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 Post subject: Support for Roleplay
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:44 pm 
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This question is somewhat multifaceted.

What support do roleplayers want? Complete blue sky brainstorming here, if the developers time and money was limitless, what would you want?

What support do roleplayers need? This is the important stuff that roleplayers really need to flourish and do well. Basically, what stuff is necessary to prevent roleplay stagnation/abuse/etc?

What support can roleplayers get by with? Given the limited amount of time and budget that the developers have (not least of which because we do not have the ability to create a full time RP dev), what can players get by with? What is the low hanging fruit that we can provide?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:49 pm 
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Blue sky brainstorming:

Instead of a radio chat tab, allow people to create RP chat channels and give them meaningful titles, i.e. 'Skylark Quintessa's Ball', 'The Rotor & Prop Bar', 'Airfight, Bring Your Own Gun'. If you create a channel, you have 10 minutes to wait for someone else to join it before it closes by itself. And you can only be in one RP chat channel at a time, you can't just scan all of them.

Have RP chat channels automatically logged! When an RP channel closes due to lack of activity, or at hourly marks, it sends its creator a PM with a log of what happened in the channel.

After that it's mainly a matter of people volunteering to do more, i.e. if they want to submit something for continuity, they can post a synopsis and a link to a log somewhere in SCC.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:51 pm 

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I know the "Radio" thing adds enormous appeal and schtick, but what if skyrates chat was managed more like KoL chat? Or a built in IRC-style thing. That might solve a lot of problems, though it could create some other ones.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:17 pm 
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Moros wrote:
I know the "Radio" thing adds enormous appeal and schtick, but what if skyrates chat was managed more like KoL chat? Or a built in IRC-style thing. That might solve a lot of problems, though it could create some other ones.


I'm not familiar with KoL. Please elaborate.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:21 pm 

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Places code.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:04 pm 
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Pierce N.V. Post wrote:
Places code.

What?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:29 pm 

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(( Characters.

95% of RP is interaction with another player or another character on some level. Right now the RP tab is all player to player interaction, which while good is also highly dependent upon the number of people on, their availability, ability to RP, and interest in whatever is going on at the moment.

Kudos to the roleplayers who have kept the tab alive and kicking, but I think it would be neat to see random other characters show up and "do stuff." I'm not talking about Admiral Fuseli strolling in for a drink, but an average joe janitor played by a dev could walk in and talk about some aspect of Skyland life that we normally gloss-over, thus giving depth and detail to the world. Maybe a grizzled old drunk skyrate could tell ghost stories, or a wide-eyed newbie on his way to Flight School could ask for pointers. It gives more of a sense that it's not just a chatroom and is more of a world, and gives RPers someone to talk to and most importantly flesh out their own stories.

These could become regulars or one-shots, as detailed or as plain as you make them. They could be there all the time or make brief cameos. I don't even think it would be a massive time investment, but it would serve to provide more dev-sanctioned background as well as dev interaction in player RP. ))

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:45 pm 
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Moros wrote:
I know the "Radio" thing adds enormous appeal and schtick, but what if skyrates chat was managed more like KoL chat? Or a built in IRC-style thing. That might solve a lot of problems, though it could create some other ones.


I like the idea of an IRC backend to the chat system.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:54 pm 
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Lord Gilbert wrote:
Pierce N.V. Post wrote:
Places code.

What?


I think he means something along the lines of http://skyrates.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5737.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:07 pm 

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Lord Gilbert wrote:
Moros wrote:
I know the "Radio" thing adds enormous appeal and schtick, but what if skyrates chat was managed more like KoL chat? Or a built in IRC-style thing. That might solve a lot of problems, though it could create some other ones.


I'm not familiar with KoL. Please elaborate.


I would like to request that developers who are using the shared Gilbert account login through their own accounts for answering in this thread, especially when it involves things like this; when we are referring to things that are really well known to players of free, online, sporadic play games, it would be helpful to know who we're addressing.

I have the feeling that some of you are developing in a vacuum, while I know others are not, and unless something is 'Here is official, no non-anthro characters are canon', for example, I feel that 'Gilbert' should not be used. It may well be part of the problem here. Please use Gilbert for WORD OF GOD announcements, so we can figure them out from the others.

