Guidelines for Announcing and Joining PBEM Games Please Read

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Guidelines for Announcing and Joining PBEM Games Please Read

Postby protobob » Sat Nov 28, 2009 3:05 am

INSERT EDIT FROM THE MANAGEMENT (Vic): This is a great post for setting some community guidelines on organizing games in this sub forum. While they are by no means binding, I'd encourage everybody to read them and use what they can in organizing their PBEM games.

The following voluntary guidelines are suggested here in the hope that they will allow players to quickly find, and participate in, PBEM games in this forum.

Suggestions for the Host:

Topic Naming:
  • Include the game's name in the topic. This will help differentiate the various PBEM threads. This can be edited in after the game has started, but why not put it there from the start?
  • Append the terms 'Recruiting' or 'Full' after the name of your game in the topic, depending on whether you are looking for players to fill the game. This will help people spot new games starting up.
    • Example: Hell Hath No Fury - Recruiting

Topic Contents:
  • Lay out the ground rules for your game in the first post. This can include
    • The host's time zone
    • Policy for dropping/AI'ing players (no response for X days, etc.)
    • Policy for restarting the game (X number of players drop within Y turns of start, etc.)
    • General expectation of a schedule for submitting turns
    • Details on any special themes or play styles
  • Keep a list of all players in the OP (original post) that includes their forum name, avatar name and time zone.

Suggestions for the Players:

  • When signing up for a new game, include your email address, timezone and avatar name.
  • Consider whether your timezone and schedule will permit you to stick to the host's proposed turn schedule.
________________________________

My Original Introduction: I thought it would be a good idea to create guidelines that would help in setting up and maintaining of PBEM games. I'll start, but feel free to add your ideas and discuss mine. Once it's looking good I can tidy up the main post and maybe we can get Vic to sticky it for us.

Update Dec 4, 2009: I've updated this post with the suggestions I've received so far. Please review this and let me know if you have any further suggestions.
Last edited by protobob on Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:50 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: PBEM Guidelines

Postby Thrull » Sat Nov 28, 2009 8:23 pm

protobob wrote:I thought it would be a good idea to create guidelines that would help in setting up and maintaining of PBEM games. I'll start, but feel free to add your ideas and discuss mine. Once it's looking good I can tidy up the main post and maybe we can get Vic to sticky it for us.

1. Include the PBEM's 'game name' in the topic title. This will help differentiate the various PBEM threads. This can be edited in after the game has started.
2. Everyone include their forum name as part of their avatar name, if it differs. Example: Ichorish (protobob).
3. The game host keeps a list of all players in the OP that includes forum name, avatar name and time zone.
4. Update the thread for your game when you email the host a turn. This can prevent delays with odd email problems.
5. Inlcude 'Recruiting' in your thread title when looking for players, change it to 'Full' when the game has been filled up.

Add more or comment, please.


Great idea to start a thread like this. I was thinking of doing the same -- it will be very important for ensuring smooth, efficient running games as we all learn what works best.

I agree with all of your suggestions except for:

4. Update the thread for your game when you email the host a turn.


That is going to cause massive forum spam, and these forums are already weakening under the load. I would suggest instead making it the host's responsibility to set deadlines for turn responses, and then email someone when they get no turn from that person within the expected duration of time.

Here is a suggestion of my own:

Lay out the ground rules for your game in the first post. This can include:
  • Policy for dropping/AI'ing players (no response for X days, etc.)
  • Policy for restarting the game (X number of players drop within Y turns of start, etc.)
  • General expectation of a schedule for submitting turns (host should make his time-zone known, too).

Please continue with suggestions... I'm sure there are more ways to help people find the games they want, and to help those games run better.
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Re: PBEM Guidelines

Postby protobob » Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:06 pm

Yeah, I wasn't sure about item 4. It would apply more to a game where people are passing turns on to other people than the host. With the host being the center clearinghouse, if you will, there really isn't a need for it.

I like Your ground rules idea, too.
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Re: PBEM Guidelines

Postby Flop » Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:37 pm

protobob wrote:1. Include the PBEM's 'game name' in the topic title. This will help differentiate the various PBEM threads. This can be edited in after the game has started.
2. Everyone include their forum name as part of their avatar name, if it differs. Example: Ichorish (protobob).
3. The game host keeps a list of all players in the OP that includes forum name, avatar name and time zone.
4. Update the thread for your game when you email the host a turn. This can prevent delays with odd email problems.
5. Inlcude 'Recruiting' in your thread title when looking for players, change it to 'Full' when the game has been filled up.


I like 1, and I think it should be a general rule. However, I don't really like the others:

2-4 don't make for good general rules because they're only important to the people playing the game. If someone wants a name that doesn't include his forum name, I don't see any problem with that. He can just post what his name is in the thread. I agree that rule 3 would probably make things easier, but again, it's not really necessary. Same with 4. I like 5, but afaik only an admin can change a thread title. I could be wrong about that, though. Edit: I figured out how to edit a thread title, so I guess 5 is a good idea.

Another idea might be for the players to select an avatar when they sign up, so that there are no doubles. The avatars are numbered, so it should be pretty easy.
Last edited by Flop on Sun Nov 29, 2009 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PBEM Guidelines

Postby Hyfrydle » Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:52 pm

Also might be a good idea to include time zones.
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Re: PBEM Guidelines

Postby protobob » Fri Dec 04, 2009 8:49 pm

I've updated the original post with the suggestions received so far. Please feel free to comment or add more suggestions.
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Re: Guidelines for Announcing and Joining PBEM Games Please Read

Postby Tiavals » Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:06 pm

I suggest that every potential player say what his preference for the picture of his avatar is, by number or description. Such as: "I'd like to play the fat dude"
While there is no mechanical difference, it helps differentiate the players if there's only one picture each in the game, plus is more fun.
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Re: Guidelines for Announcing and Joining PBEM Games Please Read

Postby Spartacus » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:29 am

This suggestion doesn't have anything to do with announcing/joining the game itself, but: I'd like to suggest when adding in player's names at the game creation screen, add some indicator of the name of the game next to each player name. Initials of the game name are probably best - this helps for everyone to keep track of who is in which game, especially when hosting multiple games with the same people. It's a reminder check for each player to make sure they're sending in the right .trn file to cut down on back and forth emails.

(Where it says input player email, it doesn't actually matter if you put a email or not - it's simply a way to give the game an alias for each player.)
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Re: Guidelines for Announcing and Joining PBEM Games Please Read

Postby Thrull » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:20 pm

I have another bit of policy I think could use clarification for PBEM games. Since the game is being patched quite frequently, and since mid-game patching actually works with SI, it makes sense to state what your policy will be towards updating patches. Not just how they will be updated, but whether or not patches with major balance alterations will be applied in the middle of a game. Having it up in the air gives the host the option of not applying patches which hurt his position, or only applying patches which aid him/hurt his opponents.

I realize that "balance changes" represent the state that Vic intends the game to be in, but when the field of play can change drastically via an out-of-game decision from one of the players, even if he or she is the host, there's going to be the potential for disagreement. Just a disclaimer such as:

"This game will update as new patches are released"

or

"This game will use version x.xx and will not update"

would be beneficial, I think.
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