Author Topic: Indexing the Network Node factions  (Read 31662 times)

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Offline Buster's Uncle

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Re: Indexing the Network Node factions
« Reply #90 on: August 06, 2013, 02:23:17 AM »
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  • hm, but I'm not sure how it would fit into the category structure, would they be listed as separate factions? I'd think a link from the wiki pages to a download would be more useful to those who want that kind of modification, do they particularly need to see the png version first?
    Yes they do, inherent to the nature of the thing.  [mildly] I think if you even consider any artless .txt factions for including for a second, excluding .txt-less art is a gross insult to my side of the street.

    Offline Buster's Uncle

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    Re: Indexing the Network Node factions
    « Reply #91 on: August 06, 2013, 02:26:38 AM »
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  • (Artists were actively discriminated against at my first AC forum, so I'm a bit touchy on that subject.)

    Offline ete

    Re: Indexing the Network Node factions
    « Reply #92 on: August 06, 2013, 03:16:37 AM »
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  • I can see how you may consider it an insult, but the faction archive is.. well.. an archive for factions. Art is a very important part of a faction and considerably more work than text, but ultimately text is the bit which defines how the faction plays and contains much more structured information which can be used for helpful categorization.

    The reason for including artless text but not textless art as full factions are pretty sound imo. In rough order of importance:
    1. You can't categorize textless art in an automatic meaningful way (like "this faction has a bonus to Morale")
    2. Textless art lacks an official name, so you can't pick what page to put it on (especially bad for factions which have the same name as an existing one, name conflicts yay)
    3. You can play a meaningfully different game with just text (+default art), you can't with just art (+default text) since it's exactly the same game with a different look

    I'm very open to having an art archive on the wiki, but that's a slightly separate project and something I personally would consider less enjoyable to create and maintain than a faction archive, since graphics are not something I can work with directly currently or manipulate via templates. If you would like to build one I am more than happy to answer any questions about mediawiki and build most of the category structure and templates required.

    Having an option for alternate graphics on faction pages would be more fitting, but that is non-trivial to set up. If you feel it's worth the effort and are willing to at least help maintain it I'll put it on my to do list.

    But really, I think having a single page like: Non-graven images pack
    on the wiki (or even forum!) with previews of graphics and a download link would be.. far more useful, easier to create, and more sensible.

    Offline Kilkakon

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    Re: Indexing the Network Node factions
    « Reply #93 on: August 06, 2013, 03:19:42 AM »
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  • I'd say artless factions are in a sub category as well, of course.

    Offline Buster's Uncle

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    Re: Indexing the Network Node factions
    « Reply #94 on: August 06, 2013, 03:45:06 AM »
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  • I'm not going to discuss this subject any further tonight.  That would be a bad thing.

    Offline ete

    Re: Indexing the Network Node factions
    « Reply #95 on: August 06, 2013, 04:38:54 PM »
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  • :( BU, I'm really not trying to have a go at you.

    Useful custom stuff is useful custom stuff, but it's a different kind and needs a different organizational structure to be most useful (e.g. Category:Available base images, Category:Available diplomacy landscapes, Category:Available art files, so people can find art to go with their text files.).. and I'm offering to make that for you, but I'd rather not take on the project of maintaining it and keeping it updated, because art organization is not something which interests me as much for various reasons.. primarily that I would always be the "middle man" with people passing me art to update with rather than updating it themselves, whereas with text I can actually be useful in a direct sense. If someone else is willing to work with me on it and commits to updating things then I'll put a fair amount of work into it, but I'd rather not do this one on my own. Surely that's not too unreasonable?

    Offline Buster's Uncle

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    Re: Indexing the Network Node factions
    « Reply #96 on: May 25, 2014, 02:20:20 AM »
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  • ...I think the best argument, and one you're not using here, is that a .txt faction w/o art is still playable (looking like Deirdre/Gaians, the default graphic) while the converse is not true...

    However, I'm still adamant - I suggested the indexing project that resulted in the Wiki happening as a modder resource in the first place, and under that very worthy rationale, including .txt-less faction art is still more than warranted.  I want that work currently useless out there where modders can find it and make it useful.  The AC Wiki and its searchability is ideal for that.  We are a modder-heavy community, and indexing/displaying/including the art -not just elements to use peacemeal, although I have files for that posted in downloads, too- is useful and worthwhile, QED.

