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Meet the Modders

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Creation & Customization' started by RedAlert, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    There are quite a few anthropologists who study communities in and around virtual worlds. Some focus on players - such as the differences between social interactions in Chinese internet cafes and raiding guilds in the US. Then there are others who investigate things such as gender experimentation through avatars in Second Life. Another anthropologist participated in the "Uru diaspora" when players tried to maintain a sense of community and find a new home as a group when their game was shut down. The chair of the Anthropology Department of the University of California at Irvine (Tom Boellstorff) is one of the top researchers in the field. I could post a bibliography of at least 8-10 books directly on the topic - including a guide to methodology and ethics for fieldwork in virtual worlds in addition to various ethnographies - as well as quite few articles from peer-reviewed journals. Then there's all the work on Landscape Phenomenology, Ludology, Narratology in games, Semiotics, quantitative analysis by people like Nick Yee, not to mention the classic literature of Anthropology in general that has some relevance ...

    In my case I'm interested in the interplay between world design and possible cultures players may create within those worlds. So for a while my fieldwork was in a cutting-edge game called Landmark where players were sort of building the game world from the inside. But the game was shut down last year just a few months after it moved from closed beta to early release. So now I've returned to the RP community in WoW (where I did my initial supervised fieldwork). In the past I also worked as a level designer at a video-game start-up company while also keeping a perspective on designers' culture as my fieldwork. That followed in the footsteps of people who have done fieldwork at Linden Labs & elsewhere.

    I probably spend more time in-game than other players which is another way in which it's work. In Landmark I was part of a group with a large contingent from Norway & central Europe - and others scattered all across the US - while I live in California. That's a 10 hour time difference. And people who are in school, work or have families to care for play at different times of day. Meaning some days I was in-game from 6 AM or so until after midnight. Now it probably averages about 6-8 hours a day of active participation, 7 days a week. 6 x 7 = 42 hours in-game, then there's the forum chats, looking at things like player-made videos, official tutorials, designer Q&As and that sort of video as well, published written material by the game designers, interviews with them, reading academic literature, processing all that, writing (which involves a lot more than sitting down & typing), ... So maybe 60 hours or more every week of playing the game and other activities directly related to the fieldwork.

    I actually have it easier than a lot of anthropologists because even though I'm in the field I'm also at home and am able to maintain contact with friends and family in a way you just can't do if you're living in an unsavory part of town in Indonesia for years instead of going to the office Irvine and going home for the evening, or living in a tent at a dig site for months at a time somewhere that you can't even get cell phone reception. Most of them don't get to even start all the literature review and writing/presenting until after they come back from the fieldwork. OTOH I don't have an academic post or a government grant or a position as an in-house anthropologist (Blizzard posted that as a job description for potential hire a couple years ago) so everything is out of my own pocket. The only income is from the occasional guest lecture or in one case receiving a small award for a poster presentation.

    In all these cases it's a job because as an anthropologist not only do you participate fully in whatever community your fieldwork is about (play the game), but you also keep extensive records (written notes, video, screenshots, & other things such as creating fan art), discuss things with other members of the community (extended chats in-game and through forums), contemplate the big questions about community & culture as they apply to your particular fieldwork (review all your records, read the literature mentioned above, and continue discussions with community members), see what other researchers are saying about their current work (these days "said" includes blogs & even youtube in addition to more traditional written and visual media), discuss what you're doing at a rigorous academic level with colleagues, synthesize & write about all of that, make presentations at conferences (which means producing slides and posters as well as written texts), speak as a guest lecturer in courses (more slides & video editing), ...

    I'm still at the stage where it's mostly fieldwork and not so much of the formal reflection and publishing/presenting. So at the moment the work involves having as much fun as other players while simultaneously keeping conscious about what it all means.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017
  2. nick0515

    nick0515 Fantasy World Builder

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    These days I only have time to play video games on my phone in short bursts. Can't really play or mod civ much anymore but I will get back to it properly one day...
     
    Kyriakos likes this.
  3. WildWeazel

    WildWeazel -- Turns to Completion

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    Other than the large Minecraft server experiment I may have mentioned, the only MMO I've played is EVE Online. It's a fascinating world.

    Same here, but having just written, tested, and deployed a mod patch, I guess I'm technically back in the game?
     
    Kyriakos likes this.
  4. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Hm, about another of my projects - if any of the gentlemen here would like to playtest :D

    THE CHRYSALIS

    This is a stand-alone chapter of a possible freeware adventure game series.

