Strange Game Dev Inquiries from surreality (condensed)



  • @Three-Eyed-Crow That's two, really. First bit down to 'resolution' is what displays normally. The rest is under 'additional notes', aka 'if that was not clear enough for people, click here, and here's where we get really blunt in spelling things out in greater depth', pretty much.



  • @Arkandel said in Strange Game Dev Inquiries from surreality (condensed):

    @Three-Eyed-Crow

    1. tinyfucking, hee.

    If this spreads, I will be a happy person.


  • Pitcrew

    @surreality It doesn't need to autosubmit, but for example something like what BSGU or some of the comic games have that can at least spit back out the scene without need for further cleaning. I'm aware you can do some of this in a client, but there's inevitably stuff it misses.

    To comment on the other part of the convo, I don't think I'd typically want to post personal, 1 on 1, private bedroom thrust by thrust TS and I agree it seems weird to me, not to put down anyone who wants to do it. But for things like:

    @surreality said in Strange Game Dev Inquiries from surreality (condensed):

    there are some areas of the grid that WILL be labeled NC17 by default

    It makes more sense, and I highly approve of this. I've played my share of brothel workers etc, and at locations like this it makes sense that you'll have some degree of public sexuality. I'm thinking of any scene at the brothel in Black Sails, for instance. There's basically never a shot that doesn't have a boob in it, and people may be in laps, but people probably aren't straight-up fucking on the tables... most of the time.



  • Ghost swings from a weave, lands, pulls out flintlocks.

    "AHA! Hands up, ya filthy motherf-kars!"

    All of the prostitutes lift their hands.

    "No...the...other motherf-kars!"



  • @Arkandel said in Strange Game Dev Inquiries from surreality (condensed):

    1. I think long policies in general attract idiots who try to find the loophole. "Don't be an asshole" should about cover it. :)

    We have a policy for that, too.

    We have tried 'don't be an asshole' in the hobby and it's my sincere feeling that it doesn't work.

    Maybe for some, but everyone has a vastly different idea of what being a dick is, and even among the most respectfully-intentioned people, the difference in culture from one style of game to another can vary enormously.

    On some games, if the door isn't locked, you can go right in and involve yourself, and anyone objecting to this is considered the asshole -- not the person who just walked into your bedroom. This is one of countless potential issues that even people with absolutely no nasty intent can (in this case literally) stumble into.

    It's better to tell people what's not OK than expect people to just know, I think. There are very reasonable causes for folks to not know, and it's unfair of us (collectively) to expect that everyone is going to be on the same page about it by osmosis.



  • @kitteh said in Strange Game Dev Inquiries from surreality (condensed):

    @surreality It doesn't need to autosubmit, but for example something like what BSGU or some of the comic games have that can at least spit back out the scene without need for further cleaning. I'm aware you can do some of this in a client, but there's inevitably stuff it misses.

    Something like that could definitely be looked into, yeah. I didn't know there were any that would do that; that could work.

    @surreality said in Strange Game Dev Inquiries from surreality (condensed):

    there are some areas of the grid that WILL be labeled NC17 by default

    It makes more sense, and I highly approve of this. I've played my share of brothel workers etc, and at locations like this it makes sense that you'll have some degree of public sexuality. I'm thinking of any scene at the brothel in Black Sails, for instance. There's basically never a shot that doesn't have a boob in it, and people may be in laps, but people probably aren't straight-up fucking on the tables... most of the time.

    Pretty much that. I have, too. They're often a lot of fun.

    There will be a brothel specializing in, uh, 'the unusual', so mermaid prostitutes ahoy, mateys. Seriously, if this wasn't on the grid within a week of open I would have been stunned anyway, but I think it'd do best as an NPC-run 'open to anyone' faction, per the examples from earlier in the thread. If somebody wants to take that on as their PC to run it under those terms that's doubly awesome.

    It's actually fascinating how much NOT TS these characters do on a lot of games that people rarely suspect. It's their job. Do you spend all of your free time doing what you do for your job? NAWP. Sometimes when I want to make a character that doesn't RP TS often I'll go this route, for that very reason. (Edit: Because... most people offscreen most of their dayjob on games anyway.)



  • @Three-Eyed-Crow said in Strange Game Dev Inquiries from surreality (condensed):

    That's a long TS file and is the kind that just makes me shake my head. Long TS files tend to do that, because it twigs my, 'If you're spending this much time explaining Tinyfucking, you must really care about Tinyfucking' light in my brain. Which is never a positive for me.

    I am one of those that takes the opposite mindset: Clearly they have had some idiots -cause- them to have to have this length of policy, damn.

    I don't care what people do on a game, or don't do, but don't artificially limit valid roleplay no matter what your bend is. There's nothing more laughable than the games out there who have policies of "No TS! EVAR!" where banning was the result of such, even in private rooms.



