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View Poll Results: Do you have an idea for Outplay 2024?
Yes I do! Please see my comments below.
5 71.43%
No I don't, I'm just here to steal others ideas for my own use.
2 28.57%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old Jan 24th, 2024, 11:55 AM
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Outplay 2024 - Crowdsourcing Ideas



Hi Everyone! It is that time of year again to start planning for Outplay 2024.

I have NO specific plans this year for Outplay, regarding a system, theme, format changes, etc. So, I am asking our wonderful community for some inspiration! If you have any thoughts of something you would like to see in Outplay this year, or an idea that might spark some intrigue to get my brain rolling, I would love to hear it!
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Last edited by Bhelogan; Jan 24th, 2024 at 11:57 AM.
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  #2  
Old Jan 24th, 2024, 02:37 PM
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Some ideas, in varying degrees of sensibility:

- Run it in a GMless system, and have the players responsible for challenging themselves
- Add a short round after character feedback in which the characters can be modified, so that everyone is using the system approximately the same way
- Run a different "one-shot-oriented" system for each round.
- Run it using MASKS: A New Generation (has there been a superhero Outplay yet?)
- Add longer in-game time gaps between the rounds so that more stuff happens over the course of the game
- Expand on the idea of flags, to give players more influence over what directions they're interested in seeing the story explore.
- Keep the OOC threads, I heard they were new last year, and they were vital


That's what comes to mind for now. Good luck coming up with something you like!
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Old Jan 24th, 2024, 07:35 PM
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I'll also note, if anyone is interested in helping out with the planning/running of Outplay this year, feel free to shoot me a PM.
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  #4  
Old Jan 26th, 2024, 04:23 PM
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There was a bit of discussion about post length recently, how about playing around with that?

I dunno, might alienate half the contestants here, but just imagine, a whole round of 200 word posts

Or how about down time/time jumps between rounds?

I don't know what the feedback was on the system last year, but i think using a unique system/system hack still seems like the best approach to me.
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Last edited by Wishkamon; Jan 26th, 2024 at 04:32 PM.
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Old Jan 26th, 2024, 04:52 PM
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I'll add some context, one of the big things we want to address is the overall participation, which has been consistently going down every year (for as long as I have seen the event run), with a few exceptions. Part of this, I believe is due to the overall time/length commitment of participating in Outplay, and I am strongly considering ways to make the event shorter, and have a bigger payback for participants.
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Old Jan 26th, 2024, 05:10 PM
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If the concern is participation, then Wishkamon's suggestion of capping post length might ease the time commitment factor for folks, or at least encourage them that they can participate even if they can't generate pages of writing on a daily basis.

I'm not sure I can come up with any useful suggestions of my own. I have a hard time wrapping my head around the concept of playing TTRPGs as a competitive sport, though I know it's something with a long history in the hobby.
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Old Jan 26th, 2024, 05:15 PM
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I mean, if participation is the worry, the 1/day post rate is what needs to be examined, I think. That's the biggest burden in the game by far, regardless of post length (I suspect shortening post length may make _more_ work rather than less).

How to do that? No idea.

Last edited by squirmonkey; Jan 26th, 2024 at 11:23 PM.
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Old Jan 26th, 2024, 07:22 PM
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Hmmmm maybe an opt-in for direct messages related to site events to get more eyes on it?
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Old Jan 26th, 2024, 10:21 PM
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Thanks for the opportunity.

Having to ‘perform accordingly’ for the ‘illustrative judges’ was so demeaning, as though the judges, some of them, thought they were holier than thou, casting their lofty judgement on our exhausting posts, was so incredibly deflating week after week to the contestants like me, having to work soooo hard everyday on those posts with blood and sweet, to be cut down so arrogantly. Because of this, I will NEVER be subjected to that again, leading me to be very adverse to participating once more, unless this is addressed. How F’ing ridiculous. Im sorry I'm still fuming. I cant believe those judges, some of them, acted so piously. The players should be the center pieces to be marveled at, having such an extreme task on their shoulders, not those judges. Good heavens! Picking us apart so ruthlessly! We had ONE DAY to try and create something memorable, then to be nitpicked into oblivion. How incredibly insulting.

Yes, there needs to be a word count limit, and maybe 2 days allotted to make a post. Those previous requirements were absolutely exhausting, and I’m sure, very deterring every year.
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Last edited by WhiteStag; Jan 26th, 2024 at 10:30 PM.
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  #10  
Old Jan 27th, 2024, 05:35 AM
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I think thats sort of the point of being a judge Whitestag! I would imagine that they see soo much good writing they HAVE to nit pick to make their descisions! I dont envy them at all, and although yes, the writing is exhausting, opening yourself up to judgement is part and parcel of entering a contest. I'm sorry that you had an ordeal with it, but i dont really see how it could be changed unless it was more of a vote sysyem, but then that is open for cheating.

I think giving 2 days per post could be a good idea though , though definately should be paired with a word limit.

I guess these events being a 'slog' has sort of become a reputation in some senses, and while some of us are gluttons for it, obviously it means some people will enter once and never again. So then maybe the participation is a two part problem of not enough eyes on it in the first place and morale-gut punches for previous entrants, Id be interested to see other peoples opinions on that second part.

