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What is the purpose of the Guild of Writers?
The creation of ages 83%  83%  [ 43 ]
The creation of a system for the creation of ages 17%  17%  [ 9 ]
Total votes : 52
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 Post subject: [GoW] The Great Divide
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:26 pm 
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Shorah,

For those interested in the Guild of Writers, an interesting question has come up in the discussion of the Mission statement (here) that could effectively alter the way that the GoW operates. We basically have to decide now the answer, because it affects how we approach the GoW's creation. The question is (and it is, of course, in the poll above):

What is the purpose of the Guild of Writers?

1. The creation of ages and a system for age creation

2 . Only the creation of a system for age creation

Please note that the question has changed somewhat, so use these responses instead of the above ones (as I can't change it). If a moderator could change it, that would be great


It's phrased kind of oddly, I realize, but it's basically this: Should the Guild of Writers be responsible for the generation of ages, or should it be responsible for creating tools and hosting a server on which ages can be created? If you understand and have an opinion, go ahead and vote, but here's some clarification if you're confused.

1. The basic (and in my opinion, obvious) job of the GoW is, of course, writing ages. We would have a website with a forum, wiki, FTP storage, etc. that allows us to share resources and create ages (perhaps ages with the blessing of the DRC or other guilds). Membership in the guild would be some sort of application process (possibly) and when you get in, you are given an account on the GoW website and can start or join an "age creation group" (again, possibly, depending on what we decide). Thus there would be a bunch of "GoW official" age creation groups working on several ages at once. So the GoW is held responsible for churning out ages.

2. This is a bit harder to explain, but it's essentially this: setting up the website as described above, with FTP storage and a forum, etc, but that's basically where it ends. We throw the door open to age creation teams (or maybe using some sort of application process), and allow them to set up their own projects on our servers. There is almost no administration or assignments that go on, basically creating an egalitarian guild. Individuals can sort out their own ages. (belford describes this setup pretty well here and also at other points in the topic). So the GoW is held responsible for the maintenance of the servers and the like. It's individuals who, using the resources we provide, model and script their own ages, perhaps submitting them to a QA check in the GoW (or maybe that's what the GoMa is for).

If you would like to address either of these viewpoints, feel free to post below (like, what else would I say? "No, I forbid you to post"? :P ). I feel it's important to decide this now, so that we know what we are doing when we plan for the future.

Dovahn

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Last edited by Dovahn on Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 1:01 am 
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Yes.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 1:25 am 
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I agree with Blade...that is to say, I don't think the two points are mutually exclusive. Is there a problem with the mandate including both facets?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:24 am 
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Well, after my flippant answer, I thought about it a little more....

I'd think that the GoW would be interested both in the actual creation of Ages and the things required to do the writing of Ages.

But then it occurs to me, the original Guild of Writers in D'ni were not totally self-sufficient. To Write, they needed books and ink, which were the purview of the Guild of Book Makers and the Guild of Ink Makers. So if the OOC facet of the GoW is to design ages (design, code, model, etc.), what is the OOC function of the Book Makers and the Ink Makers. Maybe, support functions to the actual act of Writing/Age Building should be handled by these other Guilds?

Books are where Writing sits. Maybe the Book Makers, OOC, can be in charge creating and maintaining the servers where content is kept, providing places for testing, etc.

Ink is what the Writing is done with. Maybe the Ink Makers can, OOC, focus on tools for age creation (like what the H'uru team has been building). They could also be in charge of building libraries of things like objects, textures, samples, etc.

The Guild of Writers themselves focuses on actually creating the Ages.

So what we get is an Age Building trifecta divided into a server group (Book Makers), a tools group (Ink Makers) and a content group (Writers). They'd all work together, of course, on establishing the overall workflow. But it'd be a way to organize efforts.

Of course, I may be over-complicating it all. But it's an interesting exercise in brainstorming nonetheless. ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:56 am 
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The GoW needs to be about the creation of Age's.

<>Assign Group projects
<>Pull the seperate groups to one single goal
<>Create the tools you need (then pass the knowledge around)
<>Push the limits of CC as far as it is possible to go, then look for ways to go further

Put the effort into making the tools, and creating the Ages.

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What is the purpose of the Guild of Writers?

1. The creation of ages

2. The creation of a system that allows the creation of ages


These two things are not exclusive while the Guild is unofficial you will have to build yourself a structure to work in. I know it is not a straight comparison but we are doing the same thing with the Guild of Maintainers Pre-Group. We are figuring out the structure of the group, projects that outside/inside teams fit into, and how to integrate these ideas into one general theme for the group.

The general thought that I have been trying to keep in mind is that we need structure but while we are unofficial it is open to change at no notice.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:28 am 
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I do think that the Guild should be about the creation of Ages. I don't think that the Guild should *itself* create Ages.

I've been saying quite a bit about this divide (in other threads). It's not the question itself that concerns me -- if it was, "both" would be a wonderful inclusive answer and we could all be happy. But I have specific organizational worries.

