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Downtimes: June 24 - July 2nd

We've got another batch of shutdowns coming in late June and early July, so that the machines can be repaired for the newest bug, the ZombieLoad CPU bug.

In general, the Genesis games (Grendel, TEC, TEC-Test) all have reboots scheduled for the absolute middle of the night, so I'll be taking each down the previous evening at midnight and bringing them back up the next morning at 9am.

The SkotOS games have always been more robust about reboots, so we'll let them reboot on their own, though there's some chance for an ~2 hour data loss. In any case, I'll be checking them after the 2-hour window when I can, though Marrach has a middle-of-the-night reboot, so that'll be the next morning.

The UserDB and Web reboots will cause some downtime for the entire site, but again they will hopefully come up cleanly.

GENESIS:

- Shutdown Grendel (late Sunday 6/23)

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SKOTOS:

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A question or two (Or more)

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  • A question or two (Or more)

    Howdy all,

    I have a question or two here about building a world for Skotos. I have been reading through the tons of information this site has on this stuff, and have decided to just send in my idea. Before I do that, the questions.

    Let's say an idea is not accepted, does the person that sent the idea in get to retain any rights to the idea if he or she should produce the idea in another place?

    I've read the suggestions that there be at least 3 people on a team. Is this not negotiable?

    As a Net Admin, I have alot of expirence dealing with computers, but most in the IT industry wouldn't classify it as programming exp, even though I do alot that involves some code. Would Skotos take that as programming exp?

    Does being a former admin of a MUSH and having over 12 years of MUSHing expirence help?

    If my understanding of the Skotos 7 is correct, it basically means there will be few chances for sci-fi ideas to hold much weight. Is this assumtion correct?

    Is all the building done remotely on Skotos' servers?

    Do you guys set a timeline on when a game must be put in production after the initial approval?

    Are you tired of me asking questions yet?

    Anyway, one final that sorta goes along with another question. The idea I have is a sci-fi one. Are there higher or lower standards on sci-fi games. And, what is considered 'too big'. The story I have is part of a novel that I am writing and the 'world' in which it takes place is pretty much the entire universe. While I would never expect something to reflect a universe, would the idea be considered 'too big'.

    Lastly, thank you very much for your time. It's about time I found a place that thinks about this sorta thing.

  • #2
    Re: A question or two (Or more)

    Originally posted by Benjawa
    Let's say an idea is not accepted, does the person that sent the idea in get to retain any rights to the idea if he or she should produce the idea in another place?
    You own the copyright -- the specific expression of your ideas, just like any other work that you might create. If we accept your proposal you will need to enter into a license with us before we can release it to the public, but until that time they are your ideas and belong to you.

    Be aware, however, that a non-specific expression of ideas can't be copyrighted. We do get a lot of proposals and we have to be careful that someone doesn't say that they were the first to think of "an island resort that is in fact a center of evil". In this example we in fact had two submissions that were very similar to that premise, and we accepted one of them.

    This is why we require all proposals to submitted with signature on our proposal forms, and why we don't accept proposals by email or in the forums.

    I've read the suggestions that there be at least 3 people on a team. Is this not negotiable?
    Yes, it is somewhat negotiable. However, a smaller team would need to really prove their seriousness and ability. It is not just a matter of all the differing skills that a team needs (though that is a factor), it is more the encouragement you give each other that is important.

    Also, if we like your proposal we can accept your proposal provisionally until you have more people, or we can also help you find people that are looking to join a team.

    As a Net Admin, I have alot of expirence dealing with computers, but most in the IT industry wouldn't classify it as programming exp, even though I do alot that involves some code. Would Skotos take that as programming exp?
    If you have done some programming in PERL, or shell scripts, etc. that should be sufficient for most tasks. Some C or C++ experience does help if you want to do anything fancy. A lot depends on your what you want to do -- if it is a major departure from systems already written for existing games then the C or C++ experience will help a lot.

    Does being a former admin of a MUSH and having over 12 years of MUSHing expirence help?
    Absolutely!

    If my understanding of the Skotos 7 is correct, it basically means there will be few chances for sci-fi ideas to hold much weight. Is this assumtion correct?
    I wouldn't go that far. However, we do have two SF games in progress, so it would need to have a different premise. Another space station based game would be difficult right now unless the premise so overwhelmed things that the fact that the setting is on a space station is incidental.

