Author Topic: Death and Taxes (or, Why This Lost Steam Already)  (Read 1258 times)

Morningstar

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Death and Taxes (or, Why This Lost Steam Already)
« Topic Start: September 13, 2011, 12:40:13 AM »
I'm going to throw this logic-y puzzle out there and see what kind of flack I get for it.

A) This forum/game/restart has died out already as it was directly competing for time/resources/interest from key people working on the new estate system.
B) This forum/game/restart has died out already because we got too crunchy and lacked story or any real reason to keep people interested.

Either A is true, B is true, both are true, or neither are true.

If A alone is true, then we should see a direct increase in activity over the next few days, and ideally, this lapse in interest should end up as just a blip on the radar.  I don't really believe this to be the case (or at least not the sole issue).  I believe Tom's had to split his attention a little, which maybe has slowed things down, but shouldn't have directly been the cause of this project dying an early death before it even really began.  So the "both" option may be in play here.

I also don't believe that "neither" is true, though I could perhaps eventually be convinced that it was "both" but with other factors involved.

Here's why I think that the major factor in play is option B. Namely, we've done this before. From what little I know, the original SM2 didn't fully get off the ground, despite upgrades to code and a startup storyline concept.  And I know for a fact that our little resurrection 5-ish years ago had a good little startup group of at least 10 people I can think of off the top of my head (and that doesn't count a rare appearance from Dethargos).  That attempt had discussion and banter about how to do the spell system, but flowed pretty well for a few months on RP alone. Characters met, faced challenges, ran from the witch-hunters, and learned how to cope with/manipulate their spells through trial and error.  What ultimately killed it was when discussion came up that we suddenly needed a coded spell-system in order to continue (which really wasn't true).  To the best of my knowledge, this was one of the very last SpellMaster threads ever created/posted in on the old SM list.

What am I trying to say?  While code and system is important, this game seems to have always been mostly about freeform interaction between players. There's a "combat" system in place for when conflict occurs, but outside of that, it's not a necessary evil. I feel like after the initial push on here for concept, story, and character, all discussion and focus shifted to what should've been one singular aspect of the game- the engine.  And what happened 5 years ago (and possibly with SM2) happened again. Everything died out.

Don't get me wrong here- I spent a few years (including most of the time I was away) doing crunchy things like designing pen & paper systems full of stats, combat, and dice rolls. I love that type of thing. But I'll be completely honest- as soon as we started getting into those nitty-gritty number crunching stats here, I stopped paying attention, largely.  I've submitted only one spell, refined it a few times, and last I checked it still wasn't accepted (which means little really, except that there are character concepts which likely are unplayable with this system, and that's fine).  And it seems that after the initial flurry of activity and excitement that comes with build-your-own-anything systems, it would seem that most others have also hit the wall (or the ceiling) on what to do next.

Can we try to build a world and some stories together and pull in the engine as we go? It seemed to work for FEI and sort of for Dwilight.  They're at least still alive and sort-of growing.  I don't want to see this project die already.

Morningstar

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Re: Death and Taxes (or, Why This Lost Steam Already)
« Reply #1: September 13, 2011, 12:43:17 AM »
For those keeping score at home, the last actual RP post here occurred August 26th.

Bedwyr

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Re: Death and Taxes (or, Why This Lost Steam Already)
« Reply #2: September 13, 2011, 12:45:46 AM »
I'm game to start the stories whenever.  I already know how my character is going to start and all.

I would like to put another explanation forward:

C) It's too open.  We don't have anything that would link our characters together, we don't have any overarching plot or events, etc.  I know there are ideas for that, and Tom has a story plan in mind, and that's what I've been waiting for.  I don't need mechanics or even maps or whatever, but I do need to know what sort of narrative I'm fitting in to.
"You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here!"

Morningstar

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Re: Death and Taxes (or, Why This Lost Steam Already)
« Reply #3: September 13, 2011, 12:48:34 AM »
We didn't have that before. We had less concept than has been presented currently, but we did have the FEI map and the FEI "world" to play under. It could be a possibility, but I'm not willing to say that alone has created enough of a problem to stymie the entire startup.

Bedwyr

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Re: Death and Taxes (or, Why This Lost Steam Already)
« Reply #4: September 13, 2011, 12:51:54 AM »
That's not precisely my point.  If there had been no narrative suggested, I'd have been on here day one suggesting one and working with people to come up with something.  Since Tom had something in mind, I was content to wait for it (and multiple political crises in BattleMaster have rather occupied my RP attention) before spending time on story concepts that might not fit.
"You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here!"

Morningstar

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Re: Death and Taxes (or, Why This Lost Steam Already)
« Reply #5: September 13, 2011, 01:08:48 AM »
Meh, that maybe explains why nothing new has been started in the last 3 days since the "test run" post went up.  But it doesn't explain the correlation between the "rise of the engine" thread going up on the 24th, the parser going live on the 25th, and no new RP happening since the 26th.

Maybe it'll all sort itself out, who knows.

Indirik

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Re: Death and Taxes (or, Why This Lost Steam Already)
« Reply #6: September 13, 2011, 02:42:12 AM »
I would love to join in, but I just couldn't make heads or tails out of the Prelude thread until long after it was already going. For the first week or two, I was completely lost, and had no clue what was happening. So I was going to wait out the Prelude, and jump in when things got going for real.

I'm sorry, but I guess I'm not one of those people that just take a completely blank slate and write a brand new story out of it. I need *something* to play off of. I need some kind of background, story, mythos, or something. A map would be great. Something to kickstart it and get it going. The start of the Prelude thread just wasn't enough for me to get into it.
If at first you don't succeed, don't take up skydiving.

Anaris

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Re: Death and Taxes (or, Why This Lost Steam Already)
« Reply #7: September 13, 2011, 03:58:06 AM »
I plan on joining in, but my RL is still running in overdrive (just closed on our new house today; now we have to paint it and move all our stuff to it before we close on selling this house in just over a month).

Until that calms down some, my RP energy will continue to be minimal.  But I'm very excited to actually start playing SM.

I would also agree with Bedwyr: even when I do feel like writing RPs, I have a lot of problems trying to come up with one in a vacuum. Having some kind of storyline going on will really help me to have something to grab onto to build my own character and their story.
Timothy Collett

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Zakilevo

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Re: Death and Taxes (or, Why This Lost Steam Already)
« Reply #8: September 13, 2011, 06:06:37 AM »
I thought we were all waiting for the game to launch...

Meneldur

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Re: Death and Taxes (or, Why This Lost Steam Already)
« Reply #9: September 13, 2011, 11:06:33 PM »
I thought we were all waiting for the game to launch...

^This; we can't claim this as a failure before it is even officially open. I mean the official forums aren't even open yet so there really is no opportunity for anyone to start building their characters/stories as the prelude isn't intended to be a start for your actual character, but just to get some rp practice (at least that's the way it seemed tome)

Also Bedwyr is spot on that you can't just start something out of nothing. At the very least a "major city" with a detailed background should be present at the start- you can't just give a blank map and say "go forth and rp".  If you just leave it to the players you'll just end up with a string of unrelated and probably not even geographically close rp's which completely discourage any further writing.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2011, 11:09:19 PM by Meneldur »