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Old 05-16-2002, 05:59 PM   #1
Brody
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Smile

When does a scene get too crowded? How do you try to manage the numbers of people involved?
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Old 05-16-2002, 06:13 PM   #2
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Ok, my email is down and since I have a few minutes, I think I will get envolved here.

We talking as in on a street corner, at a mall or on a MUD?

Yes, I broke my month of non-news posting silence just for Brody.
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Old 05-16-2002, 06:31 PM   #3
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As this is neither the shopping mall topic or the urban congestion topic, I would tend to assume I'm referring to a roleplaying scene.
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Old 05-16-2002, 06:40 PM   #4
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I guess it would depend on the event in which it was taking place. Could we have an example?
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Old 05-16-2002, 07:29 PM   #5
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Sure - the point of this is to discuss it. So give your own opinons and your own examples. If I am expected to do all the work, I'll just write a Storyteller column .
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Old 05-16-2002, 08:43 PM   #6
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The only issue I've had with having lots of people together is that the conversation sometimes gets disjointed. Since people type, think and react at different speeds, often the more people involved the more confusing things will get. People will respond to statements or emotes/actions, etc. too late, things will have already moved ahead - or too many people will talk at the same time...

Sorta like real life -- get a comfortable dinner party of 5-10 people and things might run smoothly - when you start going over 10, it's time to break into little groups and chat quietly.

Of course, if most people are watching and not talking then it's much easier to have a lot of people witness some grand event for example.

It most certainly depends on the situation, but I would say that 5-10 is quite manageable, although it might be difficult for some (slower typers or slower RPers) to get properly into the groove.

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Old 05-16-2002, 08:44 PM   #7
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Fine then, watch me mess this up because I am not sure I understand the topic.

I will make up two examples. Keep in mind I have not done any actual roleplaying since my last MUD marriage in 2000, or so. Whenever I am MUD married, my wife and I usually go out and do things with other couples. Let us not get dirty minded here, it was nothing like what you may think.

Example 1: Roleplaying In a Family
I have been in the StormBlade family since late 1996. Perilous Realms (PR) is not a RolePlaying (RP) MUD, to say the least. They do not enforce or discourage RP at all. Often people wish to get envolved on a MUD, going out and just killing things is not enough.

I was on PR for roughly 3 months before the grind of hack and slash was becoming dull. I had never RP'd before and on the previous MUD, Death's Domain, I was just a tag along because I was a great cleric for many years. Before it went down the first time, I was already a subclasser, level 20-17-13-16 (mage-cleric-thief-warrior).

I was first introduced to Sadinea and she was married to Kammor. Her first husband was Kyis of the clan called the Blades of Chaos. BoC was also a known clan on Distant Lands, also ran by Kyis.

Anyways, after a while with Sadiena, Kammor and the members of a clan called Vengeance Masters, including Shen, Jobo and many others, I became well liked and as habit has it, I was a Scholar. I was a half mage/cleric which could cast both defensive and offensive skills.

During one dull afternoon I questioned the name StormBlade attached to the titles of Sadiena and Kammor. Sadiena tells me a well thought out story about the family, its history and how it was started. Kyis started it all with Sadiena and it was a heirarchy in a kingdom called Cornith.

During the whole time the StormBlade family had existed, no offspring were produced by the main bloodline. There was alot of mixed marriages between nobility and commoners as well as many siblings of Sadiena, Kammor and Kyis.

In my effort to add more interest into my MUDding and the well spoken story about the family, I was sold. I wanted to get envolved. Sadiena and Kammor agreed I could join and I became thier only child, Ntanel Rafael Perino StormBlade, Prince of Cornith.

The StormBlade family was real small, as far as I knew. I would soon find out how big it really was. I have included a link of the family I know about thus far.

http://mudworld.inetsolve.com/archives/sbtree.php3

Obviously, in a marriage, it is probably best to be married to one person on one MUD at a time. I have seen people try to maintain seperate identities on many MUDs and have a hard time keeping track of it all. What I did with all my MUD wives was envolve them in the RP on all the MUDs I partook upon.

