Ad Finem

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Post Dec 20th '10, 11:16

It's weird... you know the end of something great is coming, soon, but you want to hold on, just for one more second... just so it can hurt a little more.

I was looking around the (long dead) Pfhorums blogs a few days ago, when I read some striking (strikingly true) oration on behalf of our W'rknacacnter.

By now, everyone knows about the CLIQUE. Basically, it started as a group of people that liked to play Marathon. Because they weren't completely satisfied with what they had, they started making new things and contributing to the community. Whether it was new maps, new game types, new scenarios, or whatever, they took it upon themselves to do whatever they could to make Marathon more fun to them. But now, several years have passed since the CLIQUE formed. So here's my question, why has no new group surfaced?

There is no longer a bunch of new content being created for alephone, and that can't be blamed on the lack of people playing the game. If we compare how many new files per month are now posted to Simplici7y, to how many were posted on Fileball per month a couple years ago, it has gone way down. But, the metastalker stats show that the number of games played per month is still going strong. So, where is the new content? Sure, we've had a few new things lately, Lua visual mode, some new maps by Ryoko, new gametypes, but those were all done by CLIQUE. Out of all the people playing on the metaserver today, why hasn't a group of the less annoying people gotten together and started creating their own stuff? That is exactly how the CLIQUE formed in the first place. None of us knew each other before joining the AIM room to play games, and we formed a group because so many other people in the AIM room were annoying, or didn't stick around very long. The metaserver today has the same problems the old AIM room had, and a minority of competent people still play games, so the situation seems exactly the same.

The major motivation for creating content is that you get to play maps, game types or whatever that you created yourself. Sick of the same old maps? Bad maps? Create your own! When I started playing alephone online, infinity stock maps were hosted more than anything else. They were really not very good, so better maps were created. What is so different now? Looking at the list of people that host the most these days, almost none of them make maps. This seems very strange to me.

Irons and I had a discussion about this a few days ago, and we threw out some ideas as to why this might be. Is it possible that there are enough good maps available these days, that we just don't need any more? There are probably 5 or so high quality map packs out there that didn't exist when I started playing. But it is just my opinion that these maps are good. It seems like a person just joining the community might have their own opinions about what is good, and then why wouldn't they want to create their own maps to go along with that? The opinions of CLIQUE, as influential as they are, might suffocate newcomers' desire to be creative, or maybe it's just that the members of the CLIQUE are still active enough that no new people need to start making content. This may be true; Ryoko has been updating his Paradise Lost pack with new maps lately, and I released a few Lua game types. Even so, let's face it: everyone likes to play his own stuff. Back when Irons was mapping, he'd host his own levels all the time. When Red Spectrum still needed playtesting and was not yet as widely-revered, Ryoko hosted it all the time. Mappers have always liked to show off their efforts, and that just doesn't seem to be the case anymore.

Maybe there is a new group of people making content that I'm not aware of. I consider $lave to be sort of a "new generation" player that is making good stuff, but it seems like there should be more "new generation" players by now. Again, the presence of the CLIQUE might have affected events, $lave feeling that he is overshadowed by or on the periphery of the CLIQUE, and so he sees no point in breaking away from the established order. There's a certain awareness in the Marathon community now that wasn't yet established in the AIM chatroom days: Pfhorums and metaserver did not catch on until after the seeds of CLIQUE had been sown. Ryoko, Irons, Treellama, and I had no sense of the orders that already were in place, or we ignored it altogether, jumping on Pfhorums instead of taking the old route of community through the Story Board.
- W'rkncacnter

Although it is slowly becoming more and more apparant of Marathon's nearing demise, I'm sensing a resurgence somewhat. Flipping through the pages of Simplici7y, it seems that the amount of non-Clique contributors (no matter how good or bad) seems to be rising. The first three pages (as of the 20th December 2010) are completely non-Clique. I don't know whether this is good or bad, but there is some wonderful stuff in there. Ellio7t's Jack Hammer is a wonderful spit in the face of death. Goran's and Tim4i's enhancement packs, along with Windbreaker's Caustic Dystopia and Ares Ex Machina's Guns Against Death add vigor and hate to that spittle. Brilliant, RR Zombie Master, Nibenon, ODST 276, Zaero, Tresh, Skullcrusher, and M1 Map Dude provides that spike of content-creation adrenaline that clenches the fist. And it seems that Ryoko's Phoenix, Paradise Lost, and the up-and-coming Syndicate, are the left and right hooks respectively. Maybe Aeon is the salt, but Dugit's salt shaker might as well be filled with rusk compared to the sheer power of Phoenix and Syndicate. But I digress.

Although this 'resurgance' is making itself heard, W'rk did have a point, and I feel a want to assure the resurgance's momentum. So I'm starting a content-creation group. Here and now. A name is optional. This should serve not as somekind of counter to the Clique, but ideally a ally. Anybody can join (even if they are already in the Clique), regardless of level of skill in any field. They can contribute whatever they want to whatever they want. There may be plently of failed endeavors; these are merely the compost that provides a solstice for this community's own seeds of genius that should grow and bear fruit. We shall bother.

Not only that, this thread will serve as somekind of repository for this group's efforts, which will eventually be put into volumes of amalgamation of the community's miscellaneous. Just look at Simplici7y. There are so many free-radical single maps and physics models that do little more than enrage. But all of them show somekind of potential, at least in that they're making some kind of effort and showing some kind of enthusiasm.

I don't really like being impulsive, but it needed to be done.
Last edited by Dugit on Dec 20th '10, 12:40, edited 1 time in total.
Polyplicity my second (less sucky) net pack. Go on. Download it. You know you don't want to.
Marathon Aeon- My scenario in the works ~on Simplici7y

riveting six-vertice amnesty ratifications
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Dugit
Hampshire, UK

Post Dec 20th '10, 15:22

There was a time when I desired this - so I went ahead and started Syndicate ;)
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goran

Post Dec 20th '10, 15:38

I'm not sure I understand the point of this content creation group. If it's going to make a project, then it should just be a group for that project. If it's just to make stuff, I'll make stuff regardless of the group so why would I "join" it, whatever that means. If it's for feedback and criticism, just posting a thread on Pfhorums will usually get you more than enough of that. If it's just to show people are still making stuff, you could just post yourself about the stuff people are still making--no need for a group.
Last edited by treellama on Dec 20th '10, 15:40, edited 1 time in total.
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treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Dec 20th '10, 15:43

Treellama wrote:no need for a group.

Fair point.

Maybe I'm paranoid.
Polyplicity my second (less sucky) net pack. Go on. Download it. You know you don't want to.
Marathon Aeon- My scenario in the works ~on Simplici7y

riveting six-vertice amnesty ratifications
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Dugit
Hampshire, UK

Post Dec 20th '10, 17:27

::shuts up::
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ukimalefu

Post Dec 20th '10, 19:08

Treellama wrote:I'm not sure I understand the point of this content creation group. If it's going to make a project, then it should just be a group for that project. If it's just to make stuff, I'll make stuff regardless of the group so why would I "join" it, whatever that means. If it's for feedback and criticism, just posting a thread on Pfhorums will usually get you more than enough of that. If it's just to show people are still making stuff, you could just post yourself about the stuff people are still making--no need for a group.

The point of forming a group is so you can call yourself a clique. Then you're free to be a total jackass. Don't give up Doogit, I hope this happens.
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Wrkncacnter

Post Dec 21st '10, 00:13

No see, that's me, brill, hastur and gyffes. Me and brill map, hastur gives helpful suggestions that ultimately improve the maps and then gyffes comes in after a month of stress testing websites or whatever and tells us everything we've been making sucks.
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