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Key



Joined: 08 Feb 2004
Posts: 2606
Location: The Royal Palace

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:52 pm    Post subject: The Soul of the City  

This is a broader issue than what would be the Mayor's responsibility, but it's something I've been thinking about for awhile, so I'd like to take the opportunity to get the candidates' and any other citizen's views on this.

What do you see as the core identity of the City of IF? Should storygaming be the one main thing that we do?

If so, how would you define storygaming? Does it include quasi-RP games in which each player has their own character?

If not, how do you decide what belongs at this site? What do or should the games or activities here have in common?

As I described at great length in the City of IF story, when I first started this site it was dedicated solely to storygames (at the very beginning just my own, but others soon after). Storygaming was my attempt to take the things I loved about tabletop roleplaying and make them work in an art form with mass appeal.

That was almost five years ago, and the City has changed a lot since then. I'm very proud of what it's become. I can't take credit for much of anything in the past two years, but it warms my heart to see so many people coming here, creating things, meeting people, and enjoying themselves.

But even so, over the past few years I don't believe that we've made progress toward the original goal of creating a new form of interactive storytelling with mass appeal. We've put in some new practices regarding moderation and promotion of storygames, we've had new people join and some old ones leave, but basically we're doing the same form as we were doing two years ago, and the overall activity is about the same as it was.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's made me wonder whether we should rethink our purpose. Can storygaming become a form of mass entertainment with, for example, hundreds of players in a game, as I envisioned in the City of IF story? If so, what's holding it back? If not, should we continue to focus on storygaming anyway, as something that's fun for us even though it might never attain the kind of popular appeal that was part of the original goal? Or should we try out other types of games or activities, and find something else that's creative and social, but can draw more people in? Or should we do both?

About a year ago, when we had a mass departure of City of IF old-timers, some of whom left to become more involved in World of Warcraft, I started wondering about this. It occurred to me that storygaming was missing what other popular forms of interactive entertainment had - some kind of personal achievement for the player, like building a character or winning a game, and maybe because of that it would not succeed as a mass medium. So I put the Wheel storygames on hold, and started working on a strategy game that I was hoping would have some of the same elements of creativity and community that storygaming has, but with a little more sense of personal achievement which would motivate more people to come and stick around. I recently released a prototype version of this as Arena.

I'm excited about Arena and moving forward with it. But I'm trying to figure out a few things. First, how does Arena fit into the City? Is it core to what the City is about, or does the fact that it's a game with no story mean I should move it somewhere else once I get it off the ground?

And second, where does storygaming fit? In the past month or so, I've had a little more time to reflect on the City, and even though I'm still excited about Arena, my mind also keeps returning to storygaming. I miss running the Wheel storygames, and I'd like to continue them. So I'm wondering if that means that storygames do have some kind of staying power, at least for some people. So I'm trying to figure out how much energy to devote to the Wheel storygames vs. the Wheel books vs. Arena.

I'm sorry if these questions are not as well-formed as they might be; as you can see, my mind is divided. But I'd love to get your input on what I've said here.

:-)
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Chinaren



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 8767
Location: http://www.NeilHarlteyBooks.com

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:35 pm    Post subject:  

I don't think you can compare IF to Warcrack in almost any way. WC is massively popular, but it's had massive investment as a business too, and the market is certainly broader than IFs is.

Perhaps we should examine the target demographic of IF for a moment. It mainly appears to appeal to writer types, and generally those with interest in Fantasy/Sci-fi.

This in itself is a limited market, although there's still a bazillion people out there that fit it.

However, the second 'problem' for these potential IFians, is the time and effort required. Playing a game is relaxing, writing, for most, is more worklike. Hence our target numbers fall again.

Basically IF is aimed at the more celebrial web population. It's never going to be able to compete with 'arcade' style games.

That said, there's still plenty out there who will join up, and this probbaly comes down to marketing.

The reason we still get so many 'lost souls' sign up, is IF is marketed as a 'game' site. As a result we see people come on here expecting flashy graphics. Numerous occasions I've seen newbies in chat ask: 'Where are the games?'. Once things are explained, they dissapear, never to return.

So perhaps we need to drop the 'game' part some and focus more on the reading/writing, or we actually introduce games. (Arena being a case in point).

Either way could mark a shift in the look and feel of the city, though the first one less so.

Another one: Maybe the name isn't easy to 'stumble' across. I suspect one reason writing.com has so many members is that it's a logical and easy name! Even so, I don't like the site, (writers I mean) as there are soooo many stories that it's hard to get yours read. Plus the layout is horribly confusing.


These thoughts are rather rambling, but I suppose my conclusion is:

You can market IF as it is a lot more (which will probably cost a lot of money) or you can change the site in some fundemental way to appeal to a larger spread of the population.

Not very helpful, but just my initial :2c:
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LordoftheNight



Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 5259
Location: Hell

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 12:15 am    Post subject:  

Just as a thought - if having Arena as a game without a story is an important deal, then why not make a story? I don't mean now, or necessarily anytime soon, but I'm sure we could come up with a world, a history and reasons for the various 'kings' to be fighting.

I'll pop in again later and say more on the other parts.
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Mephistopheles



Joined: 24 May 2007
Posts: 612
Location: Not where I want to be.

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:28 am    Post subject:  

The things that keep me coming here are that everyone is friendly and helpful, and that we all have a common desire. we all want to write, and we all want to have our work read, commented on, and participated in. I think that is how the city should be presented. of course, i haven't been here that long either. I can see where Key's vision has not been realized, and yet, he has created something great anyways. It isn't broke, why fix it?
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Crossfire



Joined: 07 Apr 2007
Posts: 479
Location: Somewhere between here and not-here, now and not-now... in the half-light, the borderlands, between.

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 4:43 am    Post subject:  

I was actually the first person to view this thread, barring you. I checked. Gives me more time to think... Probably won't be the first poster, though.

Key wrote: This is a broader issue than what would be the Mayor's responsibility, but it's something I've been thinking about for a while, so I'd like to take the opportunity to get the candidates' and any other citizen's views on this.

What do you see as the core identity of the City of IF? Should StoryGaming be the one main thing that we do?

A place where people gather to participate in interactive StoryGames which anyone can join into, any time. If that's difficult or impossible, which shouldn't be true for any StoryGame, then at the very least they should be able to watch the fun...

Notice I said 'if'. I can't say that every Citizen can access every unfinished StoryGame at any time, because it's not true. There's a few examples out there of vastly restricted access or indeed no access at all for the Citizens of IF, but they're the exceptions to the rule.

