Worries

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snowdrop
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Re: Worries

Post by snowdrop » Tue Apr 17, 2012 18:50

tex
tex wrote:I agree. If I can be frank, relative inactivity made me wonder if I should participate, and I like to think I'm going to make a valuable contribution. But I almost walked away.
Inactivity is usually, like almost always, a bad omen in any floss-project. Also in ours. The problem is that it signals that the project is either dead or that it is gasping and soon to be playing the harp. I'd share your worries about any project where stuff didn't ever happen, as it usually turns out that way.

In our case the site was down a couple of months. I got very demoralized and just lacked the energy to deal with it, after having spent much time already just to see it fail after every attempt. In any case, the site being down wasn't our main problem, nor is it now: It is our pace.

I'd rather talk about pacing than inactivity, because I get the impression many of us are around and follow stuff in forum from time to time, some even do stuff every now and then. However, we're crawling.

As I have mentioned many times earlier a huge reason for that is I myself: I have somehow become too much of a phat spider in the net and I often feel I hinder development instead of pushing it forward. A part of that is explained by my eagerness to discuss, to debate, to listen to input from everyone and everywhere, to go ahead very slowly, let stuff take it's time, and hope that it won't put people off.

My style of leadership (what little I have contributed on that front) and view on methodology takes a lot of time and demands heaps of patience. I'm slowly realizing that has to change. I get those enlightened flashbacks when I see people from nowhere putting together a crappy game within a week, where we have been around for 2 years and still haven't a playtestable thing.

My new approach is that we should go more for action and less for discussion. Or, rather, trying to find a productive balance where we don't end up being a social-club where we always try to reach consensus and make everyone happy and/or solve all problems before they even arise. More about this can be seen in the newsletter >> http://wtactics.org/newsletters/bulls-on-parade/ ....and I have discussed the matter in old letters that are nowhere to be found currently. :P
tex wrote:If I'd known about the virus problems the server apparently had, that would've tilted the balance more in favor of participation, so I suggest making that fact a little more prominent, painful as it may be to admit.
We originally had some info on the main site (temp site) declaring what had happened, but the site got so frakked up that even that couldn't be there in the end. We did however post a couple of times on twitter / facebook / identica and many other sites about the issues... yet, it's hard to know about our "social" services if one hasn't even seen the real site :P So yeah, we most def did take some beating. Albeit, not a huge one, because we only get like 1,5 new active people a year on the project. Sufficient to say, there are not many people out there interested in developing a CCG.
tex wrote:And if people see it's not so hard to show up and make a contribution, then they'll be more likely to lend a hand. So I'd actually recommend against some of the "read these ponderous tomes before contributing" messages I've seen here. It almost turned me off to the project, even after I'd read all the docs I was supposed to read. I know, I know, it means more noise and bother as the project leader(s) have to filter out bad contributions, but is it a good price to pay for attracting more people?.
Still laughing at "read these ponderous tomes" :D If you see something that's lengthy and obsessive or rambling, then I'm probably they author. :P

I think it's a double-edged problem, as you perfectly identify it yourself: If we don't force people to learn about the project's core ideas and views, it's goals and to some limited extent methods, we are much more likely to end up spending a lot of time reading and politely replying to stuff that is irrelevant or off-track in some other way. I have sadly wasted hundreds of hours on such activities in other communities, and will not do it again. I also can't ask somebody else to do it or rely on it being magically done by some kind soul ;) Main issue is, that it takes a lot of time to inform a person that cared not to inform him/herself by reading what is available and in some cases adequately organized. Not to mention the endless and unnecessary debates that can easily arise if a dev is troll-able. :D

On the other hand, I think your critique is a good one, and I agree that we have a seemingly steep how-to-contribute ladder.

What would you suggest yourself, to find this balance? What I want to avoid of course if us having to tell people that have read nothing to "shut up and stop spamming our forums since you evidently didn't take any time to understand what the project is all about"?

How do you suggest we can make it smoother to start contributing?
tex wrote:I want to add finally that I'm evidently the ranking FNG, so I can only offer a new guy's perspective, and I hope I haven't offended you fine folks.
We're not fine! ;) We're like the captain in "Das Boot", but more developerish ;) (heck, Q_x, you come to mind now for some reason... :P )

A new guys perspective is great. It isn't corrupted by ours (yet) and if new people didn't bring something new then they'd be in excess. Your ideas aren't measured by seniority. Your arguments will most likely be more valid than mine, depending on the case.

Q_x
It's even worse than that, as we're not making a single game. My dream is that there can be really different games and scenarios played with the same set of cards (or a subset) and with changing rules.
Yes, "even more worse" in a good way ;) Although I don't share Q_x optimism about that being doable in any way with a real CCG except for letting the rules be a format (which most of the time sticks close to the real rules) I think his suggestion is very doable for a "lower-level" CCG. There is a creative commons CCG that does exactly that out there, which wasn't interested in even having linking co-work with us: A game about biology.

It has all kinds of random cards, values, and art, but intentionally design the cards with little to no text on them. That way numbers and colours alone,together with limited types, can be used to cook up any game you want, with the very same cards. That does come at a price though, which anyone that tries it will realize eventually.

