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Kes
 Friday, March 16 2018 @ 09:59 PM UTC (Read 1754 times)  
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For those who missed it, CMJ came into Player Chat yesterday to air thoughts about a potential new text colour system. I missed a lot of this at the time, and probably still missed bits when re-reading today - it was 34 pages of chat! - but here are, I think, the basics:

Admin CavemanJoe's player says "So here's the idea. Colour codes use exclusively the top row of the keyboard. We have a dozen basic shades, and we have colour shift codes."
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "The shift codes work like the bold and italics codes - you type it to start, you type it to finish, so L would go lighter, l would go darker, S would go more saturated, and s would go less."
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "Also, `I would do invisible text - a button on the bottom of each page would make the text visible. For secrets."
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "`f makes the text more transparent, `F makes it WAY more transparent."
Admin CavemanJoe's player says "Not counting the transparency / invisibility shenanigans, twelve basic shades times the nine shifts (standard lightness, darker, lighter, standard saturation, vivid, desaturated) gives us 108 colours, recycling the 1 and 2 keys as ! and @."

Further relevant points, questions and answers etc:
[16h13m]│Coffee Grindr Csodas's player says "(One concern I had with the other question is what happens to Legacy Places.)"
[16h13m]│Coffee Grindr Csodas's player says "(I don't know if there are a lot of the large legacy ones that make a lot of use of the colors, but.)"
[16h12m]│Admin CavemanJoe's player says "Csodas: colours wouldn't work in them, or they'd be the wrong colours, until their owner or someone with an appropriate key sorts them out."

[16h06m]│Flophorse Rowa's player says "Well, how hard would it be to come up with a translation of old colors to new colors?"
[16h05m]│Admin CavemanJoe's player says "Rowa I'm gonna be converting the whole game to the new colours, I'm not gonna convert all y'all's Places as well, you'll have to do it yourselves."

[16h02m]│Giftbearer Riska Kyzar's player says "Why not do a mix between the new and old? Keep all the current color codes functioning, but add the additional shift options on top. There'll be the ability to do the same colors multiple ways, but it won't break anything."
[16h01m]│Admin CavemanJoe's player says "Yeah we can make a key to new versus old colours, that'd be deable - Riska, we covered that earlier, I'm not maintaining two systems."

[16h00m]│Flophorse Rowa's player says "So the other issue which Naimad brought up: color coding in story will become that much more cumbersome to hit the right color if there's two codes to use for a particular shade every time I want my dark blue, for example."
[15h57m]│Flophorse Rowa's player says "I feel like no one would use the shaders in story, is what I'm getting at. Not when you're trying to write quickly in a scene. So if the only colors will be the top row, then I feel like we'll be limited instead of given more freedom."

[15h55m]│Angelic Ronin Rukatin's player says "Wait, new update would change the beige?"
[15h55m]│Coffee Grindr Csodas's player says "(It's under discussion, Rukatin. Basically, 1: more modular updated color system; 2: potential background switch.)"
[15h54m]│Admin CavemanJoe's player says "Rukatin, it's an idea I'm kicking around, purely because it's a right bastard to select colours that are at all readable against this background."
At some point I'm pretty sure CMJ also said that colour codes would no longer count towards character limits, but I didn't think to grab that post at the time.

----
Other things CMJ mentioned that folks might want to know, but which aren't so relevant so this topic:
-Season 3 will happen with Half-Life 3 does (ouch!)
-The Contestants List was taken down to avoid folks using it in a stalky way, and remains down while we see how the community adapts
-"The question of What To Do With Dr Paprika ties into a much broader question about the technicalities behind expanding our gender options on the Island, which is a thing I've been working on off and on for a few years. It's coming, but this code is old both technically and socially, and it's nowhere near as simple as just changing some variables and rewriting a bit of text here and there, so I appreciate y'all's patience."
-II Merchandise is not ever returning

----

So, a new colour system is absolutely an exciting thing - I share Rowa's concern that it won't be as easy to use on the fly, during roleplay and such, but the increased freedom could be worth it. It will, however, be a fairly big undertaking. My concerns are thus:

Legacy Places, as Csodas said. Unfortunately, if there's really no way to automate the changeover, that's going to stay a concern. (When the time comes, there are some specific ones I'd like to volunteer to do the work for, if they're not already spoken for by active players.)

