Okay. Seriously. WHAT am I doing wrong here?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Xindaris, Oct 13, 2009.

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  1. Yeah, this is asking for advice, but I didn't put it in counseling section because it's not quite that serious, it isn't really life advice.

    What I want to know is what's in the title. What am I doing wrong here lately?

    I'm on a third attempt at starting an RP. Of the first two attempts, one got zero interest (which I gauge by how many people actually post character sheets), and the other got one person and fizzled so quickly it's not even funny.
    This third one has one person besides myself, and isn't going to work without at least four or five characters at the beginning. I was considering making another RP, of an entirely different nature, but given the fact that all three of the RPs I've attempted to make so far are of different kinds (I mean they have different structures and settings), I'm not sure I should even try. I've never had such total and frequent failures, on any site.

    So yeah. There's been no interest since the site crashed in any of my RPs, and I really want to know why. Is it that all of my better friends are too busy with life and other RPs, and they're the only ones who ever joined my RPs and they only did that because I was their friend? Is it because none of my ideas are the least bit interesting to the average Iwakuan? Is it because the older members hate me for something and the newer members find me annoying? Is it because nobody cares for a fantasy-setting RP anymore around here? Am I not doing something that I used to do that led to people noticing my RPs?

    'Cause folks, I've got to be totally honest here. I'm not your normal internet-goer. My major purpose for coming to this site is to RP. I join RPs, I make RPs, I play in them. That's not to say I don't have friends here, but if I don't RP, I have little motivation to come here. So I need some help here.
    Seriously.

    -Xindaris
     
  2. *Leans over and whispers.* Maybe because it takes you a long time to post and get things started? People have very very very short attention spans. >>;

    Getting new people that aren't your regulars helps, though.... o___o; Maybe your regular partners just dun roleplay as much anymore either. *Points fingers around!*
     
  3. Don't think you're doing anything wrong, it's just the beginning of Fall is slowwwww. People going back to school, to college, to universities. Take my sci-fi mecha RPG DEM for example, it had so many people who signed up and was very active in summer time. How many people post now? Not very much. They all got busy. It's an RP of 8+ people but now it's at a bit of a stand-still.

    It's just not an easy time period to be starting RPs IMO and from what I've seen.

    Also, it may help to check for interest BEFORE you start an RP, perhaps ask people in the c-box about it and see if you can get them on board before the RP even started, that's what helped DEM get off the ground. I was able to get Archy and Soldato right on the get-go and the rest followed. You just gotta be able to describe an RP briefly in the c-box.
     
  4. Plug it like crazy before you post the OOC. Send people links to the logo over CBox, talk it over with them and see what they would want from the RP. That way you guarentee interest and you may come away with several ideas you'd never have thought of on your own.

    That's my fifty cents on the matter.
     
  5. Yeah, you have to hassle people I'm afraid. I usually only start an RP after getting a fellow-player to brainstorm things with me. Then I bully all my MSN contacts to get involved. Then I spam the Cbox and poach newbies.

    Your problem Xin is exactly what you've just stated - you only come here to roleplay. Even I don't know that much about you, and it's supposed to be my job to know things... >_>

    If you get a good personality established in the Cbox, General Chat, Mass RPs and even Insanity (if you swing that way), then it always helps. People see your name next to a new RP and they think "Hmm, what's that guy up to?"

    Starting lots of roleplays and staying out of the other sections can sometimes send the wrong message - that you're a big serious roleplayer who doesn't have time or patience for the community's smaller endeavours.

    It also makes you seem like you have so many ideas on the go that you're never going to be giving your full attention to any given one. In my own opinion, I don't like that. It's why I don't join anything by Paorou or Diana, cos I'm afriad they're just gonna fuck off and start something else the moment I join.

    I think the only difference between you and me Xin is that I whore myself out to things I don't really care about - like General and Insanity and the Cbox. I'd rather just roleplay, but I know these Iwaku apes need me to dance like a clown before they clap their retarded hands together and drag their drooling, knuckle-dragging, bloated half-corpses into my shiney roleplays where they belong.
     
  6. I did check out Aranor and I was really close to joining up as a Shadow Fang Neshoba. I don't remember why I didn't, but I'll most probably do it anyway.

    Joining "friends-RPs" never really worked well for me and I'm solely looking for interesting plots.