    Is all the building done remotely on Skotos' servers?
    Yes, through a web-based interface (what we call the Tree of Woe) as well as a more traditional telnet style login.

    Do you guys set a timeline on when a game must be put in production after the initial approval?
    Not precisely, but we do want to work with you to break things up into managable chunks that can be done in a timely fashion.

    This requires some thinking on what we call "containment". A number of Skotos-Seven have gotten lost even with much narrow and relatively contained ideas, so hopefully we can help you avoid their problems.

    Also, getting something out for real players even if everything isn't complete really helps -- we only had the Outer Bailey complete when we started beta for Castle Marrach, it was another 6 months before we had the Inner Bailey available.

    Are you tired of me asking questions yet?
    Not as long as they continue to be smart questions

    Anyway, one final that sorta goes along with another question. The idea I have is a sci-fi one. Are there higher or lower standards on sci-fi games.
    Good question. I don't think that the standards are higher. However, what makes a game "fun" is less well known for sci-fi games as opposed to fantasy games right now, so I would say that a sci-fi proposal is probably more difficult to write.

    And, what is considered 'too big'. The story I have is part of a novel that I am writing and the 'world' in which it takes place is pretty much the entire universe. While I would never expect something to reflect a universe, would the idea be considered 'too big'.
    Again, it is an issue of containment. How do you represent your vision of a huge universe in some way that is achievable by a small team? Lots of visible and invisible backstory (and forwardstory) is great -- it can make a game feel more believable. However, you have to keep it from overwhelming you from getting your game to the point where you have real players.

    Lastly, thank you very much for your time. It's about time I found a place that thinks about this sorta thing.
    We look forward to your proposal!

    -- Christopher Allen

    Comment


    • #3
      More Questions

      On the proposal form, after all the qualification questions, it goes into the story overview. I have a bit of a document describing my story. Would it be ok to attatch that document and just put in 'See attatched Document'?

      NPC's. There's really no need to have NPCs in this game, other than the beginning. Or, is that a good thing to have. Something to 'keep the players busy' when there's not alot of other players. One of the things I dislike about MUDS is the hack and slash stuff. Or, people spending all their time hunting computer generated gouls and no time RPing with other players. Which is the primary goal of the story idea. Alot of the backend of this story has to do with how people deal with one another.


      Are there perfered methods of character generation?


      In some MUSHes, there are FCs (Feature Characters). Given this type of environment it wouldn't seem advantageous to have Featured Characters. What's the Skotos stand on this sort of thing?

      The story I have is on the scale of epic novels. Encompassing large areas of space/time. One of the questions is about the Plot. There is a basic plot to the game, but it's an on going type plot that can only end one way. It leaves time for millions of other sub-plots to be carried out by other players. I know from expirence this helps longevity, but does the Skotos servers have the ability to create such a large world. It also has the ability for the players to explore new things. Basically, with the above mentioned, would this be something Skotos is looking for?

      Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to get approval for my game through the Forums. I am just trying to get as good an idea as I can as to what Skotos is looking for in a game. I hate to throw something out there that wouldn't even be in the ball park for what you guys are looking for.


      Space systems and combat simulations. Does your server have the ability to support things like this? Three dementional space battles are cool.

      I take it, from your other post, that the Storybuilders have the options of modifying the acctual server code to support things that are not currently coded into the server?

      I'll stop here for now. I could probably go on all day.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: More Questions

        Originally posted by Benjawa
        NPC's. There's really no need to have NPCs in this game, other than the beginning. Or, is that a good thing to have. Something to 'keep the players busy' when there's not alot of other players. One of the things I dislike about MUDS is the hack and slash stuff. Or, people spending all their time hunting computer generated gouls and no time RPing with other players. Which is the primary goal of the story idea. Alot of the backend of this story has to do with how people deal with one another.
        NPCs in most Skotos games are not computer controlled. They are characters, played by volunteer staff, which can have an effect on the storyline and involve PCs in anything from the largest plot arch to the smallest of scenes. For an example, in Castle Marrach, the Queen, the Prince, and the Consort are played by StoryPlotters. Then there are other characters which are played by VeteranPlayers, who receive directions for their characters from the StoryPlotters, when it comes to plot movement.

