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PostPosted: 05 Nov 2009, 09:14 pm 
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To the Devokanites,
I get to talk to Dot every so often. But I'm still not sure what you gals and guys want to do with Devokan... beyond have fun. I am hoping that this thread can let us put together your ideas and get them out where others can pick up on them and add to them.

I am going to place some of my thoughts here and get the post going. These are my thoughts and observations and suggestions and I won't be hurt if you don't like them.

Also, you may not want all the planning in the open. You may not want everyone commenting. So, if you prefer a private thread or already have one just let me know.

First, Devokan is a beautiful place. It is one of the prettier builds in all of SL. Take a bow. Having made SL's Hot Spots is no small achievement.

Second, you have a role play going. We see it here and on MOUL. Since those posts are regularly appearing someone likely has some idea in mind for what they are to accomplish. That may just be to have fun and those posting are part of that. If it is more than that, what is the goal?

Third, with the publicity Devokan is receiving in the SL world what do you want to do with the visitors?

Fourth, Talking with Dot I realized we are novice RPG people, at least that is my impression. If anyone here is a knowledgeable RP'er, speak up. I've spent the last several months learning RP in some of SL's more elite RPG's. Some of the well known RP people in SL give classes and explain the fine points of role play. For the purposes of Devokan the Myst style RP of you-are-you... all the fine points of advanced role play are probably not needed. Especially as many of the idea and rules center around conflict. The problem I see Devokan challenges with is how to get novice players and non-rp types comfortable with Devokan rp and allow the experienced rp people from SL to understand what they have walked into.

Fifth, while I think everyone seems fine with letting the story develop in some organic fashion, I think that limits how others can join in and contribute.

Sixth, keeping all this fun and easy should probably be a goal. The Uru style attitude of see a need and fill it mixed with a you want it done, do it attitudes will probably help keep things simple. But how one executes that and keeps it practical might need some thought.

----
I think those are basic things to think about.

Back to this You-Are-You style. It seems Uru and Devokan are not the only ones to come up with that idea. One other SL RPG is going that direction. Mayday Island is going that direction. One of the experienced players from one of the RPG's I'm interested in is starting this new SIM and RPG. I don't know her well but I have taken a couple of her classes. Check out this page: Mayday Island Character
Mayday Island wrote:
You can play any contemporary character: a lawyer, a student, a retired person. A characteristic of Mayday Island, is to play a "normal person" plunged into a totally abnormal situation.
[...]
Mayday Island is just like real life… with a twist. An exceptional situation, caused by unexplainable elements.


This will probably be a good site to get ideas from.

For those that have little or no idea how RP is done to make it fun the Mayday Island Roleplay Guidelines will help. The first thing you will read is about free form RP, which is what Devokan seems to be. You will also see that the page is incomplete. But all the basic ideas are there.

When RP is done in a fun and respectful way everyone is helping each other... which is what most of us are into, especially those in GoMa. My ladder search can be coordinated so that at some point I can get a ladder in the Lost Pages. In good RP that won’t happen until those involved agree.

Also several RPG’s post schedules. They let people know when events are going on or when key players will be there.

=====
What some of the things you may want to let people in on are like Quin's exploring of Selintica. I think it is still being built. So, it may be good to let people know that writing about exploits in Selintica should be delayed until after Quin opens the area. It does not we can't explore there... just not add that to our RP story yet and not point it out to new explorers until he is ready. I can spend all November looking for a ladder and it can get really silly. I suspect there are lots of people that will get a kick out of it.

None of this need be set in stone. But giving heads up will let the story move from a thing you guys are doing to something others can join, at least that is my hope.

=====
Also, there are layers to what goals you may want to set. I have an interest in MOOS. I have no idea how that will manifest. I would love to import MOUL into SL but that is a massive project and I am not at all sure SL is up to it. I've found lots of problems with that idea but it is possible.

When MOOS comes out on its own shards, I would probably like to support that effort. We have only a general idea of how that may look. But, if it does come out as a positive thing, I would like to funnel new people into the game. There are lots of things that may happen to make that a bad idea. Other problems might mean I would want to delay sending people there. But I think it is probable that I will want to do send people at some point. So, I am planning for that. I think Devokan might be a good promotion for MOOS. At least we can experiment with introducing people to Devokan RP and see what works and what fun is.

Let me know what things I can do to help.

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Nalates Urriah is my SL and OSGrid name - MOULagain: Nal KI#oo o83 543 - Nalates KI#111451
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PostPosted: 06 Nov 2009, 05:27 am 
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Hi Nalates

Thanks for putting together this post.

