Author Topic: Present State of Things  (Read 1711 times)

Offline Jet Jockey

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Present State of Things
« on: April 25, 2012, 02:00:42 PM »
The following is my opinion and doesn't necessarily reflect the views of the Macross Roleplaying Galaxies.   A similar post was also made by me behind closed doors and I decided to make a public statement as well.

The Present State of Things
We only have two semi-active games and third that is forming.   On average these games contain only three members.  Each of one these games has a potential to collapse.  Just takes a single player or game master to stop posting and a game is crippled.  Way I see it is this place is dying.  If we continue carrying on as usual it will die.

I would like to say let's just recruit more players but the days of easy new player recruitment is long over.  There use to be a time when new players would find sites like our on their own or they would be recruited from another board.   A random visitor isn't going to be that impressed enough with our current activity.

Mecha and even Macross interested PbP roleplayers are out there but they aren't that all interested playing on such a specific website.  If you search the internet you'll find such roleplayers on the message boards for game publishers and on general Roleplaying sites.  Those sites often have their own PbP forum where people play.  We use to be able to directly recruit new players from those sites.   Now that is a extremely rare for anyone to leave their Roleplaying home for another.  Instead of asking them to come to us we should be coming to them.
I suggested that we franchise our activities to these other sites.  Going out and starting new games where these other players are.

Will this bring new players to us here?  I don't know.  If we bring a Macross game to them they won't have too many reasons to play here.   We can still provide them with a couple of good reasons to visit.  People don't stray too far from their home message boards because it is their home.  One thing those PbP games lack are sections to support their games.  Each game typically gets just an OOC and IC thread.  That's it.  They have no separate place for Characters Stats, Maps and the like.  It all gets buried in the OOC thread.  We can run games where they are but use our site keep all the support information and topics.

When they come here to read the Stats of their Mecha or bios of their game's NPCs they can also read about the Game we are playing here.   This can be our advanced or showcase game.  You may have noticed I used the word "Game" here instead of "Games."  The Games we currently have going are not that strong.   Instead of risking things with three unstable games we should combine all of our resources together for one game.  With all members playing in a single game.  I don't expect many to like both of these ideas but with the current state of things I think drastic changes might be needed.
"Why would Anglia Jolie adopt my son when I offered to make one with her the natural way?"

Offline aythati

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Re: Present State of Things
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2012, 09:08:55 PM »
I would be interested in a combined game. A game with lots of active players would be great. I just like to comment on the lore Having a detail world is great, but it can also be an entrance barrier for new players. I don't have much free time as it is and I'm some times too tired to look up the back history of a particular city/planet/ship. Lore breaking posts can annoying old players and discourage new players.

I would like to make a suggestion if we do start a game.  We should have someone well verse in the lore, and who is willing to take the time to introduce newbies to the game world. Maybe spend a few "episodes" taking the newbies on a tour of the main setting and introduce them to it. It would give everyone an opportunity to build some connections with the game world and other Player characters. Having the players know each other more would avoid troublesome PC vs PC conflicts, and build some rapport.


Offline Jet Jockey

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Re: Present State of Things
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2012, 11:35:44 AM »
I would like to make a suggestion if we do start a game.  We should have someone well verse in the lore, and who is willing to take the time to introduce newbies to the game world. Maybe spend a few "episodes" taking the newbies on a tour of the main setting and introduce them to it. It would give everyone an opportunity to build some connections with the game world and other Player characters. Having the players know each other more would avoid troublesome PC vs PC conflicts, and build some rapport.

I was thinking if we did one game it would consist of a GM & a Spare GM.  If that GM got sick, computer blew up or quit there would always be someone ready to fill in.  That same person could help with some of the NPCs and they can also be there to help guide what new members we do find.
"Why would Anglia Jolie adopt my son when I offered to make one with her the natural way?"

Offline Sketchley

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Re: Present State of Things
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2012, 12:34:56 PM »
Personally I'm concerned about what's going to happen to the MRG after May 11.

Any talk about changes can wait until we know if there will even be an MRG to change...

Offline Jet Jockey

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Re: Present State of Things
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2012, 06:01:52 PM »
Let me guess the renewal date?   No news from a certain party yet.

I have doubts that in its current condition that our members are going to be as willing to support it as they previous have been.   Might be wise to make an updated master email contact list for everyone before the 11th passes by.   

