Community Set: Comments

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Story/flavor ideas? My ideas: White: Rhox? Blue: Merfolk? Squid? Black: Horrors? Shades? Red: Viashino? Green: Elves? Beasts?

That doesn't give us much to go on. The first thing to decide isn't what races will be present, but whether the set would be bottom-up or top-down. Note that there are at least two other attempts at community sets here on multiverse, one of which failed to take off and the other of which petered out after a while. I was a fan of a lot of the things we had going in our first attempt, but I think some of us got burned out, and we lost our direction a bit.

I get the impression that there isn't enough regulars on Multiverse to expect an entire set to create itself (Note: I used the word 'expect'. It's possible. I just wouldn't put money down on it.) You would think that with seven people actively working on a project, that this wouldn't be the case. But based on experience, my best guess is that you need about 50 active participants which whittle down to five rotating designer/developers by projects end.

Speaking as head designer from the first project, it is a lot of work. I was putting in at least an hour per day working on the project... mostly editing and writing, with very little actual designing. I was in it up until the point we burned out, and in theory I could have grabbed the reins of the project and completed it myself. But the nature of the project... I didn't want to complete it only to have other people tell me that's not what they wanted to happen. As head designer, I pushed toward some things, but tried to remain a neutral arbiter when appropriate. It was a balancing act. Designing most of the rares, half the uncommons and developing the commons didn't seem very neutral, so I stopped.

That said, Multiverse is a great opportunity to start up community projects. I just don't think a third community set is one of them if the first two didn't succeed. I suggest taking a different approach: Optioning ideas for the design of the set from the community, but planning to make the bulk of the set yourself. That way, you get a strong set with a lot of interesting and interactive ideas (too many of them, in fact. You'll have to parse what's important and what isn't) while maintaining the direction and initiative that a single individual can bring to a project (and without constantly being dragged around by other people's schedules. Cripes, I remember sitting at the computer and having three pages of reading to do, and must be done, each day. It was amazing and awesome, and I learned from the experience. But it sure wasn't the optimal way of doing things.)

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