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An Editorial
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ctown28
ctown28
Tireless Tiger

Jun-28-2008 08:39

There have been some recent events on this game that warrant some concern. It’s no secret that there has been a lack of interest. Much of this may be attributed to the release of Shades of Mystery. If that is what people want to play, far be it from me to tell them not to play it.

That being said. I am still a paying customer of Sleuth Noir. As a paying customer there are some things that I expect. Ben has done a decent job at keeping the server up and running. We had a slight issue earlier in the week with not being able to travel and Ben did a great job of addressing the issue and getting it corrected. He always has done a great job of taking care of things. He has not however kept the game fresh and interesting. We recently had the expansion of the USS Sleuthetania. There was a buzz before the initial launch of it and we couldn’t wait to see what was in store for us.

Well what did we get? The opportunity to pay $20,000 to get on board of a ship and do nothing more than play cases. Sure there are some new characters and new items along with 2 new “coming soon” links. That’s it! I can’t help but to feel disappointed in the way this has played out. Two weeks later, the links are still coming soon and the interest of the boat has already gone away. I know I have no plans or reason to get on the boat and be cut off from my agency completely. I don’t know this for a fact, but I think a lot of people are disappointed with the boat as well and some may even be irritated and feel cheated by the whole development.

Maybe I’m being a bit harsh and we are missing some secret that still needs to be unlocked on the boat, but if people aren’t playing, the secret will not be unlocked. I know that Ben is just one person and can only do so much. He has a lot on his plate right now with running both SOM and Noir. I’m sorry, but SOM means absolutely nothing to me as I don’t play over there.

Replies

miss snopes
miss snopes
Special Deliverance

Jun-30-2008 11:14

This is one of the most exciting threads I've read in quite a while. I, like the rest of you, love this game and it doesn't take long, once you're here to love the community. There are days I have no time to play cases but MUST log in for a short while just to see what is going on, inside and outside of my agency.

I think what has made me worry the most lately is the number of older detectives who have become inactive. This includes editors, mods, etc. I can't imagine what all goes in to keeping sleuth world (noir & som) up and running but I do realize sometimes we won't get answers and/or replies to our questions as fast as we would like to get them but I do think certain updates, no matter how short they might be, would help tremendously if posted more frequently. i.e. I think the Sleuthetania has felt like such a letdown to so many of us because we haven't heard anything else on the coming soon areas. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but the last post was during the first voyage saying other areas should be up and running by the second voyage yet i've lost count on the number now and we still don't know more. Even the slightest post such as "Still working on the new areas of the ship. Might take a few weeks but they are on the way" would go a long way towards keeping the excitement up and keeping us from feeling like there might not be anything else there. Maybe that's one of those jobs that an Editor or Moderator could help Ben with.

Breit, love, love, love the idea of a development team! Thanks ctown for starting this thread, it is much needed.

Sunniva
Sunniva
Nomad

Jun-30-2008 16:10

I rarely read the boards much anymore and what do I find, to my delight, a great discussion. I'm all for a development team but my concern is that players who have personal conflicts with one another, different time zones and personal agendas might come to many conflicts.

So how do we solve this? Perhaps we can nominate people who are willing to make a commitment and to leave personal feelings out. Great! But one of the biggest logistical headaches is that planning sessions for things like this are often done better in person or at least through big IM discussions or confrence calls. And honestly it's a really big time commitment for something a service that would need to be voluntary.

That said I think it is doable so maybe some of us should draft a proposal and then submit it to Ben and Sunny. And if they are into the idea, great! We, the Sleuth Community, would also need to appreciate the fact that not everyone would be on that team and it would probably only be a select few.

Sunniva
Sunniva
Nomad

Jun-30-2008 16:12

(2nd paragraph, last line: And honestly it's a really big time commitment for a service that would need to be voluntary.)

ctown28
ctown28
Tireless Tiger

Jun-30-2008 17:16

Well this certainly has turned into a great thread with some great discussions. And to think I started it just to vent. I love the idea of a development team. Like Sunniva said there are some obstacles that may or may not come into play. The main one being clashing personalities. However, there are clashing personalities in all walks of life and that is something that can be worked out.

I’d like to share with you an experience I had with another online game that I played. Some of you have heard me talk about the Stone and some of you haven’t. I’ll just give a quick rundown. It was billed as an internet mystery game. There was a grid with 216 spaces on it. Each space represents a visual image that was a puzzle. The object was to find the specific answer that each puzzle was looking for. When you started the game, only 14 of these were available. You unlocked more as the game progressed. This is where this gets relevant. Many of us hit 56 puzzles available and had 56 solved. There were no new puzzles. The creator, Rod, (Our version of Admin) was out of puzzles, he had a split with his partner and things were tough for him. I won’t get into the mistakes he admittedly made but we went 2 years stuck at 56 puzzles available. The community however refused to die. Sure the message boards went a bit stagnant, but we still all talked and communicated, and some players even created their own puzzles which were hosted on a mirror site. Somebody gave Rod the idea to “tap” the community for help. Maybe the players that created for the mirror site would be willing to help him out. Shortly after getting that idea, I received an email from Rod asking if I would be willing to be a part of that team, which I was. The development team was in progress. We setup a Yahoo group and another mirror site where we created and tested the puzzles that we would use to fill the rest of the grid.

ctown28
ctown28
Tireless Tiger

Jun-30-2008 17:16

I am happy to say that when the game came to its conclusion after 10 years earlier this year, I have 216 of 216 puzzles solved. Some of them created by me.

