Activity and Aid

  • Hey everyone.

    So! Flashpoint has been up since November (yay) and the few people who did join and began playing were the best. After the holidays, though, life swallowed a great many of us, and our numbers went down. We knew of some ways to help aid the growth of the game, but even those methods seems to be at a loss.

    Besides the standard ways of going about growth (advertisements, request of a State Side Staffer to fill the gap of hours that globes make due, multiple ways of contact regardless of being logged into the game or not should questions arise) is there anything else others out there might suggest?

  • The only suggestion I really have is often times both the simplest to think of and the most difficult to implement.

    Give people something to do. Run plots, get people invested, give people a reason to join. Then advertise like it's going out of fashion. You can't really advertise a place if nothing's happening, or soon going to happen, there.

  • This post is deleted!

  • @tinuviel When we are able to be online (at least one of us is at any given moment when not sleeping or at work) we run plots, offer RP, and have suggested plot hooks/points and stories that are coming up.

  • Admin

    What @Tinuviel said is true. What I'd add to it is try to coordinate 'activity pushes' like that for when you also expect to have the most staff and/or PrP runners available.

    Basically the way it works is people give games very few chances if they aren't already well populated - sometimes even just a single chance - so if you want to keep them, you get an equally very low number of chances to do so.

    What it comes down to is... if I see a post like this then I might log on tonight (for example). If it happens to be when you're busy IRL taking care of perfectly important stuff, things no one can possibly blame you for prioritizing, it could still mean there are no plots being ran or things happening, and I'd just spend a few minutes bored before logging out. Well, you lost me. It's not your fault, it's not mine either... it just happened.

    However if you make a big push for it during a couple of weeks when you know you'll be around and so will all your plot runners, and there's entertainment shoveled our way very regularly, maybe I'll stick around. Then @Tinuviel decides to also give it a try, and I'm there to play with, so he sticks around. And then others come, see us both there... and they stick around.

    Then you don't need to coordinate constantly, because we'll generate our own RP and everyone's happy. But kick-starting this perpetual RP machine takes effort and time upfront.

  • For me it was a combination of things.

    The lack of plots during times when I could be active as compared to the staff. Yes there was always a staffer on, that didn't always mean anything though.

    The lack of general RP during the times I could be active. I had a grand total of four scenes over the course of months.

    The lack of consistent rules, the rules as written on the wiki were not the same as the rules when I tried to make an alt that would be more inclined to get involved with heroic stuff.

    All of these together? Well... that was enough to make me spend time elsewhere.

  • @rizbunz If the population is small, that can be an advantage in some ways in that you have the time to be incredibly hands on and weave stories specifically for the individual players in a way that a large game can't match. You can think hard about individuals and what they want to see, and also go out of your way for new players and help them get integrated. Generally if people have that kind of attention and are enjoying themselves and having fun, they'll stick around and invite their friends, and growth will follow anyways.

  • Admin

    Another factor I definitely pay attention to (but I don't know if it's as important to everyone) is how much effort staff puts in. How excited are they about their own game?

    For instance if the game is small I expect staff to have more time to invest per PC, giving extra attention to giving hooks for RP, background tips... just going the extra mile. Or plots - they should be able to customize what's being done a great deal compared to running stuff that's a little more generic, as they'd have to do if they expected 5-7 characters from an active playerbase of a hundred.

    But yeah, if you show up thrilled to be running your dream game you bet I'll respond to it. If you sit on the general channel and handle CGen no different than any other MU* then that kind of thing is contagious too.

  • My problem was just being U.S. time and never finding folks on. Usually 2-3 logged in, always a staffer on, but very rarely anyone active or about.

  • Pitcrew

    Let me try to add something to this convo! Mind you, I wish you nothing but success Eevee, so if anything here sounds harsh, it is not my intention. Staff not loving what they have created is not this game's problem. You guys are all very passionate about it, and it shows.

    1. Theme: What is the game about?

    When I played there, I felt like the game could have used some sort of theme for players to use when creating their characters. I get the SETTING is Flashpoint Paradox (amazing choice) but what is the THEME? What sort of stories are going to be written there? What is the connecting thread between all characters? A THEME helps characters find common ground even when they come from different walks of life. The game needed that.

    1. Custom Codethings.

    You guys have a coder you can rely on. Awesome! But the fact you guys built a whole codebase that was unlike what we have in other games meant players have an entry cost in Flashpoint that does not translate into 'learning something new'. The +jobs system was funky, +events was not a thing, etc. I love custom code when it adds functionality that a particular game needs, but not when when it is the same thing from every other mu, but different.

    1. Theme Returns: Lack of Focus

    With the lack of a Theme it becomes hard to understand when you are designing your character "right" for the game. At launch you planned on allowing Lanterns, and despite the playerbase consisting mostly of ground level Gotham characters like Riddler, Kate Kane, etc, Amazons and Atlanteans were also allowed. I think the playerbase and staff didn't look at the game the same way, and having a focused theme would have helped.

