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PostPosted: 10 Sep 2010, 03:17 pm 
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If you follow developments over on the GoW forum, you may have spotted that I recently relinquished shell 423 in Ahra Pahts and asked for shell 415 instead.

The plan is to use this shell to develop an HQ/offices for the Devokan Trust (Ahra Pahts branch). There may well be a small publishing press involved too (akin to a university press; think journals).

I'm hoping it would be possible to do this as an ongoing story, so that people can see it take shape -- a little like Robert the Rebuilder did with his shell 111.

I'm not able to do this on my own, though. I am not a modeller, nor do I have the other skills necessary to put together an age, but I can imagine what might be seen, and what might happen over the weeks to come.

Is there be anyone out there who would like to be involved? It would be great if we can work together as an informal team. I don't see it as taking vast chunks of anyone's time (it would be a side project), and it should be fun and enjoyable.

At this initial stage, there would be a temporary office/hut a little like the one in Camp Bravo, where I and possibly Quinquifid would have desks, while the more permanent structures are built. We might be able to tell the story via journals, notes on noticeboards, laptop/computer screens etc.

Once those structures are in place, the hut will be demolished and then an installation/sculpture incorporating representative sphere fluxes raised in its place.

Please let me know if you might be interested. Thanks!


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PostPosted: 11 Sep 2010, 04:09 pm 
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I can help with the wiring (Alc- and Python scripting).


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PostPosted: 12 Sep 2010, 05:31 am 
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I can help build for example a trash-eating pet-dino? :D
To be serious here, I can help build, but if you get somone more skilled than me (I'm still very medioker) I can retire ;)


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PostPosted: 12 Sep 2010, 08:23 am 
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Many thanks, D'Lanor and ametist!

D'Lanor, I bet you can guess what I hope you might help with.

And, ametist, one of the things I thought of for this stage was perhaps seeing if one of your huts from Botan might be transportable into Ahra Pahts.

I'm just checking something with Aloys and RtR, and then we can start planning this part of the project.


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PostPosted: 19 Sep 2010, 11:31 pm 
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I've heard from Aloys now, and got the go ahead. :)

I've set up an ftp area and sent the log-in details via PM. If we can date and initial the files we upload, that would help. Also make a note here in this thread when doing any work on the shell (book it in and out, in a way).

Initial suggested steps:

  • Change the grassy texture to a tiled or paved floor.
  • Put a flipchart or sign at the shell entrance saying 'Acquired for The Devokan Trust'.
  • On a table (trestle or otherwise) at the entrance have two journals -- project logbook style, with ruled paper inside. If possible, use the dynamic update method for setting up the journal contents.

The idea of the journal logbooks is to tell the story of the shell's development, one in an OOC way, the other in a continuing IC way. The IC journal will be referred to in the Devokan storyline thread on the MOUL forum, and in my and Quin's journals in Neolbah.

By the way, if anything I suggest won't work or is too much work, do say. And please feel free to make suggestions too!


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PostPosted: 20 Sep 2010, 09:31 am 
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Not sure what I can help with but I am available. I suppose structured space is my forte. Plus I am still learning. :)

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PostPosted: 20 Sep 2010, 01:46 pm 
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Thanks, J'Kla! :)

Dividing up the space will be the next step -- and at this point the idea is to try working across two worlds with two teams (this is what I was checking up with Aloys about).

One team will be working in Ahra Pahts itself -- the team being gathered here.

The other team (Mateus, Paislee and possibly DeAnn) will be working on Lost Pages on the OSgrid, working on a prototype shell, experimenting with what might work. Mat has expressed interest too in working in Blender.

Then -- if we can pull this off, because it is very much an experiment -- the story might use a development of the draft back story on the GoW wiki: http://www.guildofwriters.com/wiki/Ahra ... chiveEntry -- in particular:
Quote:
Each shell would be constructed of special materials that would allow for transport of its contents between worlds. When a person places one hand on the walls and another on a linking book, the walls would act as a "linking field", taking along the person, the walls, and anything contained therein.

In order for a world to add a representative property to the city, the shell would first be transported to the world, surrounding the desired property. Once everything has been constructed inside these walls, the shell would be returned back to the city - taking along its contents as well.

This has some IC links with what some of us have been doing with the Devokan story (the infamous blue 'spheres' that transport islands and structures between worlds); perhaps there are some connections with the underlying principles.

By the way, the end of the wiki entry reads thus:
Quote:
In 2006 CE, these documents were discovered by the explorer Aloys. Following closely the city specifications, Aloys wrote an age to contain Ahra Pahts. Afterwards, invitations were extended to fellow explorers to help populate the empty city - preserving the spirit of the original council to embrace the diversity of other worlds.

