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  1. #1
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    Cool First 4+ hours of Round Table Design Meetings + Real Estate system discussion

    Greetings All,

    I’d like to take just a moment and provide you folks with some insight into the most recently released videos in the MMO class. As most of you already know, we’ve held a couple of open meeting sessions discussing various game mechanics. I don’t want to say anything terribly negative about the results, but I don’t mind mentioning that I really didn’t get the results that I wanted from those meetings.

    So what we’ve done is put together a different type of meeting in which we (the team) got together to have some focused discussions over the things we need to really lock down. Because there are only a few of us, it’s a lot easier to keep things on track without it wandering too terribly far off course.

    And so you have the new Round Table Discussions. Each of us voices our thoughts and opinions on different systems along with ideas on how they could work or be improved in our MMO. We have done our best to keep these relatively bite-sized, with one that got away from us running a full hour. The rest we tried to hold around the 30 minute mark.

    Now, please understand that this does not mean that we’re doing away with the meetings we’ve been having. I’d just like to see some more solid results, so what we’re planning is to turn the public meetings into more of a response-oriented discussion, where you, the viewers, can give us your thoughts on the things that came up in these round table discussions.

    Between the 7 videos, there’s just a hair over 4 hours of content here. In the intro, we list off somewhere around a dozen topics we’d like to discuss, and over these videos we’ve so far touched on 3 on them, being real estate, environment considerations, and travel.

    This doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re done with these topics, but it does put down on paper some of our intentions. Also, please note that these are discussions on things we’d like to see. We’re talking about things that are important to us that we’d like to explore. No claim has been made on feasibility, and just because we discuss it here doesn’t mean it will be in the first iteration of the game, or the second, or the seventh, or at all. However, by laying down some key ideas now that we’d like to work toward, we at least have the opportunity to develop with those ideas in mind, whether or not they ever make it into the game itself.

    So that’s a rundown of what you’re going to see and why we’ve put it together. I’d like to encourage you all to prioritize these videos and get them watched before the next class meeting, as I’d really like to hear your feedback and thoughts on the ideas presented here.

    Thanks, and Happy Learning!

    Buzz

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Australia
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    I have to say I am a little disappointed, since I have been closely watching out for the next meeting details. However, I completely understand as to the reason why.

    I certainly don’t want to rock the boat, and it’s not my intention to offend any specific people, but I definitely felt after the last public meetings, there were people arguing (for example, against levels), but didn’t have any solid counter suggestion. I felt some people were arguing on the contrary, for the sake of trying to play devil’s advocate, but without a solid alternative. As a result, after a five hour meeting, no headway was made, and as a consequence of that, we have now somewhat lost the ability to contribute more actively.

    Unfortunately, it looks like the videos are only available for those that started from the beginning (three tokens), so I can't partake in the process any longer. I accept that, and don’t feel hard done by, and wish the group that can follow it, success.

    I think, perhaps this can serve as a small life lesson. If you have a solid counter-proposal or overwhelming evidence that the current proposal really won't work, then argue your cause. However, when in a situation where results are required and expected, perhaps you should avoid an argument if you are arguing just to fulfill the contrarian in you.

    Just my opinion, and again, I don't seek to offend.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
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    No no, Judge, you're not offending anyone. You're missing the point of the exercise here. Nothing has really changed, when you think about it. The only thing we've modified - and slightly - is the order in which things happen. In our open meetings, we were letting everyone speak, sort of at once. What we're doing instead is just getting our thoughts across in a video first, uninterrupted.

    Then, folks watch that, and we have our open meetings with us already having our thoughts out of the way, so we can listen to feedback or new ideas. See, we decided that we needed structure, and structure comes from a foundation. By supplying you with our thoughts beforehand, we can let people know what we've already got in mind, saving us from unnecessary repetition, and perhaps inspire those who might hear our ideas and use them as a springboard to come up with something even better.

    So really, this is a good thing, and nothing to be disappointed about.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Australia
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    Thanks for the reply Zak, will the meetings stay as 3 token videos? The public meetings were token free (or 1 token), are the Round Table meetings intended to be the same since it is a variant of the public meetings? Or will they stay as 3 token videos?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judge View Post
    ... there were people arguing (for example, against levels), but didn’t have any solid counter suggestion.
    I tried to make my argument clear - I just had trouble getting through a sentence without being interrupted or my suggestions being taken to ridiculous extremes... In my opinion, the question of whether to have all-encompassing "levels" or not is of SUCH a fundamental nature that it was worthy of serious discussion. That said; if at any point Buzz or Zak had said "Look; we want levels so we're having levels and that's the end of it.", then I'd have let it go; their house, their rules, etc..

    I do not accept that trying to argue my case as well and as fully as possible warrants any complaint per se - let alone being blamed for having "somewhat lost the ability to contribute more actively", by virtue of having actually tried to contribute instead of merely spectating.
    Last edited by fatgav; 05-13-2011 at 10:01 PM.

    I found
    my current avatar on google, so props to THIS GUY who created the original...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    USA
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    Buzz, Zak, I think this new idea is a great one. I definitely think that our class meetings can be greatly improved by adding more structure. Personally, I like the free form stuff fine and like talking and hearing about ideas that way, but it is also very inefficient. I think giving us subject matters, that are the most relevant to what you guys need to work out for what we will be handling first in the class is a very smart way of going about it.

    I think a good idea to add to this is for people to state in the forum what things they want to talk about, and then for you guys to decide when, and if, a topic could be scheduled into your group discussion.

    I also agree that anyone in the class should be able to listen to these no mater what their token count is.



    I thought NATO was making a good enough point that it is worth considering whether or not that we want to add in any system that has become standard in games, or if we want to try and think out if there is a better way of doing things.

