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Game Development: Planning & Organization


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#1 Caduceus

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 04:34 PM

Let me start off by saying that is critical that you understand that Stouxy and I are willing to help improve the game as investors, but not as game developers. We will provide some big picture input to make sure that the game matches up with our vision of the final product, however our roles will be almost solely financial.

We are at fault for not making this more clear, as there was a certain degree of miscommunication regarding our roles from the start. We are willing to make a major sacrifice financially but cannot also contribute our time to develop the game day-to-day. Frankly, it is also not very fair to us as we have been bombarded with responsibilities, questions, requests, etc. from many members of the community with little reassurance or enough assistance.

Stouxy and I are ridiculously busy with our lives (as are many of you from what I’ve gleaned), however if you all want major steps in development to occur then sacrifices need to be made and you all need to be willing to put in the effort. We’re not demanding that you need to stop playing or enjoying OL, however this is a fantastic opportunity for the future of the game and it is contingent on your commitment on getting the planning and work done. There has been little organization or enough communication among the dev group over these past weeks, and this has to change.

It is crucial that you all as developers figure out how to efficiently organize yourselves based on how you can contribute, and together formulate a cohesive plan. Stouxy and I originally thought that we would be able to help structure and connect with everyone effectively, however there has been too much chaos, a lack of clarity, and little effort to get things moving.  We will not rectify this for you, as these are not the roles we are willing to take.

Many of you have already spent quite a bit of time and energy these past several years to improve the game. Now is the chance to finally have the resources to make tremendous changes, but that is dependent on becoming significantly more proactive and organized. You need to work together to create a PLAN that covers various goals to be reached and how it is going to be accomplished, a timeline, costs, who can work on what, etc.

We understand that the devs were not prepared to have investors show up out of the blue, and thus we can understand the disorganization and lack of direction. However, now that you all have been made aware of this opportunity, I hope that you utilize this as motivation to get things put together. Think of Stouxy and I as a bank that you as a group of developers are requesting money from. When you go the a bank, you need to present a very well thought-out plan and explanations for how you can expect everything to be done as far as achieving the milestones. You need to work together to create a plan and answer all the questions that need to be answered before the process of major development can even begin.

I will not demand a time frame to complete the planning and organizing. It may take a certain number of months before everything has been properly figured out. This not only includes the planning for achieving various milestones and roles among the devs, but also that which cannot be done by the dev group. For instance, you also need to be proactive and speak with the graphics/animation studio yourselves so that both sides can get an understanding of requirements, timeframe, costs, and so on. This goes for anything outside of the current dev group or individuals who may be pulled in.

Stouxy and I will not agree to invest any money until we feel that the planning and organizing has been properly done. We cannot make any guarantees as to whether we will invest a significant amount of money since we don’t know what kind of results we can expect from the devs in these formative stages. These past weeks have been very difficult for us and we will not sugarcoat it – we are not particularly happy with the current state of things. While Stouxy and I are somewhat more personal than a bank, we need to remain as objective as possible when it comes to making an investment. We already know that there are much smarter things to invest in, however we are still willing to do this because we know that this game has tremendous potential. It will be up to you all to put in the effort to plan everything out and get the tasks done when the time comes as well.

While Learner is in charge of the overall game as he always has been, management of this development project particularly in the planning stage that is currently the most critical may need to be delegated as much as possible to other individuals. Learner is quite busy with much of his real life responsibilities and I’m sure he will be speaking to some of you to discuss who can lead up certain aspects of planning in his stead. Grimm would certainly be one of the co-leads in this endeavor and he will be in charge of much of the organizing and direction. When Grimm messages you, please respond promptly. This goes for any of the individuals that are involved in development for the sake of efficiency. The devs need to figure out who will be in charge of various tasks in planning and organization and work together to get things done.

Remember, the main goal is to work together to create a clear and thorough plan with the steps for achieving narrowed down milestones for development. The scope needs to be clearly defined and it should absolutely not just be a mess of random ideas. There needs to be organization between individuals and a very structured team. If Stouxy and I believe that this plan and effort of the developers is of a high enough caliber, clarity, and reliability, then and only then would we consider investing. We hope you take this opportunity seriously, and while there are never any guarantees we certainly believe that there is great potential for this to work out if you all are willing to put in the effort.

#2 CoduX

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 09:19 PM

Well said.

#3 Tycine

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 09:23 PM

The flavor of your post leaves me shaking my head and I'm really offended by the tone.

Did you really just talk down to everybody about how we need to either piss or get off of the pot?  The people that you are making these demands of are NOT paid for their time or efforts, they volunteer their time for the LOVE of the game.  I'd rather they still LOVE the game for years to come, after sacrificing their PLAY TIME in their effort to build the game of their dreams. That won't be the case with someone whipping them for faster/better results and demeaning them while they work for FREE. On one hand you claim that you wish to be a major investor, but on the other hand "Stouxy and I will not agree to invest any money until we feel that the planning and organizing has been properly done."  How self righteous of you.

#4 EatsAllLife

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 09:38 PM

As I agree to the aspect of not spending money until you see potential and all, you DO have to consider NONE of us are being paid to develop, we're doing it by free-will and free-time just for the fun and enjoyment of OL because we as well as you see that OL has potential. But you can't expect us to have main priority set to development of the game, we're not paid. I can see that you want to see its worth investing, but you also have to see that we under no circumstances HAVE to do what we're doing, and being told we have to - does make it less fun for us. Therefore making it so we don't want to do it.

I do respect that you have taken time to voice your opinions and have brought some clarity into the subject of the matter. We do GREATLY appreciate you taking money out of your personal savings and such to help further the development of OL. It'd be a wonderful add-on, and stress-reliever from Learner for some of the stuff at hand, and showing OL progress/potential. I'd like to see OL progress. And I hope you're willing to see, and understand our work-rate is strictly voluntary and at no time has had a set due date for anything.

#5 Grimm

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 10:01 PM

Upon review of this post and speaking with many,  Do realize to go through a bank is a required 90 day due diligence with everything in order for a business plan of action.  On that note, If Cad and Stouxy do invest this would reduce the many hours and time frame needed for due diligence along with a lot of flexibility and leeway in the requirements needing to be met in order to receive the financing.

on that note, My computer is now Live, thus now I can move on board and start the progression in this planning process.  Yes this is meant to be fun, Yes we want you to enjoy yourselves, and Yes we understand that you only have so much time available to put forth effort to help overhauling the game if you so wish to be a part of.

Thus what I been asking around, just to get a feel of people's interest of participation with further development, and enjoying it if you so choose to help us out,

Forum pm me your area of interest you would like to help with, skill sets, programs and experience you have which could assist with, and the amount of time per week you can set aside to help further development.

Thus If your interested, get back with me asap with those responses so that I may allocate your time and interest in the best way possible to help us with this overhaul and enjoy yourselves in being a part of this transformation,

thank you everyone B)

#6 StouXy

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 03:53 AM

Hello everyone.

Tycine & Eats, you guys are forgetting few things.

You guys spent years developing and contributing to the game. And now finally, we're giving you a chance to make all the effort pay off.
We're not asking you to work 24/7 on the planning and such. We're just simply asking you guys to keep doing what you're already doing + put some organizing to it.
We're not saying that the PLAN needs to be done within 2 weeks, just take your time and plan things out. Once everything is ready, then we can talk more.

Tycine, how is it " self righteous"??? Would you spend any money on anything that is chaotic and w/o the right way of going? I don't think so. And we're not talking about only hundreds of $ as well. You better look at this from our point of view. The point of view as investors.
You guys now have the power to make the game better in all ways, if you capture the chance or just let is slip- it's all up to you.

That's pretty much everything I wanted to say :)

Have a nice day o/

#7 AlddrA

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 06:24 AM

I think as Caduceus began with his statement, many of us were in the dark as to how this development was going to progress.  Yes we need organization, someone to take the reigns as Grimm is willing to do.

Winter was our organizer in the google development group and he also quite misunderstood who was heading this project.  Your statement of " the start date of this project is March 15" really threw everyone off.   We all thought "start what?", we were already working on stuff.

Don't get us wrong, we want to contribute, but the way you were talking, it sounded like you were going to be the final decision maker of what would be accepted.  So far, we have been working as a team, bouncing ideas off each other and either accepting or rejecting them.

