Quadrophenia Revisited

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Quadrophenia Revisited

Postby Riptide » 22 Dec 2011, 20:55

Back in a different life I played in Dunkelseele's variant Quadrophenia. I really enjoyed it, although it failed due to excessive NMRs. I have recently returned to playdip after an absence of over two years, and I wanted to start another game of Quadrophenia. However, I do not know how large the pool of people who play forum variants is, so I do not know if this would be a realistic idea. I also do not know what games other GMs are planning for the near future, and as Quadrophenia is a player intensive game it would have to happen when not very many other forum games are being played.

So what I am asking is whether or not there is a large enough player pool, or should I scale Quadrophenia down (by making it three groups instead of four, or doing it on a map with less powers), and if there is the player base when would be a good time to start the game?
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Re: Quadrophenia Revisited

Postby theangrycastle » 22 Dec 2011, 23:36

I suspect it could. We have a game around here, World War IV, that has something like 30 players. There's issues with NMR's, true, but overall its been pretty smooth.
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Re: Quadrophenia Revisited

Postby Freddafred » 23 Dec 2011, 00:41

I am in World War 4 and we have had a few NMR'S but it is going well.
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Re: Quadrophenia Revisited

Postby asudevil » 23 Dec 2011, 00:52

I think it can work. If you have a strong GM. Not for the weak or faint-hearted. BigBert is WW4's GM and he has an assistant in sinnybee. I think this has helped too.
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Re: Quadrophenia Revisited

Postby Riptide » 23 Dec 2011, 06:16

I was not anticipating the GMing to be a problem. I have GMed before, and know what I am doing. And Quadrophenia isn't as hard to GM as it sounds with the number of people. There are four players per country, and they issue orders in groups, not all at once.

How close is WW4 to being over?
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Re: Quadrophenia Revisited

Postby Pedros » 23 Dec 2011, 08:56

Hi Riptide, and welcome to the pool of GMs.

The player base here in the Forum fluctuates very markedly, both in number and make-up. There are usually a number of players who play several games at once, and who stick around for quite a time, but others play one at once or only a particular kind of game and relatively infrequently. But many players give the variants a go for a relatively short time and then either go back to the main site or else decide that Dip games aren't for them and disappear completely. The newer players also can leave a game at short notice or without any, and in a game with large numbers of players this can be a serious problem - BigBert who's GMing WW4 is probably best placed to comment on that.

The numebr of games played at once seems to be around the ten to twelve mark fairly regularly at present, increasing slightly during the northern summer when both players and GMs, at least the younger ones, have more time on their hands. And there are usually between two and half-a-dozen recruiting. Games which sound a bit different often recruit fairly quickly, but some can take a long time. But it isn't a hard-and-fast rule - Haven has been stuck around 10 or 11 (out of 19) for a long time now. I've also been trying to float a tournament for teams playing one game each player for several months, but that also is hard going. Certainly I would expect a game like Quadraphenia to take a while to fill up (with the danger of course that by the time it has done some players will have gone to other games and not confirm!)

Hope this helps. I'm going to move this topic to New Games, which is where it really belongs - you're likely to get ses from a wider group there as well.
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Re: Quadrophenia Revisited

Postby BigBert » 24 Dec 2011, 10:32

Seeing that my name has been mentioned here a few times (I'm famous! Yeah, I did it!), let me comment on this.

I certainly think it can be done to run a game like this. As said World War IV had 35 players at the start, and that's been running rather smoothly. The main problem is indeed that quite regularly people drop out. Usually, they don't inform you that they stop playing, they just suddenly disappear from the site completely. I think this has happened in WW4 about ten times or so until now (after seven game years, four real-life months). But as long as you just keep on recruiting new players through new posts, I think you will manage to keep the game full most of the time.

What I think would be problematic for a game like Quadrophenia is the long intervals at which players have to make orders. If you issue orders only every fourth turn, that would mean that in practice players have to give order only once every two weeks or so. I think that's what will cause the most NMR's: at such a low level of activity per player, people will just forget about the game altogether. So I would advice you to be very pro-active in sending reminders, perhaps to the extent of each turn informing everyone who have to issue orders. Also, the fact that everyone has to issue orders so irregularly might make it difficult for you to detect who's missing.

So how could you solve this? Perhaps you could allow for an emergency-general-like setup within the team: that is if someone fails to issue orders then let someone else playing for that same country issue the orders instead. Admittedly this somewhat spoils the idea of having four players all issuing orders for a country, but it at least limits the number of NMRs. What you could also do is set entry condition: players having to shows some sign of reliability before being able to join (such as premium status, NMR/surrender percentage, classicists membership, whatever). Though this will severly limit the number of NMRs, it also means that it will be much more difficult (probably prohibitively difficult) to recruit enough players.

So in conclusion I think it can work. But it will take quite some time to fill up, you have to send out confirmation messages once you actually get started (because by the time the game takes off some of the early sign ups have certainly disappeared), and you have to be very on top of sending out reminders to everyone. Good luck with it!
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