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  #1  
Old 03-11-2011, 09:51 AM
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Default Fun Club Feedback

As you may have noticed, things have been slow lately. I can't put my finger on why, but Fun Club has lost its newness and people seem to be less interested. I wanted to rethink the way some things work, so I want to ask all of you for feedback.

What keeps you from participating in threads? What would get you to again? Are there too many threads? Too few? Is the structure not working? etc.

I already posted a new request thread in hopes that it will better forecast what threads will thrive, but I want to hear more from you too. Please let me know what you think.
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  #2  
Old 03-11-2011, 11:06 AM
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I think the problems with our FCs are probably endemic to many. Waves of enthusiasm for newer, shorter games can pass quickly, sometimes in less than a week. With RPGs and other, longer games you basically have to either choose one that has a huge groundswell of support specific to our board (like the current TO) or catch people when they happen not to have something shinier to play.

I think the new system you came up with is good, provided everyone who posts keeps up with updating their mini-list. Maybe when it comes time to decide on a FC, send a shout-out mentioning the people who listed the game and verify that they are still committed to playing it.

There have been some nice strong FCs with only a handful of participants and I have enjoyed those a lot, but it really does take that handful sticking it out for the duration of the FC, participating even after they have finished the game themselves (if a shorter one) or not getting discouraged if they fall behind the pack (for a longer one).

In short, you don’t have an enviable job, SS, and I'm not sure if these comments would even help at all. Good luck, I hope the new system works better for everyone!
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  #3  
Old 03-11-2011, 01:56 PM
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I've only been in two Fun Clubs so far, but my problem is that I never actually have the games that are chosen. After 4 Heroes of Light, no game that I had bought overlapped with a Fun Club at all, not that it's anyone's fault but my own, I suppose. I had a good time playing along with others in the 4 Heroes of Light and Dragon Quest III Fun Clubs and am convinced that RPGs are good candidates for them because they're long enough to last the entire time. Even if it's a dedicated few that stick with it like what happened in the DQIII thread, I still enjoy it.

I'm not exactly sure what can be done to spice things up at all, though. That would have to be left up to the players to try something totally out there if they're revisiting a game for a second or third time.

Other than that, I echo Rosewood's comments wholesale. I hope this new format gets people more interested in participating in these Fun Clubs.
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  #4  
Old 03-11-2011, 02:37 PM
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This post is just a thought I had, it's not really trying self-address my own participation.

Harness the critical mass of participation when happens to occur. If a thread happens to be exceptionally successful, announce that everyone there can suggest a successor game, and then do a participation-poll right there in the thread. If the survey suggests that there is a sustained critical mass of willing participants then do it, but if not then don't do it. In the former case the successor game would start when the thread winds down (you would do the survey *well before* that point).

The key idea is that the poll is about immediate (not eventual) participation, and the ultimate vote is a yea/nay survey and not a vote. The fallback is always just the normal system based on voting, which is sort of "well try whatever is most likely to be a success and hope that works" mentality.

It makes the most sense for the suggested games to be related somehow to the current one: another game in the series for example, or one in the same genre or one from the same developer/company. If the game is of similar vintage and/or same platform that's a plus too. Basically it is the participants who are doing the suggesting and voting, so they will naturally try to appeal to whatever common interest is before them. There isn't a need to enforce who gets to vote/suggest and who doesn't, just make it all happen right there in the thread.

Clearly, this is not a replacement system. I guess a thread created this way would just start a brand new slot (given the circumstances, why not?).
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  #5  
Old 03-11-2011, 02:42 PM
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I've participated in a good number of fun clubs, and I'll always join in if it's a game I own or can borrow. I haven't had the cash lately to keep up with some of the Day One Clubs I wanted to, like EO III, 4 Heroes of Light, and Tactics Ogre. It seems like they do alright even without me though.

The thing I'd love to see is more people giving meaningful thoughts while they play. There are some folks who will just drop in to say "got to such-and-such boss. going good" or "aaaaand done." Okay, and?

Obviously that's not something we can control, but I definitely try to make my posts meaningful. I like it when people pick out even one detail they really enjoyed at the very least.

So yeah, I would participate more if I had more money.
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  #6  
Old 03-11-2011, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Traumadore View Post
The thing I'd love to see is more people giving meaningful thoughts while they play. There are some folks who will just drop in to say "got to such-and-such boss. going good" or "aaaaand done." Okay, and?

