by Ake Vader
Misc / 19 May 2014, 19:31
I've many times wondered if QuakeWorld would benefit from being a bit more organised than it is today. I think there could be both benefits and good experiences to be had if forming some kind of association around the game. Read on to have more of my thoughts.
The QuakeWorld community today consists of a great deal of volunteers who valiantly keeps servers alive, run tournaments, develops clients and mods, writes news on the websites etc. As you all know many of these efforts are run by individuals more or less on their own and sometimes great ideas and ongoing projects fade away or maybe they are run, but with some backing and sponsors they would be even better.
Looking at other communities, like Counter-Strike for example, i see websites organised as volunteer organisations under umbrella organisations such as Sverok which provides an official entity which can be used when trying to get sponsor deals or simply just for raising funds from the community (the association has its own bank account) for whatever the purpose might be. When raising funds it's no longer just John "Dodgy" Doe asking to get money transferred to his own private bank account, it would be "QuakeWorld Community Association" raising the funds (or whatever the name would be). It would also be the association itself owning any funds/assets.
For Swedish members one also gets a certain grant for each member if arranging activities on a yearly basis i think.
Activities that could benefit from such an association:
Raising prize pools for tournaments from the community
Negotiating sponsorships for tournaments
Using the association as a "think tank" and a roadmap for what's happening activity-wise in QuakeWorld
Using the association to revive the LAN tradition (hosting it on an internet cafe instead of bringing computers)
Distributing funds raised through grants/donations to pay for web-/gameserver hosting and perhaps even development (i realise this is a controversial topic though as to whom should get paid as there are already a lot of people doing or having done volunteer work, but i list it as a possibility anyway)
The backside of it all is that there would be some administrative tasks and to start it all at least 3-4 (probably Swedish) persons are required for various roles (chairman, cashier etc). However i think running such a thing would be a good learning experience (that would not look too bad in a CV even) and all meetings etc can still be held online.
Does it sound like a good idea? Thoughts/comments? Are there any interested persons (Swedes probably required) out there? Did the ship already sail away?
************* COMMENTS ************
An example of an association under Sverok is BrutalCS (link) which is kind of the organisation I'm thinking about but for CS 1.6/CS:GO and more focused on the server part of things. However the required docs/meetings etc would be the same.
If you check their yearly meeting reports (listed on the right side when following the link above) you can see that they are totally transparent with what they have done, what they are planning and their economy.
I would gladly help organize it.
The major problem is perhaps that the qw ship has sailed.
se Ake Vader
It's because we let it adrift!
Well, Im not sure we did really.
Trying to hold the qwscene at an acceptable level of players when new games with millions in marketing campaigns are released each year (this has also increased yearly since 1996) is just not doable.
There are also a lot of factors combining here like age of the original qwplayers, getting family and kids compared to school etc. Getting teenages interested in qw when perhaps they dont even play games on the PC anymore but instead use iPad, playstation and xbox.
Actually playing the game is what should make players keep playing and it is not like we havent played. Still we have lost great numbers of players for each year that has passed. Also, there has been developers, websites, tournaments etc from the get go. If we had done nothing of this over the years I would agree that we let it drift.
se Ake Vader
Well the online infrastructure of QuakeWorld in terms of websites, be it tournament websites or QW.nu, is really lacking compared to what it could be. Nothing is integrated nor maintained anymore and there is either noone to do it, or it is not possible to do it for the people who want to (prime example being contributing to the qw wiki).
If we would organise ourselves better we could improve on things easier and also decide what is really important steps forward and focus on those in a structured way. The current state of the QW infrastructure is that it really has stagnated.
A game like Minecraft has sold 20 million copies and i bet the majority of those are for PC. I'm not saying QuakeWorld would get 20 million players, but with some efforts and focus in the right areas i am certain that we could get numbers to increase. QuakeWorld itself is a very developed game compared to many other similar shooters with awesome gameplay while still having OK (at least not hurting the eye) graphics.
Dont get me wrong tho, Im all for organizing us better!
I would gladly help as much as my time lets me with a serious run at organizing QW. I completely agree with what Ake Vader is saying and I´m surprised it hasn´t been said sooner.
However, there needs to be somebody with alot of drive and trustworthyness at the center of the web. It´s a major project we´re talking about after all. I guess finding out what resources there are and starting small is a good idea.
se Ake Vader
I think establishing some kind of improvement process where we decide what we want to improve and then break it into as tiny, doable tasks as possible would be a good way to go. Can all be done online where we gather tasks in a project management system with the occasional follow-up meeting. This could start right away without any formal association started.
Organising bigger things (such as an event or developing something completely new) could be launched as a separate project once we're in the loop, and then the official association is more important I'd say.
Babysteps is probably the way to go, just try to gather all the worker bees in one hive! I completely agree. Once there´s a fundament more can be added later.
se Ake Vader
If i remember correctly the Brazilians were really annoyed with fakenickers so perhaps that triggered something...
On topic i think concrete steps would be to start an IRC channel as a gathering place and a project website as the central hub. Perhaps we can use dotproject (http://www.dotproject.net) as the system unless someone has a better idea? I'd just want it to keep track of tasks and what's been done on them so other people can catch up in case people who previously worked on them cannot contribute for one reason or another.
Years ago I also thought it was a good idea to have something like a "high council" to discuss and make decisions. To some agree, that happened occassionally, for example when Smackdown ruleset was declared to allow qizmo only and ban fakeshaft - that set the standards for years to come and the majority of the scene back then accepted that (even though not everyone liked it). Similar things apply to the map pool.
Your suggestion goes into a slightly different direction; you aim for a council with competencies to make decisions but mainly to represent the scene and organize positive things for it. I respect what all the coders, website runners, league organisators, livegame commentators and organizers do for the scene - but how much of the scene remains and what is the return on investment? Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about money here. But I think it's very frustrating to put a lot of effort into certain tasks to generate a good result and it almost goes along unnoticed because the player base is so small.
suddenly i felt like starting to play again.
I think this is exactly what QW needs. More organisation and a clear roadmap of where we are and where we want to go.
I could probably help out as a board member. I've been a board member in other organisations.
se Ake Vader
Sounds awesome Emp. How about those interested (me, Hora?, Cara?, Emp) gather in #qw.association on IRC to discuss things further as a start.
@phrenic, there's an excellent opportunity to start playing on Sunday in the Refragged cup!
We moved to #qwassoc and bought a domain (qwassoc.org). This is happening.
I will always contribute in any way I can
Ake_vader, cara, empezar, Hooraytio: one year has passed. Did you change your minds? We have an year to organize ourselves and do something big for the 20th aniversary of quake, possibly sponsored/supported by John Carmack and ID Software. I got a cousin that was beta tester of the Oculus (Carmack's main project nowadays), and we can arrange a meeting with him. Maybe we could capitalize on this event and try to bring quake back to the game scene, get some media coverage, etc.
Lets say this idea never comes to reality... Cant we get organized and give our game a longer life? 10 out 10 qw players or ex qw players i talked to say they are feeling like stop or stopped playing because of lack of activity. I dont want to stop, neither they. And i do not agree with the idea of "qw scene come and goes by itself". It will die soon if we dont do anything.