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General Video Game Discussion Thread
Un-Persona
Mar 31 2015, 08:25 PM
Friendly reminder not to trust or believe any gaming news tomorrow.

No matter how bad you want too.
I have a solid source on Left 4 Half-Portal releasing concept art tomorrow. It's gonna be amazing.

V6 Tabletop Crew
Dr. Adjective
Mar 26 2015, 06:59 AM
I'm playing with the idea of Oswald having gotten into RPGs either when he was younger, or for nerd Cred but actually ended up liking it unironically, but in any case he's definitely going to be a Magic player, so there's that.

In OOC terms I can also confirm that Edge of the Empire is a really cool system, if a bit weird to learn if you're used to more common d20 or d100 based systems. Oh and the 40k RPG lines are pretty rad too.
Sounds good! We may have a place for TCGs, depends on how many characters there are for that. I may tweak Ulysses some to incorporate another concept of mine that would help there.

I'm honestly not familiar with Edge of the Empire, but I'll look into it, especially if we have several folks who want to play it! 40k would be awesome.

MuseMan
 
With regards to Eri and LARPing, she might be able to contribute by making outfits for people. She's a cosplay fanatic, after all, and given her well-to-do background she'd have the money necessary for materials. Besides, someone needs to hang around on the sidelines and make sure drinks are readily available.

Sounds good!
Cieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel
 
Scout's kind of an asshole and only assholes play shadowrun so she's in. This sounds like it'd be up Ashley's alley as well.

Coooor, what kind of characters would they play?

Let's mash some characters together and see what happens!
Bumping up since Alex and Ulysses have both gone through some major revisions! I'm going to be fleshing Jacob out soon as well, so I'm looking for more relationships/questions on all three!

Hello! I can draw something for you if you'd like
Wow, I think Max may have turned out my favorite so far. I really like the three stages you did with him as well.

League of Legends Mafia! (sign-ups)
Mid or feed.

Hello! I can draw something for you if you'd like
I've been working on Alex's appearance a lot as of late, so I think I'll sneak him in.

Alex's Appearance

I don't have a full profile for Alex yet, but I'll tell you a bit about him below!

Alex Darby synopsis

Plush Wants To Read Your Dead Things!
And that's 10! I'll get these started as soon as I can.

Your V5 Top Ten
I'm gonna do these in no particular order. I like all these kids a whole lot and you should give them a read if you haven't, they're very enjoyable.

Theodore Fletcher: I stuck up for Theo, in the beginning, and then I kind of cooled on him as the game went by. Looking back, I shouldn't have. Espi caught some flack for a lot of things about Theo and there are times where his characterization shakes as he tries to find direction, but you know what? I'm going to say that's not a bad thing. In fact, I'm going to say it's a very good thing. I'm going to say that that's Theo. Theo is a pasty, awkward, good-hearted suburbanite middle class kid whose greatest hardship before the game was that he was too blunt and sometimes that made people not want to be his friend. That's a simplistic way of stating it, and it's a legitimate issue in normal life, but Theo is so, so unprepared for anything even close to SotF. He has never seen a violent situation in his life, if we're going off of his profile, so of course he's erratic. Of course he makes fevered jumps of reasoning and logic that don't make a lot of sense. He has zero context for anything that's going on and it's eating him alive from the inside out.

Yeah, it could have been better supported. Yeah, some of that I think comes from a little bit of genuine OOC hesitation and confusion. But for a character as early in Espi's SotF tenure as Theo to execute such a big, ambitious arc with complex themes and relationships that would impact a vast portion of the game in one way or another? Hot damn. Some of us, myself definitely included, were too hard on this kid. He's not flawless, but none of us are Theo is a really good character, and he deserves to be remembered that way.

Amaranta Montalvo: I wrote a whole big thing on Mara just a little bit ago.. In general though, Mara just has this nice, complete story full of interesting people and decisions and emotions, littered with vignettes informing us about her life and her struggles in the system she's been brought up in. It's really powerful, and it makes her an effective winner, because I don't know where her story is going next, but I know I want to read it. That's really all I can ask for.

Joachim Lovelace: One of the joys, for me, in running a critique thread is that I get to dig into characters I really love and think about why I love them, as you'll see pretty frequently in this line-up. Joachim is one I get the privilege of doing soon. I love how Riki takes this person driven by such a simple concept and makes them this full, vibrant, entertaining character, who expresses himself through austerity. Joachim packs so much into every little thing he does and it's phenomenal. I am truly honored to have finished his story, and there's no better complement I've been paid about my writing anywhere than Riki asking me to do so. Everything good about my run was laid down by Riki and scaffolded well before I wrote my first word with him, so he is due all the credit.


Hansel Williams: Hansel is another one I've been able to talk about at greater length. The summary is that nobody hit me, challenged me, or forced me to think in the way that Hansel Williams did. He was a complicated character in ways I can't accurately convey without going on a rant. I like to think of him as that excellent picture Medic drew that's up on his wiki page: Alone, with his back turned to the world, making everyone think he's hiding some kind of terrible threat, when really he's just confused, uncertain, and broken.

He had a good run. I cherish him.

Kelly Peterson: Kelly had a very short, efficient story that launched an effective killer arc with grounded, tense emotions and a tight narrative. She died very early, but still managed to be effective with what little time she had and put over the others in her scenes admirably. I think she's one of my favorite examples of how to handle an early game death and sell it with out a big, complicated connection to your killer, or even a real fight. Good on her.

Carlon Wheeler; I do a lot of silly, overdramatic posturing whenever Carlon is brought up. I need to, because humor and performance are how I deal with sadness.

It's been over a year since Carlon died. Lots of good characters have come and gone since then. I'm still sitting here with tears in my eyes because I glanced over his death thread before reading him.

That's all I have to say about that.

Deanna Hull: Like a lot of people on this list, I've talked about Deanna at length. She's someone it took me awhile to catch up with, even with our plots entwined to a degree. D/N does such a wonderful job of weaving the physical and emotional space of a scene into every thread Deanna is involved in. It brings a lot of vibrancy and life to her threads, and I really appreciated that. It brought out her character in a way I didn't expect, and I'm always interested to see non-direct ways of developing a character out.

Tessa Blackridge: Tessa is an interesting pick in that she plainly lacks one of the big things I push as a pillar of SotF character development: Character inter-play. She interacts with one person. It goes okay. They part and very little happens other than a small, simple conversation. She's essentially an island in V5, not touching a lot of stories while she's alive and not creating a lot of thematic ripples when she died.

But if you ever find yourself in a position where rolls or circumstance mean that you have to write that sort of island of a character? Tessa is a master class. I don't think, pound for pound, there is a single death that entertained me as much as Tessa's did. It's so vibrant and full of character, so effectively paced and themed, that it's really hard for me to hold her brevity and isolation against her. It's just a lot of fun, and I like to have fun.

The message to take away from Tessa isn't "write about your character meeting Death when they die," or "write a death that is, essentially, fan fic." I don't think I'd be nearly as entertained if I read another death in the same mold as Tessa's. But using an isolated device to build on a character without much development, and shift the death from a focus on dying to a focus on what kind of person they were? Brilliant, cheeky, lovable. Five stars.

Maximillian Sawyer: Max is another one that I've been rather hard on, in the past. A lot of it had to do with him just not clicking with me, and I maintain that he has some flaws. But everyone on this list does, and Max ends up being a thoroughly dislike-able person. One thing I've held against Max is that his narrative isn't self-aware, but looking back I was wrong about that, in a way. Max never really makes the connections or understands what a bad person he is, but there are doubts. There are moments where he questions himself. In a broad narrative sense he pushes through them and doesn't change in the slightest, but it's interesting that they're there, and I think going back and noticing them helps me realize a lot of the misshapen thoughts I had about him.

