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Sat Apr 5 19:32:01 PST 2003


Project - Newsletters, faqs, and other top level stuff
Games - The products that are (should be?) our primary focus
Development - All the software we create to build games
Content - The stuff we put into our software to build games
Infra - The framework that all of the above works within

CVS could be pretty easily and painlessly refactored into this
structure.  We would need to create CVS modules for Project, Games, and
Infra, and move the respective items out of the forge module.  This
would clear a lot of non-development stuff out of our development module
(forge).

The mailing list restructure proposal John sent best describes the
changes that could be done there.

For IRC, I'm uncertain if it's worth it to restructure.  Folks have
recently discussed a lot about how we have too many irc channels, many
of which remain pretty 'dead' most of the time.  It seems logical that
if we were restructuring, and needed to reduce the channel count, that
this five section approach might make a lot of sense, however the only
issue that really matters is if IRC folks would be ameniable to this,
because if they aren't, there's no way (or reason) to enforce it.

> My favorite aspect of game-specific mailing lists is that it promotes
> the team spirit.  It encourages community development around Games,
> something that is almost *dis*couraged by our current mailing list
> structure, which draws a huge line in the sand between the
> writer/content sub-community and the coder sub-community.

I think John makes some critically key points here.  We notice a *lot*
of communication problems between the coder and content groups;
cross-discussion is vital yet doesn't happen much.  How often do we hear
a media person lament that they have no clear idea what to create music
or art for, and at the same time somewhere else a coder is wondering
where they can find some 3D models and music to show off their latest
developments.  Or, a content producer wonders where the tools are to
create maps, package media, and edit game content, while at the same
time some software developer wonders why no one is using her new script
for generating language translations or where the users are for her map
tool.

> general@
> devel@
> content@
> media@
> acorn@
> mason@
> syllus@
> ...
> belchfire@
> infra@
>
> Thoughts?  Did I miss anything?  Am I more insane than usual?  (c:

This could be a better structure for us, especially if it mapped 1-to-1
to the website, cvs, and irc.

One thing we would need to take care with is to not allow an explosion
of mailing lists to get set up for every random game idea folks have.
It's *extremely* easy to come up with more ideas for games than we have
people to implement them.  I guess a good general rule could be that a
mailing list should not be set up until development on the game has been
ongoing for a while and the lack of said list has become an issue.
Thus, catacombs, belchfire, and other pre-concept-phase games shouldn't
have mailing lists set up for them yet.  Sands of Syllus isn't terribly
active right now, so even there I might say to hold off until there is
work clearly going on with it.

Offhand, we could think about the following procedure for establishing a
new official game development effort here at WorldForge:

0.  Someone comes up with a cool idea for a new game.  Several people
    become incredibly inspired and work begins with a vengence.

1.  An IRC channel is established for the new game.  If development dies
    out later, the irc channel will automatically disappear on its own.

2.  Once some actual tangible work has started to be produced, a new dir
    is opened in CVS for the game.  This lets folks start producing and
    sharing documents, game data, config files, meeting minutes, web
    pages, etc.  If the effort dies out later, this can be moved into
    the attic module to be archived.

3.  At some point it will become clear that general@ is being overtaken
    by discussion regarding the new game, which by now may have even
    produced its first deliverable.  We would then split out a new
    mailing list for them.  The interest and activity with the game
    should be high enough to draw in a sufficiently large subscriber
    base that the list should prosper (hopefully).

Bryce




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