member, 516 posts
Sun 8 Apr 2018
at 00:06
Hitting a Brick wall
I'm not 100% sure where to have posted this so I decided to try here.

I've been getting ideas for games to run, but then they seem to fizzle before I can get them rolling.

It just seems to frustrate me; can someone offer me some advice?
shady joker
 member, 1636 posts
Sun 8 Apr 2018
at 00:57
Hitting a Brick wall
Take a break. Not because you need to recharge your batters, but because the people you are pitching too are probably sick of seeing you pitch a new game every 15 minutes and feel less compelled to join or stay. Spend a few days just playing in games or catching up on a tv show then post your next idea. If that fizzles, repeat the process. Trying to get more then one game going at a time usually winds up with both fizzling.
 member, 517 posts
Sun 8 Apr 2018
at 03:08
Hitting a Brick wall
Thanks, I'll try it.
 member, 85 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Sun 8 Apr 2018
at 08:52
Hitting a Brick wall
Where in the process are they "fizzling"?  It sounds like you're making well and past the idea stage, but you aren't clear at what point past it that they fail.

Which is the last hurdle you clear cleanly before the fizzle begins:

1 - Idea
2 - Pitch idea, get support
3 - Start game thread
4 - Get players
5 - Players make characters
6 - Players mingle in character and start getting together to start adventure
7 - Adventure starts
8 - Adventure well and truly underway...

Also what systems are you running or pitching to run?  Some systems just get players, some... not so much.
 member, 126 posts
Sun 8 Apr 2018
at 13:40
Hitting a Brick wall
I'm not sure if it will help but everyone has had games fizzle.

My first game simply died off when it dropped down to 2 active players. I think it died due to the Alterations I did to the system.

My current game started with 8 players. Knowing full well the effects of startup attrition I had the idea of keeping roughly 4. That is where I'm currently hosting as the number just recently dropped from 5. (2 years later)

As mentioned before, some systems just attract players. Some of the universally seen information attracts players.
Be up front with everyone about posting expectations. The game that I've run over the last 2 years has a slow post "requirement" I work long hours, as do some of my players, so they know that during the course of the week the plot will not advance to fast without them if work takes a turn for the worse.

Other than that, sadly niche game systems/Genera tend to only attract a few players. Don't get to discouraged about things due to that.
 member, 1183 posts
Sun 8 Apr 2018
at 15:41
Hitting a Brick wall
You can also look or add to the post thread here (Community) 'Plots, Story lines and other wierdness - I made it up to put Ideas out there for people to use and for others to post idea's on. Maybe some of your ideas could help other people when they need a plot or such, or you may find something that will help you form a more complete idea.
 member, 589 posts
Sun 8 Apr 2018
at 19:49
Hitting a Brick wall
Go to your players, or find people to play with who are interested in your basic concept, and then ask them to work with you on it.

Part of why ideas fizzle is because we think they won't work for our intended "audience," who in this case are the players. If they work with the idea, then they ensure that it contains elements that they enjoy and they will strive to make it work, because it benefits them to have a good game, and they will enjoy seeing the effect of their ideas.
 member, 1481 posts
Tue 10 Apr 2018
at 01:34
Hitting a Brick wall
Of my GMing failures (and there have been plenty), the most common causes have been communication and engagement.

Engagement is the quicker of the two to describe. In short, if you can't "be in" the game, that will often manifest itself in little things that will damage your game. If you feel uncertain about the rules, you might be unsteady in your execution. If you have an RL issue dragging at you, your posts might not be what they should. Whatever it is, something keeps you from really driving your game, and that often trickles down to players.

Communication is a broader topic, but is the very lifeblood of RPOL games. Communication starts before the first RTJ is sent. If your players aren't clear on exactly what they are signing up for, you are going to lose some of them. If you are using lots of system tweaks, it is the same way.  Once the game starts, clear communication can make up for game disruptions and manage e expectations before problems arise.
 member, 151 posts
Tue 10 Apr 2018
at 15:34
Hitting a Brick wall
In reply to Rothos1 (msg # 1):

Also, don't take this entirely personally. There are some great posts and suggestions on here, but also realize this seems to be the nature of all games, even with such an awesome community like RPOL.

Real life often gets in the way of the best intentions, or some people are just flaky, so things fall apart.

Again, just try not to take it personally. Dust off and give it a shot again.

If you're a player in any good/successful games, ask the DM if you could propose your own game to the players. If he/she is okay with it then post and you know you're pitching to consistently posting people

POST FREQUENCY: this was the biggest thing I needed to communicate at the outset. I'm a daily poster, sometimes multiple times a day. Thus I HAD to discuss this with players ahead of time when I was posting my games. If someone said they could post 2-3 times a week, then I politely told them they weren't going to work in that game.

Keep it up! You'll eventually find some good people! Every person in here has likely had a game fizzled for "no good reason."
 member, 1323 posts
Wed 11 Apr 2018
at 20:27
Hitting a Brick wall
I would suggest a larger group. People oftentimes end up waiting for something to respond to and when everyone is waiting, no one posts, then everyone forgets about the game as being dead.

A larger group provides more things for folks to respond to thus more posts get made, even just more ooc posts helps, so you can also try encouraging ooc conversations to keep chatter flowing maintaining the feel of the game being alive and well.

As pbp is slow in nature, it isn't nearly as hard to run large groups in pbp as it is in person.