PbF: One thread per year instead of per turn?

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PbF: One thread per year instead of per turn?

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 17 Jun 2019, 17:11

Dear fellow Play-by-Forum players and GMs,

As many of our games have moved primary communication to Discord, I have been pondering something. I still want to ensure that we always post all adjudications to the forum for archival purposes. However, because we're not using the forum as often for public press, I wonder if it would make sense to reduce the number of new threads we create.

I want to make sure that PbF activity is still periodically visible to the general site populace, but we should also be considerate of just how often our new threads take up the "Currently on the Forum" section of the main page. I also don't want to have to exclude all our games from that list (as we've done with some subforums in the past).

We could hypothetically move to a model more akin to how CYOC or Mafia operates (largely one thread per game). However, I also don't think that it serves much organization-wise to lump all threads for a single game into one chronological stream. Digging through old games and records becomes a pain when they're in one mega-thread.

What I'd like to propose is this: from now on, each play-by-forum game that uses Discord should create one new forum thread per game-year rather than per turn. You'd still probably want a separate thread for the game start, game end, and AAR's. Each GM could make a call on whether Winter results would be the end of the last thread or the start of a new one, so long as they remain consistent.

Note: for GMs running games that use the forum messaging system, I'd want them to have the option to keep making a new thread every turn to encourage immediate public press after the adjudication; longer discussions could hypothetically get lost in a thread-per-year setup.

Does this seem reasonable to you all? But it just seems like it would be good stewardship with our PbF games to reduce the noise we create on the front page, especially as our turn-by-turn posts are primarily for record-keeping purposes at this stage.
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Re: PbF: One thread per year instead of per turn?

Postby asudevil » 17 Jun 2019, 18:27

I fully support this.
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Re: PbF: One thread per year instead of per turn?

Postby Woolgie » 17 Jun 2019, 18:52

I was going to stop reading to write that most games don’t span more than one year. Then I continued reading and realised I need sleep.

I support this.

I presume it’s just a change in convention amongst GMs? No infrastructure required.
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Re: PbF: One thread per year instead of per turn?

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 17 Jun 2019, 19:14

Woolgie wrote:I presume it’s just a change in convention amongst GMs? No infrastructure required.

Correct. We would just make a new thread when a new game-year starts, rather than at every turn.

So instead of 3-5 threads per year....
Some Game: 1901 Spring Orders
Some Game: 1901 Fall Orders
Some Game: 1901 Winter Adjustments
Some Game: 1902 Spring Orders
Some Game: 1902 Spring Retreats
Some Game: 1902 Fall Orders
Some Game: 1902 Fall Retreats
Some Game: 1902 Winter Adjustments
Some Game: 1903 Spring Orders
Some Game: 1903 Spring Retreats
Some Game: 1903 Fall Orders
Some Game: 1903 Winter Adjustments

It would be one thread per year...
Some Game: 1901
Some Game: 1902
Some Game: 1903


And each turn within the year (orders, retreats, etc.) would be new posts in that thread.
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Re: PbF: One thread per year instead of per turn?

Postby sinnybee » 17 Jun 2019, 21:44

Woolgie wrote:I was going to stop reading to write that most games don’t span more than one year. Then I continued reading and realized I need sleep.

Awww

Good idea, NoPun.
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Re: PbF: One thread per year instead of per turn?

Postby EpicDim » 18 Jun 2019, 06:38

I personally dislike one per year. It makes finding the maps and adjudication that much harder. Having to scroll down to find retreats and builds and Fall and Spring through all the public press can be a pain. I know as a player in those games it has been more difficult to go back and wade through the adjudications.

That being said, if we're going to make a rule, I'll follow it.
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Re: PbF: One thread per year instead of per turn?

Postby Aeschines » 18 Jun 2019, 16:21

I'd suggest that GMs, when they post the spring orders also immediately post the "fall" and "winter" below it (to ensure that the three phases are one after the other). That way, all the maps are right up at the top of each thread and don't get lost in the posts people make afterwards
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Re: PbF: One thread per year instead of per turn?

Postby GhostEcho » 19 Jun 2019, 01:23

I feel that this is something that ought to be left up to the GM. It might be worth encouraging GMs to explain how they're going to be organizing things.

Left to my own devices, I'd separate threads very differently - probably a pinned one for game maps, a running thread of maps/orders/questions about resolutions, and one (or more) for on-forum "press".
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Re: PbF: One thread per year instead of per turn?

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 19 Jun 2019, 17:05

GhostEcho wrote:I feel that this is something that ought to be left up to the GM. It might be worth encouraging GMs to explain how they're going to be organizing things.

Left to my own devices, I'd separate threads very differently - probably a pinned one for game maps, a running thread of maps/orders/questions about resolutions, and one (or more) for on-forum "press".


My personal preference would be to allow every GM to organize their threads as they desire as well. My main concern is that until we get some significant changes to how forum threads are listed on the main site page, we might be inadvertently causing problems for other forum users. In particular, new game listings (both for PbF and non-PbF) get buried pretty quickly.

At the moment, there's only an on/off switch (per subforum) when it comes to whether a thread is listed on the main page. We could start delisting our individual game subforums, but that has drawbacks. Occasionally we see new users and fresh interest in PbF from persons that check out such posts. However, having every turn update hit that page has the effect of overdoing it.

That's why I've proposed this potential change in standards, particularly for games using Discord, since the forum in a Discord-based game is largely used for archival, permanent hosting, and public viewing (rather than for direct communication to players).

Long-term, I'd like to build a better site-to-forum integration that can provide adequate visibility to multiple types of threads at once. But for the near-term, our PbF games provide the bulk of new threads created, and they aren't even being used as the primary communication medium for those games.
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Re: PbF: One thread per year instead of per turn?

Postby ColonelApricot » 19 Jun 2019, 22:10

Maybe you are overestimating the need for PBF messages on the main page. Maybe main page users never access a PBF message. You could investigate that need and potentially drop them completely. If I'm interested in PBF stuff I either access from active topics list or go to the PBF subforum.
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