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olympe

Suggestions regarding DR

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I agree with the idea to archive threads in DR that are either old and inactive (for maybe 6 months - after all, archiving =/= deleting) or that have been locked (temporarily). This way, we have a better grasp of where there's still something going on, how much is actually going on and when we could re-open DR for new suggestions. Keeping it full to the brim with topics nobody is working on doesn't really accomplish anything.

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5 minutes ago, olympe said:

I agree with the idea to archive threads in DR that are either old and inactive (for maybe 6 months - after all, archiving =/= deleting) or that have been locked (temporarily). This way, we have a better grasp of where there's still something going on, how much is actually going on and when we could re-open DR for new suggestions. Keeping it full to the brim with topics nobody is working on doesn't really accomplish anything.

This goes back to my earlier comment on the Blue Mockers. Unless I somehow magically learn how to art and sprite, these dragons have been suffering. They've already gone through seven artists now and they have gone months, maybe even a year or two without much success. I feel like if we wanted to reopen the Dragon Requests, we must finish what's already there otherwise old threads that people want to see finished like the Blue Mockers will never be finished because people will be focusing on the new and not the old that's been there for years.

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I think that clearing will leave, at most, 3 pages of concepts, which will slowly, but surely go in CR over time, perhaps starting with Mewtie's cuties 🐋. I remember the Blue Mockers were a rare variant of another dragon, what happened to that? Anyway, I have seen Mewtie has given sketches on Blue Mockers, so I think you're safe :) I never saw lovely Mewtie stop working on anything, in spite of the crits she's gone through with every concept. I am very concerned about the possible DR reopening... Perhaps limiting to 1 concept per person when that happens? Don't get me wrong, I am against this idea too, but there are few artists and a reopening would mean many, many new DRs. I, for example, have had a lot of ideas, but recently saw only one is worth of really be considered a dragon (Not speaking about the ones already in DR). My biggest pleasure with DRs is either seeing an AAT sprite getting in the spotlight, which I have tried, and seems pretty effective, either seeing a concept "being brought to life". This happened with some CRs but I will avoid mentioning names. 

 

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Personally, I'd rather have new people focus on new things than on nothing at all, which seems to be what happens right now. There's no way you can enforce that your concept gets worked on. Working on art requires inspiration, and if nobody feels inspired by your concept, it won't ever see the light of day. (Sorry if this comes across harsh, it's not meant to be. Neither did I try to say that your concept is bad or uninspirational in any way. It's just a truth that we cannot force anyone to work on what we deem "ours".) 

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@olympe not harsh at all, in fact, it's the truth. I can't force anyone to work on it if they don't want to

 

@Quetzals I closed the Blue Mockers for now in exchange for the Space Crystals as Mewtie is extremely busy working on other concepts. And yes, they belonged with the northern Mockers but I took the northern ones out since it basically killed the concept. 

 

I may have to close it down permanently or give it to someone else if they go no where upon reopening *shrug*

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I'd love to see DR reopened. I've been kind of itching to work on a dragon, but I feel weird jumping into a concept that already has a team of people, active or not, involved with it and is mostly done, as most of the current threads seem to be. I'd love to pitch a concept of my own as well. I think limiting it to one or two active threads per user could work - might prevent people from spreading themselves too thin or spamming the subforum.

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9 hours ago, TJ09 said:

Okay well I just lost what I was typing because I tried to quote and respond to too many individual people at once, so here's a response to some of the common themes I'm seeing here:

 

Re: criteria for release

The problem here is we're talking about art. There are certainly some technical requirements, like having proper anatomy and using clear sources of light as the basis of your shading, but those are also rules that people already have a pretty good handle on (there's nothing for me to be more explicit about there, especially given the people doing final critiques are probably more qualified to evaluate those things than me).

But when you start getting into things that are more qualitative than quantitative, it also becomes more vague. There's really no way to fix that. There are things that are objectively wrong (i.e. pillow shading), but there is no clear articulation of what is objectively right—I commonly ask people to make outlines contrast less with the rest of the sprite, even though it's a perfectly valid stylistic choice.

It's probably possible to articulate a list of valid shading styles, poses, anatomical choices (e.g. spikes, scutes, tail shapes), but it's not possible to enumerate that entire domain. That is, you can either have a set of soft guidelines (in which a sprite can tick all the boxes and still not be good enough) or you can have an incomplete set of hard requirements (in which a sprite can be a perfect fit but not actually follow the rules). The latter of those stifles creativity, so I feel pretty strongly against it.


