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An Editorial
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ctown28
ctown28
Tireless Tiger

Jun-28-2008 08:39

There have been some recent events on this game that warrant some concern. It’s no secret that there has been a lack of interest. Much of this may be attributed to the release of Shades of Mystery. If that is what people want to play, far be it from me to tell them not to play it.

That being said. I am still a paying customer of Sleuth Noir. As a paying customer there are some things that I expect. Ben has done a decent job at keeping the server up and running. We had a slight issue earlier in the week with not being able to travel and Ben did a great job of addressing the issue and getting it corrected. He always has done a great job of taking care of things. He has not however kept the game fresh and interesting. We recently had the expansion of the USS Sleuthetania. There was a buzz before the initial launch of it and we couldn’t wait to see what was in store for us.

Well what did we get? The opportunity to pay $20,000 to get on board of a ship and do nothing more than play cases. Sure there are some new characters and new items along with 2 new “coming soon” links. That’s it! I can’t help but to feel disappointed in the way this has played out. Two weeks later, the links are still coming soon and the interest of the boat has already gone away. I know I have no plans or reason to get on the boat and be cut off from my agency completely. I don’t know this for a fact, but I think a lot of people are disappointed with the boat as well and some may even be irritated and feel cheated by the whole development.

Maybe I’m being a bit harsh and we are missing some secret that still needs to be unlocked on the boat, but if people aren’t playing, the secret will not be unlocked. I know that Ben is just one person and can only do so much. He has a lot on his plate right now with running both SOM and Noir. I’m sorry, but SOM means absolutely nothing to me as I don’t play over there.

Replies

candygirl1111
candygirl1111
Old Shoe

Jul-9-2008 20:33

Welcome back, Ms Helen :D :D

Lady Zeugirdor
Lady Zeugirdor
Vigilante

Jul-10-2008 00:06

Interesting discussion. I'm willing to help any way I can... which wouldn't be too awful much, since I'm not a computer programmer. I could always look for more pictures for something...right? ; )

Huglover
Huglover
Old Shoe

Jul-10-2008 00:54

Please understand that the most of the job needed in a development team are not the programming, but very much everything else.
We will need people to find out how to do tricky things, how to solve security, getting all the good ideas that will make Noir even more fun, create all the good stories that gives people a good time, marketing issues, to make us grow and become popular, new items and trophy's, good quests of many kind, prioritizing, validating and growing the ideas, help to sort out personal conflicts that may arise, encouraging people to involve....
And those of us who will be programming need help with testing, so that we might learn if things work out all right or not.
As I am a programmer, and think that part will be ok, I am really starting to learn python now, and have learned enought spyce to know the principle as well (only need help to get something up and running locally).

What I worry about though are:
- will we get the needed authorisation and permissions from Ben to implement the great development team idea of Breitkat?
- will we be able to find ideas that we agree on that will make Noir even more fun and attractive?
- will there be anyone who are able to write all the good stories that will add for the richness of Noir? (Hey, what fun would the mysteries, AVH's, factions and so on have if it were not for all the good stories?)


- perhaps there will be a need for more books to collect? Where are they going to come from, and how are they going to be revealed/found?
- perhaps the apartments need more things to stuff into them?
..... the list is long.... so don't worry if you are not a computer programmer. The need is rich and high on people who have other skills as well.

Breitkat
Breitkat
Pinball Amateur

Jul-10-2008 15:28

I'm glad people seem to like my zany little 'development team' idea. That encourages me very much. I'm also very, very glad to hear so many people who are willing to participate on some level. That's wonderful to hear.

Ben's response was rather disappointing to me. I WAS one of the people present at Sleuthcon, and was there during his initial presentation about Shades. We were told repeatedly then that BOTH sites would be given equal preference and attention, that Shades would not take over Admin's priority at the cost of Noir. To see Ben admit thus now is very disheartening to me.

I do hope Admin is willing to at least approve the development team idea. Refusing to do so, in my mind, would be a very poor economic and public relations move to make. You have people who are willing to take over and put in the time it takes to bring new content to Noir. Not taking advantage of this would probably spell the demise of Noir, and while Noir may not be raking in loads of profits, it IS a paying commodity that's stood on its own for several years now. Just something to consider, Admin....