The sort of StoryGames that capture this are things like Superhuman and to a lesser extent Wrath, which doesn't allow quite as great a degree of Citizen participation but is somewhat cheaper. For a Fable cost (which, incidentally, can be earned by participating in other StoryGames), you can create your own character and have it do what you desire within a given story.

This is what I feel counts as a StoryGame, although it isn't the purest variety of SG on IF. More on that below.

The second question has a simple answer... Certainly not! Without Linear Stories, RPs, competitions, critiques and the like, this place would be a fair bit more dead than it is today... They're a vital part of what constitutes IF.

Key wrote: If so, how would you define StoryGaming? Does it include quasi-RP games in which each player has their own character?

StoryGames can be very different beasts indeed. Anything from a single Citizen overseeing an entire world with its fate only briefly shifted by the votes of others to a universe where every character is controlled by a different Citizen and all the creator did was construct the backdrop to another reality... So, what makes a StoryGame?

It's simple: participation and change. The core of a StoryGame is that others are able to participate in its development, not just the authors, then affect that development by their actions. That's all you need to create a StoryGame.

However, a StoryGame in its purest form is a story in a series of chapters which end with a Decision Point. What should the character do? People make suggestions and a poll is put up. Citizens vote, then the author acts accordingly. It’s a simple concept… but can take your story in entirely unexpected directions and tax your infinite imagination to its limits.

Key wrote: If not, how do you decide what belongs at this site? What do or should the games or activities here have in common?

Well… Apart from the Open Forum ones, which can be about anything the Citizen desires, they’re centred around words and playing with them. That’s it… Isn’t that what drives this place and what is generally the core of a StoryGame anyway?

Key wrote: Can StoryGaming become a form of mass entertainment with, for example, hundreds of players in a game, as I envisioned in the City of IF story?

Of course it can. This is what I desired in the times before... Something that every Citizen could contribute to, weaving a thread in a vast tapestry of IF.

Key wrote: If so, what's holding it back?

Well, there's two problems to my mind... The problem of accessibility and the problem of resources. The average StoryGame is not accessible enough to the casual browser. The only StoryGames that currently receive attention are those which have been posted on recently, which is a little unfair.

The amount of attention each story gets should depend on its quality, not whether it was created during a brief lull between barrages of posts on an active day... I've got a couple of solutions for this.

1. Hot New StoryGames.

This would be a list of the five most recently created StoryGames in the New StoryGames- Start Here section, automatically generated. Placed on the left-hand side column below the Featured StoryGame.

2. The City’s Chosen.

Five topics, be they StoryGames, Linear or simple RPs, favoured by the Citizens of IF and picked out by the City Council. Might as well have them do some work ‘round here… ;)

The Citizens and Councillors make suggestions as to which topics are of the highest quality. The Councillors, the Mayor and yourself discuss it, take a vote and choose the five highest quality topics you can find on IF. They don’t have to change from week to week, but that’s when you take another vote.

There's a similar system already in place: the Favorites. The Favorites, however, are shown a fair way down the City Central page... At a quick glance, you're not really going to find them. Although you can spot them after a few seconds, that's the point: you should be able to do it instantly. Rapid access to every aspect of IF would help increase Citizen flow dramatically to long-untouched but high-quality topics.

Not only that but any Citizen can give out as many Favorites as he or she (or it) likes. People don't really value them sometimes and may put them out arbitrarily, because asked or bribed, or simply because the topic was made by an ally on IF. All in all, it's not the best system and should be changed if at all possible.

The Chosen will be placed in the right-hand column, below the Featured StoryGame.

3. The Featured StoryGame.

This idea already exists in some form on IF, but let's refine it... Instead of bribing the Mayor- that is to say, donating to the City, we cast a vote, much the same way we do with SGotM. Whoever has the highest amount of votes at the end of the week becomes the Featured StoryGame.

Alternatively, the Featured StoryGame could be handpicked by the City Council, our lovely Mayor and, of course... you. Chinaren will accept a submission from each Council Member every other week. A poll will go up in the Council Chambers after the end of that week. After seven days, the poll closes and a new Featured StoryGame appears. In the case of a tie, the Mayor’s vote is worth two. The Mayor only votes in the event of a tie, and then only to break it.

Again, once the submissions have been completed, Chinaren will tally them and send the results to you. You have the opportunity to veto them, choose others in their place, banish those submitters who made displeasing suggestions and do pretty much anything you please. But whatever you do, you'll do it with compassion, I'm sure...

Secondly, simply put, there aren't enough people. It's a problem many Citizens have noticed and one of two major problems facing the construction of the Universal StoryGame, at least to my mind.

There's not much point in making a framework for hundreds if only ten people are going to join and if you downscale... Well, then it's just another small-scale creation of a Citizen of IF.

We number our total Citizens in the hundreds, let alone the active ones. I'd like it to happen some day, but until we find some way of getting more traffic to the CoIF...

Key wrote: If not, should we continue to focus on StoryGaming anyway, as something that's fun for us even though it might never attain the kind of popular appeal that was part of the original goal? Or should we try out other types of games or activities, and find something else that's creative and social, but can draw more people in? Or should we do both?

About a year ago, when we had a mass departure of City of IF old-timers, some of whom left to become more involved in World of Warcraft, I started wondering about this.

It occurred to me that StoryGaming was missing what other popular forms of interactive entertainment had - some kind of personal achievement for the player, like building a character or winning a game, and maybe because of that it would not succeed as a mass medium.

So I put the Wheel StoryGames on hold, and started working on a strategy game that I was hoping would have some of the same elements of creativity and community that StoryGaming has, but with a little more sense of personal achievement which would motivate more people to come and stick around. I recently released a prototype version of this as Arena.

I'm excited about Arena and moving forward with it. But I'm trying to figure out a few things. First, how does Arena fit into the City? Is it core to what the City is about, or does the fact that it's a game with no story mean I should move it somewhere else once I get it off the ground?

Arena is a game of constant evolution. Every piece, every part of the terrain so far, can be altered. If the City of IF is about that also, then it is a core part of it. For a storyline... It's not that difficult. Each time you play a game, you're interacting in your own private world. The vast majority of my scenarios can lend themselves to at least chapter-length short stories, and some to more...

It's only a shame you can't give each piece a longer name for the field. It would help...

Each saved scenario could be a part of a story, perhaps a beginning, perhaps an end. Only you could decide how it would be completed, by playing and detailing each move as another part of the story. It would be a literal StoryGame, filled with secret loves, dissension amongst ranks, the myriad events of battle and tales of what happened to cause it, its aftermath or both.

That would solve the problem of Arena having no storyline. It would be the genesis of thousands.