    STORY

    Your character was invited by a person he knows since they were in school - they now are in their thirties. He falls in love with this person's apartment, due to the elegant rooms, but also the antique furniture and - last but not least - the paintings his host has created (they are macabre).
    While your character would like to just stick around and move from room to room, he is also a bit alarmed, because... his host has left him, without saying why; he just noted that he has something to do, and will return soon.
    You wonder if the other person has gotten involved into some bizarre story, or strange interests. Nevertheless... you are happy to be given the opportunity to explore the apartment on your own.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------


    Release date:
    The game is mostly finished, and ETA is as early as December (mid December being the probable time of release).
    As noted, it is going to be FREEWARE :)

    Features:
    Made for 640x400.
    8-direction animated main character.
    Original music and SFX.
    All graphics were created in 3d (with Blender).
    This is a horror story, make no mistake about it. Based on one of my printed short stories. :)
    A bit more than 12 locations; game should be completed by the player (if they are not stuck) in a couple of hours.
    Puzzles are of a few different types.
    Literary setting, with a large number of objects you can extract information from (topics ranging from painting to ancient philosophy and 19th century science).


    Story: Myself, of course
    Dialogs: (same)
    Art and Animations: (same)
    Scripting: (same)
    Music: Krzysztof Gorzkowski (polish names have so many consonants!)


    PROGRESS
    - Story 100%
    - Puzzles 100%
    - Graphics 95% (player animation to be cleaned up/palette altered)
    - Scripting 80% (implementing scripts)
    - Music/sound 100%







    Tell me if you could playtest the demo. Either here, or in pm...
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
    WildWeazel likes this.
  5. chickenx4

    chickenx4 Chieftain

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    Very nice work @Kyriakos very nice my friend
     
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  6. WildWeazel

    WildWeazel -- Turns to Completion

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    That's great @Kyriakos. Congrats on (almost) completing it. I've been getting into a bit of game development myself now that I'm using Unity for a project at work but I haven't created any proper games of my own yet. That's been on my bucket list for over a decade though.

    I have to ask, why such low resolution?
     
    Kyriakos likes this.
  7. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    So that it can be completed. At first (1,5 years ago) i was going for high-res and had created loads of animated graphics, but ultimately i can't focus so much on a side-project, so i opted for a more amateur-easy to finish game :)
     
  8. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Ie the plot will be adapted from another story from the same book of mine. In that case the title will be "The Failing".

    Mood will be analogous to the one in my previous game, and I will try to keep the gfx in a similar style... Again they will be modelled by myself, in Blender, as 3d, and then rendered as 2d.



    The following is a first "location" in the game. Shown to give an idea of the general tone.





    Story is about the "only failing" of a painter. And how he got over it.

    Or did he. ;)



    If the projects materializes, it is very likely to have original music from the same composer who worked with me in my previous (and first) game. The new one will also be a horror adventure point n click.
    You can dl the freeware first game at http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/site/games/game/2209/ and if so you should tell me what you thought of it ;)
     
  9. timerover51

    timerover51 Chieftain

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    Well, after pondering this for a while and also discussing it with my Commander in Chief, Home Fleet (i.e. my wife), I have decided to go for an online Master's Degree in Military History. It looks like I might be able to get a fair amount of credit for prior work, and the class tracks look quite interesting. About to make my application this week. A friend of mine, when I talked with him about it had an immediate response. "When do I start my doctorate?" That I will need to think about a bit more. A Master's at 66 is a bit of a change.
     
    Quintillus and Kyriakos like this.
  10. Steph

    Steph Multi Many Tasks man Retired Moderator

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    Long time no news...

    I'm now modding Total War. My Napoleon mod is almost finished (but not I've hit too many walls with things that do not work...). And this year I started modding Warhammer 2.

    Beside this, I got my 2nd Degree Aikido Black Belt two weeks ago.

    And my son who turned 17 passed his "baccalaureat" (end of school diploma, what you need to get to university), with a very good grade (19/20) and next year he'll start living house.
     
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  11. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Nice to see you again!
    And get back to the civ3 community, pls :)
     
  12. Steph

    Steph Multi Many Tasks man Retired Moderator

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    When I have finished my Warhammer mod maybe. In 3-4 years :)
     
  13. ronning

    ronning Chieftain

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    AEB22347-5449-4273-81D2-36CA8BB47CC7.jpeg That moment when you realize that those around you are completely unaware of your heroic past. The empires which you have founded and conquered. The wonders which you have built, and seized by force. The armies which you have led, the battles which you have fought, the enemies which with you have grappled and yet survived. The World and it’s riches at your feet for the taking, and yet despite all of this glory, you remain but a simple humble man. No, no need for flamboyant self adulation. Silently confident that the lips of future generations will drip with the telling of your legend, told and retold through the ages. Then you remember...

    that all glory, is fleeting.


    Hope all is well with you all.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
  14. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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  15. Oni Ryuu

    Oni Ryuu Chieftain

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    Hi guys. I’m now officially 30.
    Just bury me with some dignity.
     
  16. Civinator

    Civinator Blue Lion Supporter

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    Oni Ryuu, belated Happy Birthday :bday:
     
  17. chickenx4

    chickenx4 Chieftain

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    Tomorrow is my birthday I’m turning 16
     
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  18. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    You are Civ3? ^_^
     
  19. chickenx4

    chickenx4 Chieftain

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    Civ 3? What do mean?
     
  20. Civinator

    Civinator Blue Lion Supporter

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    chickenx4, Happy Birthday :bday:
     

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