Feedback, Observations, Suggestions, Doomsaying, and other such stuff.

Member: 63
Joined: Jan 12 2009

Hey Guys.

My name's Richard Steele. I've been looking at Gallidon for some time now, and have amassed a fair amount of feedback I'd like to share with the stewards and anyone else who is interested in discussing the site, the idea of Gallidon, and other such stuff.

First off Website suggestions.

This is definitely not the worst website to navigate. It's utilitarian and clean, but it doesn't reach out and grab me, and it doesn't immediately communicate to me what Gallidon is from the front page. I'd like to see a couple lines of text at the top of the site, maybe beneath the top menu, directly over the art window that say something along the lines of "Come to Gallidon, share your ideas, collaborate with others to create a unique fantasy world." or something of the sort. (I just pulled that out of the air so I'm sure it could be worded better) but something that in one or two sentences immediately communicates what this site is and what it offers to the visitor, the chance to collaborate and work together in an evolving community.

I also think the whole website could be more playful and interactive, with more art and more depictions of the personalities that are part of Gallidon. A single piece of art of a character is far more intriguing than a dozen pictures of farmhouses and castles that could be dropped into any generic fantasy setting.

Also, I'd like to see the forums enhanced with one or more sections devoted to the individual works, so that each new work posted could have it's own thread where it could be discussed. I feel this would be far less confusing and difficult to navigate then having comments under each individual work, and would help build a community within the forums for the exchange of ideas. Then there could be a link under each work posted directing the reader to the appropriate forum post or section of the forums if they wanted to comment.

Also, Brown wouldn't be my first choice for a color scheme for a website.

Feedback on the world of Gallidon.

I'm going to be really up front here. I don't like the actual fantasy world of Gallidon much at all. I understand that the content is supposed to be user created, and for that reason the stewards have created a world as blank and generic as possible (a blank canvas as you will) for the sites contributors to develop, but they've also imposed some broad and highly discouraging restrictions on what a contributor can actually write about.

First off, there are no non-humans or supernatural creatures. (except for spirits). Now I can understand wanting to create a human centric world to force people to develop character and plot rather than relying on the tired cliche's of fantasy. But there's a big difference between human centric and a hard line ban on all supernatural creatures. It seems like you've taken the biggest door in fantasy and slammed it in the face of a huge number of people who would otherwise be interested in contributing to Gallidon.

Can you imagine a science fiction setting where there were no aliens at all? Part of the appeal of science fiction is the chance to explore and discover and experience the fascination of encountering other intelligent cultures. I cannot thin of a single science fiction setting created in the last 25 years that took a hard line against all alien life that was successful. Now on the other hand, I'm no fan of Farscape, where alien life consists of a constant onslaught of ridiculous looking muppets that have no plausible culture or reason to exist (or star wars for the same reason), but used sparingly and with good reason aliens and alien cultures can add a great degree of variety to a sci fi setting without drowning it and making it goofy.

The same can be said for Horror. Without supernatural creatures, what have we got left, guys in Hockey masks with chainsaws and serial killers.

My point being that human centric is fine, but drawing a hard line against all non human creatures and supernatural monsters limits your setting by such a large amount that you really might as well just write historical fiction.

And it's not just the absence of fantastic creatures. The setting itself is basically late mid-evil earth cloned into a fantasy world with a small amount of magic and the addition of spirits. If you're not going to have fantastic creatures, at least throw us a bone and let us have a little more magic and the ability to expand the setting into something interesting.

And speaking of spirits, really what's the difference between an earth spirit in the shape of a stocky diminutive man with earthen skin and an affinity for the earth and a Dwarf? Just the name really, which I find a bit confusing, you say there's a hard line against fantastic creatures and non humans, but anyone with an ounce of creativity can spin spirits into any of the things you say we can't have.

This also raises questions in my mind as to weather Gallidon will succeed at all. The setting is dull, there are no characters associated with it, and all I see are signs telling me what I can't write about. Why would people want to come to Gallidon at all? You really need something to draw people in. You either need to give them a really amazing and fascinating setting that people would want to populate. (which you will never have with all the restrictions you've placed on the world) or some really amazing and fantastic characters that people would want to write about, or just associate with and exist in the same world with them.

What I do like about Gallidon is the idea of having a community collaborating together to inspire each other and share feedback on various works with each other. It's something I'd like to be a part of and contribute to, but I have some genuine concerns that it may not be around for long if Gallidon doesn't become an interesting place to visit as opposed to a blank slate.

Finally, I get the distinct impression that Gallidon is designed to suit the specific, very narrow tastes of the stewards, which are very different from the vast majority of young creators today.

