Author Topic: A request from the Plan Z side  (Read 11234 times)

chaparralshrub

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A request from the Plan Z side
« on: October 04, 2012, 01:20:04 PM »
'Ello.

What we are calling Plan Z, which is an attempt to make a new MMO in the spirit of CoH but owned by the community and with its own IP so as to be completely free of NCSoft in any way, shape, or form, has almost completely taken over the City Sunset forum with its preponderance of threads, and, indeed, is beginning to make it difficult to discuss secondary subjects because of the massive number of stickies. This is a good thing - lots of creativity is being displayed there, lots of ideas, and progress is being made in developing an increasingly long design document on how to make the game.

The one problem that this creates is navigating through the mass of ideas and being able to find your way, so I'm going to make the following request: Let's have a new subsection of Titan Forums specifically to discuss the various aspects of Plan Z, including separate subforums for the different tasks (e.g. writing, programming, business/legal, general discussion, etc.). The spiritual successor to CoH is coming!

Thank you! :-)

malonkey1

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Re: A request from the Plan Z side
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2012, 02:35:03 PM »
Sounds good.

I call dibs on the head writer position.
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Blacjac84

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Re: A request from the Plan Z side
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2012, 02:47:17 PM »
You might want to check out the forum there before calling dibs.  I believe a good number of head positions have already been assigned.

Sailboat

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Re: A request from the Plan Z side
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2012, 04:30:49 PM »
You might want to check out the forum there before calling dibs.  I believe a good number of head positions have already been assigned.

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TimtheEnchanter

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Re: A request from the Plan Z side
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2012, 05:30:11 PM »
Kind of a pity that so much of that is going on already. I'm interested in the project but don't want to allocate time to it while there's still an existing game to fight for. It'll just mess up my focus.

And by the time we get to Nov 30, the team (or whatever you want to call it) for Plan Z will be completely assembled.

DrakeGrimm

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Re: A request from the Plan Z side
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2012, 05:41:32 PM »
The project's already become so big I don't even know where to start getting involved. :-/


Most of what I can contribute has been contributed...in. Uh. Sextuplicate.
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Clave Dark 5

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Re: A request from the Plan Z side
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2012, 06:13:24 PM »
Yeah, some people have already come up with, say, a few new groups of gangs to fight, boroughs for the city, its name, etc.  That doesn't mean they've been chosen as the ones they're going with (as I understand it).  Right now it's a tangled mess of ideas exploding streamers of replies and further extrapolations and suggestions and nothing is set in stone.  As I understand it.

I'm in the same spot you are, sort of late to the game, but given a bit of time, I hope to toss in an idea or three.  I figure if they're good ideas, everyone will be wowed enough with them to want to use them - or not if they're not that great.

I do think though, that forum really needs a organization: sub-forums for each topic like "foe groups" with a single thread for each suggested group, etc. 
"What you say is rather profound, and probably erroneous." - Joseph Conrad

TimtheEnchanter

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Re: A request from the Plan Z side
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2012, 06:17:29 PM »
A forum is a pretty messy place to discuss anything as big as that. I can't imagine how big a 'book' for an developing an MMO would be.

Googledocs might help, but it'll probably still seem hairy.

Siberian Spring

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Re: A request from the Plan Z side
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2012, 06:20:11 PM »
Would a wiki organize things better than forums?

SithRose

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Re: A request from the Plan Z side
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2012, 06:23:03 PM »
Clarification - Nothing's been set in stone yet. We're still very much in the brainstorming phase on the story side, and I believe the tech side is in the early stages of "Let's see what we can do with the various engines available".

We are in need of people with artistic skills, be it 3-d modeling or 2-d art, for concept artwork. There is a LOT of story that needs to be written still - right now we have a fairly large number of groups roughed out, but there's still places that are missing. You can find the link to the ginormous document of stuff we've already done in the "Where We Are" thread.

There is always going to be room for people to write story arcs and contribute NPCs, whether it's a city councilman, a police officer, or a villain. Caveat: Just because you contribute it does not mean that it'll get used. It may also be changed significantly. The world history is still being brainstormed - I'm focusing on the groups first, because it's going to be easier to build the history with the groups in mind rather than adding them in to an already built history.

