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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:16 am 
I'm with BAD on this to an extent. I wouldn't say we've had no help from Cyan--there is the massive help they've provided by example, both of what to do and, sometimes, what not to do--but the achievement of some Writers in following that example has been considerable.

I think possibly that, apart from simple personal preference--the feeling that a less well made Age would damage the immersiveness of the experience in ways that can't be accounted for IC--some concerns are based on what I feel is a mistaken hope to which some of us are clinging, that somehow Uru can still be made into a popular or commercial success. Perhaps some of the worriers are feeling that unless OS Uru only showcases the best possible fan Ages, or "Cyan-quality" Ages only (whatever that means), it will not attract new players in sufficient volume to achieve that.

I think this ship has sailed. Uru will never be a popular or commercial success--its appeal is too cerebral, maybe, or simply too limited in other ways. I don't think it's elitist to believe that the Uru community will always be based around a small group of people who "get it," not because they are "better" but because their tastes happen to run that way. I don't mind being in a small group, as long as that which unites that group (Uru) continues to exist, and I don't agree with those who have said that if Uru does not appeal to lots of people then it doesn't deserve to survive. And, manifestly, neither does Cyan.

I've been in Ages where the textures are repetitive, where the light seems to shine on everything from all angles, where the trees vanish if you look at them side on. (Whisper it low, some of them were by Cyan.) It didn't stop me loving the game, or wanting to try and do better. That's an important motivation that I think some are overlooking--the cliché about the guy who flings a bad book across the room and says "I could do better than that!" and then goes on to prove it is still a truth. Prentice-work Ages can also inspire us to try our own hand, as a less than stellar performance by a filker can make other filkers feel better about their own tentative efforts.

OS Uru will never be a truly M MORPG. It may develop into something more like an artists' colony, where creative minds inspire each other to produce work that others can then come to admire. Anyone who thinks that is a bad thing is overlooking the great art that has been known to emerge from such a community.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:46 pm 
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Tweek wrote:
Problem I have with this is I don't want to be forced to go through the Guild of Maintainers, not to mention not all Ages should have a Maintainers stamp from a story point of view.


Uh ... I don't recall anyone being forced to go through the Guild of Maintainers.

We're here as a volunteer service to help you catch your bugs and provide some outside feedback. If you'd rather not take advantage of that, that's fine.

That said, is there something that you find unacceptable or missing in what the Guild of Maintainers does? If there is a problem or if there is a service you need that we're not providing, of course we'd like to know what it is, so that we can attend to it or provide it.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:09 pm 
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Jishin, I believe Tweek is talking about how ages might get vetted for the Cyan server, not the ages that will (hopefully) appear on all the other servers. And that's still completely up in the air, as they say -- assuming Cyan keeps running a server, how they pick ages to reside on their server. They would only be able to do that (pick the ages) for their server only, assuming we get open source.

What Bad said -- seems right. Even if an age is on a server you are playing on, it doesn't seem to me that you'll have to go to it. It will be optional. You could probably play the game happily without any new content, if you so choose. I can see some people doing that, going to the Cyan stuff mostly, and maybe a few select fan ages. It's how you choose to play. However, If you want new content, that will be the fan created ages.

I think the biggest fear is that it won't be Cyan's game, and that's true. Perhaps one could think of it as Cyan's game with add-ons. The story of the world does provide a nice, in character explanation -- people are learning the art of age writing. Uru is also set in contemporary times (though I guess with ages you can go anywhere) -- and that also gives it more flexibility on what's in an age. On immersiveness, well, I don't find lag all that immersive. I don't find it immersive that in one of the ages and in the neighborhoods and the city (still cones in the city?) I can't use my hands and I have to kick things with my feet. And those clothes are starting to look rather retro, and that hair is not realistic (I know, it's hard to make "realistic" hair). These are the Cyan ages I'm talking about, and I can still get the goodness, the immersiveness of being in Uru. I don't see how it would be different with the fan ages.

Rather than mere technical goodness, I'm looking for ages with a certain something, a certain feeling -- wow, it's great to be here, a certain vibrancy. Having seen examples of fan creativity, I don't think I'll be disappointed.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:21 pm 
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Jishin wrote:
Tweek wrote:
Problem I have with this is I don't want to be forced to go through the Guild of Maintainers, not to mention not all Ages should have a Maintainers stamp from a story point of view.


Uh ... I don't recall anyone being forced to go through the Guild of Maintainers.

We're here as a volunteer service to help you catch your bugs and provide some outside feedback. If you'd rather not take advantage of that, that's fine.

That said, is there something that you find unacceptable or missing in what the Guild of Maintainers does? If there is a problem or if there is a service you need that we're not providing, of course we'd like to know what it is, so that we can attend to it or provide it.



Oh I'm not talking about currently, I'm talking about if Cyan ushers in the GoMA as like the official QA section.
I have nothing against the GoMA, I'm just a solo person, I build my stuff myself and test it myself (by myself I mean I select certain people to visit).

My main complaint was towards the concept of approved books having a maintainers stamp. I think the option should be there for the builders to either have the stamp or not depending on the story mechanism of their Ages.

Aside from that I don't have any concerns.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:27 pm 
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Is that really such a problem? All the books we have now are DRC approved, unless Yeesha sneaks them in. Obviously fan-written ages won't be snuck in by Yeesha, so they'll have to be DRC approved, or approved by some other body that the DRC accepts (just speaking IC, here.) If we're really restoring D'ni civilization, the GoM is a logical body to do so.

Now, I would like to add a few caveats: I think all the "official" guilds should have open membership. But clearly a group with open membership would not be that useful as a review board. So if you go with the GoM you would have the guild with open membership (dedicated, as they are now, to testing and debugging fan ages,) and a "high council" of masters, elevated to that position by Cyan, that will serve as the actual approving body.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:29 pm 
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*nodsnods at both mszv and Tweek*

Gotcha. I understand. And thanks for clearing that up.

Of course Maintainer marks should be optional for Ages. I mean, heck, they seemed to be optional for Kadish, of all people. :wink: (Look in Ahnonay -- you will not find one.)

In all seriousness, there are plenty of cases where you wouldn't need and/or want one. It wouldn't make any sense for new work that's actually set in the Cavern to have a Maintainer's mark, for example.

... speaking of (and deviating slightly off-topic), has anyone actually *done* any new work in the Cavern? I believe the writing guidelines allow us to do that as long as it's not attached to anything Cyan's created, but I haven't seen anyone do it yet.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:37 pm 
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DocOlanA wrote:
Now, I would like to add a few caveats: I think all the "official" guilds should have open membership. But clearly a group with open membership would not be that useful as a review board. So if you go with the GoM you would have the guild with open membership (dedicated, as they are now, to testing and debugging fan ages,) and a "high council" of masters, elevated to that position by Cyan, that will serve as the actual approving body.


Doc,

When we were working on the FCAL process, we were constructing an approval board that included volunteers from the Maintainers, Writers, and Archivists. Not much has been done on that since the Cavern closed, but it was definitely something that was going to be across-guilds and transparent except in the places where the Age might require secrecy for puzzles.

I'm actually supposed to re-contact Cyan in a few days to see if they still want us to work on that part of the agenda -- I already contacted them once and they went, "Oh. Um ... let us think about that and get back to you on it."

I got the impression back then that they were OK with us selecting people for the FCAL approval panels. It's more important that the people who are doing the work want to do the work. (:

Totally on the same page with you regarding open membership. But I also think that anyone who wants to volunteer for a responsibility like this ought to get the opportunity to do it, ya know? Especially because you don't want to limit these things to a small pool of people who can get burned out.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:48 pm 
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Well me, I'm a canon monkey. I do think that if we're talking about the main Cyan shard, there needs at some point to be approval from Cyan, or approval from a body appointed by Cyan that Cyan trusts to catch any errors in the canon. The thing is, it's easy to maintain canon when Cyan does things in house. It's a lot harder when the fans start making ages. RAWA's guidelines on what is and what isn't acceptable story material is a great start, but quite frankly if an age is released on Cyan's main server I really want that age to be canon. Which means it becomes part of the canon. Which means Cyan shouldn't contradict it with future ages either (compare with the big middle finger George Lucas gave to the Star Wars Expanded Universe with the prequel trilogy.)

As I've mentioned before on other threads, this is really only a concern for me on Cyan's server, where I think ages do need vetting and approval. On other servers, heck, go to it, there are some really talented age designers out there and I want to be able to see and play their stuff. But any non-Cyan server, by definition, is not canon Uru. And I like my canon Uru. So the Cyan server needs to put in whatever precautions are necessary to ensure that we don't get any discontinuity or canon violations on down the line (thus far they've been able to explain away such things by having the games and novels actually exist in-universe, but they don't have that option with actual Uru ages, so they need to be more careful.)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:36 pm 
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@BAD:

I definitely agree with you there! I'm not saying that there's no point to user made Ages, or that dabbling in the Art with Blender or other tools is bad.

On the contrary, I think it's brilliant that people are going out there and working on bringing their own dreams to life. What I AM saying however, is that there should perhaps be a board here on the MOUL forums (I think(?) there was one on the GoW forums) that allows for people to comment on Ages if people so choose.

My big argument is just for a way for people to converse with eachother and work together to advise people on ways to improve and make their future Ages better. Everyone I've seen who's made more than one Age, I've seen progress from one to the next and even to the ones after. I'm just saying that for some people, it would maybe be nice if they had a way to get direct feedback on their Age instead of an arbitrary voting system.

I don't even think we really need a "filter" system (The programming for Drizzle works just fine and isn't all that cumbersome at all), but a way to give "written" feedback is, for me, a must going forward.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:08 pm 
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DocOlanA wrote:
Is that really such a problem? All the books we have now are DRC approved, unless Yeesha sneaks them in. Obviously fan-written ages won't be snuck in by Yeesha, so they'll have to be DRC approved, or approved by some other body that the DRC accepts (just speaking IC, here.) If we're really restoring D'ni civilization, the GoM is a logical body to do so.

Now, I would like to add a few caveats: I think all the "official" guilds should have open membership. But clearly a group with open membership would not be that useful as a review board. So if you go with the GoM you would have the guild with open membership (dedicated, as they are now, to testing and debugging fan ages,) and a "high council" of masters, elevated to that position by Cyan, that will serve as the actual approving body.


Yes it is a problem.

I have Ages written by me ICwise that perhaps the DRC would approve (like Fahets), but I have ages written by my that IC are written by others that wouldn't be DRC approved, and to be approved would cramp the storyline of the Age (e.g. "Oh yes this is a slave age, we approved it, sure it's still being used for slavery"...really? I don't see that happening).


OOC Ages should be run through appoval, and given the Ok.

IC Ages should be allowed to have approval or not (like the choice of having a maintainers stamp on the book or not) otherwise you're cramping people's storycrafting.


Last edited by Tweek on Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:14 pm 
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Okay, I see where you're coming from (and a great idea for a story, BTW,) but lets take that one step forward in your storycrafting.

You have an age that the DRC would not approve. How do you get it in the cavern without the DRC removing it?

See, Yeesha gets a pass with this. She's Yeesha. You can remove her books all you want, the bahro will bring them back. But I find it difficult to believe that anyone else could get away with it. So, story-wise, IC wise, how would a non-approved book get in the cavern in the first place?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:39 pm 
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I think you guys have the question wrong. It's not who's going to bring in nonapproved books. Anyone can do that.

It's who's going to stop a non-approved book, In Character, at this point? The DRC has already said that they have no funding and they're not in charge. So they won't be stopping such a thing. How could they, anyway? Unless they get their hands on the Descriptive Book, they can't prevent people from writing Linking Books.

And before everyone turns and looks at the Maintainers as the other option for preventing non-approved books, last I checked, we all said we weren't the Cavern police force either. So there ya go.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:55 pm 
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Quite frankly I was assuming that if there's enough capital at Cyan to make Uru open source, there would be enough to bring the plot and thus the DRC back at least in a limited fashion (if nothing else, Cyan would have to bring the ResEngs back to deal with incorporating new ages and fixing bugs, and if they do that why not have someone stop by as Laxman every so often.)

Once again, this only applies to the Cyan main server, not to any shards.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:59 pm 
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The DRC "cleansed" its hands of Yeesha's Ages. Why not do the same here? If you use a book, IC, you do so at your own risk.

This doesn't need to be over thought, as it's just going to confuse people who are new and give some older players a headache.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:25 am 
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But why? The DRC had clear reason for washing their hands of Yeesha's books rather than removing them - they really couldn't remove Yeesha's books if they wanted to, and they couldn't keep explorers out either because Yeesha kept giving them ways to link back in. Plus, there was a significant movement even among the DRC that Yeesha knew what she was doing.

But your book to a non-approved world? They can get rid of that, and they've got no reason to trust that you, or the writer of the book you found, know what you're doing. They can block that off. the DRC has always had a policy of "we can't keep them out entirely, but we can and will block off anything we deem exceptionally unsafe." That's why there's barriers everywhere in the city. That's the whole joke behind Vortmax's DRC PSAs. If the DRC stays out of the cavern, and it's just opened up for explorers with no oversight, that's one thing. But if the DRC return then there's no reason why they would suddenly change a policy that not only has been used as the IC reason why we can't explore the whole city, but also was a key part of their character and their reaction to the unfolding plot of Uru.

On the other hand, as long as the age isn't obviously falling apart I can think of very few reasons why the DRC, the GoM, or whatever governing body is doing approvals wouldn't approve it. Sure, maybe not if there were sentient beings there, but frankly those would be really hard to code into an age. I mean, they approved Tetsonot, and the only reason that place isn't a death trap is because it isn't currently, at this particular moment, killing us. But it probably will at some point. It's not like the DRC is child-proofing the unicorns or anything.

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