Prior to Robert and Aloys pointing the wiki entry out, I had no idea this was part of the back story of the age.


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PostPosted: 25 Sep 2010, 08:24 am 
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Here's a quick update of current plans.

The plan is to release regularly updated versions to the public via Drizzle or shards, as the shell is developed -- possibly every four to six weeks, depending on progress. How the shell develops will be part of a story line that will be told in the shell journals.

The aim is to complete development of the shell by the end of February 2011. The final shell will have three main compartments, one in each corner, plus a small central plaza/meeting place.

The team will be kept small. The team will be one where discussion, comments and suggestions are welcome -- so all team members have a chance to contribute to the overall project in details and in their area(s) of expertise.

D'Lanor will have the final word in areas of programming and lean+mean modelling (performance issues).

I will have the final say in story development and journals, and as project leader should conflicts arise within the team and also in terms of aesthetics.

With her experience of working as part of a team in Age development, ametist has offered to set up a Dropbox folder for the project, and will be looking after this aspect for us. As ametist has said:
ametist wrote:
For the updates, it's important to decide who does that, sending the updates in. I build things, put the blend-file in Dropbox. D'Lanor takes it and does his engineering ...


J'Kla and ametist will be the main modellers. If they would like to work with others with particular skills in textures or other Blender-related skills, that would be fine (and it is good for learning too! :) ), but the aim is to have the minimum of each stage completed on schedule.

We will also need to do interim bug testing, which we can do ourselves -- and maybe have just one other on the team to help, focusing solely on checking the area. Any offers?

Stage 1 (completed by mid October, if possible):
Minimum:
  • Table with two journals on it (use the 'ageresources' folder method for content, if possible), placed centrally in the shell.
  • Noticeboard at shell entrance: 'Acquired for the Devokan Trust'.
  • Shell floor grass replaced by tiling.

Bonus items (may be carried over to Stage 2 if not completed):
  • Workers' wooden hut in the centre of the shell, table with journals in the hut. Posters promoting safe work practices on hut walls; hard hats(?), overalls in hut (is reward clothing possible yet?).
  • Barriers in place protecting public from work areas in corners.
  • Shell floor divided into areas that match the final shell layout.
  • Building site background sounds?

Stage 2 (completed by end November, if possible):
Minimum:
  • Internal walls like those at the shell entrance, dividing the shell into three compartments, one in each main corner, with a smaller triangular plaza/meeting area in the centre.
  • Each compartment has a different tiling pattern.
  • Table/workers' hut still in place in the centre.

Bonus items (can be taken over into Stage 3):
  • The compartments to the left and right of the shell entrance will house an office or workshop for the two main story characters. So a shell of these buildings might just be beginning to be built -- behind non-jumpable barriers depending on progress.
  • The one on the right will house my office; the one on the left will be Quin's workshop and office, which will need an imager eventually (no need for this to be a D'ni version -- might be a modern or steampunk-era one).
  • In the third compartment, at the far end of the shell, opposite the entrance, will be an installation based on the mysterious Devokan spheres and their underlying power source -- we'll need to discuss this in detail, as to what is possible in Blender and Python (might involve particles, if that is possible).

At Stage 3, at least one of the compartment buildings will be complete. Being selfish (and on site ;) ) I would like that to be mine.

These later stages can be fleshed out as we progress in the earlier ones. But whatever happens, the aim is to finish the project at the end of February 2011.


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PostPosted: 25 Sep 2010, 11:38 pm 
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Quote:
J'Kla and ametist will be the main modellers. If they would like to work with others with particular skills in textures or other Blender-related skills, that would be fine (and it is good for learning too! :) ), but the aim is to have the minimum of each stage completed on schedule.


This is ok with me. It also means, that J'kla and I have to decide who does what, which means we use the 'working blend-file' in Dropbox and takes turns working with it. Each of us place that in Dropbox for others to see/use, and we note in the ReadMefile what's been done/changed with the file.


Quote:
We will also need to do interim bug testing, which we can do ourselves -- and maybe have just one other on the team to help, focusing solely on checking the area.


I'd say we do that ourselfes. Since you Dot dont' build I suggest you're the main 'bugtester', you know what you want it to be like and you will know what can be done and what can't be done with blender. I would not like others outside the team, here or in SL, to test during building-phase, this because if you don't know how to build or 'wire' in blender it takes a lot of time to explain why things must look like that or behave this or that way.

