Roleplaying Improvements/Suggestions Thread



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Takushi Rena

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Hi, everyone! I did create a thread in the past about suggestions for improving on the forum, but as it was a one time thing, I wanted to make sure that everyone who had suggestions or issues could still voice their concerns. The goal is still to find ways to increase activity and make the forum more open to newbies.

All suggestions are taken into account, but not all of them will be used. I may also create a poll at some point and gauge the best ideas to implement based on that, like I did last month.

Other than that, feel free to suggest away! C:

Current Ideas:
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Noel

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How about a posting template/guideline? I take that some newcomers would be intimidated after when they first joined an RP and are about to post. They don't know whether if they should post a short, or a long post. Or even to know how to structure it. I mean of course it is just like writing a paper. Though they need at least some sort uve' pace to go by. How much detail is needed, what action(s) they need too do. Etc. Of course it does not have to be followed, but it would set a margin to go by. Guess you could call it a tutorial or holding their hand while providing an example. I guess what I'm getting at here is have an example RP post and break it down, so they get an understanding of what a standard post would be like.
 
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Yakumo Fuji

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Apologies in advance for the long post. I was tying to frame my thoughts and investigate reasons and solutions whilst I was going along, so it kind of turned into a mini essay, lol. Important parts in bold ... skip the rest if it's too long!


The state of roleplaying in general across the net is of definite concern. A lot of boards, which I used to frequent, have either gotten rid of their long-dead roleplaying forums or they are simply left as scary graveyard signposts, eerily tilting in the breeze as they serve as a warning to the curious backpacking visitor. The fact that this place has at least people posting in the roleplaying forum is what drew me here in the first place, even though I know absolutely nothing of KH. Unfortunately, it's the age old question: how to get a roleplaying section more active?

The biggest issue I feel for veterans and newcomers alike is time. It takes time to read through several long posts and become aware of where you are within the roleplay, and what is currently happening, before you can even think of engaging with others and continuing. It then takes more time to craft a reasonable response, possibly having to backtrack on certain things that have happened, before moving on.

So, we somehow need to find a way to reduce the time that people are required to spend on roleplays. Not only would this make it easier for them to join in a specific roleplay that they would like to join, but it could provide people with more time to be able to join other roleplays.

Which leads us directly onto a second point ... community. Scanning through the threads, I saw a quote from Orion somewhere stating that no matter how many ideas are implemented, the roleplaying forum simply can not thrive without the direct backing of the community. It's so true. Without people getting involved and supporting one another in their roleplays and ideas, unfortunately, even the best concepts and implementations will fall flat on their faces.

So, we somehow need to get the community (both those in the roleplaying section and the wider KH Insider community) more involved in the forum here. At the end of the day, the roleplaying forum is only as good as the community helps to make it.

Following on from both of the above, a lot of roleplays, for whatever reasons, do not reach a definitive conclusion / sense of achivement. Now this is extremely important. We are asking the community here to invest time into developing both a rich template and history for their character, to spend precious time and energy within a roleplay ... and then for it to ultimately fade off into nothing or never conclude? Yeah, I can easily see how that could deter a heck of a lot of people. This also means that those characters are forever frozen in time. They never grow and develop from one roleplay to the next, since they are trapped within an ever repeating cycle of never-ending roleplays.

So, we somehow need to provide some structure for roleplays and allow for a definite conclusion. This would allow characters to grow and develop, provide a history and reference point for those characters, and most importantly, provide a history for the journeys and stories of the roleplaying forum itself.

There are other little niggles, but these I feel are the main points.



Right, so those are what I believe are the main issues facing us as a community here. Been thinking for a long while about this, and I've got a couple of ideas on how to implement some of these concepts as a whole in order to help improve things. Obviously take what you want from all this...

To start with, a minor alteration, though it needs some leg work in order to restructure all the content involved. There needs to be just one single sticky which should be the main port of call for everyone, containing everything that both newcomers and veterans alike need to know about roleplaying here. To this end, the 'info, rules and guidelines', 'beginner's primer', and 'how to make a canon / non-canon roleplay', and anything else of major significance, should all be amended to new guidelines and merged into one definitive article; structured like how it is now (quite excellently I must add) in the 'info, rules' thread and stickied within every sub-section.

This implementation should save time for everyone, but most importantly, provide newcomers with a specific port of call to go to if they are confused when first venturing into the roleplaying forum. Even if they ventured into canon roleplays first, it's stickied everywhere, so they can easily get an understanding of how things work here. Other stuff like the 'Roleplaying Tavern' can still remain, just rebrand it slightly so it's obvious that people can go and ask anything concerning the roleplaying forum there.