"Why would Anglia Jolie adopt my son when I offered to make one with her the natural way?"

Offline Sketchley

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Re: Present State of Things
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2012, 10:35:36 PM »
I disagree with changing the site to a 1 pony show.

I agree that changes have to be made, but we also cannot forget the things that made those of us who are still here continue coming here.


My suggestions:
#1 Forget about game systems/system mechanics:
Keep all of that behind closed doors.  Make every game as accessible as possible with the most generic of game terms - the character sheet becomes a combination of the two quotes at the end of the post.  The GM works out the game mechanics based on the character sheet.
At most, the potential players have a list of generic archetypes they can choose from (the Fokker type, the Dyson type, the Saotome type, etc.).  This should give players something closer to their vision of the character and make it easier for the GM to come up with stats in whatever system the GM wants to use.
The only change to the existing status quo is that each GM has to come up with a posting guideline.  (What offensive/defensive actions and movement can be taken in a turn, how long a turn is, etc..)

#2 - Diversify:
Yes, we are a Macross themed RPGing site.  Keep this as our focus.
However, the more open we are to alternative settings, the more likely we are to expand our membership of active gamers.

#3 - Targeted advertising:
Highlight the strengths of the MRG.  Why do we come here and play?  What are the positives?
In my case, living in Japan, there is simply no one else nearby to play RPGs.  Plus, I get to play RPGs with people ALL OVER THE WORLD.  I can't be the only one like this.
Note: not suggesting that we purchase advertising.  Just word of mouth stuff.

#4 - an active general discussion board:
If there's any barometer of the site, it's the GD.  Yeah, it's hard coming up with things to talk about (I've tried), and having diverse interests makes it hard to come up with responses.  But everyone should make an effort.  Who knows, that person you're talking to in the GD might become interested in the games your playing (or running) and want to join.



Quote
Character's Name
Gender:
Age: (Between 16-20, 18-30 & even up to 45 for Characters in a Command role)
Birthplace:
Height: (cm)
Weight: (kg)
Occupation: (A Pilot is the most common occupation for new and current players.  Some individual GMs may have need for others.  Consult a GM if you're interested in something else).
Affiliation: UNSpacy.
Rank: (To be filled by a GM)
Assignment: (To be filled by a GM)
Repuation: (To be filled by a GM & course of play)
Kills: (Pilot only see below)

Quote
Character's Name:
Occupation:
Rank: (GM will determine)
Age:
Gender:
Handedness:
Hair colour:
Eye colour:
Family Ethniticity:
Height: cm
Weight: kg
Description:
Birthplace World:
Birthplace Settlement:
Birthplace Class:
Birth Order:
Family:
Who do you value most:
What do you value most:
Basic Personality:
World view:
Current outlook:
Belief System:
Likes:
Dislikes:
Closest Ally or Friend:
Worst Enemy or Rival:
Biggest Secret:
Short Term Goal:
Long Term Goal:
Reason For Joining:
Childhood:
Life Events:

Offline Jet Jockey

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Re: Present State of Things
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2012, 11:39:28 AM »
I disagree with changing the site to a 1 pony show.

Do we currently have enough people here to do more than just a 1 trick pony? 

Quote
My suggestions:
#1 Forget about game systems/system mechanics:
Keep all of that behind closed doors.  Make every game as accessible as possible with the most generic of game terms.


I think that makes sense.  You avoid the whole issue of system conflicts by making the system a non-issue.   I should mention that roleplayers especially mecha ones do tend to be system & stat focused.

Quote
#2 - Diversify:
Yes, we are a Macross themed RPGing site.  Keep this as our focus.
However, the more open we are to alternative settings, the more likely we are to expand our membership of active gamers.

But aren't their a ton of larger sites that already do this?  Why pick us over them?

Quote
#3 - Targeted advertising:
Highlight the strengths of the MRG.  Why do we come here and play?  What are the positives?
In my case, living in Japan, there is simply no one else nearby to play RPGs.  Plus, I get to play RPGs with people ALL OVER THE WORLD.  I can't be the only one like this.
Note: not suggesting that we purchase advertising.  Just word of mouth stuff.

I think we've been using word of mouth.  I think we've all told our current internet friends about this place.    We can make new internet roleplaying friends.   We gotta find them first and they're usually on other roleplaying sites.   Just posting ads on other sites doesn't work anymore.  You've got to take part and build relationships on these sites.

