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Author Topic: Mortality Rate of Roleplays  (Read 825 times)

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Offline Undercov3rL0verTopic starter

Mortality Rate of Roleplays
« on: May 22, 2010, 11:23:09 PM »
I have been vexed by a certain problem, and this problem has followed me along several rp sites, including here on Elliquiy. The problem I am referring to is RP Mortality.  No matter where I go, no matter what I try, the rp's simply die off.  Some of them last a month or two, some of them a week, but in general, I have yet to find an RP that can last very long, let alone finish.  I've had a few decent one-on-one rp's with my boyfriend, though we usually post those via private message, but very few group roleplays seem to get very far, and those that do usually die eventually.  So I come to you, dear Elliquiy, with questions. What techniques have you found for prolonging the life of your rp's, what things kill an rp, why do you think people suddenly stop posting, etc.

Please, if you have an answer to these questions, or just want to weigh in on the issue, please reply. I eagerly await your responses.

Offline Brandon

Re: Mortality Rate of Roleplays
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2010, 11:43:03 PM »
In all honesty the life of roleplays is likely finite from the get go, meaning itll end sometime. It may run a month, six months, a year, I had one run for 3 years on Elliquiy but it will end eventually. Even here on Elliquiy I only have 1 roleplay that has run over a year and thats To tame the heart with Saffron (a fact I am greatly thankful for). Generally you have to find the right writing partner but theres no garantee that he/she wont loose interest either. The right partner is the biggest key, if you want good and long lasting roleplays you have to find the few dedicated people that are out there

When you advertise for a game in the players wanted section, youre always taking a chance that that person will disappear on you. Its almost as likely that you will never know what happened. Did Iscare them off? Did they just loose interest? Did their Real life call them away to other things? I've asked myself those questions after a dead roleplay happened more times then I can count. Sometimes the people disappear and you dont hear from them till months later (sometimes you never hear from them again at all), other times they end the game and will never tell you even if you send them a private messege, other times the roleplay goes on "hold" and then never gets touched again even after you send a PM 3-6 months later, and rarely someone will acctually tell you that they dont want to play anymore and why.

Unfortunately that is the reality of online roleplay everywhere. You might find a good game or two over several years (like I have) but its very likely that youll have a staggering dead game to good game ratio in that time too

Offline Rayne Bluestone

Re: Mortality Rate of Roleplays
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2010, 02:00:33 AM »
As Brandon stated its a crap shoot, and its all about finding the right people.  I am sure I have probably greatly annoyed Brandon with my post for several weeks then disappear for a month.  Yet patience and preserverance is key, and you will find the right people.

Offline Brandon

Re: Mortality Rate of Roleplays
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2010, 02:12:59 AM »
Oh no, you keep coming back and never ignore me so I consider you a dedicated person by now. I can deal with long periods between posts, I just hate being ignored

Offline zemo8801

Re: Mortality Rate of Roleplays
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2010, 02:38:51 AM »
Trust me this is a good enough sign two complete tales, and almost 4000 post that is just like a lot of post but most of the games have died. So that stuff happens.

Offline King_Furby

Re: Mortality Rate of Roleplays
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2010, 04:07:33 AM »
It depends alot on plot as well, a pure sex based RP won't last nearly as long as a plot game with adult rp mixed in. My year + games lasted mainly due to the game moveing toward something. It's also important to mesh with your rp partner, you can't have one person always leading the rp. i think most games fail just due to a breakdown in the mesh between players. All my games ended pretty much from my health, i have always got along with my rp partners here.

Offline Lilias

Re: Mortality Rate of Roleplays
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2010, 04:44:10 AM »
It's the effort of two, so it's two lives to take into consideration. Real life happens. My dead games list is longer than all the active, on hold and completed ones put together, and most of them died because my partner disappeared from the site. Whether it's work/school, health, family or money issues that keep them away, I take leave of absence as well from time to time, so I can hardly complain.

Other stories get abandoned because they lose steam or because the partners' styles or kinks don't mesh. They're both legitimate reasons as well. And then there are those who simply flake out and stop posting, while keeping up other games - you know, those who don't have the cojones to say they don't want to continue. Unfortunately, there are people like that on every site. All you can do is pick roleplays and people that make you think 'oh, yes!' rather than 'eh, why not?'

Offline Trieste

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Re: Mortality Rate of Roleplays
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2010, 10:03:07 AM »
Honestly, the RPs that have lasted the longest for me are ones where the other author and I have discussed a plot, a progression and a  planned ending. Then again, I'm the one who tends to drop RPs if I have trouble on every post, if I've talked it over with the other author, if I've made an effort to pick up the threads of the story again and they keep slipping through my fingers. So I keep a very small core of RPs, and as such they tend to last a long time.

Offline Xaoc

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Re: Mortality Rate of Roleplays
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2010, 10:39:43 AM »
I've noticed this same issue on dozens of RP sites...

My advice, is stick to it, keep trying and hope for the best.

