Back to basics

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Glacialis
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Back to basics

Post by Glacialis » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:57 am

I think we need to rethink some things. Based on this thread and taking both Mecron and Erinys' replies as starting points for our own project, have we sufficiently developed the premise? There are some basic questions we haven't answered and if we can't, I feel that we have no business proceeding until we can answer them.

Please, don't answer or try to argue these questions in this thread. I want to discuss the how much the community thinks we've developed the premise, if it's sound, and if you disagree with the first paragraph I'd like to hear the reasons.

• What is the scientific basis for their silicon-based biology? There are a number of scientific hurdles that we haven't fully investigated and there is a limit to amount of handwavium we can use.

• What environmental factors are required to support this biology? Specifically, what is the temperature range in which they evolved and can survive without artificial aid?

• What is the biosphere of their homeworld like? What organisms share the planet and how did their presence affect the Chthonic's evolution?

• Is a sessile stage necessary and if so, what evolutionary pressures led to its evolution?

• How do the environmental requirements affect starship construction?

• Why would Chthonics contest planets desired by carbon-based life, and vice-versa?
Last edited by Glacialis on Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
nickersonm wrote:How did you get that out of Mecron saying the exact opposite!?

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Zabaron
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Re: Back to basics

Post by Zabaron » Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:03 am

I agree.

[rant]
At this point I'm not sure what has been decided about them. It seems every time something gets decided it gets overturned very quickly, and I think this is a symptom of writing by committee. I would vote that we have one person find the answers to the bullets you gave. Obviously it wouldn't be set in stone, but we need someone who has the final say. In the linked thread, you notice that Mecron and Erinys are responsible for all the writing, and each has their role. The way we're trying to work, we have dozens of people trying to fill the same roles.
[/rant]

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silvaril
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*sigh*

Post by silvaril » Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:39 am

Heya

For the record, the Story Team is intended to be the folks making these decisions. Oddly enough, that does indeed include you Glacialis :)


While I am prepared to take the role of adjudicator between differing teams / factions, I did not sign up to have the final say for everything.
Nor do I want to. This Mod is intended to be a contribution of the Fans, and while I could drive the thing forward based solely on my own ideas, that would be very much against the spirit of the initial collaboration.


If you require a nomination for someone to take charge of all of these decisions that are within the realm of the Story Team, then Unwashed_Pleb is my preference for final arbitor.
Mostly because of the behind the scenes work 'Pleb put in with an eye to getting this project off the ground in the first place.

That however does depend on 'Pleb's continued interest.

Alternatively, the three current members of the Story Team, ( Glacialis, Tssha and Blazer ), can all get together and discuss which of you has final say over what within the group, say a division of labour with one getting design sign-off, another getting background sign-off et al...
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motorbit
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Re: Back to basics

Post by motorbit » Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:45 pm

whats the background of the silicoid swarms?
do the rockbugs have a simmilar biology?

i read a lot of the crystals. so are the rockbugs the crystals?or do they live inside the crystals?
are rockbug-ships living rockbugs or are them machines and do need a crew?
can rockbugs merge with other rockbugs to form larger rockbugs? and if, do they form a merged concionsness than?

shipwise, this wuld be interesting for me, as im trying to make some modells. sadly, i dont produce many results because i dont realy know what to make.

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Re: Back to basics

Post by Cheshyr » Sat Mar 28, 2009 7:40 pm

Where did you want us to discuss this, Glacialis? I'd like to attempt to answer some of the questions you listed.

I think that each of these questions can be answered satisfactorily. There's only so many scientific options available, and none of us are Astrophysicists or Xenobiologists, last I checked. But, we can take a page from Kerberos' own handbook... start with a solid foundation in theoretical physics, and then write the fiction. This is still sci-fi. We're not going to be able to prove it... we just need to create a comfortable 'unanswerable' questions.
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Glacialis
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Re: Back to basics

Post by Glacialis » Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:29 pm

Zabaron: That's the heart of it. I don't think one person should decide those things, but I do think a small group of people who are willing to put time into coming up with the answers should go forth and find those answers. That doesn't mean said answers will be final, but the group will find a lot of information, refine it, and give us options that are based in logic. When I say "group", I mean a small group of dedicated individuals who will work together to research these things. Think of it as writing a project proposal, for those of you who have done so. After the two-minute pitch your management might okay or forbid the idea, but when you get the green light you don't start implementing it. No, you need time to research and define details, as well as poking as many holes in it as you can so reality (and management) doesn't do it for you.

