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Old 02-17-2017, 12:40 AM   #1
Daigoro
 
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Default Collaborative Worldbuilding Threads

To recap a side discussion from the Ideas Are Easy thread, and give it some proper attention:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Frost View Post
I like this one a lot, I would second a lot of what you were saying about AI.

The other thing is that this has a hell of a lot of scope for possible settings this could be anything from strict hard SF to (new) Space Opera according to taste.

Maybe one to float on the GURPS board as a 'build a shared setting' project?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
We'd need a mechanism for making choices. Most the projects I've seen are either a guided dictatorship, a voting mechanism, or the question game. If you don't have a way of making things canonical people go all over the place.
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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
Next one I was thinking of doing was straight-up cyberpunk, but I might be a bit busy for a little to get too involved. Of course, another poster could go ahead with a biopunk project.


Don't think I've seen any guided dictatorships- got a thread you're thinking of?

The voting ones, I have to admit, were a bit tedious. They took forever to settle each decision and reading pages of voting scores wasn't much fun. They also took a lot of effort from the coordinator, so they couldn't move much without him. Having said that, the urban fantasy one got some good ideas before it fizzled out.

The question game works fairly well, though sometimes it's a case of people asking questions you might not be interested in. This can help the creativity, but it ends up a bit patchy as a world building exercise.

Ideally, the output would be a setting wiki, but I'm not sure of the best way of guiding content for it. How does the Orion's Arm setting handle that, I wonder?
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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Myriad incomplete ones. Guided dictatorship is when someone says "I have a setting, I need ideas in this area." Then all the forumites start posting ideas, and the OP takes one or more as "cannon". Its a brain storm of sort. The full structure usually isn't used, I admit. Here is an example:

Weird War 1

The trick with those is you once again need an administrator type figure. Its probably not as bad as the voting method, but its still puts a lot of effort on one.

Orion's arm I think is a guided dictatorship (or oligarchy) with a very light hand, a lot of work up front to set guidlines, and a large enough universe that the chance of collision is low. It might also have a wiki-type setup, which functions similarly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
The other model I've seen is what happened (a while ago now) with the space opera and fantasy settings in my sig. Basically a theme is suggested, then people discuss strategy on the forum while posting content straight to a wiki, reporting back to the forum with "I've added a new city on the west coast" and so on. These were probably about as productive as the question games, but would also benefit with some shepherding.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frost View Post
This would be the reason I didn't just go ahead and do it.

Having taken part in a few collaborative settings and being somewhat disappointed in how they developed, guided dictatorship doesn't strike me as particularly collaborative (even though it is a model I have used), question games tend to be somewhat unfocused and peter out quite quickly. Voting is probably either the best or the worst option it let's you have a certain amount of direction while still being collaborative but it takes a lot of work and can be daunting to ocasional posters particularly if they miss the early parts of the process.

You have done a fair bit of this, which model do you feel worked best?
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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
I don't mind the question game model. I think it's important to realise that it's just a creative writing outlet and not a serious attempt to generate a usable setting. I've only once seen anyone say they'd actually use one of these settings in a game, and that was tshiggins about the recent steampunk effort, for a stop-off on a world/timeline-hopping adventure, so I don't know if he'd need that much depth from the setting anyway.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frost View Post
That would be another problem for me, I get involved in these projects is to collect new ideas preferably to try and find a draught setting to build upon.

I am very tempted to try running one of these, probably using the voting model all I need now is to work up a decent plan.
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Originally Posted by RogerBW View Post
A model that might be worth stealing and abusing is that of Microscope. I've only used it once; we ended up largely departing from the "this is now player X's turn" model, but it seems like a potentially viable way of resolving conflicts.
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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
I think the best work came out of the submission threads in the voting projects. Which is unfortunately, an edge case. I've actually used the VUASO world in play, so by some standards that's the most successful, but I'm also not sure how well that hangs together.

The observation that the question game is a creative writing exercise is a pretty good one: in generates a seed, not a finished world. It also is good at unusual twists.

Guided dictatorship's main flaw is it often loses momentum as people loose interest in someone else's project. But it can get some real interest, as long as people feel that their input is being actually used, and as long as the problems to be solved are interesting.

I might favor a combination of the voting and dictatorship to create a shorter turn-around time, plus make multiple 'curators'.

The wiki idea is interesting, but I've never done much with it.



Microscope is very good at creating history, but terrible at creating setting. The two overlap to some degree, but you don't usually mess around with what is possible much: you start with a genre and work from there.

For some setting generation it might be worthwhile, but I don't think it would work well for the project that spawned this tangent. At least until the ground rules are in place.

Though you know, we do have half a genre selected...
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:49 AM   #2
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Default Re: Collaborative Worldbuilding Threads

For easy reference, here's a collection of some worldbuilding threads. If there are any missing, let me know and I'll add to it.