Also, there could be a version of Arena which gives each Citizens 20 Points by which to build an army. A single point would cost 10 Fables, then 20, then 30, then 40, then 50, then 60, then 80, then 100, then 120, then 140... And so forth, so as to give people something to strive for when participating…

Key wrote: And second, where does StoryGaming fit?

It is what this realm, this City, is made for. The art of StoryGaming is the hub of every Citizen's lives on IF and dominates the attention of most. It fits in the centre of the City, as well as in every part of it at least slightly.

Key wrote: In the past month or so, I've had a little more time to reflect on the City, and even though I'm still excited about Arena, my mind also keeps returning to StoryGaming.

I miss running the Wheel StoryGames, and I'd like to continue them.

I miss reading them, too. I always imagined it as a twelve-part series... I was somewhat disappointed to find that it had stopped. The Wheel contains the type of StoryGames that others aspire to create and I feel that there are few around today that are quite like them, that quite captured the spirit of your dream. Then again... It's your dream, so you will always be the best at realising it.

Key wrote: So I'm wondering if that means that StoryGames do have some kind of staying power, at least for some people...

I am also trying to figure out how much energy to devote to the Wheel StoryGames vs. the Wheel books vs. Arena.

Of course they do. Look at Tired of Death, or Narg the Nasty... Chinaren's a great example of someone who puts staying power in StoryGames and there are many others out there. The Wheel StoryGames become the Wheel books. One’s the material for the book and the other is the book. It’s up to you whether you want to finalise a creation or start a new one, but that’s the choice you have.

Arena is, or will become, the favoured pastime of all Citizens on IF when they are not StoryGaming, RPing or engaging in another writing activity. If it has no storyline, you make it have one. You are the creator, the Watchmaker... It's up to you to fix the problems in your creations. We, of course, will help. Always we‘re here for you, for you are our liege. ;)

Key wrote: I'm sorry if these questions are not as well-formed as they might be: as you can see, my mind is divided. But I'd love to get your input on what I've said here.

They're well-formed enough, and I hope I've inputted enough also. *smiles with infinite sadness and fades*
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Chinaren



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 8767
Location: http://www.NeilHarlteyBooks.com

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 5:28 am    Post subject:  

Quote: 1. Hot New StoryGames.

This would be a list of the five most recently created StoryGames in the New StoryGames- Start Here section, automatically generated. Placed on the left-hand side column below the Featured StoryGame.

This isn't a bad idea. I even created an award for this one once. However, I'm not sure we have enough of these to have more than one or two a month. Even so...

Quote: 2. The City’s Chosen.

Five topics, be they StoryGames, Linear or simple RPs, favoured by the Citizens of IF and picked out by the City Council. Might as well have them do some work ‘round here…

The Citizens and Councillors make suggestions as to which topics are of the highest quality. The Councillors, the Mayor and yourself discuss it, take a vote and choose the five highest quality topics you can find on IF. They don’t have to change from week to week, but that’s when you take another vote.

The Chosen will be placed in the right-hand column, below the Featured StoryGame.

I think we already have exactly this, with the 'Favorites'!


Quote: A place where people gather to participate in interactive StoryGames which anyone can join into, any time. If that's impossible, which shouldn't be true for any StoryGame, then at the very least they should be able to watch the fun...

I think anyone can join in at any time, with nearly all SGames. However, I get your point. A SGame that's been going 20 chapters usually doesn't attract many/any new players.

Not sure how we could work around this though. Actually, I suddenly do have an idea. Mmmmm... It'll need work...

~Goes away to think~
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D-Lotus



Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 4123
Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 4:41 pm    Post subject:  

I don't think that people who surf the web in search of games would ever be interested in reading and writing. There's just not enough appeal... also, the writing needs to be better quality.

I'll gather a few thoughts on this later.
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Crossfire



Joined: 07 Apr 2007
Posts: 479
Location: Somewhere between here and not-here, now and not-now... in the half-light, the borderlands, between.

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 4:55 pm    Post subject:  

Edited to reflect Chinaren's concerns. Thanks, Chinny. ;)
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LordoftheNight



Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 5259
Location: Hell

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 4:45 am    Post subject:  

Cross, could I make a point? Could you not edit your posts when it comes to something like this - changing spelling/grammar/punctuation ect is all well and good - but if you change what you're actually saying, it makes it hard for someone reading to follow what's being said.

Editting to reflect China's points means that his points lose their value, so someone coming up afterwards is going to be confused.

Also, if someone's already read what you've said, and you then edit it, it's often hard to tell what's been changed, unless you highlight it in some way.
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Crossfire



Joined: 07 Apr 2007
Posts: 479
Location: Somewhere between here and not-here, now and not-now... in the half-light, the borderlands, between.

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 6:25 am    Post subject:  

I don't really see how people who come up afterwards are going to suffer confusion through my edits... After all, my post comes up first, at least by default. It contains the changes I made and logically they're going to read it before Chinaren's second post and my own...

When they come across the two posts after mine, they'll only see that the changes I made in certain areas weren't originally part of the post. Really, the only people that will become confused are those who read it early, and there's a lot less of you then there are Citizens who haven't read this at all.

Incidentally... Since Chinaren's post was a response to my own, it's effectively a leech off the value of my own. I feel it's time to do a little leeching back... ;)
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The White Blacksmith



Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 2629

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:15 pm    Post subject:  

I personally think that IF does't need to change in any ways but one. As has been said, what the site calls itself on the homepage needas to change. I first came accros this about a year before I actually joined, read some of the Machine's Daughter then left. I only found this by searching for Machine's Daughter, as I was interested to see what was happening. However, origianally, I was looking for RPGS, and this really doesn't fit that description. Change the description and we'll get more people.

Other than that, I don't think the City should change at all. Progess shouldn't just be for progress's sake. As has been said, it it isn't broken that it shouldn't be fixed, and I for one love the City as it is. All we really need at the moment is more Ifians.

The problem, I think, for the last two years is the Great Slump effect. for about a year we've been concentrated on recovering members, and I haven't been around for the whole two years but before that I got the impression that something was going to happen with the site soon. But, then the Great Slump so inconviniently interrupted ;).

And anyway, things have happened haven't they? New site design, new ideas in stories... We are moving on, but we're staying in the same place, because we like it here.
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Rune



Joined: 20 Mar 2007
Posts: 285
Location: Get Lost.

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 2:04 pm    Post subject:  

Interesting. I, too have had to look into this very issue regarding my own work and Chinaren has said much of the problem. CityofIF is a niche website. Period. And anything with such a niche is going to have a limited following unless that niche becomes popularized as 'nerds' and their interests have in recent years. In the 80's and early 90's being a nerd was uncool. But now the lifestyle of the nerd is all the rage and their interests are making blockbuster hit movies.

