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The Choice of Life: Continuation of the Stella Polaris project

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  • The Choice of Life: Continuation of the Stella Polaris project

    You've all read the official announcement and know that the current management of the SPDT has decided, almost unilaterally, that it can't keep on advancing the project. At the same time, I can see that many of those who are still active in this forum still believe in a positive future for the game. And those people are being put down by the management. Isn't this a paradoxical situation? What, in your opinion, is a project's leader supposed to do at the sight of setbacks and slowdowns? Dismiss those who would like to go on and destroy the project itself? What is a self-destructive project good for?

    * ari decides that that's enough rhetorics and skips straight to the point of the post *

    I have an offer to the Stella Polaris project's members. Although I have never had a part in this project before, I believe I can be of help. The two things that the project seems to need most right now are a coordinator who can get the project back on track and coders who are able and willing to get the actual game part going.

    I can, hopefully, give you both.

    First, the management. I have plans for the coordination of most of the branches of the project. I know a thing or two about the workings of open-source projects from following a couple of mailing lists and reading a couple of books and essays (for example: Just For Fun, the Cathedral and the Bazaar), and although my knowledge is mostly theoretical it might prove useful. I do not want to take over the project for a long time - I lack the design skill for keeping anything like Stella Polaris up in the long run. All I intend to do is to is to help in restoring enough faith in this project until someone with more experience and skill takes over, and to help in making sure that what is built now will be useful in the future.

    Note that I do not actually want to manage this project; if somebody else wants to take over right now and is more skilled than me, I will be more than glad to see the project managed by him or her. Just as long as there is somebody to revive it.

    Second, the coders. I'm a member of the Gentoo Linux user community which you can find at . Just a rather short time ago there was an initiative for showing that open-source is a viable development platform for creating computer games. I do not actually know what they are doing right at the moment, but I can tell that there were people there who both want to work on an open-source game and have the coding skills that the project needs. I have not mentioned this project there yet because of several reasons; Most importantly, by the time I noticed the existence of this chance, the spirit of "death is looming over this project and we can't do a thing about it" was already way too prevalent. Being that I use Gentoo and seem to be generally accepted as a member of the community, my word would quite probably weigh more there than the word of some random project member.

    So, if you guys agree with me and Rasbelin is willing to hand over the keys to the house, so to say, we'll be putting out the first release ASAP (if everything goes well, it will be ready on Monday). No, it will probably not have any code except for Map Builder - however, it will be a package that people can download, and it will be a coherent whole. It will be a single base to build on, and it will show that you (unfortunately I can't say "we" because I haven't took part in this project before) have built a lot already. After that, building the game itself will just be a logical continuation of the same thing.

    BTW, as a final note... I've seen many people dissing Rasbelin just for this one choice. Please don't. He's done a lot more for the project than most, perhaps every one, of you (he's definitely done a lot more than me!). Without him, Stella Polaris would perhaps not be even nearly this far - it might have failed simply due to Blake's disappearance. Nobody is perfect. It's just that this particular mistake is of the sort that would warrant replacing him even if he had brought the project ten times further*. Heck, I'll be the first in line to bring him back as the PR manager of the project - he's pretty damn good at that.

    OK... let the heated discussions begin...

    * note that if somebody even thinks of saying that Rasbelin hasn't brought the project further at all at this point, I'll see to it personally that that person is tarred, feathered, crushed under the weight of ten million living pilot whales and made fun of by me until his or her life is Hell on Earth.
    Last edited by Ari Rahikkala; March 20, 2003, 15:17.
    This is Shireroth, and Giant Squid will brutally murder me if I ever remove this link from my signature | In the end it won't be love that saves us, it will be mathematics | So many people have this concept of God the Avenger. I see God as the ultimate sense of humor -- SlowwHand

  • #2
    I'll support you in spirit...just like i always supported StP.
    <Kassiopeia> you don't keep the virgins in your lair at a sodomising distance from your beasts or male prisoners. If you devirginised them yourself, though, that's another story. If they devirginised each other, then, I hope you had that webcam running.
    Play Bumps! No, wait, play Slings!


    • #3
      Spirits? Vodka?

      Well, as for Ari's message, I don't comment it yet as I want to give others time to reply first.
      "Kids, don't listen to uncle Solver unless you want your parents to spank you." - Solver


      • #4
        Re: The Choice of Life: Continuation of the Stella Polaris project

        Originally posted by Ari Rahikkala
        ...we'll be putting out the first release ASAP (if everything goes well, it will be ready on Monday). No, it will probably not have any code except for Map Builder - however, it will be a package that people can download, and it will be a coherent whole.
        Hope you're not thinking about taking the existing map builder. If you're going to recycle code, you might as well find another more developed open source project and grab their code base. But, if you thought about whipping up something workable from scratch during weekend, I think that's a brilliant idea. It could be a guy inside a cardboard box for all I care, as long as it's a viable starting point.

        Or, how about taking the Candle'Bre route and publishing ruleset that can be "played" as a kind of a board game? A proof of concept, if you will. That doesn't even take coding abilities, just designers.


        • #5
          well i dont care you manages what actually, if people agree on ari i will agree too, but i do support ari`s idea we can`t is a good concept...
          Welcome to the DBTSverse!
          God, Allah, boedha, siva, the stars, tealeaves and the palm of you hand. If you are so desperately looking for something to believe in GO FIND A MIRROR
          'Space05us is just a stupid nice guy' - Space05us


          • #6
            About recruiting people from gentoo (or any other community), I'm a bit skeptical whether it will help at all... what is needed is one person who can kick start the project by writing the first working piece of software. It's not an impossible task, but it does take some skill and most importantly, determination (I know, I wrestled with this thing at GGS back when the earth was still young). SPDT already has/had a few coders who had expressed that they're going to start contributing once there is something to contribute to, so that's not the bottleneck.

            Once you get the first "proof of concept" release out the door, then it's time to start recruiting. IMHO.


            • #7
              I agree with you Ari and want to work with you in the re-construction of the StP. I of course cant do the project alone. Not with my level of experiance. I will depend on others in my "Office" for instance.
              BTW: I posted a long post in the Official Note thread.
              Naval Imperia Designer


              • #8
                Well, I'm in! I'll just keep giving ideas and support when I have the time. Lets revive this game.
                Michiel Helvensteijn
                SPDT Member: Helpmate


                • #9
                  Last edited by Rasbelin; March 21, 2003, 07:05.
                  "Kids, don't listen to uncle Solver unless you want your parents to spank you." - Solver


                  • #10
                    Okay, since it looks like Stella Polaris will permanenetly move out from ACS, I wish that you at least let us know when and if you get your project organized and kicked off again, maybe in the alt civs forum. Best of luck.


                    • #11
                      I was unable to register at SP forums (automatic registration prevention image thingamajig didn't show) so I'll just put my comments here... feel free to copy it to your own forums.

                      You guys have a thread about re-organizing the project and having lots of managers and moderators and senior authors and whatnot. I think that's just more of the same nonsense that partially responsible for the project's death in the first place. I'm sure it's really cool to have those fancy titles and an elaborate "command structure", but I think that just adds to the bureocracy. At the moment, you are planning to have

                      Main manager
                      Second in command
                      Third in command
                      Coding Manager
                      Project Advisor

                      and a bunch of smaller titles. That's way too complicated, as there won't be any real difference between first, second and third in command anyway... you are all volunteers. Sure, for practical purposes there should be one "admin" who has the keys to the house so to speak, but otherwise you should just have a group of a few committed people who push the project forward, without silly titles, and the rest are either coders, artists or designers (no "seniors" or "juniors" or "helpmates") depending on how they contribute.

                      In volunteer projects like this, the organization should be as close to meritocracy as possible... you don't do something because you're "senior concept manager" or whatever, but because you are able, willing and motivated to doing it. This applies as much to management as it does to design or coding... anyone who steps up and suggests "hey maybe X should do Y? How about it, mr X?" is doing his share of managing the project.

                      (Not that you can't have titles... but titles should be just something you have for fun and to describe what you have done in the past, not something that defines how the project works.)


                      • #12
                        Right after writing the above post, I read vovan's longish reply at SP forums... I agree 100%. Get rid of stupid command hierarchies, get rid of useless secrecy. For example, what was the point of hiding particular forums from the general public?


                        • #13
                          Yes I also agree.
                          As stated on SPF.
                          Naval Imperia Designer


                          • #14
                            The title helpmate (AFAIK) means that I contribute as much as I can, but do not have any particular skills. I'm not a good C++-coder, nor am I a good artist. I just give my ideas, suggestions and opinions. That's why I'm a helpmate. I tried to make some graphics, but they really didn't look good and we can't use Pov Ray anymore anyway.
                            Michiel Helvensteijn
                            SPDT Member: Helpmate