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Guild of Archivists Planning


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#26 Zardoz

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 09:39 AM

QUOTE(RubyODegee @ Jul 9 2008, 06:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I do think Blade is onto something when he suggested the word story should be more or less defined by Cyan. [snip - not that it wasn't interesting, Ruby, but I'm trying to conserve electrons . . .] In this new universe of storytelling (dabbled in last summer), there are means that Cyan could use to communicate with storytellers that will not inhibit creativity or give the surprise away. These ways include seeding characters and one line plots/directions to a group of NDA types, or letting the guild members decide where to go, and get the ok in the aftermath. I loathe categories, but it appears there will be a need for some.

Alas, I fear the whole issue of "story" is even more complicated by considering not just what "canon" is but what it will be. RAWA has said many times (or at least once, back at Mysterium 2003) that the D'ni story/universe is like a giant checkerboard, only a few squares of which have been revealed. Let's assume that Cyan has a massive D'ni History book hidden away somewhere, dating back to the beginning and going through the distant future. "Conflict with canon" could be interpreted as anything that conflicts with that history book, even though only a dozen or so pages have been read by we poor explorers. This is a problem faced by an explorer "D'ni survivor" storyline, for example. An explorer-generated D'ni survivor would have knowledge of D'ni, of course. His or her presence in the cavern would generate billions of questions about D'ni. Would this storyline automatically conflict with canon? No, not if the D'ni survivor's responses were limited to revealed canon. But what about a question about D'ni clothing? Or D'ni food? Or outdoor D'ni rock concerts? Either the survivor would have to feign incredibly selective amnesia, or else the survivor's answers would be taken as canon, yet possibly conflict with Cyan's notions of D'ni food and clothing and rock concerts.

Now, I agree with Blade's notion that everything that is done in-character in-cavern is canon, but there is canon and then there is canon. Creating story in a shared reality means that the creation of canon is incredibly flexible, and other players have to be light on their feet to accommodate the infilling of reality by other players' choices. This makes it hard to execute long story arcs without some sort of central direction or at least some screening. It also means that all players have to accept others as their equals in creating story, otherwise you could get "Story Wars," as players create canonical conflicts. In MORE, we won't all be equals, however. There will be the explorers, and then there will be Cyan - not an active player in the beginning, but still the keeper of that massive history book. I doubt (and actually don't want) Cyan will give us that book, although maybe they'll let us peak at a page or two. And so there will always be the problem of judging canonical conflicts not just in terms of the past but in terms of the future - where might Cyan go with their story telling, and how can any explorer group be sure that explorer-generated story won't conflict with or even foreclose some of those future paths?

#27 ghaelen

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 11:19 AM

I have also been wondering how to fit a long and complex story with multiple lines of its own into the D'ni environment without ever encroaching on canon. Yes, the characters can always remain a bit vague, and yes, speculation about D'ni history could always come from the character strictly as speculation, but after a while that gets old. What I want, and what I think many explorers want, is the very thing we are feeling restricted from writing, and that is more of what RAWA calls "facts." Working at CCN was and is great fun because we can let the characters react in the way they would react to the situation at hand. No worries about canon because they used what existed and what we created for them had little to do with canon. Still, I'd like to get involved in something more extensive, and not only on my own, but in group collaboration. I very much enjoyed knowing the other members of the group so well that my character could just say what came to mind and it fit the situation so well it elicited an appropriate response from another character. At any moment that whole cast of characters could pick up where they left off (and they just might, lol)

And on that note:

As far as the guild-wars-as-fodder idea, I very much agree. I'm just wondering how Cyan will fit this new war into the canon. Hmm, maybe that will be the first group proposal to be submitted.

"Dear Cyan, We have a storyline we'd like permission to write. It involves several guilds, tools and resources, something that looks very close to medieval scholastic licensing, and those few masters of cavernology who want to make sure they have a voice in your decision-making process regarding who will be involved in your decision-making process. It looks very much like a repeat of both the D'ni Guilds power struggles and Medieval Guild power struggles (particularly when the Mendicant Theologians were established in the University of Paris, much to the consternation of the Secular Masters of Theology). We think it would still be a compelling storyline because you knew when you wrote the original story that we probably wouldn't learn from the past. You were right, we haven't. We need to tell the story yet again.

And do understand that if you make a decision in this matter and then make a new one without consulting us which is your right to do, we will be sure to trounce upon those newly enabled to take action because of your current decision. If you wish them to survive (or at least work in a comfortable environment), you would, of course, be certain to consult us first.

Your loyal and ever obedient servants,
The Guild"

#28 Horatio252

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 06:56 PM

I would like to apply for membership in GOA. I am not sure I am up on my politics, or the most recent events regarding MORE, but I would be glad to work on the archive itself. Your early discussion of guildsmen setting standards, cleaning, and keeping the archive clean appeals to me.

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#29 BladeLakem

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 08:19 PM

Well, I think the nature of story needs to be defined by Cyan. And I think there need to be clear boundaries as well as areas where explorers are explicitly allowed to embellish canon. Without that, I think that MORE will feel hollow.

But I think that canon will always bow to the needs of Cyan as business. Heck, Cyan's own canon has been violated by Cyan when they had to. So any level of story that fans create will have to be made with the understanding that it might be pushed aside if need be.

#30 Alahmnat

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 10:00 PM

Welcome to the GoA, Horatio. smile.gif

Also, quick forum-related change... the years-old post-based forum ranks that had a semi-Guild-related structure to them have been removed, since I don't want to create any confusion there. In place of your forum rank, your user group has now been placed next to your avatar above each post, so you can tell at a glance whether you've been added to the Guild Member group yet. (It also makes finding other Guild members in a thread that much easier, but please use this power only for awesome!)

