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Author Topic: Introducing a Dream: FAQs and First Steps in Development  (Read 18339 times)
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« on: 30 August 2005, 12:29:00 »

Introducing a Dream: FAQs and First Steps in Development

New to Santharia and the world of Caelereth? Then take a look at this thread here to get all your questions answered! You can either read through the posts below one after the other (recommended if you're here for the first time) or you can use the links here in the Content section to jump directly to a specific question. With a click on the links at the end of each question/answer section called "Return to the top" you'll return back to the Contents again.

Note that this Introduction thread discusses the most important questions you might have in short form, so make sure to read through it to get a general overview and idea what Santharia/Caelereth is all about. There are several other threads here in this Newbie Forum, like for example the Technical Stuff thread, a Testing Thread, and so on. All these provide a lot more detailed information once you've read through this thread here, so make sure to look through them as well if you plan to stay a while here in our realm and become a developer of a Dream! :nod:

Should you have further questions, feel free to open a new thread in the Newbie Forum, and we'll address the issue and add frequently asked questions to sticky topics like this one.

Newbie Questions

« Last Edit: 06 May 2007, 04:11:24 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged



"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #1 on: 06 May 2007, 03:48:52 »

What's this all about?
We are a fantasy world creation site, inspired by the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien. We share our ideas, concepts, proposals, critiques, and contributions on the Development Board, here. We also host an online play-by-post role-playing game (RPG) which you can access by clicking on the book with the caption "Role Playing" on the top right of the site's mainframe. If you're more interested in role playing than in developing the world, please click on the RPG book (or just click here). - If you've always dreamed of participating in creating a fantasy world, this Forum is for you. We develop stuff here and you can see the finished results of our work on "The Santharian Dream" site - our great Compendium!
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So what is the Compendium?
It's an ever-expanding virtual library/museum/art gallery! We write entries about our fantastic beasts and plants, detail our existing variety of races, draw artworks and write poems, create stories, compose music, and generally keep expanding the encyclopedia of knowledge about our world of Caelereth. We have water goddesses and strange diseases, phoenixes and unique swear words, beautiful elves and sturdy dwarves, mouth-watering recipes, our own measurement system, fighting styles, minerals, music, languages… a whole unique universe! And you can become part of it!
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Cool! Can I join your universe?
Sure! We welcome creative people to share our Dream. Here's how to start…

If you don't already have an account on the Development Forum, please create one with an appropriate unique "Santharian Name". After that go back to the Joining Requests Forum of the Development Board. Write a little introduction about yourself and your interests, so that we get to know you a little. Please include your name in the Forum post title, then provide your areas of interest in Caelereth, and any special abilities you have. If all works well we'll then all be able to welcome you officially as a new "Apprentice to the Dream", which you'll remain for a while until you get official "Team Member" status.

After your general introduction and having received greetings from the rest of the time, you then can start thinking in more concrete development projects. You should then first post concrete ideas of things you'd like to work on in your introduction thread. Do this before you start writing a complete entry! Other Santharians then can check these ideas, tell you if they could be worked on or if there's still a problem somewhere. Once you have that ok you can start with first contributions and slowly get into the project. Ideally there might also be Mentors trying to help you specifically with getting your first contributions for the Dream right, so have a look out for those that you think can help you.
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What's a Mentor?
A Mentor is a much more experienced Member than yourself who is willing to dedicate time and energy to helping an Apprentice such as yourself to improve your entries, to give advice, and to guide you through your early contributions. A Mentor can be anyone who has spent quite a while in Santharia, and can point you in the right direction. If you have an area of expertise and written several entries in this regard you qualify as an expert and can be listed as a Mentor for others. Mentors are listed with their areas of expertise in an own thread here in this Forum, so have a look there and try to ask questions to those Mentors, who you think can help you with a problem. Others can and will help you as well of course, but asking an expert might usually be a good idea.

Ideally it helps if you choose a clear focus for yourself what you want to persue (e.g. developing a certain region, concentrate on weapons, work on People descriptions for a certain tribe etc.). This way the various Mentors might also be interested to support you more effectively than if you'd develop something somewhere in the middle of nowhere with no connections to other entries.

Mentors aren't exclusively here for you. They develop themselves, have real lives and might be just as busy as everyone else. So don't count on them to do your work or to help you instantly. Depending on what you want to develop, you might work together closer with a Mentor, though, and become an official member faster. So better contemplate first what you'd like to do, then the way to achieve it and the persons who can accompany you on that path will be much clearer to you.

Once you've shown dedication to the Dream you can become an official Member… just start making proposals and turn them into Entries!
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Right - so what exactly is an Entry?
An entry or contribution may be an original artwork, musical composition, or poem. Generally, however, what we mean by "entry" is a piece of writing which follows these guidelines:

- an original idea /concept for a beast, plant, place, person, industry, historical event, or other area of interest.
- try to embed what you develop and make at least 3 references to other things developed on the site (the entry needs to be set in the universe of Caelereth, as evidenced by careful research and cross-references to existing entries)
- uses the official Templates provided at the appropriate Dev Board forum
- contains at least a paragraph for each section of the Template
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What's a Template and where do I find it?
A Template is a standard outline format which we can use to create our entries, with some useful hints, specifications, ideas, and main headings. It's flexible and can be altered depending on the concepts people have.

