[Admin] Story-Based Games

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PyTom
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[Admin] Story-Based Games

#1 Post by PyTom » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:25 am

The Lemma Soft Forums are, as it says up at the top, a place where we support the creators of "visual novels and story-based games".

The concept of a story-based game is a little bit of a murky one, and for a long time, there hasn't really been a lot of reason to need to judge games. Even if a game that was slightly off-topic is posted here, it wouldn't be a big deal - the release would be announced, the thread would drop, and that would be it. That's changed over the past few years, where the rise of crowdfunding and patreon. Now there's a motivation to post about other games, and to keep posting in the threads.

I've decided to start being a little more judgemental about what games are story-based. This doesn't mean a game has to be a visual novel - we have many games, in all genres, posted here. Stuff like Sunrider, Horse Hall, the Winter Wolves RPGs - all seem fine to me. All of these games can easily be described and discussed in story terms, in addition to any discussion of their game mechanics. But I'm starting to see threads pop up for games that are mostly or solely being described in terms of mechanics, with story barely mentions. Those games are off-topic for LSF, and I'm going to start locking or deleting threads as they show up.

I plan to mostly follow the community's lead on this. If people are actively discussing a game and talking about its story, that's fine. If I find threads with repeated posts by the creator, with no discussion, I'm very likely to apply the lock.

At the end of the day, LSF works because it's a forum with a purpose. We're here to create games of a certain type. And while I encourage people to push the limits of what story-based games can be, at some point the story becomes less important. That's fine, but LSF isn't the place for such games to be discussed.
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Re: [Admin] Story-Based Games

#2 Post by BáiYù » Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:29 pm

I've been sitting on my response for a few hours so I feel like I should break the ice: my latest recruitment post was one of the threads that poofed away and while I understand your rationale, I would have liked a warning before its' deletion. I didn't save that info anywhere else so having to retype it all again is an inconvenience. If there's a way to retrieve the post, I'd like to get it so I can post elsewhere.

Other than that, how many unanswered update posts from a creator does it take before you determine it's time to lock?
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Re: [Admin] Story-Based Games

#3 Post by PyTom » Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:03 pm

There isn't really a good way to save off-topic posts on the forums. I can't just hide a thread. While I recognize that people put a lot of work in threads, I have a responsibility to keep things reasonably on topic, something I've been neglecting for a while.

There isn't a hard and fast number, since it's fundamentally about the game. I mean, if someone were to post the 1980s Star Wars arcade game, one of my favorites, I'd have to get rid of the thread in one post. The number of posts more just reflects my conservative approach to forum mangement - if I don't know what to do, I'll often wait to see what forces out. Threads with multiple posts, especially those where every post is about a partial release on Patreon, are a problem, and when the game itself is off-topic I'm more likely to crack down.
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Re: [Admin] Story-Based Games

#4 Post by aliciarune » Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:26 pm

One problem I have with this is the number of posts part. I've noticed some threads don't get a single post, but they are a visual novel or story based games. It's just either people don't find it interesting or the thread doesn't get seen. I get updates shouldn't be just on art but also things like characters, story, music etc, but sometimes people don't get a post (though this is far more seen in the ideas section.) So do you have any advice on what kind of updates you'd like to see? I know you don't want just promotion for things like Patreon or KS, but I'd just need to know an example so I can manage my posts better.

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Re: [Admin] Story-Based Games

#5 Post by trooper6 » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:47 pm

I have a question about purview. lemmasoft is "Supporting creators of visual novels and story-based games since 2003."

What about games that are not visual novels or story-based games, but are Ren'Py games?
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Re: [Admin] Story-Based Games

#6 Post by PyTom » Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:12 pm

aliciarune wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:26 pm
One problem I have with this is the number of posts part. I've noticed some threads don't get a single post, but they are a visual novel or story based games. It's just either people don't find it interesting or the thread doesn't get seen. I get updates shouldn't be just on art but also things like characters, story, music etc, but sometimes people don't get a post (though this is far more seen in the ideas section.) So do you have any advice on what kind of updates you'd like to see? I know you don't want just promotion for things like Patreon or KS, but I'd just need to know an example so I can manage my posts better.
Number of posts is more of a signal for me to determine what to pay attention to, rather than something dispositive in its own right. It's one of the checks I use - even if I'm a bit skeptical about a game, if people are productively discussing it, then I'm basically happy to let them. When it's just the creator posting each time he or she bumps the game's version by 0.0.1, then it's time for me to take a look to see if it's a game that's on topic, or if the lack of replies means it probably isn't.

trooper6 wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:47 pm
What about games that are not visual novels or story-based games, but are Ren'Py games?
Do many of those exist? Ren'Py is designed as a story-centric engine, with the script being the main part of it. Simply using Ren'Py to make your game doesn't give you an infinite free pass, but it is a fairly strong signal that story is important to a creator. (Of course, Ren'Py support is on-topic in the Ren'Py section, and support for non-VN games in other VN engines is generally on topic in the other engine section.)


I don't want people to get overly worried, since the vast majority of threads here are fine. The problem is off-topic promotional threads, really. A thread that's on-topic and promotional is generally fine - it gets a pass since it's on topic. (That doesn't mean you can't get cross over into spamming, but I can't recall seeing that here.) A thread that's off-topic and non-promotional isn't that big a deal either, since those threads die out pretty quick. (And we kill off ones that don't naturally die off, like forum games.) The problem seems to mostly be with off-topic promotional threads, especially ones for semi-released games that keep on going and going.

Story-based is an interesting concept, but I think it starts fundamentally with the story being the sort of thing that the creator promotes. If your post is about the characters and what's happening to them, great. If it's about how great your crafting system is, that's great - but it's not right for LSF. When we start getting repeated off-topic posts, that's a good sign that either the game itself is off-topic, or the creator doesn't want to write about it in an on-topic way, which might as well be the same thing.
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Re: [Admin] Story-Based Games

#7 Post by aliciarune » Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:47 pm

Kk, thanks for the information :)

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