    Hopefully someone will step up and help with that - the AC Wiki needs more contributors/editors, period. ;nod
    « Last Edit: May 25, 2014, 03:35:11 PM by BUncle »

    Offline ete

    Re: Indexing the Network Node factions
    « Reply #97 on: June 08, 2014, 09:00:55 PM »
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  • I am, and was, fully in favor of indexing that stuff. It just needs a different indexing structure:
    "(e.g. Category:Available base images, Category:Available diplomacy landscapes, Category:Available art files, so people can find art to go with their text files.)"

    I was, and am, not offering to maintain that archive because it is less interesting to me, and makes much more sense for an art guy to maintain anyway. Not because I don't think it belongs on the wiki.

    I offered to set it up and work with a maintainer extensively, but that's a whole lot lower on my to do list these days. If someone turns up who's really enthusiastic about it, I'll still likely set up the tech side with a few templates and show them how to use it, though image uploads being broken makes things harder.

    Offline JarlWolf

    Re: Indexing the Network Node factions
    « Reply #98 on: June 09, 2014, 04:00:56 AM »
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  • I would just categorize it as Textless art/factionless art because the art hasn't found a home with some text. The two are meant to be married to turn out a well loved faction- art is important to express the faction's character, and the text determines how that character operates.

    Both have their merits, and to denounce one is to denounce the other. There is no discrimination against either text coder or artists on this forum, quite the contrary. Some rather great factions and faction sets have emerged from this community- Dio's alternate originals, Sigma's 7, my faction pack, the Exterminatus, Annilihators dual monsters that can be paired with the Antimind for full carnage, and Kilkakon's labour of love and exquisitely crafted Lost Eden conversion mod - etc.

    And all of them have interesting text options, as well as great custom art.

    But who knows if there is some factions who have no art; or art who have no factions/factions who have no code? They all deserve to be in a list so they can be known. A dead man on the battlefield has no name until he is ascribed one, and until then his memory is lost and forgotten, his loved ones never knowing what happened to him. Its important to give these things the proper listing, lest they be forgot.


    "The chains of slavery are not eternal."

    Offline ete

    Re: Indexing the Network Node factions
    « Reply #99 on: June 09, 2014, 05:54:50 PM »
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  • If someone's offering to maintain an art archive, then I am 400% in favor of having an art archive on the wiki.

    Art on it's own is not a faction, it does not have faction name/text/sortable autocategorization. It needs a different form of categorization.

    Putting artless factions in the faction archive is not a value judgement. It is accepting that the categories used by the faction archive (e.g. "Factions with a Planet bonus", "Factions in favor of Planned") do not exist for art, but do exist for artless factions.

    Art needs a specially built art archive on the wiki to house it properly, complete with nice categories like "Base art", "Art in use", "Scratch bases", "Logos", and "Complete faction art" (as opposed to gameplay related categories and templates used in the faction archive). Which I offered to build, right at the start, with the fairly reasonable request that someone other than me maintain it.

    That offer to help and build something much better for art to live in was apparently misinterpreted as an attack on artists, which was very unfortunate since I was trying as hard as I could to explain why that was not my intention.

    Offline Green1

    Re: Indexing the Network Node factions
    « Reply #100 on: June 19, 2014, 01:59:30 AM »
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  • Well, my take on it is this.

    Let's say I am someone who bought Alpha Centauri on GOG a few months back, but want some cool factions. Adding a cool faction already takes enough tweaks that more modern 4xs do not put you through (editing alphax, etc) and I just want a working faction that works with no drama.

    I do not care, if I am this person, if it is only artwork even if it is beautiful because I wanted a working faction. This person is not a modder and art I useless to him. Amount of work involved aside, this would not matter.

    I do not care, if I am this person, if only the text part is done. I really would not enjoy Hive reskin #34. Once again, if I was this person, I am only interested in complete and working factions. It needs the art, too.

    BUT... if someone does want art for this ancient piece of software, I am sure these forums are the place to find it if you look. Arguably, this is one of the few places to look.

