The meeting of Saturday, August 8, 2015 started off like any good TR meeting; with silence, typing and an in-depth discussion on the topic of chips. Have fun figuring out what kind
After about 10 minutes of this, we finally got on-topic. This allowed 10Kaziem to share her thoughts on the pipeline, before she was sadly kidnapped by Real Life.
1. The proposed installer would result in both technical and potential legal issues. However, since such an installer would not be made for a long time, there's no need to worry about it for now.
2. TR is a derivative work. In other words, it's in a legal grey area. Because of that, we have a very loose claim on what we're making, and Bethesda could shut us down any time they wanted to. Therefore, we have to establish some rules on copyright. Most of the proposed rules are already in the pipeline document, but it would be useful to post a summary in a visible location.
3. Some sort of to-do list could be made. This would help people stay up-to-date on what needs doing, and would be especially useful for newcomers. It would not replace claims, but would be used for other parts of the project. Software for this is available, and a TR account could be made. It might be useful to have various permission levels within the software.
4. The current pipeline proposes that we do all of the planning before we start creating any content. This could be modified slightly. While we'd still write the Master Plan first, individual sections could be developed out of sync. So while we're still working out the details of one section, another section could already have exteriors being worked on. This would avoid a 'You can't create quests because we need you to plan stuff' situation, and would allow people to do what they love. Continuous CS work would also give the project more exposure. Plus, working in sections gives more focus to the project, and allows us to get stuff done faster.
After discussing this feedback, we started discussing the pipeline step by step. This mostly involved restating what the various steps would involve, so everyone was on the same page.
Step 1. The master plan is a single document that will contain a rough summary of what all the other documents will have in more detail. The master plan is not the only document of Step 1 however; the various faction documents would also be written during this step.
Step 2. At this point, we'd start planning the specific regions, as well as writing the actual questlines. It's important to note that that does not happen during step 1. The locations would be tailored to the various characters and stories. For instance, the main faction quests would be written before we start planning the regions, so that we know what each region needs to contain. The same applies to towns and houses reflecting their inhabitants, and regions reflecting their cultures.
It's also imporant to mention that although concept art creation is stated to be part of this step, it's welcome during all stages of development. Concept art can be used both during the broad design planning (atmospheric art for example) and while planning specific assets (drawing a specific hat) Michael Kirkbride's art provides good examples of concept art from all over the spectrum.
We also mentioned that we should at some point figure out how we're going to handle artifacts.
Step 3. This step is purely for the creation of assets; they would have been designed during step 2. We'll still create assets region by region. Because of this, we don't need, say, the Dres set to start working in Redoran lands. Anyone can contribute during this step; no showcase is necessary. Similarly, anyone can give their opinion on anything. We do need to update our guidelines for the various assets however, and it should be done sooner rather than later.
Step 4. As stated in the pipeline, this is just the preparation for CS work, and shouldn't take very long. During this step, we'll also create example plugins for the various regions. This will help make them look internally consistent.
Step 5. At this point, we'll know what we want to create in the various areas, and can therefore decide how large the claims should be. It's important to note that at this point, planning for areas and their inhabitants will already have been done, and all that remains is implementation. Clear guidelines will be given for the creation for the claims, but they are flexible. This, coupled with how the implementation of NPC's will only happen after the interiors are created, will mean that the creators still have some freedom in how they design their areas. Any ideas they come up with during creation can still be used. Really important characters will of course have stricter guidelines.
Step 6. Once again, this step is purely for implementation. All the quests will have been planned and written beforehand. That said, miscellaneous questlines can still be proposed. Major questlines will only begin implementation once all the required sections are finished.
Step 7. Support would continue for as long as people are willing. This would include bugfixes and possibly new quests.
Some non-pipeline topics that were discussed:
Some minor work would be set aside for showcases, such as small interiors and miscellaneous quests. People are of course free to design their own miscellaneous quest for their showcase.
There was some talk about the on-going Forum Cleanup Process, but more up-to-date information is available in its own thread.