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Interactive Fiction: A History of Questing

Discussion in 'Fiction Discussion' started by Ralson, Jun 30, 2015.

  1. foamy

    foamy Lying liar who lies. Executive Director

    I'd appreciate seeing those numbers, too. I'd forgotten the Bargin forum existed and it looks like I overestimated how much traffic A&A got (poor A&A).
  2. 75% Certain

    75% Certain 25% horse thief

    To be fair, A&A is the sort of thing that will attract views out of proportion to posts. Traffic-wise, it might still be in the same neighborhood. (Maybe... possibly.)
  3. Like the opposite of quests?

    Anyway, traffic between summers 2007 and 2010...

    Forum7/1/20077/3/20088/19/2010Change in post count, 2007-2008Change in post count, 2008-2010Posts per day, 2007-2008Posts per day, 2008-2010
    Space Battles566,779663,4021,030,92296,623367,520262.5625472.998713
    Games & Gaming157,186195,949260,79038,76364,841105.334239183.45045045
    Technical Support19,92723,73431,7813,8078,04710.345108710.35649936
    Art and Animation44,63947,82652,9053,1875,0798.6603260876.536679537
    Creative Writing130,767183,415427,95552,648244,540143.0652174314.7232947
    Story Debates203,514225,463272,77521,94947,31259.6440217460.89060489
    Vs. Debates709,202802,0261,045,40892,824243,382252.2391304313.2329472
    The War Room128,615154,324231,51125,70977,18769.8614130499.33976834
    Non-Scifi Debates1,068,4811,190,0481,456,750121,567266,702330.3451087343.2458172
    So Space Battles and Creative Writing saw the big gains, no surprises there, and the only ones that actually measurably declined were G&G and A&A. The debate forums did pretty well overall.
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  4. Qazplm


    We might be seeing a new milestone when it comes to questing @Academia Nut have a set up a patreon for his original quest Into the Amber Age it's still at a pretty modest support but it shows people are willing to pay a QM of sufficient skill.

    It's still in the setup phase so it hasn't gotten truly interesting yet, a better display of his skill would be his older quest Age of Strife set in Warhammer 40k.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015
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  5. Cetashwayo

    Cetashwayo Lord of Ten Thousand Years Magistrate On Leave Commission Artist

    Across the Horizon
    I've considered starting a patreon myself, if only to wave it in my parents' face when they ask me if I am making money with all the time I spend on the internet :p

    That said I have a job now so I'm not really keen on it.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
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  6. Ralson

    Ralson Horrible Cat

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  7. Sayle


    It's odd how little things come into perspective when you read about them. Like talking about how Dragon of the North got professional-style front-cover art, it's like a switch being flipped in my head to go from 'oh, that's nice fanart' to 'holy shit, that's fanart.' Then I realise I've had fanart - over a dozen examples of it (all by one person but hey, I take what I can get).

    I also wouldn't mind @Ridiculously Average Guy review of my questing - I freely admit to a lot stillbirths that evaluated general interest, but the longer running ones (Kathalonda/Gondolin/Sasuke) might make an interesting retrospective. I'm always open to improvement!
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  8. Just a quick look as I go through the backlog of my alerts, this is from a quick look at 'Uchiha Sasuke - Avenger' forward:

    Setting: N/A

    Themes: N/A

    Current Plotline: N/A

    Characters: not bad. You could flesh them out more 'on screen', but you don't really have to worry about anything here.

    GM style: Y

    Speed v. Content: Not great. Your intro posts are large and lovingly created, but sometimes (when you get bored?) from there on stuff gets drastically shorter.

    General: Your technical writing is good, but if you aren't initially really invested in the quest(I'm guessing) you keep cutting down content as you go and you don't have the update speed to make up for it. It wouldn't matter once you managed to build up some momentum (and a player-base) but you struggle to get over that initial hump.

    You've been slowly moving towards more Council-style quests. This isn't necessarily bad, since as you've shifted over you've gotten better at them, but I would say that you are still strongest in personal level writing.

    One possible issue you might have is interpretation. You take votes as the end-all be-all of a situation rather than something like the branching point of a visual novel. The first view is viable, but you simply don't have the update speed or update simplicity for it. Having read some of your fics (which are quite good), you would be better served to use votes as prompts and then see how the characters would handle the situation, only stopping at natural breaking points.

    Don't leave everything up to write-in, throwing in a few in-character options frames things better both for the reader, and for you. It also makes sure you actually get a character rather than a mouthpiece. I'm assuming you somewhat realized that which is why you've shifted over to Council?

    Also, (though it doesn't matter now with threadmarks) you didn't use the permalinks for posts so a lot of your indexes miss story posts.

    So, ending recommendation:

    Pretty much do what you're doing with your latest project, a personal-level quest with some council elements thrown in (or going to be thrown in, since they're a captain).

    besides that? just be willing to stick with it to the end.

    And, maybe use dice for enemy factions to build up.

    I wrote this as I was skimming through the past year of your quests, so it may not be totally coherent.
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  9. Tekomandor

    Tekomandor Social Justice Gish Moderator

    @Ridiculously Average Guy could you review Electric Princess Style? Your reviews seem super helpful, from a QMs point of view.
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  10. wanna make an addendum to your larro quest comment. one of the interesting things is how the advice/suggestions have actually changed the character's.. well, character. like for tali, being blunt "blow that thing up" doesn't work on him, but being subversive and making your idea sound like their idea does. forced him to hang out with the crazy person long enough that he finally agreed with our crazy scheme to help them instead of just brushing it off. it's a balancing act though, change to fast and the initial refusal of doing the thing feels like a pointless formality, too slow and you wont think anything you can say is getting through to them.
  11. Wicked


    I just came here to note that the two Tactics threads Fuzzy Modem started (the one with the futuristic flying battleship teleporting to modern Earth, and the other with a similar premise except I think it had a Bolo-like tank instead) IIRC predated foamy's Tactics thread (I always thought foamy chose to include Tactics in the game's name was a reference to Fuzzy's threads), so they might have been an earlier example of a proto-Quest on SB.


    TACTICS: Defeat this carrier!
    TACTICS: Defeat this TANK!!!

    Yep, foamy's thread was posted on 23rd of May, "Defeat This Carrier" was posted on 16th of March. So a couple months earlier.

    EDIT 2: Upon skimming the carrier thread, Ralson was the 3rd person to post there :p

    So did you just forget about it, or did you not consider it a "proper" quest?
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2015
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  12. foamy

    foamy Lying liar who lies. Executive Director

    You're quite correct. :)
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  13. Ralson

    Ralson Horrible Cat

    Totally forgot. It was a long time ago.

    Plus, I didn't really participate. I didn't actually know he was updating the situation in subsequent posts. I just made a one-liner and then wandered off. :sad:

    edit: I'm not sure if I should be rewriting the essay to incorporate tidbits I learn from the thread, or leave it up to the thread to inform.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015
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  14. I don't do Quests, but I'd like to thank Ralson for this interesting and informative essay. It's good to see obscure and interesting pieces of Internet lore recorded like this.
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