Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Jeshin

Pages: [1] 2
Announcements / Re: Forum Updates
« on: July 02, 2017, 10:04:59 PM »
Changed registration questions again and cleaned the board of the few bots that made it in.

Announcements / [CONTEST] June 2017: Creative Twist Contest
« on: June 08, 2017, 09:03:55 PM »
June 2017 contest

The contest for June is all about creativity. Each entry will provide creative twist on an existing genre or setting. The submission will explain the genre that they are updating and then go into the creative twist they have applied. You can think of it as an elevator pitch for a new take on an old way of doing things. Applications will have two parts and this month we will be providing a grading rubric.

Application Part 1: Setting the Base Genre

This portion should be no more than 300 words and it should explain the genre, setting, or universe that you are making adaptions or changes too.

Application Part 2: The Twist

This portion should be no more than 1500 words and it should explain the twist or creative change you are making to the setting. You may use examples, short stories, simple explanation, or even images to convey why the change you have made to the original setting, genre, or universe is creative and beneficial in some way.

Grading Rubric: 50pts Creativity , 50pts Pitch

The rubric is fairly self explanatory but the creativity or uniqueness of the application will be taken into account. Is it actually a new twist or a cliche you're pitching? The pitch portion of the grading will be based on how well you sell or convey the change. How clearly you make the judges understand it.

All submissions should be submitted to and be submitted as either googledocs or as a PDF. If you need to convert to a PDF you can use

1st Place wins 75 USD to a paypal of their choice or charity of their choice
2nd place wins 50 USD to a paypal of their choice or charity of their choice
3rd place wins 25 USD to a paypal of their choice or charity of their choice

All winners will be announced by July 6th and all payments posted by July 12th. Good luck and have fun.

Announcements / Re: [Contest] May 2017: Redshirt Character Contest
« on: June 08, 2017, 08:56:56 PM »

1st Place: Clarity [SCI-FI Planet X]

2nd Place: TGG [Missy Jane]

Since we only had two entries for our first contest they will each take their prize for where they placed and split 3rd between them. Congratulations to our two winners and thank you for taking the time to enter. You can see our 1st place winner's entry via the link!

Announcements / Re: [Contest] May 2017: Redshirt Character Contest
« on: June 02, 2017, 02:18:09 AM »

Contest is closed and the judging begins!

General / [Article] Feature: Design Process
« on: May 29, 2017, 11:19:52 PM »

An article about the design process of a hypothetical HorrorCombat feature that takes a different approach to conflict resolution in a game with an intentionally lower power scale.

Announcements / Optional Realities: Server Downtime
« on: May 22, 2017, 10:54:54 AM »

We had 48 downtime last week and appear to have lost 24 hours of information from our servers. This was our host having technical difficulties and not on our end. This information loss caused us to lose the article from 05/14 and 05/21 , but we will post both articles (re-written) on 05/28. In addition, you should see me being more active during the end of this month as some real life commitments ease up.

Announcements / Re: [Contest] May 2017: Redshirt Character Contest
« on: May 21, 2017, 08:25:35 PM »

The submission period for this contest will be ending on the 31st, if you still intend to participate don't forget!

General / [Article] A Brief Look At Roleplay Communities
« on: May 07, 2017, 11:16:58 PM »

This article briefly goes over communities, being a community lead, and my personal thoughts on what can harm community discourse and contentment.

Text-Based Games / Re: RP Mud/Mu* Dealbreakers
« on: May 05, 2017, 02:59:24 PM »
Well lets explore the principle thing, because I actually used to provide a MUSHclient config file with numerous quality of life improvements to the Armageddon experience. Stuff like basic information aliases, color coding based on threat, and stuff that made outputs easier to sift through like failure/success at foraging.

Anyway so...

Option 1 - Staff provide a color code config but the game itself does not support color code either because of engine limitations or lack of drive to go through all the rooms/items/outputs.

Option 2 - Playerbase provide a color code config but the game  itself does not support color code either because of engine limitations or lack of drive to go through all the rooms/items/outputs.

Option 3 - There is no color code support but the game appeals to you. Do you make your own color code config and provide it to other players?

Which if any of these options would you personally find acceptable based on end user experience and/or principal?

Text-Based Games / Re: RP Mud/Mu* Dealbreakers
« on: May 05, 2017, 12:08:00 PM »
What if the playerbase of a game provides a config file with colorcoding for a MUD that has to much or to little and it's very easy to find/use?

General / Re: [Article] Text-based Games: An Untapped Genre
« on: May 04, 2017, 01:45:08 AM »
Monetizing RP MUDs

There really isn't a problem here at least not a very big one, in my mind. The quality of roleplay should average out amongst the player base. Those who diverge too far from the average in a negative direction will probably experience shunning/stigma from their fellow players who are completely justified in choosing who they spend their time roleplaying with. Meanwhile, from a staff position, you're paid to provide the same story opportunity and quality to everyone.

1. This means you may lose players who do not "fit in" with your roleplay culture
2. This also means you are not catering to the lowest common denominator
3. The internet is large enough that if text-based games were to become viable you would (in theory) have enough average players to make a living
4. I can name two or three text-based RP games right now where there is often a large gap in quality between staff writing and player writing. It is understood that staff is responsible for staff and that player quality can vary. This is also the case in most multi-player online games where your experience may vary based on who you are playing with.

So that kind of addresses the "quality" issue that can crop up on a roleplaying game. I wouldn't view it differently than someone not liking the pvp or pve style of an MMO.

In the instance of policy issues and/or subjective policy, you'd probably want to err towards the customer always being right if it was an isolated incident that didn't affect another player/character directly. I would once again imagine this would be no different than other pay to play games dealing with their policy violators and/or benders.

EDIT - Now there is a significant problem if the average quality of roleplay on your game is lower than you like and you believe it's causing the product you're asking for money for to be less than it could be. More on that in another post!

General / Re: [Contest] May 2017: Questions
« on: May 03, 2017, 09:50:21 PM »
1. The scope of the contest is very broad. I will not be judging on the traditional red shirt trope nor the Star Trek originating trope.
2. Your story can have the red shirt as the main character, secondary character and end at their death or continue past it.
3. The goal of your submission should be to capture some aspect of "red shirt" whether it's a tongue-in-cheek or a deconstruction or a serious tale.

General / [Contest] May 2017: Questions
« on: May 02, 2017, 01:17:33 AM »
This thread is for any rule, contest, or clarification questions.

Announcements / [Contest] May 2017: Redshirt Character Contest
« on: May 02, 2017, 12:57:48 AM »
May 2017 contest

This month's contest is a bit of fun, characterization, and narrative. The submissions for May will be the best red shirt characters you can think of. For those who do not know redshirts are destined to die to raise the stakes or show how mission critical a situation is. There have been many takes on the redshirt over the years but for this contest, you will have three parts to your submission.

1. Genre or IP they exist within. (Example: Scifi, Game of Thrones, Lovecraftian, Marvel, Horror, Mystery, etc)

2. Character Biography & Description --- Please do not exceed 1500 words

3. Scene or Short Story They Die In --- This can be in roleplay form or story form. It shouldn't exceed 1500 words though.

All submissions should be submitted to and be submitted as either googledocs or as a PDF. If you need to convert to a PDF you can use

1st Place wins 75 USD to a paypal of their choice or charity of their choice
2nd place wins 50 USD to a paypal of their choice or charity of their choice
3rd place wins 25 USD to a paypal of their choice or charity of their choice

All winners will be announced by June 3rd and all payments posted by June 7th. Good luck and have fun.


An article was written by Imaginary Realities in May, 2000 about economies. A very simple commentary.

General / [Article] Text-based Games: An Untapped Genre
« on: April 30, 2017, 10:36:33 PM »
This week's article is about text-based games as a genre. How we have different difficulties from other game genres and how we still have hope for a bright future as a genre.

Text-Based Games / Re: [Pitch] City of Marvels
« on: April 30, 2017, 03:54:41 AM »
From being a newbie in character creation to being a veteran character. What kind of example of that play progression or experience can you provide. Is the question i think was being asked.

General / Re: What Are You Reading?
« on: April 30, 2017, 02:29:44 AM »

General / Re: [Article] Games & Economies
« on: April 30, 2017, 02:18:00 AM »
Both models will work fine for a MUD, but as with all things they need to be the proper fit for the goals of a game. The planned growth model would be good for a game where you wanted development and invention to be core aspects of gameplay. I am biased towards the flow-thru model because it is more applicable than other options and is fairly simple to understand. After reading your post and our discussion on discord it is really a semantics argument though as both Planned Growth and Flow-thru can meet many of your goals as stated in the post.