CityofIF is currently about telling stories in a fun, interactive way. We don't seem to have a target demographic or a target at all beyond people who want to have fun.

That said, when people get on their computers and look for something to do for fun, who are they?

Adults who visit flash-based game sites.

Children who visit kid-related sites to play games there (bionicle.com, disney.com, etc).

There is the tween market and teenage market and they play everything from Runescape2 and WoW to Diablo2 and whatever the hip FPS is.

The college market branches out more but not much and they largely stick with the most graphically intense, superficial, easy to stereotype ubiquitous game out there. So, Maple Story, WoW..Halo xyz, etc.

Ok. How many of these people enjoy reading or logged on the web to read something?

None of them. Now, to their justice and we should seriously give a big 'thank you' to J.K Rowling, many tweens are reading. And they're reading Harry Potter, used to read Animorphs, enjoy Goosebumps and other things. But when they get on their precious computer time, are they looking to read a story when that's what they'll be doing before bed anyway?

Ok. I've adequately stated the general demographics available to us and narrowed it down to a subtype that it's filtered from (because we all have to use a computer to come to the City).

If you want this to have more appeal, what we do has to change.

Are we trying to create a new market? Are we trying to bring in more people, enticed from their less cerebral activities? HOW?

Deciding 'what' we want is more important than the issues we face. So first, I suggest we think about that.

If what is wanted is for the city to grow and not change- good luck. Change must come, we should look for changes we like.

You mention Arena and what the City is about. You know what? If is a word that means possibility.

This is the City of Possibility. Why should it be restricted to just what it is? Why can't it grow and expand into new territory, or old? The only limits that are placed on If are the limits we impose upon it. Having a fully fleshed out Arena game enriches the cit, it doesn't detract from it, necessarily. HOW that game is presented to the city will determine that.

Similarly, a poor layout of a frontpage or bad site navigation can quickly deter people from joining an otherwise nice site. I know that when I see an advertisement for some seemingly popular game for the 100th time and go to check out the site to learn more and the only thing on the mainpage is a graphic displaying the game name, a loggin/forgot your password field and a 'register now' field..I leave.

Why? Because I am not going to register for something that is not willing to tell me anything about it. That's stupid. If I have to search around forever to learn how to navigate a page, I leave. Presentation matters.

I know how to navigate the city. But the front page could be changed to attract and keep more people. Theme, mood, and ultimately the 'atmosphere' presented here seems unfocused. The city is very general and doesn't try to wrap people in.

The settup is there. The logo is good, and the grey and black can work. But ultimately it lacks some atmosphere. That brings me back to Possibility. Create the sensation that anything is possible here, streamline some of the navigation and you keep just a few more people. Just a little more growth.

Add in Arena, and as suggested above, let's focus it. Write a story about it. Ok, so maybe we lose the option to add new units forever or just temporarily. So what if 'every' little thing isn't completely open to our whims. That's not what possibility means. That's just freedom without moderation. And that's not 'really' free, is it? (For those who do not know what I am alluding to I mean that you lose the appreciation for freedom when you remove any boundaries upon it therefor, freedom doesn't feel free. It feels normal).

Arena with a well thought out storyline, eventually some nice art, a snazzy interface and under a category within the city. You want to write books. I'm in favor of that. Write them. We have two here now. I mentioned Roping people in...what better way to do so than for people to visit the site and 'feel' that near-mysterious atmosphere I mentioned...and to see links to 'games' 'storygames' 'publications/published works' and so on?

I know that I could be inspired to write a book if I went to a place where the participants had been known to get published...I know that if writing weren't my thing, I could be tempted to stick around a place and eventually start reading stuff if they had a REALLY snazzy game with a great plot...and heaven forbid it's related to an archived or ongoing storygame..or that storygame is influencing the updates. Now I'm interested in the story- regardless of how many chapters.

I hope you see where I am going. I've had to wrestle with these very thoughts and more in designing my RPG. So I know where you're coming from (I think).

City of If doesn't have to be niche and it doesn't have to be just ONE thing. It can be a lot of things and as long as each thing it grows into is something that is done well, this place CAN be very successful if there is talent behind making it work.

Hopefully I have said enough. And don't expect to hear so much positive filth come from my mouth again. You've used your allotment for a good while. ;)
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Key



Joined: 08 Feb 2004
Posts: 2606
Location: The Royal Palace

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 10:14 pm    Post subject:  

Thanks for the great responses so far, everybody. :D

Here are some of my thoughts on what has been said:

chinaren wrote: I don't think you can compare IF to Warcrack in almost any way. WC is massively popular, but it's had massive investment as a business too, and the market is certainly broader than IFs is.
Hmm...I'm not sure it's that simple. It's true that WoW, Everquest, and all the big MMORPGs are multi-million dollar businesses, with the massive marketing, high production values, etc. that you would expect from that kind of investment. But they didn't spring out of nothing, and they didn't spring out of the head of some executive from Sony, either. Back in the 90s, in the early days of the Net, there were a ton of "MUD"s (multi-user domain or multi-user dungeon). They weren't huge businesses (or businesses at all, in most cases); they didn't have great graphics, or sophisticated marketing. they wre just text-based environments with chat plus levels and items that you could gain for your character. And enough people played them that some business people decided that professionally-done MMORPGs were a good idea.

People played MUDs despite the fact that there were other games with more marketing and better graphics. There was something about the interaction that made these games compelling, at least for a subset of the game-playing population.

That was my original goal for storygaming. I didn't think that the City of IF, as it was, could compete with something like WoW. But I was hoping that the experience of playing in a storygame would be a different kind of interaction, and compelling enough for a subset of gamers that we could grow and take off in the same way. And although it has been compelling for some people, it has been fewer than I'd initially hoped.

chinaren wrote: The reason we still get so many 'lost souls' sign up, is IF is marketed as a 'game' site. As a result we see people come on here expecting flashy graphics. Numerous occasions I've seen newbies in chat ask: 'Where are the games?'. Once things are explained, they dissapear, never to return.
The White Blacksmith wrote: As has been said, what the site calls itself on the homepage needas to change. I first came accros this about a year before I actually joined, read some of the Machine's Daughter then left. I only found this by searching for Machine's Daughter, as I was interested to see what was happening. However, origianally, I was looking for RPGS, and this really doesn't fit that description. Change the description and we'll get more people.
This is a good issue to bring up.

