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Old 02-28-2017, 07:18 AM   #21
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Default Re: Collaborative Worldbuilding Threads

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Observation:
As the thread is moving onward, I'm seeing my voting pattern/direction as more and more different from the more popular one. As my preferences thus turn out to be further and further from the setting that is being made, I'm more and more tempted to say "Been fun so far, but I'm too different from you to keep going. Good luck and have fun" and bow out.
Whatever you decide thank you for taking part.

To make an observation of my own for someone who has by his own admission been out of step with the mainstream, your comments have had a surprising amount of influence on how a number of votes were structured leading to some unusual departures from the way I expected things to go.
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:28 AM   #22
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Default Re: Collaborative Worldbuilding Threads

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Observation:
As the thread is moving onward, I'm seeing my voting pattern/direction as more and more different from the more popular one. As my preferences thus turn out to be further and further from the setting that is being made, I'm more and more tempted to say "Been fun so far, but I'm too different from you to keep going. Good luck and have fun" and bow out.

Which made me think of two things:
  1. That maybe at this point voting becomes more self-reinforcing as other people who bow out are likely to be the ones who find their tastes to be different from the majority.
  2. That maybe where the thread goes is heavily based on its elevator pitch (since it influences what sorts of voters it tends to attract in the first place).
Which exact features are the biggies for you?
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:47 AM   #23
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Default Re: Collaborative Worldbuilding Threads

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Originally Posted by Frost View Post
To make an observation of my own for someone who has by his own admission been out of step with the mainstream, your comments have had a surprising amount of influence on how a number of votes were structured leading to some unusual departures from the way I expected things to go.
Could you go into more detail on that please?
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Which exact features are the biggies for you?
I'm not even sure it's more accurate to point out specific features rather than the broad trend. I'll list some features off the top of my head:
  • No Aliens, which makes the setting less diverse.
  • I got my big share of parahumans, but I find them a less cool substitute compared to aliens (we already have THS).
  • Modest Biotech. Which lessens the impact of having many parahumans, since the higher the bio-TL, the more options there are and the more interesting they become (especially in the face of de-emphasized AI!).
  • I don't like the narrow artificial gates, they tend to make the world less free to roam.
  • I got my web topology, which makes the world more free to roam, lessening the negative (IMHO) impact of gates.
  • I still think that FTL comms get in the way of many fun plots suitable for PC speculative tramp freighters, mercenary opportunists, pirates etc.
  • I'm awaiting the government votes with some caution, since I suspect that the previous trend will continue, making things like local gate monopolies, highly centralized hierarchical governments etc. (But please do vote for what you consider most fun, don't let my comment ruin your fun.)

Basically was hoping for something more diffuse, diverse, frontierish, experimental, anarchistic, transhumanistic, like Duncanites in THS or the outer rim of the solar system in Eclipse Phase, and instead it looks rather restrained and down-to-earth, like the NASA and ESA projects in THS. Or at least a world that seems to encourage design oriented towards the latter more than the former.
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Old 02-28-2017, 01:16 PM   #24
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Default Re: Collaborative Worldbuilding Threads

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
I'm not even sure it's more accurate to point out specific features rather than the broad trend. I'll list some features off the top of my head:[list][*]No Aliens, which makes the setting less diverse.
It also makes it less "space-opera-ish," which may not be a bad thing. However, if one includes uplifts, as well as variant human types, then those can substitute. I've already started to push for uplifts, myself.

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[*]I got my big share of parahumans, but I find them a less cool substitute compared to aliens (we already have THS).
I guess I kind of see this as an expansion of, or extrapolation from, THS. It's not my preferred setting of Transhuman Stars (THS discovers 2300AD stutterwarp technology, humanity begins to fray), but it's pretty okay, so far -- at least, as far as it's gotten, anyway.

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(SNIP)
[*]I don't like the narrow artificial gates, they tend to make the world less free to roam.[*]I got my web topology, which makes the world more free to roam, lessening the negative (IMHO) impact of gates.
If the gates are going to exist, at all (I seriously dislike them, for reasons identical to yours), then web topology was absolutely required. The presence of jump drives helps remove most of the problems, though.

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[*]I still think that FTL comms get in the way of many fun plots suitable for PC speculative tramp freighters, mercenary opportunists, pirates etc.
Ayup. The more slowly information moves, the greater the opportunity (and need) for small-scale merchant-adventurers. If FTL communication exists that functions faster than the fastest ship, then those with the largest, fastest ships dominate interstellar trade. That means small operators get squeezed out.