For me, games tend to die because they reach a point that people just... don't care. As others have said, keep a story moving. A story that slows down, dies. A story in which characters just walk in circles to do something, is a story doomed for failure. I just hope for the best, and plan out things a lot. If I hit a wall, I talk to my partner for an answer, or ask myself, Why am I having issues? I might spend a few hours thinking about it, but I normally find out my issue, and work towards a way to solve it.

Offline Shores

Re: Mortality Rate of Roleplays
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2010, 11:10:52 AM »
Life span of a roleplay = [(Experience per player x Relationship between players x Communication x Enjoyment x Commitment x No. of Free hours x Similarity of Writing)/ (No. of Roleplays per player x Anal Retentiveness x Q)] x No. of Players + ε

where Q is the probability for miscellaneous bad life situations to pop up
where No. of Players is a negative quadratic function: no. of players increase, life span increases until a certain no. of players where it decreases.

There's also probably multipliers somewhere, with different factors having different weightages.

Offline Undercov3rL0verTopic starter

Re: Mortality Rate of Roleplays
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2010, 12:31:41 PM »
thank you everyone, for your comments. From what I've gathered so far it's mostly a matter of luck and sticking with it.  So next question. How do I keep people interested? 

Offline Lilias

Re: Mortality Rate of Roleplays
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2010, 12:51:45 PM »
As long as you have worked things out and agreed in advance on your goals and style, there's not much more you can do once the game is underway. Please don't forget that everyone, including yourself, has the right to change their mind.

Offline Xaoc

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Re: Mortality Rate of Roleplays
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2010, 01:16:10 PM »
Keeping people? Keep them is hard... just try to enjoy yourself, and hope they do to... people can tell when your not enjoying the game. You can see that too from others I'm sure. Just before they quit, they start posting less and less... Less effort, less caring, less trying. Talk to them then. Ask them if you can help.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Mortality Rate of Roleplays
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2010, 01:19:50 PM »
There's no one way that will suit everyone. What works for A may send B running for the hills. I find it best to simply take a zen outlook, and when a roleplay ends, shrug and move on. Enjoy it while it lasted :)

Offline Shores

Re: Mortality Rate of Roleplays
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2010, 01:23:21 PM »
If you're the GM in a large-scale rp which is stalling, one way of doing it is to have a catastrophic event happen. Like an earthquake, sudden invasion, or kidnapping. Another way is to time skip the roleplay to a few days or weeks in advance. If there are a few factions in the roleplay, have them meet-up under a truce. That gives sneaky characters time to plot. Basically, create plot.

NPCs. NPCs are underused in most rps, serving as decorations to enrich the environment, when they can be dragged in to the plot and killed off quite mercilessly. They can serve to add drama and change to the group dynamics. They can serve to reveal alliances by asking for the near impossible from the players. How they react to it reveals and enhances their characters.

Another way is to actively encourage roleplayers to have multiple, core characters. This allows them to play with another character while waiting for a response from another player. It also keeps interest up as they have invested much more time and effort than if they were to craft just one character. It also serves as 'insurance' in case the other player suddenly drops the ball; they have another character to play with.

As a GM, be MERCILESS. If you have invested a lot of time and effort in setting up a roleplay, ensure players have roughly the same level of writing. Of course, players have been known to step up to the plate when grouped with the more eloquent writers, so it's really up to individual GMs.

If you want a higher level of roleplayers, include certain phrases in the application form to see if they have read it, like "Type 'Elliquiy is the best.' at the end of your application if you have read this." It helps to screen out the more problematic applicants who don't read through the whole thing and will very likely not read your posts as well, creating multiple plot holes that suck our very souls in.

BE MERCILESS, when a player does not respond after a certain time period, include this in your application form, that you have the right to takeover their character and NPC them. I usually give players a week or so of MIA, then send them a PM. If after two weeks no response, I control their character. If in a main role, I continue playing with them. If they are not as essential, I write them off to the side so if/when the player returns, they can pick them up. Of course, if players tell you in advance, then it's fine, but encourage them to write their character into a smaller role.

Since players come and go, have a plot summary to allow new players to ease into the RP. Basically, communication is key here. The more you communicate, the more you become friends, the guiltier they feel about leaving the rp. Encourage players to ask for help if they have writer's block in the OOC thread.

Creative freedom - give players nearly free rein in the storyline and events. Once they feel like they own the roleplay, that it's their creation as well, they tend to stick around and be more interested. Leave things open-ended. That said, have a few over-arching storylines to serve as guidelines so they can pick and play around with whichever suits their interest.

Seriously, screw nice. You have to be merciless as a GM sometimes or else the whole rp dies a sad premature death, and the countless hours you and your players have invested go to waste. It doesn't mean you act like an asshole though, just that you take a tough stance to selecting players and encouraging the pace of the roleplay along.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2010, 01:31:24 PM by Shores »

Offline Undercov3rL0verTopic starter

Re: Mortality Rate of Roleplays
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2010, 12:31:34 AM »
thank you everyone for your advice.  I'll definitely take these things into consideration next time.