"Why would Anglia Jolie adopt my son when I offered to make one with her the natural way?"

Offline Cobalt

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Re: Present State of Things
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2012, 12:32:54 PM »
I am torn on the 1 game idea.  Part of me thinks that it could work.  You start with a flagship campaign, with all the players involved and then you build outward.  If the plot supports players taking on second characters and the players are reliable, then you open a second sub-campaign to support the primary campaign.

In terms of game mechanics, what about posting archetypes?  You could do something along the lines of the Jovian Chronicles and Heavy Gear RP campaign archetypes and you have skills pre-made.  For example:

Rookie Mecha Pilot
Military Protocol - 1
Pilot: Mecha - 2
Small Arms - 2
Computer Use - 3
Drive: Car - 3
Etiquette - 2

Veteran Mecha Pilot
Military Protocol - 3
Pilot: Mecha - 4
Small Arms - 3
Computer Use - 3
Drive: Car - 4
Etiquette - 3

Ace Mecha Pilot
Military Protocol - 3
Pilot: Mecha - 5
Small Arms - 4
Computer Use - 3
Drive: Car - 5
Etiquette - 3

It could be as simple or as advanced as you want to make it.

Offline Jet Jockey

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Re: Present State of Things
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2012, 07:02:34 PM »
Main reason why I suggested one game is that 3 games with 2 to 3 people in them isn't that stable.  It is safer to have one strong game than 3 unstable ones.

"Why would Anglia Jolie adopt my son when I offered to make one with her the natural way?"

Offline Sketchley

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Re: Present State of Things
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2012, 09:03:05 AM »
Do we currently have enough people here to do more than just a 1 trick pony? 

Yes.

Quote
I think that makes sense.  You avoid the whole issue of system conflicts by making the system a non-issue.   I should mention that roleplayers especially mecha ones do tend to be system & stat focused.

I'll refine the suggestion:
Make all games accessible by removing knowledge of a particular set of game mechanics as a requirement to play.

It's the one aspect I really liked about the MRC: we use "X", but you don't need to know it in order to play.


Quote
But aren't their a ton of larger sites that already do this?  Why pick us over them?

Lots of large sites are 50%+ Macross games with a bunch of non-Macross games occupying the remainder?


Quote
I think we've been using word of mouth.  I think we've all told our current internet friends about this place.    We can make new internet roleplaying friends.   We gotta find them first and they're usually on other roleplaying sites.   Just posting ads on other sites doesn't work anymore.  You've got to take part and build relationships on these sites.

I think we gotta work on the relationships we have here.  Already.  There are a bunch of active and lurking members that know people who used to play.  Heck, we used to be a thriving community.  When did we become so antisocial?

Offline Jet Jockey

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Re: Present State of Things
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2012, 11:42:05 AM »
You really do think we have enough players for one more one game?  When I first started this thread a month ago there was 2 semi-active games and 3rd that was forming.  I think each of these games had at least player or GM who was going through a slow down in their avaliablity.  It doesn't take much more than that to cripple games of that size.  By my estimate we've got as few as 6 (9 at the most) members to work with.  If we've got them divided among too many games or worst a member taking on roles in multiple games it can be very risky.

Quote
I think we gotta work on the relationships we have here.  Already.  There are a bunch of active and lurking members that know people who used to play.  Heck, we used to be a thriving community.  When did we become so antisocial?

People get older priority changes.   Some of us take break and come back.  Some don't.   Some decide they rather play something else.   Some decide they rather not play at multiple sites.   Some will still be active but do not play.   Some will just lurk.   Some will express interest in playing in PM or on the boards but will never follow through.  Despite whether they want to play or not for whatever reason they aren't playing.   We really shouldn't work on getting these people to play and here's why: The person or lurker who send you a PM about maybe joining a game who doesn't follow through is best left alone.   Chances are that their life is too busy right now to make room for a pbp game.   Even if you really work hard to get them to play that busy life of their's will come and take them out of the game.  I rather have members playing who know that can be around to play than someone who couldn't leave at any week.  If existing members don't have desire or time to play you branch out to those new who do have desire or time.
"Why would Anglia Jolie adopt my son when I offered to make one with her the natural way?"