Re: double standards

Allow me to say the same thing in many different ways, because it would appear that what should be common sense is indeed unclear:

  •  Not liking a sprite is not the same thing as it being bad.
  •  You can hate a sprite while recognizing that it is well-executed.
  •  Matters of taste are opinions and should not be stated as if they are fact.
  •  Having a different opinion from someone does not necessarily make either of you wrong.

All of this is to say: okay, you don't like X sprite on the site. And you do like Y sprite in DR. That doesn't mean that there's double standards. The new releases are not objectively flawed (and while I'm obviously biased on this matter, being the one who made the call originally, I've seen others qualified to make that judgement say the same thing). Even by some of the more subjective metrics people are complaining about (like how "natural" a pose looks), the new sprites are completely in line with the other sprites that have been released.


Re: Endless critique

"Crit hell" is not a required gauntlet that requests have to go through. Unless help mods and in-cave artists are the "hoard of howling nitpickers" being referred to (in which case that's a very targeted insult at a small set of people that definitely doesn't belong here), anyone in DR is theoretically able to ignore non-final critique. That doesn't make it a good idea to do so—feedback is given to help things improve, and ignoring it without a clear articulation of why may prove to be a mistake—but it's entirely possible, especially if you as the artist feel that you're receiving too much or unreasonable feedback.

But DR is not meant to be "design by committee," and if people think it is, then there's some really weird misinterpretations of the rules out there. Then again, that's already obvious—some of the breeds called out as "wow DR standards are stupidly high why is this not completed already" aren't even in the final critique phase (and also haven't even received much critique anyways).

Whenever possible, assume good intent and you will save yourself a lot of stress.


Re: The future of releases

DR is not going anywhere in the immediate future. Private releases are not going anywhere in the immediate future. Completed Requests is going to be hidden, as previously suggested. This really doesn't change much about the DR process, except make it easier for those requests to be released since they'll already have been hidden for a while. There are some other changes in the pipeline that will be announced when they're ready (hopefully soon?).


Parting words

giphy.gif

For the new page.

 

Thanks for closing the CL, TJ! 

 

Still don't know what to do about the DR itself though.

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1 hour ago, cbussiere said:

I'd love to see DR reopened. I've been kind of itching to work on a dragon, but I feel weird jumping into a concept that already has a team of people, active or not, involved with it and is mostly done, as most of the current threads seem to be. I'd love to pitch a concept of my own as well. I think limiting it to one or two active threads per user could work - might prevent people from spreading themselves too thin or spamming the subforum.

That's pretty much what I'm afraid of, considerin how many old or even ancient concepts there are. I'd even go so far as to suggest that thread starters or sprite artists who have at least one almost-decent adult sprite in there should be able to request their threads to be wiped, save for the first and maybe 2nd post (which most people reserve to keep everything needed in one place). It would make complete overhauls that much easier - and those overhauls will be needed more often than not, considering now many concepts have lost their artists or conceptors. Because seeing up to 60 pages of discussion and nitpicks, not to mention completed sprites with 4 or even more ()now inactive) artists listed, has to be intimidating to people who might be interested in working on this stuff.

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I very very *very* much support old, inactive DR threads being archived. I'm pretty sure I've been very vocal about that support for a long time now. To me, it doesn't really make much sense to keep DR closed under the explanation of 'too many concepts' while a good number of those concepts are completely inactive (and possibly completely dead). Looking at DR right now, starting on page 9 are threads that haven't been posted in for over a year and a half, and page 11-on not posted in for two full years. There are *still open* threads, not locked but still open, that haven't been posted to since 2012. That's kind of ridiculous when the whole idea of closing DR, as I understood it, was to cut down on the number of threads there. 

 

In the pinned 'Section Updates' topic, it says 

Quote
  • Closing DR to new suggestions until topics are massively cleared out - Jun 4

 

That's June 4th of 2017. So, over a year now it's been closed, and I see no clearing out whatsoever. It sort of feels like it was closed and then mods just totally forgot about the whole 'clearing out' plan. I personally see no reason at all why concepts that haven't seen any activity at all for 2-6 years should still be 'counted' in DR. I think archiving old concepts would go a *long* way towards 'clearing' the DR and possibly leading to it being reopened at some point. Because right now it feels like it will never ever be open again, since nothing at all is being done to clear it.

