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Author Topic: Third party interfaces and "Losing control of the project"  (Read 26104 times)

Frobozz

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Re: Third party interfaces and "Losing control of the project"
« Reply #180 on: July 30, 2008, 03:40:48 pm »

Quote from: Omega2
I suggest he tackles at least some of the interface problems and requests as he develops the Army and Caravan Arcs.
I agree. I don't particularly care if he allows support for third-party or not, or if the interface gets a complete revamp immediately. What I would like to see are minor improvements to the current one until the revamp is performed. Simple things like full mouse support would do a world of good in attracting players, especially those who prefer using a mouse over the keyboard.
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Gaulgath

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Re: Third party interfaces and "Losing control of the project"
« Reply #181 on: July 30, 2008, 03:45:37 pm »

Personally, I think adding in tutorials and better documentation would help keep beginners better than interface tweaks and improvements. Toady could create the best interface in the world, but that doesn't matter if newbies have no idea what to do or how to start. (Which is not to say he shouldn't tackle both at the same time or whatever)

And certainly DF can have a great interface without coding from the community, it would just take longer. Honestly, I think I would rather wait that extra time rather than put Toady in an uncomfortable  position where he fears losing control of the project he has spent years working.
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Omega2

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Re: Third party interfaces and "Losing control of the project"
« Reply #182 on: July 30, 2008, 03:57:16 pm »

Well, he sort of lost some control over the project already.

People are allowed to create their own tilesets and mods. Those things also break when new versions show up, so players who use them exclusively end up not playing the new versions until the modders catch up.
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dreiche2

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Re: Third party interfaces and "Losing control of the project"
« Reply #183 on: July 30, 2008, 04:17:47 pm »

Quote from: Omega2
I suggest he tackles at least some of the interface problems and requests as he develops the Army and Caravan Arcs.
I agree. I don't particularly care if he allows support for third-party or not, or if the interface gets a complete revamp immediately. What I would like to see are minor improvements to the current one until the revamp is performed. Simple things like full mouse support would do a world of good in attracting players, especially those who prefer using a mouse over the keyboard.

Well, I think we can be sure that he will do gradual improvements over time, just as he did with the mass dumping recently. For this it's best the community just gathers suggestions for improvements along this line, as of course already happens... the top 10 suggestions thread e.g. seems a very good example.
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Tamren

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Re: Third party interfaces and "Losing control of the project"
« Reply #184 on: July 30, 2008, 04:21:50 pm »

I think some people don't understand how good a thing we have going here.

This is a game that none of us are obligated to donate for. And Toady is in no way obligated to make it for us.

But he does, and we do, and the game is awesome for it. Free and fun. Don't try to fix what you can't break.
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Frobozz

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Re: Third party interfaces and "Losing control of the project"
« Reply #185 on: July 30, 2008, 04:30:40 pm »

Quote from: dreiche2
For this it's best the community just gathers suggestions for improvements along this line
Agreed. But its also best that members of the community who disagree don't start a raging argument over why it shouldn't be done. Much better for us to focus on suggestion and let Toady decide. Doesn't matter how much we argue. If Toady doesn't like it, doesn't want it, then he won't implement it.

Quote from: Tamren
I think some people don't understand how good a thing we have going here.

This is a game that none of us are obligated to donate for. And Toady is in no way obligated to make it for us.

But he does, and we do, and the game is awesome for it. Free and fun. Don't try to fix what you can't break.
We're trying to get this back on track for a suggestion thread. Granted you are trying to make a suggestion. I see that now. Your suggestion is "shut up and be happy with the game we have." This is just fine. We are happy. But Toady didn't put a suggestion category on his forum just to look pretty. If nobody made a suggestion, it would be rather pointless wouldn't it?

