Home > Jointhesaga.com, OtherSpace > OtherSpace: Your Worlds, Your Stories.

OtherSpace: Your Worlds, Your Stories.

We’re closing on the end of first year of the new OtherSpace, so I thought I’d take some time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished and share some thoughts on what lies ahead for the game.

First, it seems that the theme reboot and the combination of player populations from classic OtherSpace, OS: Millennium, and Chiaroscuro worked out relatively well. However, we’ve also seen the departure of some well-liked and familiar faces from the game, either due to the demands of real life or MUSH burnout.

Second, the special offers for rift-drawn humans helped attract new blood – but didn’t always succeed in keeping the newcomers once they had arrived. We’re still exploring ways to reward new and veteran players for devoting their continued time and energy to the game.

Third, we’ve successfully implemented the new HSpace 5.0 system into the game, along with the start of the resource gathering system. Despite the fact that some players have embraced coded space travel, others are concerned about getting around without having to own or charter a starship. This is a fair concern, given that we now have several worlds open for players to visit. Watch for new shuttles to and from Comorro Station early in the new year.

Fourth, we initiated a roleplaying expertise process as part of our new badge/achievement system and many people participated, but so far only two have achieved the top rank of Golden Belt: Mikage and Zabyra. With recent changes to the belt testing rules, I’m hoping that more players will take advantage of the process.

Fifth, we’ve continued to tweak skills based on player feedback with a lot of attention paid particularly to psionics. These tweaks are continuing. It’s great to see the player community reaching consensus and working with the staff to improve the game systems.

Overall, it has been a year of rebuilding as we continue to search for secure footing in an era that presumably is leaving text-based games behind. It is getting to the point where it’s not enough to simply say “Come play on OtherSpace and we’ll show you space opera.” If the game’s going to survive, it’ll have to be less about the stories *I* want to tell and the theme *I* want to develop. Those stories and thematic elements can form the foundation, but the bricks and mortar have to come from the players in the years to come.

Meanwhile, I need to focus more on outreach, player retention, and creative writing outside of the MUSH proper. Does this mean I’m retiring? Quitting? No, not at all. But it’s time for me to step back and put some distance between myself and the game for a while. After all, I’ve got Necromundus to start poking around at too. OtherSpace has had my attention for a full year. It’s about time for it to start rolling along on its own as much as it can.

So, in 2010, watch for the following new features to come to OtherSpace:

* Player-driven organizations: We’ll see less influence by NPC governments such as the Koltkamir, allowing player-run corporations/organizations to become the de facto governments of Hiverspace.
* Space combat: As HSpace 5.0 continues to bring new features online, expect some regions of space to become deadlier than others with the addition of PvP territories. Those of you who don’t want to PvP can avoid those areas (although I do expect that some valuable resources will be found there).
* Space stations: Players can own their own interstellar trade hubs.
* Customized alien races: Players can design their own alien cultures to inhabit the worlds of the region known as Hiverspace.
* Customized human refugees: Players can invent their own “rift-caught” humans pulled through space-time from Earth.
* Customized worlds: Players can create their own worlds, hold events on them, and build their own epic sagas.

Our new slogan for 2010 will be: Your worlds, your stories. The goal is to give new and old players alike something that they can’t get anywhere else: A platform to shape their own universe and tell amazing stories, creating memories that people can talk about ten years from now.

Stick around. I think you’ll enjoy the journey.

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  1. Sergeytov
    December 23, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    I might as well start.

    “Player-driven organizations: We’ll see less influence by NPC governments such as the Koltkamir, allowing player-run corporations/organizations to become the de facto governments of Hiverspace.”

    I suppose I might as well ask more about the first part: The better part of nine months or so has been spent setting up one of the bad guys. Is this meant to indicate some level of waning influence, or some other meaning? Admittedly it is more than a touch difficult to act when the impression given is ‘do too much, and we’ll just annihilate the troublemaker and be done with it.’ Including a couple examples to get across the ‘we mean business’ side of it.

    “Customized alien races: Players can design their own alien cultures to inhabit the worlds of the region known as Hiverspace.”

    I’ll just hope they’re reasonably balanced or given some guidelines for sanity.

    “Customized human refugees: Players can invent their own “rift-caught” humans pulled through space-time from Earth.”

    I don’t know what you’re thinking here, but at the very least players could probably be farmed for new rift ideas. It might also be worthwhile to make the promos longer than one month.

    “Customized worlds: Players can create their own worlds, hold events on them, and build their own epic sagas.”

    As someone in possession of one of these worlds already, I suppose I should take a moment to say: The ability to ‘customize a world’ is pretty worthless if worlds are difficult to find and we’re not able to help players locate said worlds. I know initially we were told we’d be able to get some assistance on the ‘locate planet’ front, though I haven’t heard any mention of progress on that front.

    • December 23, 2009 at 10:59 pm

      1) Re: Player orgs: The bad guy (Zar Hideg Fekretu) has at the very least been stale-mated by the arrival of the Merciless a few weeks back. Beyond that, I really don’t feel the need to “prove” anything to anybody – it’ll be up to the various player corporations to determine what to do for themselves.

      2) Re: Alien races: They’ll have to go through an approval process and they won’t be cheap to acquire – lots of RPP and probably some IC cash as seed money for the culture.

      3) Re: Human refugees: Maybe I was too obtuse in my explanation. I’m letting players submit their own ideas for humans pulled from Earth via rifts without always relying on the promotions. So, if someone shows up and says “Well, I wanted to be an X from Y time period,” we could consider it rather than saying “No, you have to be one of these 12 limited ideas.”

      4) Re: Customized worlds: I don’t know who told you that you’d get any assistance beyond telling players to search for your world, BUT I do recognize that people haven’t done that great a job of either hunting for it or, obviously, finding it. So, we will be considering alternatives.

    • Sergeytov
      December 23, 2009 at 11:34 pm

      It’s good to know that Word of God states the Merciless is imposing a temporary stalemate. It would be nice to see a news article or something similar that offers some level of insight into that state (or at least something that can lead one to reasonably conclude that there’s an approximate stalemate imposed for now). There’s the six ships that had disappeared mentioned in NOV09-7, but nothing beyond that on the matter at all. Ultimately +news functions as players’ basic eyes concerning this kind of stuff, and making assumptions based on ‘silence’ is pretty dangerous.

      As for the planet thing? There are the Exploration event card, if burning one of those would be helpful to get people finding things I’d be willing to pick one up.

  2. December 23, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    If only someone had, say, logged the holovid of Avocet announcing the intentions of the Merciless. (I don’t think they did.) However, it should be easy enough to put an article together explaining it in more detail.

    And, yes, an Exploration event card would certainly do the trick.

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