Monday, February 03, 2014

Proposal: Turns out everyone starved to death

Times Out and Fails 1-1. -RaichuKFM

Adminned at 05 Feb 2014 09:18:46 UTC

Repeal all Dynastic Rules and start a new Metadynasty with no Captain. Change the keywords ‘Survivor’ and ‘Captain’ to ‘Player’ and ‘Emperor’, respectively, throughout the Ruleset.

Unidling to post this. It’s sad to see that the game has more or less stagnated for several weeks. Perhaps it’s time for a fresh start with a new theme.


RaichuKFM: she/her

03-02-2014 13:52:06 UTC

I still think this Dynasty can work, but I’ll let everyone else decide.

Josh: Observer he/they

03-02-2014 19:58:36 UTC

If this looks like passing then I’ll unidle and vote for it. Unidling to vote for it over the heads of the active players seems rude, though.


03-02-2014 21:34:10 UTC

I really don’t care one way or the other. I’m just sick of boring dynasties that sputter out into metadynasties.

Josh: Observer he/they

03-02-2014 21:51:12 UTC

We could probably do with getting some words down around how to run successful dynasties.


03-02-2014 23:15:42 UTC

I’ve got to say that might help. Alot of the people recently have had unsuccessful dynasties through no fault of their own. Then there are others like mine that worked but not really due to anything I did.

Kevan: he/him

03-02-2014 23:23:02 UTC

The 2012 BlogNomic Fun Survey had some solid advice.


03-02-2014 23:45:54 UTC

“Have a mechanic in mind first and then build your theme around that.”
“Choose a theme which suggests interesting ideas for rules.”

These two stuck out to me as the biggest things. People make themes but don’t seem to have a clear idea where it is going. They propose a single mechanic but nothing more after that. The themes often seem to have a cool idea behind them but they don’t suggest much as far as new rules or mechanics for the dynasties. I think people need to try and develop a better idea for where the dynasty is going before starting the dynasty. Not a rigid, exact ruleset but a general outline that can be adapted as the dynasty evolves. This isn’t to say that all the blame lays on any one person since many things affect the overall picture but this seems like the big problem to me.

RaichuKFM: she/her

04-02-2014 01:55:27 UTC

Since things seem to be kicking up again, against.

Josh: Observer he/they

04-02-2014 08:01:46 UTC

I think that’s right Larry. More than that, even - I’d say having a broad idea of what an end-state ruleset could look like, from the outset, is really helpful, acknowledging that the game may go in a completely different direction. What it comes down to, I think, is that the emperor needs to be prepared to basically make a proposal a day, every single day, if there’s nothing else going on. If you give people something to vote on then any other problems will eventually fix themselves.


04-02-2014 10:38:16 UTC

I’ll take a stab at expressing why this dynasty hasn’t felt enjoyable to me (these are my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect etc. etc.):

1) This dynasty is based around cooperation, but there’s no gameplay incentive to sacrifice Recollection to help the collective. Presumably, only one Survivor can achieve victory at the end of the day, and most of the currently available game actions do nothing to advance one’s position relative to the others. This might not be a problem if enough players felt that the story/gamestate progression was in itself interesting enough to justify the effort, but that clearly isn’t the case right now.

2) There are no big exciting actions and effects, just some numerical variables that can slowly accumulate as the weeks go by. The dynasties that have been the most fun for me always evoked the feeling that something big might happen at any time, that I could wake up to find that someone had killed me or burnt down my village, or jumped to the top of the leaderboard in a flurry of actions (and that that someone might be me if I could manage to outsmart everyone else). Slow, gradual progression is unrewarding without a big payoff to look forward to.

It might be possible to fix these issues and turn this into a functional and fun dynasty, but it would be difficult to find a solution that doesn’t compromise the theme or the core mechanics of the dynasty and if we have to do that, we might as well start afresh with a new theme.

Kevan: he/him

04-02-2014 18:09:38 UTC

[Purplebeard] Good points, but both seem relatively easy to address. Whether it would compromise the theme and gameplay is ultimately just a decision for the players - I think most dynasties could cope with a third-act twist. Perhaps we’ll suddenly remember that our ship was a murderer-class prison vessel.

This dynasty was just a little heavy on the dice, for me. But I only really lost my enthusiasm when a proposal timed out with a majority in favour, and the Captain decided to veto it with previously undiscussed concerns instead of enacting it. The chilling effect of vetoes is a big deal; you get a better game of Nomic if you let the players make and fix mistakes.

RaichuKFM: she/her

04-02-2014 20:11:08 UTC

Yeah, that was not my finest of moments. I still stand by my actions, but I could have gone about voicing my concerns much better, and I should have said something earlier.

Thinking back, I think it was a case of not realizing the issue until it was too late and worry of the game stagnating. Which it then did. Oh well, things are seeming to get back on their feet whether this Proposal passes or fails.


05-02-2014 00:18:14 UTC

*emerges from long, deathless, cthonic sleep beneath the waters*

I’ll be honest, I’m mostly interested in coming back because I have an idea or two (or three, or three hundred) for a new dynasty. And, looking at the current roster, it’s much more likely for me to win in a smaller dynasty. Not that I have unidled just yet; coming in to snipe victory is kind of a jerk move.

The problem I see with a purely cooperative dynasty is that at most one, (or two, with an Adversary (see the Athenian Dynasty)) player will win (c.f. Purplebeard). In a game of Pandemic, or Arkham Horror, or insert-your-favorite-coop-game-here, there’s no such problem. Further, if everyone could win, the dynasty would break, as the simplest route to victory is to propose “We win. Hurray.”

Thinking through the many dynasties I’ve played in, we’ve had more than one good semi-cooperative dynasty. The Spaceship dynasty was pretty fun and crazy, even though nominally we were all on the same ship together. The Werewolf dynasty is an even better example, as everyone was on one team or another. Even the Pirate dynasty, I vaguely recall, was semi-cooperative in that the whole ship won or lost battles.

Thus, my suggestions for fixing this dynasty are as follows:

1) Have Republic-of-Rome style cooperation by having some way to win, but if everyone starves, everyone loses and the game becomes a metadynasty.

2) Have Shadows-over-Camelot/Mafia style cooperation by having a secret traitor or traitors, who win if everyone else loses.

3) Have Prisoner’s Dilemma style cooperation by having the option for anyone to betray, secretly-or-not-so secretly, the ship for great personal advancement, verses everyone benefitting more, total, if everyone cooperates.

4) Any combination of the above.

RaichuKFM: she/her

05-02-2014 00:21:04 UTC

The item #1 would be the best fit, I think. If anyone wants to Propose something, go ahead.