As I mentioned at (probably too much ;)) length in the City of IF story, I came from a tabletop roleplaying background. I founded the City to share the "treasures" I had found in tabletop RPGing with a larger audience. So when I thought of how to describe the site, I naturally thought in terms of games and RPG. I was looking for people like myself, who were looking for what they had experience in tabletop RPGs on the Web.

Of course, to most people today (and even when IF was started) roleplaying games mean lots of fancy graphics and action, so we naturally get a lot of people coming here who are expecting that. And most of them leave. But we also get some people who are looking for roleplaying games as a way of storytelling and/or community, and some of them stay (in fact, I think this is where most of the current members came from). If we marketed this site as a writers' site or a fantasy stories' site, and took off all references to RPGs, roleplaying, and games from the home page, we'd lose those people.

Maybe we'd gain some more on the writing side, but maybe not. Given the much smaller number of writers vs. gamers, traffic could easily just dry up.

Plus, I guess I'm not willing to give up on the interactivity part. To me, that's as central to what we're doing here as narrative is, and I think the people we really want to attract are interested in games and stories, and how the two play together.

Mephistopheles wrote: I can see where Key's vision has not been realized, and yet, he has created something great anyways. It isn't broke, why fix it?
The White Blacksmith wrote: Other than that, I don't think the City should change at all. Progess shouldn't just be for progress's sake. As has been said, it it isn't broken that it shouldn't be fixed, and I for one love the City as it is.
Thanks, I appreciate people's love of the City. As I said, I can't take credit for it, but it makes me happy nonetheless, and I think it's an important point to keep in mind that anytime we make a change to the City, we should be careful not to lose what we've already got.

lordofthenight wrote: if having Arena as a game without a story is an important deal, then why not make a story? I don't mean now, or necessarily anytime soon, but I'm sure we could come up with a world, a history and reasons for the various 'kings' to be fighting.
Crossfire wrote: Each saved scenario could be a part of a story, perhaps a beginning, perhaps an end. Only you could decide how it would be completed, by playing and detailing each move as another part of the story. It would be a literal StoryGame, filled with secret loves, dissension amongst ranks, the myriad events of battle and tales of what happened to cause it, its aftermath or both.
Hmm...this is quite an intriguing idea. Especially if the game and the story could be tightly linked, in that the outcome of a game influences a decision point in the story, or the story background affects what pieces are available in the game. I'll have to think more on that.

Crossfire wrote: (Some proposals for highlighting storygames)
I think the comments about "Chosen" and "Featured" storygames are interesting, and worth some more discussion. Maybe we can open a separate topic in this forum, and have the Mayoral candidates respond to these.

Another thing that I think is important in getting people to stick around and maintain interest in storygames is the regularity of the chapters. Maybe the "featured" storygame author should commit to weekly chapters?

Rune wrote: You mention Arena and what the City is about. You know what? If is a word that means possibility.

This is the City of Possibility. Why should it be restricted to just what it is? Why can't it grow and expand into new territory, or old? The only limits that are placed on If are the limits we impose upon it.

...

City of If doesn't have to be niche and it doesn't have to be just ONE thing. It can be a lot of things and as long as each thing it grows into is something that is done well, this place CAN be very successful if there is talent behind making it work.
Hmm...this is also quite intriguing. I've been thinking about defining the City of IF in terms of stories or games or storygaming, but maybe instead we should be defining it by certain principles, such as Possibility.

How would we describe this? Should we have some kind of tagline or statement that says what we're about? e.g. "Possibility, Creativity, Community..." or something like that?
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Mephistopheles



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Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 10:25 pm    Post subject:  

Well, Key, this is a very creative, friendly community that presents endless possibilities for writings that will excite and inspire others to reach into their creative soul and participate within the community. Seeing as how that is what we do have right now, that does seem to be the way to market the site. and weekly chapters? hard to write a chappy, get responses enough for a poll, and run a poll in just seven days. not everyone logs on everyday, only the hardcore IF-ians. I think that would be really difficult to implement and yet maintain the feel of sg'ing. That is all i have right now.
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Chinaren



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Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:54 pm    Post subject:  

Quote: If we marketed this site as a writers' site or a fantasy stories' site, and took off all references to RPGs, roleplaying, and games from the home page, we'd lose those people.

Well, I wasn't suggesting we drop the RPG side of it, but more like push both sides, the writing and the game side. Currently it features the gaming side a lot more, and I was just thinking we could push the writing/reading more too.
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NeverNeverGirl
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Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 4:58 pm    Post subject:  

Lets take a quick look at the SGs that are the most successful on IF in terms of reader contribution....

WRATH by far wins hands down. and heres why - ready for it? People like to see themselves (or their character) growing, being involved in the story and otherwise becoming part of the 'legend' that will be Wrath.

This is the same appeal that RPGs hold for the majority of players - they like to see their characters develop and use their own sense of personality to flesh them out.

My original stumble upon IF was while searching for RPGs and while i didnt find that here i found something, that as a writer, appealed to my greater self - an interactive storywirters forum where i havent been swallowed up by the 15 hundred million other members. I am known and have friends here and IF has become my hometown. :D

I honestly havent felt as though Arena fits on IF (despite its having orcs, goblins etc) as to me IF is about writing. Perhaps a background story would help arena but i feel that as there is no sense of character development its not substantial enough for me personally.

At this point i think the mainpage thingy is kind of irrelevant to what is the actual reality/essence of IF. Perhaps its time to update it to reflect our current values and beliefs.

The soul of IF is the ppl and the stories. We all love to see them grow and get involved. As for the purpouse of IF being not what you (Key) had perhaps origianlly intended ... perhaps she found her own purpouse? A niche in the world of writing that was longing to be filled...
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Shady Stoat
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Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 4:37 am    Post subject:  

It feels strange to be posting on IF again after all this time. Most of you probably don't know who the heck I am. However, since Key so kindly invited me to put my oar in, I thought I'd add something to the flow you've got going here. If what I'm saying is out of touch, or doesn't fit with the current scheme of things, feel free to ignore it, every word :D

A lot of what Key has been saying about core storygaming is absolutely spot on, in my opinion. Traditional roleplay has always offered an interaction of equals. Sure, the GM might try to railroad the players, but the players could equally well decide to ignore the prepared plot and ride off in the opposite direction. The storyteller may have controlled the world, but the players controlled what they did in that world.

In IF, the storyteller controls the world, the majority of the characters and a lot of the action too. Not very exciting for the readers. Worse, when the readers make a suggestion and get it voted through, they automatically have a spoiler as to what the next chapter will include, robbing them of some of the spontenaiety and excitment that comes with an old-fashioned book.