Now do you have something constructive to add? Or do you just intend to repeat what others have already said before? If so, please do us the favor of quoting and putting it in bold or a bright color so we'll know we can safely ignore it without missing anything important.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2008, 04:33:01 pm by Frobozz »
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Tormy

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Re: Third party interfaces and "Losing control of the project"
« Reply #186 on: July 30, 2008, 04:42:31 pm »

We're trying to get this back on track for a suggestion thread. Granted you are trying to make a suggestion. I see that now. Your suggestion is "shut up and be happy with the game we have." This is just fine. We are happy. But Toady didn't put a suggestion category on his forum just to look pretty. If nobody made a suggestion, it would be rather pointless wouldn't it?

Now do you have something constructive to add? Or do you just intend to repeat what others have already said before? If so, please do us the favor of quoting and putting it in bold or a bright color so we'll know we can safely ignore it without missing anything important.

I gotta say I agree with Tamren, however that is not important now. I have a suggestion..move this thread to the suggestions subforum, and perhaps rename the thread title to: Third party interfaces. [[However as I see, everything has been said already [pros and cons] at least 5 times but ah well..]] ::)
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Andir

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Re: Third party interfaces and "Losing control of the project"
« Reply #187 on: July 30, 2008, 05:15:08 pm »

I gotta say I agree with Tamren, however that is not important now. I have a suggestion..move this thread to the suggestions subforum, and perhaps rename the thread title to: Third party interfaces. [[However as I see, everything has been said already [pros and cons] at least 5 times but ah well..]] ::)
I don't know how anyone can really tell if all the pros and cons HAVE been stated.  They'd somehow have to wade through 13 pages of people bickering that the presentation arc isn't finished yet and that somehow, before it's implemented, talking about it is off limits.
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Tamren

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Re: Third party interfaces and "Losing control of the project"
« Reply #188 on: July 30, 2008, 05:36:11 pm »

My point was that we have a very balanced system here that WORKS. Toady gets to make his dream game and he enjoys doing it. He can work without someone lording over him and with no deadlines but those he sets for himself. His income relies completely on our player satisfaction. But since our donations are voluntary, he is not shackled in any way to our demands. This is a situation that some game developers would kill for!

I can play this game without feeling that I need to "get my moneys worth" out of my investment. If something bothers me I can learn to work around it while suggesting a fix to Toady with as much detail as I can. Eventually things do get fixed.

So just give it time. Obviously you have a lot of ideas on how to make the interface better, or you wouldn't be wanting to make one of your own. Put them out there and let it stew.
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Torak

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Re: Third party interfaces and "Losing control of the project"
« Reply #189 on: July 30, 2008, 05:46:09 pm »

Now do you have something constructive to add? Or do you just intend to repeat what others have already said before? If so, please do us the favor of quoting and putting it in bold or a bright color so we'll know we can safely ignore it without missing anything important.


All I have seen you do is try to shoot down the people who keep 'repeating what other have already said before' for about ten pages with little change in either side of the argument. It's a tug of war with a rope made of pig fat.
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XmasApe

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Re: Third party interfaces and "Losing control of the project"
« Reply #190 on: July 30, 2008, 07:59:09 pm »

Now do you have something constructive to add? Or do you just intend to repeat what others have already said before? If so, please do us the favor of quoting and putting it in bold or a bright color so we'll know we can safely ignore it without missing anything important.


All I have seen you do is try to shoot down the people who keep 'repeating what other have already said before' for about ten pages with little change in either side of the argument. It's a tug of war with a rope made of pig fat.
Well, he certainly finds himself in good - or at least prolific - company.
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Andir

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Re: Third party interfaces and "Losing control of the project"
« Reply #191 on: July 30, 2008, 08:11:21 pm »

My point was that we have a very balanced system here that WORKS. Toady gets to make his dream game and he enjoys doing it. He can work without someone lording over him and with no deadlines but those he sets for himself. His income relies completely on our player satisfaction. But since our donations are voluntary, he is not shackled in any way to our demands. This is a situation that some game developers would kill for!

I can play this game without feeling that I need to "get my moneys worth" out of my investment. If something bothers me I can learn to work around it while suggesting a fix to Toady with as much detail as I can. Eventually things do get fixed.

