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Announce your new/updated Civ3 files for front-page coverage!

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Creation & Customization' started by Blue Monkey, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. Balthasar

    Balthasar Wise Man

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    I have to regretfully and respectfully side with Pounder on this one, Blu. C'mon, this is simple cut and paste work, and you're overcomplicating it. It it's too large, shrink it or crop it. If it's too small, enlarge it. Takes 30 seconds.

    I realize more than some others here how much you've been under the gun lately, but this has been done for years without such strict guidelines, and you're only inviting argument and criticism by trying to apply them now. Otherwise, I'm sure everyone appreciates your effort. You do a good job on the front page post.

    And if at any point you could use some help putting this together, or just need a break, you only need ask, and I'll be glad to assist in any way I can.
     
  2. nick0515

    nick0515 Fantasy World Builder

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    Just want to put my two cents in on this debate. It seems to me that if Blue wants the files in standard sizes its not unreasonable for him to request that. I think he is right that it takes us very little time to crop an image to exactly 128 x 128 etc. However, I'd like to add that the current preview is close to 50% George Stows work. This seems a little infair when others like Pounder are producing such great work. And I know George is a very prolific graphics maker but still...

    Anyway Merry Christmas all.

    Nick
     
  3. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    I'm not sure I understand why you use a 141x116 image to argue against what I've pointed out. You replaced an image with no standard dimension with another that has the same difficulties. how is it easier for you to post a 141x116 image than a 128x128 or a 128x256 or a 256x128 or a 320x64, or any other combination that makes it possible for me to combine images in a straightforward fashion?
    Maybe you would prefer that I install your graphics, run a game until they show up on screen, take screenshot, crop it, send you a pm to ask if it's acceptable, make whatever changes you want, send you another pm with the new image for approval, and continue that loop until you're happy. Why can't you take responsibility for providing a preview of your own work that is suitable?
    I'm not sure which giant preview you're referring to. georgestow's images that I used all had at least one dimension that was standard. I've not used his in the past when the dimensions were unworkable.
    A specious argument. " a simple cut and paste" is exactly what I posted above. That took 30 seconds. It is not a matter of 30 seconds, which you well know based on the graphics work you have done. Especially not when the process of choosing a suitable part of the image must be repeated multiple times - for each nonstandard image I have to deal with.
    The help I could use would be for artists to care enough about their creation to ease the process of presenting it rather than making it unnecessarily difficult. I repeat the challenge I posted above, Pounder & Balthasar. Assemble an announcement, preview & text both, for the same items I did this month. Post it here for comparison. Post honestly the total amount of time you spent, beginning with downloading the images through to the completed post. If you can then honestly tell me what I'm asking is unreasonable I'm more than willing to listen.
    Those who did not get anything included were solely for the reasons I've stated. It has nothing whatsoever to do with particular persons. Ask yourself why there was no image of Steph's submission if it is a matter of favoritism. I really don't like the singling out of one or another contributor as a way to complain about my work. But I also feel the need to directly address the arguments raised.

    If you're referring to percentage of total pixel count you're right. I don't think that's the proper statistical analysis.

    His work is 4 images out of the total of 15. Last I checked that's about 27%. By my count he made 12 submissions. 4 included in the preview is about 34%. Vuldacon made 6 submissions & got 4 included. That's 67%. Virote Considon got 100% included. Ogedei got 100%. And so on for other people whose images were included in the preview.

    Each image of his that I used falls into a different category of game element. That's a primary consideration for me when including multiple images from the same creator. Another thing to note is that both of his large images were substantially reduced. This is something I'm always reluctant to do because of the resultant loss of detail. If anyone else can think of a fair way to preview a space race screen in the same number of pixels as a unit or a resource let me know.

    You may think I'm setting up a straw man but this is truly the way all of you that are complaining sound to me:

    1) I should do 100% of the work to show off your creation to best advantage.
    2) I should slap together the images any which-way in 30 seconds or less.
    3) Everyone should get the same number of images included. so in a month where someone submits only 1 item everyone else only gets 1 picture included, even if they've contributed a scenario, units, terrain, a set of advisor screens, a tutorial, etc.
    4) Everyone gets the same number of pixels. So an era splash gets 128x128 just like a tech icon. Or maybe a unit preview should get blown-up to 320x320 just like a wonder splash.