We need to get Holli over here -- she is interested in RP and ARG ideas.

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PostPosted: 10 Nov 2009, 10:36 am 
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I'm here, I'm alive! I'm a bit new to the style of RPing needed for SL, but I'm a quick study.


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PostPosted: 10 Nov 2009, 03:46 pm 
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I'm fairly experienced in the RP world, believe it or not. ;) As much as I don't act it or seem it, I actually have been RP'ing for years, both inside and outside a virtual world. (Let me tell you, RP'ing in RL in the middle of a small podunk town out in hicksville during winter and freezing my butt off is SO MUCH FUN! Seriously! :D )

Now that I've ruined my reputation as an innocent and slightly withdrawn typical female who -- wait, I guess I never had that reputation.... :oops: Here are some things I can tell you flat out about trying to run an RP in a setting like Devokan (meaning, in SL, based somewhat loosely off a RL fantasy storyline).

Nyn's dissertation on Online RPG's

Before I begin, my alt (no, I am not telling you who she is) was recently involved in a couple of very interesting RP's and I have gained some highly valuable experience here in SL RP. I will be referring to one place in here called the Trading Post where some lessons were learned all around.

1) You NEED dedicated, active, continuous RP'ers! Or you. will. fail. Period. Without a core group of patient folks who are willing to stick around and keep the story flowing when the less involved players are drifting in and out, it will fall apart faster than you can say "Cyan". And I will warn those folks who feel they can be a part of that core group (Dot will know what I mean here as it happened with this Guild): things will get really really crappy and frustrating at times, but you cannot give up! You've gotta stick it out and keep working with what you've got. You will be the heart of the RP experience, so if the heart stops beating, why would anyone else care to join?

2) A given in the world of online RP: things happen in RL that are out of our control and RL ALWAYS comes first. (If it doesn't, you may want to reconsider your current situation. :8 ) Folks will start out with an enthusiasm for the RP and do a great job, but then after a couple months, they will just taper off and disappear. Or they may be a main character and disappear completely and suddenly. Then again, you may find those few gems who are always there, participating consistently. Of course, it could be legitimate that the RP storyline was bogus and people didn't enjoy it enough to keep it up. Or, it could be very valid that RL just got in the way. Recently, the Trading Post my alt was at started up, got off the ground for a couple months (albeit barely), and then within 1 week, no joke, EVERYONE had quit and moved on. The only person still there was the sim owner, and her friend, who stuck around because they are very good friends, long time SL'ers and RP'ers. I feel terribly sorry for her, but.... there are some lessons there, a lot of which I am hitting through these points.

3) Patience and creativity are a must. Sometimes it takes a while for things to "get going". Recruiting RP'ers (if necessary), letting the story take off, sticking with it when people disappear. You've got to be patient. Things will work out if you are doing it right, but sometimes timing is an issue (consider the upcoming Holidays, for example, and what effect they may have on people playing in SL). Creativity for storylines is huge. Also, allowing the stories to unwind themselves, play out on their own, etc. By not planning each and every moment of the RP, it opens up huge potential for fun and excitement with unsuspected twists and turns. However, I'd recommend setting some boundaries on where that story can go. Else you're liable to start out in Uru and end up in Middle-Earth. ;)

4) Rules. This can be a really touchy topic, but without them, you're going to be in a shambles. Rules dictate what is too extreme for your RP setting, if weapons are allowed then which ones, what kind of character can participate (would you expect a troll to RP in Devokan?), certain things that cannot be allowed (such as straying from LL's PG guidelines for the sim)... You get the idea. What usually happens (and happened in the Trading Post), is that the rules will undergo multiple revisions, and yet people will still have their issues. You'll probably have to find some sort of majority consensus and then stick with it. Constant change to the rules is a major headache for everyone involved.

5) Participants. Many RP sims require participants to fill out an application, not so they can be accepted or rejected, but so the RP moderator(s) know who are actually there to play the story out. People may create a complex background that the story designer can work with, or they can do what we do in Devokan, which is where we play out a version of our real selves in a strange world. Either way, apps are good to keep track of who's who.

6) Moderators and story writers are probably good to have on hand, so if disputes arise or if the story comes to a painful halt, it can be dealt with. There are sims in which people are assigned the task of developing and implementing a story line, asking certain players to take on major roles for a time. There are other sims in which RP just happens of its own accord, and so long as it falls within the rules, its fair game. You will have to decide what you want here in Devokan. Mods are good to have so they can determine if something fell outside the stated rules and they have the authority to correct it.

