I am commenting some of the previous posts. I won't comment everything, just what I have something to say about. I hope noone feels offended if I leave his comment out.The current system:
Of course, the current system is not free of flaws. It can and should be improved. But scraping it completely and inventing something different is not the way to go. The new system would have even more flaws thatn the current one, because something new always has flaws by definition. I am more in favour of polishing the actual system, pointing his flaws and fixing them. That will be the only way to achieve an (almost) perfect system.
natty_dread wrote:Anyway, the current Design Brief system doesn't really work, and it's probably because there's not enough manpower to address the submitted briefs quickly, which leads to the foundry mods to feel pressured to approve any design brief - also, it seems that no one is really rejecting any briefs, they're either approved or left in a perpetual limbo...
I don't think that's a big issue. What we need it's a fixed thread where mapmakers submit their Design Brief (like the thread for submiting the XML) then those drafts are reviewed in order of appliance. So at each moment everybody knows which is the next draft to be reviewed and how many drafts are before a particular one. While the mapmaker waits for the design brief to be reviewed, he should encourage discussion in the map thread.
cairnswk wrote:MrBenn, there is a certain amount of "sell" in that design brief. But the design brief is a proposal, and in the foundry the deisgn brief may change completely depending on the feedback obtained. In some ways it can become obsolete.
Yes. That happens with many creation items. The TV series sites are full of interviews where the writers say "we had that idea but it became something completely different". However, you need an original idea in order to pich the map. Look at it like a Business Plan, like an episode draft in a TV series, like a design document in a video game, etc. If the author is not able to create a brief saying what he wants to acomplish and why his idea is so good, then probably it's better to stop him right at the begining instead of allowing him to advance. The longer he is allowed to continue the bigger his disapointment when he is told that his map is not good (and the more difficult to do it, as he has invested a lot of time and effort). So the design brief is in fact something good for the mapmaker. Plus most times by writing a Business Plan the author gets a much better idea of what he wants to acomplish.
cairnswk wrote:But i don't think the Foundry Foreman having all that power is the right way to go. It's very "Julius Caesar" - autocratic, and could lead to marginalisation of a group of players wanting a map.
(If you had been doing the "yaying" or "naying" i possibly would never have gotten Poison Rome through the process, because i think you may have misjudged what the map was about and/or how it worked (apart from the graphics). And there is now a faction that thinks Poison Rome is a very good map.)
Is not that a single person has the absolute power to decide who lives and who dies, but someone has to be in charge. I think that your concern is more a requirement for the person(s) doing the task. That person has to be an open person, willing to take into account feedback and comments. That's why some time has to pass between the draft being posted and the final decision being taken. During that time any issue should be addresed.
Plus rejecting an idea is not saying "No, you never can do that". It is saying "It can't be done in its current state". But if all the issues are addressed, solved, and the idea resubmited, I don't see why the idea shouldn't be accepted. Rejecting an idea is not telling the mapmaker "you are bad". Is saying "you have done a good job, but you should improve this and this and this". Rejected ideas should never be just a "No". They should be a "We reject the map for this this and this reason". Again, make the comparison to an editor rejecting a book, a producing rejecting an episode idea for the TV, and so... It's not saing the writer is bad. Is saying that particular ideas needs some more work.
Do you have any examples? What makes an idea bad or good? If someone is new and they are making their first map, of course it may not be up to the standard as other that produce maps. But if you don't encourage these people how will the learn to be the best? There are a lot of quality map makers here but there is always room for more users to step up and learn the craft. Maybe some sort of apprenticeship could help so the "bad" ones aren't so bad.
That's a good point. For that reason rejecting an idea should never be a "this is bad" thing. This should be "this is bad for this, this and this. If a first time mapmaker wants to do a map there is a high chance that his idea has some flaws. If the design brief (not the idea) is rejected in the proper way, it can be encouraging to the mapmaker. Most mapmakers (and creators in general) what they want is some feedback. If the mapmaker receives something like an encouraging "rejecting note" this can be very positive, encourage him to improve his idea and resubmit it with much better shape. Something like "Hey, we have seen your map design. Unfortunately it's not good enough, but we see you have put a lot of effort. It would be great if you fixed this. And better to avoid this because it's not a good idea".The map committee thing:
This needs some work, but it's a good idea. Anyone who follows the map has a better idea of why the map is good or bad. So their voice needs to be listened to. But I don't think they have to be making the final decision because being so close to map development they will be inclined to wanting to let the map pass (just the opposite of the foreman concerns) so probably a mixed system with the foreman and the committe, or the foreman heading the committee but taking a more distant approach would be good.
porkenbeans wrote:The quality of the maps here at CC has been significantly reduced. I believe that this started with the departure of mibi, to start his own Risk site. He managed to take with him CC's most talented and experienced mapmakers. Also on or about that time a few of the more talented mapmakers retired.
I do NOT think that your current problems stem from some inadequacy in the Foundry system, as much as, the inadequacy that lies in the "Talent" dept. I am tempted to list examples of crappy maps, but I do Not want to be perceived as trying to flame any particular person. Suffice it to say, The Foundry here at CC has squeezing out some real turds lately.
I can certainly see what would lead Mr B to want to get a hold of the reins. terrible maps are being awarded with Graphic Stamps. I do not know if this is because the staff has become a part of the Foundry Clique and have lost their subjectivity, or if it is something else like an overall drop in interest in the foundry. But, something does indeed need to be done here.
I agree with this because I said it in a previous post. There are so many me-too
maps which add nothing new. I also don't want to flame anyone, but it seems like just because someone has spent many hours in a map he thinks the map has to be accepted. Of course anyone who has spent time deserves a good well written feedback. But deserving proper feedback is not the same has your map having to be accepted compulsory.