Mementos! Are they all going to be miscoloured (or wiped of colour codes) when the changeover happens? Are people going to be able to edit mementos they've made - or ones they own - to fix them? Or are people who've made mementos going to be reimbursed the SP so they can remake and redistribute them? (That wouldn't, however, account for mementos still in circulation whose creators are no longer active. I'm very attached to some of mine, and will remake them with the correct colours if necessary, but it's not at all ideal.)


 
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Full Metal Lion
 Saturday, March 17 2018 @ 01:52 AM UTC  
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I can't really comment on most of this, because I don't usually use colors because I already find them too much of a hassle. However,

Admin CavemanJoe's player says "Rowa I'm gonna be converting the whole game to the new colours, I'm not gonna convert all y'all's Places as well, you'll have to do it yourselves."
This is very odd to me. Like, it seems that on CMJ's end it would be a simple find-and-replace command, some mucking about with databases, maybe take a day if he's exceptionally careful; on everyone else's end, it would be a terribly inefficient interminable journey consuming thousands of manhours. Don't get me wrong, I do think CMJ's time is, like, 100 times more valuable than everyone else's, on account of he develops the game and the rest of you simply provide me with pleasant conversation, but the math doesn't really add up here.

Just to beat this horse a little more, I checked the Land Registry and there are about 1800 places on the Island. Many of them (400?) are empty, but some of them are huge. If we assume it will take the average place owner an hour to update their Place (which is probably a conservative estimate, because they'll have to do it more or less by hand, by filling out a web form for every room of their Place), then it'll consume 1800 manhours for no particular reason. And, furthermore, it will never get done, because many of the Place owners have left the Island, or won't ever get around to it, or just can't be bothered. So it seems like the choice here would be between "break everything, then fix it" and "break everything, don't fix it, and then watch as--through a great expenditure of effort-- half of everything eventually gets fixed, and the rest of it remains wrong forever". I can't really imagine why you would pick the latter option.

And players can't even edit mementos, so there'd have to be some mucking about anyway...


 
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Jon Bishop
 Saturday, March 17 2018 @ 06:44 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Full+Metal+Lion

I can't really comment on most of this, because I don't usually use colors because I already find them too much of a hassle. However,

Admin CavemanJoe's player says "Rowa I'm gonna be converting the whole game to the new colours, I'm not gonna convert all y'all's Places as well, you'll have to do it yourselves."
This is very odd to me. Like, it seems that on CMJ's end it would be a simple find-and-replace command, some mucking about with databases, maybe take a day if he's exceptionally careful; on everyone else's end, it would be a terribly inefficient interminable journey consuming thousands of manhours. Don't get me wrong, I do think CMJ's time is, like, 100 times more valuable than everyone else's, on account of he develops the game and the rest of you simply provide me with pleasant conversation, but the math doesn't really add up here.

Just to beat this horse a little more, I checked the Land Registry and there are about 1800 places on the Island. Many of them (400?) are empty, but some of them are huge. If we assume it will take the average place owner an hour to update their Place (which is probably a conservative estimate, because they'll have to do it more or less by hand, by filling out a web form for every room of their Place), then it'll consume 1800 manhours for no particular reason. And, furthermore, it will never get done, because many of the Place owners have left the Island, or won't ever get around to it, or just can't be bothered. So it seems like the choice here would be between "break everything, then fix it" and "break everything, don't fix it, and then watch as--through a great expenditure of effort-- half of everything eventually gets fixed, and the rest of it remains wrong forever". I can't really imagine why you would pick the latter option.

And players can't even edit mementos, so there'd have to be some mucking about anyway...



Seconded. If there's no sort of automatic system to move old content over to a new system, I think the harms vastly outweigh any benefits. An update like this could be nice in a situation where all island content would be wiped regardless (like the switch from Season 1 to season 2), but otherwise I think the change would be trying to solve something that I never really found to be a problem to begin with.


 
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Widdershins
 Monday, March 19 2018 @ 09:19 AM UTC  
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Hm. If it's not broken, why fix it?


New content, new mementos and places, will benefit from the change. Old content will broken.