    1. Power To The Players

    If you are running your game on an old, arcane system, you must have all powers well noted on the wiki or ingame (which was not the case) and probably some sort of simplified tutorial in the wiki, along with sheets for thugs, etc. Even if you have people willing to ST, sometimes the system is a barrier in itself. Give them tools to run your stuff.

    1. RP HUBs

    WoD games have Spheres, and Spheres have Covenants/Courts, etc. These bring players together. Your game was not WoD, but it had a very attractive WoD flair to it. Having RP HUBs like Watchtower (for vigilantes), GCPD (for cops/vigilantes with secret IDs), Falcone Hangout (for crime people) and Cadmus (for scientist types) could have helped people worldbuild too.

  • @sunnyj said in Activity and Aid:

    If you are running your game on an old, arcane system, you must have all powers well noted on the wiki or ingame (which was not the case) and probably some sort of simplified tutorial in the wiki, along with sheets for thugs, etc. Even if you have people willing to ST, sometimes the system is a barrier in itself. Give them tools to run your stuff.

    Unless there's a licensing prohibition.

  • Pitcrew

    @tinuviel said in Activity and Aid:

    @sunnyj said in Activity and Aid:

    If you are running your game on an old, arcane system, you must have all powers well noted on the wiki or ingame (which was not the case) and probably some sort of simplified tutorial in the wiki, along with sheets for thugs, etc. Even if you have people willing to ST, sometimes the system is a barrier in itself. Give them tools to run your stuff.

    Unless there's a licensing prohibition.

    Eh. Honestly, don't see that as an issue. These companies don't seem to care about MUing too much?

  • Admin

    @sunnyj IANAL but the idea seems to be that companies won't give permission (either by not responding or actually refuse it if asked) to avoid weakening their copyright. I haven't heard of a single case where they actively made moves to block free to play games though.

  • @arkandel I believe White Wolf, or someone affiliated with them, went after a website (the Codex? I don't recall) for hosting their rules and the like without permission. So it's entirely possible that if they hear about it, they'll clamp down on it. So it's better to just... not.

  • Admin

    @tinuviel I can see why no one would want too much (whatever that means) of their rules basically plastered on a wiki or something. Some wikis like Haunted Memories were... very liberal in the past about the amount of stuff they pasted verbatim, too.

  • @arkandel Yeah. It adds complications that are best avoided.

  • Pitcrew

    Yeah White Wolf has allowed ads for MU*s on their official forums in the past but that is a big step between giving folks a place to play like a MU or Roll20 where I am sure WW knows that WoD of all stripes are played and posting hunks of the book.
    True a company might not have an issue but why poke at the sleeping bear in this case.

  • WOO! Ok, what a write up. Firstly, thanks to everyone taking a moment to offer their suggestions. NOW! To the answers!

    Theme - Can be revised a bit and clarified. Wiki update pending.

    Coding - Sadly, we do not have a coder. She disappeared. Hopefully, she'll return OR we'll find a new coder that can understand her home brew. Granted, the few things we still need do not have to be as she has written since she didn't start processing those functions. For now, we'll work with what we have. I'll also look over what help files we DO have, and add some info/intel on the Wiki.

    Help and Wiki Info - I'm currently trying to fix all game links to the wiki that are on the game in their @descs. Lil hunt and peck, but now that I have a couple days off, we'll get that sorted.

    RP - We try to make all plots work around the characters, given they have basic ideas. Hopefully we can make sure this works all the better for those involved! Events are fully functional as well, but with our numbers, we usually just talk to people when they're around, more so than setting up times. Introduction of the Events will be soon, I believe. Maybe even a note how characters can talk to one another for RP and not have to wait for ST prodding. Granted, I understand that's not everyone's style.

    Factions/HUBs - So far, everyone that's active that fits into a faction has their own channel. They're advised of this after they complete CG. These include Law, Crime, Occult, and anything else should it grow and come to our attention.

    Rules - Unless I can figure out our +help system, I'll have to delay on adding the Powers to the game itself. The rules on the wiki as well, should there be any misunderstanding or review, usually get resolved and changed within the day. If this has happened with a player, they, too, receive and answer within the day. Apologies for any misunderstandings and frustrations.

    I hope I got everything!

  • @tinuviel
    Just an FYI for that, White Wolf has taken down the subnet and Reference Desk because of copyright reasons. I think a lot of the 'caring about it' is having the system actually in use, as none of this C&D happened until Paradox bought White Wolf and actually plan for a bigger type of release than just 'one book every eight or so months' that is OPP's scheduling.

    My own two cents? Try to create some things for players to do that don't require staff. One thing I always loved seeing on older games was a rumors or plot hooks board with 'there's a thing! It's open for people to do stuff with!'

  • @bobotron Good idea. We have the Gazette and GNN on game, but for some reason, posts time out even IF the timer is set to infinite. SO...looks like a new page of the wiki will be going up instead ^_^

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