    I also thought that Gav had an interesting point that there was much more that could be done with non battle elements of the game to create an even richer world where even non combat liking gamers could have a full and rewarding experience. I also think that if you have a world where there is combat and non combat players going about there business in it, it could end up feeling like a richer more immersive world for both kinds of players. I would think that as a combat player I would feel more special about being a combat player if say, one third of the players were not combat players. Plus the cities would feel panted in greater texture, metaphorically speaking.



    I did feel that we came to a point where nothing new was being added to the arguments, and it was just a stalemate of opposing ideas. This didn't bother me, but it did lack efficiency which is only important because there is so many other things to go over as well. I think at some point you get to a place where each side has stated their argument and has nothing more to say about it, and at that point it is worth moving on to another topic, and then afterwards keep thinking about the discussion and it can be revisited when people come up with new ideas about it, or have had time to think about the other sides argument and have questions about it or new counter arguments to it.

    I am not saying that this is true, but it kind of felt like both sides wanted to continue the argument until they won the other side over, and that is often something that just can't be done. I don't think the focus should be to talk about something until you have won the other person over to your idea, it should just me to make your case as clear as you can, and to counter the other points where you see fit, and then let it stand on its own, and give people time to ponder it.

    If not we could spend years on only a few topics. As interesting as that might be, I think the better approach is to keep moving through it, and coming back to ideas later as needed.

    I also don't think that people should just wait for the meetings to share their thoughts. Put your ideas down in the forum. Give people a chance to read them out and think on them so that when we talk about them in a meeting we can be talking about things that we have had time to really think out. Also, nobody interrupts you in a post.


    I look forward to listening to these round Table Design Meetings.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Australia
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatgav View Post

    I do not accept that trying to argue my case as well and as fully as possible warrants any complaint per se - let alone being blamed for having "somewhat lost the ability to contribute more actively", by virtue of having actually tried to contribute instead of merely spectating.
    If the participants involved were passionate enough, that fundamental subject could be argued about until the end of time. The point is, there is a very healthy medium between arguing for hours without alternative/result, and spectating. It doesn't have to be one extreme or the other. By the way, I was not pointing fingers.

    I believe the best approach would be if there were numerous ideas put on the table, and then whittle those ideas down until we had the very best one. Oppose to trying to pick apart the few ideas that were put forward so we ended up with nothing and no result (which was what happened). I think people need to be a little more conscious of this, while making their arguments.

    EDIT: I should also add, that it did seem like hours of arguments were being made, when in essence, everyone was agreeing on the same thing, "don't skimp on non combat mechanics". I did not hear a single person suggest otherwise, yet a lot of time was wasted arguing/discussing that simple statement.
    Last edited by Judge; 05-13-2011 at 11:31 PM.

  8. #8
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    Nobody has lost any bit of their ability to contribute to this project. The forums remain, as always, open for us all to state any and all ideas and, otherwise, thoughts we have about anything to do with the game. For the most part, I think that is actually the best place to add new ideas, and the meetings are a good place to respond to those, stated, ideas with questions, and ideas, and in seeking greater clarification.

    Also, the meetings have not been taking away. All that is happening is that the Buzz crew is trying to improve how they are run, so that they may be more productive. That is a good thing. That just means that they have learned, and are trying to make improvements. Improvements are not punishments. This is just a win win for us all.

    If anyone could throw blame at Gav, then it would have to be blame for his part in helping improve the system. So thank you for that Gav.

    Gav did nothing wrong. Zak simply kept asking him questions, and Gav kept answering them. It is like the old joke goes, “If you want a different answer, then ask a different question.”

  9. #9
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    Apr 2011
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    Australia
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    I never said Gav specifically did something wrong. I just said we achieved no results in my eyes, and we spent a lot of time arguing about something we all pretty much agreed on. No skimping on secondary mechanics.

    If this was a simple forum topic discussing the pros and cons of a leveling system, it could happily go on forever. However, we are trying to work towards a result, and to me (and I could be wrong), but it seemed like people didn't have it in the back of their mind while making their arguments, that we are trying to work towards a tangible result, and time is somewhat an issue. While we are not working to a studio timeline, with investors/higher-ups/etc breathing down our necks for it to be released ASAP, and start making a turnover, I am assuming time is not an unlimited quantity on this project.

    As for "Nobody has lost any bit of their ability to contribute to this project", that entirely depends on if the Round Table discussions will have their token status lowered, which I am happy to wait patiently for Zak to confirm, when he has a chance, I know he has a very busy schedule.

    I didn't respond to put people's noses out of joint, I am just trying to express my honest opinion constructively as possible. Personally, I think this new system offers more structure, but I am unable to contribute anything at present, due to tokens. Whether that was by accident or by design, we will find out in due time.
    Last edited by Judge; 05-14-2011 at 02:05 AM.

  10. #10
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    Yeah, right on Judge. It is all good. I agree with what you are saying. I have enjoyed your contribution to the class so far. I was not suggesting that you were trying to blame Gav. I was responding to Gav's presented feeling that he was feeling blamed, and also speaking for anyone that might think that way.

    I see now that you meant that the token system was preventing you from listening to them and not that you felt that your voice had been muted.



    I just listened to the first two, of the Round Table videos, and I have to say I really liked them. I am impressed with there structure, it is more structured then I had even thought it would be. There have been lots of good ideas thrown around. I already have my own thoughts to share on it, that I will post when I have the time. I still need to listen to the rest of them.

    I can tell you all right now, that this is definitely a good thing for the class. I also want to congratulate the round table on doing a great job. So far everything is working smoothly like a well oiled machine.

    I would also encourage people to listen to these videos and then share you thoughts and ideas in the forum and not just wait for our next meeting. It would just help our next meeting go that much more smoothly.

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