We would like to keep it that way.

That's my 2 cents worth.

Thanks

AlddrA

#8 Tycine

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 10:07 AM

The only thing that I HAD BETTER DO, is wake up every day and pay my taxes.
Your posts are nearly as bad as Cad's as they assume that I MUST GET ON BOARD with YOUR IDEAS...
My question is... Or WHAT?  You won't VOLUNTEER to invest in OL?  Since you two have proposed this investment idea, ALL I HEAR is a whole lot of demands.  You two offer way too much whip and not enough carrot.

Your investment price does NOT include slave labor.  Ya'll can quit telling the OL community how to work, how fast to work, and how we should think.

As to self righteousness, according to Cad's post, only you two know the PROPER way to do anything in OL, and you'd like to bully your way into making us do it... FOR FREE.

I maintain that the tone of the post was offensive, and I'm still offended by it, perhaps more offended now that I had BETTER look at something YOUR WAY.

#9 Tycine

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 10:46 AM

As I cannot think of anything nice to post about the way these investors talk down to the OL community, I will just quit responding to this thread.

#10 themuntdregger

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 07:08 PM

Myself, i'm working on the problem that is the critical bottleneck to any new client, ie, porting of EL/OL's cal3d animated models to a more friendly format that can be understood by a wide range of alternative engines. To be fair it's also something that is useful to the unofflandz project, but it's nice to have an opportunity to 'give back' to OL

So far, i've managed to convert an EL/OL model (complete with animations) to Quake md2. However, the latter uses frame as opposed to skeletal animation, and I really want the latter. Hence, i'm now working on a standalone utility which will convert to the Filmbox fbx format. This can be read directly by Unity, which is currently the frontrunner as game engine for the new client. However, fbx is a much more complex format than i've ever had to deal with, so it's quite a challenge.

I've also been researching potential client development strategies using the Irrlicht engine. That's mainly because I work predominately in linux. Tbf, i've never done much opengl or 3d rendering coding, so it's all pretty new and a steep learning curve. Likewise, i'm a C rather than a C++ coder, so i'm also getting to grips with what is pretty much a new language. Whilst Stardark (who's working on the Unity engine) has focussed on rendering static models and terrain, my approach has been directed more towards animated models. The guys in OL dev group have already seen the first screenies of my efforts (the dancing bear), but here it is again for the benefit of the rest of the OL community.

Posted Image


Both Cad and Stouxy seem good guys who, irrespective of whether they're putting money into it, will be great members of the community. However, I like that they're brave enough to put money into the game simply because they enjoy playing it. I also like that they are respectful of Learner's role. In my experience of dealing with them so far, they've been nothing but friendly and very professional.

I guess peeps are (naturally and understandably) always going to be sensitive to change, and there's a risk this can lead to misunderstanding. However, as far as I can see, all Cad and Stouxy have only asked of us is to carry on doing what we're already doing, and be a bit more coordinated with regard to our wider dev aims.

That seems pretty reasonable to me and, i'll do my best try and help them.

#11 winter

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 10:02 AM

Folks, easy now. We were all under a fair amount of misunderstanding... I am working on a response and a plan.. I would ask that we all hold tight for a few days.. I know I don't speak for everyone, so post if you like.. but please... someone is offering to spend money to help the game develop... let's see what we can do here...

#12 Warlock

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 11:00 AM

First off, great work there munt. nice seeing some progress on that. I can understand where Tycine is coming from, but then again she doesnt know the full extent as to whats happening as she's only started playing again recently.(glad to have you back) I feel like most of what Cad/stoux said, should be more directed towards learner rather than the general public, as we the players can only do so much... if you're going to put money in to better the game, that would require outsourcing. Only so much the players can do right? First thing should be maps, then mobs, quest lines... how can we get new models for mobs? Outsource for graphic designers. Sure we have limited people here who play who have experience in 3d modelling, but that only goes so far. One stretch at a time, dont put too much pressure on the players alone, overwhelm them to the point they just dont wanna log on anymore.. need these maps smashed out before we can really think about new additions no?

Remember we're players first before anything. is all well and good talking all these big idea's, but then at the end of the day, who's it actually up to to implement? :P

Can think of 1000 idea's right now that have been suggested, but not bare any fruit.

If you guys want such big changes made so fast, maybe the money is required first?..

#13 Caduceus

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 03:37 PM

I was hoping my post wouldn’t be misinterpreted, but it seems that it might have been to a certain extent. I understand why there might be such a negative visceral response, however really try to understand the essence of what we’re trying to say.

I’ve been informed by some that my tone was too harsh and unfriendly, but when it comes to putting an enormous amount of money on the line (especially on as risky an investment as an mmo) I don’t want to sugarcoat it at all. I want it to be very clear where we stand, and although some of the frustration over the lack of planning and organizing these past weeks might have boiled over in my post, the purpose was to state our positions as objectively as possible. As investors, we have to take a no-nonsense approach and say it as it is, especially based on the uncertainty in the current situation.

My post is directed toward the devs, not all players. And even amongst the devs, I know that different people will be able to commit different amounts of time and energy. And thus the purpose of Grimm’s post to ascertain that information. We’re not forcing anyone to do anything, however the reality of the situation is that the less effort and teamwork that is put into this then the less likely for Stouxy and I to feel reassured enough to be able to commit on our end.

Some may believe that the right approach is to start spending money right away and see where that takes us, but to do so blindly is not a good idea. Therefore, we’re mainly looking for enough answers, a plan, and organization among the devs. Only when we’re informed enough would we feel comfortable moving forward with providing resources. And not meaning to criticize, but I’m not sure some of you truly understand the extensiveness of the different facets of this project and the lack of clarity regarding almost all of it.

For instance Warlock, we can’t just start spending at a graphic studio/ designers right away. We need a plan, need to determine what assets are required or should be prioritized, find what works best with what we need, all the costs, the timeline for various steps, and so on. And what about not just considering mob models, but environmental models, equippables, sfx, char models, and so on. What about all the different types animations for these things – walking, fighting, etc? What about the mapmaking aspect utilizing the new assets? What kind of plan or timeline is in place for that? What about the transition to the Unity engine? Is there a new map editor that can be utilized? When can everything be compatible with Unity? How much time would it take, how much outside help is required with programming? Who among the devs can do what and when? What about Learner’s potential role, is he going to focus on finalizing magic, range, etc? What specifically and when? And what can and should be prioritized? And MANY other questions that need answering that I won’t list off here, but those are just some examples. Learner and Grimm know what I’m talking about especially and I expect would confirm that there is still much that needs to be figured out.

There will indeed be some amount of outsourcing, but the devs still have many roles that they can fill. And most importantly and what we’ve mainly asked for in the post is to see enough questions answered and a decently comprehensive plan moving forward. Obviously you can’t predict the future or provide detailed expectations for everything. However, as investors we need to see enough comprehensive planning and organization to be able to take the plunge rather than to blindly trickle money in and plod along without having enough knowledge of the different aspects of the project regarding the milestones, timeline, manpower, costs, etc.

#14 Grimm

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 06:13 PM

OK, I want to say something.

This has gotten WAY out of hand.

Remember at this moment, Everyone has the same rights and opinions as Caduceus and StouXy,  Everyone one of you has the same authority and rights to opinions and input. Your all weighed the same until further notice.

Now, to be frank, All Caduceus and StouXy are, is a normal OL player.  But they submitted a proposal to Learner.

This Topic, Is only to tell the community, what they expect before proceeding on their proposal.

On that note, they are the only ones who have brought up a proposal to Learner in this manor, Learner may view it as a possibility, but nothing is signed yet, thus they are still in the same position as any other OL member of this community.

Although because of possibilities, Learner has made a decision and started arrangements to proceed with the overhaul, restructure and organization of the Development process.  You will start to see this move forward next week after the hierarchy of the dev groups is finalized before we start adding people to the prospective place.

Now my point of Caduceus and StouXy being like any other OL member.

Any other OL member may also submit a proposal to Learner, and offer financial backing on certain terms to counter Caduceus and StouXy, such as hypothetically GypsyNomad may offer to finance the further development under different terms, or I maybe a miracle will happen and I hit the lotto and just give OL the financial backing to move forward in this process.

My point is, continue doing what you were doing before Caduceus and StouXy came along.  Until an official statement is made to go about doing things differently.  This is why you all are uninformed of whats going on.  This is because all that has been said thus far is hearsay.

Officially:  We are restructuring the development team to include all work through the forums.  Its intent is to proceed with organization and delegation of work upon your interest, availability, and current skill sets.  and make it ENJOYABLE.

As to peoples positions, this is still to be determined.  Some have  shown interest and supplied information I asked for, thus we are finding a suitable position.  Few positions have been decided and were asked to confirm that they would like the position, Most are awaiting to be placed upon the finalization of the development group hierarchy.  

Plus we are allowing time for others to message me with their interest, availability, and skill sets before we finalize this core development group.  We want to do this right and thus give all a equal opportunity to jump on board with the development team.

ty

Grimm

#15 GypsyNomad

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 06:47 PM

I have the Money to Invest and NO I haven't For more than one Reason. First I would "Expect" to be treated Differently than the rest of the players thus the END of A Players Driven Game & the Beginning of totalitarianism. This would Change the Whole Reason Many of us Play & obviously some who didn't want me to Comment on here...Hey you know who you are You wouldn't happen to be related to  Kim Jong-un would you? 2nd and many may think I'm a real A**hole from time to time but I don't usually start it, someone knows what buttons to push with me, I've gotten better over time mainly because a lot of what I said has come to pass IN RL and thus the "Children" have shut-up.

I know how I am when it comes to the amount of Money I just got and I could be a REAL POWER HUNGRY A-hole and that would spoil the game for everyone else. Therefore I have been donating money To OL & Buying Plats and other things that I don't really need right Now. Because I'm moving out to some Land in NM that I just bought OUTRIGHT! But I don't want to brag and I don't ask for Recognition, nor do I want it I'm just Happy to help and would be more than willing to Help Learner some more but if I did You all would never Know because that is how I want it. GypsyFai & I are just happy to be able to help NOT TO TAKE OVER or ask for special PRIVILEGES. "Players Driven Game" Not "Player" Driven Game with someone who thinks they have power hidden in the shadows. My 2 "cents" worth---Flame on

#16 Learner

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 06:56 PM

View PostGypsyNomad, on 23 March 2016 - 06:47 PM, said:

I have the Money to Invest and NO I haven't For more than one Reason. First I would "Expect" to be treated Differently than the rest of the players thus the END of A Players Driven Game & the Beginning of totalitarianism. This would Change the Whole Reason Many of us Play & obviously some who didn't want me to Comment on here...Hey you know who you are You wouldn't happen to be related to  Kim Jong-un would you? 2nd and many may think I'm a real A**hole from time to time but I don't usually start it, someone knows what buttons to push with me, I've gotten better over time mainly because a lot of what I said has come to pass IN RL and thus the "Children" have shut-up.

I know how I am when it comes to the amount of Money I just got and I could be a REAL POWER HUNGRY A-hole and that would spoil the game for everyone else. Therefore I have been donating money To OL & Buying Plats and other things that I don't really need right Now. Because I'm moving out to some Land in NM that I just bought OUTRIGHT! But I don't want to brag and I don't ask for Recognition, nor do I want it I'm just Happy to help and would be more than willing to Help Learner some more but if I did You all would never Know because that is how I want it. GypsyFai & I are just happy to be able to help NOT TO TAKE OVER or ask for special PRIVILEGES. "Players Driven Game" Not "Player" Driven Game with someone who thinks they have power hidden in the shadows. My 2 "cents" worth---Flame on
So, you don't want me to offer you 55000 plats for $50k and nothing else other then a custom title in the forums?

#17 GypsyNomad

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 07:32 PM

If I did that I wouldn't want anything because I would think I deserve it that somehow with out me the game would fail. SO NO I wouldn't. But that's me Learner. I know how i am & YOU know me to. You never said you needed any money, not publicly or in msg to me or Fai. I figured everything was going slowly because well some of you "Dev's are not even in High school yet and others have just given up and quit  This seems to just come out of the Blue. From what we read it seams that "someone" knew these 2 and knew they had money & ask them to do this. It just seems to have come on secretly & unexpectedly. Maybe it would have been better if you had posted this topic, But your right, its  your game to do with what you will. But I thought you would have at least asked the people that play first.

