the result of our current mission, in this environment?

The Writers might give us the heightmaps and other raw data from their Ages, and we would make maps for the benefit of the community from them. However, I fear that this would reduce the Cartographers to simply those with the power of Photoshop, the ability to make their maps look nice. Now, I think you can see the issue here. First of all, it removes the real work we do, but even worse -- it's something that the Writers could do by themselves. The Writers could, if they wanted, release their own maps of their Ages. I dislike the idea of Writers handing off something like that to another group, just so that group has something to do. It would make me feel as if we exist only to exist, or to make things "look nice."

Of course, the Writers could choose not to give us the heightmaps, and we would have to do our surveying work ourselves. But something just seems wrong with that to me. It seems as if the Cartographers would become like a separate brand of players, where the Writers make the Ages, and then let us play in those Ages to make our maps. It's an artificially imposed obstacle -- it would be like Cyan requiring the Writers to model their Ages in a program that used gahrohevtee. Perhaps I am alone in feeling this, but is that the sort of Guild relationship we want? And if they simply have us survey by hand (like we would still have to do with Cyan's Ages), then what is the purpose of being one of the "Big Five" anyway? Could we not simply do as we've done, as a Guild not connected with the DRC or Cyan?

But, you might say, the Cartographers are going through, finding out about the flora and fauna of the Age, too! And this here is one of the biggest issues in my mind: cartographers can only study what already exists. If we find out about a type of tree in an Age and write about it, it's because that tree, and the information about it, already exists. In the real world, there is a nigh-infinite amount of discovery to be made about the Earth, cartographers and surveyors and scientists are constantly busy on things which are completely new to humanity. But in Uru, all of the information in the Ages we visit has already been created by whoever developed those Ages -- not only is there a finite amount of information to be had, the developer of the Age himself could reveal the information without us.

Whereas in the pre-Big-Five days, we were an explorer group working to figure out these D'ni worlds, now that we are actually a Guild on the same level as those who will be making many of those D'ni worlds, who know everything about the worlds they are creating... the GoC is in danger of being handed work from other Guilds who could just as well do it themselves, or go through all the new fan Ages as a sort of roleplaying group kept in the dark by their peers.

The first makes good use of our position in the Big Five, but still does not grant a sufficient rationale for our existence beyond graphic designer, a position that, at least to me, does not seem comparable to the other Guilds. The second makes us no different from the Cartographers of the old days, and does nothing to justify our position in the Big Five.

I refuse to believe that Cyan chose these particular five Guilds for no reason. But what is that reason? I believe that the two reasons are the connection to fan-created Ages and preexisting organizational structure.

Fan Ages are of huge importance to Cyan, and so the Writers and Maintainers were obvious choices. But even more than just fan Ages, there had to be something already in place by the community: the Greeters obviously have their organization, as do the Cartographers. Both the Messengers and the Writers had several groups in place that would benefit from unification. Only the Maintainers did not have an existing group that wasn't under NDA, but the need for Age testers was so great as to break this rule that I have seen. I believe that this is why Cyan decided to make Cartographers one of the Big Five, because while a group like the Archivists would be more general, the Guild of Archivists admittedly only have three to four members, according to Alahmnat.

So, for most of the Guilds, they are either monolithic organizations already, or represent groups with similar goals that can be unified. I think this is a very important thing to keep in mind when trying to determine the future of the Cartographers, to keep the group relevant and useful to both the community and the other Guilds.

So, I come now to my proposal. I admit that it is somewhat controversial, but I hope you will still read it.

Many, including myself, have been confused by the choice of Cartographers as one of the Big Five, instead of a Guild like the Archivists, which could conceivably encompass more specific fields like cartography, but not as much the other way around. I suggest that the Big Five be viewed, not in terms of what exact duties they perform, but what general field they provide to the community, especially in terms of fan Ages.

The Writers create the Ages, the Maintainers test them, the Messengers help spread the word, and the Greeters help new people find their way. Of course, some of these roles are more connected to fan Ages than others. But in what way can the Cartographers help in this?

I propose that the Cartographers adapt into a group that can use its position as one of the Big Five to provide what I call "depth, data, and interestingness" to fan Ages and beyond.

One example would be to design something like the Teledahn world map. Remember how interesting that was to find that, to know that Cyan had come up with more depth to Teledahn than we would be able to then explore? Imagine a group of Cartographers working with Writers to expand an Age in that way, to create data that offered real depth and made the Age even more interesting. That uses our existing map-making skills, but in a creative way that actually takes advantage of our Big Five status and our communication with the other Guilds. If the Cartographers work with the Writers on providing these kinds of additional maps, charts, as well as data and maybe even translations at this time, we wouldn't just be coming in after the fact and "rediscovering" what the Writers had made, but using our skills to further the entire cause.

Now it comes to the most groundbreaking and controversial idea I have about the future of the Guild, called the "Informational Incubator."

Right now, there are many groups like the Guild of Archivists or the DZS, some of whom hoped for a place among the Big Five, but did not receive it. Eventually, DRC/Cyan will expand the number of "Big" Guilds, but what will be the criteria for which new "Big" Guilds are added? I believe that one of those criteria will be the presence of an existing organizational structure. Certainly various groups can work to organize themselves, but what about in the meantime? Certainly the lack of a Guild of Linguists or Archivists, with greater access to DRC/Cyan and a greater interaction with the other Big Guilds, would adversely affect the development in those areas.

So I propose that the Cartographers open their arms to groups like the Archivists or the DZS. This may sound strange, because Archivists and zoologists are not subsets of cartography. However, I envision a focus of working to create "depth, data, and interestingness." Let's say, for example, that the DLF decides to work with the GoC. This could be a framework through which it would be easier for the Writers to get translations for their Ages, and to think of using translations in the first place. And what the DLF would get out it is experience in the Guild environment, greater exposure, a larger portfolio of accomplishments, the ability to better contact people like RAWA for D'ni words, with a greater possibility that the DLF could eventually become a Big Guild, the Guild of Linguists, at which point they could split off from this kind of involvement with the GoC. Archivists could help check proposed Age histories against existing data and help the Writers know of canon issues -- far better to address it during in development than get rejected by RAWA's final inspection. :)

So I call this system an "incubator" because it would help involve other groups in the Guild and fan Age process, benefiting us all from the increased "depth, data, and interestingness" in the Ages people play, while helping to build up the Guild system in general.

Some may ask if this is outside the scope of the Cartographers. I say that our scope is what we say it is, since who else is there to provide this kind of service? I mean, the Messengers can do some of this, but that will result in people hearing about these groups, when we also need them at our side helping in this great project. I also want to reemphasize that our current scope, while more than adequate for an explorer group, does not fully take advantage of, or fulfill our calling as, one of the Big Five. I strongly believe that if the Cartographers wish to remain not only relevant, but greatly helpful in the process of community creation, that active involvement in the development process, as well as establishing a symbiotic relationship with other similar informational/archival groups, must become part of our scope.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 3:00 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 3:12 pm
Posts: 2190
Location: Houston
Your ideas are fairly on track with what I always assumed the GoC would be doing.

The Writers can always generate high quality maps for their work, but what about everyone else, the people that are just starting out?

When ever I am doodling story ideas I usually start with a map.




After that everything starts coming together easier. :D

_________________
Waymet


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 3:05 am 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 12:35 am
Posts: 747
I think it sounds like we're pretty similar in ideas. I feel that the GoC should be making maps, charts, data, information in general, both for the explorers, and for the Writers developing things. And we shouldn't be afraid to branch out into interesting directions that may not happen to involve coastlines on paper. And if we can spawn little ideas, and bring in outside people to focus on those kinds of things, they can get big enough to start their own little bubble.

We have this focus on maps at our core, but we have an environment like petri dishes for related things, and when those other projects get big enough, they can go on and do their own thing, and we always have the map core. But we've both grown and gotten better from the shared experiences.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 3:15 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 4:08 am
Posts: 130
Location: Quebec, Canada
I fully agree with your whole post Gadren and your plan sounds great.

_________________
Image

"When you want your message out in the cavern, use the Guild of Messengers."

Andros KI: #265443 Kalypso Ki: #5962956


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 3:24 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2007 2:28 pm
Posts: 556
Location: USA
In a real world, as you pointed out, a Writer that creates his or her Age, while knowing exactly what is suppose to be in that age, may not be able to create a map on the same level as a cartographer. Not every nook and cranny will be known, etc. Even the Writer is sometimes surprised by what they find in their age.
And just because they can Write, does not mean they can draw. :D

However, as you pointed out Gadren, as much as many of us wish it were so, and would more than likely pass out with joy, the Cavern, the D'ni and all that there is, is not real. No mater how hard we try to make it. (Yep, I hear that wishful sigh all the time, comes outta me too.).

In the real world, we know how the Ages are basically made. And you're right, it might seem like the job of a Cartographer becomes a hand me down.
But there is one thing you will never convince me of, and that is, if a Writer can create a map that is on par with the maps that the Cartographers has put out already, then that writer needs to be a cartographer!

I believe that your proposal has merit and makes a lot of sense. I'd be the first to ask the GoC to take the Guild of Astronomy that I started up under your wing. All 12 of us. 8)
It really does make sense though, what you are proposing. I know there may be many others out there that might think that this is an attempt of one Guild, one of the "Big Five" eatting up their organization that they worked so hard to make. Reading the early threads and chatlogs of the Messengers showed that this can be a VERY big issue, and an understandable one.

I believe that you have the right approach: it's an offer. Not a demand.
I also think that as long as the GoC makes the other established groups that exsist but were not picked for the first 5 guilds, that this in no way would make their organizations that they worked so hard to build no longer exsist in any way, but instead does this:

Gives them a home.

"Find a way. Make a home." I don't know if this is what they were thinking when we were given those words, but I do believe you've "Found a Way."

:wink:

_________________
Image

My Tutorials


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 3:38 am 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 12:35 am
Posts: 747
You raise extremely important points. One issue in particular I'm worried about is the possibility of the DRC never letting these groups grow up. They might end up misinterpreting our intent, thinking, "Oh, those Archivists and Linguists are doing fine in the GoC! We don't need to give them their own Guild!"

And I never want to imply that these groups Must Join Or Else. If the DLF wants to remain independent and have the Writers call on them when they need translations, that's great. And this sort of connection between these smaller groups wouldn't mean, "You there! DZS! You are Cartographers!"

And I don't want that to happen. Those groups do such amazing stuff that they deserve their own group, but in the meantime I would love to be able to help us help them help us all, to paraphrase from Portal. ;)


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 4:56 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 8:47 pm
Posts: 1046
Gadren, I really thought your post was well-written and well thought-out. I wish you the very best with it, and I hope others will see the merit your ideas have. There are a lot of fascinating things to do with all aspects of the Ages.

(I keep wanting to set up a little climatology station in each Age, myself ... )

_________________
Image Jishin's KI: 82165


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 1:51 pm 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 6:30 pm
Posts: 2232
Location: Italy
Personally, I don't see this great need to be part of the Big 5. As I said in the meeting with Barnes, you don't have to be official to be important, and the Archivists and DZS and Astronomical society can exist pretty well on their own, just like all the groups that offered a service well before there was even the idea of DRC-sanctioned guilds. If the DRC/Cyan won't recognize them because they want to only go in groups of 5, or adhere to the old D'ni guilds, that's their loss, not the group's.

About the Cartographer's conundrum, here's an idea working the opposite way: what if the Writers make an Age, or additions to an existing fan Age, based on the map and information provided by the Cartographers? ICly the map would of course come later, but it's not written anywhere that, OOC, the map cannot come first.

_________________
Atrus aka Nahvah aka Ian Pertwee aka too many darn names :D
KI# 52953


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 4:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 3:12 pm
Posts: 2190
Location: Houston
Quote:
About the Cartographer's conundrum, here's an idea working the opposite way: what if the Writers make an Age, or additions to an existing fan Age, based on the map and information provided by the Cartographers? ICly the map would of course come later, but it's not written anywhere that, OOC, the map cannot come first.


Yes I agree with you on that Ian Atrus.

Even way back on Myst it started with a concept art map before anything was ever built in a computer.

_________________
Waymet


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:54 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2006 7:45 pm
Posts: 58
There needs to be more talking about the role of the Cartographers in relation to the Writers. At our very first meeting of the GoW, we talked about the possibility of allowing the GoC to create maps of our Ages as part of the design process, before we even built it at all. (Like Ian Atrus and MustardJeep mentioned before me.) If we didn't end up doing that, we also talked about other possibilities, including allowing the GoC early access to Ages (like we would for the Maintainers) to map out the area before the general populace made it there. But I don't know if any such communication was carried out, and we moved on as if the Cartographers wouldn't be playing a large role in Age design.

_________________
.rilvoohee vehrehnehm vokan pam mahnshootahv rub voohee taygahnehm mahtahntahv

[ Pryftan Wing ]
MOUL KI #: 7107443
MOULagain KI #: 91132

Guild of Writers


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 7:04 am 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 9:11 pm
Posts: 228
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Great post, Gadren. I'm not involved in any guilds, but I love your proposal. The backstory, the little detais, the hints of a larger world outside the textures and polygons that make up each area we link to, is something that many love and have been missing. For the Cartographers to step up and help coordinate efforts to fill in this gap would be tremendous.

_________________
Play Blue Lacuna


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 7:58 am 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 12:35 am
Posts: 747
Pryftan wrote:
There needs to be more talking about the role of the Cartographers in relation to the Writers. At our very first meeting of the GoW, we talked about the possibility of allowing the GoC to create maps of our Ages as part of the design process, before we even built it at all. (Like Ian Atrus and MustardJeep mentioned before me.) If we didn't end up doing that, we also talked about other possibilities, including allowing the GoC early access to Ages (like we would for the Maintainers) to map out the area before the general populace made it there. But I don't know if any such communication was carried out, and we moved on as if the Cartographers wouldn't be playing a large role in Age design.


Do you have a link to the GoC forums on the UO board? I wouldn't want to try to stick ourselves where we aren't wanted, but if you feel willing, let us know there what sorts of collaborations you have in mind?

And to everyone else: I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised at the outpouring of support for these ideas. :)


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 5:17 pm 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 1:17 am
Posts: 1702
Location: Spokane, WA
Ian Atrus wrote:
Personally, I don't see this great need to be part of the Big 5. As I said in the meeting with Barnes, you don't have to be official to be important, and the Archivists and DZS and Astronomical society can exist pretty well on their own, just like all the groups that offered a service well before there was even the idea of DRC-sanctioned guilds. If the DRC/Cyan won't recognize them because they want to only go in groups of 5, or adhere to the old D'ni guilds, that's their loss, not the group's.

This was largely my point as well. I know I promised Gadren I'd come by and speak my piece (peace?) when he posted this topic, but I really can't put it any better than Ian has ;). It would obviously be fantabulous to get DRC approval for the Archivists, and be included in an expanded "official" Guild system (cue noodling from Gadren), but that's a long-term goal, and I think the Archivists, DZS, Astronomers, and other groups can grow fine on their own... it may take more effort since we lack some of the pomp and circumstance of the Big 5, but I don't think it's necessary to fold ourselves into an "official" (oop, said it again) Guild, even temporarily, in order to provide services for the community.

That said, I certainly won't prohibit other groups from doing so just because I don't think it's a good fit... to each their own and all that :).

_________________
Grand Master
Guild of Archivists


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 13 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: