Tentative Shells 'rules' & guidelines

A community Age for Uru.

Moderator: Aloys

Postby Aloys » Wed May 31, 2006 5:04 pm

Ok I'll take a plunge deep into this. (Beware, long post ahead)

We're pretty much ready [to open the sign ups] the shells are essentially complete, I just need to update the textures.
What I think we really need before we can start the sign ups is:
1) A minimal set of 'rules' so people don't create anything
2) Some technical advices and guidelines so their shells can be integrated easily (naming conventions, export rules etc)
3) A summary of what Ahra Pahts and the shells are and why people should sign up.
4) An updated plan of the city
(...)
If anyone think of something else please advise.
(The shell textures aren't that important. People may update them, and they can start working on their shells right now without those anyway)

A while ago when the project was just starting (february or so) in a couple nights I put together a document that covers most aspects of it, just as an exercise (and for fun as well, I love writing docs). It ended up being over 7 pages long. It is intended for future shell owners so they can get all the needed infos in one document. It covers stuff like: overview of the Age, registration processes, rules of the Age, shell submission process, technical details about shells etc.. Part of it is inaccurate/irrelevant because it was writing either for fun or without restrictions; also it is outdated. Never the less it is a good basis to work from.

It wasn't really meant to be published but if you're curious to read it I put it online here. It might give you ideas and it may fill in some details I may have forgotten here. (It is a Word .doc file; but it can be read with Windows Wordpad if you don't have Word)

Most of what I post here today comes from this document. I tried to make this post as simple and short as possible, but there are a number of questions that IMHO need to be dealt with. :) At some point (before we start taking sign-ups) these rules should be published 'officially' somewhere else.

=======================================

Shell Reviews
I am usually a strong adversary of the whole 'Custom Ages should be reviewed by Cyan' position but here we need to review shells. Because shells aren't stand-alone ages, they are only pages of a larger Age, and if one is poorly done it may not work and it may break the Age. Also, again because they are not isolated ages, we should review content as well (see 'Content' rules bellow).


Shells submission overview

1) Registration - People choose a shell on the plan and register on the forum
2) Shell construction - People build their shell, and when it is ready it is send to the person in charge here.
3) Submission & approval - Someone in charge reviews the shell, and if it is approved it is queued for the next Age update
4) Age Update - Age is updated, new/updated shells are put online.

Questions left:
Who gets to centralize all this and review the shells? (Several people?)
So we can get the shells, do we have a server to host the shells for review before they are put on the actual data server? Or do people have to host them themselves? Or do they send them to us by mail?
Should the Age be updated each time a new shell comes in (or when one is updated) or periodically ?(weekly maybe) IMHO it would be easier to do so periodically, because if we have daily updates we might not be able to keep up. Also knowing in advance when the Age is gonna be updated is nice: more people come to see what's new and it creates anticipation.


I - General Rules

Content: No assets (objects/textures etc) taken from other Ages unless written permission is given. Obviously, no offensive content, adult material etc. Also shells should be kept 'IC'. (Don't build a Mc Donald...)
(IMHO these should be 'absolute' rules.)
Dimensions & Walls: While we should allow people to modify the outside walls of the shell it must stay within the limits of the original walls. Else it could go over the street or go away from the street and there would be holes in the ground between the shell & the street. (Also they must not go over the neighboor shells). There must be a maximum height to the shell but how high? (However I see don't why we should limit people who want to dig underground.)
Polygons & texture limits: this an ongoing concern of mine; performance. Should we limit the number of polygons people can use? So that things don't go crazy and we don't get the awful "Ae'gura lag"..
Kickables: I don't think the subject has been raised, but should we allow kickables? It would bring some life and some activities in the city. One possible problem I see is: if someone loses a kickable because of a bug how could we bring it back?


II - Technical Rules

Naming conventions: all objects names must begin with the shell number. And all objects must be assigned to the shell page. If you use some python coding all your variable must be named with [something I forgot, argh]
Objects positions: all objects in the blender file are at a precise location in space, offset from the world origin, this is the position of the shell in the Age. This must not be changed or the shell may appear at a different position in the city...
Exporting: In the alcconfig.py file the ‘export texture to page Prp’ option must be enabled so that textures are exported inside the Prp shell and not in some other Prp file. Then the shell can be exported as any Age, with the ‘Generate Release’ setting. (A custom .age file will be given with each shell so that it can be exported)


III - Submission

Once a shell has been successfully exported the owner must send:
- The Prp file with all the textures inside and compiled with the 'Generate release' setting (so that the file is smaller)
- The Python PAK file if there is one
- The Blender file? So we can check everything in an easier & faster way.

=======================================

Finally, I put an updated plan of the city with shell numbers here.


Critics, comments, and debates are welcome. :)
User avatar
Aloys
 
Posts: 1886
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 7:57 pm
Location: France (GMT +1)

Postby J'anim Paedet » Wed May 31, 2006 5:59 pm

I'll give my opinion on some of the questions:

Who gets to centralize all this and review the shells? (Several people?)

I think several, or at least two, people. This would help to level out the factor of personal opinion; the more people give their opinions, the fairer the descision will be. I think it should be people who have shown a commitment to the project, or who have in some way demonstrated that they are interested in helping out and will try their best.


Dimensions & Walls: While we should allow people to modify the outside walls of the shell it must stay within the limits of the original walls. Else it could go over the street or go away from the street and there would be holes in the ground between the shell & the street. (Also they must not go over the neighboor shells). There must be a maximum height to the shell but how high? (However I see don't why we should limit people who want to dig underground.)

I agree, we should confine development to within the walls, even if only for technical reasons. Height limit: perhaps nothing higher than the Hub? That way it is not lost as a landmark and can be used as a makeshift compass point. As to the underground: sounds like a fine idea, but we would need to make sure that even then did the shell makers confine themselves to the restrictions of the wall -- we wouldn't want any overlapping tunnels or foundations!

Kickables: I don't think the subject has been raised, but should we allow kickables? It would bring some life and some activities in the city. One possible problem I see is: if someone loses a kickable because of a bug how could we bring it back?

I know (although I'm not sure how it's done) that there is a way to specify barriors that only kickables respond to. On the Alcugs wiki somewhere, I saw a setting that enables this, but it was a long time ago. This might help get rid of some bug problems. If worst comes to worst, we could always enable the Age to reset the kickables. (I'm not sure how, but I know there is a way to make sure all kickables are restored to their proper places once the Age is quit)

That's all I've got ;)
User avatar
J'anim Paedet
 
Posts: 145
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 9:45 pm

Postby Besharen » Wed May 31, 2006 8:09 pm

I think that we have a right to review shells, because it is our age. Particularity Aloys, since he was the main person who modelled it. I’m thinking the most active people on the project should have a council to reviews shells.

I think when we release a final document to shell builders, we should give the big one – it goes into a lot more detail that people will need. …and, besides, it always makes things look professional and official when they have really long documents…just kidding :P But, yes, I noticed some of it is outdated and needs to be updated. We’ll also have to decide on all the “TBA” sections in the document. But, I do believe we’ll need a detailed document outlining exactly what builders can and can’t do.
Besharen
 
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 9:45 pm

Postby Robert The Rebuilder » Wed May 31, 2006 9:14 pm

Naming conventions: all objects names must begin with the shell number. And all objects must be assigned to the shell page. If you use some python coding all your variable must be named with [something I forgot, argh]


As we discussed in the Python In the Shells thread, the python script name, the ptModifier/ptResponder subclass name and global/SDL variables should start with the prefix sNNN, where NNN is the shell number, e.g. for shell 123, the prefix is s123. Note: this does not need to apply to member variables or local variables, since the scope of the script will prevent them from conflicting with other scripts.

And the self.id variable of the ptModifier/ptResponder subclass must have the form 189SSSX, where SSS is the shell number, and X is the script number. For example, if you were writing 3 scripts for shell number 121, the self.id values for each script would be:

1891210
1891211
1891212


Thanks for putting together the document, Aloys. I recommend that you add it as a Wiki page, if the admins are cool with that.
Can we rebuild it? Yes, we can - here's how.

MOULagain KI# 1299

Myst Movie coming soon - spread the word!
User avatar
Robert The Rebuilder
 
Posts: 1383
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 7:24 am
Location: Virginia, US

Postby Robert The Rebuilder » Fri Jun 02, 2006 10:43 am

Aloys:

The "Technical Rules: Exporting" section can be reworded to reflect the new export menu items now available in the PRP Blender Plugin.

For more details, visit this link:

http://alcugs.almlys.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=822#822
Can we rebuild it? Yes, we can - here's how.

MOULagain KI# 1299

Myst Movie coming soon - spread the word!
User avatar
Robert The Rebuilder
 
Posts: 1383
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 7:24 am
Location: Virginia, US

Postby Aloys » Fri Jun 02, 2006 11:11 am

Oh, you did it; great! :D That'll be very useful!

I'll update the document with that, and all the other stuff that needs updating this week.
Also I am updating the shells textures, and adding bridges. I should have a new version ready in the next days, probably early next week. At which point if we all agree we can start the sign ups. :)
User avatar
Aloys
 
Posts: 1886
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 7:57 pm
Location: France (GMT +1)

Postby Aloys » Mon Jun 05, 2006 5:35 am

Something was brought up in the sign up shell I forgot to address here. :(
Should we allow people to sign up for more than one shell?

I'm against it because people would get shells they wouldn't have time to complete and we'd get what we have for the Age prefix list: lots of sign up but only very few projects actually completed. While that isn't a problem for Ages, I certainly don't want to see the city empty.. :/
Once someone has officially finished his/her shell t'd be possible to sign up for another though. Also I don't see why 'Groups' wouldn't be allowed to get several shells..
User avatar
Aloys
 
Posts: 1886
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 7:57 pm
Location: France (GMT +1)

Postby Starfyre » Mon Jun 05, 2006 6:26 am

And there in lies the problem. 150 shells. To my knowledge there isn't 150 age creators out there so its better for some of them to sign up for multiple shells. Unless you all want to work on the extra shells that aren't signed up for.
Starfyre
 

Postby Aloys » Mon Jun 05, 2006 6:53 am

That's a very good point.
(Should we put an upper limit just so someone cannot go and sign up for 50 shells? Like say 4 or 5?)
User avatar
Aloys
 
Posts: 1886
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 7:57 pm
Location: France (GMT +1)

Postby Starfyre » Mon Jun 05, 2006 7:09 am

Yeah I think thats good place to stop.
Starfyre
 

Next

Return to Ahra Pahts

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest