I propose a moderated real-time discussion group

By on September 11, 2010 9:50:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

SapSnark

Join Date 08/2003
+5

On this forum, though there is a robust community and quite a lot of activity, ideas get diluted and a clear idea of how to move forward in/with Elemental becomes muddled. Reading through some 3 or 4 or 5 page discussions with 50+ comments can be very time consuming. Moreover it seems often these discussions can fire off tangentially, often leading to petty arguments over moot issues. One such example is over here: http://forums.elementalgame.com/396119. Zespri raised a wonderful topic, but it doesn’t seem to have born much insight.

Quoting sagittary: reply 75

“Unfortunately, at this point, nothing has actually been discussed. Sure, a lot of words have been said, but they've all amounted to "This game and that game have poor AI." 

Stardock has these forums, and the developers (and CEO) participate, and that is both important and admirable. At this point, Elemental is a platform with massive potential. That potential can and will be built upon by the developers. But what the developers do depends upon our feedback; also Elemental can also be built upon by us.

A moderated off-forum discussion would be much more focused and I think would yield greater results in less time and with less aggravation.

I propose a community initiated, community moderated discussion group, hosted in IRC or Google Wave (still up through the end of the year), or Second Life, or some appropriate setting. A topic of the game would be set. Over the course of a week, various individuals would submit important factors to be investigated/discussed. The discussion would consist of a Moderator and Participants. The Moderator would take no part in any side of the discussion, merely presenting the questions and curtailing digressions. Participants would discuss the issues (in a civil manner). The intention of such an endeavor would be profundity through focused conversation, much like The Republic - except instead of essential elements of Justice and government, we would discuss essential elements of 4X gaming and how to implement those elements in Elemental.

We would meet at a given place at a given time for a predetermined amount of time, and discuss whatever we set for ourselves to discuss, with the results of the discussion being circulated to the community and the developers at Stardock.

Being that this idea sprung from a discussion on AI, I propose that, if enough persons should be interested, any initial discussion be on AI. From zespri’s post ():

“A great presentation on AI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJcuQQ1eWWI from the Civ4 designer…What kind of AI is Elemental AI compared to Civ4 AI? What are common? What are differences? What are the game differences that lead to differences in AI?”

Questions I would ask:

-What strategy games have had exceptional AIs?

-For strategy games with decent AIs, what elements of the AI were exceptional?

-Should AIs play by the same rules as mortals? Is cheating permissible given an AIs innate talent at micromanagement?

Anyone who would be interested I say let’s figure out the where (what real time environment; text or voice enabled?), the when, the how (what specifically to discuss) and let’s do it.

Locked Post 14 Replies
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 11, 2010 11:48:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like the intention but I get concerned that a real-time discussion doesn't allow everyone who wants to participate to do so and than only a small contingent of die-hard supporters of Stardock/Elemental will be heavily influencing the direction of the game. I'd rather like to see a more public version of a bug/feature implementation list, with related threads, almost like a forum but with each thread about a specific feature/bug/request, etc. I dunno just a thought, I just don't like the real-time idea, I'm pretty sure many won't be able to participate because we have lives to live and can't always be available when scheduled.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 12, 2010 12:45:52 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting MrCapitalG,
I like the intention but I get concerned that a real-time discussion doesn't allow everyone who wants to participate to do so and than only a small contingent of die-hard supporters of Stardock/Elemental will be heavily influencing the direction of the game. I'd rather like to see a more public version of a bug/feature implementation list, with related threads, almost like a forum but with each thread about a specific feature/bug/request, etc. I dunno just a thought, I just don't like the real-time idea, I'm pretty sure many won't be able to participate because we have lives to live and can't always be available when scheduled.

 

That's why we have multiple sessions at various times as well as a moderator who will allow everyone to talk/encourage people to say something. The point is not for "Comment on X" or to debate about solutions or who's right and who is wrong or what is better or worse. The point is for Stardock to be able to go to people and ask "What do you want?" and for people to give options. Because otherwise, yes, most people will not say anything. 

 

While yes, this is what the forums are for, as Sap mentioned, there are times when without that real time face to face element, topics derail into unproductiveness.

 

And, if Stardock is wise, this also wouldn't be the only form of feedback. I would hope they don't take just the forums and such for feedback but also playtesting and other metrics.

 

Also, Sap, http://forums.elementalgame.com/396176 has a good AI video. It's a lot more technical than the other one but nice for those interested in that.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 12, 2010 4:18:31 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Denied! *stamped*

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 12, 2010 11:50:50 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting MrCapitalG,
I like the intention but I get concerned that a real-time discussion doesn't allow everyone who wants to participate to do so and than only a small contingent of die-hard supporters of Stardock/Elemental will be heavily influencing the direction of the game. I'd rather like to see a more public version of a bug/feature implementation list, with related threads, almost like a forum but with each thread about a specific feature/bug/request, etc. I dunno just a thought, I just don't like the real-time idea, I'm pretty sure many won't be able to participate because we have lives to live and can't always be available when scheduled.

What you have essentially said is that different modes of conversation shouldn't exist because they might exclude some individuals who think that they are better than other individuals because those excluded individuals choose to exclude themselves due to a sense of superiority over those who would choose to engage in a different mode of conversation. I have a life. Everyone here has a life. If we didn't, we'd be dead.

That's fine; by all means, don't like it. The idea is merely to create a new venue for ideas to be discussed. There already is a forum with bug/feature implementation. Pop on over and enjoy.

 

Elemental exists as a platform to build upon. What to build and how to build upon it is a great intellectual challenge. The ideas of what is possible fascinate me. Though these forums do provide robust conversation, but the conversations are often blunt and lack finesse rarely getting to the heart of an issue before being diverted by vaguely related digressions.

The point of a real-time moderated discussion isn't to create some militant council to determine the course of this or that. It's for a bunch of people with a similar interest to get together and pit their wits against each other with an aim of creating a synthesis of ideas.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 12, 2010 12:06:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I would rather see  moderated threads that are dedicated to specific topics and moderated heavily to remove noise (off topic stuff and personnel disagreements and so on) that in the first post keep a synopsis of the discussion..

I am firmly in the camp that real time does not well support the numbers of people, the varying degrees of communication skills (let alone language differences), nor do they allow sufficient time for folks to digest whats being said and respond. Not unless boiled down to a few individual,. and that in a sense does create a council of voices that do not represent all of us...

My vote is while I would support the idea as a brainstorming session, (only if it is initiated, moderated and hosted by stardock) I am against it being used over the open discussions we can have in a forum..

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 12, 2010 12:17:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I understand what your saying, I just assumed (I believe correctly, correct me if I'm wrong) that these proposed real-time discussions would be forging the path forward for Elemental, a game which I have purchased, forgive me if I have a slight issue with other folks who don't work for the company and who have a lot more determination and/or time to devote to the discussion, dictating what my game will turn into, it's my biggest fear, I'd much rather Stardock just make the game in their vision that the vision of the community, I didn't buy a game from a community, I bought it from Stardock and forgive me if I'm apprehensive of a community, dictating how my game might work in a year or two.

I bought Elemental the game, not the platform, all this touting of the platform is wonderful, as long as it all turns into a mod that I can turn on/off at will and I haven't seen that yet so I'm fearful that some of the very drastic changes proposed in various threads on the forum, that have varying degrees of support, could show up in the game and effectively screw over what I happen to like about the game. Stardock really needs to be the final arbiter in designing this game, I think it's extremely dangerous to hand too much over to the community, they have sort have gotten themselves into this pickle by recruiting all the help from it's community but I think they risk giving too much power to the community as well.

It's my only concern, it would just be nice to keep the discussion in a more accessible form for everyone to partake. It's probably a lost cause though because naturally those more interested in having a say will have greater influence. I really, personally think that Stardock and specifically Brad could benefit a lot from not being so involved in the community, otherwise this kind of stuff happens, where members in the community have to spend even more time, arguing their point of view, just to hope to get the game they paid for.

Anyway, why not propose a real-time meeting at a local coffee house in Plymouth or perhaps in the meeting room of Stardock where fans are invited? Again, you see my concern, I hope.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 12, 2010 12:18:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Twohawks,
I would rather see  moderated threads that are dedicated to specific topics and moderated heavily to remove noise (off topic stuff and personnel disagreements and so on) that in the first post keep a synopsis of the discussion..

I am firmly in the camp that real time does not well support the numbers of people, the varying degrees of communication skills (let alone language differences), nor do they allow sufficient time for folks to digest whats being said and respond. Not unless boiled down to a few individual,. and that in a sense does create a council of voices that do not represent all of us...

My vote is while I would support the idea as a brainstorming session, (only if it is initiated, moderated and hosted by stardock) I am against it being used over the open discussions we can have in a forum..

 

Well stated, I heavily support something like this, rather than real-time community meetings/gatherings.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 12, 2010 12:25:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting MrCapitalG,



Quoting Twohawks,
reply 5
I would rather see  moderated threads that are dedicated to specific topics and moderated heavily to remove noise (off topic stuff and personnel disagreements and so on) that in the first post keep a synopsis of the discussion..

I am firmly in the camp that real time does not well support the numbers of people, the varying degrees of communication skills (let alone language differences), nor do they allow sufficient time for folks to digest whats being said and respond. Not unless boiled down to a few individual,. and that in a sense does create a council of voices that do not represent all of us...

My vote is while I would support the idea as a brainstorming session, (only if it is initiated, moderated and hosted by stardock) I am against it being used over the open discussions we can have in a forum..

 


Well stated, I heavily support something like this, rather than real-time community meetings/gatherings.

We had lot of decent threads on this forum before the game has been released...just think about the EPIC global vs. local resources topic for example. The forum became a "flame board" right after the release, but things are cooling down thankfully.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 12, 2010 12:29:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Further, if a group of people wanted to do this unofficially (IE with out Stardock sanction/support) and then use this format to better hone their ideas/goals and then present them to Stardock using this forum.. I have no issue with that.. Not only that I have no say unless I join in .. that is until said "honed ideas" are presented here..

Honestly unless you do it by invite only (this is however a select council type thing again)I fear you will find it does not go as well as hoped.. This does not mean that no good will come of it.. just that I more suspect that human nature will win out an most will want to see what they view as best in said "honed idea" document/proposal..

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 12, 2010 9:26:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Debating the efficacy of various forms of Assembly is irrelevant. Yet that’s what this thread amounts to: Arguments in favor of conversations that are as broad as possible, watered down with off-topic discussion and rubbish digressions; a fear that clear, concise conversation might yield thoughts – dangerous thoughts.

I never suggested anywhere replacing the forums. Never implied that the game's makers would take any notice whatsoever. I proposed that a handful of like-minded people talk, about stuff; the primary response, fear. These responses are absurd. This thread is pathetic. And I’m pathetic for proposing anything of the sort. How wretched to try and engage with anyone on a meaningful level.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 12, 2010 9:46:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

No, you are not pathetic, and this thread is not pathetic.  Try not to take it personally.   I think it is a good idea, so I suggest, set up a talking group and those who want to be involved can, and then you can report stuff to these forums for further discussion.

I hope you have a good ie. relatively reasonable day!

Best regards,
Steven.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 12, 2010 10:29:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yeah man don't take it personally, as TwoHawks suggested if folks do something like this on their own cool, but it just doesn't feel like a good idea in an official capacity regarding Stardock and community (specifically paying customers). I personally think his ideas of creating a more heavily and focused forum of threads specific to issues is a great idea, similar to a stackoverflow.com type of site but for Elemental would probably be a very useful tool for directing the future development of the game, with everyone involved and would allow keeping things more organized and focused. Chances are however, things will continue as they have, through the forums and commenting on dev journals.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 13, 2010 12:41:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

howabout using their IRL channel...?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 13, 2010 7:21:50 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting MrCapitalG,
I like the intention but I get concerned that a real-time discussion doesn't allow everyone who wants to participate to do so and than only a small contingent of die-hard supporters of Stardock/Elemental will be heavily influencing the direction of the game. I'd rather like to see a more public version of a bug/feature implementation list, with related threads, almost like a forum but with each thread about a specific feature/bug/request, etc. I dunno just a thought, I just don't like the real-time idea, I'm pretty sure many won't be able to participate because we have lives to live and can't always be available when scheduled.

I agree having some offhand singled out group discuss and possibly be the ones who change the game is absurd when you have 70000 gamers who have their own ideas about what changes they'd make and what they'd like to see in the game.

Nope the way we have it now is the best and it doesn't allow the PIGS (from Animal Farm) to take over the community just because they want to have their voices heard above the others.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #101114  walnut1   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0000031   Page Render Time: