Shannara
 moderator, 3881 posts
 When in doubt,
 frolic!
Sat 10 Apr 2021
at 01:20
Has TV Killed the Radio Star?
VTT is Virtual Table Top -- if that helps. :-)
Piestar
 member, 857 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Sat 10 Apr 2021
at 02:59
Has TV Killed the Radio Star?
In reply to Shannara (msg # 7):

Like Roll20?
facemaker329
 member, 7333 posts
 Gaming for over 40
 years, and counting!
Sat 10 Apr 2021
at 04:05
Has TV Killed the Radio Star?
Ehhhh...

I seem to recall seeing a post along these lines pop up every few years.  "It seems like things are far slower than they should be...is <insert latest online gaming fad here> to blame?"

To some extent, yes.  It's the new shiny toy that everyone wants to play with until they realize it's got just as many flaws (although they're different).  Some people try them, decide they like them, and stay with them.  Some people try them, like them for a while, and then revert back to their tried-and-true.  Some people try them and don't like them.  Some of us never try them.

VTT would only solve one of the problems that led to me getting involved on RPOL...no travel time.  I still have the impossible schedule and the inability to devote one specific night every week or two to gaming because I don't know what's going to happen at work.  RPOL works for me because if the only time I have available to post is 1AM every other day, I can still be fully involved in my games.

Not everybody has a schedule like that, so other formats may appeal more to them...but I don't think RPOL is in any danger of being MySpaced by VTT.
donsr
 member, 2227 posts
Sat 10 Apr 2021
at 04:18
Has TV Killed the Radio Star?
there is  also the 'fad games" that pop up, based on new TV shows  or Movies.

 wait  until the MCU hits  the  theaters  again.. Superhero  games will pop up... Vamp  games for then next undead movie... the next  post  Nuc  war era.. ect ect ect.

 there hasn't been much of that, because no one  could  see the Big screen for  a muse.
gladiusdei
 member, 850 posts
Sat 10 Apr 2021
at 04:33
Has TV Killed the Radio Star?
Kaiju game time!
nauthiz
 subscriber, 713 posts
Sat 10 Apr 2021
at 05:42
Has TV Killed the Radio Star?
It would be mildly interesting to see the historical site activity trend.  The question as to whether the site is less active do pop up from time to time, and knowing whether it actually was or just felt that way during those periods would be something.

I vaguely recall some number or another being mentioned at some point, though I don't recall if said number(s) were related to users, or maybe hosted games, or something like that.
Piestar
 member, 858 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Sat 10 Apr 2021
at 05:50
Has TV Killed the Radio Star?
It does seem that there are not only fewer new games popping up in the Players Wanted thread, but the ones that do pop up seem to be from a smaller and smaller group of people.
I also see a lot more games that seem to close with less than a few hundred posts.
donsr
 member, 2228 posts
Sat 10 Apr 2021
at 12:58
Has TV Killed the Radio Star?
 Piestar  had touched on something i have seen in  my 'career' as a PBP gamer. E-Zboards were the top of the  food chain at one time, they had boards  for everything, i must have been on 12 or more through thier history...hacker  got to them and killed them off.

 but i would join 2, 3 games on a site, and  less then a month 'poof'..they are gone

 My Space game here , i started because  a Starship Troopers   came  i was in for less then a month  died... I had some damn good players  with me, and i didn't want to lose that interaction, so i started  a space game, based on a book i wanted to write, that ( of course) never saw the light of  day.

  I had 4 good players there..One is  still there.. One Passed, the others  had RL take them away after  3 years or so.. I started  a 'seniority' list  for the players  to see how long they were there?( just active ones).

 But game closings  are a big let down., now? if there is a  game that catches my interest, i zip down to see how many games have been deleted, and what the posy count is..that will determine whether i bother to try to join.

 I look at it this way. The  GMs/DMs  are like a food court in a Mall, some of them close games  down when they get bored. Some keep on going through tough times. Players are the same, you'll have 'regulars' who keep stopping by, and you have  som until they see somehting shiny in the  distance and move on.
Sir Swindle
 member, 303 posts
Sat 10 Apr 2021
at 16:08
Re: Has TV Killed the Radio Star?
GreenTongue:
There seems to less posts then this time last year.

Has the rise in VTT caused PbP to less popular then ever or is it just the normal summer doldrums?

I don't see how they are even comparable. PbP has a niche because we can't meet at one time. Other platforms have been around for a long time and they don't solve that issue.
pawndream
 member, 188 posts
Sat 10 Apr 2021
at 16:27
Re: Has TV Killed the Radio Star?
I haven't been on RPoL as long as many others here (I joined in 2009), but I have been very active on this site through most of the past 12 years and I have definitely noticed a general slowdown that I cannot solely attribute to seasonality. Something else is going on, and it's likely a combination of many factors, not just one thing. Off the top of my head:

  • Other RPG options (e.g., the proliferation and ease of access to VTT within the past few years. It's much easier to find a game, anytime and anywhere)
  • Pandemic fatigue many people feel from so much online time and less desire to sit in front of a computer
  • Forums and message boards are not really the way most people communicate anymore and many gamers have moved to Discord and other social media platforms
  • Aging demographic who grew up with message boards as a communication tool and would be the natural cohort for PbP games


All I know is every game I am involved with is seeing the same issues and I don't think it's just due to spring break, summer, etc.
GreenTongue
 member, 953 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Sat 10 Apr 2021
at 16:58
Re: Has TV Killed the Radio Star?
In reply to pawndream (msg # 16):

I think you may have something with Discord.
It seems to be the "new kid on the block" as it easily includes multi-media with text.
As was mentioned, set game times that repeat over and over are still hard, if not harder than before. So,
VTT is still hard to coordinate with several people at the same time, which PbP addresses.
evileeyore
 member, 475 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined August 2015
Sat 10 Apr 2021
at 19:04
Re: Has TV Killed the Radio Star?
While message boards are dying, and have been for over a decade, they still have one advantage that the new hotness, VTT and live chat apps (Discord, etc) do not have:  Access for people in disparate timezones or those with consistently sporadic free time.



For instance, I enjoy RPoL because I do not have the time to sit down for 4 hours once a week for a face-to-face game, let alone one on VTT or Discord.  I can log in periodically through out the day and respond to the games I'm playing in and could update my games once to twice per day if I were running any.

So for me, message board gaming will always be a preference over the other digital options.
praguepride
 member, 1791 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Sat 10 Apr 2021
at 19:39
Re: Has TV Killed the Radio Star?
The short answer is no. It is rare for anything to be fully killed off. Ham radio is still used by enthusiast. Some of the old MUDs I played 20 years ago are still up and running. People still listen to vinyl and watch movies on VCRs.

On a personal note I was looking at running a Necromunda game. I looked at the VTT options but they just weren't what I was looking for and don't have the control I desire so I will probably be looking at running it on RPOL because the technology just isn't where I want it to be yet. Yes tabletop simulator is amazing but I LIKE writing and having an easy place to do bookkeeping.

Even if I were to use a VTT for running the battles the bulk of the game would still be done on RPOL because it has permanence beyond what I can achieve with other systems. Tabletop simulator would be a nightmare to do lots of paperwork on and Roll20 doesn't easily allow asynchronous communication because the players are limited to whatever "map" the GM leaves them on and tracking it all via handouts would be annoying.

I could use google docs + tabletop simulator/roll20...OR I could just run everything on one site that I've used and loved for over a decade.
GreenTongue
 member, 954 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Sat 10 Apr 2021
at 21:27
Re: Has TV Killed the Radio Star?
evileeyore:
... Discord.  I can log in periodically through out the day and respond to the games I'm playing in and could update my games once to twice per day if I were running any.

So for me, message board gaming will always be a preference over the other digital options.

Actually, Discord has very good text features and the persistence that is needed.

While RPoL is optimized for text based gaming, Discord has easy multi-media features that can be very attractive/useful for play.

Playing the Devil's Advocate here, check it out sometime. Sounds like you will be surprised.
evileeyore
 member, 476 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined August 2015
Sat 10 Apr 2021
at 21:41
Re: Has TV Killed the Radio Star?
GreenTongue:
Actually, Discord has very good text features and the persistence that is needed.

My experience with Discord is that those who enjoy it tend to be extremely prolific posters and I do not enjoy haiving to scroll back 100+ posts to figure what is currently going on, only to discover I'm not only radically far behind, but have missed repeated moments where I could have affected the outcome of the scene.  And if it was a combat encounter?  Forget about it.

In a message board game, scrolling back 10-15 posts of a social (or even combat) scene is fine, Discord has never been only 10-15 posts.

And if you miss a day?

Yeah, no.  It's an entirely different environment where most people have radically different standards.  Now if your group treats it like a message board and only posts a few times a day each?  Great, but my experience is not that.
Hunter
 member, 1643 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Sat 10 Apr 2021
at 22:20
Re: Has TV Killed the Radio Star?
praguepride:
On a personal note I was looking at running a Necromunda game. I looked at the VTT options but they just weren't what I was looking for and don't have the control I desire so I will probably be looking at running it on RPOL because the technology just isn't where I want it to be yet. Yes tabletop simulator is amazing but I LIKE writing and having an easy place to do bookkeeping.


And I think you've hit on the main reason that forum (text) based role play is probably not going to go away.  It's much easier to run the game, and as a (former) GM; I've found that I don't have to come up with answers on the spot.
GreenTongue
 member, 955 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Sun 11 Apr 2021
at 02:18
Re: Has TV Killed the Radio Star?
In reply to evileeyore (msg # 21):

I can understand that.
Still posing it as a possibility that it could be drawing people away.
evileeyore
 member, 477 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined August 2015
Sun 11 Apr 2021
at 03:53
Re: Has TV Killed the Radio Star?
GreenTongue:
Still posing it as a possibility that it could be drawing people away.

Oh, no doubt.  VTT and Discord and the like are drawing people away.

I'm just saying there will always be folks like me who won't go that route, and for us message boards will be the preferred medium of the digital offerings.  We just not in the majority, and no doubt we're dwindling.
facemaker329
 member, 7334 posts
 Gaming for over 40
 years, and counting!
Sun 11 Apr 2021
at 17:45
Re: Has TV Killed the Radio Star?
The most analogous situation I can think of is when MMORPGs came along and some people predicted they would be the demise of MUDs and MUSHes.  They definitely had an impact...but some of us that used to be very active on MU*s just plain old drifted away for reasons that had nothing to do with MMORPGs (which I've never indulged in).

That said, based on stories from friends and family who did get into MMOs, there were still some advantages MU*s had (certainly in terms of exploring development of your characters' personal aspects)...some got bored with the basic "same stuff with a new skin" that was the typical MMO, and went back to MU*s.  Some migrated here, or to other PBP platforms.  Some just got busy with life and decided online gaming (or even gaming in general) was no longer a priority.

VTTs are becoming more versatile, and are, as mentioned earlier, the new toy that's getting all the attention.  For some people, they'll be a better fit.  For others, they won't.  For still others (who have time), they'll split their time between the two and explore the best of both worlds.  And there's always natural attrition...people get too busy, change life priorities, or (sadly) die, and thus we lose users for reasons that have nothing to do with alternative gaming platforms.

RPOL does not, to the best of my knowledge, advertise or recruit...new users come in largely through word of mouth (occasionally, someone's just looking for online role-playing and they happen to stumble through the front door).

But just like MMOs didn't kill off MU*s,  VTTs aren't going to kill RPOL.  Numbers may drop...but that's not necessarily a bad thing.  It's not like RPOL is reliant on sustaining a certain number of users to maintain funding.
NowhereMan
 member, 429 posts
Sun 11 Apr 2021
at 18:20
Re: Has TV Killed the Radio Star?
I play several games via Discord now, and played one there pre-pandemic, and one thing that I don't think has been said enough in this discussion is that there are some games that just plain don't work well in a standard tabletop setting, virtual or otherwise.

The main ones that come to mind are intrigue focused and, for lack of a better term, "diffused" games.

Even if traditional tabletop players were able to implement 100% separation between player knowledge and character knowledge, a masterfully orchestrated betrayal lacks some of its oomph when the rest of the group has sat around and watched them talk about it for the last hour, and even if it's reduced to manic scribbling of notes, the rest of the group is going to know something's up. Not so of forum games.

And then there's the "diffused" games. It's pretty much impossible to give every player equal time in the spotlight in games where the players are spread out over a large area, such as a bunch of only-tenuously-connected criminals in a crime drama set in a big city, or fledglings from different clans and sects in a game of Vampire. At least not if you want to get anything done in a four-hour time slot. But in a forum game, each of those players can have their own private threads and be just as active as they would be if they were playing solo.
V_V
 member, 927 posts
Sun 11 Apr 2021
at 19:30
Re: Has TV Killed the Radio Star?

This message was deleted by the user at 19:42, Sun 11 Apr.

GreenTongue
 member, 956 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Sun 11 Apr 2021
at 23:26
Re: Has TV Killed the Radio Star?
When a picture IS worth a thousand words, the ability to quickly add a picture to a thread has value that seems to be missing here.

I certainly agree a site like this that was developed for text based gaming still has features missing other places.

Is it enough to draw people back for the New Shiny? Time will tell.
I suspect its heyday has passed.
Carakav
 member, 677 posts
 Sure-footed paragon
 of forthright dude.
Mon 12 Apr 2021
at 00:27
Re: Has TV Killed the Radio Star?
Honestly I think the diminishing of PbP has more to do with phones, then it does with VTT. Phones are terrible for this medium. Some people can get away with it, but you really can't beat a good keyboard in PbP.

Even the shift to mobile won't kill PbP, because there's always going to be people who are comfortable typing on phones, but the shift in technology is basically changing the landscape of how people access interactive fantasies.

This medium won't go the way of the dodo, because there will always be a demand for it, in the same way there's still a demand for books, but I do agree that it's heyday is past.

This message was last edited by the user at 00:30, Mon 12 Apr.

CabbageFox
 member, 3 posts
Sun 18 Apr 2021
at 18:02
Re: Has TV Killed the Radio Star?
While I'm new to this site I've been playing and running PbP games for 25 years.  I think the issue could be that PbP hasn't changed with the times.  As much as I lament Twitter, why can't PbP be more short form posting?

Sitting around a table, players are not (usually) opining 500 words at a time yet, in my experience, short and to the point posts are discouraged.  Why?  They usually don't advance the story more than a short post.  I feel like long posts discourage people who can't or won't write longer posts for one reason or another.

I'm reminded of the day Harrison Ford was sick during filming of Raiders of the Lost Ark and rather than having a fight, Indy pulls his gun and shoots the guy with the sword.  That scene is iconic to the character and it wasn't even supposed to there.  It was a longer scene rather than 5 seconds.  Long post vs short post.

I'm not saying long posts don't have their place, they do, but I think dropping the short post stigma would be helpful.

Maybe I'm way off.  Maybe I'm the only one who feels like there is a bias against short posts.

This message was last edited by the user at 18:04, Sun 18 Apr.

GreenTongue
 member, 957 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Sun 18 Apr 2021
at 18:42
Re: Has TV Killed the Radio Star?
For what it is worth, I agree. While a lot of people want to think they are a budding author and practicing for a "Best Seller", in my opinion that's not "gaming".

Gaming is moving things forward in a clear way, whether that takes short or long text.
The only problem I have seen with short text updates is, leaving players behind that can't update as frequently.

This message was last edited by the user at 21:09, Sun 18 Apr.