~The MCME Times~ #08/17 - Staff Meeting!

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Would you be interested in joining a public meeting?

  • Yes!

    Votes: 41 80.4%
  • Nah...

    Votes: 10 19.6%

  • Total voters
    51

Finrod_Amandil

Head Designer
Staff member
Head Designer
Designer
Donor
Media Team
Mar 2, 2014
2,751
5,748
160
23
Switzerland
www.elbisch.ch
Languages
German (native), English, French
#1

Opening statement


Past saturday we had our 22nd staff meeting since the foundation of MCME. You can find a summary of what we talked about below. When making these summaries for the Times I always think about the idea that we could also make a sort of public meeting where everyone can listen in and also voice ideas. Generally most things we talk about in the staff meetings are not sensible and would require being secretive about it, only exception are plannings for events and a few issues related to specific players.
For that reason I made a poll above to see whether the interest would be there to have such a public meeting. If that would be something you'd like to see once we could consider giving this a shot with the next meeting in few months time!

Beside that, have a nice read, there's again a lot that has been happening in the past two weeks!​

Project Progress


Andrast (In Progress) - Lead: @jacenpeter

The past two weeks Jacen has been working in a small valley high up in the mountains, filling it with a small glacier and some other snow. Shaping the layered snow seems like an art for itself...
Additionally @mattlego has hooked up with him and together they're discussing about vegetation and other aspects (keyword "braided rivers"), and again trying to get the maximum that minecraft can technically offer for an as versatile and diversified landscape.
Belfalas (In Progress) - Lead: @Thijs1801

I'm still very impressed by the amount and quality of new terrain Adventurers and Commoners are creating in northern Belfalas at the plotbuilds @Daddlio is leading. Great job. Meanwhile I'm smoothing the land between Dol Amroth and Edhellond and shaping the coast and mouth of River Morthond.
- Eriol_Eandur
Dol Amroth (In Progress) - Lead: @Eaglz24

We're currently high into the discussion of the new style. Additionally Eag, Thijs and the other Designers working on DA are revisiting the house outlines and are generally preparing for opening the building to the public as soon as the style and the pack is in place.
Lamedon (In Progress) - Lead: @_Luk

No changes this week.
Mordor Terrain (In Progress) - Lead: @Tyranystrasz

No news this week.
Moria (In Progress) - Lead: @Despot666

Building, ruining and jobs has been the story in Moria for these past two weeks. Thomas and Ooits have both been running ruining jobs in Moria and especially in Ivan's hall (m4). A whole arrow storage hall has been built and ruined in about 5 days by Darki, Patrick, and Ganderp. O! Of cource Patrick and Ganderp are both back working as a team to help in Moria. They have been finishing embassy and making floor designs, as well as the arrow storage hall. Darki has also been busy making a staircase from the 2nd Hall to the level above. A new hall has only just been started by mattlego which will be a materials storage. More work has been done on Despot's hall but I'm not too sure what it was. Unfortunately, no/little progress has been done in Bender's hall.

BREAKING NEWS: The Chamber of Light is finished (except the ruining). Yes, all the building is now finished in CoL and now only ruining has to be done. The ruining has already been started by foremen in jobs. Let's see what the next two weeks will bring us in Moria...

- Moria Reporters @SmaugJuice and @TI_020601
Tolfalas (In Progress) - Lead: @Tyranystrasz

No news this week.
Valley of Erui (In Progress) - Lead: @Mandos

Mandos has started on adding some higher vegetation to the stream coming from Minas Tirith, using the new medium-thickness logs.

Texture Development

For improving the new style for DA, Eag has created two more textures, a tudor block with sandstone bricks and a roof tile with brown shingles.
Additionally Eriol has made a proof of concept for vertical slabs for better steep roof shapes:

Plugin Development
Animation Plugin (Testing in progress) - Dev: @Ivan1pl

Ivan has demonstrated a quick animation during the staff meeting. He has now implented an idea we came up with lately that you can add sounds to the animation to i.e. have the Moria gate make a creaky/crunchy/rumbling sound when it opens. The way he demonstrated it was with an animation which played the falling anvil sound some dozen times a second. I have found myself a new winner for the "most unnerving sound ever"...
Custom inventories / itemblocks (In progress) - Dev: @Eriol_Eandur

I have now finished half of the categories and it's getting easier with every new category as (hopefully) most of the potential bug sources have now been identified and thus bugs can easily be fixed (damn you YML for not accepting tabs!).
I presented the current state of the inventory on the meeting, along with one solution to the problem that the default hotbar with the 9 blocks that you can actively place at once is too small for the immense variety the new pack holds. Eriol is working on a custom solution for that, Minecraft 1.12. will also open solutions and additionally I tested a mod-based solution which also works very nicely:
Block analyse / replace / switch Plugin (Testing in progress) - Dev: @Eriol_Eandur

No changes this week.
Rank Updates

This week I am very happy to announce @Lindolas as new Artist! More rank changes will come soon as I get to review some more open apps, but also make some messages regarding some Artists that have grown inactive.​

Media of the week

Minas Tirith at night by @the_pharaohs_cat. More, including unruined Osgiliath: ... I was shader hungry...


