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Guaging interest in a posting game/competition





Nameless
I'm thinking of running a posting-related game as a way to encourage regular visits to this forum (and also, for fun). It wouldn't be a traditional spam-heavy single-topic forum game, but a kind of roleplaying adventure. Members would sign up as 'heroes' in a standard fantasy setting and I'd give regular flavour text describing their adventures. Every few days there would be events that require the players accomplish certain tasks to pass; these would range from simple (eg. make a good post in a certain subforum) to more tricky (eg. solve a riddle by examining sticky rule topics). Passing the events would give successful players exp or sometimes useable loot that might give an alternate solution to a future events.

The adventure would run for around a month and end with a more involved competition / boss challenge (with hefty bonuses to give even late-joiners a chance at small rewards). Afterwards, the successful players would be crowned champions and showered with frih$ and Coins depending on their total exp.

So what I'm asking the community now is: Would you be interested in joining such an ongoing game? And, for the heavy posters here, would be willing to donate some frih$ or Coin towards the prizepool if this thing runs?
deanhills
This is an awesome idea and also fun and creative. Right on! Since the objective is to attract more posts and posters maybe there should be rules in place so that people in my category (heavy posters) would be able to participate but for "no gain"?

Frih$ are probably a dying breed. Perhaps coins would be better as the winners may be able to save it towards "purchasing" a new domain.

I'm willing to donate 333 coins.
Josso
I'm sort of hording coins** at the moment so I can get a couple of years on my radio relaunch domain however this is a awesome idea - would like to check this out.

you have moved into a dark place
you were eaten by a grue*

*1000 internets for anyone who gets the reference without using Google

**deanhills has plundered many a vessel for coins by the looks of it
standready
Sounds like a fun game. I would be willing to try even though my time is rather limited.
watersoul
Sounds like an interesting idea, I'd be happy to donate coins and fri$'s toward the prize, although I'm not sure the following would class me as a heavy poster:

Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Total posts: 1859
[0.18% of total / 0.91 posts per day]

It could be useful to set up a sort of escrow account for the prize fund donations if this runs, nothing complicated, just a simple frihost member account managed by the staff with the title of 'Prizefund' or something to take the donations.
It could help avoid any potential complications if this is allowed as a forum game, and possibly attract more interest if it were to be given 'official' status.

...oh, and I'd probably want to have a go as well, as I said, it sounds interesting and a bit of lighthearted fun which the forums could use sometimes.
Nameless
One possibility could be for members to either sign up as a rookie hero (earn 'exp' and compete for useful Coins) or a veteran hero (earn 'gold' and compete for classy frih$). Donations could optionally be made towards the prizepool for whichever you're not competing for. I was figuring on taking donations into my account and then simply dividing up ALL of the frih$/coins I held when the game was finished, but an alt. account provided by staff would quite possibly appear less dubious too!

Anyway, here's an example of how the adventure would run. It's in a different setting (I don't want to give away any specific ideas I might use) but the format would be similar.

FRIH: Frihost Reader's Investigation of Homicide ~ Day 17 wrote:
[Player X] helped out three different posters and used the cover to plant bugs all over the Darksmith family mansion. One of the bugs in the wine cellar was damaged by a careless servant, but the others successfully recorded the entire meeting between Jared and the suspected drug dealer. 12 exp earned.
[Player Y] solved an especially difficult technical query and cunningly placed a bug inside Darksmith's bathroom. No meetings were overheard, but some potentially useful audio of Felicia was recorded. 8 exp earned. SHOWER SLIP-UP AUDIO gained.
[Players Z1, Z2 and Z3] planted additional bugs outside of the mansion. Details on all of Jared's guests were sent back to HQ to help build future cases. 5 exp earned.
[Players Z4 and Z5] couldn't fix their own alarm clocks let alone help anyone else. They overslept and missed the opportunity to place any bugs. No exp earned.

Shower Slip-up Audio
Every night while Jared is away, Felicia Darksmith blasts the hot water and sings her poor heart out. This valuable snippet of audio covers two verses of a popular love song where Felicia slips a name into the lyrics that is not her husband's but her lover Cody's.


The next morning the FRIH team regroup back in their office. That blasted phone is already ringing off it's hook as you walk into the office. It's the mayor again. He's furious at the lack of progress. Two minutes into his lecture he starts breaking down. There's still no sign of his daughter, it seems. A clatter and a single sob escape down the line before he manages to hang up. The team throws themselves back into work.

The audio recorded from the bugs was useful, but still not enough to justify an arrest. The conversation between Jard and the still unnamed dealer is damning in context but at no time are there explicit references to the heroin shipment. Jared must have guessed or somehow known that he was being listened to, but the smug bastard was cocky enough to keep discussing his 'book sales' under your noses. At one point he elaborates at length about the positions of players in a local football team - it must be code for something, but what? It's enough to make you want to scream.

