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Author Topic: Presenting Ideas in the Citadel  (Read 11646 times)

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Offline wildcorn

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Presenting Ideas in the Citadel
« on: January 30, 2006, 09:29:34 AM »
Warning: All of these links go to my own work. This might seem like a self serving advertisement to some - thats why this disclaimers here.

On my very first submission to the citidel, I, in passing, suggested that a sword was forged by Drow. This got a lot of responses... nearly all of them stating: "Drow aren't liked here, but since this is your first post, I'll forgo penalizing my rating". Here: http://www.strolen.com/content.php?node=2203 So I stumbled across my very first taboo subject. Since then I've reading other submissions and I've found that most Stroleners seem to like weapons that are balanced. They seem to prefer subtle curses and drawbacks to everything. Thats cool, so do I. What are other taboo / loved topics. Dragons and Dark Gods seem to be loved, even if its just a brief mention.

Since my first post, I've begun experimenting with the formula, I'll present histories as excepts from journals (http://www.strolen.com/content.php?node=2251), or as a prose narration (http://www.strolen.com/content.php?node=2245). Do Strolener's prefer this? I don't know. Do you? The reason I've opted for this is I've found the reading of submissions sort of dry. Its very hard to read technical descriptions because they are not engaging.

However sometimes I find Hall of Fame articles getting top scores (and I'm not going to mention which, because I don't want to make this a personal attack) where I find I would have only given it a 2.5 or 3.0. This begs the questions: What do Stroleners look for in Articles? Easy reading, description technical descriptions, succinctness, verbosity?

Summary:
What subjects are loved and which subjects are disliked?
How do you like your information diseminated?
How do you like your prose?
« Last Edit: June 05, 2006, 03:52:10 AM by Ancient Gamer »

Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Presenting Ideas in the Citidel
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2006, 10:22:15 AM »
Oh, come on! You can vote and write what you want and no one would think less of you for it.

Important: Remember netiquette and constructive feedback. Say WHY you do not like it and WHAT you would have changed.

Let me create a list for you:
Bad stuff:
Drow (always)
Swords (sometimes)
Too powerful stuff (always... When your lifeform begins to look like Great Cthulhu you should beware)
Bad spelling (always)
Bad paragraphing (always)
System dependence and statistics (always)
Cut and pasting the same stuff over and over (always)

Good stuff:
Juicy journals ;)
A good background story
(Notice how important the background story is)
vivid descriptions
A fresh take on things / good imagination

And remember that you are entitled to your own opinion, okay!? (And yes, some users do get higher votes than they ought to... It is the "curse" of friendship I tell you ;))
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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Presenting Ideas in the Citidel
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2006, 10:32:23 AM »
... and yes: Dark gods, Dragons, Love turned bad, Ferocious non-munchkin beasts, etc, etc, is popular. I go with what I like, and I hope you won't stick to some formula. I know some users do though, for they have told me so in private.

Also: Avoid the Mary Sue and the Orphaned character (Mary Sue is the person you always wanted to be, whether that is the 6'5" blonde barbarian rocket scientist, or the wet and willing, big breasted, shaolin monk, red head with a side-job as a porn actress and an important position in the salvation army. :p)
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Re: Presenting Ideas in the Citidel
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2006, 04:37:49 PM »
Here's a good rule of thumb- if you're likely to see it as a common part of D&D, don't even touch it.
The main thing to know about Strolenites is that we're d**n jaded- we hate cliches (most of us) and we almost DEMAND innovation and at least some new factor. If you can't do anything incredibly new and different, at least provide us with an intriguing background.

As for small setting details like Drow... Most of the people in the Citadel won't vote you down points based simply on the presence of Drow, we just don't like Drow very much, because, A. they are very D&D, B. they are very implausible and stupid (basically, they're reverse elves. STUPID), and C. they are very munchkin, which we hate.
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Offline Strolen

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Re: Presenting Ideas in the Citidel
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2006, 07:12:38 PM »
First, please vote what you think. That is KEY. Only thing is be prepared to defend yourself in some well intentioned and good natured (it better be!) discussion. We can be passionate about some things and many of us have personally established systems of rating things so if somebody disagrees with us then we want to understand why.

((I got on a soapbox so don't think that the rest is specifically directed towards you, wildcorn. Just general thoughts aimed at anybody reading.))