ZedF and Mecron said it best in this post and the one right after it.

silvaril: See above for thoughts on The Decider(tm). :lol: I'm only proposing to answer core questions that are going to be consistent no matter what else we decide. Story team, I will definitely welcome Blazer and Tssha's input but that doesn't mean we're the only ones who can work on stuff. :) We'll take any help we can get!

motor: As for what to make, make whatever you think looks cool because it will motivate you to learn how to make even better models. :) That's aside from the fan race project though. I recommend working with the other modelers to get an idea of where they're going, because even if the background doesn't end up matching perfectly some of those are just too good not to use.

Cheshyr: We have got to nail the biochemistry question before we do anything else. Start out with what "silicon-based" means, find the major sticking points against it working, then find ways we can bend -- not break -- the universe to make it happen. I really like taking things that real scientists have thought up and assuming it's true, thus all the articles I post with "what if?" themes.

Collaboration, I have a variety of tools in mind depending on need. I would like to use concept mapping software to map out the existing issues that make silicon biochemistry unlikely so we can tackle them. We can talk about tools later once we get volunteers.


Next steps:

- *Gather volunteers willing to put at least one hour of group time into this a week until it's completed. No cracking the whip or anything, the hr/week is a goal and the rest of your life takes priority. Those with a good knowledge of biology, chemistry, biochemistry, physics, or any other useful field would be awesome additions.

- Status reports every week, even if there's nothing to report.

- Keep track of the methodologies we use. If this works out well, it can be a template for future topics.


*By "gather" I mean start getting a list of people together. This includes anyone reading this message as well as individuals you'd like to invite, be they on these forums or people you know who would like to explore the topic.


Off to food.
nickersonm wrote:How did you get that out of Mecron saying the exact opposite!?

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Glacialis
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Re: Back to basics

Post by Glacialis » Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:21 pm

I'd like to schedule a 1-2 hour meeting this Saturday afternoon, EDT/GMT-4. Invited is anyone who'd like to participate in the research group. If you are interested in the topics listed for the first group described below, please PM me your email address.

I will send you an invitation to Zoho.com and if you don't receive it within 24 hours please PM me again. Zoho can use existing Google and Yahoo accounts, and I believe you can also sign up for an account that's unique to the site. If you like, go ahead and sign up and look around. I'll still need your email to add you to the project site, which will be completed by Saturday.

This group and all future research/task/etc groups will need to work as a dedicated team. If you're in, you're in, and once a group is assigned there's not a lot of reasons to add more people. This is to prevent things from fluctuating too much but if you really want to dedicate your time and energy we can talk about it. I don't want to sound like a jerk, and I'm sorry if that's how it comes out. This is going to be work and if you're not committed please don't waste your time or our time.

To reiterate, this is a way to get concrete deliverables instead of waffling. We've all done it. ;) Once we know with certainty what we have and what we have yet to develop, we can make progress much more quickly. After work on each topic is completed, the results are reported back and discussed with the forum.

First meeting
Deliverables:
• Recruit members: List of people willing to participate in the first group
• Set schedule: For further meetings
• Develop methodologies: Project management FTW
• Start researching:
- Define silicon-based life. Let's start with what carbon-based life is and what critical roles carbon plays that silicon will need to fill.
- Modern science says can't we have silicon life. Identify roadblocks preventing silicon from fulfilling the critical roles defined in the first task. Determine if silicon needs to fill all roles.
• Determine if additional meetings on this topic are necessary.

After this, we will have defined our starting point. Once we have some milestones set we can see where we are and let me tell you, knowing how far along you are in a project is a great feeling. I don't think it will take more than one or two meetings to get through the first set of topics.
nickersonm wrote:How did you get that out of Mecron saying the exact opposite!?

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motorbit
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Re: Back to basics

Post by motorbit » Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:32 pm

althrough im *yearning* for some structure, i think a curse "if you are in..." wuld not work. i think it wuld be not a smart move to waive anyone considering the progress of this project.
however, im interested but on gmt +1. so: if you dont want to ruin my weekend, do not set it up to early plz.

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Glacialis
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Re: Back to basics

Post by Glacialis » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:24 am

So set up a group of five or so people, three more join, the first five explain where they're at and why they got there, disagreements abound and the whole thing crumbles?

