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Old 10-07-2002, 10:32 PM   #1
shade
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I been building for a few years and had most roles in that department, evrything from Jr Builder to headbuilder. One thign that strikes me alot is the number of builders you usually have to take on to get one or two dedicated and good ones. So i sat down and thought why is it like this ?. Mainly i think its cause ALOT of muds gives the builder his/hers vnums tells them to build something and talk to the head builder if the need anything, now i see building as any art..you need insperation and people to get inspired by to get it to be good.
I cant say that i see alot of IMP or headbuilders just taking a day taging along as the builder build and giving him ideas, hearing more about his area and his plan hey even about the rp he planned for it. This i personally think is crucial, unless you get suport and inspiration from the imms above you why in gods name would you wanna spend your free time doing #### for them for free ?. Building takes time, effort and commitment and should be rewarded or if nothing else suported and encouraged more. You can train any half wit to be a newbie helper, quest imm or enforcer. but having someone produce 10 areas for you with great desc's and cool layouts is totaly diff.

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Old 10-07-2002, 11:22 PM   #2
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Well I disagree with you on a few things...every builder I have come across wants an established MU* or has been so disrespected by another Imp they wont do much unless a list of almost unrealistic expectations are met along with a poor attitude from being abused. I dont blame them, but it is just as unfair to an Imp if no chance is given to show what they are willing to do. I have even been involved with several "builders" who were attempting to tell me what to do and when I speak up about what the theme is, they have gotten extremely upset and quit. My point is, sometimes builders are just as much at fault for why things go wrong as are the Imps. I do understand why a person would want an established MU* but at the same time I feel strong bonds can be made in the beginning if both sides are willing to 'work'. Also, carrying a chip on the shoulder as a builder will not win much favor with the Imp IF he/she has every intention of making bonds with the team.
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Old 10-16-2002, 04:25 PM   #3
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I actually have issues with both these posts as not really getting to the heart of the matter.

A builder is a cog in the machine that creates a world and as such needs to be integrated into the team that does most of the work. If attitude and ability fit the team, then that process usually goes smoothly. Some just aren't cut out for the responsibility nor dedication it takes to writing and figuring out how to get along others and they rarely stay. A rough guesstimate on my part is for every 10 I hire only two actually finish a zone and of 10 who finish a zone, one becomes a keeper. That's a pretty sad average given the effort put into it, but oh well.

Latitude to build whatever a noob builder wants is important if they fit your theme and standard of construction guidance. I enable a noob, show the ropes and turn loose their imagination with their first ten room redits. If they ask help, that is given, if not, they are left alone with the guidance to impress us with how well they can paint a picture with words for the ten rooms. The first ten is then proofed in order to put it into the standards of grammar and context that fits our world and if they pass, they are allowed to do mobs/objs and complete 100 rooms of the zone, if they wish for that many.

All along the way of this process, they are gradually taken into the fold as team members by the other Imms that build and slowly fed more and more information. Some just can't deal with the personalities of others or the critiques or the standards and just fade away. Some take it as a point of honor to at least finish the zone they started. The ones who truly enjoy writing and the thrill of seeing their ideas come alive usually wind up staying so we're blessed with about 20 active members of the management team and 20 or so active trainees.

The point to me here is give them an opportunity to be team members, value their ideas, include them in discussions and make them feel at home. Sometimes you gotta spank so they meet standards, but most often it's just a matter of communicating what your teams needs are. Good builders aren't hard to keep, they are just hard to successfully integrate into an entrenched management staff and get frustrated enough to leave.
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Old 10-16-2002, 05:23 PM   #4
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One thing that I've found handy for builders is asking them to spec out the area before they build it. What's going to be involved in it, how big will it be, who will go there, what's the feel/theme, how long it will take to build, and what steps will need to be completed to finish it.
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Old 10-16-2002, 06:32 PM   #5
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Currently, I'm trying out having an experienced and proven builder team up and oversee a new builder's area, to provide advice and keep them on track when necessary, as well as motivating them if the area falls behind. So far, it is well received but a little early to see if this will be effective. I must say Iluvatar hits the nail on the head by pointing out that integrating new builders into the team is of importance.
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Old 10-17-2002, 08:27 PM   #6
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Lightbulb

Everyone's replies have some form of merit, I have run the gambit of most of them. From having a coder with an attitude drive away experienced and excellent builders to people who want to be builders thinking that its easy!!

Building, as someone mentioned before, is an art. Some people are blessed with the ability to paint pictures with words and others are not. Many fall somewhere in between - Can handle the grammar and spelling aspects but lack motivation or inspiration to put a picture into words  or have great ideas but lack the skills to put them down into words and creating the zone.

It is important to any team that all members feel important and ideas and suggestions are heard
and considered before being set aside or summarily dismissed because it doesn't exactly fit the theme. This I have found is not only important to staff members but to players as well.  However, a brainstorming session on the idea could produce something that will please the player and fit the theme .

For me, its part love of creating a zone and seeing the players go WOW! or comment on something little that I put in the zone, and part getting ideas from both staff and players.  As a head builder on two muds, I find that making the entire staff, from the new builder to the "old timers", feel and know  that they are contributing to the game is a big boost in not only retaining builders but to keeping them motivated to continue.

Just my opinion on the matter.
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Old 10-18-2002, 02:21 AM   #7
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I say ttttthhhhhppppppptttttt to all of you who think builders must have good gramer and spelling. I am the one of MANY decent builders that can't spell alot of times and with gramer that is HORRIFINGLY innocrect. Yes building is an art as stated above, yes it needs to be encouraged, yes it's a great idea to talk to the builders and ask them how thier day is and blah blah blah. Here's the fact of the whole thing, many people come into building thinking "I can do this, because it doesn't seem that hard at all." than when they actually learn what they have to do they pretend to care and than just flop out. Others actually loose intrest waiting for a mud to open or players to arrive. Some won't even log on if the Owners kind of disapear, there are so many variables and reasons for people who get hired as builders stop building. Some have a termatic life expierence, some get arrested, I know of one guy who was and still is on the run from the police and that's why he stoped building. Good builders are hard to come by, good coders are even harder, so when you get one I tell you now treat them as if they were gold. Don't go around saying builders are a dime a dozen for the fact that even if they are the chance of you finding one like him are rare. Lose of builders is alway brought so narrowly upon the mu* and has to the the mu*'s fault. Like i said before the variables are endless to the reason why they quit, so talk to them, get to know them, care a bit, have fun and most importantly treat them with respect us builders love that. :-)
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Old 10-18-2002, 09:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Lose of builders is alway brought so narrowly upon the mu* and has to the the mu*'s fault.
Quote:
Originally Posted by
I say ttttthhhhhppppppptttttt to all of you who think builders must have good gramer and spelling.
I don't quite understand what you are trying to say, Keljorian, perhaps it's because of the lack of grammar skills that you yourself commented on.

I am sorry, but I also totally disagree with your statement that spelling and grammar are not important to a Builder. Sure, they are not all that is needed to be a good Builder, but any mud with any self-respect would refuse to put a zone filled with typos and grammar errors into their Gameport. Grammar and spelling are essential to good building. If a Builder cannot write correctly himself, someone else has to go through their zone and connect all the errors, and that one is usually the Head Builder, who has a lot more important things to do. Personally I'd much rather write a zone myself, than correcting the typos of someone else, or trying to put some sense into a badly written zone. The mud would benefit a lot more from that too, because even after the worst errors are corrected, a bad zone will probably still be a bad zone.

We have to face it - a lot of people who apply as Builders are not cut out to build. They want the power that building gives, but they lack the language skills, imagination, patience and endurance to carry out the hard job of finishing a zone.

The main reason why some Builders don't stay is that they are not really Builders. Mercifully most of them realise this themselves after a short while, so they quit - and good riddance! Sure, there are a lot of other reasons why Builders, even good Builders, leave. But the actual reasons are mostly not important, as long as you aren't too quick to delete the chars and the zones when they fade out. They actually might come back after a long absence, this has happened several times in my own mud.

A lot of Builders, especially the bad ones, demand 'respect'. My response to this is that before you can get any respect, you have to earn it. And about the only way you can earn any respect with me, is to actually complete a zone. I have seen too many '5-room-wonders' to get impressed by a single room desc or mob. Until I have the completed result, whatever you do is of little value to the mud, it just takes up memory space.

AFTER a Builder proved himself by finishing a zone, he becomes a REAL part of the team. Until then I'll answer any questions about building and help with whatever problems that arises, I will discuss ideas and give input, but the Builder must show the initiative to raise the subject with me himself. I don't look over people's shoulders while they are working and comment on their typos, I don't check on the progress every day and bitch if it's not fast enough. Why? Because all Builders are different, and each are entitled to their own methods of working, as long as the result is good enough to use in the mud. So after I've provided the building tools and given some initial tutoring to get them started, I just leave them alone to do their work at their own pace.

This might sound harsh, but over the years I have seen so many Builders come and go, that I think it's mostly a waste of time to engage a lot of myself in a zone before it's near completion. I don't like having my time wasted. When someone submits a zone for approval, I expect it to be spellchecked, free of grammar errors, balanced within our rules, and have all descs, sectors, flags and exits set properly. If not, I just refer it back to the Builders to fix the errors themselves.

The really good Builders don't need very much incentive to work, as long as they are enough interested in the theme and standard of your mud, as long as you treat them decently and as long as you give the proper credits for their work. The really good Builders seem to work out of sheer creativity, the joy of creating a zone and watching it come to life as the players enter it is their main reward.

As for the rest - well, very few of them are worth the time and effort. If a builder needs to be pampered, cuddled, bribed or cajoodled into working, then I'd rather they spend their time somewhere else than on my mud. We've had hundreds of bad Builders in our Buildport, and about twenty really good ones. Most of the good ones are still with us, one way or another. Many of the bad ones are too, although they still don't do much work worth notice. And nobody misses those of them that went away.
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Old 10-18-2002, 11:04 AM   #9
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I have to say, I find this thread interesting as heck!

On my mud, we don't have levels.  Everyone is put in at admin level, whether they're hired as a builder, gm, or even webmaster.  The only time someone would lose out on that status is if they screw up and need to be disciplined.  I've pretty much let my builders do whatever they want, so long as it fits the game world.  The only restriction on anything is that I get the final word in disagreements. *chuckle*  This isn't to say I won't argue something out to my dying breath, but when there is no more to argue about, I'll make the final decision.  
I think the practice of giving no one person more power code-wise than another is a nice thing to do.  I don't see any reason to hide from anyone on staff, I don't see any reason to only chat with and get to know admins rather than builders, I just don't see the point.  Though our staff is quite small and I might feel differently if I had a staff of 30 or so. Of course, I only recruit staff from our playerbase, so by the time I put them on staff, I trust them completely.
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Old 10-22-2002, 03:48 PM   #10
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Granted I am a n00b builder and also a newbie admin, but it is my attitude that drives me to learn and become better. I was overwhelmed to find out how much really goes into these two jobs. That in my opinion is the true test of a potential builder or admin's attitude and dedication. Age to me plays another big factor in this discussion. My son is 15 and he loves instant gratification. If he has to put hard work into something he loses a lot of his enthusiasm almost immediately. No offense, but I have seen a few candidates want to learn with me and when they found out how much was involved they were gone in a flash. It is only my opinion as I have seen some awesome builders who were very young to me. I meant not to offend anyones age but only to discuss an observation from my frame of reference.
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Old 10-28-2002, 04:26 AM   #11
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Sorry to take so long to read and respond to this thread but I've been sorta busy.

WTG Sic em Molly!

Everything Molly said I hold true and follow faithfully and has worked for me in excess of 5 years now. Builders deserve the intellectual freedoms of creative expression as long as within the confines of the game theme parameters. Few ever realize the complexities involved until they actually start on it and are hard to keep unless they actually work at being kept.

I've seen what I believe to be every type of builder attitude and motivation that could possibly exist and typically run in excess of 40 different ones of them building over a months time. Interesting thing is not a single one would be building if they didn't use proper grammar, spelling and a reasonable imagination to even get to start. Any builder needs those basic building blocks to get in the door along with a little bit of perseverence and a conveyed feeling of dedication. They are all proofed at different stages by seniors and always learn to deal with constructive criticism.

Sorry Keljorian, you wouldn't pass our entrance exams.
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Old 11-01-2002, 03:55 PM   #12
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I just want to agree with everything Iluvatar said.

Instant gratification... *sigh* when I have to cope with the fact the builder isn't connected to the MUD yet, but I still build. Dedication is a requirement.
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