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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

Huglover
Huglover
Old Shoe

Jul-3-2008 11:40

Oh, hey, if anyone else would apply for the leader job, I will be more than happy to step aside, and be just a member, or may be even an outsider?
If someone that are good at talking to people, and including them would want the job, that would be even better than what I can offer.
I may have a servant's heart, but I am not too social skilled. Only that we need someone willing to do the job, if Ben allows us to create the development team.

I'd say that the first we would want/need are a new "message board of message boards", just like the one we have, called "Development Team", where the link will be from the City Hall page. Then we will inside of that create different message boards to help us follow up on the different topics. I would also suggest that we might want different people to lead the different boards or groups.
Within each message board or group we have threads to discuss different ideas, different story ideas, different picture ideas, different "technical issues" and so on, different programming tasks... - and may be even one board for "user guides"? - not to mention a board for ideas on how to attract more people to subscribe, like creating contests or anything?

If we want this board to be availiable to only subscribed people, to protect newbies from being scared from subscribing, we may ask Ben if that board be protected from the eyes of the unsubscribed?

Lady Jas
Lady Jas
The Chosen One

Jul-3-2008 11:57

Count me in for helping with anything as well.

lilangel
lilangel
Sleuth About Town

Jul-3-2008 12:29

Well, might I suggest we start with figuring out how many we want for this development team. Then once we get the members together, a separate board for them so that not everyone can see what we're doing with developments as we will need to communicate with each other.

I don't mind learning another program and language, but it will take some time. I can learn it, just have to balance that with sleuthing and housework.

Lady Jas
Lady Jas
The Chosen One

Jul-3-2008 13:16

Woah, before we jump ahead, we need to find out from Ben how many he's looking at for a development team, whether he wants there to be a total of 5, 10, etc.

I'll shoot him a message and ask him to respond! :)

Huglover
Huglover
Old Shoe

Jul-3-2008 13:21

Good point Lilangel!
I would want as many as possible to be involved and participating, but we might have some boards/groups that are open, and some that are restricted to specified groups?
If someone is working on a special "quest project", it would not be fun if everyone could be spying, on the other hand, it would be great if everyone would be able to come with ideas, help to sort out problems, opinions about prioritations...

Huglover
Huglover
Old Shoe

Jul-3-2008 13:31

When I say development team, I don't think only programming.
I think that may be the core programming team might best be done with perhaps 5 people, may be 10, but not more I think.
On the other hand there are so much more than the programming that makes up Sleuth. When I say development, I think about every piece that needs to be put together to form the "Sleuth experience".


Huglover
Huglover
Old Shoe

Jul-3-2008 13:35

Thank's Lady Jas :-)
We absolutely needs to involve Ben. Sleuth Noir is still HIS product, and it would be bad if he was not with us on this.
Without the blessing from Ben, everything will be in vain.

Thank you for helping us to get him involved. :-)
I would rather want to work WITH Ben, not against him.
- and I guess that is true with all the others as well. :-)


nicnic
nicnic
Battered Shoe

Jul-6-2008 01:24

Colossal Rant In Progress:
As a Noir player who moved over to Shades, I am having a hard time adjusting and need to rant and figured there's no better place to do it. After Ben revealed the upcoming new game (about a year ago at Sleuth Com, I believe), Noir died off, almost instantaneously. I really wholeheartedly think this announcement was a big part of why so many vets left Noir. At least that's what happened to my agency (who at one time were amongst the most active players). We just all said... whatever... let's take a break and we will start up in the new game again. And it was exciting... Having something new…

Yes, in Noir... we were all getting a bit bored being able to solve AI cases in our sleep. Yes... we were wondering what to do with the 3000 skill points we had accumulated and there were no more skills to buy. Yes... we had all the possible gear from AVH's and then some...

But guess what... I could count the number of "vets" that are actually actively playing Shades on one hand. It's a different game and very few of our reverend sleuthers that vowed to play the new game are actually there. You don't have to be smart to play Shades. And I always felt like you had to be smart to play Noir. Noir is like a big logic problem and you have to use deductive reasoning to solve your cases. That's what drew me to it in the first place. I love logic problems! And that's why our boards were always filled with posts that would make you spew whatever you were drinking out your nose because you were consumed with uncontrollable laughter. We had/have smart and witty people here.
And I guess I find the following post from Ben disturbing:
"Considering that Sleuth Noir is never going to make much money, and we're putting more of our eggs in the Shades of Mystery basket, it probably is important for us to find more ways that players can contribute to the available game content in order to keep things fresh."


nicnic
nicnic
Battered Shoe

Jul-6-2008 01:25

Does it say something about society in general that a product that is put out there as entertainment that actually requires that you use your brain can’t actually make significant amounts of money?
In Shades, at least so far, there is no brain-function required. You just click and click and ask questions until you run out of questions and hopefully you got enough evidence to accuse someone. Unlike Noir, there’s no formula. No deductive reasoning. No logic. The very few “tricks” I figured out in the first month of playing and most people over there still don’t get it. I PM them and explain and they still don’t get it.
Flash forward to what it is like in Shades. Very few people are actually there to play the game. I think the pretty graphics initially attracted people and then the realization that a free message board and chat room were much more appealing took over. People don’t talk about and debate the game passionately over there. There are actually very few posts that are about the game itself. And the ones that are about the game are responded to by the “popular” people that don’t really play the game themselves (according to what our standards of playing the game are) in an effort to sound smart (See below rant for definition of “popular”).
Take the worst summer we had in Noir with tweens posting random crap on the boards and magnify it about 10 times and that is a typical day in Shades. There is no respect for High Scorers. It doesn’t matter. What matters is if you have posted 98 consecutive uninteresting messages in the “Message Board Game Room”. That’s what makes you “popular”. Then all kinds of people post threads dedicated to the “popular” ones for obviously not quality, but quantity. And then everyone wants to be in cahoots with the mass-posters because… you know… they are the “cool” people.


nicnic
nicnic
Battered Shoe

Jul-6-2008 01:25

The rest of the posts are threads entitled “I Need Friends” for all those 11 year olds who figured out that logging into Sleuth does not get blocked by their parents internet-blocking for little kids who shouldn’t be logging on to adult sites tools. Which is both annoying and frightening for the demise of the younger generation, at the same time.
So after spending a couple of months over in Shades, I realized that Noir is a much more quality game. I will still play Shades, but I have been coming back to Noir as a refreshing outlet and a little brain-stimulation.
I guess I am just getting all deep and finding it a tad disturbing that admittedly Noir has no chance on the mass-market and Shades does. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I’m buying that. I don’t see the same level of dedication in Shades as there is/was here in Noir. And even as the ship is going down in Noir (or just the stern is peaking out of the icy depths of the ocean), there are still people that are insanely passionate about Noir. I don’t see that in Shades. Eventually, they could all literally move to a freewebs blog page and have the same level of enjoyment and self-appreciation. But only time will tell… And I will use this as another one of my personal “scientific studies” to keep trying to understand the mainstream human psyche.


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