Reaperbryan

ReaperCon 2017 Classes Preview

262 posts in this topic

7 hours ago, Dilvish the Deliverer said:

Andy's Sculpting for Dummies might be what you are looking for.  It a general overview.

But

It is a lecture class,  not hands on...

Well worth it though 

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I take a class that is longer than the standard class length (takes up more than one class slot, such as Jessica Rich's Portraiture class), does this count as 2 (or however many) classes against my total class count (since we're limited to 8).

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A question for Bryan:

 

Will the class list be color coded to quickly identify which are aimed at beginners, intermediate, advanced, kids, etc. ?

 

The name of the classes aren't necessarily the best indicators of the expected level of difficulty.

5 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Cranky Dog said:

A question for Bryan:

 

Will the class list be color coded to quickly identify which are aimed at beginners, intermediate, advanced, kids, etc. ?

 

The name of the classes aren't necessarily the best indicators of the expected level of difficulty.

 

The difficulty is listed in the class description:

 

20170510_162957-793x503.png.b8a536bc1f129dc31e118961b989a641.png

 

20170510_163037-773x563.png.03b54c128cb4942d3e9070ccd6a7f785.png

 

20170510_163124-820x516.png.dec782b9716d28d80aa03b30156c6fda.png

 

I did notice most are beginner or intermediate, even if advanced is in the title.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

That bit I did know. But currently I have to click every single class to figure it out as I haven't found a master list of the current classes.

 

If the whole class schedule was color coded, it would be one step quicker.

 

Of course, having icons for "Hands-on" or "Demo" would also be useful.

Edited by Cranky Dog
3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Helpful yes, but possibly time-consuming for They Who Are Busy With Bones 3 Fulfillment. Maybe a good idea for next year?

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Cranky Dog said:

A question for Bryan:

 

Will the class list be color coded to quickly identify which are aimed at beginners, intermediate, advanced, kids, etc. ?

 

The name of the classes aren't necessarily the best indicators of the expected level of difficulty.

This is not an improvement I am planning to make for this year.

 

Bear in mind, we(Reaper) have two conflicting goals here - one, neither of us wants a student to take a class for which they are unprepared and unable to benefit. And two, we don't want to scare a student away from a class they want/need because they think they're not ready because of an arbitrary decision to call a class Intermediate instead of Beginner. Our compromise was that we would make the information about skill level available, but not so prominent that it became the defining trait of the schedule - like coloring classes in green, yellow, or red - or even fancy icons.

 

As it happens, we already have a feature where, once you have paid for a class, it appears highlighted in yellow on the schedule for you when you are logged in. So this design conflicts with the color coding philosophy. And too many icons becomes a secret code that intimidates a novice to understand. Click the Hand to know more, but the Circle with a 1,2, or 3 means the  level, and the icon of the eye means it's demo only but the icon of the hand means hands on, except the had that's "click here for more information".... I'm confused already!

 

However, I can understand the desire for such a system, and I will explore simple options. Heck, if one comes up that is simple enough and suits my database structure sufficiently to not require onerous rewriting (and debugging) of the queries that fetch class data and the systems that write the table in response to said queries, I may even find time to implement it before the show. Of course, With more and more of my time spent working on preparations for kickstarter fulfillment for the duration of this month, that time is limited, and any solutions to happen very soon would have to be very simple to implement. 

 

 

 

This morning, for example, I spent a few minutes on a solution to a problem people had reported where when they bought a class, there was no visual indication that anything had happened - while the # of available seats decremented, that was too subtle for enthusiastic and hurried people who wanted a class before it was grabbed up by others to notice. This, in turn, caused some consternation last year (and the year before) when certain enthusiastic people accidentally bought 3 or 4 copies of the same class before the noticed the decrement.

 

So I implemented a feature where buying a class caused the class to pulse red briefly, in time with the # of available seats decrementing, and so far it seems an effective solution from my test server. It draws attention to the action, and serves (from where I see it) as a serviceable indicator that the click was accepted and you have put the item in your cart.

9 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

I also wanted to mention a slight change I made today to the checkout screen.

 

For classes ONLY - when you buy more than 1 of a class, the quantity becomes highlighted in yellow, and a small warning Triangle with an exclamation point in it appears. if you click it, it says "You have more than one of this class. If this is Intentional, feel free to ignore this warning.".

 

Here's the deal. It doesn't STOP you in any way form buying more than one class. You could in theory buy 8 seats for the same class, and the computer won't prevent it. 

But it MAY help you if you're the Enthusiastic Person from several years in a row that accidentally buys 3-4 seats for the same class and didn't mean to.

 

It's literally just a cosmetic warning to make you THINK before you buy more than you meant to.

 

 

 

 

*****

Addendum:

 

I'm not going to be in the office for than 2-3 minutes at a time for the next several weeks. Expect few if any direct responses after today. I'm already only able to type these responses because I'm staying late to catch up on work that didn't;t get done because I've been preparing the paperwork for our first UK shipment.

8 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Reaperbryan said:

This is not an improvement I am planning to make for this year.

 

Reasons...

Works for me.

 

I got used to using colored chart cells in Excel for quick visual referencing. Though once you publish the full class list with their descriptions, color coding may not be necessary anymore.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Cranky Dog said:

Works for me.

 

I got used to using colored chart cells in Excel for quick visual referencing. Though once you publish the full class list with their descriptions, color coding may not be necessary anymore.

The text descriptions portion of the site is on my agenda. I will look at a possible icon/color identifier for that system, in addition to the text. Maybe a colored border, or something. If I can find time to experiment with graphical representations, I will.

Edited by Reaperbryan
5 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just want to briefly state (as an instructor myself) that the "skill level" decision for each class really is somewhat nebulous and arbitrary.  Consequently, I totally agree with not making that "difficulty" label too prominent.

 

At the end of the day, art is not a very linear progression of skills most of the time, so a skill which may be easy and old hat for one painter may prove strange and difficult to another painter with precisely the same amount of experience in the hobby based on the skills they have previously acquired.  Actually, now that I think about it, we almost have more of a "skill tree" progression system within our hobby.  For example, you need to (in my opinion) take some form of blending class before you can take an NMM class, but you also need more of the basics before you could take a blending class.

 

That line of thinking leads me to, in my own mind, try to categorize each class as a "Foundation" class (assembly, priming, basecoating, and everything else you need to know to get started in this hobby), a "Core" class (blending, basing, color selection, and all of the other things that lead to developing other skills but require some basic miniature knowledge), or a "Pinnacle" class (freehand, NMM/TMM, textures, OSL, and other special effects-type skills that require a good knowledge of the "Core" skills to implement).  This does not keep anyone from any particular class, but rather lets them know approximately what background the instructor is expecting them to have.  However, in the end, that is essentially just Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced by slightly more convoluted titles. ::):

10 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The whole issue is further complicated by the Dunning-Kruger Effect. In painting (much like in skiing) it shows up as nearly everyone considering himself to be "intermediate".

 

It may even be worse in painting because not only do painters not estimate their skills correctly, they also can't even see the effects of higher levels of skill until they reach some level near the level needed to execute a skill.

 

This can result in some seriously awkward critique discussions after competitions, btw.

10 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

The whole issue is further complicated by the Dunning-Kruger Effect. In painting (much like in skiing) it shows up as nearly everyone considering himself to be "intermediate".

 

It may even be worse in painting because not only do painters not estimate their skills correctly, they also can't even see the effects of higher levels of skill until they reach some level near the level needed to execute a skill.

 

This can result in some seriously awkward critique discussions after competitions, btw.

 

The Schrodinger's Cat of our hobby.  Any given skill is simultaneously good enough and not good enough until actually executed.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Then there are those who believe they suck, but really don't, and they just can't see how good they are.

 

Aaaaand the ones who suck, know they suck, but keep trying anyway because painting is fun!

8 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I was reading this yesterday and I know Bryan doesn't have time and I was bored in a meeting, so I threw together this spreadsheet. It is to be considered completely UNOFFICIAL for personal use and as such, Reaper's information on their site is to be considered the one truth.

I mainly made it for myself because I was finding the class list a bit overwhelming and it gave me a good excuse to really go through them and then also a handy guide for a class wish list. I'm not promising I'm going to update the shared version, but I thought some people would find it useful as a starting point.

 

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2fnyN8uOgs1M0ItSjRrNVhPM2s

 

10 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now