Obviously that's not something we can control, but I definitely try to make my posts meaningful. I like it when people pick out even one detail they really enjoyed at the very least.
Agreed. The Yggdra Union NFC was pretty rewarding in that regard.
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  #7  
Old 03-11-2011, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Traumadore View Post
The thing I'd love to see is more people giving meaningful thoughts while they play. There are some folks who will just drop in to say "got to such-and-such boss. going good" or "aaaaand done." Okay, and?

Obviously that's not something we can control, but I definitely try to make my posts meaningful. I like it when people pick out even one detail they really enjoyed at the very least.
I wholeheartedly second this.
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  #8  
Old 03-11-2011, 03:45 PM
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I'm most interested in Fun Clubbing short (less than 2 hours) games but there's usually not much to discuss with those types of games so...hmm.

I generally switch RPGs once every two months or so and if I'm playing one that isn't being FC'd, then I'm silent on the FC front for that time period. Like I bought DQ VI, Radiant Historia and TO but I'm playing RH and I probably won't start TO until late next month.
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  #9  
Old 03-11-2011, 03:52 PM
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Without reading over the responses fully yet: I think it'd be a good idea to either go ahead and run FCs for games highly anticipated here, or just lessen the FCs when a rush of them comes out. I've been ignoring the FCs because I've been focusing on Ys and DQVI, with other great stuff that either just came out or will come out in the near future to take their places. Admittedly I'm somewhat impulsive with my choices on what to play, so my participation usually hinges on being very interested in playing a game when an FC hits.
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  #10  
Old 03-11-2011, 04:08 PM
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I often would like to participate in a fun club, but am already playing something else and don't want to abandon it in order to be a part of the club. So my problem is that there are too many fun clubs going on and in too short of a time-frame, so when I do get around to being able to participate then it's usually already closed. I think scaling things back will make a FC have more weight and significance.

You need to give us some breathing room so we can still play what we want to in addition to the fun club game of the month.
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  #11  
Old 03-11-2011, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eusis View Post
Admittedly I'm somewhat impulsive with my choices on what to play, so my participation usually hinges on being very interested in playing a game when an FC hits.
Not trying to be too much of a shill here, but the mini-list could track your impulses. You could theoretically change it several times a week or even several times day, inspired by others' lists or things you read on the net or whatever, and at any given moment, Snake would clutch his head in despair be able to gauge what you are interested in starting today.
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  #12  
Old 03-11-2011, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traumadore View Post
I've participated in a good number of fun clubs, and I'll always join in if it's a game I own or can borrow. I haven't had the cash lately to keep up with some of the Day One Clubs I wanted to, like EO III, 4 Heroes of Light, and Tactics Ogre. It seems like they do alright even without me though.

The thing I'd love to see is more people giving meaningful thoughts while they play. There are some folks who will just drop in to say "got to such-and-such boss. going good" or "aaaaand done." Okay, and?

Obviously that's not something we can control, but I definitely try to make my posts meaningful. I like it when people pick out even one detail they really enjoyed at the very least.

So yeah, I would participate more if I had more money.
Would it help if I, say, provided discussion questions or something?

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Originally Posted by Belmont View Post
I often would like to participate in a fun club, but am already playing something else and don't want to abandon it in order to be a part of the club. So my problem is that there are too many fun clubs going on and in too short of a time-frame, so when I do get around to being able to participate then it's usually already closed. I think scaling things back will make a FC have more weight and significance.

You need to give us some breathing room so we can still play what we want to in addition to the fun club game of the month.
To be clear, the threads have been closed a) one month after they're started and b) after days of inactivity. If you think I should leave inactive threads open longer, then okay, but I don't see the point when no one is playing.

Also, I'm not really ever going to make a thread last longer than a month. That's probably going too far.
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  #13  
Old 03-11-2011, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by SilentSnake View Post
Would it help if I, say, provided discussion questions or something?
Specific discussion topics could help if you can manage to be unspoilerific about it. Heck, a reminder list of generic topics of discussion could help (game play, learning curve, aesthetics, music, sound effects, etc). Despite my enthusiasm, I'm no writer and it's likely that certain aspects of playing a game affect me but I'm not aware of it unless it's pointed out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentSnake View Post
Also, I'm not really ever going to make a thread last longer than a month. That's probably going too far.
I would agree unless there's an obvious call for an overtime period. Just curious: has that situation ever occurred in the past?

