Realm Creation Guide WIP

For Wizard Kings (and higher) to discuss the Realm Editor and the creation of realms.
User avatar
SpiteAndMalice
DEMIGOD
Posts: 6276
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:45 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Realm Creation Guide WIP

Post by SpiteAndMalice » Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:07 am

In general I think the moderation guide is heavy handed at present.

From the guidelines given, I think there are only a few points which should result in out right rejection of a realm. The majority I feel should result in feedback being given to a realm designer, but ultimately it should be the designer's choice as to whether a realm is released or not.

In particular, you already have a player rating system in place which has the aim of filtering out the good/bad realms in the long term. I feel that you need to let that system do its job, rather than putting it in the hands of realm moderators who you are being asking to act subjectively by many guidelines in deciding which realms should be released.

I've given feeback on each guideline, and numbered so that others may copy as a template and give their own thoughts too should they wish.

1. No clear story or theme: Think about this as a starting point before even entering the realm editor.

This should be feedback to designers, and assistance should be offered here, but it’s covered by player feedback ratings.

2. Too many spelling and grammar errors: An occasional minor error is ok, but don’t let too many slip through.

This should be moderated. A tool which allows moderators to download the full text content of a realm would be very useful. Being able to play a realm without time limit could also help.

3. Inconsistent with game lore: Check the texts written by Allen Stroud, and the game lore thread in the Realm Design forum. If you have doubts, please post a question.

This should not be moderated. You just need to tag a realm as fitting with lore or not doing, this is covered by the player feedback ratings.


4. Badly thought out text: Badly written, or containing logical inconsistencies with the story and theme of the realm. Text which is too brief or uninteresting.

This should be feedback to designers, help should be offered, but it’s covered by player feedback ratings. (How uninteresting is too uninteresting?)

5. Offensive language: Unnecessarily offensive language is used without proper context, or a character’s offensive speech is not justified by character traits and game lore.

This should be moderated.

6. Breaking the Fourth Wall: The text is addressing the player as the realm designer, or referring to things outside the context of the realm or game lore.

This should not be moderated, like humour it can be done well or done badly, you just need to tag a realm as fitting with lore or not doing, and it’s covered by the player feedback ratings.

7. Whimsical humour: Humour is difficult to write, and you should generally avoid it unless it comes from the personality of a well-defined character. Trivial or silly humour must be avoided, especially where it undermines the game lore.

Humour is difficult to write, it’s also subjective. This should not be moderated, it’s covered by the player feedback ratings.

8. Unnatural or overly contrived terrain formation: Too many straight edges, too much symmetry, not organic or natural looking.

This should not be moderated.

9. Cluttered structures: Towns, settlements or towers place too close to each other such that the clutter may cause confusion. In particular the larger settlements need room.

This should be feedback to designers, but it’s covered by player feedback ratings.

10. Realm navigation too convoluted: The realm layout is too confusing and there are too many choices of direction to go in without sufficient guidance.

This should be feedback to designers, but it’s covered by player feedback ratings.

11. Insufficient exploration help: The player is not given enough advice or hints about where to go from encounters, town texts or rumours.

This should be feedback to designers, but it’s covered by player feedback ratings.

12. Confusing travel lines: Tower and sea travel lines are easily confused with each other making it difficult to see destinations.

This should be feedback to designers, but it’s covered by player feedback ratings. (You may have occasions where travel lines are deliberately confusing as part of a map design i.e. A Wizard Lord tricks a player.

13. Use of predefined encounters: This will no longer be allowed. You have to write custom encounters for your realm.

Just remove the predefined encounters.

14. Uninteresting choices: The encounters generally do not offer the player interesting choices, or the choices seem too arbitrary. Occasionally it is fine to have an encounter with just one choice if it supports the story and theme, and it is also OK to have some purely informative encounters (with no choices), but these shouldn’t be overused.

This should be feedback to designers, but it’s covered by player feedback ratings.

15. Newline characters in encounter choice boxes: Don’t insert newline characters in the outcome choice text (the boxes where the player chooses a response). The text will become too small.

This should be moderated.

16. Town descriptions are missing: You must have descriptions for all your towns.

This should be feedback to designers, but it’s covered by player feedback ratings.

