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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 4:18 am 
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Please read the following Code of Conduct draft and offer suggestions or changes. It will be used as the registration agreement for the GoW forum.

Quote:
Welcome to the Guild of Writers!

Guild Supporters are welcome to register and post in all areas. Guild Supporters can join by offering their skills to a department or to a project.
The guild departments are arranged as follows:

Storytellers:
Come up with a story behind an age or a group of ages.

Artists:
Concepts for the age or group of ages from the Storytellers is created, or concepts for ages with no story are created and passed to the Storytellers.

Builders:
Modelers or a group of them begin work on the age.

Musicians:
Music is composed for the age, ranging from ambiance to sound effects.

Programmers:
Tie together any Python stuff, PRP hacks, etc. They make sure that the age is "Coded Properly for Uru"

Forums are provided for general discussion for each department, however most of the collaboration will occur in project specific forums. Although it is obviously not possible to follow this to the letter without wasting perfectly good, but independent ideas, please try to keep designs coherent. Nobody wants the forum to be full of completely unrelated ideas. If someone comes up with an idea, see if it can be related to existing projects.

This document may be updated as problems arise.

Also, there are guidelines that must be followed during your stay as a member of the Guild of Writers. In addition to the existing Code of Conduct for Myst Online: Uru Live and the Terms of Service for Myst Online: Uru Live, a Guild of Writers specific contract must be signed upon joining the guild. Projects may also have their own binding Non-Disclosure Agreements and contracts, which will apply to project members.

By signing this contract, you agree that you will not leak any storyline, screenshots, renderings, music clips, programs, discussions, or other Guild-related and project specific material to any persons that have not signed this contract. Breach of this contract will result in a temporary suspension, and judgment by project leaders and guild administrators. Should the administrators decide that you are guilty of an unauthorized leak, you will be banned from the Guild of Writers forums until further notice. However, should the administrators decide that you either did not leak any information, or the information leaked was of no or minimal importance, you will be reinstated as a member.


Just to clarify about the departments, basically we'd like to provide a general discussion area for each department. No one is required to belong to a department, but it makes it easier for people to share ideas that aren't specific to a project, but more specific to a group (such as a cool trick in Blender to create staircases, or a Python snippit showing how to do something). The tentative plan is for the department forums to be viewable by the public. The project specific forums will only be viewable to people working on that project who have agreed to the project-specific contract.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 5:07 am 
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I know this is going to be a frequently asked question though I suspect I know the answer, so I'll be the first to throw it out: Is it alright if we want to be part of multiple departments?

Additionally, I sent some suggestions for the forum we came up with during the second meeting (9/15) to Kato's username, so I might as well post them here too.. I don't know how it will mesh with your tentative plan, but I'll just toss out what we were thinking anyway. The idea would be that designers would post ideas of theirs in a section called "Design" and other artists/musicians/writers would work off their ideas until a cohesive plan is detailed.. then a corresponding thread could be opened in a section called "Technical" for the coders, modellers, texture artists, etc. to discuss building the Age (a process the designers can watch over to ensure the result matches their vision).

It seems like your plan consists of having seperate sections for each project once it begins. That's fine, but I might suggest adding a general design section anyway for concepts still in the works.. and I'd say we'll need some sort of Guild Structure section at least tentatively for private discussion as to our organization.

We came up with a list of threads to spur discussion on some various topics we have concerns about, as well. I'll be posting these when the forum is complete. (I've had a lot of questions as to when that will be, any idea on our timetable?)


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 5:23 am 
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Don't think of departments as sub-guilds. Think of them as additional categories on a forum.

You don't necessarily belong to a department, but there will probably be a department that focuses on a skill that you possess.

Feel free to contribute to department discussions, but don't feel that you have to, or that your are required to be a "member" of a department.

The departments are intended as a general way for people with the same skills to share techniques and ideas.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 5:45 am 
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That's what I figured, it's just that we had some people last night who were very adament about being able to wear multiple hats ;p


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 10:24 pm 
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I'm more than happy to abide by a code of conduct agreed to by its members, but I'm sorry, but I am not going to sign a contract to join this Guild.

Outside of the obvious idiocy of players contractually obligating other players to do or not do anything in a video game, this "contract," as written, has serious problems, such as:

~Who are the parties to which this contract is an agreement between? The player who signs it and... who?

~Who has the authority to "update" the document? And if it is updated, do players have to re-sign the contract?

~Will we have to give our real names? If not, then it's not really a contract, is it?

~Why are the "departments" and the forum structure part of the contract, anyway? This is not the kind of thing you put in a "code of conduct" document.

