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Forum: Website Related
Last Post: GrimFinger
10-25-2021, 11:42 AM
» Replies: 3
» Views: 33
Galaxy 122
Forum: Galac-Tac
Last Post: Talisman
10-19-2021, 02:45 PM
» Replies: 25
» Views: 4,644
Species Log: The Most Glo...
Forum: Far Horizons: The Return
Last Post: ronin
10-18-2021, 05:24 AM
» Replies: 20
» Views: 2,998
DOING TIME - A PBM Newsle...
Forum: Submit your ideas!
Last Post: ravenzachary
10-12-2021, 06:16 PM
» Replies: 6
» Views: 538
Forum Signature
Forum: Website Related
Last Post: PNMarkW2
10-10-2021, 02:03 AM
» Replies: 4
» Views: 155
Mutterings of the "MAD" S...
Forum: Designers Notes
Last Post: PNMarkW2
10-09-2021, 02:35 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 51
Who was that masked man?
Forum: New to the site? Introduce Yourself
Last Post: Davin
10-06-2021, 08:32 PM
» Replies: 3
» Views: 133
The Ongoing Appeal of PBM
Forum: Submit your ideas!
Last Post: PNMarkW2
10-05-2021, 07:05 PM
» Replies: 4
» Views: 289
Small Games
Forum: Submit your ideas!
Last Post: Serpent Blight
09-26-2021, 02:19 PM
» Replies: 9
» Views: 826
Islander 22 Now Out
Forum: The Isles PBM
Last Post: Roy Pollard
09-25-2021, 01:43 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 96

Posted by: zedwardson - 03-22-2021, 05:28 PM - Forum: New to the site? Introduce Yourself - Replies (6)

Hello all, complete newbie to Play by mail, with the exception of Chess, which I played for years, but expand my horizons.

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  Double Vision
Posted by: GrimFinger - 03-22-2021, 12:25 AM - Forum: News & Announcements - Replies (1)

Yesterday, I somehow developed a case of double vision.

After a good night's sleep, the problem actually got worse, rather than better. Not exactly the best of timing, but it is what it is.

Hopefully, it won't turn out to be too serious of a problem. My participation  in all things play by mail probably won't be at its maximum.

You, on the other hand, should be increasing your participation, if, when, and where possible.

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  Reducing Wasted Time
Posted by: Roy Pollard - 03-21-2021, 12:35 PM - Forum: The Isles PBM - Replies (3)

Of the past 20 instances where people have started playing The Isles, 19 have not submitted a turn past Turn 3 - a drop off of players of 95% and a huge waste of GMing time. 

To really alleviate the amount of time wasted, I'm now going to send out a standardised Prelude turn to new players which does not require anything but the minimum amount of time required to attach the PDF to an email along with a newsletter. From the prelude, a players actions will then dictate what they do, and each players timeline and life will peel off in various directions from this common start (maybe)

The main cause of this drop-off of players so early in the game isn't clear - Its perfectly feasible that The Isles just 'isn't that good' - No-ones really given me either positive or negative feedback as to why they've stopped playing. 

Anyway, attached is the Prelude I'll be using  Tongue

Attached Files
.pdf   Starter.pdf (Size: 403.04 KB / Downloads: 7)
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Tongue I wish now was 1987!!
Posted by: Roy Pollard - 03-18-2021, 03:44 PM - Forum: The Isles PBM - Replies (3)

Its amazing, isn't it? In 1987 I started running The Isles in my parents spare bedroom to 1990 when I had 170 regular players and just about enough income to run the game full-time. I was reliant on a dot matrix printer, a terribly under-powered Amstrad word processor and really nothing in the way of resources to make the game more eye-catching or stand-out amongst the other games in the same genre.

What I DID have was a large base of players (believe me, 170 players for a hand-mod RPG was HUGE in those days) and the potential for even more amongst the thousands of regular players in the UK and around the world.

What really 'killed' the RPG PBMs in the 90s were a number of factors including the limited potential income of the game, maintaining an ongoing storyline and new ideas for the players, but more significantly the rise of computer games that allowed players more graphical play combined with the ability to play NOW rather than when the next envelope arrived
For The Isles in particular it was the onset of more technology that put the game into decline,

Surprisingly, its the same technology that killed the game in the 90s which gives PBM or at least PBeM even more potential to be 'good'! And thats what is so infuriating now the big player base is just about gone 

I can produce Newsletters and turnsheets with embedded links, with images and sounds in seconds. Where once I was drawing plans with a felt-tip pen on paper I can now fire up Photoshop or CorelDRAW and in minutes I can produce maps of towns or caves or encounters. I have databases and spreadsheets that can show me who is where and what is happening in every place and every chance for an encounter and I have free software which allows me to write out a players turn without worrying how much this high quality software will impinge on my ability to pay my bills / rent (Wordperfect in the 90s was $100s to purchase, and a simple laser printer to poroiduce attractive turns were in the $100s)

I just wish we had the tech that we had today in the 90s. Big Grin

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  Forum Difficult to See / Access // Website visibility
Posted by: Roy Pollard - 03-18-2021, 03:18 PM - Forum: Opinions & General Discussion - Replies (1)

Following what appears to be a makeover of the playbymail.net front page I'd suggest that access to the Forums is less obvious now? Is it worth trying to get the sub-components of the website up higher and more prominent?

