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Re: Poll ideas?

Christian Reiniger wrote:

> Similar situation (taking your kart game (which I actually don't know
> anything about) as example again): Some artist sees the game, thinks "well,
> these models are not exactly great - I could do much better" and looks for
> infos on how to replace the models with his own (or add his own). Question:
> how long will that take him (without mailing you for help)? How complex are
> the instructions? Is it a simple
> 1) Make the model in your favourite modeler
> 2) convert it to my kart format with the accompanying model2kart tool
>    (usage: model2kart <infile>)
> 3) copy the resulting <kartname>.kart to models/
> 4) add a <kartname>.desc description file (plain ASCII text, look at the
> other .desc in there for the (extremely simple) structure)

Yes - it is.

  1) Make the model in one of the formats that PLIB supports
  2) Copy it onto models/kart<N>.whatever


But that's only until I get wheels that rotate and steer, characters
that lean into the turns, etc, etc.  Then it'll need to be MUCH more

However, for making tracks, it's exactly that easy.  There is a text
file for adding collectables - and another text file containing the
centerline coordinates (which can be extracted from the modelfile
automagically if you make a 'line-loop' construct and call it
"centerline").  Examples of all those things exist and the file
format is documented.

> Of course it's easy to say "add all the features artists need" without
> knowing what artists need, but I think it's important that the games *do*
> provide these features (the extra mailing list is very interesting in this
> regard).

Yep - knowing what *kinds* of things those guys need - would make it much
easier to add those things.  I'm not telepathic.
> What about this: I know a (really) good Quake multiplayer map designer
> living nearby. I'll contact him today, meet him (not neccessarily today) and
> interview him about what he expects from his tools & game engine, what he
> dislikes etc. From that I'll assemble some "wishlist" doc.

Try to keep him from making it too much FPS-oriented though.  Just getting
a wish-list for the Quake tools won't help much.
> I'll also contact sunsite to set up the mailing list (the general consensus
> seems to be that this is a Good Thing) [and perhaps I can convince that
> mapper to subscribe there].

Yep - it's hard to imagine how it could be A Bad Thing - and the only
kinds of 'Thing' are 'Good' and 'Bad'.  :-)
> Then we all assemble some "Game coders seeking the help and input of
> artists" article targeted towards artists (main message: we want to make
> stuff for you, but don't know what you want), post it on our site and tell
> the major artist and game mod sites to link to it, hopefully filling the
> new mailing list with people.


> However, there's some things that need to be made sure beforehand:
> - We're talking about how we're just waiting for artists to tell us what to
> implement. Now if they *really* tell us their whishes - how readily will we
> *actually* sacrifice our spare time and code that up? If the thing takes of
> there will be feature requests to keep us busy until doomsday.
> - Are we willing to listen, to write real "whishlist" documents containing
> the individual snippets that came up on the mailing list and to keep these
> documents up-to-date?

Dunno about *that* - there would presumably be a list archive...I'd
be just as happy to learn by listening.

> Are we willing to listen to issues that are not as immediately
> interesting to us as other topics (sound and background music for example)?
> - Are we willing to spend the time on that mailing list, even with artists
> that are not really computer literate, that ask stupid questions, that only
> know Windows etc? Are we willing to engage in polite discussion with these
> and, where neccessary, "take them by the hand" (like Joel described)?
> Note: Of course I don't think all artists are like that. I even think
> that most of them are really nice and intelligent people. But it's
> nevertheless important to realize that there *will* be some "talented
> whiners", and that there often *is* some cultural difference between them
> and us.


I think it's important for us to nod intelligently and listen to start
with and not scare people off by coming off as arrogant hackers...once
the list gets established, things could get more heated - but until
this is established, the rule would be: If you are a programmer - LISTEN,
> (well, actually the order of these points should be reversed...)


Steve Baker   HomeEmail: <sjbaker1@airmail.net>
              WorkEmail: <sjbaker@link.com>
              HomePage : http://web2.airmail.net/sjbaker1
              Projects : http://plib.sourceforge.net

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