17. Difficulty does not match realm level: The realm is either too easy or too difficult for the assigned realm level.

Difficulty is quite a subjective thing. This should be feedback to designers, but it’s covered by player feedback ratings.


18. Loot farm: The realm gives far too much gold rewards without a corresponding level of challenge.

This should be moderated.
Image

The Guild of the Cephalopods is now recruiting - We embrace all.

- Chief Tentacle Arranger in The Guild of the Cephalopods.

User avatar
Farious
Posts: 1211
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2015 9:36 am
Location: England
Contact:

Re: Realm Creation Guide WIP

Post by Farious » Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:20 am

SpiteAndMalice wrote:ultimately it should be the designer's choice as to whether a realm is released or not.
No, it should be Snapshot's and the moderation system they wish to implement:- it's their servers and their world they are trying to create.
SpiteAndMalice wrote:you already have a player rating system in place which has the aim of filtering out the good/bad realms
Frankly the Player Feedback ratings imho are basically a reflection of: 'Is this Realm hard & how much gold do I get?' & are not a measure of quality in any sense of the term at all. Personally, I completely ignore them.
SpiteAndMalice wrote:1. No clear story or theme: Think about this as a starting point before even entering the realm editor.

This should be feedback to designers, and assistance should be offered here, but it’s covered by player feedback ratings.
The rating gives no indication of why a player has rated the Realm such. They might have loved the plot but found the map not to their liking.
SpiteAndMalice wrote:2. Too many spelling and grammar errors: An occasional minor error is ok, but don’t let too many slip through.

This should be moderated. A tool which allows moderators to download the full text content of a realm would be very useful. Being able to play a realm without time limit could also help.
I wouldn't say no to a tool, but the time limit thing isn't really a problem as we can open the Realm in the Realm Editor and look at it that way.
SpiteAndMalice wrote:3. Inconsistent with game lore: Check the texts written by Allen Stroud, and the game lore thread in the Realm Design forum. If you have doubts, please post a question.
This should not be moderated. You just need to tag a realm as fitting with lore or not doing, this is covered by the player feedback ratings.
I am personally happy with the tag idea provided there are restrictions on what players get from non-lore Realms. Personally I can see why Snapshot would want to create a consistent experience & theme for their world and if such a tag was ever implemented I would avoid all non-lore Realms.
SpiteAndMalice wrote:4. Badly thought out text: Badly written, or containing logical inconsistencies with the story and theme of the realm. Text which is too brief or uninteresting.

This should be feedback to designers, help should be offered, but it’s covered by player feedback ratings. (How uninteresting is too uninteresting?)
Again, the feedback system is no measure of this at all.
SpiteAndMalice wrote:6. Breaking the Fourth Wall: The text is addressing the player as the realm designer, or referring to things outside the context of the realm or game lore.

This should not be moderated, like humour it can be done well or done badly, you just need to tag a realm as fitting with lore or not doing, and it’s covered by the player feedback ratings.
If your trying to create a consistent feel & experience to a game that 'protects it' from real world politics, then it should be.
SpiteAndMalice wrote:7. Whimsical humour: Humour is difficult to write, and you should generally avoid it unless it comes from the personality of a well-defined character. Trivial or silly humour must be avoided, especially where it undermines the game lore.

Humour is difficult to write, it’s also subjective. This should not be moderated, it’s covered by the player feedback ratings.
Again, it's not, and because humour is subjective is the very reason it should be moderated. One person's joke is another person's offence, one person's parody is another's potential lawsuit.
SpiteAndMalice wrote:8. Unnatural or overly contrived terrain formation: Too many straight edges, too much symmetry, not organic or natural looking.

This should not be moderated.
It's about look & feel, I can see why you wouldn't want to have maps in the shape of a smiley etc.
SpiteAndMalice wrote:9. Cluttered structures: Towns, settlements or towers place too close to each other such that the clutter may cause confusion. In particular the larger settlements need room.

This should be feedback to designers, but it’s covered by player feedback ratings.
Nope.
SpiteAndMalice wrote:10. Realm navigation too convoluted: The realm layout is too confusing and there are too many choices of direction to go in without sufficient guidance.

This should be feedback to designers, but it’s covered by player feedback ratings.
Nah.
SpiteAndMalice wrote:11. Insufficient exploration help: The player is not given enough advice or hints about where to go from encounters, town texts or rumours.

