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Old 08-30-2002, 09:02 AM   #1
Neranz Laverani
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"There's no workman, whatsoever he be, that may both work well and hastily."
- Chaucer (c. 1343 - 1400)

It takes longer to build an area well.

How can you tell the difference between someone who is taking their time to do it right and slacking off?

Neranz Laverani, Seeker of Knowledge
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Old 08-30-2002, 09:48 AM   #2
Illiandra
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Wander through their area when they aren't around to see what they have done.

Talk to them about their area, see if they know it well.

Watch them when they are logged on. Log them for a day or two. See if they are productive when they are there.

Be blunt. Ask them.
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Old 08-30-2002, 10:30 AM   #3
Brianna
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I agree with Illiandra.

Take a few minutes every few days or once a week to walk through the area they are building. What I look for is progress even if its only a room or two or a couple mobiles.

When time and schedules permit I spend a few minutes talking to the builder when we both are online, especially if I have seen no progress and they have spent hours of time online. I ask if they are stuck and offer to help with suggestions or guidance.

We, at one time, put in a deadline because most of our staff was spending more time goofing off than getting stuff done. I have since taken that deadline out as the people we have want to work. I don't forbid a little goofing off but when that is taking more time than the work something needs to be done.

I realize that we all have lifes outside of these highly addictive game worlds so I think talking to the person if you are not seeing anythng getting done is the best route to go.

Just my opinion and way of doing things.
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Old 08-30-2002, 08:02 PM   #4
smadronia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Neranz Laverani @ Aug. 30 2002,06:02 am)
How can you tell the difference between someone who is taking their time to do it right and slacking off?
I tend to wander through the areas as they're being worked on, to see what kinds of progress are being made. I usually do this after the imm as logged off, so they don't feel that I'm breathing down their neck. If they're not making progress, or their progress consistes of 1 empty room in the last two weeks, I try to be subtle. My fiancee or I will ask them how they're area is going, if they need any help, do they have a projected date to be done with it, etc etc. Sometimes it helps, they'll work more on the area.

Usually it doesn't help though, and that's when I use a note system. I require all builders to write me a note with an update on their area, about how done they feel they are, any problems they've en****ered, and a finish date that's as accurate as they can give me. If they don't write me a note, I pull their security until they do.

Usually by the time I've resorted to getting a note from them, I've pretty much figured out they're not going to build. Pulling their security does nothing really, but if they're at the point they can't even write a note, I usually tell them it's not working and fire them.

Right now I have a guy who's been an imm for 2.5 months who's not building. He has a 60 room area and has 12 rooms done, 8 of those with the same description. He sent me a note saying it'll take another 4 months to get the area done. I'm patient, but 6 months to do 60 rooms is not acceptable to me, especially when this guy logs 5 hours a week on the mud, although most of it is idling. This to me is most definitly slacking off, the room descriptions are the bare minimum, which tells me he's not investing lots of time to do it right.
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Old 09-08-2002, 03:38 PM   #5
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Definetly wander through the area. Concentrate on things like identical copy/pasted room desc, multiple identical mobs and objs, lame room & obj names that do not fit the theme of the MUD (ie. Backstreet Boys Boulevard and Britney Spears Lane or a mob named Captain Picard(on a Wheel of Time MUD)...and yes I have seen this done). It will also do well to scan through the obj just a minute and see if they spend most of their time building ultra-powerful weapons hidden in secret spots only they can find...this is another all too common problem with unreliable builders.

Expect the worst until they prove otherwise. Older and respected builders do not need to be watched as closely.
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Old 09-08-2002, 09:15 PM   #6
Davairus
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Oh god builders. I've been through so many of those guys. They always promise so much and deliver so little, even when they're experienced. Actually I'd rather take a completely new guy to building and teach him how to do it because then he isn't full of all the tricks of the trade like the copy command and such. If you really want an area built for your MUD though and know what you want, do it yourself thats what I think. Much more productive that way
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Old 09-09-2002, 04:28 AM   #7
Molly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
How can you tell the difference between someone who is taking their time to do it right and slacking off?
Actually you cannot know.

Sure, you can tell if the work produced by a builder is total crap.

But you cannot know for sure whether someone is actually taking their time to make a really good area, or just slacking. Because all Builders are different, and have different approaches to building.

Take myself, for example. When I start on a new area, I first spend a couple of weeks just planning it. Mapping it on graph paper, researching background stories, topography, ecology, thinking of plots and quests etc.

Then I write down every single desc in Wordpad. And I mean EVERY desc - not just room descs - mobs, objects, extra descs and scripts too. In my experience that's the best possible way to create a good area. Everything in a good zone must interact and correspond, and this is the easiest way to ensure that it does. I get an overall view, which is easy to access, I can trim the descs to about the same length (which I think looks nice), I might move parts of a desc from one room to another, or from a room to a mob or object to make it fit better, etc. I may also think of new things during the process that I want to add or change, and with this method it's much easier to know exactly where to set in those changes.

This process might take anything from 1 month to 6, depending on how many other things I am working on at the same time, and how busy I am in real life. And during all this time I don't even open OLC. THEN, when I am finished planning and satisfied with the result, I copy and paste it all into OLC, in a few days time.

So, during this long initial process, the Head Builder, who wants to check on my progress, will see absolutely zilch happening. Maybe - in the best case - they'll interview me about my plans for the zone. Maybe - in the best case - they'll actually believe me, when I say that I am planning it all extensively on paper and in my home computer.

But probably not. After all, like Davairus put it, Builders 'always promise so much and deliver so little, even when they're experienced.' (And it's true too, only I call that type of Builders 'Non-builders&#39. But in this case. How can you tell? I might just be another lazy slacker, lying through my teeth. So the impatient imp, tired of being bull-****ted, will probably kick my lazy ass from the mud.

