Sunday, October 08, 2006

Builders Port Experiment Part 2

One of the builders who has joined us recently has completed an addition to the game that we have moved over to the live point. I'm not clear on how much work is left before it actually goes live and gets connected, but it seems to me that the experiment (still in progress) has been pretty successful.

We have approximately eight people who have joined up on the builders port and are developing areas. As with any group of eight people, there are differing levels of completeness. This poses somewhat of a challenge for us as administrators since we haven't been scaled up this way in a long time. Typically we've been heavy on the administrators and thin on the builders. Now we are nearing the reverse situation where we have a lot of work to be examined, improved (through collaboration) and approved. It's a bit hard for us to actually track as we are usually self-centered and the projects we are working on are the ones we focus most of our attention on.

I'm working on a few scripts that should help the situation in that we should be able to tell who is nearing completion of rooms, monsters and other things without having to go login and look. The scripts (when finished) will show things like:
  • Rooms with descriptions, names, and doors.
  • Rooms missing any of the above.
  • Rooms that are approved (a formal status flag)
  • Monsters with similar settins.

I'm hoping this will help us keep ahead of the curve on getting the right attention at the right time and place. This is important to me as I've seen over the years that as we reach a tipping point of administrators to builders, we have found ourselves in the case where builders get frustrated and leave because of a lack of administrative support. We'd like to avoid that.

To be clear, the administrative procedures I've alluded to are not formalities of a beaurocracy, but a process that ensures all additions meet our quality standards and ensure that seasoned administrators provide feedback and suggestions to newer builders. This latter point is really the most important to us. We do really like to have correct grammar, spelling and punctuation in our room descriptions and do have a relatively formal building style guide which reflects this. But, these things can be corrected if missed (we'd still rather catch them first).

More subtle suggestions can have a much larger influence on the longevity and popularity of an area. These are the suggestions we want to make sure we provide at the right time and to the people who need them.

So far so good on the builders port, but it is still too early to call it a success.

No comments: