A question of numbers: How do we bring the talent back?

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A question of numbers: How do we bring the talent back?

Postby Endless » Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:51 pm

So. I've been considering this for a very long while, this terrible situation we find ourselves in today.

Where has all the talent gone? Where are the writers that used to grace these boards in their hundreds? The decline came long, long before Canon existed, in a different place, and ever since it has steadily become more troublesome.

While I can appreciate the same desire to return people to the game, as in yesteryear, my chief concern is the rich world we as players have envisioned for years. How do we share this vision with others, and get them to come here?

I have tooled along the byways and highways of the interwebs, have visited strange and wonderous places where the heartbeat of storytelling still goes strong. Alas, I cannot remember any of those places - age gets to us all.

I would suggest opening the dusty pages of ICQ, that archaic device we all knew and loved, but I don't think that route to be the best. How do we bring new blood into the fold, to join with the extremely talented authors already in our midst? And having come up with ideas, do we act on them now, or wait until the grand re-release of Monarchy?

I personally have brought one talented roleplayer back and by extension, another, but I am far outside the loop of social circles these days. Anyone have any suggestions? I would like to think I at least, and maybe the rest of us, could act given solid ideas to increase the activity within the more creative side of Monarchy.
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Re: A question of numbers: How do we bring the talent back?

Postby Sikil » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:42 am

This has been a question of mine as well. When I first found Monarchy again, the first thing I looked for was the role-playing section. Unfortunately, at that time, it was just one dead thread.

I think that what was helped was seeing activity in those forums again.

I've started trying to recruit some people from my old play-by-post and hopefully they make their way over there. One thing I have noticed though is that some of the rp is too free-form for their likes and that's the main comment I got from at least two of them.

Could we possibly implement a new tag to put on thread titles that would allow for the moderators to act as npcs and to help further the story. Kind of what Aey is doing. When all the characters failed to unite in their first encounter, she helped still by creating npcs that might help try to get them together and if that failed, at least they still have a part to play in the story.
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Re: A question of numbers: How do we bring the talent back?

Postby Kelda » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:06 am

I certainly see no problem with getting us moderators to act as npcs if people would like that. I'm sure that Endless, Vilena and myself would all be only too happy to help out in that way.
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Re: A question of numbers: How do we bring the talent back?

Postby Aeyliea » Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:56 am

Well, all of the characters I create to further story development and keep people in the game aren't necessarily NPC's, either lol A lot of them may fall by the way side, but I think I've picked up a few new characters working with things like this. I'd better watch out or I will have an army of the damned things before too long - like the voices in my head.

Moderator involvement in threads would help things along very nicely though, tagging board systems or other places where writers gather is another.

As to free-form, anyone wanting more structured type stuff could always create threads with those set rules - heavens knows I've done it before, though free form is so much better provided you don't have a bunch of dragonball-z-esque characters floating around, or superawesomeincredihulk assasins with mystical armours of invincibility on their backs. And sword with names like Ferdinand, that eat light, kill puppies, and nail babbies to trees while chopping through housewives' rolling pins. And making coffee.

Maybe I went too far with that? ... NOPE.
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Re: A question of numbers: How do we bring the talent back?

Postby Sikil » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:03 am

Lol. I hope that last part wasn't directed towards Larit.

But I do feel we are going in the right direction. We're nailing down aspects of the races, geography, etc. this will hopefully help others develop their characters. And activity in these forums seem to be attracting readers at least
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Re: A question of numbers: How do we bring the talent back?

Postby Aeyliea » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:14 am

Hardly :) I haven't seen any godmoders walking the halls of Monarchy since I stuck my face back into it...

ANd yeah, we have an audience, now if we can just get more of them posting >:)
Now nimble fingers, that dance on numbers / Will eat your children and steal your thunder;
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Re: A question of numbers: How do we bring the talent back?