This should be feedback to designers, but it’s covered by player feedback ratings.
You only get to rate a Realm 1 - 5, how do you know a player thought it sucked because they got lost? Or they got lost because they didn't look at the Rumour section of Towns or read any the Encounter text?
SpiteAndMalice wrote:12. Confusing travel lines: Tower and sea travel lines are easily confused with each other making it difficult to see destinations.

This should be feedback to designers, but it’s covered by player feedback ratings. (You may have occasions where travel lines are deliberately confusing as part of a map design i.e. A Wizard Lord tricks a player.
Travel lines are part of the gui, as such they should be easy to read imho.
SpiteAndMalice wrote:13. Use of predefined encounters: This will no longer be allowed. You have to write custom encounters for your realm.

Just remove the predefined encounters.
Can't argue with that.
SpiteAndMalice wrote:14. Uninteresting choices: The encounters generally do not offer the player interesting choices, or the choices seem too arbitrary. Occasionally it is fine to have an encounter with just one choice if it supports the story and theme, and it is also OK to have some purely informative encounters (with no choices), but these shouldn’t be overused.

This should be feedback to designers, but it’s covered by player feedback ratings.
Disagree.
SpiteAndMalice wrote:16. Town descriptions are missing: You must have descriptions for all your towns.

This should be feedback to designers, but it’s covered by player feedback ratings.
Again, it's a look, feel, & quality thing. Describing the appearance and ambience of a Town or an event that occurred there is a good way to add depth and bring the player into the story being told.
SpiteAndMalice wrote:17. Difficulty does not match realm level: The realm is either too easy or too difficult for the assigned realm level.

Difficulty is quite a subjective thing. This should be feedback to designers, but it’s covered by player feedback ratings.
This is probably one of the only things reflected by the Player Feedback ratings :) 1 star, the player thought it was difficult, 5 stars, the player thought it was easy, but I don't think that is what the Feedback rating is there for and I don't think it helps Realm Creators' motivation to get a naff rating because their Realm can't be done in 30 minutes and doesn't give the player 200 gold with every Encounter and 6 free Sapphire Dragons for the Palace battle.

Anyway, that's my two pence worth :)

Psylum
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:15 pm

Re: Realm Creation Guide WIP

Post by Psylum » Wed Dec 09, 2015 1:55 pm

No amount of good writing is going to save a badly designed realm. Story telling In video games media are notoriously bad/hard to do with triple A game titles. Telltale games do the story telling but have bad game mechanics. If you tell a story in video games you have to do it by making it apart of the game mechanics so the player experiences the story. I also didn't buy a video game to read restrictive moderated short stories. I can do that on short story writing forums and find much more appealing subjects. The story has 0 impact on my experience of your realms. The only realms encounters I've read more then a few sentences of is Spites Trivia questions because the encounters where games.

I agree with Spites opinions on moderating and on realm design advice.

User avatar
Tess
GOD
Posts: 2217
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:23 pm
Location: Truro

Re: Realm Creation Guide WIP

Post by Tess » Wed Dec 09, 2015 1:57 pm

Psylum wrote:The only realms encounters I've read more then a few sentences of is Spites Trivia questions because the encounters where games.
Fair enough. I hope that the procedurally generated realms when they come will totally satisfy what you're looking for.

User avatar
RafiRomero
Posts: 1278
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:36 am
Location: Cumbria, UK
Contact:

Re: Realm Creation Guide WIP

Post by RafiRomero » Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:16 pm

I play realms almost exclusively for the stories: for fighting I have PvP.

Before moderation, I played a number of bad (both writing and design) realms. These were not one-star realms, people had played them and rated them, presumably because they had yet to see better. These harm the game. If a new player's first experience of Realms is bad, they may not come back.

That said, perhaps there should be two pools of realms: the moderated/ lore-complaint realms, and then another pool that is unmoderated (barring offensive content) and relies solely on the star ranking system. I'd hope Arenji would submit her awesome realms for moderation, and Spite's realm (not played it, but I'm hearing a lot of love:) would fit in perfectly in the other pool.
This way, as a player, you know what you're getting (so you would expect some garbage in the unmoderated pool, you will also find some gems). As a realm designer, you can choose what to aim for.
Image

Psylum
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:15 pm

Re: Realm Creation Guide WIP

Post by Psylum » Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:46 pm

RafiRomero wrote:Before moderation, I played a number of bad (both writing and design) realms. These were not one-star realms, people had played them and rated them, presumably because they had yet to see better. These harm the game. If a new player's first experience of Realms is bad, they may not come back.
I agree but I don't think the new player realm impressions have improved. I'll check back in a few months to see how the realms are looking but I don't think many new solo players will.