We welcome everyone who has something to contribute. I'm kind of heading up the groups and story arc sections right now. I'm hoping to get a more readable format in those areas set up today, migraine status depending. (I'm going to be pretty quiet today until I can shake this darned migraine.) All that we ask is that you be flexible, open to change and suggestions, and try to act polite and professional all around. :)

We are currently using a Google doc, but we're going to be branching that out significantly into multiple documents as we progress. A wiki would be exceptionally helpful in some ways, especially on the story/groups side. If someone wants to volunteer to set one up, I would not object. (I would ask that I be made one of the lead editors, since I'm mostly directing those sections. And by mostly, I mean I'm the one trying to keep track of where we are and what we need. ;)
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Clave Dark 5

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Re: A request from the Plan Z side
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2012, 06:28:04 PM »
Clarification (snipped)
Thanks for the info!  I do wonder how one proposes story arcs though, if not even groups have been decided on yet... I really wish I had more time right now to look into all this in depth, dang RL stuff!  :'(
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Knightslayer

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Re: A request from the Plan Z side
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2012, 06:29:06 PM »
Yeah, some people have already come up with, say, a few new groups of gangs to fight, boroughs for the city, its name, etc.  That doesn't mean they've been chosen as the ones they're going with (as I understand it).  Right now it's a tangled mess of ideas exploding streamers of replies and further extrapolations and suggestions and nothing is set in stone.  As I understand it.

I imagine when the time comes someone will have to don the mantle of lead Developer (Positron) and someone that of  lead Writer (Lighthouse), not to mention a world designer (War Witch) and weave it all together into one perfect whole while discarting what doesn't fit.
For now it's the same for me as for Tim, I want to focus on trying to keep the wonderful world we have, with all its lore that inspired so many of our characters and stories.

DamianoV

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Re: A request from the Plan Z side
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2012, 06:29:54 PM »
@TimTheEnchanter

As someone who's been a part of quite a few distributed teams and large volunteer dev efforts, I wouldn't worry about it much.  In my experience, "filled" positions don't stay that way on that type of project.  It's typically worse than herding cats.  Titan probably has a leg up given it's ongoing experience in doing exactly this type of thing, but I doubt there won't be an opportunities galore to get involved, no matter how full it may look.

SithRose

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Re: A request from the Plan Z side
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2012, 07:07:55 PM »
@TimTheEnchanter

As someone who's been a part of quite a few distributed teams and large volunteer dev efforts, I wouldn't worry about it much.  In my experience, "filled" positions don't stay that way on that type of project.  It's typically worse than herding cats.  Titan probably has a leg up given it's ongoing experience in doing exactly this type of thing, but I doubt there won't be an opportunities galore to get involved, no matter how full it may look.

Cat-herding is certainly an accurate description - we're trying to make sure that everyone documents things as much as possible.

I will implore people who feel that their skills are better suited to trying to save COH to do exactly that. :) We'd rather not see Plan Z implemented, because it means that COH is, effectively, dead.

Clave, we have quite a few groups that have been roughed out - if you think of a story arc or idea for that group, feel free to post it, or write your own arc around a group of your own making. :) There were a LOT of groups in COH, and there's going to be a lot here. There's a link to the Google document, which has a large section on the groups in it, in the "Where we are" thread. (I apologize for the messiness of that section, I'm going to be working intensely on it either later today or tomorrow.)
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Segev

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Re: A request from the Plan Z side
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2012, 07:52:30 PM »
Honestly, if you feel a yen to contribute an idea or ideas to the Plan Z story, design, whatever... head over to the Sunset subforum and pick a thread that looks right to contribute it. If you're not sure, start a new one; somebody will probably tell you where to put it if there's a more appropriate place.

Some loose leadership has developed, but "heads" of anything are only tentative and there's still a ton of discussion and debate over what to do and how. While efforts will be in place to have "something" before Nov. 30, these are still last-ditch efforts being laid up against the worst; the hope is still for a saved CoH, somehow. So yes, if you've got things to do to help save CoH, keep working at it!

Mantic

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Re: A request from the Plan Z side
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2012, 09:09:51 PM »
Let's assume I thought any of the folks posting all over the City Sunset are capable of developing a MMO game. Just for argument.

