Hollow Earth

The Guilds Part 2: The Guild of Writers


With this article comes my usual disclaimer that I am a member of the Writers. Therefore, I am not the most objective observer, though I do think my membership gives me the opportunity to understand the issues the GoW faces.

The GoW has been progressing nicely since my last article back in 2007. The Guild has been creating Ages both from individual members and from groups of Guild members organized towards a common goal. Guild members recently started a GoW shard, the Deep Island shard, and are now working on a fully fan-built client for MOULa.

The primary objection I hear about the GoW is “drama.” Let’s be honest, the GoW does attract drama in part because of it’s ideological stance on coding for Uru (aka “hacking”) and on the role/importance/respect deserved of Cyan. Another part is the way in which members (mostly myself) choose to argue those ideological points. Without getting too personal, I think that as much as I can be a divisive figure, this is more about the message and less about the messenger. The point I make is that no one (who is now complaining about GoW drama) was concerned about drama when it supported their position. From the GoW’s perspective, there are plenty of people who use similar or subtler offensive tactics to get their ideological points across. I think all sides need to work on accepting differences and working to improve Uru and its associated groups based on constructive criticisms. I got off this in my critiques, so I need to get back to doing so, however other sides also need to consider whether they truly look objectively at other opinions.

A second objection is simplicity. When you look at the GoW Wiki, you see largely-confusing pages which are still in fairly technical language (with few visual aids, etc.). The Writers (or someone else) needs to clean these up and make them simple to understand. Moreover, the plugin should be designed with simplicity and ease of use foremost in mind. While Grandma will likely never make an Age, there should be simpler ways of building Ages.

Overall, the GoW needs the least amount of work. My personal view is that their unstructured format lends itself to less drama and more good work. This is a model that Guilds should follow in the future.

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5 Responses

  1. Paradox says:

    I definitely agree about the wiki, and I agree about PyPRP. Both are pretty terrible to use.

    PyPRP2 will be better, a lot more like Cyan’s PlasmaMax plugin.

    As for the wiki, I have great ideas that I would love to see implemented, but I lack the time and commitment to do them myself. Hopefully when PyPRP2 is being polished, we can write good documentation and remove the old (and often outdated) PyPRP1 articles.

    My ideal goal is to have all of the PlasmaMax documentation from Cyan mirrored on the GoW wiki, along with matching PyPRP2 documentation, and Plasma engine documentation. That would allow people to learn about the tool of their choice, but also learn about how a feature works in terms of the engine itself.

    Alas, a project for people with more time :(

  2. Leonardo says:

    I completely agree on the Wiki and all the Documentation around.
    For the drama, I think that we haven’t seen much of it recently, the GoW doesn’t have drama, there are only a couple of individuals making noise.

    As for your last point that other Guilds should follow the GoW structural model, I disagree. This model works very good for the Writers, because their activity doesn’t involve a big a amount of cooperation/coordination between the members. One usually works alone for developing his Age, and if they work in groups they coordinate their work among themselves. But other Guilds need a lot more coordination between their members and here comes up the need for having a coordinator for all the activities of the Guild. More, if the Guild wants to present itself to the public there must be someone who is “the face” of the Guild, instead of having a lot of members saying “I only speak for myself and not for my Guild”.
    Having a coordinator/face gives a point of reference for both guild members and external explorers that look for a contact.

  3. Tweek says:

    I agree with Leo there, what works for some doesn’t always work for others.

    I pretty much like where the GoW is, most of the drama comes down to a few people who either can’t get over the sniping comments or grumble about what the GoW does on their forums (that’s asking for trouble to be honest).

    The only issue I have with the GoW is the site. Everything is all over the place, tutorials can be downright archaic at times.

    I’d like to see a GoW site with a GoW news feed, news on new tutorials and age releases, perhaps some articles on how people built their Ages. A centralized way to get to model & texture deposits. A cleaned up GoW wiki which treats all tutorials as if you’re doing it for the first time none of this “do this this and this” without explaining how to do that, treat the reader as a new builder explain that pressing U brings up the UV unwrapping dialog.

    Course I just described pretty much everything I’ve been doing with Inkwell, but then I built Inkwell because of these reasons.

  4. Andy Legate says:

    I agree with several of Tweek’s comments:

    I’d like to see a GoW news feed also. Anything that would get more people talking and involved. Articles on people sharing their tips, solutions to problems, announcements of new projects, be they Ages or anything related to Age Creation.

    The GoW Wiki does need cleaning up, organizing, etc. The majority of all my tutorials over at the UAM Wiki both for Blender and Max are written to assume that the reader knows nothing about that topic or how to do it.

    As for the “drama”, haven’t really seen any of that to tell the truth since last year. Just the occasional individual who posts something, then get’s flamed by another individual, and then back and forth it goes. But nothing like a large group of people at the GoW.

    About the only other thing I can think of is, I’d like to see the “Message Redacted” taken off the forum banner. I think the point was driven home a while ago. A VERY long while ago. And while it was funny at first to some, cute to others, and somber to yet even more, it’s now like a great, big eye sore.
    While many of us fans in the crowd do recognize the hard work that has been, and has been continuing in the GoW to make Fan Ages possible, and ways for people to visit them both offline and online. Waiting for recognition from Cyan on the other hand is like waiting for paint to dry….while someone is spraying paint thinner all over it. Ain’t going to happen. I think it’s more important that those of us that use the tools and those that appreciate Fan Ages, Shards, OfflineKI, etc, recognize the hard work and time spent by the people in the GoW.
    As many here and out in the community has said: Uru’s future is with the Fans. Who cares what Cyan thinks?
    But again, that’s just my opinion on that.

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All posts are my opinion only and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of others.
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