    On the other hand, this is what I think I've asked for:

    Please give me an image that you've taken the time to decide shows your hard work for the the piece of art it is while being able to nicely fit into a rectangular preview with all the other beautiful creations. Given that, I will make sure that everyone gets at least one of their contributions in the preview. I have made accidental omissions in the past, and done my best to correct them. If anyone thinks I've been unfair to Pounder read this post & the following one.

    I'm done discussing this until someone who has done the same work has something to say. You are all more than welcome to complain to one of the senior moderators of this forum, to any of the administrators, or to Thunderfall.
     
  4. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    So happy Christmas everyone! What a lot of good cheer there is going on here.

    Well, since I have done the same work, I'll add a few comments.

    People really don't appreciate how incredibly long it takes to make these announcements. When I did them I would often put it off for far too long, because doing it required having a free day to devote to a tiresome task. Of course, the longer I put it off, the more intimidating the task, because there were yet more files to announce. And the more I would put it off. I'm sure we've all experienced something like that.

    It takes so long for two main reasons. The first is that simply assembling the text takes a long time and is tedious. You have to follow all of these links, copy and paste the URLs, get the file name and author name right, and categorise them. This is sometimes rendered harder not only by the contracted URLs that Blue Monkey talked about but by the fact that some authors give links to "library" threads containing many files (sometimes direct to the relevant post in that thread, sometimes just to the thread itself, forcing me to hunt through it) and some give links to threads devoted to a single file; some use showthread URLs and others use showpost URLs; some give links to forum threads, some to database pages, and some to the direct download from the database pages. I tried, and usually failed, to standardise these when compiling them into the announcement. Also, being an obsessive proof-reader, I worked hard to ensure that all files, authors, and comments were displayed in a consistent style, and that they were listed in a consistent order. Within category, I listed everything in the order in which it appeared in this thread - apart from different files by the same author, which were listed together, but within author they were again listed in chronological order. That takes time to do, and it also involves making more decisions: do unit packs, for example, get listed as single entries, or do all the units get their own entries? What about a "pack" of just two units? What about old, lost files that have been rescued and re-uploaded? This is why I fairly quickly abandoned the practice, which I initially followed, of adding comments of my own to each file. That just doubled the time.

    The second reason it takes a long time is that the images take ages as well. First, like URLs, authors often don't provide these in an easily accessible way, let alone one that is consistent between everyone. Some are in BMP format, some in JPEG, and some in PNG. That's a trivial inconsistency. More problematic is the fact that some files, such as units and buildings, typically have a standard form, but not everyone follows it. Some people provide extra-large-size versions of the pedia icons. Some people provide not pedia icons at all, but enormous and very artistic renderings of the models they used with different backgrounds. Some people provide not icons but shots from within Poser of the model against a purple background. Some people provide frames from the animation. Some people provide large composite images displaying lots of units or buildings at once, which again can come in all sorts of formats (white pedia-style background, purple flic-style background, etc.). Some give composite images showing different files for single objects (e.g. images showing the large and small pedia icons next to each other), or add borders to their images, or explanatory text. With all of these I have to decide what to do with it - use it as it is, resize it, reshape it, cut bits out of it, or whatever. And some people don't provide static previews at all, which means I have to download the file itself, unzip it, locate the pedia image, and convert it. This takes time.

    Even once the images have all been hunted down and put into something resembling the right format, it is still a long and difficult process to arrange them into a preview image. Usually there is not enough room for all of them, so I have to decide what is going in and what is being left out - with the proviso that the image has to look good, has to give a good sense of the range of files on offer, and has to be as fair as possible to everyone so that the work of as many different authors as possible is represented, and shown in as good a light as possible. Images that are "standard"-sized or shaped, such as standard pedia icons, are not hard to arrange in a tiling fashion, especially as they are fairly small. Larger ones such as wonder splashes are harder but are nice to get in as they usually look so impressive. Most problematic are any in-game shots, usually those showing terrain or cities, because the provided images are usually large and need to be cut down - but how much, to what size and shape, and where do they go in the image? I eventually developed the method of getting around some of this by shrinking some images down extra-small just to get them in, but again I had to be careful not to seem to be singling anyone's work out for that treatment. (And people still complained...)