For example: if you think the goal of the Guild is to create Ages, then it's not a large step to saying that everyone creating Ages should be in the Guild. (And I can point to discussions that said that, flat-out.) Then you get people proposing incentives to join: tools or documentation which are available only to Guild members. (Again, people have suggested that.) My idea was to avoid that entire debate by saying that the Guild *helps everybody create*. That way, if somebody gets overzealous, they go in the direction of *helping a lot* -- rather than trying to exclude people.

Or another example: membership. Do you have to prove yourself in order to join? Create a complete Age? (Who decides what a complete Age is?) Should the Guildmaster be the person who's created the biggest Age? Or the best Age? None of these ideas make sense to me.

Or another example: say that the Guild decides, *as a Guild*, to work on a particular Age. ("Eder Example.") That's the official Guild project. Now, where does that leave people who are working on their own Age projects? Are they in the Guild or not? Do they have access to textures or models in the Eder Example workspace?

What about secrecy? The Eder Example team might have puzzles that they don't want to leak the answers to. It makes sense for them to say "If you want to help work on Eder Example, you have to sign this project NDA." But does it make sense to say "If you want to join the Guild, you have to sign this Guild NDA"? Maybe it does, because working on Eder Example is what the Guild *does*. But now you're in a scary position: keeping Guild secrets becomes an organizational aim of the Guild, independent of any particular Age.

I'm not saying these conflicts can't be resolved. But I *am* saying that the *simplest* way to resolve them is to keep the goals separated. There are Writers (and teams of Writers), and there is the Guild. Writers create Ages; the Guild supports Writers.

Obviously I don't mean that you can't do both! Any given person *can* do both. Most people will do both. But having two hats to wear can simplify your life. Declaring that one hat covers both... is a conflict, whether you want to believe it or not.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 5:32 am 
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I took the question as being should the Guild of Writers be interested in creating ages, or defining a workflow and tool set for creating ages.

I like the philosophy that Writers make Ages and the Guild helps Writers.

I can understand the desire for the Guild of Writers to be a fellowship of those who engage in the 'occupation' of Writing, however. Maybe there is a way to resolve the two.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 5:57 am 
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Like most bilateral polls, this one is missing the option I'd vote first for: BOTH

I think the traditional IC view is that writers write, but even that canon has exceptions; notably Gehn, who had to construct the tooling to create his paper and ink in Riven so that he could begin to write (the fact he made an absolute bollux of the result isn't important here.)

The discussion does hint at a different potential dichotomy in the GoW; that between "designers" (e.g. architects or visionaries) and "implementors" (e.g. those invaluable folks who make the doors work right). We need both, for it is a rare person (not to say they don't exist, but they're rare) that can work in these two very difference disciplines. One is principally artistic, the other principally technical.

This difference exists in surface professions as well; creating a structure or a city takes architects as well as engineers.

It is absolutely crucial that the members of the Guild of Writers recognize and welcome these two halves of the creative whole; it is seldom that one can prosper without the other.

-D-

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:53 am 
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dmuk: I think you missed the difference. It's not between artistic and technical (enough discussion has already went into that!), it's a difference between the Guild writing or the guild supporting writers. belford puts it pretty well (and since he's a main proponent of the second opinion, thanks for posting here to clarify it).

The two are actually mutually exclusive, and perhaps because of the phrasing it seems that they aren't. Of course the guild must set up the same infrastructure no matter what path they take. But if then both options are available, Joe Age-Builder can choose between working with the "official" guild projects (and getting messed up in the politics of that) and making his own (where he can do what he wants). Most people are going to choose the second option. And if you create perks for the people working on the "official" projects, we're right back where we started. In other words, either the guild oversees all projects, or they don't. Overseeing some just doesn't work (in my opinion, of course).

BladeLakem: You provided an interesting idea (about the three different guilds, or different aspects in the GoW), but unfortunately we still have the "writers" group, where many people would rather see that group eliminated. Personally, I think it's actually silly not to give the job of writing to the Guild of Writers, but I certainly appreciate the concerns that it could create an exclusive group.

Dovahn

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 12:05 pm 
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Dovahn wrote:
The two are actually mutually exclusive, and perhaps because of the phrasing it seems that they aren't. Of course the guild must set up the same infrastructure no matter what path they take. But if then both options are available, Joe Age-Builder can choose between working with the "official" guild projects (and getting messed up in the politics of that) and making his own (where he can do what he wants). Most people are going to choose the second option. And if you create perks for the people working on the "official" projects, we're right back where we started. In other words, either the guild oversees all projects, or they don't. Overseeing some just doesn't work (in my opinion, of course).


I'm glad you added the tag note that this is your opinion. :-)

When someone presents an age idea to the Guild of Writers (and we already have received many ideas to date), the GoW will have a catalogue of writers, their corresponding skills, and their availability. [This is the inherent "perk" of an organization - it is organized.] So, a team can be assembled in relatively short order. If no one is available, then it can be turned over to the community at large.

Your comment about politics applies not only to the guild, but to the community at large. All you need is a group of people with at least two different opinions, and we have that already - before the guild has even begun.

So, I believe that the guild can both create ages and support the age creation community. They do not have to oversee every project - just some.

