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Optional Realities: Greater RPI Community, and Design Blog

Posted: Sat May 02, 2015 9:11 am
by Songweaver
Hey folks,

I'd like to announce the opening of Optional Realities, a design blog and community supporting roleplay-focused MUDs. We are committed to the following:

- We will publish regular articles every week, not only written by our own team of experienced MUD Designers, but the staff of prominent roleplaying games like Sindome, Evolution of Esos, Shadows of Isildur, Armageddon, Haven: Mists and Shadow, and others.

- We will moderate a community forum with a policy very similar to this one, as a place for leaders in our genre of MUDs to discuss roleplaying, writing, design, and upcoming events for their games.

- We will do everything that we can to help support designers looking to create their own games in our genre, and to support ongoing games within our means.

- We will host monthly contests with cash prizes, ranging from storytelling competitions, to game design proposals, to submission of quality roleplaying logs.

Please join us at Optional Realities, in our effort to strengthen our 20+ year old community and build towards an ever-better future for roleplaying MUDs.

Jaunt/Songweaver
Chief Editor for Optional Realities
http://www.optionalrealities.com/
http://www.optionalrealities.com/forums/

Re: Optional Realities: Greater RPI Community, and Design Bl

Posted: Sat May 02, 2015 9:14 am
by Songweaver
And, for our first article writer, out of the many games and great staff from the community that have contributed, we have SOI's very own Arucard. He's written an incredible piece on plot building philosophy, and I'd like to think that it applies to players every bit as much as it does to RPAs.

Check it out: The Art of the Epic Story: Internal vs External Plot

I'll let you guys know when new articles are posted. We have several of our collection, and only just so far, written by SOI Current Staff and Ex-Staff Contributors.

Re: Optional Realities: Greater RPI Community, and Design Bl

Posted: Sat May 02, 2015 9:19 am
by Sage
A great read! Thank you for this, Alucard. :nom:

Re: Optional Realities: Greater RPI Community, and Design Bl

Posted: Sat May 02, 2015 10:44 am
by Songweaver
I'm glad you enjoyed our first article. We have a ton of great ones waiting to be published. We'll be publishing two per week for a while now.

Also wanted to mention this, as it's pretty cool: the first of our site competitions, with actual monetary awards for the winners. Why? Why do this?

Well, because we have the money to, and we think that it's about time to bring the greater community of RPIs together for conversation and sharing of ideas. We're very much hoping to build a more collaborative and positive community for SOI, ARM, LABMUD, and all of the many other games out there in our amazing, niche little genre.

The "Dreaming Big" Game Design Contest

Re: Optional Realities: Greater RPI Community, and Design Bl

Posted: Sun May 03, 2015 10:53 am
by Jeshin
Don't forget you can also help represent your game by assisting us (me really) in keeping your sub-forum full of up to date plots and rolecalls!

http://optionalrealities.com/forums/ind ... .msg67#new

EDIT - Please note that if you do not want to 'doublepost' or sink time into a forum that isn't this one that the specific thread I am linking here is currently composed entirely of linkbacks to this forum. So post here, link there, or don't!

Re: Optional Realities: Greater RPI Community, and Design Bl

Posted: Sun May 03, 2015 2:24 pm
by Hawkwind
Jeshin wrote:Don't forget you can also help represent your game by assisting us (me really) in keeping your sub-forum full of up to date plots and rolecalls!

http://optionalrealities.com/forums/ind ... .msg67#new

I do not like this. There are forums here for exactly that thing.

Re: Optional Realities: Greater RPI Community, and Design Bl

Posted: Sun May 03, 2015 2:43 pm
by Songweaver
There sure are. But it's a good way for more folks from the greater RPI community to learn about SOI, and what's going on with SOI.

Re: Optional Realities: Greater RPI Community, and Design Bl

Posted: Sun May 03, 2015 8:40 pm
by ThinkTwice
Hawkwind wrote: I do not like this. There are forums here for exactly that thing.
Then don't read them. :)

Re: Optional Realities: Greater RPI Community, and Design Bl

Posted: Mon May 04, 2015 7:24 am
by Hawkwind
ThinkTwice wrote:
Hawkwind wrote: I do not like this. There are forums here for exactly that thing.
Then don't read them. :)
Not the point, anything that diverts attention away these forums to a player(s) private one is bad for the game. For articles it does not matter but anything IG it does.

Re: Optional Realities: Greater RPI Community, and Design Bl

Posted: Mon May 04, 2015 8:30 am
by Icarus
You have expressed your opinion, Hawkwind, let them be.

Re: Optional Realities: Greater RPI Community, and Design Bl

Posted: Mon May 04, 2015 8:51 am
by Gobbo
Hawkwind wrote:
ThinkTwice wrote:
Hawkwind wrote: I do not like this. There are forums here for exactly that thing.
Then don't read them. :)
Not the point, anything that diverts attention away these forums to a player(s) private one is bad for the game. For articles it does not matter but anything IG it does.
It goes the opposite way too, if their forums are more popular they can be directed to SOI through the forum section dedicated to this mud.

Re: Optional Realities: Greater RPI Community, and Design Bl

Posted: Mon May 04, 2015 9:00 pm
by Songweaver
I've published our second article. This one's written by myself, and speaks to one of my favorite topics: immersive combat design.

Upcoming in the next week, we have submissions from Icarus and Tiamat, as well as games like Sindome and Evolution of Esos! Japheth is also in the process of submitting an article to us in regards to FutureMUD. I'm very pleased with the collaborations thus far.

Re: Optional Realities: Greater RPI Community, and Design Bl

Posted: Mon May 04, 2015 10:07 pm
by twitchyweasel
Nice article. You mentioned a Film Noir RPG which is what I was going to write about for your contest. Please just design it for me! :lol:

Re: Optional Realities: Greater RPI Community, and Design Bl

Posted: Mon May 04, 2015 10:25 pm
by Jeshin
OR Staff aren't allowed to participate. SOI staff can though!

Re: Optional Realities: Greater RPI Community, and Design Bl

Posted: Sun May 10, 2015 1:29 pm
by Songweaver
We've published our fourth article, and this one's written by ex-SOI and Atonement programmer extraordinaire, Tiamat/Apollo. She's a smart cookie.

Check out: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger: Automated Systems!

You also still have a couple of weeks left to submit your fantasy game design to our May Contest, and win eternal glory (and possibly up to fifty bucks)!

Re: Optional Realities: Greater RPI Community, and Design Bl

Posted: Tue May 12, 2015 10:17 am
by Songweaver
Another article. This one discusses Evennia, which like FutureMUD, is a new (modern) engine perfect for developing and designing an RPI. It uses Python entirely, allowing for powerful (and relatively easy) scripting to handle all necessary MUD protocols. I've used it, and I'm hooked.

Check it out: Evennia, The MUD Creation Library

Re: Optional Realities: Greater RPI Community, and Design Bl

Posted: Tue May 19, 2015 12:41 pm
by Songweaver
This week, one of our published articles is from SOI's own Icarus; he talks about the use of aesthetic variables in the OpenRPI Engine, and how to most effectively apply them towards creating a better and more immersive world.

Check it out! Building Better Aesthetic Variables

Also remember that there's less than a week to submit a concept for your very own Dream RPI to us. The top three submissions, after review, will win recognition, publication, and some money!

Re: Optional Realities: Greater RPI Community, and Design Bl

Posted: Sun May 31, 2015 8:44 am
by Jeshin
On May 29th Optional Realities wrapped up our May 2015 contest for 600 word game pitches. We had 10 entries in all and we were very pleased with all of the entries. Even some people from the SOI community submitted! You can check out the results right over here: May 2015 Contest Results

And if you don't want to go over to the Optional Realities forums we are providing hosting of the pdf submissions right over here: Submission Folder on Google Drive

Re: Optional Realities: Greater RPI Community, and Design Bl

Posted: Sun May 31, 2015 3:22 pm
by Jeshin
Are you to cool to check out Optional Realities? Don't think anyone submitted a game proposal worth looking at? Well aha we've converted our 1st place winner (Usurper by Griatch of the Evennia codebase) into an article to remove all obstacles of viewing it.

http://optionalrealities.com/may-2015-d ... e-usurper/

Look at it and be impressed!

Re: Optional Realities: Greater RPI Community, and Design Bl

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:04 am
by Jeshin
Do you enjoy writing? Do you love the Tolkien setting? How about money do you like money? Well we have an exciting opportunity for you! Optional Realities is running its June 2015 contest and it is a short story contest (600-2500 words) and the stories must be set within the game setting of a game listed on Optional Realities (which SOI is).

Prizes will be: 50 USD for 1st, 35 USD for 2nd, and 15 USD for third. Considering the long literary history of the SOI community we hope to see some compelling submissions from you guys. Anyone (even staff) can enter.

http://optionalrealities.com/forums/ind ... opic=107.0

Re: Optional Realities: Greater RPI Community, and Design Bl

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:16 pm
by Songweaver
This week, we've published an article by another old SOI Wonder-Admin, Japheth! In it, he discusses FutureMUD, artificial intelligence, and the necessary considerations of designing a customizable MUD Engine from scratch!

Check it out: Designing a More Customisable MUD Engine

Re: Optional Realities: Greater RPI Community, and Design Bl

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:14 am
by Rivean
Hey, I like money!

If writing in the SOI setting, does it need to be current SOI setting, or can we write in any area in which the game has existed in the past?

More explicitly, is it Mirkwood/Laketown/Utterby only or are Minas Tirith, Osgiliath, Minas Morgul etc. all open?

Secondly, I usually avoid writing derivative fiction, and there are some legal and ethical considerations to take in when writing in, for example, Tolkien's universe.

I'd be much happier if I were writing in a not-explicitly Tolken setting (some of the locations and much of the social infrastructure in SOI has been created by and for the mud, rather than borrowed directly from Tolkien) - how much leeway would I have in untying the story from recognizably Tolkien locations and characters?

Re: Optional Realities: Greater RPI Community, and Design Bl

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:50 am
by Jeshin
Hey,

I'll go ahead and answer this in numbers format just for ease of reading.

1) The short story can be in any of the previous settings that Shadows of Isildur has operated in. The intent of the contest is to engage community members in our listed games if they haven't already tried them out.

2) As Shadows of Isildur is an authorized game, I would point out that it is likely one of the only examples of authorized "fanfiction" on the internet. That being said you are free to distance yourself from the original material. What matters is that the story clearly conveys the themes and settings that Shadows of Isildur has tried to convey over the years. You can read more about Tolkien Estate's views on fanfiction here: http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Fanfiction

3) Optional Realities will never monetize the submissions for any of our contests or the contributed articles from non-OR Staff members. This includes never adding google-ads or anything to the website or forum for revenue. That may or may not affect other people submitting SOI specific short stories so I included it.

Re: Optional Realities: Greater RPI Community, and Design Bl

Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:46 pm
by Songweaver
This week, Optional Realities has published a staff article by SOI's very own Crayon. Check it out!

Regulating Roleplay: The Pulse

Re: Optional Realities: Greater RPI Community, and Design Bl

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 4:47 pm
by Songweaver
This week, we've published the first part of my new, in-depth article on the evils of Power Creep, and what we can do to keep it out of our RPIs. Check it out (especially you crafters and crafting admins!) And then jump in on the discussion.

Just Say No to Power Creep (Part One of Two)