So just give it time. Obviously you have a lot of ideas on how to make the interface better, or you wouldn't be wanting to make one of your own. Put them out there and let it stew.
Yes, so... Toady makes the decisions.  He was presented a choice and a way to move forward that he can decide to follow or not.  The OP made a detailed and specific list of the potential they saw in the game, just like all the other requests for mass construction, et. al... and he/she was instantly attacked by the "members" of the community because it didn't match the direction THEY wanted in the game.

The idea was presented to Toady.  Some of us back the idea, offering some tips and guidance to hope that Toady decides to take on some of those ideas when he sits down to work out the logistics of the interface and appearance arc.

The problem arises though, when people suddenly declare that the OP is trying to "steal [the game] from him" and that they think "Toady should [not] worry about this" without providing any constructive feedback on the idea, how it could be better worked out or how they'd prefer Toady proceed.  They start off by classifying the OP as a "two bit programmer" for asking that any part of the client be opened up and outright declare that we should wait for an interface enhancement that even Toady apparently hasn't really decided the direction of yet.  Some people offered actual alternatives to anyone that wished to enhance their experience now, but others continued down the path of classifying anyone that gave half a thought about Open Sourcing anything as a wild animal "froth[ing] at the mouth".  I of course made an improper move by pointing out this thought and am myself attacked because I was spewing "disingenuous rhetorical tricks" and "stereotyping"??  Some even go so far as to say that "[open sourcing] drives your life's work into a path you never intended. You lose control of your own game, and have to search for a job again." and that "[we are]breathing down his neck all the time" by posting a thread on a forum...  :o  Of course, we can't leave sleeping dogs lie, so it continues on for pages and pages on how we should "Wait until he [completes the interface], THEN complain about the result so he can improve it." instead of offering advice up front.

I could go on for another page or so, but nobody is clearly listening.  The naysayers continue to harass those looking to inspire or guide Toady.  Maybe even help him decide what could happen with the interface changes, what it could take to do it and that it's not the end of the world to experiment in different avenues.  To the naysayers, there is only one solution to the problems facing the game.  Ignore the problems and wait while berating anyone that would DARE try to assist, guide, teach, or suggest that Toady listen to them.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2008, 08:13:49 pm by Andir »
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Tamren

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Re: Third party interfaces and "Losing control of the project"
« Reply #192 on: July 30, 2008, 09:16:13 pm »

Playing the wounded bird is not going to cut it. The OP and his supporters forfeited all right to be surprised and or angry about the public response the moment they posted in a PUBLIC forum.

Were not all here to agree with you, the point of a forum is to support the exchange of opposing views. If the majority on this board think third party interfaces are a bad idea. Well guess what. The majority of people on this board think third party interfaces are a bad idea. Nothing more, nothing less.

Our opinions matter squat, so don't let them affect you. In the end its not our decision to make whether or not changes to the game are made. That sole power rests with Toady, whom you are free to contact directly. At the very least you would probably receive a polite "no".

On the other hand, were you to post in the suggestions forum. That forum has a far more specific code of etiquette which generally puts a lid on the asshattery and the non-constructive criticism.
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Toady One

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Re: Third party interfaces and "Losing control of the project"
« Reply #193 on: July 30, 2008, 09:25:55 pm »

Somebody reported a post in this thread...  it didn't really matter which one.  A bit of chilling would be good.  There are a few people that have failed to chill.  There are quite a few statements here I'd respond to in person myself, and some very sharply, but internet discussions are more fragile and more prone to derailment.  So I'll try to stick to what seems to be the core of the matter.

Which for me (and granted, I'm picking a recent post -- I've read the thread, but don't remember when this came up first in this thread) is along the lines of what Jamuk said.  I'm being asked to assume risk.  I don't accept assessments of the risk as extraordinarily slight -- I've seen no sound basis for those assessments here.  I also don't think the currently proposed licensing/obfuscation method of putting the cat back into the bag would work -- with a principal downside being that it requires me to turn into an asshole who, after initially sanctioning the process, breaks everything that people have been working on.  Publishing an API and then trying to reel it back in just seems completely unworkable and irresponsible to me.  So the point is to assess risk upfront and then make a decision I can live with.

