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  1. #31
    LVL 7 Master Mew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Do Our RPs Lack Staying Power? (Let's Solve This)

    @Gym Leader Drayden And our Word of the Day is...


    Just kidding, bud, I agree with 99% of what you said, and you've summed up the major causes of RP stagnation quite thoroughly.

    To dredge up an old point of contention here in the Metronome Forum, I've always felt RP'rs coming together to compose a unified story doesn't necessarily equate to the characters themselves being physically together, but that's a minor difference between myself and other GMs and hardly makes the difference between the success and failure of an RP.

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    noot noot Oblivion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Do Our RPs Lack Staying Power? (Let's Solve This)

    Being a person of few words is not part of my reputation.

    That is true, and as I said, the characters don't necessarily have to be physically present with one another. Matter of fact, if the laws of cause and effect are done properly, it could be possible to have all of the characters in different places and still have things work. And immersion in the story can mean a lot of other things, too. Immersion in the storyline, immersion in the world itself...just as long as the player is a part of the world and its inhabitants, then things can work out.

    Also, another point that I didn't bring up is that discussion threads, IM chatrooms, or other things of the sort can greatly contribute towards the enjoyability of the RP, since it gives the participants a chance to interact, provide commentary on the current events, as well as bounce ideas off of one another.

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    Nidaime Rikudo Madara Uchiha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Do Our RPs Lack Staying Power? (Let's Solve This)

    One thing I hate about some RP's is that if the characters are separate, you'll rarely hear of other rpers exploits. When one character wins a tournament, or blows up a fortress, I expect to see references, dammit! Most Rpers care more about their own characters adventure than anyone else.
    "Drown in Despair. This is the power of Madara Uchiha! Divine Power!"
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  4. #34
    noot noot Oblivion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Do Our RPs Lack Staying Power? (Let's Solve This)

    That ties in with the idea that characters should have a place in the story. If a GM makes the players feel like the actions of their characters was for naught, then nothing good will come out of it.

    But, at the same time, I again bring up the warning that players shouldn't try and actively seek attention and glory for the pure sake of making their character look cool.

    Quite honestly, people seem to forget that the players of an RP are, or at least should be, just as important to the RP as the GM. It's striking that balance between authority and freedom that determines the success of an RP in those regards, and it isn't the easiest thing to do.

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    Wahaha~ Heroic Sociopath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Do Our RPs Lack Staying Power? (Let's Solve This)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gym Leader Drayden View Post
    Alright, I'm not going to be just tossing in my two cents here. I'm going to be tossing in my whole wallet.

    Firstly, there is one thing about RPs that, on both a literary and conceptual standpoint, serves to differentiate itself from true prose. That thing is the teamwork, the sense of inter-connectedness between both the GM and the participants, as well as between the participants themselves. If the members of an RP don't get along with each other or are otherwise prone to doing things that others find annoying or distracting, then the whole thing is doomed to failure.

    I know that this might sound just a bit idealistic, and I know that this may seem difficult, but probably the most important thing for an RP's survival is that all of the participants feel connected with the story, with the other characters, with the participants themselves. Ultimately, the goal of an RP is to work together to create a story. If each of the characters are off doing their own thing in the RP, then you're not creating one story. You're just having multiple people write their own stories.

    For the regular members of the RP: Make your characters interact. I know for a fact that I'm guilty of having characters that don't tend to interact much, if at all. Fix it. The relationships between characters can contribute immensely towards making the story compelling. Having a character who sits isolated from his surroundings makes for a schism in the storytelling, and can end up making the person controlling the character look like they care more about their own character than the others.

    For the GMs: Convince the participants to interact with the story in some way. Put them into teams, place them in a social setting, give them an immense world to play around with, give them a challenge that can only be overcome as a group. If you don't give the characters opportunities to become a part of the story, then once again, all you're doing is breaking the story into multiple, less enjoyable ones.