I suspect that the major challenge for getting some fun club momentum is getting an initial investment of players. A quick thought: I wonder if scheduling things out a bit would help. Nothing too far out, just a heads-up of "hey, two weeks from now we're doing Game X" or something. Having a bit of lead time could help in clearing the plate a bit in preparation. For example, if I knew that we were gearing up for something on my list a few weeks from now, I can decide if I want to try to completely wrap up Radiant Historia or find a nice break point before it's FC time.
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  #14  
Old 03-11-2011, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentSnake View Post
To be clear, the threads have been closed a) one month after they're started and b) after days of inactivity. If you think I should leave inactive threads open longer, then okay, but I don't see the point when no one is playing.

Also, I'm not really ever going to make a thread last longer than a month. That's probably going too far.
I'm not suggesting keeping them open for longer as you pointed out there's no point in doing so. The problem is that you're trying to offer something different for everybody, but the attention is thinning out and being spread across multiple threads. I think the solution lies in reeling things back so that when there is a FC it'll glean more attention. Have we ever had only one Fun Club running for a month instead of multiple ones running concurrently like we're doing right now? You could even do one FC of three different types for the month such as: 1) a fun club of an old game that starts on the 1st of the month and ends at the end of the month 2) a 1cc that takes place on the second Sunday of the month and closes at in one week and 3) a fun club of a new game that's going to obviously be played by a lot of people that ends when discussion has died down or within 30 days of its inception. Tying this in with gudfoots suggestion of lead-in announcements in a sticky thread to let us know what the FC of the month is would give us time to fit the games into our schedules, or even buy the game if that happens to be the case.

I was also thinking about maybe offering up some optional guidelines to give the FC's a structure outside of the norm: i.e. start every post off with a bold sentence that tells us where you are in the game (Or is that a retarded idea?). And as forced as it may sound, the idea of discussion questions that you mentioned earlier could totally work. You could always try it for one FC and it it fails miserably then you can just axe the idea entirely.

Last edited by Belmont; 03-12-2011 at 02:19 AM.
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  #15  
Old 03-12-2011, 01:06 AM
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I'd just like to see 1ccs come around more often.
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:44 AM
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I whole heartedly support the idea of announcing things ahead of time, that lets people prepare, save up money, clear their current game, all kinds of stuff.

I also don't see the point in closing a thread unless its pretty much dead. People are still talking about and playing EO3 for example, why does an arbitrary length of time like a month have to be the limit? I feel like this kind of keeps people who get in the game a little late from being able to get their full FC experience. Use your best judgement and give a fair heads up, like 'if there's not a decent bit of activity this thread will be closed in three days' kinda thing. Some games have a much stronger ability to generate conversation than others. There's a lot more to say about a 40 hour RPG than there is an NES platformer.

Lastly I think a sticky explaining exactly what a Fun Club and Day One Club is would be useful. I know it sounds fairly obvious but the easier it is to know what you're getting into the better.
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  #17  
Old 03-12-2011, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belmont View Post
I was also thinking about maybe offering up some optional guidelines to give the FC's a structure outside of the norm: i.e. start every post off with a bold sentence that tells us where you are in the game (Or is that a retarded idea?). And as forced as it may sound, the idea of discussion questions that you mentioned earlier could totally work. You could always try it for one FC and it it fails miserably then you can just axe the idea entirely.
It's always been fun when some kind of impromptu format for talking about a game has developed in the past, like when people started writing fiction about their guild in Etrian Odyssey, or describing their fatal blunders in Shiren. In those situations people kind of unconciously extended what those games are about; forging your own path or learning from your mistakes. A lot of games are mainly about the temporal thrills they provide which is harder to talk about and describe.
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:01 PM
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While I'm heavy into RPGs, which seem to be prime Fun Club material, I also tend to just work on one at a time; as a result, even if a game I have and want to play is a Fun Club, I'm often in the middle of something else.

Having some sort of lead time/scheduled clubs might help with this significantly. Not sure how much time is reasonable - maybe a 2 week lead?

While DQIX was a prime example of a game that could have survived a two month Fun Club (if not more!), it's not really necessary. And if we're aiming to have only one or two FCs open at a time, even if I'm in the middle of a game, I'd rather keep things fresh in this context - there's always another forum to carry on discussion of other games.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:46 AM
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Our first announcements, very nice. I like how the dates are staggered, and we have a couple weeks' notice for the ultra-long RPG. I'm glad FFXII got put in the queue even though I didn't have it on my list--I voted for it in the past iteration of the request list and haven't finished it, so I'll definitely boot it back up for the FC.