Max also has a lot of really visceral, interesting writing going on in his narrative. The raw violence of his scenes presented in all of its grime and distaste is really marvelous. Again, it turns me off of him as a character. It makes me dislike him in ways I don't typically dislike characters. In retrospect, that makes me need to step back and say that TBH was doing something very, very right with him.

Marcus Leung: Marcus is hard for me to talk about, especially given some revelations I've had tonight that I'll share as this goes on. He's a character that became very dear to my heart very quickly after Persy picked him up. I really enjoyed the direction he was going in, and I was fascinated with how much character and momentum was generated with someone who really hadn't done all that much at that late point in the game, and had been stuck in stalling threads without much development when he was adopted the first time, let alone the second. I wanted to see where this train led.

Then he was killed unrolled in a blitz that was so fast and so unplanned that it was hard to believe it was real. Looking back, it's a good death. It's a fine place to kill him. It makes sense given his situation. I ended up really upset by this death, though. I called Persy lots of names, mostly in jest, about it, and it ended up becoming a running joke since I'd also felt that R.J. had died before his time. Below all the humor though, Marcus's death hurt something in me. Marcus was fresh, and new, and I loved him. He was supposed to be safe. The rules are that as long as a character is active and RNGsus hasn't plucked their name out of a house, you get to keep reading them. Unrolled deaths are a very uncommon thing in SotF, and Marcus's really hit me in an emotional place in my life.

Marcus has a really great story, and though it hurt me at the time, he teaches a good lesson both in SotF and in writing in general: No matter how much you love something and how safe you think it is, it can be gone in an instant.


For my own character, I pick Alda Abbate. The reason is pretty simple: She was fun. I have no regrets with her, from beginning to end. She held a complete, engaging story that I had a lot of fun writing, and I wouldn't change a thing about it. I wrote with a lot of really amazing people who brought me a lot of joy, I finished some very fulfilling posts, and I got the chance to save my favorite character and ultimately read him on into Endgame. What more can you ask for?

Plush Wants To Read Your Dead Things!
Queue is up to date! There are three spots left and folks who had a critique in the last queue can go ahead and make a request in this one now, since it's been two days.

Three sentences about your kid: Critique experiment.
NotAFlyingToy
Aug 15 2014, 08:24 AM
(Due to the following character's adoption, I'm going to focus on Bikriki's handling of him. If Doc Lord Bunbalance wants to get his side of the three sentence, he can request too)

I'm interested! Provided this is still a thing.

Hello! I can draw something for you if you'd like
Frogue
Mar 25 2015, 10:06 AM
Abby Floyd, which puts me on 13/25, aka PAST HALFWAY. Makin' progress doop de doop
D'aaaawwwwww : D

Abby looks amazing, Frogue. I'll probably sneak in with another once the rest of my folks get more concrete descriptions. You're doing fantastic work.

V6 Tabletop Crew
I'll definitely look into both game suggestions!

Muse, Eri looks like a great fit, I'm sure Ulysses would love to see what she comes up with. If she's interested and LARPing becomes a thing, they may be able to incorporate her in a way that wouldn't be physically demanding so that she can still hang out and roleplay without having to worry about any complications?

Priv, Ulysses would be totally down with a big beefy barbarian type. He'd probably let him optimize as much as the rest of the party is comfortable with, just so everybody has their time to shine and the game stays even, since over-optimized characters tend to eat up the spotlight in campaigns. I'm sure they could work something out amicably though, he loves helping build characters people feel powerful playing.

Base and Bastardly Ballers We Be!
The Burned Handler
Mar 24 2015, 10:45 PM
One thing I'd say to note well is the catcher is the most physically demanding position in baseball, them or the shortstop. Make sure Alex is someone who could handle the strain, especially since a lot of catchers end up developing knee problems down the road.
Definitely, already on it! I've got three or four suggested workouts and making notes for how the length of his play will affect him. Main thing I need to work on is adjusting his build a bit for it, I think, but that's been in flux the whole time.

