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Hunted Down
After handing over the running of my main game, fleeing to the other side of the world and keeping quiet for a few decades, you'd think you'd be safe from your ex-players. But abuse a group of people for sufficiently long and some of them will persist.

And so I was t tracked down in Indianapolis by some determined gamers in Australia to hear that the Tribe Net had been running for some time in its latest guise and was in expansion mode. I was a little surprised, thinking several decades of game development and the emphasis on immediacy in the world of online multiplayer games had surely seen the demise of PBM/PBEM. I wasn't even sure how well 2 week turnaround would stand up these days, but decided to give it a try and ended up happily involved as a player this time.

Well, mostly. Old habits die hard and there was a feeling that there was room for a little something else in the game, nothing that shook things up too much but which provided a chance for those who wanted to get a bit more involved and fill in the time between turn submission and turn report.  So now I'm running cultural/sporting events largely based on tribal skills within the game and bringing small rewards. So far this game year we've held the Tribal Games and a Song Contest which most people entered at the simpler end of the spectrum but which did include some actual songs submitted by players as well as a music video from one. Next up is the World Cup for the local ball game and an art competition is going to round out the year.

A long way from running the original Tribe Vibes as it was, a longer lasting cricket game on a smaller scale and various more military based games along with some Diplomacy zines. But, if I ever decide to run something major full time, just have me committed to an institution. Please.
It sounds as though you have already been committed to an institution - namely, the institution of PBM.

Tell us more.
(07-17-2017, 12:05 AM)GrimFinger Wrote: It sounds as though you have already been committed to an institution - namely, the institution of PBM.

Tell us more.

Yes, it seems an institution not easily escaped. Mind you as long as it is the appropriate institution, full of the similarly afflicted, that is not necessarily a bad thing.

I think there could be a parallel for pbm/pbem with the music industry. There are a lot of songs out there on the internet, some free, some cheap and yet audiophiles often prefer to listen to records on a class system. Its harder to find the music in that format, it takes up physical space and requires greater effort to access and use, but its better, offering a depth of experience that the quick and convenient mp3s played through a phone don't offer.

Of course a lot of the old original records are scratched/warped pieces of almost unlistenable pain that grate and no-one would put up with compared to a sterile, but clean, modern digital recording.

So some things work in the niche format well. Other things are better delivered through a server available 24 hours a day. PBM/PBEM are also largely competing for the same gaming dollars and game time availability. They need to strike a balance of taking up enough time to justify the cost, but not demand too much time compared to the entertainment provided. Especially if players at the height of their enthusiasm can end up creating large complicated incurring a significant long term time commitment and possibly comparatively large cost that can't be easy backed away from when the initial passion fades into an interest that no longer justifies as much outlay of time and money. This is especially the case for open-ended campaigns.

While I feel the temptation to design something, I don't have the time for anything major and things would have to get really bad for it to make any kind of economic sense to do it commercially. But, once an addict... no, I couldn't. Not like that again.
So, what is your temptation leading you towards, theme-wise?

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