My planning list has been updated as requested.
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:26 PM
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FFXII, huh? I do love me that game. No way I'll have time to do a new run-through from scratch, but I never did get that final Esper, so maybe I'll pop my old save back in at least for a bit...
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:28 PM
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Let's discuss how the questions will work now. And also how you want people to structure their posts. What do you all think will enhance things enough?
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:41 PM
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Days of Ruin and Final Fantasy XII? Please tell me that FFXII is going to be two months because I don't think anyone has the time to get through that game in one month. I want to participate in both, but... I don't think I'll be able to devote my time to an in-depth strategy game and a sprawling MMO-inspired RPG.

That's not going to stop me from trying, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentSnake View Post
Let's discuss how the questions will work now. And also how you want people to structure their posts. What do you all think will enhance things enough?
I'm honestly not sure how questions will work. These are just off the top of my head but here goes:

For Days of Ruin: This one could be tough... the only thing that comes to mind is strategy talk. Are you the kind of person that rushes at the enemy with the strongest units, or do you bait in the enemy and pummel them with long-range units? And then there's Fog of War. Do you take it slow, using recon units and infantry to scope out the enemy in the safety of fog, or do you once again use the bait-and-switch tactic. Maybe you wear the enemy down slowly by capturing their bases and dwindling their funds down, or maybe you capture their home base as soon as you can, or maybe you destroy all of their units to claim victory.

For Final Fantasy XII:
  • Character build tips
  • Good Gambit lists (Gambits are so divisive, they may even spur discussion about whether putting the game on auto-pilot is even a good thing)
  • I've been trying to make sense of the finer points of the story, so I personally would enjoy general discussion about it
Or maybe the above questions are total crap.

I already have an idea on how I'll structure my posts. Since I went on a crazy fanfic-y run with Dragon Quest III, I'll probably do something similar with Days of Ruin. Not sure how I'll pull it off, but it should be fun, I think.

As far as Final Fantasy XII is concerned, I'm not sure what everyone else will be talking about, but I'll be focusing on my character builds, Gambits, and the Hunts as those are my favorite parts of the game. I'll also probably try and go to places that the plot hasn't yet dictated just to spice things up. And I'll probably never shut up about my hatred of Yiazmat and his 40 million health points. Though, I may not make it that far before the Fun Club ends.

Last edited by Prinnydood; 03-13-2011 at 09:15 PM.
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  #23  
Old 03-13-2011, 08:54 PM
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Hmmm... yeah, this might be the one thread I have to keep open for longer than a month.

We'll have to see how long people are interested, though.

As for Days of Ruin, I'm mostly going of the assurance that it's not super long and that it is portable.
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentSnake View Post
Let's discuss how the questions will work now. And also how you want people to structure their posts. What do you all think will enhance things enough?
In addition to Prinnydood's suggestions for Days of Ruin, I think that a big talking point for that game will be it's departure from the rest of the series. So maybe questions could focus on what changes we liked or didn't like and what could use some fixing for a future installment.
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:45 PM
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One point that I will definitely develop during the FFXII fun club will the the use of jobs (since I'll be playing the International version of the game). I never really used magic magick (except for healing) during my first and second playthrough of the game, so it should be interesting for me to have a white mage and a black mage through the game.
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
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One point that I will definitely develop during the FFXII fun club will the the use of jobs (since I'll be playing the International version of the game). I never really used magic magick (except for healing) during my first and second playthrough of the game, so it should be interesting for me to have a white mage and a black mage through the game.
This would be good, especially for those of us that can't play the International version. I'd love to hear all of the little things that are different between the two versions, if you happen to know them. I was actually thinking of trying to force the job layouts into the License Board of the original game for my playthrough.
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  #27  
Old 03-14-2011, 03:35 PM
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I'm loving the announcement thing already! Thanks, SilentSnake!
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  #28  
Old 03-14-2011, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Prinnydood View Post
I was actually thinking of trying to force the job layouts into the License Board of the original game for my playthrough.
I was thinking of something similar, or at least to try to cludge together equivalents for Red Mage, Paladin, and others from the License Board as it stands in the US edition.
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  #29  
Old 04-13-2011, 01:07 AM
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I've noticed there haven't been very many day one clubs recently. Whether you decided to ditch them or there just haven't been any NFC worthy games out lately, I don't know. However, a day one for Portal 2 would have some pretty heavy participation, I should think.
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  #30  
Old 05-22-2011, 09:09 AM
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Let's talk discussion questions.

You guys been liking the concept so far? The questions themselves? Or do you think they need to be more specific?
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