Go to the Development Board. Choose the Forum in which you want to develop, e.g. the Herbarium. At the top of that Forum in a sticky topic you will find details on everything you need to know about for example Herbarium contributions, this includes the specific template for that area, e.g. the Plant Template. You also find templates in the appropriate section on the site menu itself by the way.

Anyway, copy and paste that template into your word processor of choice. Get started on creating your new beast, person, place, or plant and eventually post the result on the Forum to hear comments on it!
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OK, I really want to make a new Beast, Plant etc. - How?
Great! So, you've copied the appropriate template from the specifc Forum and pasted it into a word processor. (We don't suggest composing new ideas in a direct Forum post for obvious reasons - information can be lost only too readily if there is a server glitch for some reason. Also, in a word processor you can run your proposal through a spell-check before posting it!)

Now, read the paragraphs under each subheading which give you some ideas of what you could include. Write your own paragraphs of information for each heading. And have fun with it - because everything except those headings will eventually be your own – and you'll have your very own entry!
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Are there any sample/example entries I can look at for ideas?
Oh, yes – the problem was choosing which ones! Of course, you can just surf the Compendium, but you can look at proposed sample entries in the sticky topics on top of the various Forum sections to get a clear idea of what makes a good entry. These are all well-researched, integrated, interesting, and meet the guidelines right down to accurate vocabulary. If you work along these lines you'll produce marvellous entries!
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Can I write entries without becoming a Member?
Of course! Of course we'll still try to give you any assistance we can to support you and ensure the quality of your contribution. So no stress - we'll work together to make your proposals the best they can be.
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OK, but I'd still like to be a Member one of these days. What's the cover charge?
Hey, this is a non-profit organization! We won’t even ask for a donation…

Just start creating original, appealing entries for the Santharian Dream, while familiarizing yourself with the resources, guidelines and style of the Compendium. Mentors, along with any of the other active Members (AKA the Dream Team) who are interested in your field, will contribute suggestions, provide comments, edit/proofread, and generally work together with you to help develop your proposals into full-fledged entries. This period is called your apprenticeship. You can become an official Member by completing a series of entries with a Masterwork.
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Uh - OK, what's a Masterwork?
After several works you've completed for the Dream, you will have the opportunity to become an official member by delivering one final larger work. When precisely this will be the case depends on your creativity and the efforts you put into your work, but at some point it will be suggested to you by the Webmaster or a Mentor that you are now ripe for a Masterwork. Note that if you do only very similar Bestiary entries with little Santharian cross-references, it might last longer until it is suggested to you that you can now start a masterwork. If you do excellent integrative Places entries for example or show your versatility and help others, it is more likely that you get the chance much sooner to become a regular member. Between five to ten entries are generallly suggested to familiarize yourself with the Compendium and the style of the Dream before applying for member status with a 'masterwork'.

So what can you write in a masterwork: As you develop your skills and your love affair with the Dream, you will eventually want to create your very own concepts for it. An entry that meets the following criteria qualifies:

- an original idea/concept
- thorough, detailed, and careful execution of the concept
- integrated into the universe of Caelereth with appropriate cross-references

Don't worry about getting it all right the first time, by the way. That's what your fellow team members are here for - and the Mentors who check your entries if they are in the field of their expertise. Why don’t you come on in and get started?
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Do I gain any special privileges once I'm a member?
Once you become official member...

- A play-by-post "party" is held in the Announcements & Webdesign Forum to celebrate the event
- You'll give your forum signature to the official "Code of Santharia - A Compendiumist's Oath", a ceremonial post where you confirm that you plan to foster the spirit of cooperation and fellowship that brings all of us together as Dreamers, regardless of race, gender or creed.
- You get an official Forum plaque with a title you can choose for yourself.
- You get your own official membership page, which serves as a link station to all your entries.
- You receive a Santharian e-mail address with your Santharian name if you want one.
- If you need it you get access to Santharian resources webspace to upload stuff there (only to be used for Santharian purposes!).
- Oh, and finally you get access to the Members Moot Forum, a part of the Santharian Development Board, which is only available for developers. There you can discuss all those kind of things, which you don't want to share with everyone else publicly on the board, but only with your fellow-dreamers.
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Sounds great! I'm ready - where do I go now?
Welcome! Click here to begin your journey into the Dream! Introduce yourself in a new thread as suggested and get involved in a Dream, which will soon become your own!
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« Last Edit: 15 May 2007, 04:31:52 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged



"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #2 on: 07 May 2007, 03:04:40 »

If you have further questions, feel free to ask them either in your introduction thread or by opening a new thread in this Forum! - We're here to help! :)
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"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
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