Anyway, those are just a few thoughts and suggestions, I really do hope Gallidon is successful, and I'd love to hear some other peoples thoughts on Gallidon as well.

Member: 63
Joined: Jan 12 2009
Another thought. That

Another thought. That character creator that is filed under digital games, it's very cool but you should really be able to do more with it. You should be able to save those characters once created, along with a background of your choice representing one of the regions of Gallidon, as a JPG that you could then use as Wallpaper for your PC. You should also be able to save the character image on it's own, and save a close up image of the face and torso as an avatar for the forums. For that matter, it'd be cool if there were some generic Gallidon forum avatars for people to grab.

Member: 5
Joined: Sep 2 2008
Thanks for the feedback!

First, thanks for the feedback, Richard, and for taking the time to post it here!

Regarding the world of Gallidon, I'm sorry to hear you don't like the fantasy world. We aimed to create something different from what's readily available in this genre, but we knew it would not appeal to everyone.

Still, I'd like to respond to some of your comments, since it appears that our vision of Gallidon isn't matching your perception of the world. Perhaps we haven't done a good job of communicating that vision.

You state that there are no "non-human" or "supernatural" creatures except Spirits and that there is only a "small amount" of magic in the world.

The following is from the web page, The Destruction under the Mythos menu:

"Adding to the uncertainty comes numerous stories from these Wastelands and even the Kingdoms, each more fantastic than the last: tales of warriors capable of killing nobles without suffering a death curse, spirits incarnate, creatures never before seen, and — most disturbing to the nobility — commoners wielding magic."

We have no less than 18 schools of magic.

We have left an entire kingdom undefined, allowing the user community to propose their vision for it.

We also have Works and a Forum post responses from a Steward that include explicit references to "supernatural" creatures and the use of magic:

I do not believe our Submission Guidelines contain anything that would restrict you from submitting something that included magic or supernatural creatures.

Our only current request we have for the creative community is to refrain from using elves, dwarves, and orcs by name. We are not trying to recreate Middle Earth or Warcraft, so we consciously avoided these races/creatures. Their omission does not, in my opinion, invalidate Gallidon as a fantasy world.

As far as getting more characters into Gallidon (both visually and in text), we are working on two in-house novels and an in-house graphic novel in addition to the current Death in Tar Mira: Chapter 1 novella that we hope will bring additional personalities to the world of Gallidon. Of course, the creative community is encouraged to submit new art based on their favorite characters, and we try to include some in-house art as well.

Regarding the website design/functionality suggestions you made, I've added them to our list of possible updates as we work through the next iteration of the website. To be honest, we get lots of feedback from different users, but sometimes we get conflicting suggestions. When that happens, we do our best to find the best compromise based on what we believe will be the best for the community.

Lastly, you made some suggestions for the character creator Flash application. I would encourage you to post those in the comments section. Andy Underwood, the Artisan who created that work, has stated that the source code is available to anyone who wants to edit/update/improve his original Work. Hopefully someone in the creative community will incorporate your suggestions!

Thank you again for your feedback, Richard. I hope I've corrected some misconceptions you have about the world, and perhaps you'll find a place in Gallidon you find interesting enough to explore through your own original Works.

Sincerely,

Scott Walker
Steward of Gallidon

Member: 63
Joined: Jan 12 2009
Well, I'm glad to hear you

Well, I'm glad to hear you've broadened your perspective as far as non-humans are concerned. When I first heard of Gallidon, there was a really hard line agaisnt anything that wasn't strictly human, a noble, spirit, or marginally intelligent construct. It seems since then attitudes have changed a great deal,a nd I was just unaware of this.

Member: 63
Joined: Jan 12 2009
Also to clarify somehting I

Also to clarify somehting I wrote earlier. It's not that I hate the world of Gallidon. It's that I'm not at all compelled by the setting. I understand the desire to give contributors the ability to embelish the settings, but I think you as stewards also nowrealize that Gallidon can;t be a completly blank slate, you guys need hooks to bring people in.

Of course you're working on two novels in-house, so I assume this will at least provide some memorable characters and maybe some memoroubly unique settings.

It's not that I dislike Viking land or Japan land, it's just, that's all they are right now. They're genric and they don't compel me. Same thing with the isles, I like the island nautical setting, but there's nothing new there to comple me to write about the isles.

And I don't think you necissarily need to populate every single island, but if you had one that was unique in some innovative way, it might further interest me in working in that part of the world so I could share space with that locale.

Oh, and yes you have 18 schools of magic, but they seem kind of narrow, arbitrary, and what's up with the Runes anyway? Does anyone care about Runes? Or even know what they are? I think most writers will be far more interested in creating their own version of magic and its application, then being chained to such a rigid system revolving around a mechanic that doesn't excite them.