        However, most NPCs are only needed temporarily, for the beginning of the game. For instance, I'll use an example which has already happened, if you have a Master of Entertainments you would only need him until such time that he could be replaced. Not to mention, any plots which need his presence should be finished first. After the character is not needed, you simply retire him or kill him off and let a PC take his job and the same or a different PC take his place in the plot arch he was involved in, if any.

        But not every NPC can be replaced, or replaced quickly. For instance, I doubt the Queen will be replaced.

        I'm not sure if an NPC at Skotos is similar to a "Featured Character," as I haven't played any games that have such characters.

        I hope this was helpful,
        -Steve
        Last edited by Stix; 07-12-2002, 01:57 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: More Questions

          Originally posted by Benjawa
          On the proposal form, after all the qualification questions, it goes into the story overview. I have a bit of a document describing my story. Would it be ok to attatch that document and just put in 'See attatched Document'?
          Certainly, but do try to summarize the story overview. The exercise of being consise is imporant -- it makes you focus on what is imporant.

          NPC's. There's really no need to have NPCs in this game, other than the beginning. Or, is that a good thing to have. Something to 'keep the players busy' when there's not alot of other players. One of the things I dislike about MUDS is the hack and slash stuff. Or, people spending all their time hunting computer generated gouls and no time RPing with other players. Which is the primary goal of the story idea. Alot of the backend of this story has to do with how people deal with one another.
          There is a term-of-art confusion here -- when we say NPCs, we mean StoryPlotter run NPCs. Computer run NPCs we call CNPCs.

          Are there perfered methods of character generation?
          No easy answers here. We only have two shipping character generation systems right now, the Marrach one, and the ChatTheatre one. Neither will be applicable to your game so we'll have to work with you on a new one.

          In some MUSHes, there are FCs (Feature Characters). Given this type of environment it wouldn't seem advantageous to have Featured Characters. What's the Skotos stand on this sort of thing?
          Marrach calls these VPs -- Veteran Players. I also jokingly call them Victim Players. Their goal is not necessarily to what is best for themselves, but what is best for the game under the guidance of a StoryPlotter. This means that the StoryPlotter may say to a new VP "Your goal is to lose, and have the players have a great time winning."

          This is a little different then FCs on many MUSHes, which are often given as a reward for long time play and thus the players think of them as being "owned" by them. Not every good role-player is suited to be a VP -- they have to be able to subsume their own character motivations into make the game a better game.

          The story I have is on the scale of epic novels. Encompassing large areas of space/time. One of the questions is about the Plot. There is a basic plot to the game, but it's an on going type plot that can only end one way. It leaves time for millions of other sub-plots to be carried out by other players. I know from expirence this helps longevity, but does the Skotos servers have the ability to create such a large world. It also has the ability for the players to explore new things. Basically, with the above mentioned, would this be something Skotos is looking for?
          Yes.

          Seriously, Castle Marrach also has a very long term plot. It may take years for the players to play it out. It is even possible for them to "end" the Castle. Maybe at that point we start the game over, who knows?

          As far as size of world, the limit is more your time. When you start it may take you a day just to create one room. Even our best builder can only do one or so an hour. That is just the setting, not any items, quests, plots, game mechanics, etc.

          Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to get approval for my game through the Forums. I am just trying to get as good an idea as I can as to what Skotos is looking for in a game. I hate to throw something out there that wouldn't even be in the ball park for what you guys are looking for.
          Understood. I do recommend that you read through all the StoryBuilder archives here, as well as all of the StoryBuilder related articles in the articles section. Between them it will cover a lot. Once you are accepted as a StoryBuilder, we have archives of the Skotos-Seven list as well which is more technical and focused on specific builder problems.

          Space systems and combat simulations. Does your server have the ability to support things like this? Three dementional space battles are cool.
          Galactic Emperor: Succession had a strong strategic element to it, and it was completely written with our tools. Unfortunately, the game has serious problems (see the post-mortem in Shannon's excellent TTT articles) Galactic Emperor: Hegemony has strong tactical and strategic elements to it, but those elements are relatively separate from the Abode role-playing area.