1 - Resources that are player gathered not generated in market
2 - Locations within the gameworld that need/want the resource
3 - Products from the resources
4 - Pricing based on supply/demand
5 - Availability of product based on resource supply
6 - Fragility of resources/goods
7 - Rate of Return / Profitability factor

I rephrase a few of them so if I mischaracterized them I'll edit this post afterwards. Now in the interest of defending my original article I'll briefly walk through some terminology cross over on Flow-thru and then continue on with the elaboration. In my original example of Flow-thru I provided this:

Jeshin creates a new character called Jeshin
Jeshin is given starting equipment and money [ faucet ]
Jeshin begins a newbie quest
Jeshin defeats the mouse lord for the newbie quest
Jeshin is given cheese and reward money [ faucet ]
Jeshin uses the reward money to repair his armor [ sink ]
Jeshin sells his cheese to an NPC for money [ faucet ]
Jeshin purchases additional equipment [ sink ]
Jeshin seeks a new quest

I presented the flow-thru model in a simplified manner and from the perspective of an RPG or a game moreso than an roleplay experience so it would be easier to understand for those just broaching the topic but we can easily make some changes. First thing is first lets modify quest to activity and clarify that cheese is a food/resource. Next lets mixup the example a little bit to make it more closely resemble the action loop in an a roleplay game.

Jeshin creates a new character called Jeshin
Jeshin starts with 3000 coin and some rags to wear [ Faucet ]
Jeshin purchases some gear from the OOC newbie area [ Sink ]
Jeshin enters the game world
Jeshin purchases a mount to leave the city for hunting [ Sink ]
Jeshin leaves the city to go hunting for wild dogs and kills 3!
Jeshin gathers bones, meat, and hides from the dogs [ Faucet ]
Jeshin sells the supplies at market to NPCs
Jeshin rents a cheap room to live out of and keep some of his supplies that don't sell at market [ Sink ]
Jeshin tries to find a hunting partner for their next hunting trip

Functionally very similar but different terminology and maybe a different way to frame the example. Now because of our discussion on discord and in the interest of not debating semantics I will from now on refer to Flow-Thru as RP Centric Flow-thru! Now lets discuss some economic, nitty gritty.

When I approach a game with an economy or a model that needs implementation the first thing I do is break it into levels of design. We'll go through those briefly.

1. Game Themes
2. Roleplay Culture
3. Desired Model
4. Framing of Model
5. Feature & Mechanic Compatibility
6. Projected cycle
7. Return to #1 and compare projected cycle to all previous levels of design for integrity

Game themes are such things as exploration, survival, freedom, politics, intrigue, horror, suspense, invention, corruption, etc etc. Games with clear themes are easier to develop econmies for because you can position them in such a way to promote and strengthen those themes. After you've identified existing themes or decided on themes for a game in development you need to consider the roleplay culture. How are people playing this game, what pace will they be playing, what kind of playstyles will be pre-dominant and supported. This can be things like a more RPI paced short emotes/says with code equating to roleplay or something more even paced with lengthier 4+ line emotes with code either equating to RP or code being done before/after roleplay about it is done. Normally in faster paced games with more direct roleplay you'll find more activity oriented economies versus even/slow paced games with more dialogue in their roleplay having social, mercantile, deal based economies. This isn't to say that those games have those style of economy or model implemented just that those are how players will often engage with whatever existing economy the game has.

Once you've identified themes and roleplay culture you can select your model. This can be something you make up or the RP centric flow-thru or planned growth or whatever you want to pull out of your hat. What is important is that you understand how the model works. Does it hum along on its own? Does it require staff participation? Does it require conflict or pvp to motivate activity? Does it resist conflict because it reduces economic activity? All that jazz For the purpose of continuing we'll say we're choosing the RP centric Flow-thru model which was described above as items, resources, or currency entering the gameworld and then leaving the gameworld after circulating through it for a time.

Framing your model is important because just selecting a model doesn't really do anything for you except provide goals and guidelines for how you want to handle resources/currency/items. So we're using the RP centric Flow-thru model and we're in a survival game. Well we want to frame this model within the realm of collecting, making, using, and bartering. This game is about getting things done, having the right supplies, and trading off what you have excess of. That would be completely different than a political intrigue game that might use estate/territory/land acquisition as a way to gain resources/currency/items that are treated in a more abstract fashion because you're playing someone so wealthy and politically connected that a single high value item isn't significant to you but land holdings are. An RP centric flow-thru model can handle both of these but you need to frame it properly with what your game is actually going to be because a gritty activity and individual item based survival economy isn't going to mesh.

