zephyranthe: (Guess it turned out well.)
Fie Claussell ([personal profile] zephyranthe) wrote in [community profile] notasstrange 2017-07-02 06:50 pm (UTC)


Endgame deserves its own section, I think, because quite a lot of things happened there that didn’t really apply to the rest of the game. First of all, I do appreciate that we were given two days to do the investigation, especially considering that it was during the weekdays and there was quite a lot to find. Overall I think the actual investigation managed to go pretty smoothly, which was good.

A lot of the clues were in Google Docs though, and there were two rather sizable ones that were 8+ pages long. I do feel like this is had a bit of a role in affecting trial activity, because it was honestly a chore to go through them. I’ll be honest: I only really skimmed those longer docs because I was tired after coming back from work and didn’t want to go through them, and ICly I could get away with it because Fie would probably leave it to someone else too, unless she was really pushed into helping. It may be presumptuous on my part to assume others felt the same, but regardless, I do feel like it isn’t very good practice to have such a huge infodump at the very end. I know we’re all here to spend time solving mysteries, but that doesn’t mean it’s fun to spend a lot of time digging through the docs to find the relevant clues.

In any case, the slowness of the trial also did lead to a set of other problems. I won’t deny that I really wasn’t active there, and of course that’s on me. But I do feel that having the mod characters jump into the discussion to move stuff along wasn’t a good way of handling that problem. I understand that activity was poor, but it’s possible to first ping people about participating or asking the players if there were problems with the way the information was presented or whatnot. Even if it didn’t elicit a response, I think it would have been a better option to try instead of have the mod characters act. With that said, if you guys did try both of these and I just missed it, I sincerely apologize.

Tying into what I said in the NPC section, it does seem like there was a lot of need to ask them to clarify some points. The first thing that comes to mind is about the arrows: I’m not sure if you guys were intending for us to figure out how they’d be used aside from just asking Serana about them, but either way, instead of discussion, it felt more like we were just encouraged to ask the NPCs everything. Obviously trials are usually meant to thrive off PC interaction with each other, but that didn't really happen. Again, I know activity was involved in this, but when you have an easy source of answers right next to you… why not ask them everything? It’s the logical thing to do, especially if you trust that what they’re telling you is correct. It honestly would have been better if the NPCs were somehow kept from being able to participate though, just to avoid all of that.

After the discussion, there was the rest of endgame, which dragged out for far longer than it had to go, it seems. Again, I appreciate that we were given extra time for the trial because of all the Father’s Day absences so it stretched out longer than was anticipated. However, even afterwards when that portion was finished it didn’t seem like we had an ETA based on how much was left to cover. It felt like not much got done on Tuesday/Wednesday since it was mostly dedicated to just fighting Elenwen and even then the whole thing was finished a week later than it should’ve been. Again, I get that being stretched over onto Monday was not anticipated, but the fact that the players weren’t really told of how much was left was frustrating. I think that even if we finished up on Father’s Day, this issue still would have persisted, because it was a week long delay, essentially. That made endgame and the epilogue a lot more exhausting than it had to be, in my opinion.

Google Docs:
It’s probably a little odd to have this as its own section, but I figured I should mention it separately since it’s more about formatting and such more than anything else. But for such a short game, there was quite an abundance of these documents - more than was strictly necessary, I think. I noted previously that the length of a couple of them were a problem, but from the endgame investigation alone, I believe I counted 12 separate documents, most of which I believe were short enough to have been posted in the body of a comment.

I feel as if part of the reason why these documents were used were for the different font faces and formatting, but in practice I don’t feel like they added too much to the game, particularly when some of the fonts actually made them difficult to read. In addition, I’ve also been informed that some Mac users may not even be able to read the text due to the fonts used, and while that didn’t seem to be an issue this round, it’s something to consider in terms of player accessibility. Also, I’ve had issues myself with Google Docs not working particularly well on mobile, so that should be a consideration as well.

I appreciate that you guys put up this post, really. Still, I believe that all three of you were first time murdergame mods, and thus would’ve benefitted from having feedback plurks after each trial. It’s easier this way for the players since they’ll be able to respond while the case is fresh in their mind, and allow you guys to address some early problems to ensure that they don’t come up in the rest of the game. I think it’s also good as a gesture of goodwill to the players, to show that you’re willing to listen to their concerns.


In any case, this ended up pretty long, but I hope it was helpful to you guys! I wish you guys luck on setting up another round, and I hope to see you guys improve on what you’ve got. If you have any points you’d want me to elaborate on, feel free to hit me up whenever, too. Again, I had a lot of fun in this game and I don’t regret joining at all.

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