Problem: it's hard to attract readers, since IF offers them little and there's no feasible marketing strategy to bring them in. It's been suggested that writing storygames becomes a privilege that has to be earned by reading, but I think practically speaking, that would just result in people leaving the site in droves.

I had a mad thought last night, about a form of storygaming that might work. Totally crazy and almost certainly unpopular, but I thought I'd run it by you, see what you thought.

Someone (for argument's sake, let's say Chinaren) writes chapter 1 of a new story. Decision point. Readers offer their suggestions, exactly as usual. Suggestion time is limited to... say, three days.

Three days pass. Chinaren writes up a list of the players' suggestions. Here's where it gets different.

Nobody votes. All suggestions are valid. ANYBODY is now entitled to write chapter two, containing at least one of the suggestions in the list (excepting their own suggestion, if they've made one). They have 7 days (or other arbitrary time limit) to write the next chapter and submit it.

At the end of that time, the readers get to vote on which chapter two they feel is best for the story. The others get deleted/greyed out/put in storage/whatever... and chapter two is preserved, ready for the process to begin again.

It would require writers to be a little less possessive of their storylines than before, but I think it would give all participants equal share of the interaction. I also think it might stop so many storygames falling by the wayside. If the original author(s) were to get stuck or lacking in time/inspiration to write, then someone else would most likely pick up the torch for them.

Anyway, just a thought as I was passing through.
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Chinaren
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Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 6:23 am    Post subject:  

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

No, don't tell me. I'll remember in a minute.... Stoady Shate? Stady Shote? I do remember someone like this... But no, it couldn't be. ;)

Glad to see there's life in the old Stoat yet.

Quote: Someone (for argument's sake, let's say Chinaren) writes chapter 1 of a new story. Decision point. Readers offer their suggestions, exactly as usual. Suggestion time is limited to... say, three days.

Three days pass. Chinaren writes up a list of the players' suggestions. Here's where it gets different.

Nobody votes. All suggestions are valid. ANYBODY is now entitled to write chapter two, containing at least one of the suggestions in the list (excepting their own suggestion, if they've made one). They have 7 days (or other arbitrary time limit) to write the next chapter and submit it.

At the end of that time, the readers get to vote on which chapter two they feel is best for the story. The others get deleted/greyed out/put in storage/whatever... and chapter two is preserved, ready for the process to begin again.

Strangely enough this ideas is almost exactly what I did with WaCCo a while ago. (This can now be seen as Crunchy Frog's SGame, the Magician's Touch).

The problem with this is, to put it bluntly, it doesn't work. People want to write their own stories, and this is high overhead. I had three or four entries for chapter 2 (one of my own) and nothing at all for chapter 3.

That said, I'm thinking of another WaCCo soon, but with slightly different rules.

Anyway, nice to see you alive and wriggling Stady! :D
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The White Blacksmith
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Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 10:11 am    Post subject:  

Welcome back, Old Stoat. Missed ya.

I think what a lot of you are concentrating on is getting more writers. But surely readers are what IF really needs more of. I know that I fo0r one have never had a vaguely sucessful (sp?) sg, and so have confined myself to reading. That said, I don't object to writing the occasional story here and there, but a full story? Way beyond me.

If has writers. Most everyone who comes here at least tries a sg very soon after they join, and sometimes they work, sometimes not. Those for whom it doesn't work sit back and read. Those for whom it does work write more. Therefore, we need to attract readers, not writers. Readers will write a story if they feel like it, and will let the good stories which we abound with shine. We already have many good writers. Yet nowhere on the web seems designed for readers rather than writers.
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Lebrenth
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Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:56 pm    Post subject:  

We need to change our focus! "RPG" is not a good specific description of what we do. We're drowning in the bottom of a sea of RPG's, when we're actually doing "interactive storytelling". I also think "FREE" isn't useful to our description. No one is doing the "Chapter, Discuss, Poll" the way we are, and they're certainly not charging for it. We're just attracting gamers looking for a cheap thrill with our description of "Free online multiplayer Role Playing Games" and we might even be scaring the ones who would be interested.

We need to think about our strengths. Between the mass media we are beat in just about every category. They're more accessible, simple, immersive, socially engaging, fast, and directly stimulating. But they have nothing up on us when it comes to imagination and creativity. Sorry if I sound like Walt Disney, but it's true. So what we need to do is appeal to people with those qualities. Here writers (and Argo) have a place to create and improve, and readers have a place to dream and then explore those dreams. Our front page should celebrate imagination and creativity and lure the people in who aren't satisfied with being fed a story through a tube.

With our famous hospitality and dedicated helpfulness, we can get them hooked. Being creative is exciting and once they've gotten a taste for it, they'll spread out through the city looking for other perspectives and stories, or just drumming up more support for their own creation, in any case adding to the city and the art.

Advertise in artistic circles, not just RPG sites. I'm not saying you haven't tried other places, but we should remember there's more to storygames than Fantasy and Sci Fi. Storygames with mature themes could catch on. Open a "Drama" section and see what happens. We might get poets or painters or just people interested in stimulating the inside of the brain. Call them Serials with plot points or something more refined.

I think it could really catch on. I've believed in Key's dream since the first day I read about it. I'm glad to see Key is still trying new things (though the latest project I'm very dubious of). We should try to help him out where we can. Is there a referral program at all? Maybe I'll take a page from Chinaren's book and try out those sly advertisements somewhere.

In any case, honored to be here and hoping for the best.
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Key
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Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:28 pm    Post subject:  

All right, well since there seems to be near-unanimous agreement to redesign the home page (with myself as the only holdout ;)), I am willing to try that out. Here's what I'd suggest:

We brainstorm a number of different concepts for what we would put on the home page to attract the kind of visitors we want and draw them in. Then we narrow them down to 2 or 3, and design each of those as best as we can with visuals and the right text. Then we try them out and measure their success. Put each of them up for a month, and see how many newbies join and contribute (just counting voting and posting, not the many ghost souls who sign up and never return).