I am not sure how he's doing it, but I do know that it is frikkin awesome: Far-render 8k screenshots by @barteldvn over at barteldvn's screenies


Linhir and much more by @Apes4Days: Screenshots


A secret photogenic spot by @Lindolas (and more): Screenshots by Lindolas


Staff Meeting #22 summary

Past Saturday evening we had our first meeting in 2017 (the last one was on December 30th) and as always we found an abundance of interesting topics to discuss about. Only few of the topics are of a nature which are concering single players and thus are not intended for the public, everything else (as far as I think it is important enough to spell out) I hereby open to you and gladly invite you to tune into the discussion!

We started with a quick look back, where we were at at the last meeting. At that point (2.5 months ago) we were in full swing discussing the new Foremen and Commoner ranks, in fact the last meeting was where the idea of the voting system was first brought up. In the meantime Eriol has developed the matching plugin and many Commoners and Foremen alike have been promoted. We also quickly reviewed the situation and can say that the Foremen are doing a fantastic job and as was the intention there now are a lot more jobs available than before.
In terms of the gianormous Resource Pack project we also could observe positive changes. While I underestimated the work it includes by many many times and have already given many release promises and could not hold them by much we could see that roughly 3 months back I was still planning the pack and have not actually created anything yet. By now, as you can see below, the pack is almost completely assembled and working like a charm.

The next topic was the one which is the most remarkable in my opinion. It is about ranks, especially the Artist rank. At this point in time 36 players technically hold the Artist rank. Over a third of them (13) has not logged on in over an entire month. Only 15 have logged on within the last week. Designers remarked it already quite a while ago and the numbers confirm it: The number of active Artists is dwindling. As a concrete measure we stated two ideas:
  • Making the "how-to-apply" easier to find and maybe more attractive to read. Right now its a bit hidden where it is.
  • Making the Applications publicly viewable. Right now it may well be that it is a bit uncomfortable if you have to make a post in a seemingly empty or abandoned forum, the contrary might be the case if you could check out other apps before you post your own. Furthermore as a spontanous idea we might even cross-reference feedback we give, so that applicants could check out the mistakes and progress others have made before.
Beside that I just want to strongly call out for both the new and old players, either to really consider heading for the Artist rank, or if you already have that, motivate others to do so!

The next topic was to some extent a bit personal. As a Head Designer it is one of my main tasks to closely supervise the projects and intervene whenever something takes a bit an odd direction. Due to me not having just as much time on my hands as I'd like to and me being very busy with the Resource Pack stuff I had to admit that I have been lacking a bit with this responsibility and I thought that a change was needed to get some more control over the project progression.
I voiced two ideas:
  • Elect a second Head Designer, who would mainly focus on that project supervision, and beside that would rather work like Credoo, who was mainly working on projects himself (i.e. Minas Tirith and Pelargir). Once MCME had seven serving Valar, as opposed to the two we have now (me and Dyno). The big plus with only having one Head Designer is, that it is always one person seeing the entire picture and not a couple people who each only see a part of it. The downside obviously is that it is more work for that one Head Designer.
  • Proper logging / reporting of the progress by the Designers. We have tried this numerous times in various ways, that all Designers working on any project summarise what they have been doing, so that it is easy for me to keep the overview and know at which part of the project I need to look to see the recent changes.
We elaborated on the second option. As medium we want to use Discord text channels, one for every bigger project, one for all the smaller ones and an additional one for plugin development. Discord seems to be very easy for quickly uploading pictures and most players have it on at all times anyway so the extra work for the Designers is as minimal as possible. Thinking about it now I think it is best to make it a sort of official change in the Designer task portfolio, that Designers being obliged to report their work is a fix part of the rank. Because without a proper way to have some overall control over what's happening in the different corners in the world the project might stray apart too far from each other (i.e. in terrain style) and cause some very hard to fix conflicts on the map.
Additionally it makes the project progress a bit easier to grasp for the non-staff members and probably make the community feel more active generally.

Something I do want to change on my own end though is to be quicker on replying on Forum PM's and important discussions.