    Now I understand that when you've created something you want to see it up there with everything else. We are all creators here and we are all proud of what we've done, and if it seems that your work is not being properly acknowledged then that can be upsetting. But people do need to understand that making these announcements is really time-consuming, and while it may be fun to do for the first one or two, the novelty wears off very quickly. I remember people complaining about various aspects of how I'd done it, and I suggested that if they wanted to do one themselves I'd be very happy for them to do so, and nothing more would be heard on the subject. I found making these announcements by far the most tedious and annoying aspect of moderating and also the most thankless (well, perhaps with one or two exceptions which I won't discuss here). If Blue Monkey has particular guidelines that he wants creators to follow to streamline the process, then that's not only reasonable, it's entirely to everyone's benefit. It means he gets the tedious job done more quickly and pleasantly, and it means that announcements get posted more quickly and frequently, which in turn means that everyone has more of a chance of having their work displayed more often and more prominently. So please don't view this as an antagonistic issue or a conflict, but as a cooperative matter where different people have different roles and are there to help one another out.
     
  5. Moosezilla

    Moosezilla Grognard Warlord

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    Thank you and Merry Christmas!
     
  6. Pounder

    Pounder Phaethon was here

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    Didn't mean for this to get so offensive/defensive, just wanting to know what I was doing wrong because I can't see it from Post#1.

    Maybe in the future you could ask for help/volunteer, having gone for 11 eleven weeks without a posting made it a hugh job.

    Please make changes to the first post, says nothing of omissions for pieces of a screen shot, only warns of chopping and scaling. I see goldfool didn't understand it either by his redone previews. zo-zo's are standard 49x49 resource and didn't make it, he put all four side by side into one preview.

    Seems that everyone is trying to comply, the new rules are finally clear to me, please just state them clearly in POST #1 for any one new.

    Edit: Just read your PM from 2 days ago, it`s only the second PM I`ve ever recieved, so I`m not looking for them, I missed your request for the acceptable side sizes, sorry for all the grief I`ve put you through.
     
  7. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    Quoted For Truth:

    June 12th, 2009
    July 12th, 2009
    September 28th, 2009
    October 8th, 2009

    November 23rd, 2009

    December 12th, 2009
    In case anyone missed it.
     
  8. Balthasar

    Balthasar Wise Man

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    First, my apologies to Blue Monkey for minimizing the job he had to do. It's a big task, it's unpaid, and I owe my friend Blu much more consideration than that.

    You have to realize that the very first thing I ever downloaded from this site was made by Pounder. He rocks, and he's been rocking here for a very long time, so my first instinct was to defend him. I'd have used his little preview anyway, just out of deference.

    That said, I've reconsidered and decided that Blu has a valid reason and argument for making his own life a little easier with regards to this task. He's been trying for a simple standard: usable previews with even-numbered sides, and of course the cats here have resisted being herded in that direction. Maybe the guideline is too open-ended; two standard sizes: 128 x 128 (for most things) or 128 x 256 (for very large projects only) would seem a reasonable standard to me: "If it fits, it ships."

    Merry Xmas everyone.
     
  9. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    I respectfully disagree. All I ask is that the preview have at least one dimension that is some number of pixels used by the game pcx files. I have no problem with a splash that's 320x320, for example. I want people that take in-game screenshots to have the flexibility to make one large enough to include everything that they want shown. One important thing for everyone to consider is that down-scaling an image with odd dimensions to meet the guidelines often results in ugly artifacts. Text only to advertise our work is better than an unnecessarily ugly picture, imho.

    I will admit that I included 3 images in this month's preview that had to be resized to meet my needs: A picture to represent over a year's work by an entire team (which had an even dimension to work with), a screenshot that after a pm from me was reposted at 129x129 (I'm confident that was inadvertent) got trimmed, and a unit preview from someone who, as Plotinus pointed out, famously posts huge detailed images. While it has the virtue of giving me a nice even square to work with, the resulting 128x128 blurry image doesn't do the work nearly as much justice as a simple civilopedia pcx would. I'm willing to reduce to a blurry preview anyone else's image submitted with rectangular (including square) even-numbered dimensions.

    I've done a brief review of the image types in the art folder of the standard game. For some reason the background of the resources is 49X49. It's the only one I found. I offer sincere apologies to zo-zo. In future anyone who posts resource images with one side of 49 pixels can expect to have the same consideration as any other pcx creator.