Al-Khwarizmi
Posts: 318
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:08 am

Re: Realm Creation Guide WIP

Post by Al-Khwarizmi » Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:55 pm

I basically agree with everything Spite said about realm creation and moderation.

I do enjoy story in games, but I'd rather have the option to play wild stories of all kinds of genres, including humor, regardless of whether they fit with lore or not. The greatest thing about user-created content is, IMO, the crazy stuff people come up with.

I think clearly separating Snapshot-approved in-lore realms from the rest, but still letting us choose to play the non-lore realms, would be a win-win for everyone.

And I don't really understand players who want to punish the players who want to play non-lore realms by leaving them without rewards. As long as they aren't loot farms (which we all agree should not be allowed) what's the problem? Live and let live. And note that I would be OK with no rewards, as I don't care that much about loot, but I think making a distinction between first-class and second-class players based entirely in a matter of taste (what they are looking for in realms) would be quite misguided.

User avatar
NoWorries
GOD
Posts: 5039
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:17 am
Location: Baldrlux.com
Contact:

Re: Realm Creation Guide WIP

Post by NoWorries » Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:20 pm

Some of the points of view expressed in this thread seem to turn on whether a person cares much or is invested much in whether the Realms are integral components of an RPG or even a social RPG experience. As envisioned in the Kickstarter, the Realms are intended to be and support both RPG and social RPG experiences. Snapshot is still iterating improvements in this regard. I'm hesitant to nerf RPG-related standards until the full panoply of RPG-related incentives and rewards (e.g., social rank progression) and so forth are introduced.

Of course, there are ways to improve Realms which might open other doors to allow non-Lore and non-RPG Realms. For example, there might be non-competitive friendly Realms where players can do anything they like except promote abuse. But so long as we have only one kind of Realm allowed, we need to support the original RPG-positive vision for Realms and their still-planned related features. Otherwise, Realms become an incoherent panoply of playing experiences without any cohesion because a 5-star rating system alone is not a sufficient means to distinguish what is what.
___________________________
  • One Theme to rule them all, One Theme to find them, One Theme to bring them all and in the Chaos bind them.
    NoWorries plays as Baldr, God of Wonder & Progress | Compete together with Baldr in the Order of Baldrlux

User avatar
SpiteAndMalice
DEMIGOD
Posts: 6276
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:45 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Realm Creation Guide WIP

Post by SpiteAndMalice » Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:42 pm

Farious wrote:
SpiteAndMalice wrote:ultimately it should be the designer's choice as to whether a realm is released or not.
No, it should be Snapshot's and the moderation system they wish to implement:- it's their servers and their world they are trying to create.
Snapshot can implement any moderation system they wish, but that system does not need to be one in which moderators have the final say on what is released. Moderation can take the form of control or it can take the form of guidance and cooperation. We currently have the former system in place, I'm of the view point that we should have the later.

Farious wrote:
SpiteAndMalice wrote:you already have a player rating system in place which has the aim of filtering out the good/bad realms
Frankly the Player Feedback ratings imho are basically a reflection of: 'Is this Realm hard & how much gold do I get?' & are not a measure of quality in any sense of the term at all. Personally, I completely ignore them.
Then improve the player feedback system, this needs to be done regardless. A heavy handed moderation system is not a fix for a poor player feedback system.

I'll not repeat this for each separate point as it applies generally to many of them.
Farious wrote:
SpiteAndMalice wrote:1. No clear story or theme: Think about this as a starting point before even entering the realm editor.

This should be feedback to designers, and assistance should be offered here, but it’s covered by player feedback ratings.
The rating gives no indication of why a player has rated the Realm such. They might have loved the plot but found the map not to their liking.
So give players the means to leave written feedback.