Thes.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:51 pm 
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hrmmm.... faster RP? We've had what, two this round? Its a big shame to let such a fun, vibrant world die. And Dev interactions in the world are a large part of what make Skyrates unique.

If we cant have a new official dev... maybe pick a few people and give them 3 ish choices of topics to make a RP story on, which can then be dev approved, and dev modified? I know a green is very interested in Vernon Kadath; maybe someone else would love to write history about the Great Grog War, or I remember one of my temporary ERN people wrote a very nifty piece about the Museum on Getty. Stuff like that, or even future events the RP dev is pondering (Because I know theres a ton of stuff hes pondering)

How about allowing briefed, trained players access to accounts like Fuseli, Islo, etc under very specific circumstances? Might cut down on dev hands on keyboard time.

Make it more clear that player RP is welcomed? (If it still is.) Maybe 'what sorts of RP things do you want?' posts in factions?

I think that there are lots of ways to spread info, very creative players who are willing to help, and it sort of saddens me that there seems to be no way to tap into this resource.

Maybe player -> Dev liaisons? We could filter stuff like chat complaints and forum posts, and alert the devs to what needs attention ASAP.
Maybe possibly even be the first line of communication on RP stuff- 'I want to make a laser-' "no, sorry." 'I want to create a intergalactic giant-' "no, sorry." 'i want to, over several SCC posts and radio bits, create a situation where my character is attempting to find and infiltrate Eltsinas submarine' "hrm, interesting. lets pass that on to the powers that be!"


****We need Quests! some big event that everybody can participate in. the Olympics was a good event, in my mind. Though I would like a bit more than a text log of my silver, somewhere, some how. The Legacy was probably a good, if highly flawed Quest, too. Maybe some puzzles for us to figure out. Treasure hunts, Skyrates mysteries and unsolved events, lost Skylands, spooky temples, inscrutable machinery, ancient documents in unknown languages (I'd even like encrypted documents we, the players, have to translate/decode)
Things that give us the chance to become rich, famous, or dead.
Maybe some more talk about pirates. As it stands, they are just a gameplay mechanic. Very few people ever talk about the pirates, (Havent forgotten you Jary :) ) and it seems like a rich area to mine. Some people have already mentioned questing to become a pirate.

I am not terribly opposed to being able to create new tabs with a minimum of difficulty, but my radio is already pretty cluttered. Making Bob and Daves Taco Chat where it will hog space and be annoying is bad. I don't really feel we need added rooms just yet though.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:45 am 

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Ellington wrote:
I am not terribly opposed to being able to create new tabs with a minimum of difficulty, but my radio is already pretty cluttered. Making Bob and Daves Taco Chat where it will hog space and be annoying is bad. I don't really feel we need added rooms just yet though.


maybe, just once being able to type /loc hangar to have all your stuff prepended to appear '[HANGAR] Thespian does stuff.' Clear it simply, with just /loc with nothing after it.

Thes.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 4:22 am 
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Thespian wrote:
I would like to request that developers who are using the shared Gilbert account login through their own accounts for answering in this thread, especially when it involves things like this; when we are referring to things that are really well known to players of free, online, sporadic play games, it would be helpful to know who we're addressing.


I gotta agree with Gil; I don't know what's being talked about either, specifics can't hurt. I can't imagine I'm in the minority not understanding the game, I never even heard of it before skyrates.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:27 am 
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Transitioning to an open protocol.

Frankly, the current radio interface is almost painful to use. It's gotten better at a dramatic rate, but it's still not quite there.

An open protocol means an incredible amount of support for client side shenanigans. /suffix - or even full blown Places - is trivial, as is a working /ignore and the long-missing /ignorelist. Adjusting for colour-blind people. A light interface for when you don't want to kill your CPU but want to chat. Transitioning through particularly evil proxies. Logging. Nickchanges. Heh - even choice of font. A lot of small trivial things that make other clients that much easier to use, but which we've lived without in skyrates.

You get the opportunity to get your users to work on improvements, rather than having to push everything out yourself.

The possibility to programmatically access RP chat is awesome. I'm not sure what I'd do with it, but still, full marks for potential.