Name and title colors will benefit as long as you exempt color codes from counting towards character limit.

Using colors in chat will be more cumbersome when you need more characters to specify your shade. And that would just plain suck. Players make heavy use of switching between voice and action. Some of the best pieces of story have one player use different colors to write a conversation between two characters. Would you want to make your game clunkier to play for those that fill your game with life?

Some places like my Holothurian Beach (2,31) or the Place of Trees somewhere in the North make use of color gradients. I don't even know if I could recapture the gradient under the new system. Other owners might not bother or be gone for good, thus turning a once-carefully arranged gradient into a jumbled mess of code. That's not gonna make the island a more enjoyable place to explore.

I think you shouldn't introduce new colors unless you address these issues.

The game converts user input (`~) into html output (color="000000"). How easy or awkward would it be to store the output of the conversion, the html code, right in the database? That would fix the isse with mementos and places. You'd just have to add a warning that any re-decoration of an existing page would stop the html from working so for the re-decoration any colors would have to be specified by the new color code.

Chat could combine ease of use and choice of colors if you store two or three user-defined colors for every player. (Or maybe every donating player.)
`v ............. use voice
`a or `& ... use action color
`e ............. extra color, eg for an NPC's voice

Come to think of it, with this system, why bother programming 108 colors into chat if most people will end up using the shorter short codes instead... might be easier to just let them choose from the full html range.
Just some half-baked thoughts for your not-yet-fully-baked color cake Smile


 
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tehdave
 Tuesday, March 20 2018 @ 02:26 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Widdershins

Hm. If it's not broken, why fix it?

I think you shouldn't introduce new colors unless you address these issues.




I'd like to second these thoughts here - It doesn't seem like there are enough upsides to a new color system (as long as it breaks everything using the old system) to merit the frankly herculean effort it would take to fix manually. If the color codes are translating to a hex value anyway, how hard is it to do a lookup on user-created gametext now, and find+replace old codes with new?


Isn't sanity just a one-trick pony anyway? All you get is one trick: rational thinking. But when you're good and crazy, oooh, oooh, the sky's the limit.
 
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Chef Micha
 Tuesday, March 20 2018 @ 04:53 AM UTC  
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I am not a fan of making a new system that would also be incompatible with the old system. I've been writing stuff since Dwellings, and have redone everything (and legacy places I keep up for others) once already from the big ol' server move. Please don't make me busywork it all AGAIN I also... well, I love the current col code, and while I can obviously learn something else, I do want to say muscle memory is a huge part of my writing ease in II, and that will be lost and fumbly for a while. And finally - well, what about all the Mementos? All the dwellings that are dependent on coding using Mementos? What about the big sprawling Places like Dirk's stuff and Whistle's Mansion, and obviously the Bingo Hall and that ol' trainstation and the Barikade and and and and... I carve out time to come and poke at my things because it gives me joy, and it's something I've built up for nearly ten years. If I have to rewrite things all _again_, I honestly would probably say eff it and not bother, and then that would be a shame. But I would still not want to bother. And then things would be broken. Including me Cry


 
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JonT
 Wednesday, March 21 2018 @ 12:09 AM UTC  
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I'm just going to summarize my thoughts on this.

I like the color scheme of the island as it is, but I also like the idea of the new colors being added.

I get it'll be extra work, but after the extra work is done, it'll open the door to so much cooler things.

I trust CMJ to make something great if you just give him time.

Over and out! Big Grin


 
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CavemanJoe
 Wednesday, March 21 2018 @ 04:18 AM UTC  
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This project has been shelved.


 
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Matthew
 Thursday, March 22 2018 @ 11:28 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Widdershins

Come to think of it, with this system, why bother programming 108 colors into chat if most people will end up using the shorter short codes instead... might be easier to just let them choose from the full html range.
Just some half-baked thoughts for your not-yet-fully-baked color cake Smile



...honestly, that's actually a pretty great idea. Let us set an HTML color code in the preferences, and then bind it to a code like `~ or something. Would that even be possible to do on a per-account basis, so that everyone sees everyone else's custom color that just spits out the hex value that that particular player has set?

I have no idea how the Island's code works, so I know that things that sound easy are pretty much impossible, but it sounds like a good idea in theory.


 
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