#18 Caduceus

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 07:53 PM

View PostGypsyNomad, on 23 March 2016 - 07:32 PM, said:

If I did that I wouldn't want anything because I would think I deserve it that somehow with out me the game would fail. SO NO I wouldn't. But that's me Learner. I know how i am & YOU know me to. You never said you needed any money, not publicly or in msg to me or Fai. I figured everything was going slowly because well some of you "Dev's are not even in High school yet and others have just given up and quit  This seems to just come out of the Blue. From what we read it seams that "someone" knew these 2 and knew they had money & ask them to do this. It just seems to have come on secretly & unexpectedly. Maybe it would have been better if you had posted this topic, But your right, its  your game to do with what you will. But I thought you would have at least asked the people that play first.

I’m not sure what your deal is with Learner, but he certainly shouldn’t be criticized for anything. Stouxy and I were the ones that proposed to Learner our willingness to invest in OL after we became increasingly frustrated with EL and saw the potential in what Learner and the community were trying to develop. He did not search us out to message us or randomly ask us to do so.

He has also not made a final decision on this matter or signed anything mainly out of concern for the community. We have made the offer and that is all. And even if he were to agree it would be on the basis that OL remains very much community-based and avoiding P2W as it is now. He has told stouxy and I repeatedly that he wants to make sure that enough of the OL community agrees with this decision before he’d agree to move forward with it, even at the detriment of a great potential loss in development if most people choose to not accept the opportunity.

#19 GypsyNomad

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 08:46 PM

View PostCaduceus, on 23 March 2016 - 07:53 PM, said:


I’m not sure what your deal is with Learner, but he certainly shouldn’t be criticized for anything. Stouxy and I were the ones that proposed to Learner our willingness to invest in OL after we became increasingly frustrated with EL and saw the potential in what Learner and the community were trying to develop. He did not search us out to message us or randomly ask us to do so.

He has also not made a final decision on this matter or signed anything mainly out of concern for the community. We have made the offer and that is all. And even if he were to agree it would be on the basis that OL remains very much community-based and avoiding P2W as it is now. He has told stouxy and I repeatedly that he wants to make sure that enough of the OL community agrees with this decision before he’d agree to move forward with it, even at the detriment of a great potential loss in development if most people choose to not accept the opportunity.
I have no deal with Learner, I have sent a msg to him explaining how some have taken this and to "Some" I'm not saying who, other than us this could have been done differently as to not seem like some type of ""hostile takeover""" as for your other comment about you all ""proposed to Learner and that he did not seek you out"".. We based that on your first post, on how we read it....It seemed as if someone in what has been termed, the Hierarchy. approached you. We did not say whom nor does it matter as you have assumed. This could have been done better is all I'm saying at this point and "time will truly tell" won't it.

#20 Kiwi06

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 01:31 PM

I think "this could have been done differently" is the theme of this post lol.

As a member of the old development group, I can say that I have no hard feelings against Caduceus' original post. I believe it was written either to the small group of people working on the new content, or without understanding that it was only a small group of people working specifically as the "development group".

Either way, it was a pretty big misunderstanding, and I can understand everyone's mixed feelings about the situation. A lot of us just need to calm down (which we've had a few days to do) and realize Caduceus' frustrations and try to understand the point(s) he was making in the original post. This isn't a post to the community at large, but to the small development group that it seems hardly anyone knew a whole lot about.

At the same time though, the scolding did seem a bit unnecessary, @Caduceus, at least from my perspective. In the past we were working solely at our own pace with very little promise of progressing at a pace worthy of being called a "development team." With that being said, I believe there are plenty around that understand your original post, and are working on a solution (not that we are quite sure we owe you one, as GypsyNomad has pointed out).

I just wanted to try to reconcile here. With emotions running high, a lot of people replied with righteous fury. There weren't a lot of replies of understanding, which are hard to post in the midst of a flame war such as this. I just wanted to let you know, I understand every intent of your original post. *hug*

-Kiwi




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