  • @Rook said in Strange Game Dev Inquiries from surreality (condensed):

    Clearly they have had some idiots -cause- them to have to have this length of policy, damn.

    Despite the dearly loved 'don't make us care about your TS' files and policies on Reno1, there were some people on the game, including some staff, who could not for the life of them leave the subject alone... ever.

    As in, that is a warning to staff, too, that nosing into these things is absolutely not in any way OK.

    (All of my writing about everything is pretty wordy. At some point in beta I will probably hand out cookies to folks for helping trim things down to something more concise where possible.)


  • Pitcrew

    @surreality

    Yeah, I like playing them because usually they have an above-average draw for people to actually come RP at the location, which is hurdle #1 in the hobby, and the locations tend to be a little more colorful than Ye Olde Starbucks. So even the random filler RP is a bit less generic. The standard RL comparison applies: I spend lots of time in bars/cafes, but at brothels? Not so much! (I'm such a prude, I know)

    Plus you do tend to get up to all kinds of stuff, much like the ones in the show are core rumormongers, etc. Just because people are willing to walk up to you and RP is a big icebreaker and it gets you in on things.

    And even people coming looking for TS usually have the sense to do what I'd hesistantly call... foreplay RP? IE, 'I hand you money, you give me secks' doesn't tend to get you much effort in return, but if people hang out at the place and establish good RP with the characters (like they would anywhere else) the chance of naughty typing where I give a shit highly improves. And I think people know this. So whether horniness is the motivator or not, they're still good draws.

    So uh, pre-sign me up for a spot at one of those places, finned or not, probably :)



  • Idelle just might be my hero.

    (Edit: Seriously, who one of my alts at least is will be zero mystery after that based on PB alone.)


  • Pitcrew

    <3

    Yeah they're great!


  • Admin

    @surreality said in Strange Game Dev Inquiries from surreality (condensed):

    Despite the dearly loved 'don't make us care about your TS' files and policies on Reno1, there were some people on the game, including some staff, who could not for the life of them leave the subject alone... ever.

    The way I see it is more universal than just sex.

    There are people who don't want to be exposed to many different graphic things. Yes, to some this is sex itself, or at least some of its less savory practices like rape, and I can understand that. I can also understand players who don't want to be exposed to fucking torture - or gore - though if it's posed and goes into detail, yet I've seen my fair share of poses detailing the flow of brains or entrails coming out of human bodies. The same principle can apply to graphic murder; the list goes on.

    There's just something that doesn't sit well with me when we take a collection of terrible acts and put them into a hierarchy. This is too much to allow at all but that isn't.

    Rating areas is a good step (if you walk into an IC brothel you might see someone's breasts, the horror!) but it won't fix the underlying issue which is what staff will get/be forced to see and handle. I guess we can also rate PrPs - if I plan to run something where canonballs are going to tear people's legs right off I could warn participants ahead of time? - but I'm not sure what solutions exist here and how many provisions games in general ought to offer their players to protect them from seeing things that trigger their particular sensibilities.

    Before anyone takes offense at any of the above by the way... all of those acts are terrible. I'm not trying to trivialize anything. But what about roleplaying them?



  • Of course, my coder's brain is suddenly envisioning a Squick/Rating system that players can set that can match locks on entries to areas, barring them with a warning... that's a neat idea.



  • @surreality said in Strange Game Dev Inquiries from surreality (condensed):

    I'm looking at options for that. That gets the little hand-wiggle gesture tipping back and forth. If there's a feasible, reasonable, low maintenance for all parties way of going about it that doesn't require a landslide of code and micromanagement, I'd like to.

    I'm working on something. It will be kind of code-heavy, I think. It is currently geared for a GMC/CoD game (as it uses terms like XP), but I think it could be adapted. Basic structure is this:

    • Players obtain Time Points (or whatever you want to call it; for the sake of parsimony, let's call it "Time") every cycle. For the sake of this post, as a model, we'll say that PCs get 10 Time Points per 24 hour cycle. Spending Time Points allow Players to Do Stuff (see below).

    • Players can obtain Resources, which are necessary to build or improve Holdings, to bid for and complete Quests, or to be converted into Commodities or Luxuries, which are higher-level resources.

    • Resources may be physical, like iron or wood or food, or social-based, like favors or secrets or blackmail. Holdings are personal assets that may drop a Resource every defined period, permit Players to use Time Points to obtain a Resource, or lower the time it takes to convert a Resource (or Resources) into Commodities or Luxuries. Quests are essentially jobs or tasks that may be created by NPCs or PCs, which then offer rewards for completion.