There were definitely some clashing personalities in that game much more than there are here, even on that development team. The message boards there also had some very heated discussions and there was not really any topic that went untouched. Everything from taste in music, to religion to politics. And you all know what can happen when religion and politics get thrown into the mix. I had the pleasure of meeting many of the players in RL at what we called gatherings, (Our version of SleuthCon). No surprise that when the conflicting personalities were present, everyone got along just fine.

When I came back to this game last year and saw that SleuthCon I was being organized, I just had to go. It wasn’t the same experience as a Stone Gathering, but it’s a different game. This community has the same potential and I would love to see that potential reached. I know you all don’t care about the game I played itself, but I just wanted to relate the experience there. I see many similarities in the two communities and even though that game has come to an end, many of us still keep in touch.


Lilly Day
Lilly Day
Well-Connected

Jun-30-2008 20:05

I think there is some really fabulous ideas being posted here.

I usually don't get to involved in the debates that go on in the message boards but this one caught my eyes due to the fact that some of my thought were written by others.

I know that there has been a somewhat "lack of interest" by others including agents who have been playing for much longer than me. As a director of a fairly active agency I have noticed that new recruits are few and far between. I personally love this game and would like to keep it interesting so I think any ideas that promote that should be welcome.

I think there should be more missions that can be added for agents to achieve. Just like in RL most people like to achieve and have goals that they can accomplish or at least work towards. I know I was thrilled when I finally got those new colored shoes. Took me awhile but I got them and now can proudly show them off.

I really like the ideas on expanding the Treasure Hunts. I would love to see "a brand new kind of Treasure Hunt" for our agency to compete in. Maybe there could be some kind of inter-agency treasure hunts/missions that we could compete in. Instead of competing with outside agencies it could be just between players within our agency to achieve.

Also what about a agency store...kind of like the detective shop. Maybe we could trade in trophys we aquire for items our agency could use to obtain special items that could be used during these Treasure Hunts. Only directors would be able to sell these items so that not just anyone could sell them.

These are just some suggestions...they are meant to help improve the game and promote teamwork. That is the reason I subscribe to this game and belong to an agency.

Aknas
Aknas
Con Artist

Jul-1-2008 03:27

Wow! So many suggestions and quite honestly I like them all. ;)

Of course, we could go on and on making suggestions and brainstorming. But ultimately, the admin is the one who will decide whether to implement these or not.

So I guess what I am trying to say is: Paging Sleuth Admin. Please read this thread and tell us what you think of the ideas and suggestions of the sleuth community.

Peace. :D

ija
ija
Sleuth About Town

Jul-1-2008 08:00

Thank you Aknas!
I do agree with you!
We need to some way get Sleuth Admin involved in this. :-)

Oh, I soo wish that he would approve of the development team suggestion from Breitkat, and be willing to tell something about the amount of effort he is willing to put in, and allow the community to organize and prioritize the suggestions.
- well, first we might need to have someone appointed to "contact person" who will be the leader of the development team (and I think that may be some of the active mods/editors that Ben chooses might be the right one?)
And, there need to be some kind of organisation of the team, so that those willing to involve will get oportunity, and suggestions/brainstormings have a channel to go into. And, there need to be a way for the community to impact the different ideas. And if Ben would be willing to give his comments on the different ideas, as to whether it fits HIS game or not, and whether it's much work connected to the idea or not, it would be excellent!
Then perhaps the development team and Ben together could make plans as to how they would like to proceed?

Good questions for the development team (community) to find answers to I think are:
* Are there any new skills that might be introduced to Noir? What are they good for, how do you use them, and how do you get them?
* Would new factions of some kind be interesting?
* Are there new quirks that can be introduced to cases?
* New items that would be nice? A new family of items?
* What kind of goals (personal, inter-agency, agency, short-term, long-term, group-competitions) that might be developed to add to the game?
* What will make the game even more inspiring and fun?

- one thought that have come to my mind are: could a special communication skill/knowledge, like knowing how to use morse, or a code-language(enigma??) be useful for something? May be that can give some extra information about something (what??) that can help in some way(how??)?


ija
ija
Sleuth About Town

Jul-1-2008 08:05

Some times I think that finding some goals that don't require doing most possible cases would be a good thing, as, even if we have the oportunity (in some way) might take more time than we are willing to put into the game. I don't know what kind of goals this should be, because I think it should be harder to get than the ability to solve AI cases, so if somebody got ideas for something we could ask Ben to give us here?

Jojo
Jojo
Old Shoe

Jul-1-2008 16:23

First of all, great thread here!

First, being someone who will always stand by Ben (until he performs a monstrosity, at least), I think we need to give him some understanding. Hypoware is a small company. It's run by basically a few people, and they have two complete games and communities to attend to and please. We can't expect them to be putting out updates every week or even every month when they only have a few "staff members," if you can even call them that. Hypoware is not a huge game company with hundreds of staff members.

Sure, the easy fix seems to be to say, "Well, hire some more staff members." But therein lies the problem. The company is small and can't afford to just hire full-time staff. For a while, Sleuth went years without profiting.

Now to the topic of SOM. Yes, it took over. It's a much larger community because the game is more attractive to most players. It has graphic game play, and that's appealing to more. So, Noir feels like it has been forgotten. However, we have to remember, SOM isn't even close to being completed in its release. There is still LOTS to release over there. It's a wonder Ben even found the time to create the Sleuthetania for us.

That said, the Sleuthetania is a bit of a let-down, yes. But we did get something! And we still have yet to know what will be going on there. Remember when Cairo was released? - It was just an extra city. A place to play cases. But now we have catacombs and other things for which to travel there. Give Ben some time; he'll make the Sleuthetania great: he just needs the time to do so.

There are some great ideas here. And we should never stop pumping them out. The Sleuthetania was a completely player-driven project. And it became a reality!



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