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#31 I lOvE dOnUtS

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 11:59 PM

Cooool so are you guys like going to get a guild pub anytime soon? I mean after MORE comes out.

#32 Fallstar

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 01:40 PM

QUOTE(Hoikas @ Jul 8 2008, 07:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This forum is hard to read, so if I don't reply, it's not that I don't want to read your response, it's that I can't.


Actually...something i just found out now biggrin.gif....if you go to the main forum page, scroll down to the bottom, on the left is a drop down to select a skin for the forum. The hard-to-read skin is DPWR Live, but i tried the one above it, and it is very clear and easy to read. wink.gif

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#33 Alahmnat

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 01:53 PM

Fallstar, nobody can see that skin but you, me, and Donahoo. That's why there's an asterisk next to it. smile.gif

I will try to get a higher-contrast skin put together for the site, but to be honest, at the moment it's going to be seated rather low on my list of things that need doing, largely because I am currently without my primary development system right now. Hopefully this is something that will be rectified by next week (meaning I'll be able to be a bit more productive than I've been of late), and I can get started on something, but skinning DPWR isn't a non-trivial effort, and there's a lot of custom development that's been done in the rest of the site that prevents me from being able to just re-activate one of the default skins, because the entire site runs off of those skin files.

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#34 Fallstar

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 03:14 PM

QUOTE(Alahmnat @ Jul 10 2008, 11:53 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Fallstar, nobody can see that skin but you, me, and Donahoo. That's why there's an asterisk next to it. smile.gif


oh. I saw the asterisk, but there was nothing to explain what it was for. tomato.gif

okay...nevermind...i'll just enjoy the easy-to-read format on my own. runaway.gif
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#35 RubyODegee

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 03:52 PM

Ok, so I started a new thread over here http://www.dpwr.net/...amp;#entry24261. I pray that was an ok thing to do. Surely, things will start making sense to me soon blankstare.gif . I know its me. I am not blaming anybody, but my selves.

#36 Alahmnat

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 05:24 PM

QUOTE(RubyODegee @ Jul 10 2008, 01:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ok, so I started a new thread over here http://www.dpwr.net/...amp;#entry24261. I pray that was an ok thing to do.

Yup, you're golden, Ruby. I didn't create a discussion forum so I could lord over the creation of new topics, after all wink.gif. I'm still feeling out some of the particulars regarding how the GoA will contribute to story development outside of approving other people's submissions myself, so feel free to chat away, and I'll drop by with feedback and input when and where I can.

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#37 cathyk

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 08:02 PM

Shorah all!

Just chiming in to say that although I have been absent from DPWR for over a year now (new job, night shift, doesn't leave me much time or energy), when the Guilds were set up in MOUL, I was very disappointed that Guild of Archivists wasn't included - because I consider myself an Archivist first and foremost. I didn't want to be a Writer or a Greeter or a Messenger - Maintainer at a pinch.

So it's great to see the GoA being given more prominence and may be just the thing I need to get back into contributing to the Archive, though I doubt very much that I'll be able to do more than that.

But to address one of issues raised here, I see the GoA's role in FCAL as pointing out discrepancies between the facts of D'ni as we know them and the proposed Age. (/scratches head trying to think of an example) E.g. someone attempts to Write the Age of Garternay. Or an Age with previously unseen Bahroglyphs.

And it's great to see Alahmnat's hard work in setting and maintaining this site being recognised. biggrin.gif

Cheers!

#38 Gadren

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 08:13 PM

Ahoy! Great to see ye!

By the way, I don't know how much longer RAWA is going to be active on that MOUL forum thread, so it might be a good idea for y'all to get some questions in. Trying to think of odd borderline cases at this point, and getting information from RAWA right now, may be helpful.

#39 JennyH

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 10:59 AM

It's a great thread, but it made my head spin. I've been away for awhile so I really need to brush up on stuff.

#40 ghaelen

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 03:39 PM

Most of my questions were answered left and right, but I did manage to think of somethings to ask. Although Chogan has picked up some of where RAWA left off, so I may have been too late anyway.

Doesn't really matter too much, I'm positive at least 2 dozen other people have the same questions, and at some point they will all get answered. There's a lot I can move forward on already.

#41 Horatio252

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 10:54 PM

I was over at MOUL forum, reading about MORE and FCAL and what each Guild is doing and I realized that the role GOA will play in the FCAL committee has more of a pre-production aspect to it. GoMa and maybe the Writers will be checking for errors in the final product. GoA is looking for errors in the story, or parts of it. Fixing a buggy Age is annoying, but doable, probably. Fixing a buggy story, at the point of final submission, could require substantial alterations to the very nature of the Age, or it's puzzles, or the journey involved.

In light of this, I wonder if we might not set up a kind of proposal review committee, distinct from the FCAL committee. The proposal review committee will review proposals and early drafts of Ages/stories. Storytellers can submit a brief sketch of their stories, including any material they deem uncertain, and the proposal committee will provide recommendations. proposal approval will not be a required part of the FCAL process, not will proposal approval guarantee FCAL approval. Rather, I see the proposal committee as a service that GOA can offer to storytellers to help them avoid headaches down the road.

Obviously, this idea is a ways away from implementation. First we need a functioning FCAL approval process, then we can think about this extra service. I just thought I'd get the idea out there while I am thinking about it.
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