We basicly considered each MUD as another country or continent in which we explored. There was different people in each, and sometimes a few familiar faces.

Family aside, there is no limit on how big it can be, unless members end up on opposite sides of a clanwar. MUD families are usually tighter then clans, but clans have been known to tear a family apart.

Example 2: Roleplaying In a Clan
I bring you to the Newbie Knights (NK) clan. Originally on Death's Domain as the Knights, I bring it over to PR. Most of the members were newbies, hense the name change.

Soon enough the clan known as NK had rivals. Clans were popping up just to have clanwars. People got bored and wanted more action then just the normal hack and slash. Many were lost and the line between RP and real life became thin and crossed-over many times.

In the hopes to stay an active clan, the membership needed to grow and soon enough NK has roughly 100 members. This is when PR had a peak of roughly 80 people at a time. The fatal flaw of getting so big is you lose track of member activites.

As the head of the clan, I had people doing different jobs. Intelligence, treasury, armory and infultration. Personally, I find the job assignment and hearing the reports a fun part. It is like a general in an army.

It soon got out of hand. 100 members all about and 1 decided he could do a better job by breaking a high rule of the MUD. The thing was, we did not know the rule existed, it simply did not allow players to make characters simply for storage. A good rule, in my personal opinion.

This oversight was caught by an immortal and at that point the clan was forced to go out of business. The guy who used a character for storage was going to be banned as punishment. I was in charge and took the punishment fully on myself. I was slayed over 200 times and lost over 200 levels.

The rule here when it comes to clans is, no matter how much fun the RP is, the more people you have to keep an eye on, the harder it will be to maintain the level of fun you enjoy. Know when enough is enough.

As far as trying to maintain the size of the clan... It is a guess on my part. If you can not figure out what each member is doing and am trying to run it like a military operation, you will end up with issues, just as I did.

Start small when trying to organize anything RP related. See how well you can control the situation. You can always enlarge the membership or what have you once you have an idea of how well you are doing. Never reach beyond your capabilities.

Frankly, you can not be in a clan and not RP. Clans are a structured command situation and you actually have to RP even the smallest amount to fully participate. There are leaders, head of departments, specialists, foot soldiers and so on...
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Old 06-14-2002, 11:01 AM   #8
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I know I'm a month late to this topic but I just noticed it and it's interesting

I think it depends on the circumstances.

If you're trying to find out pertinent information from an NPC (GM-run character) about the current plotline, I'd think more than 15 or 20 people would probably be much too difficult to keep up with the screen scroll and get confusing. You'd have at least 5 people asking questions, another 5 making comments, another 5 chomping on apples or drinking wine, and the rest sitting there trying to make sense of it all.

From the GM's side of things, you'd get all that, PLUS whispers of everyone in the room, server notices, reports and assists about unrelated things from players who aren't attending the event, pages from other GMs asking how to do this that and the other thing. The screen scroll is phenomenal, to say the least, and a good amount of the conversation would be lost, possibly including that "one question" that would give the players all the info they need to resolve the issue.

In normal non-event (quest)-related gatherings, maybe just an off-time conversation at the local tavern, 5 feels like a good number to me. You get differing opinions, interesting points brought up, the usual clatter of dishes, the area emits that pop up every 30 seconds (The bartender replaces clean glasses onto the shelves and goes back to washing the dishes. or - A drunk at the end of the bar gets up and staggers out the door. That kinda thing) would add to atmosphere rather than distract it.

In a story-telling situation, where either a player character or NPC presents the story, or history lesson, or informational talk, I think pretty much any number of people would be fine, since a lot of conversation wouldn't be expected and the person telling the story wouldn't need to focus on responding to everyone - though it would still remain an option if they caught any of it.

R
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Old 06-14-2002, 03:25 PM   #9
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Angry

I am going to seem insane, but I think the more the merrier. Nothing is more awesome than walking into a room with 30 people all speaking, moving, and interacting together. WHY?

Because the screen scroll simulates a phenomenon we cannot fabricate on a MUD, and that is "noise". Yes information is lost, many things are understood and people get frustrated, why? Because of the NOISE.