Sound good? Any volunteers to start the concept creation?
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NeverNeverGirl
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Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:06 pm    Post subject:  

how do you envisage the creation concept working?

split into teams and come up with ideas to present?

general forum brainstorm???
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Key
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Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:29 pm    Post subject:  

Don't ask me - you're the one running for Mayor. ;)

Teams sounds like a good idea, though, with maybe each time having a different focus and its own thread to share ideas. Probably good to have at least one person with graphic skill on each team.
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Rune
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Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 6:06 pm    Post subject:  

I used to design webpages way back before you had to know how to code an operating system to design a website. I never picked up graphic design and my immediate situation would prevent me from being of my design use. I could play the role of sort of interior decorator/design. :-p I mean, I've already got a pretty good vision of what would draw me into IF now and were I new. So if a team has need of someone who can 'think pretty' yet has the experience to know how to 'think realistically' then I am willing to give that a go.
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Chinaren
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Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 6:19 pm    Post subject:  

Of course, you can rely on me to stick my oar in. ;)
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Mephistopheles
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Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:17 am    Post subject:  

Is there any way that we can get publishers to view IF more often? or at all? Perhaps if people knew that there was a chance that a publisher may read their works, and that it may help most of us achieve a dream, that would create more interest and participation.
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Chinaren
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Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:44 am    Post subject:  

Publishers aren't interested in looking for works. The agents do that, and I sincerely doubt they need to go looking. I would imagine they are swamped with enough contributions as it is.


As for the front page design, how about something like this...



(Title graphic)

Calling all writers, readers and players! Introducing StoryGaming!

Writers! Write a chapter! Get feedback on it and suggestions where to go next!

Readers! Read great stories and give your response to it!

Players! Suggest where to go next, become involved with Sgame plots and even guide your characters responses!

Fantasy, sci-fi, humor, horror or any other, they're all here!

Some current top Storygames... Just click and play. It's totally free!

Here put about 4 or 5 Sgames in the same format as the one currently gracing the front page.

Below them, put links to the city and then the other sites, as now.


I don't think you'd need a massive redesign of the front page, though a richer color may be nicer, perhaps a nice dark green background or something a little more striking.

Obviously you'd need to pretty up the text and what not, and we'd need to try and link to all and any writing sites as well as RP ones, though I know we do that now of course.
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Key
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Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:59 pm    Post subject:  

*thwacks Bob*

I suggest we create a separate thread or threads for brainstorming on this. Are either of the Mayoral candidates up for running this assuming they get elected? If not, maybe Chinaren or someone else could be appointed to do this as a special project.
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NeverNeverGirl
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Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:37 pm    Post subject:  

I think that Ren has got a point or two but its not enough.

We need impact and WOW.

The idea of an SG needs to be sold more as it is currently the main focus of IF.

Welcome to IF. In IF YOU the reader controls the destiny of the character! Want little johnny the boy prince to confront the dark wizard, run away with the sword or just hide under his bed... well in IF its all up to you...


some crappy intro like that... sell sell sell as they say




Yes the mayoral candidates could probably run this discussion - its hardly brain surgery.


yeah i am interested in helping out a team. How should we decide on them?
(yes i know im running for Mayor but lets make ren work in his last weeks..)
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Rune
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Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:18 pm    Post subject:  

Well, I'll say this, if Chinas idea had been the case prior to me joining IF, I probably wouldn't have joined at all. Just hearing the color scheme and means of introducing IF was so...I guess, lighthearted that it didn't create any of the themes I was looking for when it came to writing. But isn't that why we should have multiple ideas tested, to see what works? I think Chinarens idea is fine if that is the wide, more or less happy angle wanted. I understand that the grey used by Key is a good neutral angle, and yeah, I'd suggest something darker and more brooding. The starry background behind the grey of If with some dark blues or reds would catch my interest in a heartbeat.

How something is spun will largely determine who it will attract. I think less is more. Use what you have to the greatest effect. A concise, explicit and modestly inspirational introduction to what If is with noticeable and very easily accessible links well organized would work wonders for efficiency and moving people around the site.

'Welcome to the City of If, a realm of ingenuity where anything is possible. The City is a site designed for *enter Ifs theme here*(writers and their stories, games with an intellectual and thematic core, readers who love stories and those looking for something new and interesting to do).

You may click on the links below to find out more about each area of the City and what sorts of things lie within, or you can feel free to click on the sidebar and dive right in.


---
Sidebar
---
Story Games
Games
Role Play
Info
Ifki
Shop


clicking on storygames takes you to storygames home.
A login option and register link would be on the main page for new members to quickly get started.
Under the Games link would be Arena and any other Non Storygames we devised.
Role Play would be for the eventual (it WILL happen) traditional Role playing community here. Direct links to chat (or special chat) and forums would be under it.
The sidebar can be placed anywhere but needs to be intuitive. I saw links when I first started and so clicked just links. I rarely, -ever- navigate through the flash thing. Some people only use it. For me, waiting for it to scroll out and whatnot is tedious when I can go to SG home and follow well known paths. Maybe keeping it open instead of it popping open or placing it someplace more obvious and tempting and convenient to be clicked. I have had new members come here and not know about the flash thing. It may seem trivial but if you're going to have two forms of links you might as well make both equally accessible and prevalent.


Under this settup linear lane seems to suffer a bit. I'm not happy with it but it's a general idea of how the city could be designed for direct introduction with plenty of room for other things to be put on the front page as needed.

Advertising 'storygame of the month' on the mainpage will draw interest to storygames even by those who come to if in search of our 'regular games'.

Those who come in search of writing will stop and wonder about 'storygames' as well.

Putting a 'This quarters Linear' (and with increased popularity change it to Month) below or adjacent to the sg of the month would be great. With Arena underway, and better developed some rankings or story-related reference to it could be made on the front page, albeit smaller. Perhaps under the games link instead.

This format is assuming, however, that IF is about more than Storygaming only and, in fact, covers things beyond just written material (ie arena). So, having a place to introduce and promote the game (in some fashion-ie rankings) on the front page will only keep more people who come to visit for any number of reasons. They will see that more takes place here and that even if they had no interest in any of it, the cumulative effect may draw them in.

Advertisements for SG's or Guilds could be paid in fables. An arena guild wanting to advertise themselves would need to get fables somehow, through the shop or through storygame posting. It's more change in your pocket and a potentially great deal more attention to storygames (and ideally linears if they could earn fables -hint-).

scrolling or alternating advertisment schemes for those who paid with specific size guidelines for adds could work.

This entire theme needs adjustment, of course but that basic premise is there and I think affords a much broader appeal than is currently instituted or has been previously suggested.

I'm done.

*edit*
ps, Ne is right. You need to impact people in some way. If IF were established and strong and growing, we could afford to present it as a community and let people get drawn in by the content. But we don't have all of the things we really could (Arena would be great). So attracting people right now is based heavily on the content we DO have, which is almost entirely storygames. We can try to lure as many people as we want but if we present ourselves as a city of possibility and only have storygames to offer, people will walk right back out the door they came from. Content in terms of storygames is great. In terms of Linears, not so much. In terms of other things, almost nonexistent. Any people we want to hook with the content we do have need to be advertised to in hopes they'll give it a fair shake instead of us losing that percentage that comes, thinks about it and goes 'nah'. Then they play Wow or Runescape.