Farious wrote:
SpiteAndMalice wrote:3. Inconsistent with game lore: Check the texts written by Allen Stroud, and the game lore thread in the Realm Design forum. If you have doubts, please post a question.
This should not be moderated. You just need to tag a realm as fitting with lore or not doing, this is covered by the player feedback ratings.
I am personally happy with the tag idea provided there are restrictions on what players get from non-lore Realms. Personally I can see why Snapshot would want to create a consistent experience & theme for their world and if such a tag was ever implemented I would avoid all non-lore Realms.
It's your prerogative to like or dislike what you wish, but where is the option for players who dislike lore realms and would prefer to play in non-lore realms to be able to do that?

Farious wrote:
SpiteAndMalice wrote:6. Breaking the Fourth Wall: The text is addressing the player as the realm designer, or referring to things outside the context of the realm or game lore.

This should not be moderated, like humour it can be done well or done badly, you just need to tag a realm as fitting with lore or not doing, and it’s covered by the player feedback ratings.
If your trying to create a consistent feel & experience to a game that 'protects it' from real world politics, then it should be.
There a mile of distance between something fitting in with a game's lore, and it going into the realm of real world politics. Rejecting a realm because it is political is one thing, rejecting it because the realm designer addressed the player is completely different from that.
Farious wrote:
SpiteAndMalice wrote:7. Whimsical humour: Humour is difficult to write, and you should generally avoid it unless it comes from the personality of a well-defined character. Trivial or silly humour must be avoided, especially where it undermines the game lore.

Humour is difficult to write, it’s also subjective. This should not be moderated, it’s covered by the player feedback ratings.
Again, it's not, and because humour is subjective is the very reason it should be moderated. One person's joke is another person's offence, one person's parody is another's potential lawsuit.
Humour being subjective is the very reason that it shouldn't be moderated.

If you're going to go down the route of saying that that runs the risk of offending people should be removed from the game, then you need to remove humour from the game period.

You could moderate on the basis of removing anything from the game that offends people, but they you'll also need to remove the following from the game:

Gods
Paladins
Elves with pink hair. ;-)

Anyway the guidance that was put forward doesn't cover humour that offends, so as it stands you can't moderate that, you can only moderate humour on the basis of it being too whimsical, trivial, or silly. I don't know about you, but I pity Pam Ayers should she ever find her way into the game.

I don't know though, maybe her poems offend people.
Image

The Guild of the Cephalopods is now recruiting - We embrace all.

- Chief Tentacle Arranger in The Guild of the Cephalopods.

User avatar
SpiteAndMalice
DEMIGOD
Posts: 6276
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:45 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Realm Creation Guide WIP

Post by SpiteAndMalice » Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:55 pm

Farious wrote:
SpiteAndMalice wrote:8. Unnatural or overly contrived terrain formation: Too many straight edges, too much symmetry, not organic or natural looking.

This should not be moderated.
It's about look & feel, I can see why you wouldn't want to have maps in the shape of a smiley etc.

You wouldn't want to have maps in the shape of a smiley. How do you know what others would like to make if they were allowed the creativity and the means to do so?
beautiful-palm-island-in-dubai-wallpaper.jpg


Farious wrote:
SpiteAndMalice wrote:17. Difficulty does not match realm level: The realm is either too easy or too difficult for the assigned realm level.

Difficulty is quite a subjective thing. This should be feedback to designers, but it’s covered by player feedback ratings.
This is probably one of the only things reflected by the Player Feedback ratings :) 1 star, the player thought it was difficult, 5 stars, the player thought it was easy, but I don't think that is what the Feedback rating is there for and I don't think it helps Realm Creators' motivation to get a naff rating because their Realm can't be done in 30 minutes and doesn't give the player 200 gold with every Encounter and 6 free Sapphire Dragons for the Palace battle.

Anyway, that's my two pence worth :)
If realm designers are bothered about realm feedback ratings then they should create realms that players want to play.

I think it's understandable that early on after the full release of the game that players were looking for a realm to give them gold. Long term I think player's priorities would have shifted and as a result their realm ratings would have followed. But now we'll never know, because those players who were playing realms for gold aren't going to be playing the realms that are left available now in any case.

There seems to be a mentality here that if you take what is desirable away from a person because it's not what you want them to do that they'll switch over to thing which you want them to do even though it's less desirable to them. They won't life doesn't work like that, they'll just go find something else to do full stop.
Image

The Guild of the Cephalopods is now recruiting - We embrace all.

- Chief Tentacle Arranger in The Guild of the Cephalopods.

Locked