Kind of like we've already been doing on the forums?
nickersonm wrote:How did you get that out of Mecron saying the exact opposite!?

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Mecron
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Re: Back to basics

Post by Mecron » Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:02 pm

if you would like some organizational advice feel free to ask :wink:

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Re: Back to basics

Post by Mecron » Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:19 pm

in response to people who think the best idea is to add to my poor overcrowded PM box :lol: ...


Over the past year or two I have looked over this thing and asked the following questions...


1) Why so many chiefs? (thats easy, its the internet)
2) Why so many "meetings" over ineffables? Your project seems to be to make a race with ships and a few as possible strat rule mods. That's it. Just do it. What color your race likes best can be decided while you get more work-like work done.
3) Where was/is the base project mod? The mod everyone involved will share, dload and insert new ship and art files as they get down and become available.
4) Why isn't anyone doing the real work, (not counting the art of course;) ) which is making a list of EVERY file that is going to have to be changed and renamed for this to work. And then, of course...changing them.
5) Why doesn't anyone realize that the actual project mod is CRITICAL to keeping momentum up. And that instead of arguing over tiny ship details, how about getting most of them generally up and running and fighting in the game (in place of the human or tarka ships or whatever)


So, dunno if that will help but those are the things WE do/did to keep things going, especially in the old days when it was literally 6 people in my living room.

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Glacialis
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Re: Back to basics

Post by Glacialis » Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:19 pm

Chiefs: On my own initiative I'm trying to cut down on chiefs. Don't know how well that's going to work.

Ineffables: I don't think we need to worry about things like language at this point because we don't even know what they or they planet look like. Do you think I'm worrying too much about how their biology works? Are we committed to rocky critters?

Base mod: One of the milestones I want to write down.

Real work: Easy but time-consuming. I was going to parse the whole directory's files but I can't get my scripts to read lua very well. An initial list of files was generated by (I think) Zabaron in one of the ref threads. We can improve upon it and generate the base mod.

Momentum: Completely understand, but how do you decide what the style of turret arrangements might be if you don't even know what the race thinks about war? Not that hard to come up with something, but it'd be a royal pain to redo ships if we figure out the turret placements don't fit.

Scrubbing the meeting for this weekend as there's been zero interest. I'll get a list of all files and their approximate purpose by SOB Monday.
nickersonm wrote:How did you get that out of Mecron saying the exact opposite!?

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Re: Back to basics

Post by Mecron » Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:54 pm

Accept the fact that any progress carries the threat of modification required later on. A pain, and try to minimize it but you can't freeze in place trying to eliminate it.

See? From the outside it looks like you guys decided rock/crystal creature right off the bat and went from there. I cant even understand why you would question the commiment to rocks at this point. Just run with it :wink:

As for turret placement...other than a vague rule like "Tarks like to fire forward. Liir like as much universal coverage as they can get." All other issues derive from structure. If you are going to lay down an art style, instead concentrate on what rough shapes represent crew compartments, fuel, storage, reactors etc etc and build the ships organically form these structures with turrets then logically placed where there is room for the mechanism.

Hope this helps a bit...you guys have done some great work, you just have to get your hands on it and work with it a bit as opposed to endlessly trying to get it perfect on paper first.

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Glacialis
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Re: Back to basics

Post by Glacialis » Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:59 am

Oh I have no problem with changes. I just want to make sure we know what we've already done and if need be, scrap it and start over. I don't think anyone can say where we are.

I don't have a problem with rocky critters but I also don't want to assume them into existence without a society and a planet to support them. The ships we have look great so far, though we haven't finished the base three designs yet. I want to use them, I think we all do. Too few modelers to go around, and it's hard enough to get people to share the same artistic vision when you have an art director.

The arc preferences for the existing races are pretty well understood I think. However, we don't have agreement on what the Cthonics would prefer or what their preferred tactics are. We'll get there, but it'd be nice to give the 3d artists a bit more to work on.

Thank you again for your thoughts. As someone who can't do much more than develop background and implement changes to text files I feel rather useless, but I can at least make lists and a zip file.
nickersonm wrote:How did you get that out of Mecron saying the exact opposite!?

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Re: Back to basics

Post by Mecron » Sat Apr 25, 2009 1:24 am

dude, that's all I do :thumbsup:

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