I for one found the judgement very helpfull and honestly feel like they improved my pbp overall both times I played, at the end of the day how you take criticism is entirely on you, not the people who are litteraly there to criticise you. But of course our experiences could have been completely different, So I respect that, and by no means did I intend to downplay your experience or contributions to the thread.
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Last edited by Wishkamon; Jan 27th, 2024 at 06:57 AM.
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Old Jan 27th, 2024, 08:50 AM
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@WhiteStag - How do you feel about the way feedback/judging was done for Iron DM, in rounds 1 - 4 this year? You can see the posts in the "Round <X> - Adjudications and Feedback" threads, and players' responses in the " Your Valuable Feedback Matters - 2023 Iron DM Survey" survey HERE.

We had some pretty specific guidelines on how to judge, that was a pretty big change. I'll post what were were told here, at the risk of savoylen giving me an infraction for revealing some of his secret sauce:

Quote:
Originally Posted by savoylen
Please remember that the theme for this year's game is MENTORSHIP.

Guidelines:

Focus 1 - MENTORSHIP

Your feedback in rounds 1 - 4 should come across as "this is what I think will help you in the next round". Try to focus on what their strengths are...and to leverage those. Only the most egregious errors or something that would distract from their strengths should be even mention.

Focus 2 - LESS Feedback is MORE powerful

Try to keep your feedback focus on 1 or 2 (but no more than 3) suggestions that would make the BIGGEST DIFFERENCE for a stronger next round for them.

Focus 3 - You're their biggest cheerleader and fan

If your comments make them feel like your looking forward to seeing what they do next because you know that they are getting stronger and more confident each round, then you've nailed it!!
There was a huge focus on feedback being only, or mostly just positive comments on what we liked.
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Old Jan 27th, 2024, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wishkamon View Post
I think thats sort of the point of being a judge Whitestag!
Is it, though? Isn't the point to determine who moves on to the next round of the competition?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wishkamon View Post
I for one found the judgement very helpfull and honestly feel like they improved my pbp overall both times I played, at the end of the day how you take criticism is entirely on you, not the people who are litteraly there to criticise you.
If the attitude is "hey, your reaction is entirely on you" then the reaction "hey, I'm never subjecting myself to this again" has to be expected and respected. But I thought the dwindling participation numbers were causing concern.

As Bhelogan pointed out, the organizers of IronDM, Savoylen and bananabadger, established firmly that a tone shift was needed in the judging. They directed judges away from what Whitestag described and toward a focus on encouraging what's good. Making suggestions for what needs work is possible without making the participants feel terrible.
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Old Jan 28th, 2024, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostcheerio View Post
Is it, though? Isn't the point to determine who moves on to the next round of the competition?
sure, but I just mean that by nature of the thing they are going to need to be nit-picky, though of course I agree it's better to be provided in a positive way. (The Iron DM judgement guidelines sound great by the way, it's all in the delivery.) I guess maybe feedback on request, like many gms offer on character aps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lostcheerio View Post
If the attitude is "hey, your reaction is entirely on you" then the reaction "hey, I'm never subjecting myself to this again" has to be expected and respected.
Yes of course! Apologies if my last post made me sound callus, especially to Whitestag- I never saw said feedback so it was unfair for me to presume it was an over-reaction. I probably responded to that a bit early in the morning tbh.
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Old Jan 29th, 2024, 02:47 PM
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I would like to respond to the question of why overall participation in Outplay has gone down every year. Although the time commitment is a factor, that is not the reason, in my opinion.

I was a participant in Outplay 2022. At the time I was relatively new to the site (but not new to pbp rpg -I've been doing this since 2011). I was not eliminated, I quit after round 2. My overall experience was awful, one I never want to repeat again, ever.

I enjoy pbp rpg that is collaborative storytelling, where players support each other and write their characters working together as a team. For me, that is what pbp rpg is all about and why I do it for a hobby.

From my experience, participation in Outplay is about sabotaging fellow players and generally tearing players down. Outplay celebrates the worst kind of pbp rpg player behavior. I get that a few people might think that's fun, but I did not.
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Old Jan 29th, 2024, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wishkamon View Post
sure, but I just mean that by nature of the thing they are going to need to be nit-picky, though of course I agree it's better to be provided in a positive way. (The Iron DM judgement guidelines sound great by the way, it's all in the delivery.) I guess maybe feedback on request, like many gms offer on character aps?
I think the most effective instruction was saying "You're their biggest cheerleader." That just summed it up. Like, you don't want to be fake and superficial, but you also want the main focus to be encouragement. Finding something to love about it, and putting the suggestions in that context.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wishkamon View Post
Yes of course! Apologies if my last post made me sound callus, especially to Whitestag- I never saw said feedback so it was unfair for me to presume it was an over-reaction. I probably responded to that a bit early in the morning tbh.
You're a sweet, fun person and it was great playing with you during the year I played... although I never made it to "the merge" enough for my PC to meet your character. Someday I hope we do game together.

I think part of the issue is that there's a cultural shift in general, away from the "it's fun to be tortured" mode of early American Idol and other reality competition shows that Outplay is kind of based on. Nowadays it's not as awesome to have "the mean judge" who shocks people with harsh criticism. We don't have Gordon Ramsay shouting that a plate "looks like a dog's dinner!" Or Simon Cowell telling people they should give up singing. So, it feels like less a natural part of the game, if that makes sense.
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