These things have to enumerated otherwise the contract is ambiguous and worthless. And besides, what benefit does a contract have in this case that a standard forum "code of conduct" does not?

This whole notion is a serious violation of the spirit of the Uru community. We have to stop this kind of thinking before we start hiring IC lawyers.

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Last edited by The Noble Robot on Mon Sep 17, 2007 3:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 11:46 pm 
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TNR> While I agree that the wording in the CoC sounds a bit stringent, I don't think that the intention was to make a legally binding document. Assuredly, it would be nice if we followed it, but can we send lawyers after people who don't follow? No, of course not. Can we kick out of the guild people who don't follow? Perhaps, but that's certainly still open to debate.

I suppose you could think of it as an IC-contract, valid as much as general rules of decency and politeness in the cavern. Failure to abide by them essentially gives others the right to /ignore them. Besides that, no one can do anything about it.

Dovahn

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 2:16 am 
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I am sure that it is well-intentioned (I know of no one involved in spearheading movement in the GoW who isn't very friendly, well-meaning and wants the best for everyone), but the line:

Quote:
a Guild of Writers specific contract must be signed upon joining the guild.


...is simply disgusting to me. Sorry, but it is.

I won't be a part of any Guild that has this in it's charter, no matter how well-intentioned it is. I can only assume that I'm not alone in this feeling.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 2:29 am 
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I don't see what's wrong with it. Unless I misunderstand it, the contract will just basically be saying "I agree to not do these things:" and possibly a few "I agree to do this:", otherwise you can be kicked out. Depending on what it is, the only thing I would possibly have a problem with is the list of "I agree to do this:" (assuming there is one)

But I don't think they're aiming for some legally-binding, RL contract.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 3:17 am 
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I'm sorry, but a "contract" is legally binding.

If that's not the intent, it *must* be changed. If we're going to have such rules, we need to be smart about how we talk about them, instead of throwing around legal terms and yet saying that it may change at any time.

And still, no one has answered my questions from my earlier post...

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 3:30 am 
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Maybe, maybe not. According to dictionary.com the first definition of "contract" is simply "an agreement between two or more parties for the doing or not doing of something specified." It doesn't have to be legally binding (though that is the meaning that is used a lot of the time).

Of course, I am not the one who came up with the text in the OP, so I have no idea what the intended meaning was, so until one of the people involved answers, we don't know.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:21 am 
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"Contract" being used in this case to describe a secondary agreement (probably resembling an NDA) might be required when joining a specific project (with the intent of protecting storyline and project assets).
If you disagree with the word, feel free to provide another that describes it in better terms and isn't so "scary" sounding.

To answer the other points:
"Who are the parties to which this contract is an agreement between?"
The agreement is intended to be upheld by the player and whatever form of authority/government is decided upon for the GoW; however, I feel that it is more intended as an agreement between members. With this agreement, you know that you can trust all of the other guild members.

"Who has the authority to "update" the document? And if it is updated, do players have to re-sign the contract?"
I'd imagine that no single person has the power to update the agreement, an amendment process would have to be discussed, but it will likely involve a lot of community input and polling. I'd see amendments as rarities that only occur to prevent a specific problem as it may arise.

"Will we have to give our real names? If not, then it's not really a contract, is it? "
No, you will not be required to give your full name; it isn't really intended as a contract (legally binding) as an agreement between members.

"Why are the "departments" and the forum structure part of the contract, anyway?"
I agree with you. However, it's also important that these be listed somewhere for clarification.

I'd like to make sure that everyone knows that this Code of Conduct isn't written in any permanent form. If you have better ideas, please quote the original post, edit it and bold your changes. Chances are it'll be a whole lot better than the original ;)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:43 am 
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Thanks for the clarifications, Paradox. As suggested, I'll propose my own variation on this agreement:

Quote:
Welcome to the Guild of Writers!

Guild Supporters are welcome to register and post in all areas. Guild Supporters can join by offering their skills to a department or to a project.

Forums are provided for general discussion on age building, however, collaboration will occur in project specific forums. Please keep discussions organized on this basis.

Also, there are guidelines which govern the Guild of Writers which apply to communications on this forum. Failure to regard these rules may result in various disciplinary actions, up to and including the banning of your forum account and/or expulsion from the Guild.

These actions may be taken by either forum moderators or the governing body of the Guild.

The guidelines are as follows:

First, the Guild of Writers expects its members to abide by the existing Code of Conduct and Terms of Service for Myst Online: Uru Live.