We then went through the ongoing projects, on some we could not say a lot as the respective leaders were not online. The main discussion points were Dol Amroth and Moria.
In DA the big challenge is of course the new house style. As most of you confirmed with last Times' poll, the current style is still a bit "meh". We're still discussing the details, ideas include though to include vertical slabs to have nice steep roofs. We also discussed about the use of wood in a city within a country whose civilization mainly builds with stone. The DA team stated to make the rich houses almost completely with stone and use wood for poorer housings as the material is cheaper and easier to build with. However the general urge for realism, especially in terms of how the tone and mood of a texture should be there is a conflict which we cannot solve properly. Our textures are unrealistically bright, but it makes stuff look good. If everything would be made striving for the maximum of the realism it may not just look as nice as it would be with textures which are made to make nice color combinations.
Also mentioned was the fact that we're always redoing things and always have to go back. It was voiced that we should once and for all settle for a degree of realism and stick to that. This however is something that very soon will backstab us. Since MCME was founded we always improved on the degree of realism and quality we produce and it would be a fatal decision to just halt that, given the constant new additions from vanilla Minecraft and custom new technologies, as well as generally new ideas.

On Moria the most significant point is that Despot is working on a reorganisation of the project. On one hand he wants to bring again a little more order into things like creating warps for the current building sites so that he and visitors can easily access these spots in the already ever-so-big Moria. Furthermore different sub-projects than just halls and corridors are being planned so that the Designers and Artists dont get insane on those big square spaces by i.e. start making some big mines or more caves similar to the chamber of light, housing the people of regular wealth. Also of course Despot wants to get some of the fancy new blocks from the new Gondor pack in Moria ;)

Upcoming
WANTED: Short stories!
A couple days ago @mapthor reached out to me with the idea of making a book store in Bree, featuring a couple of his self-written short stories. I thought that this was a fantastic idea to bring an authentic sort of Easter Egg to the map. Before we can start re-furnishing one of the houses we need some stories though! So if you have something nice in mind, please write your story down and message it to me! The length is pretty irrelevant, all it has to be is authentic. That especially means:
- No items that would not exist in Middle-earth.
- No MCME player names.
- No conflicts with the known storylines.​

Themed Build
Theme: Swan-ships
Resource Pack: Lothlórien
Thread: #12/17 - Swan-ships
MCME Audiobook
The Audiobook, hosted by @TI_020601 is taking place regularily on saturday evenings, 8pm GMT, unless announced otherwise in this thread: The New Audio Book
Minecraft News
Jeb has made a fantastic announcement last week: With 1.12. we will get 16 different colors for beds! That means we can have up to 16 different beds in each pack and not only one! We actually intended to make beds as an itemblock to achieve that without vanilla Minecraft support, but that would have included replacing every single bed by hand. Looks like Minecraft will save us from having to do that!​

Closing statement

“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”
- Mitch Albom
.
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Like our Planetminecraft page daily to help promoting MCME!​
 
Last edited:

TI_020601

Aspiring Commoner
Jul 20, 2016
239
362
17
16
London
Languages
english
#4
This week is a special audio book, as in lore March 25th is the date the one ring was destroyed, it is Tolkien reading day!!
 

slaMoria

Dirt Conaisseur
Dec 21, 2016
101
119
37
16
France
Languages
English, French
#5
I heard there will be more than beds colors in the 1.12 but also fired hardened clay
 

Eriol_Eandur

Designer
Staff member
Designer
Developer
Media Team
Sep 19, 2014
1,653
2,751
128
Germany
Languages
German (native), English
#6
There are even three new solid blocks in 1.12 (each in 16 colours): Concrete, Concrete Powder and Glazed Terracotta

Overall we will have 15 additional beds and 45 additional solid blocks free to use.
 

Finrod_Amandil

Head Designer
Staff member
Head Designer
Designer
Donor
Media Team
Mar 2, 2014
2,751
5,748
160
23
Switzerland
www.elbisch.ch
Languages
German (native), English, French
#8
My question for the making application viewable, could you make.it so, applocations that have been accepted are shown so people know what they have to be up to, and get some ideal what other people did to get that rank
Yeah that's the idea; accepted apps just get the [accepted] tag, but wont disappear or anything
 

Finrod_Amandil

Head Designer
Staff member
Head Designer
Designer
Donor
Media Team
Mar 2, 2014
2,751
5,748
160
23
Switzerland
www.elbisch.ch
Languages
German (native), English, French
#10
It depends on whether q is okay with it, requested it now :p I think best is to have it for Artist and Guide only, at least for the start ;)
 

NicTheFifth

Dirt Conaisseur
Jan 10, 2015
108
3
33
#11
I think that the shown apps should be an option, so if you don't want your app to be shown it will just stay hidden. Though it is a good idea, hope it works to keep active artists!
 

Mj0lnir

Dirt Conaisseur
Aug 3, 2016
136
189
37
37
Languages
Englsih, Norwegian.
#12
I dont mind my application being visible. :)