    Make sure that the players feel like they have a place in the story. Many an RPer has dropped out due to not feeling like their character even matters in the grand scheme of things, making them feel like dead weight. Allow each of the characters their own time in the spotlight, and don't shove them aside in favor of this awesome plot idea.

    To that same extent, remember that, while the GM is who runs the RP, the players ultimately write the story. It's your duty as a GM to provide the players structure and support in order for the story to go on, but if every single major event happens due to the GM's hand, up to the point where the players don't even bother trying to do anything because they know that the GM decides everything anyways...then you're doing something wrong.

    At the same time, players, don't try to steal the show. There is another extreme on the scale of character importance, and you would be wise not to tip the scale in the other direction. Although you do have your importance in the overall story of the RP, don't be a glory hound and try to steal all of the fame. Don't try and make the events gravitate around your character. Remember that RPs are a team effort, not just a mish-mash of people who all happen to have the same goal.

    People like good stories. It is difficult to immerse yourself in a poorly-written story, and it's up to the GM to provide a storyline that the other players can have fun in. I'm afraid I'm not able to instruct you guys on good storywriting, but know that bad plots generally lead to bad RPs.

    However, try and figure out if you're going to enjoy the RP before joining it. If you don't like storyline of a given RP, then don't join. If you have major problems with the GM or even some of the other participants that you know you won't be able to solve, then don't join. If for any other reason you think that you will not enjoy participating in the RP, DO NOT JOIN. You are by no means required to join a given RP, and the choice if entirely yours. Honestly, if you know that an RP is bad, and then join it anyways and start complaining that it's bad, you only have yourself to blame.

    GMs, don't be afraid to boot participants if they're causing problems. One single unruly or problematic person can throw the whole RP out of balance. You need to recognize this and stop the problem before it gets out of hand. Also, try not to complain to, berate, or otherwise insult an RPer, even if they're causing issues. Most of the time, players don't write badly on purpose, and otherwise do not intend ill will upon your story. Give them a clear warning of what they are doing wrong, and tell them that further misconduct will result in being kicked from the RP.

    If you yourself have a problem with something in the RP, don't represent it through your character. This can come off as...no, it IS incredibly disruptive, and not to mention just flat out rude to the people who are trying to keep things running smoothly. If there's a problem, just tell the GM.

    Please, please, PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT BEING KICKED FROM AN RP DOES NOT ALWAYS MEAN THAT THE GM DOESN'T LIKE YOU. I apologize for the BBCode abuse, but seriously, you would not believe how many arguments have sprouted up as a result of this. If the GM is doing their job right, then they will not insult you, and will try and tell you what exactly warranted the action of booting you. If you are booted from an RP because you're genuinely doing something wrong, take measures to make sure that it doesn't happen again.

    On that note, GMs must be able to recognize if something actually warrants disciplinary action. Sometimes, you will get complaints from other users, but it's up to you as the head of an RP to figure out if they are actually in the right when they tell you this. Often times, a Co-GM is useful in figuring these things out.

    There is another thing that is extremely important in keeping an RP alive. GMs and players alike need to STAY ACTIVE. If you're going to need to drop out of an RP, make sure to tell the GM so he or she can take measures according to it. If you don't think that you're going to be able to handle keeping up with an RP, then drop out or just don't join in the first place. If you join an RP, you are pretty much telling the GM that you will be an active participant of the RP unless something happens and you tell them.

    GMs also need to stay active, lest the whole RP end up falling apart. If you don't think that you can handle running an RP on your own, hire a Co-GM.

    Now, on less of a technical outlook and more of an introspective outlook, there are a few other points I'd like to discuss.

    Large RPs with loads of information are really intimidating for newer RPers. I'm not condemning the notion of complex RPs altogether, but understand that, sometimes, people prefer just being able to have fun with an RP and not having to worry about the storyline and such. This is why RPs with simpler plots tend to last; because the participants don't have loads of information to absorb.

    The concept and structure of our section are fairly alien to some. Let's not kid ourselves; we're a fairly obscure corner of the forums, and as such, a lot of the things we take for granted aren't as widely understood as we'd like to imagine. Don't assume that people know every in and out of RPing. Everyone here was a beginner RPer at some point, and it's our job to make sure that any newcomers here don't end up stepping away due to the rather intricate workings of the section.