All that "discussing ideas" stuff over there is counterproductive. Even if most posters were not... unprepared for the task... that mess of thousands of disparate "ideas" written up in excruciating detail and debated ad nauseam is not a workable approach to such a project. That most, including the most prolific and dominant "contributors," are not prepared (having no technical expertise), makes it worse. The few capable people who have seen that, including some programmers who were initially excited by the idea, have virtually run away screaming.

I don't think those capable people have even been recognized by the Plan Z subcommunity, as the group is becoming insular and defensive. I am sure to be chastised for pointing out the obvious here.

But, well, it's worse than a herd of cats. If you really want to accomplish anything, this current sort of brainstorming needs to go. Realize that very few in this group are qualified to design game software. Those few who are need to be identified, and the rest instead concentrate on things like funding. Anything else you say is almost certainly wasting the time of the capable, who could be discussing practical issues rather than trying to explain why your cool ideas in all their glorious detail are not feasible, or even trying to explain the concepts they are capable of implementing to non-programmers.

If you lack experience in software development and just can't put a damper on that creative urge, maybe you can separate and specialize. Writers create a group and figure out how to sort yourselves. Concept artists another group. Then figure out a way of coordinating without stepping all over other groups' territory. But understand that the experienced programmers, not creative artists (never the artists), are the top of the hierarchy. The programmers' work will determine the boundaries creative talent work within. If you aren't experienced and want to contribute, don't go looking for 3D engines or scripting languages and playing with whatever thing catches your eye -- wait for the lead programmers to point the way.

Maybe you'll ignore this, since it's a buzzkill and you're having fun. It doesn't matter much to me, beyond how this is derailing/hijacking efforts to actually preserve City of Heroes*, but if you're determined...

« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 09:21:11 PM by Mantic »

DamianoV

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Re: A request from the Plan Z side
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2012, 09:14:21 PM »
@Basileac
Certain elements of the design effort may well lend themselves best to a wiki-style effort to manage them.  I've seen that used on several occasions by such efforts, including by a couple game devs doing their own things.  That said, I think wiki's have some usability issues as well (at least, in my experience they did). 

voodoogirl

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Re: A request from the Plan Z side
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2012, 02:37:45 AM »
I like to think of what is going on with Plan Z as a way of hammering out ideas so at least when Nov 30 and all our other efforts have failed, we have at least prepared for Plan Z and have some direction.

Plan Y is to send all of NCSoft to Aperture Science Labs if I remember correctly?

downix

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Re: A request from the Plan Z side
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2012, 02:41:43 AM »
I like to think of what is going on with Plan Z as a way of hammering out ideas so at least when Nov 30 and all our other efforts have failed, we have at least prepared for Plan Z and have some direction.

Plan Y is to send all of NCSoft to Aperture Science Labs if I remember correctly?
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chaparralshrub

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Re: A request from the Plan Z side
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2012, 04:33:28 AM »
If you lack experience in software development and just can't put a damper on that creative urge, maybe you can separate and specialize. Writers create a group and figure out how to sort yourselves. Concept artists another group. Then figure out a way of coordinating without stepping all over other groups' territory. But understand that the experienced programmers, not creative artists (never the artists), are the top of the hierarchy.

Mantic, this is exactly what I am proposing: that we have separate subforums so that the people who know what they are doing in their respective abilities can actually do them.

Now, I don't know what has been going on in the non-writing threads, because I recognize that I am not a software developer and am not going to suggest anything to the people who are. For my part, all of the stories I have written so far lie within the bounds of what CoH can already do, so I know that it is possible. If there really is a problem here in that people have been telling the actual coders what they can do and what they can't to the point where the coders have given up, then you need to tell us where, when, and what we can do to solve it.

Most of us don't have experience in software development, and most of us don't have experience in funding, either. Does that mean that we can do nothing?


Maybe you'll ignore this, since it's a buzzkill and you're having fun. It doesn't matter much to me, beyond how this is derailing/hijacking efforts to actually preserve City of Heroes*, but if you're determined...

Please explain this one also. Many of us are concentrating on Plan Z because there is also little that we can do to aid the effort to save CoH, apart perhaps from moral support. How are we derailing you?