I like to think my number one criteria is common sense. If you can justify it in a reasonable manner than that goes a long way. You don't have to have every angle covered but make sure that it doesn't raise more questions than it answers. Most of the time this takes care of itself on accident, but when things don't make sense or a contradictory then they stand out. The balance issue reveals itself here as well.

Creativity and uniqueness. One or the other and especially both goes a long way. The problem is most people think they have something unique or creative and find out it may not have been. This might be more of an experience thing because if you haven't seen it, how do you know it is a cliche. New posters (gamers) hurt here the most. They often go cliche and uberpowerful because they haven't got the experience with it and we can't entirely blame them, just hopefully we can help them with it.

Inspiration If it passes my common sense test and it is creative or unique I go on my gut and how many ideas get generated as I read it. If it is something that I am constantly ohhing and ahhing about as I read because I can think of so many situations and ideas I can use this submission in, it goes straight to the top. If I read it and don't get that warm fuzzy of idea generation then it hurts a bit in my estimation. A three (3) to me is just something interesting that I could use but I probably wouldn't.

Now, some may be written dry and boring, but if you look past that on some of them you can see the solidity of the submission despite that. My personal preference is actually short and sweet, just the facts ma'am. Because that is all I need, I will usually want to fill in the rest myself to make it fit into my game and/or game world. Cut the fat, give me the meat. If it is good enough then I will only take a small part of it and then put my own spin on it, if it is really good then I might only change some of it, but I doubt I will use anything specific that is written in it, I still take the core idea and make it mine.

BUT, I would never vote down anything that went more specific, detailed, extended, as long as the key idea is still in there and is still solid. The rest is dressing that might add to the entertainment value but doesn't add to my ability to use it usually. Story never hurts, especially if I can't use the submission, because then often times the occassion to use the submission is demonstrated and makes it more apparent how it is intended. Then it will help me understand it better so I can have a more educated vote than a dry bones submission may normally give me.

That is my spin on it and you will (hopefully) get a different spin of some sort from every person on the site. No one person's opinion is more important to anothers. Each person's opinion is valuable and appreciated. Agree with those you agree with and disagree with the others. I can see the need to try and accomodate the Strolenites, but I hope that you can still do your own thing the way you want to and don't let us sway you too much. Any idea, regardless of the rating, is important and I am certain has helped somebody. Don't let lower votes get you down. Take the votes and advice and move on. If you want to feel better go look at my oldest posts. Yes, I am embarassed of them but they are me X years ago just starting the site and that is what I did then. I leave them there because that is all me, no denying it. I have learned from them and there are still some ideas in there somewhere regardless of their unpolished form. I still have a long way to go compared to others. I am happy with my occassionaly good posts and comfortable with the ones that people don't like so much. Everybody starts somewhere, some may come with a bit more experience than others but I hope that anybody can feel comfortable enought to give the place a try.

Don't give up! Keep submitting and you will find your form and we will respect you all the more for toughing it out.


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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Re: Presenting Ideas in the Citidel
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2006, 08:36:51 PM »
We can be passionate about some things and many of us have personally established systems of rating things so if somebody disagrees with us then we want to understand why.

I echo this strongly. In fact, I am actually the bastard who is most against D&D, medieval settings, high magic, elves, and those other fruity fantasy cliches, and while I tend not to vote very strongly on those preferences, I do consider it important to break free of such cliches.
ALSO, on Strolen's statements that about bare bones v.s. detailed, I'd like to say that I find exceptionally clinical and bare bones submissions (such as MoonHunters... No offense, Moon, but I simply find them lacking in interest because they are SOOOOOO dry; it's like reading a perscription or a highly technical manual on how to configure a VCR) quite boring and rather disappointing. Not everyone keeps my particular views, though, so don't, like, change the way you right or anything.

I think the most important thing to say is that it needs to be unique and different. That's what'll take you far.
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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Presenting Ideas in the Citidel
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2006, 09:41:34 PM »
I can't really add much to this, except that if you post something, and it doesn't score high, take the constructive criticism for what it's meant for, and ignore the rest (sadly, there are those who don't give the constructive criticism; don't take it personally.)  If you listen to the advice the other posters have, quite often you'll revamp your idea and make it much better; there are some of the vetran posters who I've seen redo a particular submission four or five times.  And don't be afraid to ask for help; that's what we're here for.
And don't sweat the scores.  I don't think any of us get high scores on everything.
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Offline MoonHunter

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Re: Presenting Ideas in the Citidel
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2006, 10:14:44 PM »
Not much I can add to this one.   (This thread needs to be combed for future FAQ notes...)

