Author Topic: How well has the planning system worked?  (Read 9364 times)

Offline PeterT

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How well has the planning system worked?
« on: November 23, 2007, 04:17:25 PM »
One of the major differences between Phase 1 of the project (the schome-NAGTY Pilot) and Phase 2 (the schome-Becta Project) was to do with the arrangements for who could build ...
  • In Phase 1 anyone could build without needing any permission so long as the build was in the sandbox or above 200m in the air.
  • In Phase 2 you had to have planning permission to build anything anywhere (other than in the sandbox)

We need to reflect on how well this planning permission system has worked - and what we might do differently in Phase 3 of the project ...

So - were the arrangements in Phase 1 better or worse?
How well do you think the planning permission system works?
How could be enhance the arrangements so as to (a) enable folk to experiment and be playful builders (b) ensure that we don't run out of prims ...

Offline Explo Schomer

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Re: How well has the planning system worked?
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2007, 05:08:07 PM »
Well, I would obviously say that, overall, it was beneficial, but there are definitely arguments both for and against.

Firstly, I think a comparison is hard, as in SPii people have developed their building skills as well as their sense for the community, so we have had more frenetic building and change in buildings than in SPi (although I can't really back this up with evidence, as before planning was introduced we had little record of building). On the other hand, it can well be argued that planning regulations have made tensions rise, as we have had several cases where refusal of permission or a merger has led to 'heated debate', and there have been more forum based breaches of the AUP due to people being insulted over planning decisions or criticisms. One reason for this, however, might be increased use  of the forums, and especially increased discussions of builds (at least, as far as the records show-the problem with this method has been explained above).

To look at prims, we have a very mixed basket, with both great success in running sweeps and removing builds, hopefully encouraging self management and reducing the amount staff have to do (though I can't really speak for this). On the other hand, when sweeps have fallen off prim usage has rocketed and with increasingly ambitious projects more prims seem to be used per building. This is both worrying for prim levels, and extremely good in encouraging diversity, and I can honestly say that I think buildings are looking better now than they used to-something which could be equally due to the pressures of passing design permission, or increased practise and, I would say, both, with one feeding off the other. When someone has a design or an idea rejected, they invariably go away, and come back yet more fervent with a better design or idea, and this constant improvement only improves SPii, at least in my view. It comes down as to whether the tension is worth the improvements.

A problem with this analysis is that it doesn't take account of things being forgotten, as SPii is more recent, and so memories of its events are fresher. It also doesn't take account of inworld discussions being used rather than the forums.
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Offline Achilles Schomer

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Re: How well has the planning system worked?
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2007, 05:21:00 PM »
Again I'd say its done wonders for the prim counts

but I'm concerned that the community spirit is damaged beyond repair as a result
We had 1 AUP breach in sp1
sp2 has had at least 8

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Offline Marko Schomer

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Re: How well has the planning system worked?
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2007, 05:30:30 PM »
I think, generally, the planning system has worked quite well. We've had fewer problems with large numbers of prims and little space, and we've got buildings which we like. Of course, I don't like all of the buildings which are in Schome Park, and I think that generally they tend to be larger than necessary, but overall I'm pleased that we've managed to get a planning permission system working. We've also managed to avoid problems with builds being passed but none demolished. When we did have a prim shortage after the American group arrived, we managed to sort it quite well, through individual action and communication over the forum. I think a lot of that is due to the B&PP board.

As to improvements, I think that a problem with the current system is that people can become attached to their designs or proposals, and so become annoyed when others state their objections in a manner which may appear partial. I'm not sure how we can avoid this with top-down action, seeing as most builds won't be built by the whole community, people will inevitably disagree, and people are attracted to their own work. I think the best way is to simply continue trying to make debates impersonal, but someone else might be able to come up with a better solution.

Offline Decimus Schomer

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Re: How well has the planning system worked?
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2007, 05:37:46 PM »
I think that the PP system worked well in reducing prim counts, but at the cost of speed, which also causes boredom in the people who want to build it, so you get several problems from that.

Given that we'll have 30k prims if we have a double island, rather than only 15k now, we ought to do much better in terms of prim count. So I'd say that we should keep the PP system, but make it less strict when we get more prims to use.

Offline Marsbar9 Schomer

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Re: How well has the planning system worked?
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2007, 05:49:30 PM »
Ok, and interesting topic, as like Explo says - SPi was a long time ago, and it's only really THS members and staff who can answer to this.

I think the introduction of the planning process has done wonders - people are far more prim efficient most of the time, most of the time it has brought the community together, eg designing, and it gives a chance for those who can't build to at least get their designs considered, even if they themselves can't make them reality.
The prim count has had its ups and downs, and by looking at the prim count page on the wiki, (I would provide a link, but don't know how to make it look like you can on wiki, eg [www.schome.ac.uk Schome website]) you can see this.

I agree with everything that the above people have said, and I think, with a few minor tweaks, we can improve SPii even more. The strong regulations has meant we haven't had any illegal builds from the newcomers, but if you twist this, you could say we've had a few problems.

-Mars

Offline Achilles Schomer

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Re: How well has the planning system worked?
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2007, 05:53:44 PM »
I think that the PP system worked well in reducing prim counts, but at the cost of speed, which also causes boredom in the people who want to build it, so you get several problems from that.