    *Poses the hand of 'I'm such a good person'*
     
  7. {This post is a disjointed response to all of the above. Sorry, it's not organized by member the part responds to, because some parts respond to multiple responses, and some parts aren't fully responses at all!}

    Alright. Sorry, I was just feeling really frustrated at the time. I seem to have a knack for unintentionally ignoring circumstances. Though I would note that even before the crash happened, the RPs I had then had little to no activity, part of my reason for not reinstating them after it--wanted to start fresh.

    I think the main reason I've found my friends joining my RPs in the past a bit more frequently than people I don't know is because I feel more confident approaching them and asking them to have a look, and then the fact that we probably met through an RP, meaning we share some bit of creative interest in common. It's not only 'cause we're buddies, in other words.

    To be perfectly honest, I don't directly self-disclose on the internet for one simple reason: I'm freakin' paranoid. That's why only three (or maybe two) of Iwaku's members know my real name, or even have a hint of my place of residence. Unless, of course, somebody's been abusing my trust...in which case I'll have a good idea who.

    The reason I don't look for interest before I post an RP is because an RP arrives as a pure, demanding idea in my head, often one that no summary could do full justice. I feel it's better that people get the whole deal before committing themselves to joining, so that's what I give them in the form of the OOC. The OOC is my interest checker. But on the other end of the spectrum...freeform. One of my RP attempts that's failed recently was exactly that. I'm not really sure how that can go wrong, even without a prior interest check.

    Referring to the previous paragraph, the "pure and demanding" part of the ideas is why I don't tend to ask others for input before putting the RP out. My brainstorming is usually idea-->logical followings of idea-->RP OOC, so the last step is the only good place for me to get input on things. I also feel as the GM I should take responsibility for at least a good bit of the setting (though allowing some freedom) and the plot's initiation and some general contours thereof. It's kind of hard to explain, but my idea of how an RP forms is that a person comes up with a fairly well-formed idea and people who like it come along to develop it further, as opposed to a person coming up with an extremely vague idea and brainstorming it with other people. The latter I would categorize under freeform or co-GMship (I actually believe that the co-GMship of more than, say, three people is probably at really high risk of problems if it has any "lesser" players who don't hold that rank, the latter being eliminated in an ideal freeform, which classifies the input of each player to the plot and setting as equal. I've found the distinction between the several GMs, or super-players, and "lesser" players may have been a source of my unconscious aversion to Legacy as a whole, but that's another long story).


    Additional reasons for my difficulty posting in specific non-RP areas:
    I've tried posting in insanity in the past, but you know, I have a very strong objection to people abusing powers meant for other purposes by changing what I say, even in the silliest of matters. These days I say or do things of absolutely no consequence or interest there, in something of an effort to be too boring to hijack, or create things so useless that I don't even care about their being altered or removed.

    As a Christian I've found the advice or comments in my head are likely to rub shoulders with the opinion of the general populace and be counterproductive in specific cases, so I stay out of the counseling/ranting section these days.

    Member central=mostly welcoming threads. I'm not great at introducing myself like some people, and such threads by nature die out or go off-topic so quickly that I barely see a point to my meddling with them...the newcomers will surely get a better impression of me through my writing anyway, goes my thought process.

    I've said some stuff in feedback & ideas in the past, but at the moment I have no horrid complaints. It's part of my reason for liking Iwaku so much.

    Legacy kinda turned me off to the concept of a single-plot mass RP...and I get lost with no idea of what to do way too easily in multi-threaders.

    I'm in the neko cult, ironically enough...and post there often enough, I think. A number of the other cults just don't seem like as much fun.

    Yeah, I don't really know what the general chat section's for. Seems like half the threads floating around are about RPing anyway. I prefer RPing to talking about RPing and then never doing so...

    Back when I used to put up my writing (mostly) and "art" (if you want to call it that), it got virtually no feedback whatsoever. I would've preferred a "This sucks and here's why" to the absolute void that I got. The only thing that had much interest at all was the persona story, and I think my block on that is permanent in addition to the increasing chance of unintended libel or such, and the fact that Iwaku World lets people write their own personae doing stuff so I shouldn't be so redundant as to do the same.
     
  8. Spot on with Legacy. There was a clear distinction between super-players and lesser-players, based solely upon who I thought I could trust to keep the plot going. The only ones who seriously crossed that gulf were Grumpy and Alexander, who have my lasting respect for doing so.