Postby Kaz » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:17 am

Sikil wrote:....Could we possibly implement a new tag to put on thread titles that would allow for the moderators to act as npcs and to help further the story. Kind of what Aey is doing. When all the characters failed to unite in their first encounter, she helped still by creating npcs that might help try to get them together and if that failed, at least they still have a part to play in the story.


I don't see why the roleplay mods wouldn't help out with this respect, all of them want to see roleplay return, and helping people get involved with a story is a positive way of doing that. However, to a certain extent, that is the job of the player that created the thread in the firt place.

In creating an open thread you are taking on the role of Dungeon Master (to use a D&D term), Aeyliea is actually doing what a thread creator 'should' be doing. Ensuring that thread creators (and other prolific roleplayers) perform this task, is something we need to turn into 'standard practise', otherwise in the glorious roleplay future, the mods will end up spending all their time roleplaying NPC's rather than logged into the characters they know and love.

Endless wrote:....And having come up with ideas, do we act on them now, or wait until the grand re-release of Monarchy?....


There is no need to wait until the next phase of Monarchy occurs. Making the game look nicer requires the art contract to be finished, and at the moment it is taking longer than originally expected (or hoped). As we're still awaiting completion of page 1, and as there are 9 pages in all, this process could take a while. I'm still confident that things will speed up, but even if the artist gets back on track immediately, and speeds up to his estimate of a page every couple of weeks, we're still looking at a couple (or more likely, a few) months until they are done.

Bringing in roleplayers, with the game still looking crappy, and without the guilded environment has to be better. It means that they are not roleplaying just because they have to, it means they are not roleplaying on the back of the game, not roleplaying because a GM tells them to. They'd simply be doing it because they like the storyline, which has to be a better starting point in the long run.

There are several roleplay forums online that are still going strong, some huge forums are easy to find just googling roleplay forum. RPG-Directory might be a good place to start. Unlike most other RP sites (which try to get you roleplaying there) they have forums dedicated to trying to recruit people to alternative roleplay sites. Top Site List and Roleplay Gateway have places to submit roleplay forums and rank them based on votes (like MPoGD with the game). Becoming known a little on some of those sites, could be an avenue to getting more people to pop over here.

To a certain extent, an overhaul is needed of the RP system (in addition to the game). Sikil's comment about the free-form nature of these boards putting people off, is a perfect example of why we need to solidify the world, and important historical parts. If people come here and they have a huge bit of history that spans millennia (but no easy to get to grips with concept of the NOW), and some race names (without images, descriptions, backgrounds etc), then knowing where to start is going to be an issue.

Even now, the threads are about a small group trapped underground who are about to get teleported to an ancient island on the other side of the planet, a thread set in the past, a thread re-introducing an old character. Most of the other threads are dead. In fact there is only one thread that is currently reasonably easy to 'join in'.

The old rules about not roleplaying 'the gods' didn't help us. Effectively they separated the roleplay from the storyline by preventing players from getting too close to the gods. One thing the roleplay moderator should now be able to do, is give permission for people to roleplay as the reincarnated gods as long as whoever does so has planned where it's going and doesn't step on official 'toes' so to speak.

Anyway, this has got huge, and there's plenty to talk about within, so I'm going to stop typing ;)
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Re: A question of numbers: How do we bring the talent back?

Postby Sikil » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:54 am

With what Kaz just said, about threads being easy to join in, does make sense. There are points in a story though where it's just too hard to join. Like being in an underground city. So what could we do, as rpers, to help make it easier for ppl to join?
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Re: A question of numbers: How do we bring the talent back?

Postby Topheh » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:49 am

Sikil wrote:With what Kaz just said, about threads being easy to join in, does make sense. There are points in a story though where it's just too hard to join. Like being in an underground city. So what could we do, as rpers, to help make it easier for ppl to join?


Not get stuck in underground cities? *ducks*

My thoughts in two segments.