I personally would push a useful over colorful post. In the past, usefulness was more important than color (useful with lots of color scored well). The current trend has changed that balance, art over substance and usability.  I am sure it will shift back again. These kind of changes do.

The only thing that will get you in trouble that has not been mentioned in detail is assuming we know something.  This is a "sin" in writing fiction, and a "mortal sin" when posting game related material.  If you are going to post something very odd, either totally alien (akin to a Empire of the Petal Throne/ Tekumel esk/ Journe/ Salizar item), off beat (Something from an Asian Game, A western game, or urban fantasy), or something with different sets of base assumptions (Kerren for example or a Victorian Fantasy or  or a non World of Darkness Vampire/ Werewolf/ Fey/ etc), you need to give the reader all the support they need to fully understand it.  Sure the post might make sense to you, but it will make sense to you and only you.   You need to give the reader every detail they need to really understand the post. Now you don't have to do it in a single post, it could be a set of posts (usually linked by links or freetexts   Ria's Wild Ones for example). You just need to a) include mention of things you might need to read to make sense and b) list appropriate things when you are able.   

My extra bits.

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Offline Taurren

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Re: Presenting Ideas in the Citidel
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2006, 07:40:06 AM »
This is some interesting and thought provoking self analysis.  Very nice to see.

Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Presenting Ideas in the Citidel
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2006, 01:11:11 PM »
If I might add a comment:
As you can see from the discussion above, a debate of sorts about "colour and flavour" vs "the facts / the essentials" has long drifted in the undercurrents of the Citadel. I am one of the older GMs here and I have my own view on this.

I got to agree with what CaptainPenguin says, for it is not fun to read a technical prescription. But MoonHunter has a point too: Too much colour and too little essence will get you nowhere.

So... Is there a solution? Well, I think you (wildcorn) did good with the "Thoral's Grim Brigade" post. You had juice and flavour, and you still presented the bare bones facts in a bulleted list at the end. Your post also had a point beside being a good read. So what do I prefer? Both flavour and essence! "Without something to catch our interest, most posts will end up between 3 and 4 (unless they are flawed in some way). You GOT to include flavour AND usefulness if a post will ever attain a 5. The same goes the other way round.

At the end of the day you will discover that many other factors influence voting. Some people will like you, and others will not. Such is the way of things. Some people will love your style of writing, others might loathe it. That is normal too. There are factions here: The minimalists vs. the artists. The "superpower-lovers" vs. the "struggle for survival lovers". Some people hate the medieval ages, while other people hate too imaginative posts. Some people cannot stand chrome such as obscure names and undocumented references, while other people thrive on such things. Some people even vote lower if your posts include explicit references, while others might give you a bonus for doing just that.

Then one day, you might find that your votes are decreasing. For no discernable reason, you no longer do as good as you used to. That is normal too, for we grow accustomed to the different writing styles. What once was new and exciting will one day become predictable and old, though good.

We are a diversified community and I can only promise you one thing: You better keep your wits about you if you plan on pleasing all members of our community.
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Offline Michael Jotne Slayer

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Re: Presenting Ideas in the Citidel
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2006, 08:43:32 PM »
When you vote on someone's post, walk a mile in their shoes first O Citadellian of Strolen.
That way you're a mile away and have their shoes when they see your vote and comment.
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Offline Mourngrymn

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Re: Presenting Ideas in the Citidel
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2006, 10:48:31 AM »
Not to rehash an older thread, but this is a good palce that every new member should read before posting a single submission or voting for that matter.

When posting a submission, I usually try not to tell myself, "Wow I love this idea nd so will they." I usually ask myself, what do I not like about it? What needs ot be fixed? That way I fix those issues before someone reads it, for the most part that is. I am a human by job description after all.

I feel a good post needs a little bit of everything, all of which have been said here of course. but above all it needs one thing not mentioned.

Your love.

If you do not enjoy what you are writing the reader will tell. If you are only putting it up just to put something up it probably will show and not be worth the time it took to write it and read it. Make sure that everything you submit you like yourself. I'm not saying tel leveryone that your submission is the best, but put the love into it like an artist would a canvas... if it shows the comments and votes will reflect that as well.
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Offline Silveressa

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Re: Presenting Ideas in the Citadel
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2008, 01:23:48 AM »
Interest topic. I've never paused to ponder if a sub I'm about to make will be "popular" or based off of public trends.

Honestly I create and post stuff I think is useful or otherwise interesting rather than whether it's pert of the more "popular" subjects.