Given that we'll have 30k prims if we have a double island, rather than only 15k now, we ought to do much better in terms of prim count. So I'd say that we should keep the PP system, but make it less strict when we get more prims to use.

Double island? Know something I don't?
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Offline Marko Schomer

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Re: How well has the planning system worked?
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2007, 05:54:44 PM »
I would provide a link, but don't know how to make it look like you can on wiki, eg [www.schome.ac.uk Schome website]) you can see this.

You put [ url="url of site"]What you want the link to say[ /url] without the spaces at the start of the square brackets. So: prim counts

Offline Achilles Schomer

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Re: How well has the planning system worked?
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2007, 05:55:11 PM »
oh just read the other thread lol

yay double island!
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Offline Trixxiee Schomer

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Re: How well has the planning system worked?
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2007, 06:46:59 PM »
In all honesty, I'm not in favour of the current building regulations, because although they have done wonders for the prim count, and something obviously needs to be in place there, I think that they're too stringent, therefore not allowing newer members the freedom to build in the way that the original members of SPi had, and new members who just want to build something for themselves to show they can seem to be getting bored - I remember in the first few weeks of SPi, there were hundreds of little houses about because they were the first thing people built, and while obviously they don't need to stay around forever as people get better at building, I think it'd be nice to be able to do that without having to worry about the fact that you have to apply for permission for your build, which could take weeks, especially if people keep changing to design.

Which brings me to my next point; at the beginning, I was under the impression that the polls would be quick and there'd be perhaps a day's delay before building could continue, but, especially with things like the Scho-op, polls have taken months and every time something is agreed on, someone else comes in with a new idea or design that needs voting on or changing or all sorts of things that make it much harder to have something and keep it. Obviously, the beauty of SL is that builds can be rezzed and unrezzed as necessary, but people's attachment to designs (which I know someone mentioned earlier) seem to mean that people will keep submitting various designs until one of the ones they made is chosen, and therefore drawing out the process and making it extremely boring, as well as tense and bringing up problems with AUP violation.

I probably should have mentioned this before but I only really thought about it in this way right now. Having a double island will certainly help with the prim counts, and if there is a way to relax the regulations so that you don't have to submit a design and go through the sometimes weeks-long process before you can even start building, I think it'd be better.

Obviously, I'm no builder so I don't really know how the things I've said actually bear any relation to building in SPii, but it's the impression I've got as an objective viewer. 
On hiatus until further notice. Will be checking in occasionally.

Offline Marsbar9 Schomer

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Re: How well has the planning system worked?
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2007, 07:04:06 PM »
You're right Trixxie :)
-Mars

Offline Miss. Vibia

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Re: How well has the planning system worked?
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2007, 08:02:43 PM »
Well... I know I haven't exactly built much ( :D ) but well, I think it was good as it stopped there being double-ups of builds and wasting our prim space which is really important partly to prevent lag.
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Offline PeterT

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Re: How well has the planning system worked?
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2007, 08:14:31 AM »
I think this is a really tough one - one the one hand I agree that the sweeps and self management has helped a lot - but my perception is that the overall impact has been to stop most people from building (certainly for new folk - other than in the sandbox) but I think it also applies to folk who were in Phase 1. So I think we have lost the playfulness and experimentation that allowed people to try things out and learn from them - my perception is that it just isn't worth the time and effort to go through planning permission.

Now I could be wrong - I'd really like to hear the views of people who have not built much recently ...  ???

Offline Explo Schomer

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Re: How well has the planning system worked?
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2007, 11:30:29 AM »
I think it seems to be a great shame the way builds outside the sandbox are considered more important than builds inside-we also have the museum which I feel wasn't used as much as it could have been. The Professor built some great things that didn't seem to be appreciated fully, because they were in the sandbox, and there were and are other builds that have been passed over. Likewise, we have had lots of issues rise because people want their build to serve a particular purpose, whereas I'm quite happy with builds that just add character to SPii-the park is a good example. Sometimes it is quite nice just to build for the point of building, and in these cases, surely the build can just go on display, in the museum or elsewhere?-size certainly shouldn't matter too much when building for the joy of it. In the end, I at least spend very little time in the buildings themselves, rather just hovering in the air and looking at it all. When we want to build something big, issues about limited space come into it, and we have to have mergers and long running polls, to decide who gets it, and it is these that really build the tension.

My suggestions then, would be less focus on permanence-a regulation system that recognises decorative builds more. On the other hand, it comes down to limited prim numbers and I think people, myself included, are always going to want their build to be the 'important'.
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Offline Marko Schomer

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Re: How well has the planning system worked?
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2007, 11:38:29 AM »
Personally, I don't see what's wrong with building something in the sandbox. The main object of the little houses in SPi wasn't their use- people could meet anywhere- but their creation. In that case, surely they can be created in the sandbox, rather than requiring permanent planning permission? The problem with the houses wasn't that they were created, but that they weren't deleted much and weren't used much. Now we have a very large sandbox, which extends upwards for kilometres. Why can't builds be put there, and then deleted when the sandbox is cleared? If someone want to keep a record of their build, they can always put it into inventory.