In the interest of keeping this easy for people based on their roleplay experiences we'll stick to the survival game economy and move onto identifying features & mechanics. This is the layer of design that most people interact with and think of when they think of economies on games. This is the place where activity X leads to resource Y which is valued at price Z depending on location. So for a survival game you'll probably have some sort of foraging/search/harvest mechanic and lets say a makeshift mechanic which allows you to combine items/resources into functional tools or shelter. You may be thinking "Jeshin this doesn't sound very economical!" to which I would refer you to the fact economy isn't about loot or currency it's about value.

Jeshin harvests timber from a room with trees/forest
Jeshin harvests stone from a room with a stream or quarry
Jeshin decides to build a shelter from stone
Jeshin sells the timber at market to PC/NPCs

In a functioning economy my choice is determined by value. I value the stone more for shelter because it's more durable and perhaps is not worth very much in currency. Meanwhile timber makes a nicer shelter, maybe even quicker, but it's more valuable to me in currency. Now this is situational because maybe I don't care about money maybe my character wants the nicest shelter possible which is timber and not stone. To draw a brief real world analogy some people value keepsakes and sentimental items more than their actual currency value. In the same way you may pay 100 USD for a gift for someone who would only have paid 25 USD for the same gift. They keep it because it's a gift and if they sold it they'd be willing to sell it for less than you bought it for. Just different valuations of objects and their uses.

Once you've built up the understanding of your game, the roleplay in it, the model you want to use, and how the model will integrate with the mechanics/features you need to map out a theoritical cycle of character action. This can be very specific or you can generalize.

Jeshin logs on
Jeshin checks his shelter for degradation/damage
Jeshin uses some of his stored stones to repair degradation/damage
Jeshin gathers gear
Jeshin goes out to the river to catch fish
Jeshin kills a deer on the way to the river and collects: pelt, antlers, bones, and meat
Jeshin catches 3x trout and 1x catfish
Jeshin cooks the trout before selling antlers/pelt/catfish to NPC/PCs
Jeshin logs out

So lets suppose that shelters are not provided and need upkeep based on the materials used and the weather or something. This means a lot of player time/effort will be centered around their shelter and possibly finding good locations for their shelters. This also means the materials related to shelters could have a higher value to players because of its dominant use within gameplay. Food is evidently plentiful in this game in the example there's a river with fish and a deer on the way to it. Perhaps catfish are rarer and thus a luxury food item and so Jeshin sells it instead of eating it himself. Pelts and antlers could be used to make makeshift tools or proper craftables (assuming there's a distinction between them) so they likewise have more value to someone with the proper skills than Jeshin who is just a gatherer. Now that is important Jeshin's character/role values things in a certain manner but Jane's character/role might be more mercantile despite the survival element and value resources that make complete crafts instead of makeshift crafts more highly. So you should map out as many cycles as you can think of.

Once you have your projected cycles of activity, you back to #1 and make sure it matches your previous decisions/observations about the game and systems you want to be in place. If it does then you're into implementation and player-testing where you don't provide them with much information and see if they naturally come to the same conclusions as you as to how the world will operate. If they have similar or consistent economic valuations on actions then you've probably done a good job. If they're completely off the reservation you might want to re-examining aspects of your model, framing, and mechanic/feature compatability.

EDIT: Fixed the inappropriate [faucet] tag that Many Faces pointed out.

General / Re: Stocks you're watching
« on: April 28, 2017, 12:29:36 PM »
Oil discoveries aren't as big a deal as you might think. It's important to understand that the reason that oil dropped to 40-55 on the futures market is because inventory reached +90%. In fact inventory was actually closer to +98% because a trick that the oil industry does is putting shipments at sea for "delivery" and then leaving the boats out there just hanging out outside of port. In this way the oil is officially listed as in transit and that way the seller of the oil can claim it's to market and there doesn't have to be a buyer because it never reaches port.

You see there are active and inactive "rigs" which means there is oil down there but for some reason the price that oil is going for is to low and it's inactive and not pumping or it's sufficient and the rig is onlined. They track it in articles like:

So basically we go from 120 crude to 50 crude, lots and lots of oil production is offlined in order to save that oil for when the price rises and it's actually profitable to bring it up. Ergo price goes up, more oil production comes back online, more oil gets consumed. Lack of new oil discovery won't affect the market for awhile yet. It's not like the Saud's are discovering new oil in the middle-east :P they've been doing just fine with their existing deposits and are still the highest volume producers in barrels per day BPD.

Announcements / Optional Realities 3.0 Discord Channel
« on: April 26, 2017, 04:05:04 PM »

You can join our discord channel here. I have delayed publicly announcing it in hopes that those who join will be those who have been reading the site over the last few weeks and most interested in development discussions. The rules for Discord are the same as the forums themselves. I hope you join us, we've had some good discussions that can be read via the backlog.

General / [Archives] General Discussion
« on: April 26, 2017, 12:05:58 PM »
This thread can be used to discuss articles and threads from the archive section of the forums in one location. If anything becomes significant enough you can always make a thread for it separately.

Roleplay Culture / Re: Immersion, What is it to You?
« on: April 26, 2017, 11:31:45 AM »
I think immersion is important as it's part of what makes text-based games so compelling. That being said different people have different levels of immersion and obviously there are different levels because MUSHs almost universally lack the danger to character at any moment by coded events that MUDs can provide and yet you will see MUSH players discussing immersion. While I think that there are other levels and it's something I'd like to explore in another post in this thread I'll use my grossly simplified explanation of immersion here for now.

Immersion is when you stop engaging with a meta perspective and instead engage the game as it occurs.

This can mean enjoying a good roleplay scene and just going with the flow without thinking about who is writing this character or other meta aspects of the dialogue/actions. This can be a tense chase scene where you were attacked and are no fleeing from your attacker attempting to evade them and return to safety, not thinking about anything but the next move you are making (codedly). It can be a lot of things.

General / Re: Stocks you're watching
« on: April 26, 2017, 11:15:04 AM »
I am currently watching , they are offering 5% of their company in an IPO this year. There are disputes about the valuation being between 1.3 trillion and 1.5 trillion. I'm not watching for any monetary gain but because this company is objectively the geopolitical arm of the country and even though it is being transferred wholesale to a holding investment company to be offered as an IPO, that company is also state run by the royal family. It should be a very interesting IPO and the affect on crude could be more significant than people realize.

Game Design / Re: Beyond Muds
« on: April 26, 2017, 11:03:01 AM »
I believe the sentiment that MUDs don't compete on the same draws as video games isn't to say that video games cannot offer a virtual reality experience (which is considered the holy grail of immersion) but that MUDs will always be the books of gaming. No matter how good the graphics, how good the controls, how good the VR technology MUDs will always appeal to a different (but similar) part of our brains.

Game Design / Re: [Mechanic] RPP/XP Gains
« on: April 25, 2017, 08:29:21 PM »
One system that is glossed over a bit is the gain as you use system. There is no XP or RPP but instead the proficiency/level/mastery of individual skills a character has which are raised through usage. This system is implemented by the majority of games claiming RPI titles.

Game Design / Re: Should all things have an ending?
« on: April 25, 2017, 06:19:37 PM »
I think that a lot of games would benefit from pwipes if not outright ending. This is a topic that Jaunt, Apollo, and I once discussed. Episodic MUDs that exist for 2-3 years and then end. That being said there are plenty of MUDs that actually do semi-regular pwipes. I know there is a very popular star wars RP mud that pwipes every 1-2 years and has new metaplots each time. They also change the spot in the timeline they start each time. There is also a Dragonball Z roleplay MUD which pwipes every 1 - 1.5 years. In general I think that ending arcs and recycling the character base (not playerbase) is beneficial to a game. Haven for example has fairly regular reboots as it's on iteration 3.0 and often you will see a loss of activity and interest leading into the end of an iteration only to have them hit peak numbers again upon the reboot/re-release.

That isn't to say that a MUD can't just keep going and I think there are benefits to that but it all has to be part of your vision for the game. Do you want something with a beginning middle and end and potentially a greater impact or do you want something that is more 'stable' and a place for people to explore characters within a slowly but generally same-y world?

Game Design / Re: MUD Codebases
« on: April 24, 2017, 07:30:51 PM »
I believe he was assisting me in providing supported and well known MUSH codebases which I said I would attempt to do at the end of my post.

General / Re: Python programming 101
« on: April 24, 2017, 11:37:50 AM » has numerous python courses as well as tkinter (spelling?) and django. It's worth the money.

Text-Based Games / Re: [Pitch] ASOIAF RPI
« on: April 24, 2017, 10:09:15 AM »
If you enjoy the Witcher, Icarus from SOI has obtained permission to use their IP meaning you likely can as well.

General / [Article] Games & Economies
« on: April 23, 2017, 11:02:00 PM »
This article gives some context to game economies not only for MUDs but other genres. It explains the different challenges and provides two suggested methods of handling economies in your own games.

The Article

I used to qualify text-based games as a "controlled distraction" to prevent over trading. So basically while I was trading, I was playing. This meant I was pulling something like 8 - 15 hours a day minimum during the weekdays. The level of attention varied based on market potential but I was generally around. Nowadays closer to 2-5 when I decide to "plug in".

Archives / [Article] Designing Immersive Combat Systems by Jaunt
« on: April 22, 2017, 12:21:03 PM »
This article was written by Jaunt to explore immersive combat and provide some of the ideas we were using on Project Redshift at the time.

Archives / [Article] The Art of the Epic Story
« on: April 22, 2017, 12:19:13 PM »
This was written by Alucard, best known from their involvement with Shadows of Isildur.

Archives / [Article] Designing and Iterating New Features by Slither
« on: April 22, 2017, 12:17:40 PM »
This was the first article written by Slither a staffer at Sindome.

Archives / [Article] Player Building by Tyr
« on: April 22, 2017, 12:11:38 PM »

This was Tyr's first article with Optional Realities and outlines the inspirations and thought process behind extensive player building and customization.

Archives / [Contest] June 2015
« on: April 22, 2017, 12:08:23 PM »
This contest was to write a story within a setting of an existing game.

The Contest Folder

Archives / [Contest] September 2015
« on: April 22, 2017, 12:06:41 PM »
This was a writing contest to conceive of an antagonist/villain concept.

Avatar of the Zeitgeist


Nanny Anny


Archives / [Contest] May 2015
« on: April 22, 2017, 12:01:01 PM »
This was an elevator pitch contest for various text-based games. The winner was Usurper by Griatch.

Ecology MUD

End Game HUB

Grey MUD

Dark Earth


Text-Based Games / Re: [Pitch] ASOIAF RPI
« on: April 19, 2017, 12:57:28 PM »
We literally added a like button to allow for +1s without having to post it!

Text-Based Games / Re: [Pitch] ASOIAF RPI
« on: April 19, 2017, 01:32:36 AM »
Minor comment on this pitch before I get into a large commentary later. Just because something might be like something else, don't shy away from it. If it's well executed and if it has a vision of its own any similarities will be just that similarities. Besides having aspects shared with another game just makes your game more accessible to players that played that game and are looking for something new.

General / Re: BUGS!
« on: April 19, 2017, 01:23:21 AM »
If you clear your cache for the website we've updated some of the forum theme settings.

Text-Based Games / Re: [Pitch] ASOIAF RPI
« on: April 18, 2017, 08:26:02 PM »
You could do the early history of Dorne when the Rhoynar invaded fleeing the dragon kings of Volantis and took over the territory.

Roleplay Culture / Re: RP Game Punishments
« on: April 18, 2017, 06:52:15 PM »
So if a player files a complaint against someone they think is violating a botting rule or is harassing your character because they know which character you play. You want those to be made publicly? Or do you mean player complaints about the game (like rules or staff attitude or balance issues) should be made publicly?

Game Design / [Mechanic] Crowded Room Roleplay
« on: April 18, 2017, 03:57:58 PM »
As a text-based game there is writing and reading time involved with our medium. This is normally no big deal people are able to roleplay at whatever pace they and their companions set. However when you get "crowds" this can become difficult and there are a myriad of ways to address this situation from gentleman's agreements about posting order or limiting posts to just the essential. There are also coded methods of addressing this in some games where characters can join locations or places and simply have their posts display to those at their place or do larger emotes to the entire room. Often times the number of characters it takes before a scene is crowd has to do with the roleplay styles involved but lets look at a mechanical way of addressing this.

<Note: A room would be flagged crowded after 6 people are in it so in a room with 5 or less emotes would echo to everyone else normally>

Jeshin, Durendal, Redacted, Clarity, RuCookie, Inzu, Daniel, and Ruckover are in a room titled The Feast of Lights Tavern

Jeshin, Inzu, Ruckover, and Durendal are sitting at a table

Clarity and Redacted are sitting at a booth

Daniel is just entering the room and nowhere specific


You have 3 commands (inspired by HavenRPG) Announce, Emote, and Subtle

Announce - echoes the output of a post to the entire room like a normal emote/emit/pose might

Emote - Echoes the output of a post to those at your location and anyone @targetted in your post

Subtle - Echoes exclusively to those at your location and nowhere else

(Announcement) Jeshin rises up from the table with Durendal, Inzu, and Ruckover and begins to sing in a bawdy tone "What a lovely bunch of coconuts, tiddly dum, there they are all standing in a row... Bum bum!" [everyone sees]

(Subtle) Inzu looks up at @Jeshin and shakes his head, "You look like an idiot." [Only the location sees]

(emote) Durendal comments to @Ruckover, "He does look like an idiot." before nodding to @Daniel and making a beckoning motion to join them [Location and anyone @targetted sees]

(emote) Clarity watches @Jeshin and laughs at the sudden outburst, shaking her head at the man before saying to her companion "So silly." [location and anyone @targetted sees]

For the moment lets assume that we're not implementing eavesdropping/perception/watch/focus code into this game. Instead lets focus on the biggest issue with a large screen, the screen scroll from to many posts. Often in large scenes people will be courteous and target those that they are interacting with, but others will see it. In games where you have location specific posts/emotes some people will throw out what they believe to be overt actions to the whole room such as waving for someone to approach their location or calling out a greeting to someone at another table. These actions build up and the scroll from "filler" posts and those at your location can become overwhelming and discourage players from fully enjoying the benefits of a large scene.

In my proposed example we are removing the primary cause for large crowd spam which is "visible filler posts" by tying the ability to provide information to specific people via emote with @targets. In this way roomwide announcement posts would no longer be used for drawing the attention of specific people or trying to convey dirty looks or anything like that. Instead they will be used by staff or center of attention characters (ideally). This simple change could make larger scenes easier to manage while retaining the benefits of existing approaches to it.

1. How does you think games can handle crowded scenes?

2. Are there any significant unmentioned drawbacks to the approach provided?

3. Are crowded scenes problematic on games that you play? What kind of problems do they have specifically?

Roleplay Culture / Re: RP Game Punishments
« on: April 18, 2017, 12:40:50 PM »

What are your opinions on player complaints?

Do you think they are invaluable to handling abuses/policy violations?

Would you rather your players focus on play and not place complaints?

What would your ideal scenario of a player complaint and staff response be?

EDIT: About staff or other players, you can answer separately for both categories.

Roleplay Culture / Re: RP Game Punishments
« on: April 18, 2017, 11:10:12 AM »
As for how I would like to see rules handled. Separate post because I can! Also break it up.

1. Published rules
2. Published escalation to rules
3. Assigned staffer(s) to handle interactions with players
4. Log or time requirements for assigned staffer(s) to get a lot of the potential rule violation when reported by other staff.

I think that an arbitrary hierarchy is efficient. You see someone you report something but you need to provide the time or a log for the policy staffer(s) to work with. Ideally the rules that can be violated are all listed and objective (as much as possible) which will cut down on the opinions of whichever staff happens to see an incident at any given time. Nothing is ideal but I feel like this allows for flexibility as well as accountability staff side.

Roleplay Culture / Re: RP Game Punishments
« on: April 18, 2017, 10:58:45 AM »
I have seen 3 systems used with mixed results on games.

1. Bureaucracy

This system normally involves a ticket or request tool and expands beyond policy to include story/plot/character requests. Often times multiple staff will review a ticket but only one will respond, sometimes only one will review and respond. The ticket/request system tends to have rules about sharing correspondence with staff. This system allows for soft pressure to be applied to players deemed as problematic by asking questions about their motives or requests for their characters. It also maintains a log of all issues and all discussion staff-side creating a sort of history/attitude towards a player by virtue of previous discussions and attitudes being archived. Only one MUD and several MUSHes I know of implement a +job/+task/request tool system.

The downside is that it can feel impersonal and the back and forth nature can lose context/tone which is already difficult in a text medium.

2. Arbitrary Hierarchy

This system normally involves levels of staff attention. You may have someone who is just a builder or storyrunner that sees something questionable or a rules violation. Sometimes they will approach you and discuss the problem, possibly provide a warning, or inform you that there is a problem. From there they will often pass an anecdotal retelling of the problem up the food chain or provide copy+paste logs of it. This will either go up one level or to a policy staffer or just whoever the highest staffer is that wants to deal with this issue. They may take the original staff story at face value, they may check runlogs, they may ask the player several questions to feel out the problem.

