I appreciate the post Falk made about the three options that he sees for me going forward with OtherSpace.
In short, they are:
1) Shake things up again.
2) Hand the game over to someone else.
3) Close the game.
I’ve given it a lot of thought during the last week and I’ve reached the conclusion that none of these options addresses the fundamental problem: I miss *enjoying* what I like to do.
The most vocal players on OtherSpace make it clear that they don’t want their corners of the universe messed with anymore. Even just opening the door for them to make their own changes leads to people throwing words back in my mouth about keeping things simpler. If anything, they seem to just want systems fixed and/or finished so that they can plod merrily along with the game they want to play. I don’t suppose I have any room to blame them.
However, that doesn’t solve my problem.
Picking an heir apparent isn’t the answer. We’ve tried it before. It doesn’t work.
Closing the game would do nothing but make people angry. We’re not at that point yet, and I certainly don’t live under the false pretense that if I “can’t have it,” no one can.
So, I’m going with Top Sekrit Option No. 4. It’s a pretty simple option – painless to people who have invested themselves in OtherSpace, creatively interesting and potentially lots of fun for me.
I’ve started development of a modest side project that won’t get any major advertising. It’ll be a small MUSH with web character applications and invitation-only play, minimum age of 18. No badges. No medals. No Twitter feed or Facebook fan page. Just an easy-to-grok theme, story-driven, which won’t be designed to compete with OtherSpace.
I’ll probably have a little more to say about it as work continues on the project, but I’m optimistic that it will help rekindle some of my passion for this storytelling format.
Something Chiro wrote in the “Too many doors” post has stuck with me during the last week or so:
“You’re obviously not here for the same reasons we are.”
It’s accurate. When I think about why I started OtherSpace, the reasons are as follows:
* I enjoyed the fast-paced back and forth interaction of collaborative storytelling in a MUSH environment.
* I knew and liked many of the players/staffers and wanted to entertain them and to be entertained by them in return.
* I relished the challenge of building an audience for an original theme RPG.
* I wanted to do this for a living.
Well, look at where we are now:
* The interactions usually aren’t fast-paced anymore.
* Many of the folks that I liked entertaining are gone. Many of the new faces are awesome, but some, let’s face it, we just rub each other the wrong way and that doesn’t make you want to participate in my events anymore than I want to interact with you.
* We reached our popularity peak a long time ago.
* I do this for a living.
This leaves me less motivated, which may lead to more player frustration and boredom – a vicious circle that keeps feeding on itself.
I’m not sure where things go from here.