    Freeform RPs, in my opinion, are ironically more restrictive than structured RPs. When faced with a blank canvas, we tend to fall back upon comfortable cliches and set patterns of imagination. The very reason there is a GM is because he has to be the bold and creative artist who takes that first leap out of the comfort zone. Without this spark, everyone uses their imagination conservatively for fear of rocking the boat. This is especially true of Fantasy RPs, where most people need to be pushed to get past the initial series of pictures that come into their head.

    I've found that a good balance is to create what I call a hollow. You establish a backdrop, but leave a space at the centre for a range of player-led creations. This is why Vampire RPs work, because there are so many ideas about what a vampire should be and what their relationship with humans and other undead should be. If you create a world and then leave a space for vampires, you're guaranteed to get some players coming in to join up the dots.

    It's also why Legacy worked - you had the situation and the ship. That was enough background to keep things going, and enough of a hole in the middle for other players to fill with characters, crew-duties and sci-fi subplots.



    Looking at your plots, Xin, I have some snooty advice if you'd care to read it:

    Aranor is WAY too open. The king wants you to help stabilize the country, but that could mean anything. It looks like a huuuge task. There's no clear threat, no clear stakes. Looking at that premise, I can't even begin to think of a character or how he would enter. A promising RP should instantly spark some scenes in my head, but looking at Aranor, I'm just not getting anything. The Call to Action needs to be clearer. Granted, you might be developing this later, but curious players aren't gonna read past your first post if they haven't been hooked. Think of what the movie-slogan would be for this RP. Right now, it looks like Only a chosen few can stabilize the country! That's not a film that I would go to see.


    City at the Edge of the World seems promising. The Defenders are a good hollow - an elite group that I can already begin to picture. I think the only two faults with this are that the Creatures aren't explained well enough in the initial post. I know you explain them later, but as before people won't read that far. You need to mention straight away if they are undead, demons, mindless beasts, ethereals, etc. If we can picture the enemy, we can picture our own characters, and that's what you need people to be doing when they read the opening. And secondly, this Valim guy seems very powerful. What's to stop him fighting the war on his own? And what's the point of us making a Defender if everything we do is going to be overshadowed by Valim's awesomeness. Now, if Valim was about to suffer an injury and leave the city defenceless, those would be some very good stakes. Or, if he was about to send a group of Defenders somewhere beyond his influence, that would be exciting too. I think if you tweaked him a bit and raised the sense of peril from the Creatures, it could be a very intriguing RP.


    Your Freeform RP raises the points I mentioned earlier. It's a huge blank expanse of canvas that makes the brain hurt. You need a springboard, just something to get that first bite from the players. It doesn't have to be anything concrete, just a little incentive. Think of the saying from Lord of the Rings: "One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them" - even that is enough to start triggering pictures and questions - what the ring looks like, how people fear and worship the ring, how the one ring acts upon other rings, who wants the ring and why, where is the ring, who has it, how does the one ring find the other rings? With that simple quote you get players thinking about the entire world of your RP and painting pictures of it. This is the spark I'm talking about. Just give us something to make the leap beyond the usual tired cliches, and people imaginations will erupt.



    No book is written in precise detail, and no film is watertight. All artists, whether they be writers, musicians, poets or actors, deal in triggers - they use as few words as possible to inspire as many pictures as possible in the mind's eye.
     
  9. My tastes are hardly representative of most posters, so I can't really answer the title question, but I'll try to answer what I can.

    I'm not sure who talks about RPing but never RPs, but I want you to know two things: Firstly, General is exactly what it's name says. You can post about anything you'd like to share or ask that isn't meant for insanity. The threads we see are the ones that those who make threads are willing to post. News, quizzes, interesting facts, discoveries, and hypothetical discussions. "Miscellany" if you prefer. Secondly, talking about RP and RPing aren't mutually exclusive. I do both. Diana does both. Boy, does Asmo do both! ;)

    I identify with this. As long as I've been here I'm still pretty secretive.


    I identify with this, believe it or not. Many of my methods of coping with things--the healthy ones, at least--come from my beliefs, and in some cases there's no way I can present the solution in a way that will be meaningful for someone who does not share the belief from which my solution is derived.

    I'm often like this too. Sometimes I shake it off momentarily. I mean, I'm a mod after all, and I genuinely want people to feel welcome, but sometimes I feel silly and disingenuous or that I can't add anything that hasn't already been said better.

    Basically I agree with what Asmo said with an emphasis on the bit about Valim. The nebulous enemies didn't bother me so much, though I think it can be attributed partly to my visualizing the setting as similar to the imagery in the early Kingdom Hearts II trailers, and so my imagination filled in the blanks of ambiguous dark creatures. But that's assumption on my part, which could have potentially screwed things up.

    And I was going to join it. But I'm having to write about two research papers a week, working on my own stories(Hey, I've got to do it sometime and when I go too long without writing solo-fiction I lose the "feeling" behind my RPing), and still trailing behind in one game in addition to having to stall running my own game. I like the concept of "City." I used to tell people when I liked their games but couldn't join them, but games can't live off of inactive admiration. :(

    I guess that's all I have to say that hasn't been said.
     
  10. Beautifully stated as always, Asmo.
     
  11. Let me see...feel the need to do some explanation...

    I thought the Aranor RP made fairly clear what the problems were before mentioning the king: Monsters are becoming more numerous, and some of the people who supported the dragons still consider themselves at war; two specific problems. I suppose I didn't connect them well enough?
    And it's not supposed to be a 'chosen' group, the RP just focuses on one group because it's harder to manage two or three, and it would spread the players too thin unless the RP is absolutely popular, which I'm not counting on. It's not like the group the RP focuses on is any better than any of the others, it just happens to be the one the story focuses on.

    City: Okay, I really don't want to say this because it's a huge spoiler. In fact, I'm putting it in a spoiler.
    The plan was,
    Show Spoiler
    Valim turns out to be a physically manifested dream of the person whose fault the creatures are, and somewhere between a few days and a week from the RP's start (depending on how fast things move) he reveals this to the city and tells them they must go and destroy his physical body in order to destroy the threat of the creatures forever, making the world reborn, or else they will be overrun and the world destroyed forever. This, of course, is also just before he "wakes up", removing the dream-body from existence.

    I also think you're exaggerating a bit on Valim's stated abilities. He's wise, intelligent, charismatic, a decent sword-fighter and can teleport, but he has no other magic to speak of and can't be in more than one place at a time. Plus, he isn't inexhaustible by a long shot. Overall I mean that there's no way he could even defend a fraction of the city's walls by himself. I intended his character traits by their apparent perfection to imply a dark secret from the start, but his abilities in an actual fight aren't really that impressive.
    As to the creatures, I wanted to go for a sort of unknown fear, and describe them the first night. I thought it would be enough to know that they kept the surviving population of an entire world holed up in a city for thousands of years, but eh.


    coffee, sorry--I didn't mean that other people talk about RPing and never do, or that those events would follow logically, I meant that if I'm talking in those threads but the RP(s) I'm in aren't doing anything, that's what I'd be doing. I suppose I don't have much of a knack for quizzes or such...
    I would note that back when I tried to post something I thought was really interesting in the Entertainment section (specifically, some online games that had user-made levels), nobody responded.


    I may as well mention the idea I haven't tried yet--a "one night's" RP. Intended to be absolutely non-epic, takes place over the course of one night within the confines of a single tavern. Involves the tavern's guests interacting with one another, and not inherently interesting unless the characters and the relationships between them are interesting.


    Finally...Torsty! Join the RP! Pleeeaaase? I can help if you're having any trouble...
     
  12. Hmm, I once had a similar idea about an RP set around a single tavern. I may be interested in joining something unique like that.
     
  13. I felt the whole "WAY too open" feel gave us RPers a....greater chance to develop the story a bit on our own as it goes on without ruining much for the GM.
     
  14. **pets Xin**
    Maybe I should make a Xindaris exposé thread...
     
  15. You need to find the right balance, really. Too much GM control, and the players feel restricted; too little GM control, and the players don't really know where the story's going. And it can be tough to find that balance, too. It's a problem I run into quite a lot with RPs.
     
  16. They could be too complex and detailed for rpers to feel that they CAN roleplay in them, rather than just following a set story.
    I noticed (back when college allowed time to rp) that the free ones were the easiest to join and the quickest to star because you weren't worrying about the character sheets too much.
    Too much forethought can spoil a good thing in my opinion.
     
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