Tuesday, May 04, 2010

What, again?

So, there's another round of Teh Drama in the Uru community again, the usual 'so and so is a problem, Cyan doesn't care, how come they pick on us and let others slide' and so on and so forth. And, as usual, it's a small but very loudly opinionated number of people raising the most fuss, while the vast majority of people just sit back, enjoy D'ni, and wait for the latest bruhah to roll over.

Yeah, so and so is about as extremist in their thinking as a person can get, to the point of it being almost funny, like making fun of Pat Robertson. So what? 99.9% of the rest of us *know* there's no credibility there, so why waste effort freaking out?

Yeah, Cyan isn't releasing things quickly, or being forthcoming, or many other ongoing complaints. So what? Uru is their product, they'll do with it what they will when and how they will it, even if people think it sucks rocks through a twisty straw. So what? Why spend so much energy beating against a wall you can't make come down? Why not put all that energy into making something people will enjoy, rather than being so angry?

Yeah, moderation on the forum is wobbly, inconsistent, and vague. Is it really that important, in the grand scheme of things, that heads roll and wrongs (perceived or actual) be righted? It's just a forum, a tiny corner of the internet with a few hundred or so consistently active people with a fairly common interest.

I remember a time when I thought such things were A Big Deal, worth ranting about, diving into arguments and chaos about, getting worked up until I alternated between rage and tears...and then I realized it wasn't worth the energy I was putting into it- my energy could happily go elsewhere into things that brought something to the community. So that's where I'm at, doing for, with what I have, how I can, and not fretting about what I can't do.

It makes for a much lower BP, and a much more enjoyable life.


Whilyam said...

It is critically important to Uru because Cyan could get this done a whole lot quicker and easier if they allowed some of the brilliant people in the community to help them.

The forum moderation is similarly important because the forum is Cyan's official forums, their public face.

This is not a loud minority. Characterizing it as such is nothing more than a belittling tactic.

Whilyam said...

I should also make the point: What's more important than reporting on a company exacting retribution on its unpaid interns for a polite (private) request. That is intimidation. Cyan needs to stop pretending it's a multi-national corporation that can bully its interns.

Alahmnat said...

I feel I should make a point regarding community recruitment. What incentive does Cyan have for recruiting brilliant people from the community when often they're the same ones who want Cyan to have as little to do with Uru's future as possible? I wouldn't involve someone in a project under any circumstances if their stated primary objective was to essentially boot me out of it later.

Also, I feel it necessary to continue to point out that open-sourcing a proprietary code base with considerable ties to other strictly-licensed proprietary technology is a very difficult business, complicated by those pesky things known in the US as "labor laws", which tend to frown on people contributing work to a company without compensation. I'm not entirely convinced that classifying an entire community development team as "interns" would pass muster.

Just giving us the code NOW won't even be all that helpful either. When Relic open-sourced the Homeworld engine something like 5 years ago (or maybe even 10, it's been a long time), they did it the "easy" way by just dumping any and all proprietary components and their code references, and just giving it to the community "as-is". I hasten to point out that there is still not, at this time, a fully-functional open-source Homeworld engine that can be used by developers to build their own games and content. Just throwing the code into the world for fans to pour over isn't going to solve any of Uru's viability problems any faster. The code's not going anywhere, and has been pretty clearly demonstrated over the past 7 years, neither is the community. Putting Cyan in a corner by asking them to do more than they're able to or comfortable with doing is not conducive to getting what you want out of them. You're just going to put them on the defensive, which is bad for communication.

I also still don't get the OMFG OUTRAGE over booting Tweek and Denis from the moderator forum on MOUL. It's entirely possible to do your job as a developer without needing access to that forum, and it's entirely possible to create an administrative group that doesn't have access. Having people who are at the end of the day part of the community first and part of the administrative staff of the forums second be able to bounce in and out of a private discussion area and be able to leverage that knowledge in a public space is asking for trouble, regardless of the intentions. This is management 101-type stuff, and I really have no idea why Tweek and Denis were given access to the moderator forum in the first place. It's for moderators, which Tweek and Denis are not. That they took it upon themselves to insert their opinions into the moderator forum in the middle of a like-clockwork community freak-out when they had rarely, if ever, done so before was not a good move on their part; they have plenty of other channels for communication and didn't need to drop into the moderator forum to make their opinions or requests heard by either Cyan or the moderators. Had they done so at any other time, for any other reason, it's likely that Cyan would have corrected their access permissions without nearly so much of an uproar in the community over it. It's not intimidation. That's just stupid and inflammatory for the sake of trying to make Cyan look like the bad guy (I'm not saying they're infallible, but I AM saying that you're being intentionally antagonistic). Nobody was "punished" for voicing their opinion on the matter. I think it's the height of arrogance and ignorance to be so outspoken on a subject in which you were not an active participant.

Finally, you are a loud minority, Whilyam. A very loud one. Because the other 99% of the community not obsessed with the MOUL forum moderators is not in a completely apoplectic uproar.