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I don't see how any of this will help the issues brought up in the other thread, quite frankly, but at least CL stuff will actually be released faster this way. e: like, "just ignore nitpicking" is just a way to avoid modding, and if the release thread was too much, what does that make most of the DR threads, which tend to be way worse?

 

Edited by Guillotine

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@Guillotine Well, if the nitpick doesn’t make sense, and if I try it out and it doesn’t work, then reasonably, I can ignore it, right? Tbh, it’s more of an attitude that I think needs working on, rather than any of how the forums work.

 

Also, I think a purge, after like 2-3 months of warning, where all of dr is emptied would be a lot more beneficial. If a concept is old and no one’s interested in working on it, then it’s a dud, don’t you think?

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8 minutes ago, Sextonator said:

 

Also, I think a purge, after like 2-3 months of warning, where all of dr is emptied would be a lot more beneficial. If a concept is old and no one’s interested in working on it, then it’s a dud, don’t you think?

 

All of DR? Even threads being actively worked on? Not sure how that would be a good idea. Old concepts that aren't going anywhere, sure, but why purge active threads?

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2 or 3  months isn't necessarily long enough. There's a concept in DR that I work on when I have time and energy. Not my concept, so I don't want to just move it to private, though the OP is MIA. But it can go inactive for several months at a time. That doesn't mean it's a dud, it means I slip it to the back burner when I have other things that take priority. I don't know for sure, but I expect I'm not the only one that does this. Active threads need to stay so they can be worked on. It's just abandoned topics that should vanish and probably should have a mod check with OP or artist to make sure it's actually abandoned.

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Yeah, I'd say the cut-off should be no less then a year, especially since some players (not sure about spriters/etc, I'm not really in DR much) have school so may not be able to work on a concept for half of the year or so. Just because there is no progress for a couple months doesn't mean it's abandoned. The threads that haven't had activity in 2, 3, 4+ *years*, on the other hand, those most likely aren't going to see progress anytime soon. 

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Cut-off should be the ones that have not been touched once since the DR change last year at least. If they weren't touched between then and now they should be archived. And there are lots like that.

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I'm going to explain the best I can, but I'm pretty tired and I'm not sure how well my thoughts will get across.

 

By inactive, I pretty much meant what Whirlaway said, things not touched in the past year, or even things that haven't had updates in months. But I did mean a general purge of everything. A clean slate for a clean start, since there's a problem, and the best way to try and fight a problem is to start over. It'll clear the air, clean out old concepts that are very much dead, and it'll give people a fresh sense of creativity. No wondering if something's already been done, or if it's too close to anything else. I do suggest waiting a few months to make sure as many people know as possible, Like maybe say from today until November 1st or even January 1st, that way all those involved can save things, or send out pms, and people still have time to try and finish up their concepts.

 

I don't know if I'm for a limit per person, but I am for a limit of total topics, maybe like 2-3 pages or something.

 

I also think a general "What kind of dragons do you want to see in the cave" or "What's your dragon idea" would be fantastic, since it can allow for more people to suggest things without actually having to write a 5-page essay(Which I think that should be simplified too, or at least a TL;DR added to the top that covers the basics, like how the dragon looks, and how it behaves.), and artists or people who really enjoy thinking of the hows of dragons can take that idea and run with it(I think an option of "do you want to be the op" with this suggestion would work best?). To help reduce topics that struggle, or where the op creates the thread, then almost immediately disappears.

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I would love a general topic for talking about what we would like to see in the cave, and maybe throwing out concepts that others might want to run with (for example, I have had a few ideas over the years, but there is no way I'd ever attempt to make an actual DR thread with how strict the rules are, but I'd love to have a place to go 'here's the idea, if anyone wants to run with it go ahead!'). 