Onto a possible contentious issue ... but something that I feel needs to be done in order to benefit the forum as a whole. Speaking of those guidelines and first port of call, we need to have a single set of roleplaying guidelines in use throughout all the roleplays. Specifically, post length. In order to target the time and community issues, I think it may be of benefit to have a strict '3-4 and no more' paragraph rule. Now before you stick me with pitchforks and set me alight, all those of you (including myself) who love to ramble on and write prose, hear me out for a sec.

By having a maximum structure to write to, it would benefit the forum greatly. Going back to the main points, a major task for all participants here is to read all the previous posts before they can continue within a roleplay. Now, if some roleplaying posts can go into 7 or 8 paragaphs each, all with different colours and sizes, that can be a major turnoff. And if you have to leave for a while, you are quite screwed. And that's just for those currently involved. Newcomers looking to join that roleplay could immediately be turned off by the amount and length of posts. So, by reducing all posts to a guideline, it would allow people a chance to read posts and give them more time available to participate within that roleplay, and again, others because of the time that is freed up by not reading reams and reams of text.

Following on from this, another implementation is that all authors, say, once a week (depending of course on how frequent / active their roleplay is), should post within their roleplay a short summary of what has happened so far. Combined with the above, this would allow everyone to catch up no matter how far behind they may have been, but more importantly, it would allow newcomers to join a roleplay at any point (if the signups are still open of course). How cool is that? Because everyone can read the summaries (which an author could collate into the first page or signup thread), it would allow them to be able to then join in without the fear of missing out on stuff or not knowing what is currently going on.

So, we need to have all the guidelines compacted into a single and easy to locate thread, have a maximum post guideline of 3-4 paragraphs only, and weekly / important summary segments within each roleplay - saving everyone a huge amount of time and allowing everyone (both current and future players) to participate more in both that roleplay and others because of the savings on time.

Following on from this, the idea of summaries brings us to our next point. All roleplays need to have a definitive conclusion. And there is a very important reason why this needs to be done more. There should come a point within a roleplay that the main objective is met and the roleplay comes to an end. Not only is this a massive sense of achievement, but everyone involved can see and witness the progression of their characters within the roleplay. Now, there's nothing to say that they can't then move on and do a sequel to that roleplay. In fact, that's what we're trying to encourage here! But with every concluded roleplay, everyone involved is given a rich history and events for their characters which can then be developed further into other roleplays.

Remember the time when member 5 stopped X-Death? Or the time that member 103 got sick?

All these points provide an interesting roleplaying history for the character ... which players can then put back into their profiles. Which brings us neatly onto the next point following on from concluding roleplays: history and characters. I think that there needs to be a new sub-forum for character profiles. With all the above implementations, and with roleplays having specific conclusion, we should have a place where everyone's profiles are located and can be updated. This then means that these characters can possibly be used within the sequel or even onother (suitable) roleplays. Obviously some roleplays you'd have to drastically change some things (so perhaps you could make alternate versions of your character) but for those within a similar world and ideal, or for direct sequels, it would work. Given everyone a rich history and a sense of achievements for their characters and all the work they have put into roleplays.

This would also mean we could have a wider community involvement with awards for stuff like stories and characters because of all the history we are creating thanks to the above. Like awards for characters who have 'been through a lot of shit' or those who 'sacrificed themselves for others' etc... etc... Once we have history and a legacy for characters and the forums, we can do anything! Following on from this, we should have an archive segment for completed roleplays, again highlighting the sense of achievement, providing the backstory for the participating characters, and each one should have a final summary.

So, we need to have set goals within roleplays, so that they can conclude, which in turn, will provide history and events for our characters which we'll contain within a sub-forum for them and for the completed stories. This should help strengthen the community and participation within roleplays.


In order to facilitate this, we need to start with a Mod-led community event that could test all this out. A special KH roleplay subform for an alternate storyline, where every thread is a specific story, and is set and ends on a specific world. After the completion of each thread / story, a summary of events is stickied (we could have a single thread for the story summaries) as well as a sub-forum for the character profiles which players can update as they go along. With all the ideas above, this would enable people to drop in and out as and when they have time, to participate more, and begin to build a rich history, and a sense of investment, for their characters.

(It would also be of great use to have a lot of terms and stuff explained for the KH newbies, like myself, so that we could easily join in).


So yeah, that's my long-ass thoughts and ideas. Certainly wouldn't hurt to try out and should tackle those main points of time, community and conclusions / achievements. Apologies again for the length! I really am sorry for that. I need to be more concise in the future ... just read the bold parts, lol.
 

OmniChaos

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^I'm at work at the moment, but I'll try to respond to this once I get home.

Anyway, I still intend to revive the Roleplaying Academy, I just need people willing to help who will actually help..
 
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