Second, in order to protect works in progress from premature release into the general player community, and also to preserve the gameplay of Guild-created ages, members of the Guild of Writers will not leak any storyline, screenshots, renderings, music clips, programs, discussions, or any other Guild-related or project specific material to any persons or forums outside the Guild of Writers and the Guild of Writers forum.

Third, individual projects may require additional discretion on the part of its members, including the keeping of information, screenshots, etc, from other Guild members. Additionally, project members may in some cases be required to keep this information even after the release of the project. Alternately, certain projects may have fewer or no restrictions on releasing such information.

Guild members must be aware and mindful of these guidelines at all times.

Changes to guild-wide agreements on the release and protection of information will be enumerated by the governing body of the Guild and reflected in this document. Upholding this agreement will be the collective responsibility of all Guild members.

The creation of and changes to project-specific agreements on the release and protection of information will be enumerated by the project leader(s), and reflected in project-specific forums. Upholding these agreements will be the collective responsibility of all project members.


How's that? Feel free to further refine...

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 6:13 am 
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That rewording sounds good.

I didn't see "contract" as being anything beyond the standard "I agree to the TOS" checkbox found on the registration pages for most websites.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 6:16 am 
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I've tried my hand at this as well.
Sorry that I did not bold all changes; this would have made it nearly unreadable!
And though the Code of Conduct is included at page bottom, this document is more an introduction to a GoW website/forums than anything else. The Code may be better off on its own page, along with the form elements permitting registration.

The paragraph in italics, I feel, should be included in a members-only page offering guidelines for storytellers, esigners, builders, etc.
_________________________________________________

Welcome to the Guild of Writers!

Some general areas of our Forums are available to all interested parties.

If you’d like to be a Guild Supporter, you’re welcome to register, after which you’ll have the ability to post in our general forum areas. If you'd like to join the Guild of Writers, please read and agree to our brief Code of Conduct and register, after which you'll have access to members-only areas of the forums. Additionally, there are forums available only to specific Age Building projects and specific crafts in which members can choose to participate.

Guild Members can offer their skills to a Craft or to a project.
The guild Crafts are arranged as follows:

Storytellers:
Originate and develop the stories that support individual ages, and/or master storylines that unify groups of ages.

Artists / Designers:
Conceptualize the ages or groups of ages from the Storytellers’ writings. Conversely, some ages may of necessity be designed first, with Storytellers later called upon to craft supporting background for the age(s).

Builders:
Modelers, texture artists, animators and related crafts realize finished ages from the Artists’ / Designers’ draft concepts.

Musicians / Audio artists:
Compose and create both foreground and ambient music and sound effects for the age.

Programmers:

Tie together any Python stuff, PRP hacks, etc. They make sure that the age is "Coded Properly for Uru", and integrate any DirectX effects unavailable in the Builders’ toolsets.

Forums are provided for general discussion for each department, however most of the collaboration will occur in project specific forums. Although it is obviously not possible to follow this to the letter without wasting perfectly good, but independent ideas, please try to keep designs coherent. Nobody wants the forum to be full of completely unrelated ideas. If someone comes up with an idea, see if it can be related to existing projects.


Guild of Writers Code of Conduct

Our Guild of Writers membership has agreed that there should be certain guidelines that must be followed by all members of this Guild. The central reason for this has everything to do with achieving the element of surprise so key to a first-time player’s experience, and has little or nothing to do with egotism or selfish hoarding of information.

In addition to the existing Code of Conduct for Myst Online: Uru Live and the Terms of Service for Myst Online: Uru Live, a Guild of Writers-specific contract must be signed in order to join the Guild. Agebuilding Project members may also decide to have their own internally-binding Non-Disclosure Agreements and/or contracts, which will apply specifically to participants in that particular project.

Code of Conduct

By signing this contract, you agree that you will not disclose any storyline, screenshots, renderings, music clips, programs, discussions, or other Guild-related and/or project-specific material to any persons that have not signed this contract. Breach of this contract will result in at least a temporary suspension from the Guild of Writers, as judged by project leaders, guild administrators, and/or the Guild membership at large (TBD). Should a member be found guilty of an unauthorized leak, they will be banned from the members-only sections of the Guild of Writers forums until further notice. Means of appeal will be established through which, with the general consensus of the Guild, members will have the opportunity to be reinstated.

This document may be updated as a majority of our Guild members see fit.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:45 am 
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Personally I don't mind "signing" a ToS of sorts, if you are a member of the guild you are going to be relied upon so people need to know you can pull your weight, and thus be accountable if you do not. Not to mention projects that will be kept from the public until ready (and I am sure there will be, please save any comments about elitism or power grabbing I have no interest in hearing them) which may need an NDA of sorts.


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