Home > Game Development, Jointhesaga.com, Necromundus, OtherSpace > Thinking About: Hand on the rudder

Thinking About: Hand on the rudder

For the past couple of years, between working on Fallen Earth and entering a domestic situation that didn’t leave a lot of time for intensely focused or long-stretching story arcs, I’ve had to content myself with the assumption that other staffers and players on OtherSpace and Necromundus would provide enough action to entertain each other in my absence.

Sometimes, that assumption was accurate. The games don’t always need me kicking down sand castles and blowing up planets. But when the games hit doldrums, they REALLY hit doldrums. We can go entire months without a new log showing up on the website. No news articles in the game. No sense that the universe is alive and kicking.

That used to be our bread and butter on OtherSpace. When I look back at the brightest periods in the game’s early history, the highlights always seem to include the occasional player complaint that they went away for a few days only to return and find some burst of news that they missed (such as the political saber rattling between Sivad and Mars, or proclamations from Tomin Kora that their lack of laws meant the planet was crime-free) or situations where people expected my characters to be around, causing trouble and providing amusing interactions (like Vampire’s incessant flirtations, Neidermeyer’s bellicose venting, or Eye Balthazar’s cryptic proclamations).

Back in the good old days, the days that people talked about and kept coming back for, I had an eye toward the horizon with an overall story goal and a hand on the rudder to keep things moving along during those doldrums when the players and other staffers fell silent.

Well, I’m watching the horizon again. I’ve got a goal. I may talk more about that over time, but right now I’ll settle for saying this: I’ve changed my domestic situation so that I can focus more on what made OtherSpace great in the past. Rather than step back and let things go with occasional bursts of player activity, I’m throwing myself back in – full throttle. News articles, colorful characters, and a long-term story arc – like me or not, I’m back and I mean business.

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  1. Sergeytov
    February 6, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Without knowing any details, it is a bit difficult to comment.

    On the surface, it certainly appears to be a reversal of the ‘Your Worlds, Your Stories’ business mentioned just over a month ago.

    With that being said, I’m hoping there’s a reasonable balance between the desire for extended plots and the sand castles some of us have invested in building under the assumption they wouldn’t just be knocked down via a wide-spanning plot.

  2. February 6, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Sergeytov :

    Without knowing any details, it is a bit difficult to comment.

    On the surface, it certainly appears to be a reversal of the ‘Your Worlds, Your Stories’ business mentioned just over a month ago.

    With that being said, I’m hoping there’s a reasonable balance between the desire for extended plots and the sand castles some of us have invested in building under the assumption they wouldn’t just be knocked down via a wide-spanning plot.

    You’re becoming awfully predictable.

    It’s not a reversal at all. Do you think I should be excluded from the “Your,” considering I pay the bills to keep the lights on in the MUSH? If you want to be left out, you can be kept out. I have no qualms with that.

  3. Rar
    February 6, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Sergeytov :
    I’m hoping there’s a reasonable balance between the desire for extended plots and the sand castles some of us have invested in building under the assumption they wouldn’t just be knocked down via a wide-spanning plot.

    See: http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=516

  4. Sergeytov
    February 6, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    “If you want to be left out, you can be kept out. I have no qualms with that.”

    Sounds like a reasonable answer for a reasonable concern that I and others might have. Glad to hear it.

  5. February 6, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Well, I meant you specifically, as you’re the one who posted. If others want to let me know that the arc action should bypass them, they’re welcome to let me know.

  6. Razorback
    February 6, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    I really do look forward to having the whole story arc thing back. It’s a feature of OS story-telling that I have sorely missed. It has felt lately that there was a disconnect between the bigger IC goings on and our small influences.

    • February 7, 2010 at 10:40 am

      I have to say that I’m really looking forward to it myself. I don’t plan to give anyone the coded sniffles or blow up their planets, but I do want to make the universe a bit more lively.

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