 

I'm not sure I understand, or agree with, a total purge of DR. Giving people a few month's warning to 'finish up' their dragons and then wiping the whole thing sounds very counter-productive and, frankly, fairly stifling and rude. There are a lot of concepts that are still being actively worked on, saying 'oh, you have a few months to finish that and if you don't oh well, the entire thing is getting deleted!' is just... Wrong. Some of the threads that are fairly active right now have been around for 2-3 years, I do not think it is at all fair or realistic to expect people to suddenly totally finish their spriting in a few month's time. If the idea is to simply clean the DR and then have still-active concepts be reposted (is that the idea here?), that seems like a lot of unnecessary work for anyone working on the concept. Saving all the images, all the descriptions/info, plus somehow saving any of the posts giving critique that still needs to be addressed/remembered.... I just don't understand why that would be a necessary thing. Why screw with active threads at all? Clear out the inactive threads (please!), but there is no reason to go messing with active concepts.

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Critique wouldn’t need to be saved, just notes on what changes/fixes are needed, which is easy enough to remember. Most information for a celoncept is kept in the first post, so it isn’t to much for anyone to copy that and make sure it’s all still current. Then you just save the links to the latest sprites, and you’re ready to repost.

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5 hours ago, Sextonator said:

Critique wouldn’t need to be saved, just notes on what changes/fixes are needed, which is easy enough to remember. Most information for a celoncept is kept in the first post, so it isn’t to much for anyone to copy that and make sure it’s all still current. Then you just save the links to the latest sprites, and you’re ready to repost.

Yeah, no.  I don't even go in DR much, but I do art.  and first: a couple months is NOT a reasonable time frame to demand people finish.  and Two:  it makes zero sense to delete something then immediately recreate/repost the same thing.  Also, I know I've seen threads where the first post was NOT always updated.  Leave stuff that people are working on ALONE.  If you have a thread in there and you want to delete it and start over, that's one thing, but don't expect everyone else to even want to.  Purging inactive topics will go a long way towards cleaning out the backlog. 

 

If it's over a year, contact the OP and or the artist(s) and ask if they plan on still working on it.  No: delete it, Yes: archive it till they have time to do so.  No response in a timely manner archive it (and maybe delete fully if it goes so long with out any response.  maybe another year?) 

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7 hours ago, Sextonator said:

But I did mean a general purge of everything. A clean slate for a clean start, since there's a problem, and the best way to try and fight a problem is to start over. It'll clear the air, clean out old concepts that are very much dead, and it'll give people a fresh sense of creativity. No wondering if something's already been done, or if it's too close to anything else. I do suggest waiting a few months to make sure as many people know as possible, Like maybe say from today until November 1st or even January 1st, that way all those involved can save things, or send out pms, and people still have time to try and finish up their concepts.

Sorry, but I disagree! This is much too drastic for the degree of problem. The problem isn't with the threads that are being actively worked on. You are suggesting throwing out the baby with the bath water. Not all problems need to be solved by tossing the whole thing and starting over! Rather than "a fresh sense of creativity" you are more likely to get complete discouragement.

Edited by purplehaze

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Woah, what? Closing a topic that hasn’t had an update for 2-3 months is honestly kinda ridiculous to me. One of my projects is just waiting on the artists to fix final nitpicks, but because the artists are busy it had been left for a couple of months. It’s still totally being worked on and not dead at all, so to suggest closing it is??? Nonsensical?

 

I do kinda agree that some super inactive threads should be locked - like the ones which have been sitting for years. Never swept and deleted, but just locked, so that if the OP/artists rose from the grave wanting to work on it it could always be reopened. But there are plenty of topics in DR now which were moved from the CR clearout which have been collecting dust for years, and they could be locked until the OP comes back. (Maybe they could be hidden

from all users except mods and the OP/artists involved? So that they don’t take up space but are still Definitely There and aren’t just deleted, because no matter how old they are I can’t feel that deleting is fair)

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I'd much rather locking/archiving than purely deleting. I have two open concepts. One hasn't been updated in a few months, but I checked in with the artists and both are interested, but busy. Deleting at this point would be counter-intuitive. We have had artists/OP's rise from the grave to work on stuff and it would suck to start all over from scratch.

 

If we must delete, it should be with threads that are mad old (anything older than 3-5 years) and there hasn't been word from either party after sufficient notification. 

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I was redirected here, so I guess I'll go ahead and ask here. What type of "alts" lowers the chance of release to a DR? The breeding-only alts? Biome alts? Or both?

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I think having too many can lower the chances. Other than that I don't think you can really tell. It just depends on the concept and how it strikes TJ. I don't necessarily either of those ideas lowers the chances. There's a perception in DR that it does but I don't know the source of that.

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