Then suddenly, something catches your ears. A blip in the audio that you thought was nothing, white noise or maybe a table being bumped, but ... The FRIH team watch silently as you feverishly flip open your laptop. By copying the file and running it through a vague and magical filter you isolate the disturbance and enhance the quality. Cranking the volume up, you skip to exactly midnight and hit play.

There. It's faint, but it sounds almost like a girl's scream. A girl's scream ... distorted by wine bottles.

Your coat swishes above your feet as they hit the sidewalk.

Call for backup: The mayor's daughter is in danger and the FRIH team need assistance to control the situation. Make at least one post in the Vehicles and Transportation forum to send in a squad car. You have 24 hours otherwise the backup will arrive too late.
Storm the mansion (LOADED PISTOL required): Leading the rescue mission will be dangerous. Make at least two posts in the Hardware and Electronics forum to double check your combat gear. You have 48 hours before the assault begins.
deanhills
Nameless wrote:
I was figuring on taking donations into my account and then simply dividing up ALL of the frih$/coins I held when the game was finished, but an alt. account provided by staff would quite possibly appear less dubious too!
Good idea. I'll wait until you are ready to implement the plan and will donate the coins directly into your account.

Nameless wrote:
Anyway, here's an example of how the adventure would run. It's in a different setting (I don't want to give away any specific ideas I might use) but the format would be similar.
I don't quite understand how it works. But I'm sure that is OK. I'll pick up on the competition as it moves into action. However, probably good to find out if other Frihosters are into it as well so that there are at least a number of participants available before the competition is launched.
ocalhoun
Nameless wrote:

So what I'm asking the community now is: Would you be interested in joining such an ongoing game? And, for the heavy posters here, would be willing to donate some frih$ or Coin towards the prizepool if this thing runs?


Sounds really complicated and involved... but I suppose I would participate.
I could also perhaps manage that 'prizepool' user for you.

(And I suppose the no-fourm-games rule wouldn't apply if it were in the contests forum and prizes were being offered... Just a very complicated contest, after all.)


From the looks of it, you'd have to keep track of a lot of variables... how would that be done?

And you mention gaining exp... Forgive me for being a bit dense... but what would that do? Raise a player's level? But what advantage does a higher-level player have over a lower-level player?

Oh, and if a lot of the challenges are going to involve making posts in various places, you should require that in order to count, those posts must include, say,
Code:

[url=http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-<the contest's main thread>.html][img]<logo for the contest, 50x50px>[/img][/url]

That ought to help increase and maintain participation (It would be critical to have a certain minimum level of participation), as people unfamiliar with it click the logo to find out why those logos keep popping up all over the forums.

Josso wrote:

you were eaten by a grue*

*1000 internets for anyone who gets the reference without using Google


My 1000 internets please.

...Makes me wonder if text-based games might make a comeback in the days of semi-intelligent chat-bots and natural language recognition...
Nameless
I'm thinking I'll put together a more appealing 'teaser trailer' with a simple explanation of the rules soon. They should actually be very easy; all the player needs to do is follow one of the challenges at the bottom of each game post (in the above example, make a post in the Vehicles and Transportation forum). It wouldn't even matter if they skipped or missed a few since the story follows the group as a whole. Of course, the flavour text of their character being awesome and a larger reward would serve as motivation to stay involved.

Any variables that needed to be kept track of would be done by me and go into a straightforward 'character sheet' in the first post. Exp will measure how well the player has participated in the challenges and have no impact beyond the size of their share in the end prizepool, and showing off. I'd also clearly note what items each player held. These would sometimes allow players who held them an optional challenge (in the above example, making TWO posts in the Hardware and Electronics forum) for higher exp and cooler flavour text of their character being more awesome.

Code:
Player X    65 exp    Loaded Pistol
Player Y    49 exp    Shower Slip-Up Audio
Player Z1   43 exp
Player Z2   26 exp    Loaded Pistol, Pepper Spray


I wouldn't enforce any kind of logo/link. Half the point is to encourage natural conversation around the forums. The other half is fun, which remembering to tack an ad onto each of your posts wouldn't be.
deanhills
Can you PM me when it is time for the donations to be made as I'm not monitoring threads the way I used to. Better yet. Why not ask Bondings to make it into a Featured Discussion once you're ready to roll and I will pick it up from there.
menino
I'm interested, as it sounds fun and intriguing.
I think it will up the activity mode in frihost as well... among the least active members at least..... hopefully.
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