Base and Bastardly Ballers We Be!
Based on the re-writes I'm doing for Alex, I'll put him in for consideration for catcher. It seems like the position he'd most likely angle for and suit him best, since he's at his top game when he's a defensive, overarching position. He's played for a long time and baseball is how he maintains tentative peace with his uncle, so he's pretty knowledgeable about the game. I'm only casually familiar with the sport but I'm throwing in hard on research for him anyway because I'm an obsessive nut. If the team'd prefer somebody else in that position, that's cool too, since it's an important one, just seems to be the best fit for him so far.

Plush Wants To Read Your Dead Things!
RemoteControl
Mar 24 2015, 08:29 AM
Aw, thanks for the wonderful review! I'll try to use it to improve my writing for SC2 and V6! Also, I guess I'll try to fix/edit the OOC comments and grammar mistakes of my TV2 kids?
Quite welcome! I'd say yes to fixing up grammar and syntax, no to editing out the OOC notes. It's good to leave things like that there for context, I feel. Just try to avoid them in the future if you agree with that aspect of the critique, I suppose.\

Finnishing up with CRITIQUE: FINN GRANT

THE COMPELLING

One thing I notice right off the bat with Finn is that he does a pretty decent job describing his surroundings and giving a sense of space to his posts. This is something a lot of SotF writers struggle with, myself included, so it's good to see coming out of the gate. Finn ends up in a lot of complicated, packed scenes, such as In Situ early on, so being able to keep track of where he is helps a lot with the flow. It's a simple detail, but one that's difficult to incorporate naturally, and I think Will pulls it off.

Finn also has a habit of villainizing those around him. After In Situ, he paints Joe and Jason as the aggressors in his personal narrative and plays them for Jason's death. He starts to react the same way to Mara in Walk The Streets So Mean, but her similar situation and their past friendship aligns them in an interesting way. It shows that Finn is more reflexively than naturally paranoid, and this continues through the rest of his game. He aims to jump to the worst conclusion quickly, as he does inPrayer For Someone Who Is Somewhere Dying, but backs off a bit once he's been calmed. It's a good dynamic for him because it leaves a lot to play with in the complex relationships his threads tend to include, and gives other characters a wide range to respond with.

Finally, I think Finn's death is a good example of one that combines both reflection and speed. There's a lot packed into the internal narrative of Multi-Shot, but Finn doesn't drag out the external narrative much. For a death post, this style serves pretty well. He says two words as he bleeds out and fights through a lot of disorientation to get to them, so it lends a lot of struggle and finality to his arc. A nice, serviceable way to close off. I like it.

THE DRAGGING

While Finn does a good job getting into his environment, that may be a bit to his detriment. I get a good sense of what Finn is doing, where he's doing it, and what he things others are doing and thinking, but I don't feel like I ever have a solid grasp on why Finn is doing anything he does. There are things that can be inferred(Mara is his friend, so he helps her. Miranda and Kat are his friends, so he is sad. Jason and Joe attacked him, so he doesn't like them very much. Etc.), but the narrative itself doesn't explore Finn's internal monologue very much. His posts are full of action and location, but not a lot of dwelling on what's in his head, what motivates him, why he keeps fighting, why he's scared, etc. It's a constant issue that holds through his arc, and it makes it hard for me to engage with him. Throughout the game I find myself losing track of Finn's narrative in his threads because while it's doing an excellent job of holding up the scene and everything else, it just doesn't dig into what's going on with him very much. I would have liked to have seen more distinct personality and introspection out of him. It's a big anchor around his neck for me, and I think if it's overcome characters in Finn's style will be way more effective.