          As far as 3D, it is possible, but very difficult. There is no reason why our servers couldn't support an Everquest or Star Wars Online style graphic game, however, there is very little infrastructure for that right now. Take a look at Hegemony, something like that is possible.

          I take it, from your other post, that the Storybuilders have the options of modifying the acctual server code to support things that are not currently coded into the server?
          Yes, but I would not describe it as modifying the actual server code, but instead, that much of the underlying functionality of the server is exposed so that you can modify it to your needs.

          Basically this is made up of signals. When a player places a plate on the table, it sends the signal act-place to the actor, the signal react-place-dob to the direct object, the signal react-place-iob to the indirect object. Those objects then have the opportunity to intercept the normal respose ("You put the plate on table") and instead do something else "The plate is absorbed into the table and disappears."

          There are hundreds of signals currently, and more all the time. Each you can intercept with a script before something happens (pre) when something happens (act) and after something happens (post). New verbs can be written where everything is done by script.

          That script can be written in BILBO which is a simple scripting language that has some simularities to BASIC, or in Merry which is quite a bit more complex and powerful, as it is a derivative of C with some C++ elements.

          Most of your game will be build with the web-based interface, which does not require any scripting experience. Castle Marrach was released by a team that did very little scripting, just used the built in features of the game. However, as Castle Marrach evolved, and they wanted more unique things, more scripting has been required. Thus the recommendation that you have a good scripter on your team.

          -- Christopher Allen

          Comment


          • #6
            A big thanks

            You guys are wonderful and very very helpful. It's nice to find someone that speeks the same language. Thanks to both Chris and Stix for their very helpful answers to my questions. I hope the staff at Skotos enjoys my proposal.


            Ben

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Re: More Questions

              Originally posted by ChristopherA
              Marrach calls these VPs -- Veteran Players. I also jokingly call them Victim Players. Their goal is not necessarily to what is best for themselves, but what is best for the game under the guidance of a StoryPlotter. This means that the StoryPlotter may say to a new VP "Your goal is to lose, and have the players have a great time winning."
              We're not necessarily "Victim" Players. We do get a say in if we would feel comfortable playing a certain character or not.



              Seriously, Castle Marrach also has a very long term plot. It may take years for the players to play it out. It is even possible for them to "end" the Castle. Maybe at that point we start the game over, who knows?
              Okay, I am curious. Going to make a new thread for this.

              Comment


              • #8
                The never ending series of questions.

                *sheepish grin* Ok more questions.


                I still hope this is the right place for this question but, anyway.

                Part of my story happens to take into account some of the happenings of today. Well, all of the happenings of today. Being a American others in the world tend to think we're rather single minded. And, after a fashion, I agree. So, with that in mind what kind of limitations should I look at in what goes on in the story in relation to what is going on in the world today. I don't really want to offend anyone, and then there's the simple concept of getting it right.


                Next is PKing. This is a sci-fi game, so there exsists the endless possibility of respawning through different means, thus allowing players to die and yet come back. But, in my expirence in the world of online RPGs there isn't much of this going on. Mostly, and this is just personal opinion, ManKind just hasn't yet figured out how to deal with such a concept and until we do we won't be able to deal with it well in stories. But, it interests me greatly because I want to put the fear of dieing into the game as it can bring a certain amount of excitment into it. On the other hand, people work hard a building thier characters and the possibility of them dieing makes them change the way they work on thier characters. As in, not spending much time developing them. But, in the story I am thinking about it will be important for the players to spend alot of time building thier character, and not just in stats. Considering the rather lengthy explaination to get to this point, what's the advice from those out there with expierence here at Skotos.

                Ok there's more but it's time to go home. Later.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Back again.

                  I've attempted to do a bunch of reading, but I have yet to encounter this in any of the information here a Skotos. This is a legal question. Does Skotos deal with small corperations. As in, say I wanted to create a small Sub-Chapter S corperation and have all this game stuff go through that, what would Skotos respose be to that.


                  Granted, this is wishful thinking, but let's just ponder that road anyway. Let's say, by some rather large miracle, a game becomes so wildly popular that the designer wants to take it to the next level and go full production on it. If I am reading the legal stuff correctly, that still only gives the original builder of the game only small rights in that situation. I could be wrong, but it would seem to give most of the control to Skotos. Educate me if I am wrong. Or, given the unlikelyness of this senario acctually happening, ignore it.

