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Posts Tagged ‘MUSH’

OtherSpace: It’s not for everybody

July 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Games like OtherSpace aren’t for everybody.

They require the sort of person who:

* Likes to read.
* Likes to write.
* Likes to experiment with cause and effect.
* Likes to fly by the seat of their pants, crafting dialogue in real-time.

It’s like a LARP – live action role-playing game – in that participants assume roles that evolve over time. It’s like a tabletop game in that the game’s staffers act as referees or “dungeon masters” for the participants. It’s like theater in that the participants are actors performing roles – sometimes dramatic, sometimes comedic, and sometimes tragic.

But LARPs may meet once a month or so. Tabletop gaming groups might get together once a week. Theater groups may put on one or two shows a season.

OtherSpace is online around the clock every day. Our participants come from all over the world. Events occur in real-time. One day in the real world equals one day in the game. When major story arcs are in progress, missing a few days might result in returning to find the universe fundamentally changed or, at the very least, embroiled in some kind of crisis that potentially affects where your character can travel. So, above all else, you’ll find that OtherSpace differs from all these other forms in that it requires a commitment of attention, creative effort, mental flexibility, patience, and time.

That makes it an acquired taste for a rather limited audience.

However, if you’re willing to make the commitment, it can pay off in the satisfaction of creating a memorable character who experiences epic space opera adventures while making friends with strangers from across the globe.

OtherSpace: What’s Your Story?

December 6, 2010 Leave a comment

Taking advantage of some new amusements over at Xtranormal.com, I’ve started working on introductory videos for the MUSH. Here’s the first overview video about OtherSpace.

 

Between the Lines: “The Spectre’s Song”

April 19, 2010 2 comments

It’s been more than a year since people started showing up aboard the sentient starship known as Comorro Station. In all that time, though, no one has ever really learned much about the past of this creature that has been around for tens of millions of years.

When Anshera asked for a Ghost Story event card activity, I found my chance to do a couple of things.

First, I could use a creative method to provide exposition about Comorro that players otherwise would never get, because that history is something the Yaralu would never share on her own.

Second, I could mess with the perception that a “Brody event” always involves maiming, killing, or near-death experiences.

No dice rolls. Not one bolt of blaster fire. And very little dialogue. The only dialogue, spoken by Comorro herself, is a demand for Anshera to shut up when she starts singing an ancient but familiar tune.

Anshera, a character transferred over from Necromundus after it closed (and therefore able to communicate with the dead), was able to detect and interact with glowing, singing orbs that only she could see in the docking hub – the long-barren womb of Comorro Station. She asked Razorback to give her a lift so that she could reach out and touch one of the orbs. When she did, her eyes began to glow and the song emanated from her so that all could hear.

The song evoked emotions and images within the minds of all who listened, telling the story of Comorro’s doomed offspring, who were captured by the Kamir and Thul, then used as weapons against their enemies – including a war to enslave the Lotorians and destroy their native world. Comorro then took it upon herself to hunt her eight children. She caught and consumed seven of them. The eighth, later to become known as The Harrower, eluded capture and joined with the Hivers in their eventual war against the Kamir. The Harrower still lives today – it was the massive ship that players first encountered on the original OtherSpace back in 1998.

It wasn’t an action-packed event, but I do think it was a success at provoking some emotions that give players a deeper sense of the hardship and sorrow experienced by Comorro.

Bringing sexy back to text!

April 1, 2010 4 comments

We’re adding the following new action cards to OtherSpace:

* Tier 1, 2, 3 Love You Long Time: Adds +1 to +3 on Erotic Arts taskrolls.
* Tier 1, 2, 3 IMPALE!: Adds +1 to +3 on Strength taskrolls during virtual sex. WARNING: May result in personal injury.
* Tier 1, 2, 3 First Sight: Forces another character to fall head over heels for you.

We’re adding the following new event cards to OtherSpace:

* Orgy: Everyone get down and get dirty in the tradeport aboard Comorro Station!
* Private Dancer: The staffer of your choice performs a striptease. Hands off the merchandise!
* Around the World: The staffer of your choice does anything and everything you want. No limits! They want to sex you up!

We’re adding the following new jobs to OtherSpace: Dominion:

* Entry-Level Oral Tradition
* Advanced Oral Tradition
* Lead Oral Tradition
* Entry-Level Back Door Surprise
* Advanced Back Door Surprise
* Lead Back Door Surprise

Also, try out these new craftable items:

* Tentacle Vibrator
* Demarian Nipple Rings
* Gankri Love Extender
* Aukami Dangle Chains

OtherSpace: Bounty for blogging!

February 19, 2010 Leave a comment

So, I’m offering a 500 RPP bounty (and the blogger badge) for all players who create a WordPress.com blog for at least one of their OS characters. The blogger badge can be claimed immediately, but the bounty won’t be granted until after you’ve used the blog actively for a month to share character anecdotes (or, in the alternative, game theory and such if you note it’s an OOC post). Extra RPP will be given to those who link their blogs to the Plattitudes blog at https://plattitudes.wordpress.com (and I will set up a blogroll to point to your character blogs too).