THE NITPICKY

Finn's name comes up in his posts a lot. Enough that I started keeping a running track in his threads. In No Rest For The Wicked it comes up 14 times. It's an odd thing to keep track of, but it's one of those strange character quirks that you latch onto while you're reading, and for some reason it bothered me how much his name was used when a pronoun would have sufficed. This may be way more prominent than I'm thinking with other characters, but something about the frequency with Finn crossed a threshold for me, and I think his posts would read a lot cleaner with more pronouns and less Finns. It's an odd nitpick, but it's one that stood out for me from beginning to finish.

The third queue is officially finished and the fourth is now open. Eligibility has not changed. As usual, if you have received a critique in this round, please wait at least two days for others to ask for a slot. There's a bit of book-keeping below that may interest some readers, but it is summarized in the OP, so feel free to skip ahead.

Wow. 30 critiques in the pipe. Thank you so much for all of the interest and kind words, folks, this is a lot of fun to do. Coming out of this third queue, I wanted to change one small thing in the format: You'll notice that in this critique and all the old ones, the words "Good" and "Bad" have been replaced with "Compelling" and "Dragging." As I've reviewed what I've done and looked at my style, I've felt like "good" and "bad" are both overly simplistic and reductive, as well as potentially more negative than I'd like to be, since I don't really want to spread the message or vibe that something you're doing is "bad." I've chosen Compelling and Dragging as replacements because they're more in line with what I want to communicate: What makes me want to keep reading your character, or compels me through their story with building momentum, and what makes me get distracted or confused, adding drag to the story and killing the momentum. Feel free to give me feedback on this change, since it's really for your clarity, and if the general feeling is that people would like the Good and Bad tags back, I'm more than willing to throw them back in. I'd just like to provide the most effective, clear, and overall positive critique that I can. Thanks for reading!

V6 Q&A
NotAFlyingToy
Mar 24 2015, 05:15 PM
Will DuckyB be up for 'Sexiest Handler' again for V6?
Posted Image

One thing I've heard mentioned by staff in the past is updating Mr. Danya's Guide To Survival to be more in-line with the modern tone of AT. Will we see the Survival Guide updated in V6?

V6 Q&A
NotAFlyingToy
Mar 24 2015, 04:37 PM
Will Handlers be able to submit ideas for BKA rewards?
Kinda branching off of this, will the BKA/BDA structure of food and weapons to BKA winners and a scrolly quote for BDA winners stay the same for V6?

MW's Tiny Critiques: Strength/Weakness
Thank you for the critique! I think you hit on a couple of the things I've been struggling to sort out myself with Gabe in retrospect better than I could, and it'll be really helpful looking back at him in the future.

I'd like to put in Alda Abbate, if I may. My time with her starts here.

Plush Wants To Read Your Dead Things!
Ruggahissy
Mar 23 2015, 11:59 AM
Thanks for the critique! I know it was a long read so I appreciate it and it was helpful.
Quite welcome! I'm glad you found it helpful :)

Humor is Genetic with CRITIQUE: GENE STEWARD

THE COMPELLING

Gene is such a hard character to critique for me. He's easily in my TV2 top five, but exactly what puts him there is difficult to capture without just pouring over his writing. Gene is just this snarky little ball of chaos who makes everybody who encounters him question, if only for a moment, their grip on reality. RC freely seeds his threads with humor, deprecation, and desperation in ways that are just wonderful. I find myself laughing a lot every time I read Gene, and that's rare in this medium.

It's hard to point at one quote, one thread, or even an arc to explain why Gene works so well for me. In a way it's because Gene is almost less of a character and more of an experience that you really need to go into and go to from one end to the other to fully appreciate. He has some goals, of course(survive, get to 10 kills), but they're simplistic and no one snippet or explanation can truly capture what makes them so fun. The thing with Gene is that his story is riddled with mistakes, failures, victories, and pure insanity to the point that it's unpredictable what's coming next for him at any given time. I would generally say that with an experience as full as this there are limiting constraints with making sure it's pulled off, but that's one of the beautiful things about Gene: The beginning, the ending, even the journey itself are all immaterial. He could have died during any of his bizarre schemes and it would have been perfectly fitting. He could have kept succeeding well past where he died and it would have been equally fitting. For me, Gene really has no set limits, and I find that very compelling. His narrative can go anywhere as long as it maintains his irreverent, manic tone.