I agree with the others that there should be a "both" option listed above. The mission statement could be changed to reflect this:

The Unofficial Guild of Writers shall create ages for exploration by the community, as well as enable explorers to create ages.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 12:09 pm 
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In my opinion, it is only to make Ages. OOC age creation systems (i.e. bug ticketing areas, a place in game for the ages) is Cyan's job.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 12:51 pm 
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Robert The Rebuilder wrote:

I'm glad you added the tag note that this is your opinion. :-)

When someone presents an age idea to the Guild of Writers (and we already have received many ideas to date), the GoW will have a catalogue of writers, their corresponding skills, and their availability. [This is the inherent "perk" of an organization - it is organized.] So, a team can be assembled in relatively short order. If no one is available, then it can be turned over to the community at large.


Yeah, this could have gone bad really quickly if I hadn't added the disclaimer...

You're description, by the way, I like. I understand how it is a combination of both options. It makes some of the Guild jobs public (that is, the brainstorming and idea generation) and makes the, as some would say, "core" jobs on a roster. If that were the structure of the guilds, it would certainly satisfy me. (That is, if I interpreted your description correctly).

However, I have a feeling that the people who would have voted for the second option would not be satisfied with this plan. (if belford meanders back here I would be interested in his opinion of it). We'll see, of course, but some would say that it still creates an elitist group of modelers and programmers.

By the way, the real reason why I didn't include a "both" option is because I knew that a lot of people would choose it. I therefore didn't put it there, forcing them to post and explaining their opinion fully (and most opinions are very interesting), rather than just being a statistic. Sorry for overthinking it ( :P ) but I think it enhanced the discussion (and for readers of the topic, take the discussion more seriously than the poll).

Dovahn

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:44 pm 
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Dovahn wrote:
The two are actually mutually exclusive, and perhaps because of the phrasing it seems that they aren't. Of course the guild must set up the same infrastructure no matter what path they take. But if then both options are available, Joe Age-Builder can choose between working with the "official" guild projects (and getting messed up in the politics of that) and making his own (where he can do what he wants). Most people are going to choose the second option.

Well, we seem to disagree yet, though I see the distinction you're trying to illustrate.

I just don't see it that way; "auteur"-created ages and those created by a team are simply degrees of the same creativity, tooling, and logic. Whether they are spread across a team or one extremely capable individual (like Gehn thought he was?) is to me a matter of division of resources.

How would I participate? In both.

Having a separate "GoW IT Department" to me is a means to an end, not an end in itself.

Dovahn wrote:
And if you create perks for the people working on the "official" projects, we're right back where we started. In other words, either the guild oversees all projects, or they don't. Overseeing some just doesn't work (in my opinion, of course).

At the risk of recreating the DRC and all its secrecy and cliquishness, I feel that ages created with Guild-supplied tooling and servers etc. fall under the Guild oversight.

Someone acting on their own, using personal copies of the same tooling, is a situation that cannot be controlled, and indeed I feel control should not be attempted. However, if & when that individual wishes to have their creation added to a Guild environment, then the project is subject to review and oversight.

The Guild should not be only about control (which is what I'm getting out of the thread so far) but also about encouraging standards of quality, best practices, and a learning path for those of lesser skill or experience to acquire and apply those techniques.

That's where I come in; I'm not good enough (yet) to create an age out of whole ink but there are areas that I feel I can contribute a lot in terms of puzzles, layout, and thematic texture. People have said I'm a pretty decent writer. Actual artwork I'm less good at, but I'd love to work with those who have those skills and develop my own. That's why I consider the team approach and the use of the Guild as a support organization so important.

Is it the only way? Of Course Not.

D'nn

p.s. The reality of "who pays for all this" shouldn't be a stumbling block to progress; every Guild has its dues to pay(pal).

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:56 pm 
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Quote:
By the way, the real reason why I didn't include a "both" option is because I knew that a lot of people would choose it. I therefore didn't put it there, forcing them to post and explaining their opinion fully (and most opinions are very interesting), rather than just being a statistic. Sorry for overthinking it ( :P ) but I think it enhanced the discussion (and for readers of the topic, take the discussion more seriously than the poll).


Sneaky. 8) :lol:


I can see the "perk" argument lasting for a good long while for props, tools, instructions, and such. Honestly I never considered it in relation to the GoW, I always figured support when your working on your Age would be the "Perk" to membership.

From my own personal stab at Age building, I grabbed a few of the basic tutorials out there for CC, and the bare bones tools you need. As I worked my way through them I was reading others design notes for different things, but I never expected anyone to go out of their way to help me.

That is how I personally see it happening, a lot of people taking advantage of the tools and information produced by the Guild of Writers. What you said Dovahn about "Joe Age-Builder" is probably right, the bulk of the GoW members I would hope however will be the ones willing to work on other peoples projects. That is the big thing that will make the GoW Ages bigger and of a better quality.

Edit : One last thing all of this is from the perspective of someone that falls into the "Joe Age-Builder" category.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:51 pm 
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If we go with option 2, wouldn't that mean the 'Guild of Writers' would amount to maybe 10 guys running a web server with a level design wiki on it?

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