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Author Topic: The Future of the CBG  (Read 5155 times)
Spawn of Ungoliant
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« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2018, 12:07:07 PM »

Hoers

To answer your first question, I think it's chiefly time, but also the lack of an influx of new people to participate as others become busier. It's fair to ask if we need to do a bit of soul-searching as to what it is that we are supposed to be at this point; this is especially true if we move to Reddit for example and find ourselves bumping up against r/worldbuilding.

Personally I see us as a kind of social club for a specific community of world-builders and roleplayers, rather than an organization with a unique purpose or mission. Sort of like the Bloomsbury Group or the Fraternity of Sireniacal Gentlemen but on the internet. So it's not like the kind of activity we do is really unique - lots of people make roleplaying content - but we make specific stuff that's often really cool, and which has some interesting commonalities (a focus on very detailed settings/mileus).
« Last Edit: August 14, 2018, 03:17:36 PM by Steerpike » Logged


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« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2018, 02:50:47 PM »

Yeah, I think the short answer is "we got old."

That doesn't mean things necessarily have to be completely dead around here, of course. Scheduling may be a bit trickier but I hold out hope that games may still be possible. One kinda cool thing about Discord is the persistent, always-on nature of the chat means that you could run a game as a combined play-by-post and live game: play live when people can make it, or just drop posts for whenever when they can't.
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Spawn of Ungoliant
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« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2018, 03:25:44 PM »

The other complicating factor for me is that since 2012 I have had a big regular gaming group of offline friends - I got asked to DM for some librarians in training and we've had an ever-expanding league of players ever since, with me DMing all but 1 of the last 6 years. I've still run occasional games on the CBG but the regular group has taken up most of my time compared to the 2008-2012 period where almost all of my gaming was done here. So the double whammy of less free time and a regular group are a big component in my gradual decline in actually running games here.
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Digital wizard
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« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2018, 05:45:50 PM »

Steerpike

Hoers

To answer your first question, I think it's chiefly time, but also the lack of an influx of new people to participate as others become busier. It's fair to ask if we need to do a bit of soul-searching as to what it is that we are supposed to be at this point; this is especially true if we move to Reddit for example and find ourselves bumping up against r/worldbuilding.

Personally I see us as a kind of social club for a specific community of world-builders and roleplayers, rather than an organization with a unique purpose or mission. Sort of like the Bloomsbury Group or the Fraternity of Sireniacal Gentlemen but on the internet. So it's not like the kind of activity we do is really unique - lots of people make roleplaying content - but we make specific stuff that's often really cool, and which has some interesting commonalities (a focus on very detailed settings/mileus).

Yeah, that is an accurate comparison I think. We've spent enough time together that I think we've developed a nice collective approach to the questions that come up, and newer folk who join us generally fit in well. It might not be appropriate to use the term "aging out", but maybe "aging absent" is a good way  to describe what inevitably happens. Doing so is fine, too - one could argue that what we do here isn't entirely unlike the tradition of generational storytelling - but again that speaks to my desire to ensure we continue to grow (if slowly).
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« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2018, 09:10:49 PM »

Quote

like people hosting their content on free cloud services (Google Drive, the Microsoft equivalent, hell even GitHub - I've used it) and linking them in the sidebar or a sticky post. Such a system would be easy enough; what I'd do in theory is create a list of everyone's settings with links (if you were around when the CBG started on the WotC forums, this'll sound familiar). The only difference is that the content might be off-site - but again, whether that's at a wiki we host or individual accounts elsewhere remains to be seen.
Sounds good, like the old Directory mixed with the Wiki landing page: http://www.thecbg.org/index.php/topic,4761.0.html ; http://www.thecbg.org/wiki/index.php?title=CBG_Wiki
What would really be great (though maybe not possible) would be to have some sort of feed indicating when things on the subpages are updated. People could auto-ping a blog or something similar. Another feature that is great here is the new post feed on the home page--I have solely used that these past few years to catch up with what is going on since I can see at a glance what is developing.