And, while I appreciate the desire to keep it in client, and the feel that the current skyrates chat has, a lot of what yall want out of it can be easily replicated in third-party clients. Drop - or never publish - userlist. Done. Custom colours. Trickier, but possible.

And I honestly believe that it would pay off. Every single interface/command idea in this thread would be trivial or user-doable. Even some of the other suggestions could be.

(I start to ramble gratuitously here, so if you want you can stop reading.)

Idea - something along the lines of what Ell said. A vignetteBot who comes in every day at the same time, doesn't interact, but goes through a daily routine. His routine is modified, asynchronously, by anyone/a few people/something along those lines. He could turn into an outlet for random writing, be eagerly awaited every day to see what he'll do today, and add a bit of flavour.

Idea - a hijackable character. Any number of people can control him behind the scenes, the idea being to keep with whatever personality he has developed. The RP version of telling a story one line at a time.

An automated public logger which can actually keep up, rather than the limited version we've attempted to set up.

A default location randomiser, which changes the default location, say, twice a week.

A random event introducer, kind of like what the player 'Radio ::' is attempting to do.

Some level of automated moderating.

These ideas aren't anywhere near perfect or compelling, but they're new, and different, and could be interesting, and would only be enabled by, or be feasible under, an open protocol.

And they're just bonuses on top of the client-side improvements you'd get. I really do think it would pay off.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:42 am 
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I am going to dash through and make a few responses. I would ask though that people try to phrase their answers a bit in relation to the questions posted in the original post.

Eon Tuskany wrote:
(( Characters. ...


Summary, more interaction with official roleplay characters.

Walther wrote:
Moros wrote:
I know the "Radio" thing adds enormous appeal and schtick, but what if skyrates chat was managed more like KoL chat? Or a built in IRC-style thing. That might solve a lot of problems, though it could create some other ones.


I like the idea of an IRC backend to the chat system.


A more robust chat system would be nice, but if people could go into why they feel it would particularly help RP. Is it just an act of being able to separate stories out a bit more? Does that potentially become a barrier to entry for new RPers? Or does the 'roleplay' channel become the permanent official mingling place of RPers?

Thespian wrote:
I would like to request that developers who are using the shared Gilbert account login through their own accounts for answering in this thread, especially when it involves things like this; when we are referring to things that are really well known to players of free, online, sporadic play games, it would be helpful to know who we're addressing.

I have the feeling that some of you are developing in a vacuum, while I know others are not, and unless something is 'Here is official, no non-anthro characters are canon', for example, I feel that 'Gilbert' should not be used. It may well be part of the problem here. Please use Gilbert for WORD OF GOD announcements, so we can figure them out from the others.


I am really not entirely convinced of this. I don't think what dev you're speaking to should matter in regards to elaborating on KoL's chat system. KoL is known yes, but the details of their game are not immediately recallable.

But, in the interests of good communication, let's give it a try. I'm here. Now can you tell me how KoL does chat?

Ellington wrote:
hrmmm.... faster RP? We've had what, two this round? Its a big shame to let such a fun, vibrant world die. And Dev interactions in the world are a large part of what make Skyrates unique.

If we cant have a new official dev... maybe pick a few people and give them 3 ish choices of topics to make a RP story on, which can then be dev approved, and dev modified? I know a green is very interested in Vernon Kadath; maybe someone else would love to write history about the Great Grog War, or I remember one of my temporary ERN people wrote a very nifty piece about the Museum on Getty. Stuff like that, or even future events the RP dev is pondering (Because I know theres a ton of stuff hes pondering)


Devil's in the details. We would need to work out how those people are picked, have them potentially sign some paperwork, and then go through the process of editing.

Quote:
How about allowing briefed, trained players access to accounts like Fuseli, Islo, etc under very specific circumstances? Might cut down on dev hands on keyboard time.


This is nice, but it has some issues associated whenever we need to bring a new person under the official banner of the devs. Additionally, while it saves time in the long run, there will need to be a large period of time where the individual is trained. Not impossible, but food for thought.

Quote:
Make it more clear that player RP is welcomed? (If it still is.) Maybe 'what sorts of RP things do you want?' posts in factions?


Forum posts are a really good way for RP stuff to occur a bit, partially because they are visible to anyone who checks that forum, and can be attended to (heh) sporadically.