    That's about as far as I can compromise and still give everyone a reasonable expectation of regularly posted and equitably representative previews.
     
  10. Vuldacon

    Vuldacon Dedicated to Excellence Supporter

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    I agree that just posting a list would be better than nothing... even with no image.

    I also agree that requiring a particular size for work needs to be set and stated so there is no confusion.
    Further, I also believe it would be best to state exactly what link should be used for the image such as darabase.

    This would standardize procedures for everyone and provide a faster way to put it all together.
     
  11. nick0515

    nick0515 Fantasy World Builder

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    My apollogies Blue Monkey, my percentage comments were somewhat short sighted. And once again I think it's best for all concerned if everyone sticks to your request of standard dimensions for at least one side. And thanks again for doing the announcemnets.

    Cheers

    Nick
     
  12. georgestow

    georgestow Proud to be Awesome

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  13. Pounder

    Pounder Phaethon was here

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    Blue Monkey

    I just want make a statement on what has occured from my point of view, I blame myself, I missed your PM.

    You not knowing I missed your PM, it would not occur to you to say, "didn't you read the PM I sent you" (nobody ever PM's me, it's been off all these years, just resently turned on for Steph and one other), I would have had my answer and all these unforunate long posts would never have happened.

    I know that you had just posted your work and may have took my initial post as a criticism, that was not intended, at the time I truely didn't understand what I was doing wrong.

    I edited my last post as soon as I read this PM, my apologies if my apology didn't sound sincere, I must state that it was and I still feel bad.

    I hope you can forget this misunderstanding and I know in hindsight that I should have posted my apology on a separate post, but it was only a few minutes after made the post and there were no posts below mine, so out of habit I edited the post and it was not much of an apology.

    My sincere apologies to Blue Monkey and sorry I took so long to post.
     
  14. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    I'm glad everyone's calmed down a bit. I don't hold grudges (in life). People were upset about something important to them. With time to cool off it's easier for all of us to see things a little more objectively.

    The reason I call these guidelines rather than rules is to leave myself some flexibility. Follow the guidelines and you can reasonably expect to have your work shown. You may get your picture included if it falls outside the guidelines -but shouldn't expect it to. A good example of the second case is what I posted above - a 129x129 image. If these were rigid rules I wouldn't feel free to crop & use it.

    I double and triple check that I've included everyone in the announcement, and that the preview represents the range of both contributors & types of work. I do still make mistakes & am glad when people give me a chance to correct them.

    A couple of comments as to the links. If people post a link to a thread about the particular creation I'm fine with it. If people post a link to a library thread that's fine too. Although if there is not a preview in that specific post I won't hunt it down. And library OPs without internal links to the posts where the items actually are shown are pretty useless for everyone. A link to the database page is also valid - with the same proviso regarding previews. The only kind of link I personally find irritating are the direct download links. As a potential user of someone's creation I'd like to see it & read about it before it ends up on my computer. And as the maker of the announcement it's bothersome to end up with several copies downloaded by the time I'm done double-checking everything. But I will continue to post any valid link provided.

    I find that PMs are a good first approach to any sort of disagreement, misunderstanding, or question about motives. Then everyone has the opportunity to be frank, and avoid unnecessary public embarrassment.
     
  15. The Omega

    The Omega Completely Insane

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    Title: The Gaia War
    Type: Scenario
    File Version:1.1
    Requirements: C3C
    File Entry URL: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=346599
    Author Name: The Omega


    Woah.... I just realized I've actually posted something in this thread.... Never thought I'd be doing that....
     

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  16. iron0037

    iron0037 Warlord

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    Title: Flavors of Civilization
    Type: Modpack
    File Version: 2.0
    Requirements: C3C
    File Entry URL: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=303574
    Author Name: iron0037
    What's new in this version?:66 more flavor units, revised unit lines, horse archer unit, rules tweaks
     

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  17. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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  18. HenryStow

    HenryStow Chieftain

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  19. Vuldacon

    Vuldacon Dedicated to Excellence Supporter

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    Title: Coastal Reefs Sets
    Type: Other Units
    File Version: 1.0
    Requirements: CivIII/PTW/C3C
    File Entry URL: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=349971
    Author Name: Vuldacon
    What's new in this version?: N/A

    Here is a single Image for use if one is all that can be used:
     
  20. georgestow

    georgestow Proud to be Awesome

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