Thinking About: Word of Mouth

January 4, 2010 41 comments

We haven’t had a contribution toward server and marketing costs for OtherSpace since the middle of October 2009. Not a dime to put toward even one month of banner advertising. That’s not the worst news, though. The games of Jointhesaga.com aren’t a full-fledged business venture for me and haven’t been for a couple of years. They’re part of a hobby that I would like to see pay for itself. The economy being what it is, though, I’m not weeping over the lack of revenue. The game’s not in any danger of shutting down. Please don’t take this as whining for contributions – I know people are stretched thin, we all are, so that isn’t what this is about. I’m troubled by a different deficit.

I’m concerned because even when we’ve lacked server contributions in the past we’ve had a decent amount of word-of-mouth, which we’ve lacked that lately, and *that* is the worst news.

The game’s not dying. When I log on any given night, I see at least 30-50 characters online. So, the *people* are there. They’re just not talking much about the game. And that means less chance for the game to grow. We might not see the game die, but it’ll certainly stagnate.

That’s a little troubling to me. The best thing any MUSH can have going for it is word of mouth from the players to draw in new people. It’s really not enough for me to yammer about the game, but yammer I do. During the holiday break, I posted repeatedly about OtherSpace in the following places:

* Our Facebook fan page
* My Twitter feed
* Top MUD Sites
* The MUD Connector
* Web Game Friends
* MUDGamers.com
* About a dozen Yahoogroup mailing lists
* My WordPress blog, with posts like this one

So, yours truly is busy waving the flag. It’s a start, but it’s akin to treading water. I just don’t think it does the job well enough. We need to be swimming with stronger strokes.

Years ago, I could expect to visit TMS or TMC and see our players posting reviews or discussion threads. They’d make their own websites – I remember fondly the epic job that Blackstone did with Sivad’s site and the effort Stargazer put into her Quaquan site. Now? We’re lucky if players even use their community site blogs or post in the forums. I asked for testimonial blurbs via the forums this past weekend. I think we got three. THREE? Really? I think we can do better.

What do you think is going on here? Would it help if I reminded people that they can earn badges for this sort of thing? Is it something we can fix? Are we not getting word of mouth because there’s nothing to talk about? Do people just have nothing to say? Or am I worrying about nothing?

Vacation Achievements

January 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Well, it’s back to work at the apocalypse tomorrow. Time to reflect on what I’ve accomplished during the past week or so now that I’m rapidly running out of time to slack about. Here’s what got done during the vacation:

* Visited with the folks, my brother, my adorable nephew, my grandparents, and my second cousin for a few days after Christmas. It was a very concentrated sort of visit – two full days of driving hundreds of miles in a rented Shoebowl on either side of a couple of days of hanging around the homestead and gorging myself on turducken. I also owe a visit to some folks in Fernandina Beach. I’m hoping time will allow in the very near future!

* Added about 100 pages to the new OtherSpace Wiki.

* Tweeted a bunch.

* Picked up a new iTunes FM transmitter for the Juicebox and the second season of Babylon 5 at Best Buy.

* Got No Son of Hekayt, Book I, online for free download at http://www.jointhesaga.com – a move that I made because I’m more interested in drawing newcomers to OtherSpace MUSH and the book’s a more tangible hook than a plain old invitation to explore the abstract concept of an online roleplaying environment. I also tweaked the main website a bit, adding buttons to link to the Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress pages – as well as the new forums, the Wikis, and the old community site. (If you’d be so kind as to become a fan of Jointhesaga on Facebook, that’d be great! And if you want to follow me on Twitter, that’s also cool.)

* Scored the Loremaster of Outland achievement on World of Warcraft. That’s Kalimdor, Eastern Kingdoms, and Outland finished. Now to wrap up Northrend so that I can claim that Loremaster tabard. Also, got Stamp much better geared and statted for the DPS role that I intend him to play, thanks to a lot of pick-up group runs. (Got the Perky Pug pet too. Best virtual pet in the game, if you ask me.)

* Leveled in Fishville and Mafia Wars, but Farmville is slow going. I may be losing patience for the farm. Feels like such a grind.

* Got Huck a full dental workup, grooming, and a blue kerchief. He looks great, but will be on antibiotics for a couple of weeks to clear up some skin issues.

* Saw Sherlock Holmes – twice. Once with my brother in Orlando; second time with Karen at Southpoint in Durham. It didn’t seem as good to me on second viewing, gotta admit.

* Saw Avatar, again, but this time in IMAX 3D. Big pretty is still pretty, although the story’s definitely very formulaic and simplistic.

* Watched Terminator Salvation, finally, on Movies On Demand. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t as bad as I had expected.

* Watched UP again, on Movies on Demand. Sad part is still sad, but the movie’s still very enjoyable. Classic work.

* Wanted to watch O Brother, Where Art Thou? again, but discovered that the DVD is SCRATCHED. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?! Must get a new one ASAP.