I think what Q_x suggests is doable and would look on every attempt as an interesting effort. Heck, i WANT what he suggests to succeed and work. That said, I don't believe it will in such a way that I myself would put in time in it. The cards, and templates are here though, so nothing hinders such a development to take place instead of working on the ORC. :)
. It is even said that our rules may not be official ruleset in the end.
Yes, and this can't be spelled out enough: When WT was setup it was intended to be a project that is hosting projects, all under the same roof, and all sharing the same basic art assets, all being open, and all having some great design in mind. WT isn't about the ORC, and the ORC itself isn't WT as a project. ORC just happens to be the only(?) ruleset that has had plenty of time and work put into it (yet still lacking many things) and the one I and others have contributed to already.

Idea is that we'd welcome any serious dev-teams, and that we in the end would pick one single ruleset as the official one. All this can still happen, yet, is unlikely for some time to come. Actually I think it is more likely to happen when we have already released the game, and even then I don't mind people developing totally different rules for it: What's good will survive. :)
Back to the point - problem I see is we're struggling with lack of proper mechanisms to develop things quickly
True. What would be a cheap solution is a site, html5 or whatever, that allowed 2 people to upload images and then move them around freely, rotate them, jot on them.

We do lack flexible tools, and it does hinder dev. It doesn't make it impossible, as there are less flexible means, as you mentioned yourself.

faster testing
Webcam solution will probably turn out bad as it is very low res, even when "high" res is used. Cards are not readable, and a lot of camerawork will have to be done, to no use. :P

Fastest and easiest testing is currently, and until SS or ViCE come along, still done via LackeyCCG or gCCG, using voice like mumble or skype. There is nothing beating that. Only drawback is: a) no new cards on the fly and b) patch generation takes a while, but not more than 0,5 to 2h to revise inbetween sessions if needed. Also, there is an easy way to create heavily modified versions of cards on the fly: By just putting a text field on them. At least Lackey supports that, and i think gCCG does also.
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Re: Worries

Post by Q_x » Tue Apr 17, 2012 19:46

Check out prototyping thread for rapidly updated tool...

What I want to say is that things are messy with complicated workflows, and I doubt we can do much about it. I know that 0,5h is not much - that would be probably adequate to putting online one of two patches - Lackey or gccg - but in case of scheduled, planned, organized testing it may jeopardize an event a bit. That is if it would be successful update in the first place - if you remember issues with Lackey patches, you know one cant really rely on 100% success rate here.

It's not about testing hastly, it's about testing at all in the first place, testing with minimal effort, no distraction, maybe even testing as an side effect of just participating in the project - like if we would play chess, writing letters to each other and sign it with our moves.
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snowdrop
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Re: Worries

Post by snowdrop » Tue Apr 17, 2012 20:32

play-by-forum, using inkscape to generate images?
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Re: Worries

Post by Q_x » Tue Apr 17, 2012 20:43

That's too crazy for me to imagine!
Last edited by Q_x on Tue Apr 17, 2012 21:10, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: exclamation mark added at the end, as I still can't imagine :D
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Re: Worries

Post by tex » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:17

snowdrop wrote:In our case the site was down a couple of months. I got very demoralized and just lacked the energy to deal with it, after having spent much time already just to see it fail after every attempt. In any case, the site being down wasn't our main problem, nor is it now: It is our pace.
Hmm, maybe I can help. Look at this dude for awhile and you will develop FIGHTING SPIRIT.

Image
snowdrop wrote:Still laughing at "read these ponderous tomes" :D If you see something that's lengthy and obsessive or rambling, then I'm probably they author. :P
I'm glad my little joke there didn't get on your nerves; bless you for taking it in stride. : ]
snowdrop wrote:What would you suggest yourself, to find this balance? What I want to avoid of course if us having to tell people that have read nothing to "shut up and stop spamming our forums since you evidently didn't take any time to understand what the project is all about"?
Yeah, it can't be avoided. New folks have to spend some time getting to know the project. I think if the starting material could be summarized or simplified in some way that would help a lot. I'll set about filtering down the wiki page for newcomers and see if I can cut it down to more digestible portions.
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Re: Worries

Post by snowdrop » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:51

[quote="tex" I think if the starting material could be summarized or simplified in some way that would help a lot. I'll set about filtering down the wiki page for newcomers and see if I can cut it down to more digestible portions.[/quote]

Shoot. :)
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Re: Worries

Post by aspidites » Thu Apr 19, 2012 08:59

Looks good to me, snowdrop, but something feels "off". The information is fine, but the presentation lacks in something. Possibilities for this:
[*] Going from the hi-res wordpress theme to the old mediawiki one takes away from the "polished" nature of the site
[*] Wiki's always feel "unofficial" to me. My fault, not yours
[*] I'm tired

Maybe a better alternative would be a "take a tour" style of educatin the masses?

If I'm out of line, feel free to say STFU.
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Re: Worries

Post by snowdrop » Thu Apr 19, 2012 13:49

Would slideshow work, as in the first page?
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