Quote:
I think that there are lots of ways to spread info, very creative players who are willing to help, and it sort of saddens me that there seems to be no way to tap into this resource.

Maybe player -> Dev liaisons? We could filter stuff like chat complaints and forum posts, and alert the devs to what needs attention ASAP.
Maybe possibly even be the first line of communication on RP stuff- 'I want to make a laser-' "no, sorry." 'I want to create a intergalactic giant-' "no, sorry." 'i want to, over several SCC posts and radio bits, create a situation where my character is attempting to find and infiltrate Eltsinas submarine' "hrm, interesting. lets pass that on to the powers that be!"


This has some potential. Are you somewhat proposing an RP administrative assistant?

Quote:
****We need Quests! some big event that everybody can participate in. the Olympics was a good event, in my mind. Though I would like a bit more than a text log of my silver, somewhere, some how. The Legacy was probably a good, if highly flawed Quest, too. Maybe some puzzles for us to figure out. Treasure hunts, Skyrates mysteries and unsolved events, lost Skylands, spooky temples, inscrutable machinery, ancient documents in unknown languages (I'd even like encrypted documents we, the players, have to translate/decode)
Things that give us the chance to become rich, famous, or dead.
Maybe some more talk about pirates. As it stands, they are just a gameplay mechanic. Very few people ever talk about the pirates, (Havent forgotten you Jary :) ) and it seems like a rich area to mine. Some people have already mentioned questing to become a pirate.


Potentially so. I'm not sure we need so much specific puzzles and the like (as those tend to be only seen and solved by a few people), but more official RP ("stuff that's happening in the world") stuff would not be too terribly tricky...

Going back to the stuff from the first post, I wonder if we could get away with every few weeks just saying, "Trouble at Getty, the faction who accumulates the most influence there from now to the end of next week will get X" where X is some story prize.

Quote:
I am not terribly opposed to being able to create new tabs with a minimum of difficulty, but my radio is already pretty cluttered. Making Bob and Daves Taco Chat where it will hog space and be annoying is bad. I don't really feel we need added rooms just yet though.


If we do the route of player creation of tabs, we probably would need to overhaul the UI in general to match this.

Quote:
Transitioning to an open protocol.

Frankly, the current radio interface is almost painful to use. It's gotten better at a dramatic rate, but it's still not quite there.

An open protocol means an incredible amount of support for client side shenanigans. /suffix - or even full blown Places - is trivial, as is a working /ignore and the long-missing /ignorelist. Adjusting for colour-blind people. A light interface for when you don't want to kill your CPU but want to chat. Transitioning through particularly evil proxies. Logging. Nickchanges. Heh - even choice of font. A lot of small trivial things that make other clients that much easier to use, but which we've lived without in skyrates.

You get the opportunity to get your users to work on improvements, rather than having to push everything out yourself.

And, while I appreciate the desire to keep it in client, and the feel that the current skyrates chat has, a lot of what yall want out of it can be easily replicated in third-party clients. Drop - or never publish - userlist. Done. Custom colours. Trickier, but possible.

And I honestly believe that it would pay off. Every single interface/command idea in this thread would be trivial or user-doable. Even some of the other suggestions could be.


Moving chat entirely out of the client is a *big step*. As such, it is not likely to happen soon.

What features in particular do you feel (again, look at the first post) are most warranted/needed?

Quote:
An automated public logger which can actually keep up, rather than the limited version we've attempted to set up.


Sorry, I'm not sure I quite follow.

Quote:
A default location randomiser, which changes the default location, say, twice a week.


Of the Roleplay location?

Quote:
A random event introducer, kind of like what the player 'Radio ::' is attempting to do.


Elaborate?

Quote:
Some level of automated moderating.

These ideas aren't anywhere near perfect or compelling, but they're new, and different, and could be interesting, and would only be enabled by, or be feasible under, an open protocol.

And they're just bonuses on top of the client-side improvements you'd get. I really do think it would pay off.


Your thoughts are interesting, and fun to think about in the long term. Unsure what to do at the moment though.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:04 am 
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Quote:
Going back to the stuff from the first post, I wonder if we could get away with every few weeks just saying, "Trouble at Getty, the faction who accumulates the most influence there from now to the end of next week will get X" where X is some story prize.


