[DIS] A process for getting graphics into the game

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Crush
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[DIS] A process for getting graphics into the game

Post by Crush » Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:53 pm

I think we should finally formalize a process for how graphics get into the game. The goal of this is to make organization more transparent for developers and contributors alike.

Note that this process does not add any more bureaucracy to the management of the project. It basically displays how things work or are supposed to work around here for ages.


Every graphic created by an artist has to go through four different queues to get into the game:

Quality Approval queue
Graphics waiting for quality check. To move to the next queue the artwork has to follow the graphic guidelines and has to be deemed good enough for our quality standards.
Responsibility: Art Director

Integration queue
Graphics waiting for getting added to the client content git repository. To move to the next queue all necessary client-sided XML files have to be created/edited too. When the image is not stand-alone but supposed to be part of a larger image (a single tile for a tileset, for example), it has to be copied into this image. Last retouches like fixing misaligned animation phases in spritesets or cropping wrong canvas sizes are also performed here as long as they can be done without actual editing of the artwork itself.
Responsibility: Content Integrator

Implementation queue
Graphics waiting to be used by the server data. To move to the next queue an entry in the servers database files has to be created (monsters, items) and a script (item) or map (monster, tileset) has to be added to the server data which uses the content.
Responsibility: Server Content Manager

Release queue
Things which are already on both repositories and wait for getting uploaded to the live server and for the next server reboot to get active.
Responsibility: Server Administrator


Developers are not obliged to work on the queues following the "first in - first out" principle. Everyone is free to choose the priority of each piece in their queue based on how urgent it is or what graphic looks most interesting to them.

Should we decide to use this process we should create some kind of system allowing people to see in which queue a new graphic is at the moment.
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Re: [DIS] A process for getting graphics into the game

Post by Black Don » Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:51 pm

+1 I like this idea because this does not really change the process but make it more transparent.
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Re: [DIS] A process for getting graphics into the game

Post by Jaxad0127 » Sun Dec 06, 2009 1:16 am

Looks like a good start. We already have the tags that cover everything but implementation and release. Also, with manaserv, integration and implementation as you've described overlap (since client and server DBs are almost the same).
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Re: [DIS] A process for getting graphics into the game

Post by Rotonen » Sun Dec 06, 2009 11:30 am

If this is for eA, sure. It is about time things go through someone. But things already slipped in there should go through this procedure too and go into a redo queue. This would also boost 1:1 content reusability in CR projects to come.

For the CR projects, the individual subproject managers are the art director of their own subproject. This should hence somewhat work there too.

Summa summarum: any movement to lower the barrier of contribution and learning is good for the continued health of our project. Also as long as there is some magical fairy to keep an up-to-date list of all the queues, we might even have a chance of keeping up with them and not losing stuff and even projects into oblivion as we have managed to do in the past.
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Re: [DIS] A process for getting graphics into the game

Post by Bertram » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:30 pm

Hi,

I think adding the accepted stuff in Mantis since the integration queue with the [FND] tag would be a good reference point, IMHO.

(I already did it like that, anyway ;) )

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Re: [DIS] A process for getting graphics into the game

Post by Crush » Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:15 pm

I don't think that mantis is the best tool for this.

At least not the same mantis we use for the technical development. We could maybe create a new mantis with different status meanings.
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Re: [DIS] A process for getting graphics into the game

Post by Jaxad0127 » Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:36 pm

Considering that client and server development have been split off anyways, why not use TMW's mantis for content?
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Re: [DIS] A process for getting graphics into the game

Post by Bertram » Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:16 pm

Exactly :)
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Re: [DIS] A process for getting graphics into the game

Post by meway » Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:41 pm

I contribute to graphics but unfortunately I don't use mantis. Will this lead to blocks for me as a gfx dev in training?
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Re: [DIS] A process for getting graphics into the game

Post by Rotonen » Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:46 pm

I'm still confused about whether we are discussing eA placeholder content here or TMW content.

About eA content, I do not know how it actually even goes as it is now and that needs defining. Or do we even want any new eA content?

As for TMW content, everything goes into the game in the content releases. Currently we are working on the very first one. I'd actually like to get CR1 done so we could work our way through the next few CR projects to a point where TMW could be called a game.

This in mind, should we split the open dev sections to eA placeholder content and TMW content? Would make things easier to approach to newcomers, since as it is now, there seems to be a lot of confusion around. At least slight renaming of forum sections would be preferred.
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Re: [DIS] A process for getting graphics into the game

Post by enchilado » Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:07 am

It is so hot here I can't think

don't ban me but

I think:

1) incomplete graphics uploaded by non-devs say "[WIP]-unapproved"
2) complete graphics "[FND]-unapproved"
3) likewise "[WIP]-approved" and "[WIP]-unapproved"
4) following "-approved" comes "-integration" then "-implementation" and lastly "-released"

Approved: APV, unapproved UN-APV; Integration: INT; IMP; RLS.
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Re: [DIS] A process for getting graphics into the game

Post by i » Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:24 am

poison_ivy wrote:It is so hot here I can't think

don't ban me but

I think:

1) incomplete graphics uploaded by non-devs say "[WIP]-unapproved"
2) complete graphics "[FND]-unapproved"
3) likewise "[WIP]-approved" and "[WIP]-unapproved"
4) following "-approved" comes "-integration" then "-implementation" and lastly "-released"

Approved: APV, unapproved UN-APV; Integration: INT; IMP; RLS.
Something

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it will be a lot of mess... tags are nice, but enforcing them for every topic is very difficult.
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Re: [DIS] A process for getting graphics into the game

Post by enchilado » Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:11 am

True. It's cooled down now... i see what you mean.
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Re: [DIS] A process for getting graphics into the game

Post by Bertram » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:12 pm

Hi Rotonen,
I'm still confused about whether we are discussing eA placeholder content here or TMW content.

About eA content, I do not know how it actually even goes as it is now and that needs defining. Or do we even want any new eA content?
:arrow: Well, yes, it seems that some artists are happy keeping on doing stuff for the current server, and yes, it's not that easy to see what is going on for new users.

Definitely, the Wiki doc, the mantis process, and the graphics content management should be split up between eA content, and ManaServ or CRx.

I also see two points here where people seem to be motivated at contributing:
- eA random content:
> It seems there will always be a freedom of contribution. "I would like to get this, so I'm making it, even if it's not planned at all.".
- And Mini challenges:
> Help people focusing on smaller tasks with the relief of finishing something quite quickly without spending too much time on.

Maybe if we can maintain the quality requirement high enough for both, you could get the required content for CR1, little by little, while the main artists are making progress on harder points. That could also help new artists to earn some experience before taking larger tasks.
Just a thought.

What do you think?

Best regards.
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Re: [DIS] A process for getting graphics into the game

Post by Rotonen » Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:19 pm

I think we need a content designer with some major balls to be able to change eA content without any mercy towards what is currently there.

Also the content designer should first design content and use placeholder graphics if necessary. Only later if he/she so feels like it, graphics should be requested. Currently and in the past this has been ass-backwards and hence the current cluster of undesigned content and playability on eAthena.

This way we would actually have sensible tasks for artists interested in helping the current server as we now have with the subprojects for the new server. With every piece of eA content, there is always a chance of it being usable in a future CR.

For me the mini challenges are just a form of delegation from the CR subproject project leaders. This is very desired and very healthy for the project: we get stuff done and it helps integrate new people into actually completing the project. Even though the mini challenge contributions are tiny, they are bringing the project forward and people who succesfully completed one might come back for more work later when they feel like it again.
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