I think all in all it is something that should be appreciated. Perhaps it isn't conventional as far as getting something done, but that is why when you plot you meet somewhere private, when you are having a romantic encounter you meet somewhere private when snitching, or paying for something, you do it somewhere private.

...
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Old 06-14-2002, 05:09 PM   #10
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Red face

Blech, and I mean "blech" in the nicest possible way. 30 people in the same room at once would have me screaming, clawing my eyes out, and logging off. 10 people in the same room can be too many, particularly if there's not a couple characters for my own to hang out with, or something I can easily butt into. Then it turns into a game of How Many Different Ways Can I Pose Looking Sideways At You While Drinking My Coffee Because My Character Is Rude Like That? Big scenes can be fun sometimes, but if I did it too often, I'd end up looking like the little green smiley dude at the top of my post.

Side note: I think it's an eyes-clawed-out smiley.
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Old 06-14-2002, 11:37 PM   #11
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Angry

That was my point Val. That 30 people in a room is insane, but in an awesome way because that super scroll you get from every single action happening simulates noise. Like trying to talk to a friend in a party when you are standing close to a speak...damn near impossible.

When you want to do something isolated, you do NOT do it in a room of 30 people, you find somewhere calm to congregate, but in those moments when you find yourself in a gathering that large you can just observe a natural process that truly cannot be controlled. Which rocks.. IMO

...
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Old 06-14-2002, 11:57 PM   #12
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I "grew up", so to speak, on a MUD that at the time averaged 600-700 players a night. I loved the noise. I miss it.

And these days, I find myself not only reading and typing at lightning speeds, but I'm constantly typing SOMETHING, just because I hate seeing my screen sit idle.


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Old 06-15-2002, 12:33 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by
And these days, I find myself not only reading and typing at lightning speeds, but I'm constantly typing SOMETHING, just because I hate seeing my screen sit idle.
Yes! Yes! I thought -I- was the only one who did that.

When I started MUDing, it was on a MUD that was averaging near to 2000 players a night at the peak of its life. Now, on smaller MUDs, I find myself looking at me and everone around me, checking my experience, making sure my stats haven't changed at random, and going through my inventory every few seconds just to keep the screen scrolling.

I still like the smaller MUDs. . .2-6 people seems fine for a scene to me.

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Old 06-15-2002, 08:39 AM   #14
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got bored, so i'm posting.
I prefer the smaller groups, especially if you dont know who your rp'ing with. It just seems easier to "read their faces" when they are less people around to clutter it up, and since we cant actually SEE the people we have to guess by the implied tone in their typing what kind of facial expressions they make.
I have this annoying habit of picturing everything and everyone for every occasion. I like pictures, it makes it more real, and then I'll give a more natural response.
With too many people around, I cant focus on the ones I need to focus on at the time I need to focus on them. Don't get me wrong I love doing 80 things at once, I've been yelled at before because of it, by people wanting some personal rp time.

If it's people I know, and I understand, not so much "reading" is required because as a player I know how they will react to certain things and the clutter of 50 people in the room doesn't bother me as much. Also, planned rp's make that too easy, I prefer to wing everything. I've even been known to throw a twist into planned rp's just for kicks. It's come to the point that certain individuals expect it from me. I can't let them down now can I?
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Old 06-15-2002, 04:43 PM   #15
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Coming from a MUSH envirorment, I'm going to side with Val on this. While it is realistic, the mind usually can focus on a few things at once, effectively filtering out the others... and if one does try to go through everything, perhaps they will just scroll slowly, making emote times extremely slow.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 06-18-2002, 09:11 PM   #16
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Angry

Cerise your madness mimics my own. Thank you.

I picture everything that happens, I actually HEAR people talking to me, and I hear the tone of the voice and the clang of weapons and the sound of the feet moving and feel the dust clouds being kicked up on my skin.

When I pkilled I smelled the fear of my targets, or in the case of them winning the fight, I saw the bloodlust in their eyes. I tasted their sweat and smelled their must.

All in all the immersion was euphoric...

...
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