                  Most of the rest of my questions seem to be technical so I'll move them to that board.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The never ending series of questions.

                    Originally posted by Benjawa
                    I still hope this is the right place for this question but, anyway.
                    Yes, this is the right place.

                    Part of my story happens to take into account some of the happenings of today. Well, all of the happenings of today. Being a American others in the world tend to think we're rather single minded. And, after a fashion, I agree. So, with that in mind what kind of limitations should I look at in what goes on in the story in relation to what is going on in the world today. I don't really want to offend anyone, and then there's the simple concept of getting it right.
                    Hmm, I really don't understand your question. I know that Devil's Cay is contemporary, so could take advantage of real world events if they wanted to. Lovecraft Country takes place in the 20s, and there are some real world events that happened back then that we'll be incorporating into that story.

                    As far as extrapolating the future based on current events, that is quite common, but has its risks. For instance, one of my most favorite novels was "Moon, Mistress & Sun" which had the Soviet Union as a major setting and Soviet characters as major protagonists, however the book was released in 1988 right as the Soviet Union was dissolving. Thus the book went from a very interesting and realistic speculation based on real events, to an alternative history. The book ended up not being that successful inspite of how good it was because of this.

                    Next is PKing. This is a sci-fi game, so there exsists the endless possibility of respawning through different means, thus allowing players to die and yet come back. But, in my expirence in the world of online RPGs there isn't much of this going on. Mostly, and this is just personal opinion, ManKind just hasn't yet figured out how to deal with such a concept and until we do we won't be able to deal with it well in stories. But, it interests me greatly because I want to put the fear of dieing into the game as it can bring a certain amount of excitment into it. On the other hand, people work hard a building thier characters and the possibility of them dieing makes them change the way they work on thier characters. As in, not spending much time developing them. But, in the story I am thinking about it will be important for the players to spend alot of time building thier character, and not just in stats. Considering the rather lengthy explaination to get to this point, what's the advice from those out there with expierence here at Skotos.
                    Well, PK'ing, perma-death, ressurection are major design issues, and there are no easy answers. Other then some discussions we've had in the forums in the past, I also recommend the Mud-Dev list, and its archives at http://www.kanga.nu -- a number of Skotos engineers, columnists, and friends are members of that list, as well as creators of Star Wars Online, Dark Ages of Camelot, Achea, Gemstone, etc.

                    I know that in the case of Lovecraft Country we are dealing with that design issue now. In that game, we should not probably allow alts, most combat is deadly, death is permanent, and resurrection though not impossible, is close to it. Many of those design decisions come more from theme then from game design, and thus are causing real problems in the game design.

                    If you have some specific questions, maybe start another thread and we can discuss it there.

                    -- Christopher Allen

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Back again.

                      Originally posted by Benjawa
                      I've attempted to do a bunch of reading, but I have yet to encounter this in any of the information here a Skotos. This is a legal question. Does Skotos deal with small corperations. As in, say I wanted to create a small Sub-Chapter S corperation and have all this game stuff go through that, what would Skotos respose be to that.

                      Granted, this is wishful thinking, but let's just ponder that road anyway. Let's say, by some rather large miracle, a game becomes so wildly popular that the designer wants to take it to the next level and go full production on it. If I am reading the legal stuff correctly, that still only gives the original builder of the game only small rights in that situation. I could be wrong, but it would seem to give most of the control to Skotos. Educate me if I am wrong. Or, given the unlikelyness of this senario acctually happening, ignore it.
                      We have done agreements with corporations before, so it is possible. However, we have to be sure that things like NDAs are binding on members of the corporation individually as well as corporate.

                      As far as control by Skotos, that only happens under certain situations. First the game has to be released and has a solid player base. Then either you decide you don't want to run it on a day to day basis, or for some reason cease to be responsible to run it. Only then do we have right to take over the game.

                      As far as intellectual property rights, most of those are shared. So far instance, Devil's Cay may also come out a paper-RPG, and they could create a novel based on it.