7) HAVE FUN!!! I cannot stress this last point enough! We are here to play and have fun and enjoy ourselves with our friends. If something else gets in the way of this, then there's a problem. Sometimes there will be work involved getting things set up or resolving disputes, etc, but never take your eyes off that goal. :) RP'ing should not be stressful, and you should never take it beyond reasonable limits. I've a very dear friend who was the administrator to an RP sim here in SL for 2 1/2 years and he lost all desire to ever do it again because he was so focused on the details of running the place instead of participating in the RP. There is a fine line between facilitating things so they can function on their own, and getting so wrapped up in it that you can't think of anything else, not even participating in what you've created. Devokan isn't about the latter; its about a place for fun and friends. Consider this when you're designing RP.

I know there is so much more to write about here, but I don't want to kill you all with reading it, so I will cut it off for the time being. Please holler if you have questions. :)

-Nyn

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PostPosted: 10 Nov 2009, 05:46 pm 
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Nyn’s is a good post. I find those things our sweet innocent… :8 …well… Nyn has learned are accurate. I’ll add some in the same line.

Part of RP is storytelling and writing. Part of making it exciting is drama and tension. That can often lead to conflict between players. There are players with dominant personalities and others with moderate and subservient personalities. When several dominant personalities play there will be clashes of will. Some means of resolving issues needs to be in place.

Those that like drama tend to let it leak over into their RL or OOC discussions. For those not into drama it can be trying and hard to understand. Rational discussion often does not work.

One of the advantages of owning a sim is you can be in total control of who comes into it. So, the ultimate control is in banning a player. If they whine… mute them too.

This sounds harsh until one is involved in it. The fussing we see in the forums is nothing compared to what I have seen in some of the RPG’s in SL. It is only in extreme situations problem people are banned. Having made plans and decisions in advance keeps problems from being overly serious and makes life easier for the owners.

The Devokanians need to decide how far into the RPG they want to go. I think the casual RP that exists in Dev and requires little management is fun for all. It is a small group of people that get along and are willing to work together and respect each other’s story. But, if it grows, we will see problem people. Almost every month someone comes into my favorite combat sim with a …CENSORED for kids… gun to shoot the girls thinking it is hilarious. The game moderators eject them and then talk with them. If the GM has a negative experience with them, they perma-ban them. No debate, no mercy, no drama just click byeeee! Keeps it simple and easy.

Stating in the rules that having fun is the point of the play is important. If I were writing rules for how I would resolve conflict in Dev I would say something like;

Devokan was build to be a Myst-Uru style place in play and fun. The owners intend to have fun with it and enjoy it. Abuse of others is not fun and will not be tolerated. When conflicts between players arise the moderators and owners will try to help resolve it. If either or both/all parties infringe on the owners’ enjoyment of Devokan either or both/all parties may be ejected and perma-banned at any owners’ sole whim. 'Whim' possibly meaning for any reason or absolutely no reason or the arbitration was simply taking too long and infringed on the owners enjoyment.

If a Devokanain that is paying for the sim can’t get along with a player… there is no point having the player there. It’s not about fairness. It is about what the Devokanains enjoy.

All this stuff we are covering is to help you anticipate what may come and how we have seen it handled in SL RPG's. Mine are suggestions and considerations. Make what you will of them. I like what you have done so far.

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Nalates Urriah is my SL and OSGrid name - MOULagain: Nal KI#oo o83 543 - Nalates KI#111451
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PostPosted: 11 Nov 2009, 03:07 pm 
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Mayday Island looks extremely well planned from the link you gave, Nalates.

The role play in Devokan is rather casual compared with that.

I do like your suggested wording of rules to resolve conflict ;-)

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PostPosted: 11 Nov 2009, 05:18 pm 
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:) Glad you like the wording. Trying to stay focused on fun often gets left out and it is really the most important single item.

Mayday Island is being put together by some very experienced RP people.

Moving away from rules there are a few basic RP concepts that help with making story and RP flow smoothly. One of the big ones is a thing called God Mode. God Mode-ing is most often about combat in RP. But it holds a concept of open and cooperative RP useful in play other than combat.

God Mode-ing is when a player does things that preclude actions by a player in the RP or others. It can get complex in combat but the core idea is simple enough. Say in combat a player says something along the line, Nalates seeing her enemy draws her Nuclear Nullifying Numchucks and clobbers the enemy turning them to power and creating a small crater. This leaves the other player no possible come back. It forces an outcome on the other player. Good RP leaves as many options as possible open to the other player, which is the core idea.