What's even more fascinating about this, however, is that it doesn't diminish his ability to interact with others. Gene has some really great scenes with a wide variety of characters, and he not only gives them ample hooks to play off of with his antics, but he does a good job of putting over at least one or two characters in every scene he's in. Despite the density of his narrative, RC's put a lot of effort into giving other people things to play off of and going along with whatever zany occurrence happens to rise up, which makes for an entertaining read. It lends, in large part, to why I have so much fun reading Gene and why whenever I come across him in a thread, I naturally want to follow along when he leaves even if I need to stay and read the rest. I think I would have followed Gene wherever he went in the game, and that's not something I can say about a lot of characters.

THE DRAGGING

One of the things Gene's story lacks pretty firmly is inter-connectivity. He does a great job of establishing brief, interesting connections with people in his thread, but across his story there aren't any consistent connections that he holds on to or more than moment to moment considerations from before the game. This is much less problematic in a TV setting than it would be in other SotF settings, since Gene absolutely gets swept up in the game he's obsessed over for so long, but it would still lend some backbone to his story. Right now it's very unstructured, and in a lot of ways that works because of the medium and the absurdity of his arc, but I think it would have been good at least to spend some more time on why these connections were absent or simply did not matter to him. It would have rounded Gene out more as a character and made the experience all the more interesting.

Gene also suffers from some minor grammar, spelling, and syntax issues scattered throughout his plot. They're just pervasive enough to be consistently noticeable, which is a bit distracting. Really, it wasn't a problem for me at all, but it's an area where there could be some improvement in future characters.

THE NITPICKY

Gene has a couple odd nitpicks that I haven't been able to touch on before, and I'm glad for the opportunity. The first is OOC notes like this:
Quote:
 
((Uhm. Huge Sorry for the length. You don't have to read everything. The only relevant thing is that Gene hears your characters through the bathroom door. Oh yeah don't forget, in case I do something terribly wrong, tell me.))
This is one of my hills to die on, but I don't believe you should ever apologize for length, short or long, in and of itself. Did you write more than you needed to write to get your points across? Then edit out the fluff if you think it's too long. Did you write less than what you need to get your points across? Then flesh them out. But always write what you feel you need to write, and don't feel ashamed for it. Some things will end up being too long, and some will be too short. That's fine. It's a problem we've all had, and it can be sorted out after the text settles. By apologizing for it right out of the gate, though, you're creating the impression that what you've done is implicitly flawed in the way you're apologizing for, and that can make it difficult to form an opinion to the contrary.

Okay, now that I've entrenched myself in that delightful struggle, something completely different: I don't like OOC notes unless you're adding a note in compliance with site rules or policies, such as murky godmodding or needing to break post order. I find them distracting and a bit pointless. We don't over-use them as much as a site as they used to be, but it irks me to a degree when I see one crop up of the nature above, in a way similar to how edit tags irk me. It's not entirely rational, but it bothers me, so it makes sense to address it here in this most pedantic of sections.

Gene will always have a special place in my heart. I love funny characters, and Gene is probably the funniest SotF character I've ever read. I think he's well worth the effort to read, and that you'll have a lot of fun if you sit back and enjoy the ride he's offering.

HIMYM Mafia Sign-Ups
NotAFlyingToy
Mar 23 2015, 12:34 PM
Hey, guys. I can imagine that a few of you are wondering when the HIMYM mafia is going to start, since I promised a start date rather sooner than 'never' initially.

Unfortunately, due to some fairly exciting news on my end, I won't actually be able to run the game or devote time much to SOTF as a whole, so I'm passing along my Mafia runner rights. Sorry to anyone and everyone that's disappointed/put out/enraged by my flakiness!
Ugh, how dare you make successful life choices to do cool things. You're the worst.

Congrats, hoss!