Question Game Threads
[Game] Generate a military sci-fi setting
[Game] Collaborative world building for DFRPG
Create a setting -- diesel punk awesomeness!
Shared space setting
[Game] Work Up a Steampunk Setting
Question Game: Post Agricultural Fantasy Setting
[Game] Let's Make a Post-Apocalyptic Setting
[Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting
Setting Generating Game (Feb 2015) (Fantasy setting)
Setting Generating Game (Supers setting- Odin-1)
Setting Generator game 2: Odin2 (Supers)
New Year/New Setting: GURPS world design 'game' (Fantasy setting- Twilight World): This was more of a "reference chain" game- refer to something previously mentioned then add to it.

Also, some vote-based threads:
Vote Up a Setting Threads
Vote up a Fantastic (as in Fantasy) Setting
Vote up a Fantasy Setting
Vote up a SUPERS! setting
Vote up an Urban Fantasy Setting
Vote up a Space Opera
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Last edited by Daigoro; 07-28-2017 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:08 AM   #3
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Default Re: Collaborative Worldbuilding Threads

So, a few questions I've been thinking about:

1) Why do people get involved in these kinds of threads.
Is it to altruistically put out some settings for random GMs to use in their games?
Is it an outlet for creative writing? Or something else?

2) What method would be most productive and interesting?

3) Why do such threads peter out when they do?

4) Has anyone used material from such a thread in their own game?
How and what and how much?
Was it used as-is or substantially adapted?

5) I've ended up making a wiki for any of the threads I've run- does anyone actually refer to them?
(ETA: Space Trader wiki- http://interstellardrift.wikifoundry.com/page/Qns+1-20
Steampunk wiki- http://belowthehorizon.wikifoundry.c...tream%3A+q1-40)
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Last edited by Daigoro; 02-17-2017 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 02-17-2017, 07:02 AM   #4
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Default Re: Collaborative Worldbuilding Threads

I've tried to participate in a few of the "Vote up" threads out of interest in the process and in the hope of getting ideas for my own campaigns.

I've dropped out of all of them, due to some mixture of confusion about what had been decided when the thread was growing fast, long and uninteresting postings, and dislike of the decisions made.
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: Collaborative Worldbuilding Threads

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
1) Why do people get involved in these kinds of threads.
Is it to altruistically put out some settings for random GMs to use in their games?
Is it an outlet for creative writing? Or something else?
For me, its an outlet for creative writing. I also want to be useful, but if I'm being honest even that is about the glory of doing it rather than pure altruism.

Quote:
2) What method would be most productive and interesting?
I couldn't say, but I'd prefer a method that encourages lots of people to write lots of things. The methods closest to a professional project or an open source one are probably the most productive model.

Quote:
3) Why do such threads peter out when they do?
I'd say its a combination of people feeling excluded from the project, and that the interesting problems get solved. Building a proper setting is work.

Quote:
4) Has anyone used material from such a thread in their own game?
How and what and how much?
Was it used as-is or substantially adapted?
Yes, I've run games in VUASO. I think I used it pretty much as is, with one major tweak that drove the plot.

Quote:
5) I've ended up making a wiki for any of the threads I've run- does anyone actually refer to them?
Your Wiki's? I've looked at them. I have trouble navigating though, and getting what the core concept is.
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:44 AM   #6
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Default Re: Collaborative Worldbuilding Threads

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Your Wiki's? I've looked at them. I have trouble navigating though, and getting what the core concept is.
The ones in my sig are a bit barebones-y. I was talking about the space trader and steampunk ones, which were basically mirrors of the forum threads.
http://interstellardrift.wikifoundry.com/page/Qns+1-20
http://belowthehorizon.wikifoundry.c...tream%3A+q1-40

ETA:
Hey! I thought I'd kept the space trader question stream up to date, but it stops at q41. Did I just not do it, or was it eaten up by Enclave worms?
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: Collaborative Worldbuilding Threads

Oh my goodness! Why did I abandon those threads? out of sight, out of mind, I suppose.

That's really one of the big reasons projects struggle: they disapear from the front page (or two) for a weekend and then never come back. Which suggests that this might be the right forum for them, not general gurps.

As sad as this sounds, I don't think the wiki's were ever firmly in my mind. Perhaps sticking links to them on the first page might have helped.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:39 AM   #8
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Default Re: Collaborative Worldbuilding Threads

Yeah, in future I'll just throw up a wiki right at the beginning and link it in the first post.

For me, I stop posting to a thread not because I've run out of ideas, but often because I get stuck on one big post that I want to get right but that ends up taking too long and I never finish.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: Collaborative Worldbuilding Threads

I think different mechanisms are also ideal for different parts of world-building-- question game is good for a quick sketch, but struggles with details.
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: Collaborative Worldbuilding Threads

BTW, what about realtime brainstorm mechanisms? They seem to be under-represented (for obvious reasons) here, I know, but I mean what about their viability as an extra tool, experiences related to them etc.?
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