                      Typically the process is as follows:
                      • You submit to us a signed proposal form.
                      • We accept your proposal provisionally, with some issues (staffing, specific design issues, etc.) to be resolved.
                      • You sign an NDA with us to get access to the tools, as well as any team members.
                      • You and your team members start learning the system and creating the game.
                      • Once all game design issues and other provisional acceptance issues are resolved, your team looks like they are moving forward, etc. we start negotiating a final license agreement with you.
                      • We sign a final license agreement.
                      • You can cancel the license up to a certain point before any release of the game.
                      • The game is released to the public, you start getting royalties.
                      These IP issues are really more Shannon's province then mine, so I may not have them precisely accurate, and he may have some more comments.

                      In any case, talking about these IP issues too much before game is licensed by us is probably premature.

                      -- Christopher Allen

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The never ending series of questions.

                        Originally posted by Benjawa
                        Part of my story happens to take into account some of the happenings of today. Well, all of the happenings of today. Being a American others in the world tend to think we're rather single minded. And, after a fashion, I agree. So, with that in mind what kind of limitations should I look at in what goes on in the story in relation to what is going on in the world today. I don't really want to offend anyone, and then there's the simple concept of getting it right.
                        Well, I won't argue with the fact that much of America is one-tracked. Then again, I believe many countries are one-tracked. The limitations are hard to set, really. For instance, religion is a very sensitive topic in much of the world. I would advise you to look at what current events you feel would fit in with the game and wouldn't offend anyone. Don't include current events that are distant in relation to your story.



                        Next is PKing. This is a sci-fi game, so there exsists the endless possibility of respawning through different means, thus allowing players to die and yet come back. But, in my expirence in the world of online RPGs there isn't much of this going on. Mostly, and this is just personal opinion, ManKind just hasn't yet figured out how to deal with such a concept and until we do we won't be able to deal with it well in stories. But, it interests me greatly because I want to put the fear of dieing into the game as it can bring a certain amount of excitment into it. On the other hand, people work hard a building thier characters and the possibility of them dieing makes them change the way they work on thier characters. As in, not spending much time developing them. But, in the story I am thinking about it will be important for the players to spend alot of time building thier character, and not just in stats. Considering the rather lengthy explaination to get to this point, what's the advice from those out there with expierence here at Skotos.
                        In Marrach, a normal death is not permanent. However, it is normal for people to play their characters as though they have lost their memory, at least temporarily, when they return to life. If my character ever dies, I will likely have it so a few of his memories never return. It gives a sense of meaning to death and offers role playing for the opportune. Though, I notice some people play their character's death as being less consequential. In other words, they will die and have all their memories when they return. It is not for me to say what is the proper way to role play death, however.

                        Then there is permanent death in Marrach. Falling off the parapets, missing major body parts used in the Necromantic process of revival, the Queen giving orders to Getheaht not to revive someone, turning into goo, the body being hidden from Lith, jumping into the furnace, etc. Though a few of these can only come by way of StoryPlotter support, it still can have an effect. Recently, there was an NPC killed off who fell from the parapets. It has a much bigger effect on characters and players who were involved with the now dead character than if he simply died and was revived.

                        It is a major issue to think about, as Christopher said. Choose what would best fit with the environment of gameplay.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Re: More Questions

                          Originally posted by ChristopherA
                          Galactic Emperor: Succession had a strong strategic element to it, and it was completely written with our tools. Unfortunately, the game has serious problems (see the post-mortem in Shannon's excellent TTT articles) Galactic Emperor: Hegemony has strong tactical and strategic elements to it, but those elements are relatively separate from the Abode role-playing area.
                          My post-mortem on the failure of Succession is here:
                          http://www.skotos.net/articles/TTnT_62.shtml

                          My discussions on our new Hegemony game and the attempt to interrelate RP and strategic elements are here:
                          http://www.skotos.net/articles/TTnT_63.shtml
                          http://www.skotos.net/articles/TTnT_64.shtml

                          To date, I'd say it hasn't worked yet. Succession never got close to critical mass, and I think that's because strategy & RP were equally important, neither had enough weight, and thus it didn't truly attract either type of player (but see the full article, that was just one of many reasons).