    So, doing stuff:

    • Learn stuff: Players can use code to spend Time Points to improve their skills or earn experience to do so. For instance, for a GMC/CoD game, maybe players can spend 5 Time Points to get a Beat.

    • Gather stuff: Players can spend Time Points to get a Resource. For example and for this post, let's presume that players can spend 8 Time Points to get 1 Food Resource Unit ("RU").

    • Get stuff: Players can spend Time Points to harvest a Resource at a discount from a Holding. For example, players may spend 4 Time Points to get 1 Food RU by harvesting through a Farm Holding, which is less than what they would have to spend to gather without it.

    • Build stuff: Players can spend Time Points to create a Holding, so long as they have the requisite Resources. For example, let's say a player can build a Farm Holding with 40 Time Points and 10 Wood RU.

    • Trading, Converting, and Improving stuff: Basically, as the above, except you can swap RUs (there may be a market price for every RU, if you wanted to get complicated), or turn them into Commodities or Luxuries by spending additional time.

    • Go Questing: Players can complete Quests by spending Time Points to go on it, and completing a few rolls. Other players can come along too if they also spend the Time Points. Successful completion may result in Beats and Status raises; failure may still get you Beats, but you may take a Status hit.

    If you wanted to make each "do stuff" bit require a roll to determine success, that's sensible; it gives premium to folks with non-combat skills. But the point, I guess, is that this is basically all automated.

    How does this encourage RP? Let's suppose you need some RUs to complete a task or do something, but you also want some Beats to improve your PC. Well, you could always trade favors for the RUs, and bam RPing. Let's suppose you are short some RUs to complete a Quest? Same deal bam RPing. Need someone to build you something (which may need a successful roll/rolls with a skill you don't have)? Go find a PC that has the building skills, and bam RPing.

    This system requires minimal staff supervision, if coded properly. A successful roll is a successful roll, and whether a PC has the right RUs and enough TP can be grabbed by code.

    Just some ideas. I know it's very MUD-like, but I don't see anything wrong with it. RP in which resources are traded is still RP, and really is at the heart of what RfK did right, politics-wise.


  • Pitcrew

    @Arkandel

    I agree it can be weird OKing some horrific things and not others, but we do also tend to have some fairly set social conventions about these things. Some of those are silly (graphic violence OK, me shirtless = won't someone think of the children?), but we can modulate a bit between the two and come up with something reasonable as a baseline. And then RP that goes beyond the baseline can be restricted (whether that means it needs a warning or just shouldn't happen is up to the staff).

    Her game sounds like it has a pretty obvious set of inspirations, and Black Sails is among them. It has both a fair bit of graphic violence (including some of the nasty realistic consequences like amputation with shit medicine) and sex, and even sexual violence (see Max), albeit in the last obviously more is implied than shown. From that you can pretty easily find the common (sex, violence) that people should be OK with to even step foot on the game, but also probably the high end where a warning might apply (extreme gore, actual porn, rape, etc). Doesn't seem crazy.



  • @Arkandel Posted events and such will have options for people to note any potential content the GM thinks may be problematic.

    There are some things, not even going to pretend otherwise, that absolutely exist in the world but will not be permitted to be the concept for a PC. Arx seems to have kinda done this with prostitution somewhat, re: yes this could feasibly exist but we don't want PCs built around this concept. That's legit, to me.

    That's essentially the tack I'm looking at re: slavery as an option, and 'human beings as a territory based commodity to harvest' is right out, full stop.

    Similarly, it was absolutely not at all uncommon for young girls under ten (or younger) to be sold to brothels and not for training until they hit 18, either, but while PCs will likely be 16+, prostitutes may end up 18+ only, including any NPCs on screen. There are legality issues for some players in certain places about this. The US, where we're hosted, isn't as freaked out about it as some places, but Australia, for instance... just walking past someone posing something could cause major issues.

    @Rook There's a complete preference setup on the wiki for this. Concept shamelessly stolen from Shang, it's just general game subject matter, not specific sexual preference things. (There are some general ones on the list, but it's folded into the sum including things like generic gore tolerances and how much you love/hate social scenes/etc.) Can look at a person's preferences from their page and see what they are, and are not, comfortable with and/or interested in. Can click on a preference and see who is interested in that thing, which is useful for GMs, since it can give them an indication of the kinds of stories currently active players are, or are not, interested in. If nobody on the game is into ghosts, maybe run something else, for instance. That one's been done for a year or so now, it just hasn't gone live anywhere yet since I wasn't going to drop it on BITN.

    @Ganymede I will definitely take a look at it, and toss you whatever notes I end up with.



  • @Arkandel said in Strange Game Dev Inquiries from surreality (condensed):

    I'm not sure what solutions exist here and how many provisions games in general ought to offer their players to protect them from seeing things that trigger their particular sensibilities.