    If you're having an RP-related problem that you can't seem to solve, don't be afraid to report it to us. I'm not going to lie to you guys; my job feels more like an honorary status that has no real purpose to it. There are plenty of things that happen around here that a moderator could help with, but most of the time it's confined to an OOC discussion thread and generally slips by our (semi)wary glances. Don't convince yourself that you're bothering us by reporting a problem or asking us to step in and help with your RP problems. Honestly, there are days that I wish something bad could happen so that I can actually exercise my position as staff.

    There is always room for improvement, and don't be afraid to ask for help improving. We all have our faults as RPers, and some of us have quite a few difficulties managing to work out the things necessary to make a good, thriving RP. The Metronome Forum is here for a reason. Use it. If you want help managing your RP, need help working out a certain plot point, or something else along those lines, there are plenty of different people here, myself included, who would be glad to help you.

    ...

    ONE THOUSAND, SIX HUNDRED AND SIXTY TWO WORDS.

    HOLY CRAP.
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    Not changing my signature 'till TWEWY 2 comes out.

    Also this RP is really cool. It's like Percy Jackson. You can be a god's reincarnation and have powers and you're at a school and it's totally radical!
    http://z13.invisionfree.com/Garden_of_Olympus/index.php?act=idx

  6. #36
    noot noot Oblivion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Do Our RPs Lack Staying Power? (Let's Solve This)

    Pi, read it. Yes, it's long, and yes, I may have used more words than I should, but those are pretty much every single reason I could think of on the subject of RP longetivity. It may be a lot of words, but they're important words.

    Plus, going through the trouble of quoting my post and then simply stating "tl;dr" is more than a bit pointless. If you don't have anything to contribute to the discussion at hand in a given post, then just don't say anything at all.

  7. #37
    He Bled into the Throne Sovereign's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Do Our RPs Lack Staying Power? (Let's Solve This)

    This is actually something I've been heavily researching and looking into, alongside many other problems that tend to plague this particular RP forum. I've been an RPer for a very long time, RPing across nearly all forms of media and even some non-media. I've seen this problem in every form of RP, though this forum tends to be more prominently displaying a lack of completed RPs.

    I'm currently working on an RP project non-related to the RP staff's affairs, doing things like running beta experiments to determine results, and reworking a lot of the things that cause problems in RPs. I can't release much now, but know this.

    Skyline is coming. And it's gonna be big.

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    Wahaha~ Heroic Sociopath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Do Our RPs Lack Staying Power? (Let's Solve This)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gym Leader Drayden View Post
    Pi, read it. Yes, it's long, and yes, I may have used more words than I should, but those are pretty much every single reason I could think of on the subject of RP longetivity. It may be a lot of words, but they're important words.

    Plus, going through the trouble of quoting my post and then simply stating "tl;dr" is more than a bit pointless. If you don't have anything to contribute to the discussion at hand in a given post, then just don't say anything at all.
    You seem angry. Anyway, I actually did read it, I just felt like making fun of someone. I agree with most of what you're saying.

    Except the root of the problem is the format. Like Sov said, every type of RP has this issue. The things you described are mostly just symptoms of the main problem: RPs require people to stick with them for a looong time. Most people don't play a video game for hours every day until they beat it. The same thing goes for RPs: It's simply too easy for people to get bored.
    Last edited by Heroic Sociopath; 13th July 2012 at 04:41 PM.
    Not changing my signature 'till TWEWY 2 comes out.

    Also this RP is really cool. It's like Percy Jackson. You can be a god's reincarnation and have powers and you're at a school and it's totally radical!
    http://z13.invisionfree.com/Garden_of_Olympus/index.php?act=idx

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    noot noot Oblivion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Do Our RPs Lack Staying Power? (Let's Solve This)

    Yes, you could say that I was a bit angry after writing all of that, and then having someone seemingly dismiss it for being too long. And no, the fact that you apparently "just felt like making fun of someone" doesn't help.