They need to understand that they're missing out on something and be encouraged to want to participate and/or catch up.
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Chinaren
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Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:32 pm    Post subject:  

I can't remember what I saw when I first joined, but these days I have the index bookmarked and don't even see the 'home' screen unless I make the effort to look.

There should be something about linear stories on the front page too (in my example). It's only a two second brief idea outline.
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Crunchyfrog
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Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:37 am    Post subject:  

I've held off on replying to this, partly because I've found it difficult to crystalise my thoughts, and partly because much of what I wanted to say was already being said!

I would like to pick up on a few points made, though:


Shady Stoat wrote: Someone (for argument's sake, let's say Chinaren) writes chapter 1 of a new story. Decision point. Readers offer their suggestions, exactly as usual. Suggestion time is limited to... say, three days.

Three days pass. Chinaren writes up a list of the players' suggestions. Here's where it gets different.

Nobody votes. All suggestions are valid. ANYBODY is now entitled to write chapter two, containing at least one of the suggestions in the list (excepting their own suggestion, if they've made one). They have 7 days (or other arbitrary time limit) to write the next chapter and submit it.

At the end of that time, the readers get to vote on which chapter two they feel is best for the story. The others get deleted/greyed out/put in storage/whatever... and chapter two is preserved, ready for the process to begin again.

It would require writers to be a little less possessive of their storylines than before, but I think it would give all participants equal share of the interaction. I also think it might stop so many storygames falling by the wayside. If the original author(s) were to get stuck or lacking in time/inspiration to write, then someone else would most likely pick up the torch for them.

Chinaren wrote: Strangely enough this ideas is almost exactly what I did with WaCCo a while ago. (This can now be seen as Crunchy Frog's SGame, the Magician's Touch).

The problem with this is, to put it bluntly, it doesn't work. People want to write their own stories, and this is high overhead. I had three or four entries for chapter 2 (one of my own) and nothing at all for chapter 3.

Nene wrote: Lets take a quick look at the SGs that are the most successful on IF in terms of reader contribution....

WRATH by far wins hands down. and heres why - ready for it? People like to see themselves (or their character) growing, being involved in the story and otherwise becoming part of the 'legend' that will be Wrath.

This is the same appeal that RPGs hold for the majority of players - they like to see their characters develop and use their own sense of personality to flesh them out.

Two different perspectives here - People who like to be possessive of their own work (and why shouldn't they be!) and people who like more direct participation, RPG.

I think what makes IF exciting for me is that it encompasses both ends of the spectrum - Linear writers on one side, Storygamers in the middle, and RP lovers on the other, and everything in between.

We have hybrids between SG and Linear - SG's like Under Dark, that had up to four parts in a chapter. These SG's allow the author to have more control over the plot, giving a DP only occasionally.

We also have hybrids between the SG and RP, such as Superhuman, Wrath, The Hangover, and most recently Galaxy Raven 9, a fledgling SG complete with DP's, but incorporating mentorship, chat sessions, and multiple authors collaborating on the plot.

By far these are/have been among the most popular storygames. Wrath is getting 16 plus votes on its chapters. Superhuman has enjoyed a consistent second place in the favorites until recently. Hangover had an unprecedented and still as yet unmatched 8 favorites whilst still languishing in New Storygames.

Galaxy Raven 9 is getting so many replies to it, it is scary, and that's without the collaborative chat sessions it's participants hold.

Doesn't that say that there is an element of Role Play in all of us?

I came to IF as a refugee from a fragmented community, looking for a group of people who liked collaborative writing. Storygames was not what I wanted, and I tried my brand of co-authorship here. I was stunned by the response and it developed into the Hangover.

Now I have a successful storygame running of my own, which was born of a chapter writing competition. So I got converted!

What works in IF is the cross fertilization between the Linear writer and the RP'er, and that it seems all IFians, no matter what their preference, will take a look at all types of format. (And are constantly looking for new ones)


I would suggest that the home page design should equally attract Linear writers and RP'ers.

With the broad spectrum of formats we offer, anyone who stumbles across this site should find a level of interaction that suits them best.

Key wrote: suggest we create a separate thread or threads for brainstorming on this. Are either of the Mayoral candidates up for running this assuming they get elected? If not, maybe Chinaren or someone else could be appointed to do this as a special project.

I'm not technically minded enough to co-ordinate something like that, I'm afraid, but I would certainly contribute as much as any IFian with getting it done.

:)
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Key
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Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:26 pm    Post subject:  

Crunchyfrog wrote: Key wrote: suggest we create a separate thread or threads for brainstorming on this. Are either of the Mayoral candidates up for running this assuming they get elected? If not, maybe Chinaren or someone else could be appointed to do this as a special project.

I'm not technically minded enough to co-ordinate something like that, I'm afraid, but I would certainly contribute as much as any IFian with getting it done.

:)

Sorry, I wasn't clear. I will handle the technical part - putting the page into HTML. What I'm looking for is someone to coordinate the discussion of what content goes on the page.

If we have someone graphically talented on each team, that will help with the discussion. But if not, we can try to add the graphics after figuring out the content.
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D-Lotus
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Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:07 pm    Post subject:  

Hmm. Let me pose these questions:

Why should storygaming, and not RP's, be the focus of the site?

If RPs attract more attention, should the city relinquish its values in exchange of an increase in population?

Or is there a balanced way to coalesce RPs and Strygames?
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Chinaren
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Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:24 pm    Post subject:  

D-Lotus wrote: Why should storygaming, and not RP's, be the focus of the site?

If RPs attract more attention, should the city relinquish its values in exchange of an increase in population?


1. Because SGames are really what the site is about.

2. Because the RP side of things attracts a lot of people, yes, but they log on, or look around, and then quickly leave, never to return. The RP advertising attracts people looking for Warcrack kind of stuff. We need to attract people who will stay with the site which, IMO, means more of a readery writery crowd who like RPing.
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D-Lotus
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Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:38 pm    Post subject:  

Chinaren wrote: 1. Because SGames are really what the site is about.

2. Because the RP side of things attracts a lot of people, yes, but they log on, or look around, and then quickly leave, never to return. The RP advertising attracts people looking for Warcrack kind of stuff. We need to attract people who will stay with the site which, IMO, means more of a readery writery crowd who like RPing.

1. Yes, but why so?
2. I think you misinterpreted me. What I meant by RP was Hangover-style stories.
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Chinaren
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Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:40 pm    Post subject:  

Oh. Well, RP to most means something else. I have always thought that RP was a misleading name for our 'RP' stories myself. When I joined I remember being rather dissapointed with that section. (Which was called Role Playing at the time).
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