Wednesday, February 07, 2024

Logging off

Naught becomes idle after 7 days of inactivity. Quorum drops to 3.


JonathanDark: Publisher he/him

07-02-2024 22:45:20 UTC

Commenting that I’m still watching this space. Maybe I’ll come up with something, but I still haven’t devoted enough mental energy to propose anything interesting.

Zack: he/him

07-02-2024 23:49:03 UTC

I’m having trouble putting my finger on the pulse of why people aren’t really engaging with this dynasty. Is it because so much info is secret, there’s not really any immediate feedback? I might make a proposal to make some info public, and I’m also open to any proposals that majorly change the dynamics and gameplay loop.

JonathanDark: Publisher he/him

08-02-2024 00:16:14 UTC

I think having nearly all the information private is contributing, but is probably not the entire reason.

In a previous dynasty where I was Emperor, I had all private information, but I also had a game loop with regular Story Posts, and each player had something small they could do every game turn, which was to move one direction in a grid. Even people who did little else at least moved in a direction.

It feels a little harder to figure out what to do for this dynasty. Other than the weekly “create a new client” for the Reputation, I don’t know if I really should be downloading files, writing programs, or to what end I’m doing either of those.

A wholesale restructuring might help. I liked your idea of the Mainframe going rogue and Agents splitting into factions. When you mentioned it, I pictured the Mainframe handing out missions to connect to certain Clients and download certain Files. At some point, the Mainframe would stop handing out missions, and Factions would show up to hand them out instead. You would build Reputation with those Factions, and once you have enough Reputation, you would start getting Files with clues as to where the Mainframe is and how to trap it.

I just haven’t sat down to really flesh that idea out into a set of rules.

Josh: he/they

08-02-2024 09:22:33 UTC

Kevan is certainly of the opinion that complete black-box dynasties don’t work - that visual movement and feedback is essential to a game loop.

My personal feelings are that you can have some black box behaviours, but the combo of that and no collabs means that you can never know what’s happening at all - I’m a big believer in test-the-water proposals like this one, which, I mean, it didn’t resoundingly suggest that there’s load of activity going on below the water, for all that there’s clearly some curiosity to let things play out a little longer. But with only four players it’s unlikely that most players have a firm sense of what game they’re playing, let alone how they’re doing in it.

If it were me I’d get a VC on the books - the ambiguity of a nomic ruleset pairs poorly with the ambiguity of an invisible gamestate - having a tangible goal to work towards might help. That said, it’ll be hard to get a VC passed when progress towards it is invisible.

I still think that this might be a case where chalking it up to experience and running a chop might be the most elegant path out. Definitely worth a post-mortem, as and when we get there.

Josh: he/they

08-02-2024 09:23:26 UTC

Just to note that we’re only one player away from Dormancy as well, do if there is an appetite to keep playing then suspending Dormancy at a minimum would be sensible.

Zack: he/him

09-02-2024 14:18:48 UTC

We have a victory condition Josh, see Blackout. It involves being connected to every Client to shut down the mainframe, which means everyone should be trying to hack as many other clients as they can right now.