If people like it, great; if not I hope I'll get enough useful feedback to turn the sub into something useful.

I've also noticed after people make an initial vote, getting them to go back and resubmit their vote on a piece (even after substantial overhaul) is challenging to say the least. (not on my own subs per-se, but on subs in general)

Something I'd be curious as to the "why" and "how comes" of if anyone knows.
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Offline valadaar

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Re: Presenting Ideas in the Citadel
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2008, 07:54:45 AM »
Removing and readding a vote is both a two-step process, and costs XP.
Also, there a vast number of other subs which have not been voted on at all.
I am not excusing it - just that numbers work against a single sub getting a lot of attention unless it is remarkable in some manner - good OR bad.

But that is like a lot of things on the web. Not sure how that can be changed.

Strolen is looking at changing revotes in the next rev of the site - see the Lochmor thread.
   
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Offline Silveressa

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Re: Presenting Ideas in the Citadel
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2008, 03:17:17 PM »
Ah, I never knew changing your vote costs you xp. Is there any reason why if anyone knows? Making it cost xp seems to defeat the purpose of changing your vote, and lessens peoples incentive to "better" a piece if the votes won;t change to reflect the improvement of a formerly 1.5-2.5 into a 4.0 or higher. (also kinda makes getting a 5.0 sub a bit of luck since if you don't hit it perfect on the first presentation there's little you can do to undo less than eye popping first impression.)
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Offline Strolen

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Re: Presenting Ideas in the Citadel
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2008, 09:09:37 PM »
People should take votes and comments seriously and should be forced to make a firm choice when changing a vote. If the post has earned an update then a loss of a couple XP shouldn't bother somebody to update their vote.

Initial thought was simply that, make people think a little bit more about their vote and not just vote and then go back later and change it. A vote should be fairly stable unless something drastic changes their mind. The submission author would have to put forth an effort to get an updated vote and, in theory, all this would make everybody put more time in taking it all seriously.

Who knows if that works, but it is a partial theory anyway.

http://www.strolen.com/guild/index.php/topic,4507.0.html  - the breakdown

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Offline Murometz

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Re: Presenting Ideas in the Citadel
« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2010, 12:06:29 AM »
Quote
People should take votes and comments seriously and should be forced to make a firm choice when changing a vote. If the post has earned an update then a loss of a couple XP shouldn't bother somebody to update their vote.

Amen.
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Offline Silveressa

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Re: Presenting Ideas in the Citadel
« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2010, 12:20:56 AM »
Approx 2 1/2 years, a new record for thread nercomancy!  :P :up:

In all seriousness I agree people should take their time and think before giving a vote. Often I'll read a piece, then ponder it and revisit later to re-read and provide feedback + a vote.

Perhaps when subs have been edited and overhauled they get a temporary showing on the main citadel home page? (Perhaps replace one of the four "halls of honor" icons with a "Updated sub" icon? Or better yet, when a sub is updated have it reappear in the list of "recent submissions" so people will know to go back and give it another look.)

Most of the edited/enhanced subs I've seen have been well worth the second look, but finding them can sometimes be a shot in the dark.
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Offline Strolen

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Re: Presenting Ideas in the Citadel
« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2010, 10:37:04 AM »
This idea is somewhat combined with the achievement system. I have the achievement system loaded in the forum but haven't enabled or loaded it with events yet. I am working a kinda tracking system in the main Citadel that will work with it. The notification will be somewhat like facebook where major changes are tracked.  So updated subs will get a blurb and those that have commented on it in the past will get a more highlighted notification for it.

Implementation is hazy until I really start seeing what I will able to pull from it but I am hoping to put a huge steroid shot into notifications and visibility on what is going on in the Citadel. I will most likely incorporate an email notification system into it again like it was back in the 1.0 age.

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Offline Silveressa

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Re: Presenting Ideas in the Citadel
« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2010, 10:46:55 AM »
I will most likely incorporate an email notification system into it again like it was back in the 1.0 age.

I really like that idea, although perhaps give people the option to choose between an email notification and a pm notification, so those who don't want their emails full of even more stuff can still keep abreast of the updates?
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Offline Strolen

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Re: Presenting Ideas in the Citadel
« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2010, 10:53:27 AM »
:) The PM would just shoot another email though.

There will be options though. One email at the most a day would be possible to select for the minimalist or notifications for every X event. Will get all your opinions when I come up with the list I think I can do and see what you all think.

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