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[*]I'm awaiting the government votes with some caution, since I suspect that the previous trend will continue, making things like local gate monopolies, highly centralized hierarchical governments etc. (But please do vote for what you consider most fun, don't let my comment ruin your fun.)
Same, here. If we wind up with single-government planets, I'll bail. Fortunately, that doesn't seem to be the trend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Basically was hoping for something more diffuse, diverse, frontierish, experimental, anarchistic, transhumanistic, like Duncanites in THS or the outer rim of the solar system in Eclipse Phase, and instead it looks rather restrained and down-to-earth, like the NASA and ESA projects in THS. Or at least a world that seems to encourage design oriented towards the latter more than the former.
I agree with this whole statement, and it's why I think 2300AD (despite its dated origins and other problems) offers the best space sci-fi setting ever created. It was so wide-open, and the frontier planets felt, well, like frontiers.

The shared space setting still has a ways to go, though, and it could result in some good things. If the colony planets are widely dispersed, have competing (and conflicting) multiple colonizers for each one, and the gate networks provide connections only between them (and Earth), with plenty of habitat systems only reachable with ships, then it could be okay.
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Old 02-28-2017, 04:51 PM   #25
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Default Re: Collaborative Worldbuilding Threads

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It also makes it less "space-opera-ish," which may not be a bad thing. However, if one includes uplifts, as well as variant human types, then those can substitute. I've already started to push for uplifts, myself.
Well, uplifts and parahumans are too familiar. They basically mean no First Contact stories, no xenoanthropologists trying to meld into huge foreign cultures which aren't listed in our libraries and nets, no surprising lifeforms.

As for being space-operatic:
In a way, I think the idea of a non-operatic, THS-related setting (while we're at it) with close alien contact has been underexplored in gaming. Eclipse Phase aliens seem to be too distant, Orion's Arm is doesn't seem very gameable due to the main movers and shakers being all transapient of several orders.

But I do have to admit that I'm (for not sure how long) in a stance which is very sympathetic to space-operatic elements in new settings.

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Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
Same, here. If we wind up with single-government planets, I'll bail. Fortunately, that doesn't seem to be the trend.

I agree with this whole statement, and it's why I think 2300AD (despite its dated origins and other problems) offers the best space sci-fi setting ever created. It was so wide-open, and the frontier planets felt, well, like frontiers.

The shared space setting still has a ways to go, though, and it could result in some good things. If the colony planets are widely dispersed, have competing (and conflicting) multiple colonizers for each one, and the gate networks provide connections only between them (and Earth), with plenty of habitat systems only reachable with ships, then it could be okay.
Gate control was going towards a joint-force monopoly of some sort, wasn't it?
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Old 02-28-2017, 07:22 PM   #26
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Default Re: Collaborative Worldbuilding Threads

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post

(SNIP)

Gate control was going towards a joint-force monopoly of some sort, wasn't it?
A consortium, at least in most instances. The nice thing about consortia is that they run into the same issues as OPEC and other cartels -- the first to cheat has an advantage, as does the group that exercises the most influence within the cartel/consortium, and those two groups are never the same.

Queue coverups, intrigue and nasty consortium in-fighting!
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:21 PM   #27
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Default Re: Collaborative Worldbuilding Threads

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Observation:
As the thread is moving onward, I'm seeing my voting pattern/direction as more and more different from the more popular one. As my preferences thus turn out to be further and further from the setting that is being made, I'm more and more tempted to say "Been fun so far, but I'm too different from you to keep going. Good luck and have fun" and bow out.

Which made me think of two things:
  1. That maybe at this point voting becomes more self-reinforcing as other people who bow out are likely to be the ones who find their tastes to be different from the majority.
  2. That maybe where the thread goes is heavily based on its elevator pitch (since it influences what sorts of voters it tends to attract in the first place).
My observation was that the conservative, middle answer was getting more of the votes. That is, the voting process moderates the extremer ideas, or the more creative ones, which would've gained more of a foothold in a question-style thread.

To your points, I think any thread is going to lose the interest of some participants as things progress- I don't think that's unique to a voting thread. A voting system is a form of compromise, and a definition of a compromise is a result where everyone is equally unhappy. So while you might feel your preferences are different to the outcome, I think everyone else might also be having the same feeling to some extent.
ETA: That sounds a bit more negative than I intended. I think the point is that whatever the voting outcome has produced, the more interesting part is working with that outcome to produce something creative from it. (/ETA)

And I think that a thread going the direction of its elevator pitch is a given- first, that's what the OP is seeking to achieve in his thread. It'd be pointless to say "I want a biopunk space setting" but end up with robots fighting space elves because of some weird voting outcomes. And as you say, those interested in that pitch are going to be the people posting. But I'm afraid I've missed your point on this, as I can't see how that's unexpected or a valid complaint.
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Old 03-01-2017, 01:17 AM   #28
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Default Re: Collaborative Worldbuilding Threads

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A consortium, at least in most instances. The nice thing about consortia is that they run into the same issues as OPEC and other cartels -- the first to cheat has an advantage, as does the group that exercises the most influence within the cartel/consortium, and those two groups are never the same.