    Though, I do agree: RPs require a great deal of commitment. Even though that's up to the individual themselves to solve, all of the points that I mentioned are problems that eventually lead towards player inactivity and/or RP deterioration. The structuring of an RP can help increase activity, but all in all it's up to the players to keep tabs on the things and make sure that they stay active.

  10. #40
    Wahaha~ Heroic Sociopath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Do Our RPs Lack Staying Power? (Let's Solve This)

    Ah, but see, it's the GM's job to make sure the RPers don't want to quit. I mean, would you want to keep playing an RP when the GM can't figure out something to do? The player should be willing to hold out for a while, but if the GM is simply being incompetent, players are well withing their rights to simply stop buying.

    Think of it this way: If you walk into an ice cream store and see all the ice cream is moldy and melty and gross, should you be obligated to buy it just because you walked into the store? Or, if you've been going to a book store for a long time, and you find that all the books have been replaced with really sucky ones, it wouldn't exactly be fair for the owner of the store to expect you to buy them anyway.

    I've noticed that what really works well is simply breaking RPs into parts. That way, players can have a break, and look forward to something new when the next part comes out. Like Catching Fireflies. Those RPs did quite well.
    Not changing my signature 'till TWEWY 2 comes out.

    Also this RP is really cool. It's like Percy Jackson. You can be a god's reincarnation and have powers and you're at a school and it's totally radical!
    http://z13.invisionfree.com/Garden_of_Olympus/index.php?act=idx

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    noot noot Oblivion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Do Our RPs Lack Staying Power? (Let's Solve This)

    That is true, and I stated in my gigantic essay that it's the GM's duty to provide a story that the players can enjoy. If the GM pulls something out of the blue that the players can't handle, then they should probably tell the GM what it is they're doing wrong, and give them a chance to fix it. And if the GM just continues with their idea and doesn't bother fixing it...well, that's when you have a problem, and at that point, it would be best to just drop out altogether.

  12. #42
    LVL 7 Master Mew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Do Our RPs Lack Staying Power? (Let's Solve This)

    For my small contribution to this problem, I, as a GM, intend to more deliberately follow up with RP'rs who drop out of my RPs (in a timely manner) to find out precisely what prompted their exit.

    Hopefully, over time, a clearer picture of the problem will become apparent.

  13. #43
    ...Manjoume-san-da!..... Jolty Febe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Do Our RPs Lack Staying Power? (Let's Solve This)

    ...well.....if somebody writes very long i get bored...i don't want to read a long entry......i mean...the above essay may have been nice and all...but the only parts i cared to read were the bold...i don't want to read something that long....
    .....I claimed Sandslash....7/27/12.....


  14. #44
    Never alone <3 Elphie jasonwolf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Do Our RPs Lack Staying Power? (Let's Solve This)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jolty Febe View Post
    ...well.....if somebody writes very long i get bored...i don't want to read a long entry......i mean...the above essay may have been nice and all...but the only parts i cared to read were the bold...i don't want to read something that long....

    I can understand that, but it also ticks me off. I write the opening to my RPs for hours sometimes because I have so much to say, and then I get no one to reply. Then I seee Rps where the set up is:

    "We are pokemon trainers in Kanto have fun!"

    and they get like twelve Sus and last about two days. I think people need to bother with some big Rps instead of the little ones.
    Jolty Febe and Italy-kun like this.

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    Wahaha~ Heroic Sociopath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Do Our RPs Lack Staying Power? (Let's Solve This)

    Actually, journey RPs tend to do quite well. In fact, some of the longest running ones are journey RPs. I ran one myself that lasted 250 pages or so, if memory serves.
    Not changing my signature 'till TWEWY 2 comes out.

    Also this RP is really cool. It's like Percy Jackson. You can be a god's reincarnation and have powers and you're at a school and it's totally radical!
    http://z13.invisionfree.com/Garden_of_Olympus/index.php?act=idx

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