1. I completely agree with Kaz and others that we need to tie the RP into the storyline, especially when our RP community is just starting to grow again. When we had Maxim and required RP, this somewhat flowed naturally, as guilds would RP together, guilds would fight and be required to RP when fighting, and the gods were... distant. (On a wistful aside, I'm a huge supporter of that requirement... as I probably never would have started RPing had it not been for it, and then I wouldn't be posting this!)

I think with our community being as small as it is right now, a deeper focus on the mortal gods and their machinations, as well as the deeper mysteries (wraith, what-the-heck-happened-to-Darden, rediscovery-of-Mo'Pri-and-Maxim) might be a reassuring sign to new posters that their actions will contribute to the overarching plot of thousands of years of history, which I think is one of the major draws we can capitalize on (as well as the diverse races we have). I think the threads we have now are doing a fine job, but its something to make sure we keep our eyes on in the future.

2. I've tried recruiting a few people, although it appears that none of them ever actually showed up, but I think that really the only way to go about it is to go to other sites and start advertising, as the odds that someone is going to stumble on "monarchygame.com" randomly without someone jumping up and down and pointing at it is... not very high. I think we just need to... well, talk about it. And finish fleshing out the concepts of the world... I think we need major cities and we need to actually have descriptions and RP set in them. At the moment, the only cities we have are either ruined (and buried and full of undead! to boot) or burning (not good for home values)
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Re: A question of numbers: How do we bring the talent back?

Postby Kaz » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:01 pm

I've been looking through the boards that are advertised on RPG-Directory. In many cases the boards are pretty small, we already have a member count (and roleplay count) higher than many of them. One thing that seems to be common between the sites is a system of affiliation links to other roleplay sites.

There seem to be two types of affiliate links, Static and Scrolling. Static links are displayed on every page, the scrolling links are usually also on every page, but there are only a few visible at once, and it takes a while for your link to show, and when it does it doesn't stay for long.

What would be helpful, would be for a few of you to follow the trails of affliate links and pick out a few sites that would be good to link to. I'd start at RGP-D by checking out an active looking roleplay board, then follow the affiliate links to other boards, and then others, and then others.

You are looking for originality of concept, member and post count, but most importantly activity level and the type of affiliate link they use. We want sites with high membership, high activity, static links and a low enough count of affiliates that we'd show up. Ideally we'll find 5 to 10 boards that are a mixture of genres, but having a bigger list to pick from would be ideal. Please PM me with suggestions for sites.
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Re: A question of numbers: How do we bring the talent back?

Postby Kaz » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:07 pm

We did actually make a start on creating some cities when we tried - unsuccessfully - to rejuvenate RP a few year ago (back at canon, now in the maxim archive).

The problem is that none of those cities ended up appropriate for the map I started drawing up :( None of the cities were roleplayed in though, so maybe we could pinch some ideas from them. Location-wise, I asked for ideas for 16 locations in the geography thread. Only Sikil replied so far.

I can expand the number of roleplay forums (eras / locations etc), but it seems a bit pointless to do so at the moment with so few roleplayers. You'll notice the current forum is called 'The Mortal King', that's basically to allow for other era forums in the future.
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Re: A question of numbers: How do we bring the talent back?

Postby Endless » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:36 pm

Well, then. While finding new writers is a priority, we also must consider some other things Kaz has said.

I propose, in addition to finding new writers, that we start working cooperatively to define the races much more deeply than they are currently portrayed. Obviously the set-in-stone version of any race is not set in stone to players - characters, like people, are each unique. But the flavor of a character may be tempered or changed by something real and solid that new players can look to.

This MUST be a cooperative effort amongst all existing players, though. Anything we come up with may change over time, as most societies do in any case. The maps need to be fleshed out, something IO would like to do but do not have the programs to work with them (especially since I know some people would very much liek to carve their own particular mark into the map). I think it would be an enriching experience to create threads titled for the individual races, get the take on every person who cares to have their input down on paper, and model those races, their cultur, social morals, society, traits, etc from these tidbits of information as a rough guideline for players to use when creating races from those species.