The downside here is telephone and the subjective opinion of whichever staff is making the initial complaint against the player. Also there may or may not be procedures on how to handle things internally when a problem is spotted and how to verify the incident.

3. Staff Prerogative

Some games still run this where individual staffers are able to make judgement calls on player behaviour, player roleplay, or player policy violations on their own. They handle the incident themselves and then normally inform other staff of their decision on the matter. It's a more classic 1 on 1 approach to things with the obvious issue being poor communication can cause issues with enforcement.

Downside here is that if a staffer steps out of line or makes a mistake unless it is a major one there is rarely a correction. There is normally a sense that contradicting other staff publicly weakens policy enforcement and staff authority so unless it is a complete blunder of a decision the staffer who made the mistake will get a behind the scenes talking to about whatever the problem was and the playerbase will be unawares to it.

These are not all the methods of staffing I have scene and they're my own personal broadstrokes on the issue.

General / Re: [Article] Managing Expectations: How & Why?
« on: April 17, 2017, 09:58:00 PM »
Since I have a break at the moment...

There is a difference between being honest and managing expectations versus reviewing your game, realizing you're not fulfilling some aspect of your website/promotional material. For example I'm going to use Arx MUSH here. @Tehom  recently stated in that there was an influx of unexpected archetypes in his game. Perhaps those players thought that shady concepts would be supported based on the website. Perhaps they simply assumed.

Is Arx MUSH mismanaging expectations? Is there something misleading in their promotional material or website? I doubt they specifically advertised support for an archetype they weren't expecting high player population in. That being said they can easily make a note that shady concepts are being supported at the moment through XYZ methods and that coded systems are on the horizon after their crisis system or social systems are completed. In this way they can take advantage of the player interest in an unexpected archetype, be accurate in their website/promotional material, and provide guidance on what players can expect with support from the game or staff with those roles. So that would be an example of adjusting to player desires or expectations that were not intentionally promoted by the staff or game.

Another example would be Carrier RPI. The game was promoted as a suspense / horror / mystery. The staff certainly tried to keep suspense and horror at the forefront by there were some design elements lacking to sustain it and invariably peoples roleplay will trend towards the norm because you can't be freaking out 24/7 without considerable effort. This means when a newbie fresh to the world and the shock of being on an island with no memories of how they got there might be disappointed by the "well adjusted" characters they find. This is an easy fix as you adjust your website/promotional material to indicate it's a survival game (which would be accurate for day to day play) with instances of extreme horror and suspense as well as an ongoing mystery. Perhaps provide a little example of the day to day gameplay a player can expect and your newbie will hopefully not be dismayed at finding a rugged but functional society in their suspense/horror game where they might have mistakenly thought it would be 24/7. In this instance the staff may have wanted consistent horror but due to player habits and lacking supporting automated horror elements they just couldn't maintain it. There is no shame in that as long as they adjust the expectations of existing and new players.

General / Re: [Article] Managing Expectations: How & Why?
« on: April 17, 2017, 01:11:20 PM »
Yeah while I was re-reading it before publishing it to the blog I was like: Man this is not one of my best intros. Then I made a note to go back through the earlier part of the repository of articles to double check they're not disjointed since they were written over a long timeframe with me coming basck to them at different stages.

As to the missed point that players with wrong expectations of play are harmful to existing players. I hadn't really considered it before. I'd always considered the issue of misrepresentation being an issue to the player that is under the wrong expectation. Now that you raise the point I can see that someone playing off-theme can be problematic for existing players as it forces them to contend with a character played outside the norm by someone unaware they they are being abnormal. Definitely an angle to expand on during this topic.

The part of the article that I most wanted to drive home though was realistic depiction of gameplay. Nothing is more disheartening than promising a hated/outcast/disliked character concept to players only to have them enter the game and find a grand shrug and 'meh' to their undesirableness. Especially when their concept only works with some minor hostility to fuel their roleplay. I've seen it happen quite often and yet games will continually claim that they are meant to be undesirable and that it is the playerbase letting down these concepts instead of the staff/game. This is partially true but more can always be done to incentivize undesirable concepts being treated poorly it's just a matter of finding the right approach and codifying or implementing it.

Pages: [1] 2