    I'm going to be super clear on this and while I do not intend to be harsh, it may come across that way.

    The statistics on rape in the US alone are fucking horrifying. I, personally, am a survivor of violent rape. My PTSD gives precisely zero fucks about how deeply integral to their master story plan someone thinks surprising everyone with rape is.

    RL is more important than RP, and if somebody cannot respect their fellow players enough to provide minor information to allow them to make informed choices about the content they're going to engage with if it's reasonable to believe it could be problematic, that somebody needs to grow up more than a little. This does not apply to just rape, either. If you're including torture, gore, feeding babies to Zuul, etc., advise the players in the space provided for an advisory notice and allow them to decide how much they want to stretch their comfort zones by choosing to participate or not.

    @skew did a great job of this on BITN, with warnings that 'X will occur and will happen to a random person at this event, if you're not down with that, do not come' and similar. (Seriously, he deserves kudos for this.)

    (Generic) your surprise plot twist is not worth somebody's emotional well-being or therapy bill, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

    People will have prefs set. People should use them to note things they have issues with; it's hard to justify complaining about how somebody tripped on a well-buried and unexpected landmine if you don't put up a sign that says: yo, there are landmines in this field, tread with caution, please. GMs should, ideally, glance over that info and tap people on the shoulder if they spot something that might be an issue via page before kicking something off to give the player a chance to opt out.

    We've had this discussion before, and I grok your stance on it, @Arkandel. It is a fascinating philosophical argument to have; it's also completely irrelevant when compared to the practical truth that human beings are more important than any 'surprise plot twist' somebody has in mind on a pretendy fun time game. That reality is where policy needs to come from, because that's the reality where we, the players, actually have to live our real lives, sometimes dealing with some very real and very ugly things we would rather not have to think about in the time we want to spend relaxing, having fun, and enjoying telling stories together.


  • Pitcrew

    @Three-Eyed-Crow said in Strange Game Dev Inquiries from surreality (condensed):

    That's a long TS file and is the kind that just makes me shake my head. Long TS files tend to do that, because it twigs my, 'If you're spending this much time explaining Tinyfucking, you must really care about Tinyfucking' light in my brain. Which is never a positive for me.

    But I get that people from vastly different game cultures than me think it's necessary. Mostly it depresses me about other players. Do whatcha got to do.

    Sadly all of that is pretty necessary, I have seen drama stem from just about every example @surreality gives.
    I am pretty sure the first file I would write would be the TS one and it would pretty much be Surr's only with more don't care and fewer examples so hers is likely better.



  • As a blanket statement, any adult-rated MU* should be considered Adult-Rated (R or higher) in a fair majority of the areas, events and plots. Whether that rating is for violence, sexual content, or whatever. If the game states that you must be 21 or 18 to play or whatever, it's adult-themed!

    Since the dawn of WoD, it seems, that people are routinely surprised by Evil Characters acting Evil, even when there is a lot of evidence (perhaps subtle) that they plan to do so. No, I'm not talking about surprise buttsex trauma, I'm talking about watching an IC event in a public location, with a timestop dropped (remember the days) and people reading a BBpost to get in... and someone complaining about the violence in the scene.

    If you are on an Adult-Rated game and have ANYTHING that triggers you in very horrific ways, I would sincerely hope that you have some tidbit of information on you somewhere that warns potential STs, Staff or RP partners that even starting down that road has the strong possibility of killing your involvement, interest or whatnot. Even if that note is an OOC statement at the start of meeting a new partner in a scene, or whatever.

    What I'm saying here is that: 1) Players should expect Evil, Twisted things on a game where Evil, Twisted lives and thrives. 2) STs and other PRP runners should not 'surprise plot twist' as @surreality says, at least OOCly. Give warning that Evil, Twisted things are not just possible, but imminent, here's your warning, please leave now kthnxbye.

    This should be an ingrained part of our culture, don't you think? Doesn't this fall under Respect Your Fellow RPers? Maybe. Surprisingly, this is the EXACT reason why we need News files so explicitly and agonizingly worded.

    It's the MU* equivalent of the sticker warning on your clothes washer expressly telling you that no, it is not safe for you to wash children in the machine, FFS.



  • Now, back on track. For the record, I'm behind @surreality on this. I like what is being put down, both thematically and in regards to how the game will be run, what the players can expect, and so on.

    No games out there are perfect, even the popular ones. I've already told @surreality to plunge forward with machete into the dense undergrowth, hack out a path and people will follow. People will come and help. People will bitch and so on, too, sure, but it's easy to spot those, pat them on the proverbial head and say "Duly noted, thank you." as you continue doing what YOUR VISION dictates.


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