The world and its setting are broad, but vague in some areas. This should be corrected, and once again everyones thoughtso n the subject would makie for a richer description, a richer setting. That inmcludes the layout of the world, the political climate (which has only some to do with races, and more to do with the mindset of the governing bodies of the world), terrain, home lands for various peoples.

The gods, mortal or otherwise, should be distant in their own way, but it would be great to involve them in stories. They must remain distant, if fleshed out, because who are we to assume anything the likes of which an immortal may consider?

If you guys agree that these are wonderous ideas, worthy of song and praise, tonight I will work a little on this, set the ground work for our group effort. Once all of that is done and we can agree on something, I or someone else can create descriptions, encylopedic entry style, that are tied in stickied posts as resources for new and old players. All of the rich history that this game and its world have had, put down in simple form where anyone can easily find what they need to know - that would be an impressive stepo forward, and give the new people entering our community something to work with, instead of an open ended free-form roleplay world.
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Re: A question of numbers: How do we bring the talent back?

Postby Topheh » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:43 pm

I agree. Lets do exactly that.


Actually, I have a storyline question... do the Mortal Gods *know* that they are/were once Gods (as in, do they remember being divines) or are they in the same boat as the rest of the world, thinking they are the Gods reborn, but... beyond that, just hugely charismatic and rally-around sorts of individuals?
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Re: A question of numbers: How do we bring the talent back?

Postby Kaz » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:50 pm

I would say they would know who they are. The contents of the smashed bowl took their immortality and forced them into new 'form'. But, they did after-all know who they were after returning from aeons in the void, so ought to still know.
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Re: A question of numbers: How do we bring the talent back?

Postby Sikil » Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:20 pm

The Roleplayer Guild would probably be our best bet to get players.

And I agree with Endless... now get to work! Mwahahaha... love putting the staff here to work.
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Re: A question of numbers: How do we bring the talent back?

Postby Kaz » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:58 pm

The Roleplayer Guild doesn't have anywhere to recruit members to a different site. It's one of those sites that's about roleplaying 'there'. Only way to really recruit from there would be to post there and include a link in your furniture and hope people follow it. I think Directories and two-way affiliations will be our best bet.
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Re: A question of numbers: How do we bring the talent back?

Postby Sikil » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:51 pm

An idea that might help with the role-play here is a more play-by-post style forum setup for the role-play section. When I played and ran pbps, I found that the following structure helps players gain more knowledge about the environment as well as let others track where a thread has gone easier.

Rp forum
-Empire
--wilderness of the empire
--cities
-Istan
--wilderness of istan
--cities
-Free Cities
--wilderness of fc
--cities

I know that this setup probably wouldn't work too well now, but it might be good to keep for the future.

But for now, what might work is:

rp forum
-Empire
-Istan
-Free Cities
-Other

In each forum there could be a more detailed description of the cities and land that fall in each category.

Also, in my opinion the game should change the term 'kingdom' to city-state or some other variation as the setting already has three 'kingdoms' which the rp currently takes place in.

I know most of this, maybe even all, will be dismissed, but if it gives you any ideas that will help the rp here, it was worth it.
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Re: A question of numbers: How do we bring the talent back?

Postby Endless » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:44 pm

Right then, I have some work to do :)
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Re: A question of numbers: How do we bring the talent back?

Postby Kaz » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:56 pm

I think these threads might be better started as bullet points or lists, rather than finished looking descriptions. That way it will make it easier for people to have a say.

Make sure you read the descriptions that I have given to the artist, when doing other races.

viewtopic.php?f=36&t=1230
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Re: A question of numbers: How do we bring the talent back?

Postby Kaz » Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:45 am

With the threads Endless has posted, please don't feel that you cannot ignore everything that has been written, and write your own version of the description. When we came up with the over story, it came on the back of 25 or so different people writing their own thing, then modifying it based on suggestions, posting revisions and veto's. In the end we had enough source material to put together a decent story to connect the time-lines.
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