                          Hegemony is a very good strategic game, and some players have really taken to the RP elements in the form of a weekly roleplay, but I really haven't been able to build the crossover into very frequent use of the text-game environment. If it were more important and more tied to the game, I might, but on the other hand that might lead to the same problems as Succession.

                          Shannon

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Re: Back again.

                            Originally posted by ChristopherA
                            As far as control by Skotos, that only happens under certain situations. First the game has to be released and has a solid player base. Then either you decide you don't want to run it on a day to day basis, or for some reason cease to be responsible to run it. Only then do we have right to take over the game.

                            As far as intellectual property rights, most of those are shared. So far instance, Devil's Cay may also come out a paper-RPG, and they could create a novel based on it.

                            ...

                            These IP issues are really more Shannon's province then mine, so I may not have them precisely accurate, and he may have some more comments.

                            In any case, talking about these IP issues too much before game is licensed by us is probably premature.
                            A bit more info:

                            The only document that we require initially is an NDA. That gives you opportunity to play with our system and make sure it's going to fit your needs before committing yourself heavily.

                            Before a game is released we request a more complete contract, that basically asks for:

                            * exclusive rights to publish computer games related to the IP.
                            * non-exclusive rights to publish other items related to the IP.

                            Both in exchange for royalties.

                            (Once someone's had a proposal accepted and is under NDA I'm happy to send a complete copy of this Letter of Intent for review.)

                            At a future point, if a game is very successful, we might offer the option to turn your game into a flagship game and relieve you of some of the administration, in exchange for more rights. I haven't outlined those exact terms, but they'd be optional in any case--a decision you could make at that point.

                            Shannon

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                            • #15
                              more IP questions

                              just trying to get a feel for how you folks deal with such things, and I understand if you can't/don't want to answer questions about some of this stuff, but I was wondering if you could explain some of the arrangments you've made to liscence games from WAP and the things like lovecraft country/paranoia.


                              WAP makes two of your games and seems to be making a new version of one of them(TEC 3d). What sort of liscensing things are going on with them making a new version of an existing game? If for instance someone made a game set in one small area of a world they had worked out and then wanted to later make a computer game that was set in the same world but didn't directly overlap the game they did for you (by like say being a 3d graphical type game instead of text based or by being set in a different area/time/etc of the world or having a different focus like being more strategic than social,etc) would that be doable?

                              If you liscense a game and then at some point cease using it, what happens then? Like if say skotos goes out of buisness, get eaten by grues, gets hit on their collective head and decide that they want to make online interpretative dance games not text games, decides that the particular game in question in fact sucks and want nothing to do with it, or the game itself is designed to be used once and not be continuously rerun, or something weird like that, what happens to the IP that's been liscensed to you? Can something like first printing rights in the publishing world be worked out? Like skotos gets first shot at it and can use it all they like (and keep paying royalties of course and won't have to worry bout competition in the form of another computer game identical to the one they are running but if they cease to generate any royalties from it that the author then can shop it out to someone else or even just run it on their own server (I doubt there will be that many other text based game companies out there waiting to snatch up ideas, but if something untoward happened to skotos are the people who liscense content to them forced to not use their own creations)

                              Are the liscenses for just things like characters, setting, plots, etc or do they cover technical aspects/code as well, for instance if i spend six months coding a system to handle yodelling/leiderhosen/bratwurst related skills into my game is it suddenly going to be oktoberfest in castle marrach and will I recieve any compensation for that? (not that I wouldnt mind contributing to a common library of software to run on your system as long as other people would have free acess to it too)

                              Also, what if want I use GPL'ed or other opensource liscenced software in the making of my game (like say i make chatterbots based on MegaHal or some markovchain system that has been released under some sort of opensource liscence to make computer NPC's talk in strange ways to the players) will i be able to post that sourcecode somewhere for people to download and use or would that code have to be part of your IP and thus preventing me from using such things.


                              anyhow, hopefully you aren't too annoyed by my silly questions, just wanting to as they say, get things nice and sparkling clear. I must say that I am really glad to see that you guys work with other companies and independant developers, with a niche market like this co-operation is the only way to go, build up a base of users and developers,treat them fairly and you can make something that will be viable for a long time and help everyone out. I doubt anyone is going to get rich writing games for you, but they might get the support they need to make amazing things happen and we all benefit from that.

                              thanks!

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