Offline Zed

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Re: Present State of Things
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2012, 02:43:20 PM »
I think we should also ask ourselves, "What did our most succesful games have that kept people interested that our current or recent games did not? "

I think somewhat it is playing with interesting players,  and somewhat it is knowing the game will keep pace or is interesting. I think we may have to also ask if we've lost touch with the ability to make a compelling world. JJ and Sketchley,  you both have been in,  and moderated/gm'd some of the most successful and long running games, of which many were watched by non players. What made those so special?
« Last Edit: May 19, 2012, 02:47:44 PM by Cerebellum von Doom »

Offline Jet Jockey

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Re: Present State of Things
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2012, 07:18:03 PM »
I also had equal number of failures.

Most games look very promising starting off.   In the past there was no problem finding players for a new games. They crank out character sheets and everyone was posting during the first month.  That first month is crucial.  If you still kept half of the number of players by the end of the first month you'll have a successful campaign.  If you can't even keep half of them the game has little chance.

Interesting Players really do help.   I'll use the example of the infamous "Green Team" from the MRC.   When I first joined the MRC they had us in training squadrons.   In "Green Team" training squadron almost everyone of us was an interesting player.  We were very good playing off of eachother.   During our time together we pretty much hijacked everything and stole the show.  The MRC made one major mistake.  When our characters graduated from training they broke us up.   Each one of us going to a different Squadron.   At the most there may have been 2 of us together.  I think was just their standard policy at the time.   They really should seen they had a winning combination of players and keep us together.  Maybe they thought each one of us could help boost the different games we were in.   Maybe they thought we too rowdy and this was to keep things under control.  Results were when separated we weren't able to create that same group dynamic in a new group.   I think we all left the MRC going our separate ways.  Every roleplaying group has to click.  It isn't just the Game Master creating interesting challenges for the players.   That's good for solo games and dungeon crawls.  You want players to keep posting not just to see what happens next but to keep posting to interact with eachother in character.   The best players are proactive ones.   They are ones who will start roleplaying with eachother creating their own little mini scenarios before the GM posts again.   The other players will do nothing but wait for the GM.   If I'm Gming a new game that has at least two proactive players then I am very happy.  When you get proactive players you gotta keep them together, focus on them and make them happy.  I think it is cruel for a GM to have their favorites but if you want to have a successful game you gotta keep your proactive/interesting players happy.   Still things change and even the most proactive players go away.

Creating a compelling world is only a small part.  I can create the worst setting ever and it will still be a success if I can click with my players and they click with eachother.    We can brain storm all the compelling setting that we want.  Sure people will be quick to sign up for a excellent setting but if they aren't proactive roleplayers who click with eachother then that's that.   

Even we do create a great setting you still gotta convince people to come here to play.   Compared to some mega sites we really don't have that much to entice them to come over.   Years ago it was easy to find new members using all the former methods.   For the last few years we've pretty had zero growth.   We did a fair job keeping what members we had but eventually everybody take at leave at least once and only some of us come back.


That was too much typing and yes the hell with proof reading.
"Why would Anglia Jolie adopt my son when I offered to make one with her the natural way?"

Offline Zed

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Re: Present State of Things
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2012, 12:52:14 PM »
I do remember loving the joining board process of the MRG.  Being placed into a training squadron was a great way to get your feet wet while it was figured out where you might go and what you might join.  I would suggest we restart that process, except unfortunately it only works when there is a large number of recruits almost monthly.

So stats is one way we used to really get users, but I think another thing we may want to think about is how a growing number of new and young RP players don't exactly know what Macross is.  Macross Plus was the last 'published' set of videos in the United States, with bootleg Macross Zero dvd's showing up in some less than savory comic shops.  Now I'm not saying we start hosting Macross videos.  We'd get shut down faster than anything doing that.  But I think in our new website design we should include a page titled, "Just what is Macross?"  On it, we'll have an entry on it that is more or less by the book, and then I think each staff member that is voted in should do a "100 words or less" type description of what they feel Macross is.  Also include a few youtube links to AMV's of the various Macross productions, and any other links that can further immerse people into the world of what we are actually roleplaying without violating copyright laws.

Offline Sketchley

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Re: Present State of Things
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2012, 12:32:36 PM »
I've been mulling over this topic for the past few weeks (and admittedly forgetting about it for most of the time).

I think I have a solution:
Instead of 1 game, keep it to 1 campaign.  We have the M45-3 Conflict all set up.  We should just funnel new players into that.  If they prove themselves, then they can join one of the other games on the site.