Queue coverups, intrigue and nasty consortium in-fighting!
Oh well, maybe. Just how balkanized the consortium is . . . isn't at all obvious from the vote. If it's as balkanized as the UN GA, that's one thing. If it's something closer to the Swiss Confederation, or EU or the USA's Articles of the Confederation level of unity, that's another thing.
Note that option A says there is no single owner, which implies that all other setups can be in effect treated as single owners. Maybe I'm misreading.

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My observation was that the conservative, middle answer was getting more of the votes. That is, the voting process moderates the extremer ideas, or the more creative ones, which would've gained more of a foothold in a question-style thread.
Maybe, but perhaps not necessarily. There are cases when people flock to end-of-spectrum votes.


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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
To your points, I think any thread is going to lose the interest of some participants as things progress- I don't think that's unique to a voting thread. A voting system is a form of compromise, and a definition of a compromise is a result where everyone is equally unhappy. So while you might feel your preferences are different to the outcome, I think everyone else might also be having the same feeling to some extent.
ETA: That sounds a bit more negative than I intended. I think the point is that whatever the voting outcome has produced, the more interesting part is working with that outcome to produce something creative from it. (/ETA)
In a thread where the central votes dominate, I think centrists are less likely to have such a feeling, while radicals are more likely to.


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And I think that a thread going the direction of its elevator pitch is a given- first, that's what the OP is seeking to achieve in his thread. It'd be pointless to say "I want a biopunk space setting" but end up with robots fighting space elves because of some weird voting outcomes. And as you say, those interested in that pitch are going to be the people posting. But I'm afraid I've missed your point on this, as I can't see how that's unexpected or a valid complaint.
The latter part should probably not be treated as much as a complaint (sorry if lumping things together made it more complainy). But there may be some less obvious ways in how the first post can influence outcomes. It's probably not something I can coherently recall and formulate at this point. Sorry for the distraction.
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Old 03-01-2017, 02:06 AM   #29
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Oh well, maybe. Just how balkanized the consortium is . . . isn't at all obvious from the vote. If it's as balkanized as the UN GA, that's one thing. If it's something closer to the Swiss Confederation, or EU or the USA's Articles of the Confederation level of unity, that's another thing.
Note that option A says there is no single owner, which implies that all other setups can be in effect treated as single owners. Maybe I'm misreading.
Personally, I don't see much difference in "amount of conflict generated" between options A- no single owner, and D- many owners in one consortium. Certainly consortia could also be some of the many owners of option A. I think people voted A or D for the same basic reason- to increase conflict.

Quote:
In a thread where the central votes dominate, I think centrists are less likely to have such a feeling, while radicals are more likely to.
A radical might always feel disappointed with the outcome, but nonetheless the existence of a radical will move the centre. But in this case, I don't think the 8-10 posters involved is a large enough population size to generate a smooth spectrum.

Quote:
The latter part should probably not be treated as much as a complaint (sorry if lumping things together made it more complainy). But there may be some less obvious ways in how the first post can influence outcomes. It's probably not something I can coherently recall and formulate at this point. Sorry for the distraction.
Indeed, phrasing is important. If the middle answer is the most popular, then phrasing the question in a different way can bias towards a different middle- e.g. by giving more options. There's a similar effect in menu writing, where putting a single extremely expensive option on the menu normalises the price perception of the other items upwards.

Also, for example, the "Is it high biotech?" question got a range of answers saying "yes" but were apparently contradictory. It'd be unfair to criticise Frost for this in hindsight, but a different phrasing might've got a different result.
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Old 03-01-2017, 02:13 AM   #30
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Personally, I don't see much difference in "amount of conflict generated" between options A- no single owner, and D- many owners in one consortium. Certainly consortia could also be some of the many owners of option A. I think people voted A or D for the same basic reason- to increase conflict.
The main difference is the presence or absence of small players. With single owner, such as a consortium, you probably won't run into "this is a standalone startup that is making their gate, it does not follow the regulations of top dogs and is in fact trying to fight against them", while with no single owner that situation is reasonably available during a campaign.

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A radical might always feel disappointed with the outcome, but nonetheless the existence of a radical will move the centre. But in this case, I don't think the 8-10 posters involved is a large enough population size to generate a smooth spectrum.
You're right, the population is too small for any serious statistics.

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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
Indeed, phrasing is important. If the middle answer is the most popular, then phrasing the question in a different way can bias towards a different middle- e.g. by giving more options. There's a similar effect in menu writing, where putting a single extremely expensive option on the menu normalises the price perception of the other items upwards.
Hah, that too.

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Also, for example, the "Is it high biotech?" question got a range of answers saying "yes" but were apparently contradictory. It'd be unfair to criticise Frost for this in hindsight, but a different phrasing might've got a different result.
I was somewhat confused by the question and answers about biotech, but just went with the flow.
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