I know I would enjoy that. Having "trouble" occur at more than one skyland at once, spread out a bit over the map, would probably help to balance things so that one or two factions didn't win everything all the time.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:46 am 
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The main reason I see people suggesting mods or similar is that the Devs, frankly, have better things to do and a few people with a moderate level of authority could take care of day-to-day running of things.

I'd like a clear idea of what does and doesn't exist in out world, what can and cannot be done. And how big and populous it is. Right now canon feels amorphous and vague. I like to know what lines I'm coloring in.

And finally maybe an official news stream of events, people and places that could be used as a launch point or even to describe large story arcs as reported by the media. This might also involve keying in people in relevant positions in factions (eg BL is generally aware of anything League intelligence is, and I'd assume the Green pres would be aware of anything the Jade Hand knows as well, etc).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:15 am 

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Burrito Loco wrote:
I'd like a clear idea of what does and doesn't exist in out world, what can and cannot be done. And how big and populous it is. Right now canon feels amorphous and vague. I like to know what lines I'm coloring in.

And finally maybe an official news stream of events, people and places that could be used as a launch point or even to describe large story arcs as reported by the media. This might also involve keying in people in relevant positions in factions (eg BL is generally aware of anything League intelligence is, and I'd assume the Green pres would be aware of anything the Jade Hand knows as well, etc).

Yes please! I think if anything, we need to start with the basics; let's make sure RP fundamentals are established first before moving on with other things that could potentially be complicating. Unequivocally establishing the world is critical. Disseminating information about that world effectively to players is also critical. Without these basics, Skytopia will be fragmented at best, and fictional anarchy at its worst.

If the devs have not been able to invest time to establish these fundamentals, then the logical solutions would be either that the devs invest more time to do so, bring in new people to do so in the form of more devs or mods, or pare down and simplify the Skytopian world to a more manageable level that the devs are able to handle... or some combination of the three. I personally would hate to request that the devs add new plot details or mechanisms to introduce new storylines as I feel that that could exacerbate the RP situation as it is now, put more pressure on the devs that they don't need, and detract from picking a solution to the fundamental issues.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:25 am 
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Burrito Loco wrote:
The main reason I see people suggesting mods or similar is that the Devs, frankly, have better things to do and a few people with a moderate level of authority could take care of day-to-day running of things.

I'd like a clear idea of what does and doesn't exist in out world, what can and cannot be done. And how big and populous it is. Right now canon feels amorphous and vague. I like to know what lines I'm coloring in.


Here's an interesting point that I've thought about. Right now development of the world is largely reactive. As in, someone asks the devs if there can be non-anthro characters, and we answer.

While more active development would be nice, I wonder how much we can get by with a more active reactive development. For example, the thread started where players can ask questions/definitions of the world, and then we can define things a little closer.

Thoughts?

Stinkypuppy wrote:
If the devs have not been able to invest time to establish these fundamentals, then the logical solutions would be either that the devs invest more time


This is most preferable, however (as stated), we'd like to figure out the best method to do so with the resources we have.

Quote:
bring in new people to do so in the form of more devs or mods


More devs cannot happen at this time. More mods, potentially, but as I replied earlier, those have a significant amount of start up training time. Additionally, they would need to work with the canon of the world, which would lead us back to the first point of devs investing more time.

Quote:
or pare down and simplify the Skytopian world to a more manageable level that the devs are able to handle


*removes all chat from the game*
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:28 am 

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Chesterfield Taft wrote:

Eon Tuskany wrote:
(( Characters. ...


Summary, more interaction with official roleplay characters.


(( I'm not sure what you mean by "official roleplay characters." Just for clarification, I didn't mean high-ranking or even recognizable RP characters. Customers, mechanics, merchants, smugglers, construction workers, etc. A few "average folks" here and there can do a LOT to flesh-out an environment, especially if they off-handedly mention something like what they were doing that day and / or why.

I think in summary I was asking for more interaction with Devs or at least moderators on an in-character level where you get to A) monitor the RP channel B) shape the world a little bit at a time via RP instead of just explicitly spelling it out C) start / help out stories and steer things in whatever dev-oriented direction you guys have planned.))

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