Sorry mate, you just lost the best Builder you might ever have a chance of getting! *snicker*

I guess what I want to say is; don't judge too hastily. Have some patience, give the Builder a chance to prove themselves.

The best way to handle the problem with idling Builders is to make a separate Building Port. Then you won't have to worry about whether they work or not. Just leave the zones in the Port. Sooner or later they actually may produce some result. Maybe in 90% of the cases they won't, but what have you got to lose? I remember one case, when a Builder left the mud without forewarning or explanation for over two years, leaving a half finished zone behind. Then he returned, still without forewarning, and completed the zone in less than a month. 400 rooms, not top class, but pretty good.
You just never know...
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Old 09-09-2002, 08:52 PM   #8
smadronia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Molly O'Hara @ Sep. 09 2002,01:28 am)
Then I write down every single desc in Wordpad. And I mean EVERY desc - not just room descs - mobs, objects, extra descs and scripts too. In my experience that's the best possible way to create a good area.
<snip>
This process might take anything from 1 month to 6, depending on how many other things I am working on at the same time, and how busy I am in real life.
<snip>
So, during this long initial process, the Head Builder, who wants to check on my progress, will see absolutely zilch happening. Maybe - in the best case - they'll interview me about my plans for the zone. Maybe - in the best case - they'll actually believe me, when I say that I am planning it all extensively on paper and in my home computer.
Molly, I think the promary difference between the way you (and people like you) build, and a lot of builders that claim to do it, is that you probably could show your work. Even if you're just written it down on paper, I would guess that within 20 minutes you could prepare something that you could mail off to an imp that would show you're working on your area. If you have descriptions in Wordpad, you could copy and paste a few of them as examples and mail it off.

That's a lot different than the person who tells me (or anyone else) that they have the whole area laid out on paper, and are working on the descriptions, but the descriptiosn are all on paper and they don't have time to put them on the computer right now. I don't buy that excuse after the first time. Heck, I've encoutnered people who claim to have the whole area liad out and are working on the descriptions, but they don't have a final room count.

I know there's a lot of impatient admins out there, and I'm sure they've lost decent builders because of their impatience. I do think that builders are also responsable for proving they're doing work. There's only so many times an admin can take "I swear I'm working on my area offline" with no evidence before they start to wonder. I've recived all kinds of things from builders, scans of their papers, offline area editor files with the skeleton of an area, graphics, a page of descriptions, etc etc. I appreciate these things, because it lets me know that the people sending them to me are actually working on things.
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Old 09-10-2002, 05:51 AM   #9
Dre
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Heya all,

Ok I'm a 'newbie' builder, but what's wrong with someone taking longer to build an area? And what do your builders do? Do they get orders from the head builder to make an area or do they just think of it themselves? And do they gain special rights when they get accepted as a builder?

Reason I'm asking is cause I'm working on an area, not a big one 90 rooms, but I have been working on it for some time now. I would be someone who is slacking off I suppose, but just because I don't have time to build, this is no problem however on the mud where I play. The area coordinator won't ask me what I'm doing on when I'm finally gonna finish it. I'll just work on it when time permits. And it will be done eventually (prolly even this year)

By the way, I don't gain anything from being a builder, I just want to help the mud with new places and to expand it even more.

Greetings Dre
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Old 09-10-2002, 11:31 AM   #10
Molly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Molly, I think the primary difference between the way you (and people like you) build, and a lot of builders that claim to do it, is that you probably could show your work.
Sure I could, Smadronia. But I am not 100% sure that I would.
If I had had a very bad day, if you put the request in the wrong way, or if we had had a fallout before, I just MIGHT be so tiffed because you doubted my integrity, that I'd decide to just leave and offer my services elsewhere.

I can be terribly stuffy when someone questions my professional competence... Yeah, I know, it's awful, ain't it? *snicker*

But all kidding apart, I am totally aware of the problem. A majority of the people who call themselves Builders are not worthy of the title. They lack the interest, imagination, verbal skills, endurance and determination for the profession. They just CLAIM to be Builders for reasons of their own - (mostly a desire for power) - and they give the real Builders a bad name in the community.

Over the years I've seen too many non-builders come and go in our Buildport, and it has left me jaded. I used to be a very ambitious and active Head Builder, I used to tutor new Builders, answer endless building questions, discuss ideas and designs for the zones, and all in all participate in everything. But over the years I have come to realise that about 90% of the efforts I spent was just a waste of my own time. I'd teach someone to use OLC, and they'd leave as soon as they learnt how, to build somewhere else, (probably on their 'own' mud). I'd discuss zone ideas with promising Builders, offer input, ideas and advice, or just patiently listen while they outlined their extensive plans. And the next week they'd be gone, without an excuse, an explanation or even a goodbye.

In the end I realised, that it was just a huge waste of my time. So I don't do it any more. I provide good building manuals, I've even put helpfiles on line for all the OLC commands. If people are motivated enough to read those documents, they get along fine. If not - well, tutoring them personally would most likely not have made any difference. If they cannot put up the effort to read through a manual, they most likely will never finish a zone either.

I naturally look at zones if people ASK me to, I still lend a hand in solving tricky problems, they can e-mail me questions at any time, and I answer them as quickly as I can. But that's that. I let my very competent Head Builders run the day-to-day work on the Buildport, and rarely visit it myself, I do all my own building off-line. And my time is much too valuable to be wasted on non-builders.

Like Davairus so wisely put it:

Quote:
Originally Posted by
If you really want an area built for your MUD though and know what you want, do it yourself thats what I think.
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