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What Can We Do to Help Sleuth?
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nicnic
nicnic
Battered Shoe

Mar-9-2009 21:36

Last night I spoke of some ideas I wanted to discuss with everyone on how to give a little kick-start to Sleuth. I would like to share these now and hear feedback. These things are not required of the Admin, but things we can do as a community to try to get things flowing again.

NOTE: Please do not bring up the development team. That ship has come and gone. This post is aimed purely at community-oriented initiatives, not changing the game itself.

Also, I would like to note that many players have been doing some really good things around here. The contests for free subs, ctown's radio show, AVH matches. I do not mean to discredit any of this. It's all wonderful. I just think we can do a little more :-)

#1 Advertising - Let's get out there and spread the word. This is a great little gem that we have found and there are probably others that would love it as much as we do. Do you belong to another internet site? A Group for Nail-Biters with Herpes? Post on the message board about Sleuth! (well maybe not that, but you get my meaning) Let others know outside of Sleuth what a great place this is. I would especially target (for Noir) adults who enjoy logic-type puzzles. That is what kept me addicted to this game for so long.


Replies

KOPPER
KOPPER
Sleuth About Town

Mar-17-2009 22:57

I'm disappointed to no dancing but eh it was an attempt. We have a great product in my opinion but you can't sell what isn't seen or known. If I didn't spell correctly, I blame it on the Guinness :) Happy Saint Patrick's Day

turtledove
turtledove
Gopher to the Sleuth Gods

Mar-18-2009 05:11

Great Breitkat!! Now we will know exactly what Ben's plans are for Noir. I hope it's good news, I'm keeping my fingers crossed :))

Carolyn Spark
Carolyn Spark
Vigilante

Mar-18-2009 08:52

Ooh the anticipation!
I'm excited. Is anyone else excited? :D

Secret_Squirrel
Secret_Squirrel
Safety Officer

Mar-22-2009 18:09

I'll just bump this to the top since a response is imminent.

nicnic
nicnic
Battered Shoe

Mar-22-2009 18:15

*giggles*

Sleuth Admin
Sleuth Admin
Tale Spinner

Mar-23-2009 01:07

Ah man. That’s a pretty big buildup for me to show up without my fancy fez.

I’ve been reading this thread for a little over a week now, every night intending to answer, but never quite deciding what my response will be. Thanks to some *ahem* gentle prodding from Sunny, Breit and SS, here I am.

Before I forget: one of my more egregious derelictions of adminly duties has been leaving the roster of game moderators parked somewhere around the end of George Bush’s first presidential term (W, not HW).

So, I’ve cleaned out some of the dead(est) wood in that regard, the following inactive moderators and editors have been relieved of their duties:
Reda
Jstkdn
LilRach
Calalta
Arabella Parker
I’m under no illusions that all of the remaining mods are active/regular sleuths, but at least they’ve all logged in in 2009.

As a first step to refreshing the team we’ve promoted a sleuth who has probably done something nice for each and every person who is bothering to read this thread.

Lady Jas is now a board Moderator and an Editor. Jas has the distinction of being the most determined and patient person to ever offer to help as a Sleuth Mod. I’m sure she’s going to do a great job.

It may be appropriate for us to do a little more planting and pruning in our little moderator bonsai orchard, or maybe not. We’ll see how it goes. I doubt anybody thinks that under-moderation or too few intros/SMs is the biggest hurdle Sleuth Noir currently faces.



Sleuth Admin
Sleuth Admin
Tale Spinner

Mar-23-2009 01:07

Now, on to the bigger question: What we want Noir to become and how that’s going to happen.

Personally, I’ve had to come to peace with the fact that Sleuth is not likely to ever be a full time gig for me. It was tantalizingly close for a couple years there, but it’s just a pretty daydream these days. Both games obviously have significant audiences out there. The very fact that so many of you care enough to carry on this conversation and keep the fire burning after the past couple years of fairly minimal updates illustrates that as well as anything.

But, unless a magic investor appears with a cape and an oversized check, or I manage to trip over a long-lost stash of gold krugerrands, my weekly contribution to Sleuth is likely to be limited to 10-15 hours a week, more than half of which is going to go to Shades. A lot of that Noir time will, out of necessity, go to keeping the lights on, the servers fed, and doling out my charmingly inept and sporadic attempts at customer service to paying subscribers.

So, the long and the short of it is, if I am to continue to be the primary generator and developer of new content, then that new stuff is likely to be something like one Sleuthetania sized update a year, and the occasional social event. I really don’t see putting in the kind of work that would be required to add a Cities of Mystery / Shadow of the Villains sized expansion.

I’d also be hesitant do something else like the Scripted Mystery Editor unless I was fairly certain that it would be more widely used and really enable you all to make content that everyone found compelling to play. That’s not to say that building another user content tool doesn’t interest me, I just haven’t heard a particularly exciting idea for one that I think would make a long term difference.



Sleuth Admin
Sleuth Admin
Tale Spinner

Mar-23-2009 01:07

So, the third option is to really open up the future of Sleuth Noir by making this an open source project. I have to say that this idea is the most promising to me, but there are also problems with it. I started going down this path last year after Huglover offered to do some development work on the project. I spent several hours and realized that I needed to take special caution not to:
1) Expose sensitive user data
2) Compromise the subscription path
3) Open up the game to cheat exploits
4) Unveil the answer to some of the deeper mysteries in the game, like Secret #1

Obviously #1 and #2 are more important than the last two, but a mystery game needs its mysteries.

In addition to the architectural changes necessary to provide some safeguards, the inner workings of the whole project would need to be pretty thoroughly documented in order for any other programmers to have a fighting chance at understanding how this thing works. When I started Sleuth Noir, I was just learning a lot of the constituent technologies and I never really intended for anybody else to ever work on it.

Anyway, what I’m saying is, getting Noir to the point where it could be partly or entirely open sourced constitutes a lot of up-front work. I’d need some assurance that there are multiple people interested and capable of contributing to make that kind of time investment worthwhile.

Ah, it’s late and I’ve been working hard today trying to finish up some construction work on our house. I’m beat. I’ll try to go into this a bit more tomorrow, and be a bit more cogent hopefully.

In the meantime, this week is actually a pretty good week for me to get a few things done on Sleuth (Sunny and Diego are out of town). If there is one smallish update you’d like to see, what would it be? Apartments and Villain Hunts in Cairo? Something else?

Good night all, and as always, keep your magnifying glass clean!



Rosamund Clifford
Rosamund Clifford
Tale Spinner

Mar-23-2009 07:00

Personally, I'd be more than happy with AV hunts and apartments in Cairo. As you know, I've been begging for them for ages :)

I'm also more than happy to leave everything in your hands rather than make the game an open project, but I'm aware that opinions difer on that subject.

And finally, I'd be glad if you processed a batch of new avatars three or four times a year, but that's really not crucial to the game. Thank you for your response, Ben.

Sleuth Sindy
Sleuth Sindy
Bounty Hunter

Mar-23-2009 07:50

Having just read the thread immediately above this, "Pyramids," perhaps you could open up a way for Sleuth's to get the skill they *didn't* get the first time from Shangrila? (negotiation/trap detection) I don't know how much work that would be, but it's something I would like to see if it doesn't involve a lot of time/effort.

Thanks, Ben, for your open and honest response. I'm also very sorry Sleuth hasn't turned out to be what you had hoped. I know it's very hard to see a dream die.

I'm very, very glad you created Sleuth, though, as I met my fiance through Sleuth. We never, never would have met if it hadn't been for Sleuth!


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