A good exchange might start with something like, Nalates reaches to grab the book from Dot. Now Dot has the choice to allow the book to be taken or to jerk it back and foul the attempt.

In conflict RP this is where most disagreements occur. People often go to great lengths to avoid ‘losing’. In casual RP in Dev this may be a problem but hopefully not as I doubt much conflict will arise. But problems can arise. Things like if I write about what Selenitica is, before Quin gets his story set or I burn his tent. By remembering to allow him options, or any player, the RP can run in many fun and surprising directions.

Paislee writing about the swans leaving is something I acknowledge even though I have no choice. It can be considered god moding. But it also reveals that not all god moding is a bad thing. Good players understand temper all their ideas on RP concepts. The idea is to strive to make it work.

Another concept is meta-gaming. This is the idea that someone is revealing knowledge the IC character could not know. For instance I know Lost Pages is in the sphere seen in the sky because I can cam outside the sphere while standing inside it. But if I were a person in Dev, I would not be capable of that. The rules usually decide what the meta-game limits are for more advanced RP.

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Nalates Urriah is my SL and OSGrid name - MOULagain: Nal KI#oo o83 543 - Nalates KI#111451
Support: Devokan Trust - Myst Style Stories Across Worlds
Support: OpenUru.org - Myst/Uru Open Source Resources


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PostPosted: 13 Nov 2009, 12:28 am 
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Re 'god-mode' and swans: Environmental changes WILL happen in Devokan village from day to day (e.g. snow cover) -- we're trying to make it seem like a living place. Paislee especially enjoys that challenge, more so than keeping a diary ;-)

So apologies for the swans disappearing. It wasn't intentionally done to spoil your story -- just something that might happen in RL when the snows came. Would it help to bring them back? Perhaps just one?

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PostPosted: 13 Nov 2009, 09:58 am 
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Dot wrote:
Re 'god-mode' and swans: Environmental changes WILL happen in Devokan village from day to day (e.g. snow cover) -- we're trying to make it seem like a living place. Paislee especially enjoys that challenge, more so than keeping a diary ;-)

So apologies for the swans disappearing. It wasn't intentionally done to spoil your story -- just something that might happen in RL when the snows came. Would it help to bring them back? Perhaps just one?


Nooo... :shock: My point is that what some might call god-mode play is sometimes an important and good thing. People get the idea that god-mode is a total no-no and applies to everything. That is not true.

In RL we do not have total control of life and our environment. There is no reason to insist RP in a game be any different. The idea of god-mode is that in any dialog between players the god-mode rule is about keeping it fair and allowing people to cooperatively direct the story. One player controlling the entire story tends to bum others out and stifle creativity. A player handling the seasons may be considered god-mode but doing so would be unfair. I should have been more precise or used a better example. God does change the seasons so it is inappropriate to think such change is a rule violation.

It is not possible to give everyone everything they want. Players adapt to events. I was ready to post an update to my diary and decided to read new notes and diary updates. I saw the Paislee entry that the swans had left. I changed my writing to cooperate with her writing. That is NOT an inconvenience. It is just part of free form spontaneous role play. If I were lazy, I could have just changed the date of my entry to be ahead of hers, which would explain why I saw a swan then and they are gone now. I choose to change my writing.

If I was building weeks of story based on training the swan to do some amazing thing important to my story, I could have been bummed. Then I would need to have worked something out with Paislee via IM. Since it would have been my story component and as play gets more complex and players add in it would be impossible for everyone to know everything, it would be my job to work it out.

Over time we learn where various people are going and what kind of things people enjoy. It gets easier to anticipate what is coming or the directions things are likely to take. In some RPG's friends deliberately mess with each other teasingly pulling stories one direction then another.

In one case a massive number of the players were involved in an ongoing joke about an IC character being pregnant. The trick was to play the idea and not god-mode her. I got an IM from a friend telling me what was up. Amazing how many creative jokes came out of the RP. It involved a large number of people in an ongoing RP, which was their goal. The entire thing ran the border line of god-mode. But it was great fun. All going to show that most RP rules need to be flexible.

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Nalates Urriah is my SL and OSGrid name - MOULagain: Nal KI#oo o83 543 - Nalates KI#111451
Support: Devokan Trust - Myst Style Stories Across Worlds
Support: OpenUru.org - Myst/Uru Open Source Resources


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