As for the development team, I have a small suggestion:

While I agree that we will need the entire community to present ideas, and share their opinions on those ideas and possibly do testing on stuff, using the entire community for the team itself, to me, is a bad idea. Extremely large groups tend to have serious logistical problems and can affect their efficacy (effectiveness). The idea that various people have mentioned about setting up a board where the community can post makes much more sense to me.

To my mind, the team would work much better with a makeup of 6 to a maximum of 12 people. I've thought up three job categories that, to my mind, seem to cover pretty much all of the material that people have mentioned.

Breitkat
Breitkat
Pinball Amateur

Jul-10-2008 15:39

1. Idea Management -- These team members are responsible for gathering, prioritizing, and determining which ideas are suitable for expansion. They're also responsible for maintaining the board mentioned above, and communicating between the team and the board.

2. Idea Expansion & Editing -- These team members are basically the planners and writers of the approved ideas. They're responsible for coming up with the vast majority of the content for whichever ideas the team approves. They're responsible for new characters, descriptions, sayings, pictures, twists, storylines, etc., and all the editing that goes with that. They're also responsible for keeping the rest of the team informed of their progress.

3. Idea Programmers -- These team members have had the most publicity, but probably are the most specialized and least needed of the group. To a great extent (hopefully), Admin will be participating with this team, so these team members will basically be doing preliminary programming and coding work on whatever the Expansion people have come up with, and the advanced stuff will be left to Admin to finish as they like.

Again, these are not set in stone, and they're meant to all work together. These are just some titles/ideas that my befuddled brain came up with. If people have others, I'd love to hear them. ;-)

Breitkat
Breitkat
Pinball Amateur

Jul-10-2008 15:42

And also, by the way, I'd be very willing to volunteer as one of the writers (Idea Expansion/Editing) if people want me. ;-)

Breitkat
Breitkat
Pinball Amateur

Jul-10-2008 15:44

P.S.S. -- HI HELEN!!!!!!

(Just us ol' codgers sittin' on the porch thumping our canes at the whippersnappers! ;-p )

nicnic
nicnic
Battered Shoe

Jul-10-2008 18:28

LMAO. Ms. Helen is back in Noir! Looks like I beat her back here by only a couple of days ;) Hi ms. helen :P Great minds....

Just to some of the points we were discussing before and ctown sparked my interest to investigate a bit into the matter. Last night I logged into SOM and there were 83 detectives logged in, 15 subbed (which included myself).

And one last point... I agree with Breit. If this development team comes to fruition (I'm still on the fence whether I like it or not because I have always loved what Ben alone did with the game) it should be a very small group. And I suspect that Ben will choose people that he knows and trusts to be part of it. Otherwise, it could take a very serious turn for the worse. Breit- I actually think your proposed numbers are a little bit high. I would think 2-3 would be the most doable. I know what it's like getting 6 of my friends out of the house to make a dinner reservation on time and it is quite frustrating. Let alone agreeing on a matters as complicated as these.

I think it would also be premature for anyone to assume that they will be a participant just because they know how to program and whatnot. And those that are actually chosen, if there are development teams, could also make or break the community. But I am sure that Ben will take this all into consideration before making his decision ;)

Jesse Hunter
Jesse Hunter
Huntsman

Jul-10-2008 20:14

I agree with nicnic that smaller teams are the way to go. Large groups come with built-in opposition that hinders creativity.

Drawing from real life leadership/team experience, here's a model that I know works well (most of the time):

1. 3-4 person dream team - comes up with rough ideas; no holds barred here. Sumits semi-polished ideas to:
2. Program team - advises whether project is physically possible - still no judge on merit of ideas at this time (number of members depends on requirements)
4. Admin (and/or trusted lieutenants) - red lights/green lights further development, imposes limits
5. Writing team - fleshes out idea, acting as a go-between for program team and dream team.
6. Program team - codes project.


As you can see, it's very close to Breitkat's suggested job categories. The groups balance each other well, and admin still has a strong, but not time intensive, role.

ctown28
ctown28
Tireless Tiger

Jul-10-2008 21:21

IMO, everyone needs to slow down here. All Admin said is that he may consider and here everyone is talking about leadership teams and programming teams, etc.

For all we know, there may be a team in place and none of us know about it except those who are on it.

The team I was on over in The Stone consisted of about 15 or 20 of us, that was a bit different though and I will not go into the details because the game was completely different. All we can do now is wait and see what happens now that we have some feedback from Admin himself.

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