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Just an introduction
Hey Folk,

Thanks to Grimfinger for his site and his focus. I think that PBM and PBeM have a lot of value beyond and irregardless of technology. In particular a dynamic of game design that is enhanced by technology, but not dominated by it.

Over time. What I mean by that will be clearer - though I'd guess that those who have been thinking about time and processing as a part of their game designs are way ahead of me in that.

The point is this. Our lives in the interconnected age allows for a different kind of game design that relies less on scheduling and then sitting in a room for three agonizing hours - constantly in realtime - with folk in order to play a game as the MMO's would have it, and more on the 15 or so minutes a day that are free for you, in non-realtime, on your schedule, to process a few minutes here and there and to form a story that you have the capability to play and write yourself.

Play by email is an extension of the same aesthetic that play by mail focused on, non-realtime, turn based storytelling. And it's something that should really help us as game players find a better mechanism that the one that has been dominating game playing and storytelling of late.

This niche may be just 5% of the market, but it's still a good niche, and a much more rewarding one for the few that will climb to it's challenge than the canned experience of a graphical dungeion crawl.

I have a lot of thoughts to offer to this community, though in many ways I'm still new to it.

Feel free to school me where you feel it's worthwhile.

I'll probably post at a pretty slow pace as what I'm doing now is slowly digesting your contents to provide some fun background and motivation to think about while I work on some tools that I'm working on.

But I look forward to meeting you all and hope the relationship and focus to be a lasting one,

Welcome, Cort.

I find myself agreeing with most of what you said. I think the internet killed the PBM industry, but the internet is also making possible its rebirth. I keep thinking there's a good way to move many of the best PBM games from the old times over to a mobile platform, for casual, asynchronous gaming. There is a deep wealth of game-design experience out there, from the perspective of both player and moderator. And here today we have free games popping up out of nowhere by the thousands, waiting to take up our time. Why not combine the best of both eras and come up with something new?

The one thing I disagree with in your post is the notion that somehow this "turn based gaming" arena might be 5% of the market. I think it is probably a small fraction of that. But that's okay, because either it's large enough to make good game designers rich (witness silly games like Angry Birds) or it's too small to even be a blip on the radar, which will keep all of this a labor of love. It's all good.
Welcome aboard the site, Cort! Glad to have you join us, here.

Feel free to jump right in, and comment often. Many will appreciate it in due time, I'm certain.
Thanks folk,

I'm sure I'll enjoy it on many levels and should offer some good thoughts here and there as well. I'm sure Ixnay is correct on the current niche. I'm bullish on the future, but I agree that even if it's just .04 of a single percent, we'll be glad to have that part of the niche. Hell if Cruenti Dei, which is the current game that I'm playing, keeps going along without Thom getting hit by a bus, I'll be happy for many years to come. But I'm glad to have this site as a glimpse into the community as I think that there are fundamental principles involved that make this style of game more interesting than what the popular commercial companies are producing.

I do think that games are more fundamentally a part of the average population's habits than tends to show up currently because of design trends. Many of the features that make turn based games attractive for serious gamers are even moreso for casual gamers and there is no doubt that casual gaming is the only part of the landscape that isn't yet taken advantage of.

Thanks to grimfinger for the site.

One half of the key to happiness is knowing what you want out of life. The other half is low expectations. Big Grin
Even though I do agree to some extent that the internet paid it's part in severely wounding PBM, I do not think it has killed it.
Multi user real time internet games has itself brought a whole host of new problems to the genre. I have lost count of the number of players that talk of griefing, camping, hacking and cheating in one form or another.
Strategy turn based PBM games as far as I can recall, never had these issues and I think that there will be a market for these games for quite some time.

Reading a fantasy book is one thing, but being able to play out the book and live in the world with like minded players on a level playing field, regardless of income or social standing, is an attraction that many games can not address. Mix moderation and imagination can provide gameplay in which many games cannot match. I think that this is where the games of today are lacking. Orders do not add to atmosphere and I think that some of the old school mix moderated games will continue to flourish.


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