One idea- locate one of the free hosting blog providers that has free plugins and rss feeds, use that provider as the landing page and have the "links out" go to the discord and subreddits that are specifically directed to the games on the discord and settings (if any) and have the subreddits feed into the rss (if possible?). For what cannot be automated: 5 or 6 people would have posting rights to post up "blog post" news announcing games, etc. and arranging schedules (e.g. like on the "team scheduler" program (Doodle)) (obviously only the core 3 would have the superadmin rights) and people can always comment on blog posts.

It is probably important to have a feedback loop --some way to obviously comment on what is being seen. Otherwise, like with the wiki sometimes (despite the talk pages) people would o't really see/know what is happening... no way to motivate each other in a "drive-by" sense.

There are a lot of good ideas among what you wrote!
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Digital wizard
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« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2018, 06:46:58 PM »

So sparkletwist has set up a preliminary Discord. The invite is here. I encourage anyone who is interested to come join us, although if it's during the day when you first log on keep in mind we might not be around, and thus might not be able to give you chat permissions (sparkletwist made it relatively strict so that you can only talk in #general-chat if you haven't been whitelisted).

This is an opportunity to see where we're going with the chat moving forward. I think we're making progress on what we want to do, and this is likely it for live chat. Please come and tell us what you think!
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Straight Outta Johto
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« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2018, 01:08:06 AM »

Do you mind PMing me an instant invite?

Nevermind. Figured it out.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2018, 01:14:27 AM by LoA » Logged


So Warm and Cuddly
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« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2018, 09:40:44 PM »

Aw beans. I'm gonna miss this site. However, I am tentatively excited to see where the CBG goes from here. I'm hoping that a new format might shake things up a bit. I'm a bit torn because while I do frequent reddit, I never saw it as a place to really lay down content and more as a site to surface-binge mildly interesting material (not that I've been "laying down content" in a long while; I also just peruse the top posts on the main page of reddit so, there ya go). I'm unfamiliar with discord but I'm entirely open to trying new venues. Ultimately, I'm in favor of whatever everyone decides on. I want to stay together as a people rather than just a site.
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Spawn of Ungoliant
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« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2018, 12:15:44 AM »

Weave

I'm a bit torn because while I do frequent reddit, I never saw it as a place to really lay down content and more as a site to surface-binge mildly interesting material

I know what you mean, although I think a lot of people would post links to things on blogs or Google drives or what-have-you.

Just as Google+ has found a weird, unlikely currency within roleplaying communities, blogs also seem to have disproportionate value within DIY D&D/rpg circles, because they work as online portfolios really well. I got a blog years ago, and honestly I'd strongly suggest it for anyone on this site who'd like to showcase their work. I now have a contract with a publisher to put out some of my work, and long-term plans for other stuff, and it's because my blog got noticed by someone with clout who posted it to reddit. So I can say with some anecdotal evidence that the blog + reddit combo is a smart way to go for pursuing rpg-related projects.
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Digital wizard
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« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2018, 06:26:41 AM »

I guess now is a good time to provide an unofficial update - sparkletwist and I have been talking almost every night since the original post, discussing pro's and con's of each option, and most importantly how to make the right transition without a frustrating failure (e.g. bad launch or trying to use too many services).

We've still got some decisions to make, but the possibility of a new site made with Wordpress and hooks for both the Discord, and for users to log in using credentials from other platforms such as Reddit (only if you want to) is becoming a bit of a frontrunner. The leading argument against Reddit is that our niche almost requires the ability to post the content and the discussion in the same place - which to be fair can be done on Reddit too, but maybe not as cleanly. Either platform will offer one of the other key features I'm concerned about, which is better mobile support.

Stay tuned, and hop into the Discord in the evenings if you want to talk live - we're usually around smile.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2018, 05:32:45 PM by Hoers » Logged


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« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2018, 06:34:20 AM »

That sounds reasonable! Reddit obviously has failings as a true message board, but I cannot think of anything much better outside of actual forums with free hosting other than Proboards. https://www.proboards.com/  (single login for all proboard forums) AND https://www.createaforum.com/ ; have you already considered those options?
« Last Edit: August 17, 2018, 06:44:01 AM by LD » Logged


Digital wizard
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« Reply #26 on: August 17, 2018, 04:27:14 PM »

LD

That sounds reasonable! Reddit obviously has failings as a true message board, but I cannot think of anything much better outside of actual forums with free hosting other than Proboards. https://www.proboards.com/  (single login for all proboard forums) AND https://www.createaforum.com/ ; have you already considered those options?

Thanks for making me aware of these, I didn't know about them. That definitely widens our options smile
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Fiercely Anochronistic
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« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2018, 11:41:37 AM »

Hi guys.
 Infrequent poster here. I've enjoyed reading all of your creations over the years and sharing a few of my own things. I will miss the cbg in its current form (something about the old-internet design is nostalgic) but also looking forward to what comes next. It's weird how this site has drawn me back again and again, like a coffee shop or bookstore that is amazing (but somehow nobody knows about?) just to browse, read and relax. Thank you all for the content you have shared over the years. You're all brilliant, hope to see you on discord or wherever the cbg ends up smile


EDIT: Thoughts on reddit. I shamelessly plunder the DND subreddit, some of the content there is invaluable coming from gamers with 30-40+ years of DM experience. While most of the content from reddit seems to prescribe to the 'consume-throwaway' endless feed syndrome, there are some really amazing posts to be found. However, I feel that there are already dozens of subreddits that do one aspect of the CBG already, mapmaking, worldbuilding, GMing etc. I'm not sure a CBG subreddit could sustain numbers without regular contests/content/quality posts, which so many other gaming related subreddits already do.

The CBG wants to encapsulate all of the moving gears of campaign construction in one place (which is wonderful) while pushing for discussion on each of these topics. I am not familiar with Discord, but it seems like most of the activity here has been through the shoutbox lately with links to new posts sprinkled through out. I think it is the discussion about gaming in general that is invaluable in this community as some of the insights to worldbuilding and campaign construction are some of the most thoughtful and genuine reactions to be found.

That's all I've got haha.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2018, 11:53:55 AM by Mason » Logged


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« Reply #28 on: August 18, 2018, 05:04:20 PM »

Good thoughts, Mason!
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Digital wizard
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« Reply #29 on: August 18, 2018, 06:41:13 PM »

Mason

Hi guys.
 Infrequent poster here. I've enjoyed reading all of your creations over the years and sharing a few of my own things. I will miss the cbg in its current form (something about the old-internet design is nostalgic) but also looking forward to what comes next. It's weird how this site has drawn me back again and again, like a coffee shop or bookstore that is amazing (but somehow nobody knows about?) just to browse, read and relax. Thank you all for the content you have shared over the years. You're all brilliant, hope to see you on discord or wherever the cbg ends up smile


EDIT: Thoughts on reddit. I shamelessly plunder the DND subreddit, some of the content there is invaluable coming from gamers with 30-40+ years of DM experience. While most of the content from reddit seems to prescribe to the 'consume-throwaway' endless feed syndrome, there are some really amazing posts to be found. However, I feel that there are already dozens of subreddits that do one aspect of the CBG already, mapmaking, worldbuilding, GMing etc. I'm not sure a CBG subreddit could sustain numbers without regular contests/content/quality posts, which so many other gaming related subreddits already do.

The CBG wants to encapsulate all of the moving gears of campaign construction in one place (which is wonderful) while pushing for discussion on each of these topics. I am not familiar with Discord, but it seems like most of the activity here has been through the shoutbox lately with links to new posts sprinkled through out. I think it is the discussion about gaming in general that is invaluable in this community as some of the insights to worldbuilding and campaign construction are some of the most thoughtful and genuine reactions to be found.

That's all I've got haha.

Yeah, that is a fair point, and it was the counter-argument to the (semi-fallacious argument) that Reddit would make it easier for us to advertise.

At this point I think we've decided to avoid a transition to Reddit - we'll be doing some sort of new website - but let me iron out all of the details before I spout random details too much. The Discord is going pretty well so far!
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