And right now, I have no idea what would happen.  This isn't the same as leaving my math job or adding the Z coordinate.  The first was a decision I had to make personally for my quality of life, and the second was a calculated risk which I didn't really have strong misgivings about (though some people are still pro-2D version, I think I can get most of them what they want over time in terms of gameplay difficulty, etc., though it'll never feel like it's quite on that rail again most likely).  Do I accept that third parties could improve the interface?  Of course.  Do I think I could do better than a third party myself, even over time?  No, not at all, though I can certainly improve on what I've got now to a large degree even without external input (which I, of course, love to receive).  So, initially, there's some attraction to the third party interface idea.

However, reflecting on the position I'd be in, there are things not to like about it.  How many threads were there about broken utilities when this version came out?  If more than half the player base comes in off a third party interface (and given how much the current interface sucks, and how much it is a source of first time downloaders dropping the game, this is not only imaginable, it is very, very likely), how would it be if it broke at each release?  There's no way to mitigate that without my direct involvement -- imagine a release down the line where you can suddenly move dwarven armies around on the world map, with a tactical view and various options.  That interface can't write itself, and it wouldn't be a quick patch, though certainly dedicated people, assuming that about whoever is maintaining the front-end at that time, can pull things together rapidly.  The pressure on me to work directly with them to get the interface out at the same time as the game itself would likely be immense and disruptive, given what little evidence we have from broken utilities.  That's not to say that I often get requests to work with utility writers (other than from the writers themselves, who I generally accommodate), but this would be at a different order of magnitude.

So what's the exact risk there then?  First, I don't want to work with other people.  So, assuming I don't do that, there's now a constant amount of pressure on me and a general disruption in the forums.  The latter could be mitigated with some announcements/guidelines, etc., but the pressure wouldn't go away.  Monetarily, it's impossible to say what on earth would happen, but if I supported the third party interface directly pre-release, I'd likely make more money, but I'd be unhappy.  If I didn't support it directly, but it was there, I'd still likely make more money, but I'd be unhappy.  That's not to say that I don't want to grow the audience and allow more people play the game, but I want to do it in a way with which I feel satisfied, even if that ends up being slower or just plain worse than a hypothetical third party alternative.  If someone, as a potential donor, thinks that's unreasonably selfish, that person shouldn't send me any more money than he or she thinks I've deserved for his or her enjoyment, just like everybody else.  Despite my dedication to this project, I'm unwilling to sacrifice my enjoyment of working on it for anything, including its quality or even its future release if it comes down to that.  That should be plainly obvious.  I'm not a slave.  Of course I do some things I don't like working on, with the interface and more.  I fulfill requests for features I'm not going to use myself.  However, again, the current proposal is of a different order of magnitude, with the potential of ruining it for me, and the end result is completely uncertain.

Given what I've seen here and there, it seems like a full third party interface might develop even without my involvement (rather than the various utilities we have now), but in that case, despite the same issues that might come up, at least it won't be a situation of my own creation that I feel a strong obligation to deal with, although the pressure would still be there.

Incidentally, in the proposed model, I still don't think I'd be able to bring code back in to the core project -- the first Kobold Quest port attempt showed that people bringing in code don't necessarily check or care about the licenses of the code they are swiping, and I can't assume that responsibility for them (it has stuff from Wine which shouldn't have been there).  Problems come up here with tilesets and so on too -- I know there've been a few cases where a contributor used somebody else's art and then it was put in a game, causing some legal trouble, though I don't have them at my immediate disposal.

I may have missed a lot, both problems I'm not thinking of and ways to handle them, since this gets complicated and is, due to lack of information, somewhat unspecified, but that's what I've got right now.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2008, 10:17:14 pm by Toady One »
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Syreal

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Re: Third party interfaces and "Losing control of the project"
« Reply #194 on: July 30, 2008, 09:30:28 pm »



That sole power rests with Toady

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