Fate of Io
data formats
2002/12/04 19:06:49 PST by jcore [0/6]

If there is a more appropriate place for these type of threads, please tell me.

As I get a little bit more used to v4, the more I like it. But something seems to be missing: authorative information.

Alright, I know this is an extremely open and free-flowing project and that for the most part this thing is supposed to behave sort of in the style of a wiki. But having to wade through tons of posts (even with the help of cross-links) is not an efficient way of getting at all of the data. I know that most of the dedicated developers have all of the necessary information in their head, but I think for newcomers like me a few adjustments could really help out (and lead to much less pain when there's a v5 ;)).

I'm thinking along the lines of getting some XML DTDs/guidelines up so that formal documents can be easily created and edited. Constraints on input and content really suck, but I think at least some more organization is called for (if only to reduce the amount of writing and rewriting involved).

Also, an image database/gallery that makes liberal use of keywords would be a boon.

Again, I have more ideas on the topic but I'm hesitant to try and present them all without some more organized format than rambling text.

2002/12/05 12:52:48 PST by Temporal [manager]
[Temporal's avatar]

There is a better place for this: Under "v4 Project Manager->Suggestions". :) Unfortunately I haven't written a way to move threads yet.

Anyway, I'm not completely sure I understand what you are suggesting... but the "authoritive information" would be the page you see when you visit a particular node/folder. Unfortunately, at the moment a lot of these pages are blank, as neither Dev nor myself nor anyone else who has the authority has had time to fill them all in properly.

I do have plans for other features for v4 which would make it easier to find submissions, cross-linking them with story nodes, etc. If I didn't have a programming language to implement by the end of the year, these features would be available sooner. :)

If you are interested in the source code, I suppose I could at least try to prepare a source release... but it's not very pretty. I wrote it way too fast for it to be pretty. :/

2002/12/05 16:48:02 PST by HiddenFox [0/1]

I think what he means is that we don't have a very clear idea as to what has/hasn't been confirmed. I mean this in the highest respect possible, there just doesn't seem to be anybody makeing decisions, and if there is, where can I find those decision? We have tons of ideas floating around, but nobodys in any position to say which ideas will be used or what the official plan is. I really don't have a very solid foundation to work with, everything seems indecisive.

So, if we do have some authoritive information like confirmed ideas, gameplay, etc, could you kindly point me in the right direction?

I don't mean to offended, it's just really hard to get a clear understanding as to what's going on.

2002/12/06 05:45:39 PST by Temporal [manager]
[Temporal's avatar]

You are absolutely right, HiddenFox. The problem is, none of the staff (myself and Dev included) has the time and/or desire to do their jobs (organizing ideas, finalizing stuff, etc.). If you can think of a good way to motivate them, do tell. :)

We had a member who actually wanted to play manager once. Unfortunately, he had... issues...

2002/12/06 09:19:37 PST by jcore [0/6]

NOTE: The following is addressed to everyone in Fate of Io.

I don't necessarily think that we would need managers being reported to on everything and making all of the decisions. I also think this goes a little bit beyond v4, which I would consider a tool level, to a people level. (alright, do I sound a businessman now? ;)).

This is a pretty big project with quite a large number of people. I would estimate that managing it in the authoritarian way would require 2-3 people doing full-time management.

Dev seems to have the right idea as far as giving everyone suggestions and trying to help. I think it's up to the developers now to make decisions and take on some leadership over their own areas.

What I'm asking about now is, how should the developers and sub-teams go about creating official material? What would the project manager and the group as a whole accept as due-process? And once decisions have been made, in what official format should the decisions be framed?

I'm sure that for many decisions a plain-text node on v4 somewhere would work just fine. But what about the larger things like a stats system or town maps? Of course they could be made in just any format and posted to a node, but is there a more preferable way? I mentioned XML just because it seems to have become the new standard in marking up human-readable text and it's not too difficult to learn how to write or read. But it was just the first thing on my mind and I'm sure that other things would need to be in other formats.

I'm curious to see how an RFC (Request for Comments, see http://www.ietf.org/rfc.html for an example of it in action) type of system would work. Someone who understands the material in their area and knows that something "official" is ready to go into place can do a formal write up on it and post it to v4 somewhere (perhaps a special RFC node or something). Then a certain number of days can be given to let the RFC come under fire and pass the acid test before it becomes provisional and then another length of time until it becomes a standard (or something along those lines).

Please take these as suggestions only. I do not have experience managing a project like this successfully, and I wouldn't want to try and manage one this large anyway (especially on my own. Dev, you've got some balls). I just think that processes like these were one of the things that Ecclesia RPG got right (there were many others that we got wrong though).

I'd really like to hear everyone's opinion on this, not just those who are managers or advisors.

2002/12/06 09:41:38 PST by Temporal [manager]
[Temporal's avatar]

Well, the "staff" I refer to consists of:

  • Dev

  • Temporal

  • Darkness Nova

  • Fang Xianfu

  • Mistik

  • Oxygen

  • Gilgath

  • Eldragon

  • UnknownOne

  • Aetrus

  • Nix xiN

  • Xeno

  • Clockwork Dragon

  • Some other people that I can't even remember

  • Many people who aren't official but might as well be (Akio, Davy, etc.)

These people are supposed to be monitoring, directing, and organizing activity in their particular sections. It's really not all that much work, but it is significant.

Anyway, the reality is, everyone just acts as a casual contributor. Half the people on that list haven't been around in months. This isn't our life, this is just something we do for fun when we have time... so, yeah... Still, I think if they had some better direction as to what needed doing, people would do more. ::shrug::

No offense intended to anyone on the above list. I'm on it too, after all. :)

2002/12/06 23:21:31 PST by mystik3eb [0/43]
[mystik3eb's avatar]

Wow, I'm on this list...never thought that'd happen to me =)

Well, try to imagine this as...example: making the Harry Potter movies. Indeed, most the decisions are made by Chris Columbus, but they do bring in JK Rowling quite often, and she will give her word on what she thinks, so it then becomes "official", because, after all, it's her world.

This is the case here. Dev created this whole thing (ok, not EVERYTHING, but the storyline, idea FOR the game in the first place, etc.), and is basically the "conceptual author". He came to Temp and they decided to work together and using Dev's ideas, Temp would physically create the idea into reality, so in a sense it's up to him what he will actually put in; he is our "physical author" in this sense.

These two are our authors, and we need to let THEM make the final decisions. We have staff simply because they are the ones that know a little more about the different areas of development in which they are staff members for, the ones with good leadership qualities, or the ones with the most experience in dealing with RPGs and such. They just basically lead people along to come closer to a "better" idea, while they can't decide what the real thing is, since they aren't the author in that sense. See what I'm saying?

These days, true, we haven't been doing too much more than discussing, but that's where it all starts, isn't it? The areas we've been discussing are areas we hadn't really touched before, so we haven't tossed around a potential "official idea" recently. We're getting there, and our authors are doing a real good job of being here...everyday at this point since v4 started up (same with me...almost). So the question of whether some idea should be the real thing or not won't be hanging for very long (unless they comtemplate it for a LONG time, which most likely won't happen.) Of course, they may at times ask for a majority vote if they either can't totally decide or if it seems that several people completely disagree with them.

(*PSST* Am I doing a good job of summarizing all that?)

So yeah...we need our project leaders to approve of absolutely everything, no matter what. Sound good? Hope I don't make anybody mad somehow...

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