Quote:
Stage 1 (completed by mid October, if possible):
Minimum:

* Table with two journals on it (use the 'ageresources' folder method for content, if possible), placed centrally in the shell.
* Noticeboard at shell entrance: 'Acquired for the Devokan Trust'.
* Shell floor grass replaced by tiling.


Bonus items (may be carried over to Stage 2 if not completed):

* Workers' wooden hut in the centre of the shell, table with journals in the hut. Posters promoting safe work practices on hut walls; hard hats(?), overalls in hut (is reward clothing possible yet?).
* Barriers in place protecting public from work areas in corners.
* Shell floor divided into areas that match the final shell layout.
* Building site background sounds?


Possible to do, but which style- D'ni? Modern style? AFAIK no reward clothing yet, last one to work with that was GPNMilano I think. D'Lanor has showed it's possible though to now carry objects. For background-sound I suggest a radio or tape-recorder playing some background-music instead, that's something common in workers huts. Because the shell is rather small the workers who make the 'building-sounds' would be seen in place and that's not going to be the case? Journals -I suppose you Dot take care of them? The book-object one of us can build of course, you can decide which cover-texture for them and write the content? And D'lanor does the alscripting so the 'builders' just create the book?
The hut would require the most time to build I think, the rest of the objects is quite 'quick'. Suggestion: one of us take on the hut, the other one does the rest.


Stage 2 - good to have the option of 'might- not- be- ready-built -but-almost-so- still-barriers-for safety' , but hopefully it can be reached. I have not done imagers but maybe J'kla or D'lanor have? Or I or we will learn howto by then. Those 'Devokan-spheres' might be interesting piece of work, would take some time to achieve what you have in mind Dot, but not impossible. By then I guess we'll know in which style to build the offices as we will have to discuss a lot of things during building-time.

Quote:
At Stage 3, at least one of the compartment buildings will be complete. Being selfish (and on site ;) ) I would like that to be mine.

Of course Dots office would be finished first :D

It would be nice to be able to meet in the shell sometimes, and if we can use the Uam-shard for this, we can do that at least after each update. I guess I myself wont load the shell into the whole AhraPahts in my offline Uru everytime I want to check something out, because that's somehow a slightly different way of upload if I get the APwiki right, and it's so easy to mix things up if you have to do it different sometimes. At least for me ;) . I know Dustin can make it so we can visit the shell in Uam too, ever so often. I suggest Dot check that out with Dustin. In the project another team still run, we can visit our ages to check, but they are not visible to others on the shard until we say so. I suggest Dot is in charge of that, when to send the file to Uam and then do that part. Better to have one responsible for that, all to avoid mixing-things-up. Or maybe D'lanor can do it, being the engineer and since he is the last one on it with the wiring he can tell when it's ready for a check-out. Anyway, Dot is the boss :). In that case it would be conveniant to invite Dustin to share the dropbox folder too. If you like that idea, I can just create a new folder 'ShellUpdateShard' where we place the file. Other ways of sending the file is of course possible.

I've sent invitation to share the Dropbox folder to Dot and D'lanor as of yet; D'lanor has accepted. I used the email-adress found here to you Dot, is that the right one? haven't heard from J'kla since he offered to help, I'll wait with inviting him til I know if the email-adress here is the right one.


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PostPosted: 26 Sep 2010, 04:15 am 
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Thanks, ametist.

I'll leave it to you and J'Kla to sort out who does what in the building -- hope that is OK.

I'll be the bug-tester, as you suggest.

Now comments on the buildings etc:

For the workers' hut, this would be in 'modern' style -- think of the hut in Camp Bravo, for example. It is intended to be a temporary building so don't take too long building it. It would make more sense to focus the building time on the permanent structures, like the walls, tables (which can be reused), etc.

So... perhaps just go for the minimum items at this stage and forget the hut idea.

I like the idea of the workers' radio, but would it be possible to have it clickable so that explorers can turn it on or off, as they choose? This might be a question for D'Lanor.

For the permanent structures, I'd like the exteriors to blend in with the Ahra Pahts architecture, as might be the case for a sensitively designed modern building in a RL city. Aloys says we can use his textures. Paradox has built a smaller building in his shell 410 which does something like that -- see http://www.didanka.com/ahrapahts/medias.htm

Here's a sketch plan of how I think the structures might fit in.
Spoiler:
Attachment:
Shell415plan.png
Shell415plan.png [ 43.72 KiB | Viewed 10077 times ]


The interior decoration will be present-day (pastel colour wash -- but NOT PINK) for me and steampunk-era (rich wood panelling) for Quin's rooms -- so that they reflect the characters of the individuals supposedly using them.

More later... Just been summoned to walk the dogs!


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