    Just text I think is even less valuable than art. AC2 inherited many half arsed attempts by some dude 8 years ago at incomplete texts. Anyone interested in creating a faction would do better 99 percent of the time creating the text for a faction by scratch.

    Offline ete

    Re: Indexing the Network Node factions
    « Reply #101 on: June 20, 2014, 05:05:24 PM »
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  • @Green1: You know, I mostly agree with you. Art is harder to create, and especially compared to most of the older unbalanced and often broken or uncarefully written .txts around, more valuable.

    But art needs a different categorization system, because it lacks the kind of properties used by the faction archive to sort factions. A art archive, to be specific.

    Offline bvanevery

    Re: Indexing the Network Node factions
    « Reply #102 on: April 16, 2018, 09:28:02 PM »
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  • I am in favor of "Faction" meaning a complete gaming product with artwork and text mods, as Green1 said.  My basis for experience in such matters is The Battle for Wesnoth.  An additional need would be a modern packaging and delivery system, not pouring energy into a wiki that players don't want to hunt and peck through anyways.  In the Wesnoth universe, Faction, Era, or Campaign authors would generally communicate something about the finished or not-finished state of the work, and would use version numbers.  I don't know whether efforts around this AC2 site will rise to that level of organization, but in the absence of such infrastructure, it's all pretty much "you're on your own" and arguing over wiki categories doesn't matter in that case.  As would be evidenced by 4 years of silence on this topic.

    Offline Green1

    Re: Indexing the Network Node factions
    « Reply #103 on: April 16, 2018, 09:38:16 PM »
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  • Well, the guy that posted that is not even in the community anymore.

    I think ete was a completionist type person that wanted to preserve everything. But, to be honest, there were A LOT on the Network Node that was some half-assed stuff some kid put on a forum board 15-20 years ago and is highly unlikely to remember it or come back to it.

    Many, even the more popular like the Anti Mind has a bug. Anti MInd is missing ALIEN_FACTION_TREATY (forgive me if I have forgotten the actual text string) at the end of the .txt meaning if it offers a treaty, you become treatied with them even if you did not want to. No dialogue comes up.

    You'd need a community pack along with a graphical alphax editor that puts these things in alphax for you without having to look up 15 year old how-tos to do.

    Offline bvanevery

    Re: Indexing the Network Node factions
    « Reply #104 on: April 16, 2018, 09:59:41 PM »
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  • Yeah, infrastructure is the real world of deploying mods.  And there's still half-assed stuff, even when the bar has been raised with all the formal mechanisms necessary for deployment.  In the Wesnoth world, the half-assed just bitrots after awhile.  That's actually a historical problem for them, as even pretty good campaigns will be destroyed by the latest greatest revision of Wesnoth itself.  They expect the 3rd party authors to stay on top of all that themselves, because they're open source developers and have the usual public average of not caring about stability.  In the real world, someone did "that amazing campaign" at a time in their life when they had the energy and resources to do so, and people simply don't stay put as Wesnoth developers and maintainers indefinitely.  There's no money in it, and nobody sustains a career-esque level of interest in something absent money.

    SMAC has a partial advantage in that the things one might mod from, aren't changing much.  There are plain vanilla versions of the game, where there's some historical official maximum patch level and then that's it.  There's Yitzi patch, which is not actively developed anymore.  I'm not convinced anyone else counts as far as gameplay goes.  If someone's work was deemed to count, at least there aren't that many people doing things, nor that quickly.

    Wesnoth does keep their official "mainline" content stable, but last I looked a couple years ago, it was the same old boring stuff as ever.  They were an extremely conservative community about introducing anything new into it, or rennovating any of it.  Particularly the writing quality, which was mostly poor.

    Wesnoth also had some "blessed archive" for really exceptional 3rd party campaigns etc., and the one I worked on got in there (but not because of me; in fact, going for that, was the issue that caused the lead dev to give me the boot).  I have no idea how it has held up over time.  There's a point at which I ceased to care, and just decided to take the lessons I'd learned to the next content development project, if there ever was one again.

    Now I'm doing enough modding of SMAC that I could see one again.

     

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