Looking at what you can find in relation to a search on Google for 'Play by mail' or 'PBM' it looks like playbymail.net is very low on the list of suggestions - Is there anything that can be done to bump the website further up the list? The reason I ask is that the amount of useable and current resources online is dwindling rapidly, and something like playbymail.net and its forum would really be an excellent resource for people if they had better knowledge of it?


Roy P

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  DOING TIME - A PBM Newsletter for Inmates
Posted by: GrimFinger - 03-09-2021, 12:47 PM - Forum: Submit your ideas! - Replies (6)

Attached is a first draft of the beginning portion of a PBM newsletter in text format aimed at the incarcerated portion of society.

The reason for a text-only approach to this newsletter is to facilitate it being accessible to inmates via e-mail or mail. The newsletter format was chosen over a magazine format, in a bid to keep the publication small, in order to keep down the fees for inmates who must pay to receive e-mail while incarcerated (for those who have access to e-mail inside of prison facilities).

See what you think.

Attached Files
.pdf   DOING TIME - Issue 1 - Draft 1 - UNFINISHED.pdf (Size: 36.28 KB / Downloads: 12)
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  Forum Issues - 03/05/2021
Posted by: GrimFinger - 03-05-2021, 04:23 PM - Forum: Website Related - Replies (2)

I screwed up big time, and the forum was lost. Raven Zachary saved the day. Hooray!

You may notice that the forum looks different, now. that's because I changed the theme, which controls the looks. I may continue experimenting with different themes, until I decide on one that I like.

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Star More pandemic playtime!
Posted by: Davin - 03-03-2021, 03:03 AM - Forum: Galac-Tac - Replies (15)

Ok, COVID has been with us for about a year now and even though vaccines are beginning to be administered we're still trying to remain socially distant. Therefore, to encourage more PBM-style playtime while we're foregoing our usual in-person activities, I've given all current players ANOTHER year of free Galac-Tac playtime. Anybody new that wants to start playing now can also get this additional bonus by requesting it before the end of this month.

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  Islander 18 Just Published
Posted by: Roy Pollard - 02-12-2021, 11:14 AM - Forum: The Isles PBM - Replies (3)

As the first of what I hope to be sporadic posts on this part of the Forum assigned to The Isles, I'm posting the front page of the Islander issue 18. The Islander is a regular pamphlet produced to give players a general overview, news, rumours and developments in the Game of Outcasts - Its sent out with turns to players and is produced at least every month - Normally produced in PDF format its compatible with almost all types of OS - It usually has a decent amount of graphical content to make it interesting to read.

In the past The Islander has been produced by players, a faction with the game loyal to Shadowalker and even as a drunken rambling of a dying leper prophesying the destruction of the Guild (!) - the infamous issue 13, now banned in Guild-controlled Towns.

In the next few months I may be contacting players from last year who were submitting regular turns to see if they want to resume playing, but in the meantime we have a very small core of 'old' players moving the game narrative forward and keeping things going

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.jpg   Islander18.jpg (Size: 442.2 KB / Downloads: 7)
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Big Grin Hello world
Posted by: Tasarran - 02-06-2021, 03:25 PM - Forum: PBM Design - Replies (14)

Hello; I'm a PBM/PBeM gamer from way back (are they even making new ones?)  Big Grin

I've been rolling around an idea in the back of my head for years that I am actually thinking of moving forward on in a real way; thought I'd see what some other grogs thought about it...

I have an idea for a computer-moderated PBeM game that is tied into a quality front-end client; the overall game concept is something like Atlantis/Olympia, but my true inspiration was a game run by Play by Electron games called 'Eldritch.' Very crunchy game with many types of races, units, magic, research galore...
LTS, the scope of the game I have in mind is large.

I've been a professional software developer for ten years, and a 3D artist for fifteen before that; I've been working for several years on a system for making hex tile maps in Unity.  Version 4 is getting close to ready for the public. You can see my dev history on this project going back ten years to the pre-alpha version on my YouTube.
HexTech 3.9 video

The idea is nothing groundbreaking, really; I just want to make a more computer-aided game than is usual for PBM games. Sort of taking the front-end programs people have made to handle turns in bigger games to the next level, if you will...

Is the whole idea counter to the 'spirit' of PB(e)M gaming? Am I a heretic for even bringing it up? Is this a way to open the hobby up to more people, or is it poison?
Really interested in some opinions here.


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