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Seeking Mr Eaten's Name Messages in this topic - RSS

Alexis Kennedy
Alexis Kennedy
Posts: 1374

12/9/2013
I didn't see your previous two edits! but no, your post isn't inappropriate.

I rarely comment here. But given how frustrating this outcome can be (if it's any consolation, you won't be the last):

- describing Winking Isle as a 'crapshoot' is fair, although it's possible to load the dice with expensive resources;

- pace some misunderstandings here and in Alexander's time there, the Isle hasn't changed (though there are further unpleasant mechanics that haven't surfaced yet and it may change in future).

- because I don't want (TEMPTING THOUGH IT IS) to inspire a panicked Fate spending free: I'll mention here once only that the Isle isn't time-limited for Christmas.

(Pronoun edit for clarity.)

  • edited by Alexis on 12/9/2013
  • +4 link
    NiteBrite
    NiteBrite
    Posts: 1019

    12/9/2013
    my apologies, I thought it was different, because I don't remember alexander getting sent to the royal beth. But, perhaps as you say I did trigger a nasty surprise. That's fair then. I was upset because it felt like a bug. But I will take you at your word, that it was just a nasty surprise. In a way that's calming, and I am glad I was able to trigger it and light the way for other to warn them about hitting nightmares 8 while on the island.

    --
    I AM currently accepting calling cards.
    Stats loss counter: reset, irrigo equivalent: none
    [00:34] <@ortab> NiteBrite's laugh is that of a condemned soul gazing into the abyss.
    Merciless Modiste avatar by Paul Arendt (based on an original image by Joe England)
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    0 link
    Alexis Kennedy
    Alexis Kennedy
    Posts: 1374

    12/9/2013
    NiteBrite wrote:
    my apologies, I thought it was different,



  • Understandable. I'm not going to reveal the details of how it works, but it is an unpredictable place. And I don't want anyone getting the impression that it is, or is meant to be, fair! But given the distorting effect of one person at a time visiting the place in a tone of high excitement, and the rumour of a time limit, I thought I'd apply some rumour control.


    One very last thing: it won't always be only one person.
  • +4 link
    NiteBrite
    NiteBrite
    Posts: 1019

    12/9/2013
    Jokes on you there are already multiple people on the island I master minded that :P

    ...by which I mean the card keeps duplicating itself when I send it out. So more of stumbled onto than masterminded.

    --
    I AM currently accepting calling cards.
    Stats loss counter: reset, irrigo equivalent: none
    [00:34] <@ortab> NiteBrite's laugh is that of a condemned soul gazing into the abyss.
    Merciless Modiste avatar by Paul Arendt (based on an original image by Joe England)
    http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/TheBriteModiste
    +1 link
    Dolan
    Dolan
    Posts: 296

    12/9/2013
    Just my 2c on this - NiteBrite spent 300-odd Nex on action refreshes and used up a Veils-Velvet scrap, and came away with NOTHING. So that's $50+ real money, 1500+ echoes, and hundreds of wasted actions, for nothing.

    I know the typical response to people complaining about SMEN's difficulty is "give up, this isn't for you," but going by NiteBrite's experience there, the Winking Isle is just plain mean-spirited.

    There's a point at which an interesting psychological experiment in game design crosses the line, and I think if you'd been around to see NiteBrite's real-time reactions in IRC, you'd agree with me that his experience at least did cross that line. His enthusiasm for finally getting to visit the island fizzled into depression as he realized all he'd wasted going there, for zero return - you can say "oh, that's intended, this is SMEN" all you like, but the fact is that we're all real people behind our computer screens and SMEN only needs to be as punishing as Alexis wants to make it.

    So I'll ask Alexis directly: given NiteBrite's experience there, do you feel that the Winking Isle is working as intended? Is his experience meant to be the typical one? I don't just mean that in an in-game sense, I also mean that in a real-life emotional sense. Is a player meant to go to Winking Isle and leave frustrated and angry and depressed?
    edited by Dolan on 12/9/2013
    +9 link
    NiteBrite
    NiteBrite
    Posts: 1019

    12/9/2013
    I'll admit I sobbed uncontrollably for a while. But that was probably more the feeling of panicked frenzy getting to me about an imagined deadline. Punishing can be fun, and I eximplify that often, like how I am with stat loss. This was cruel.

    But with the time panic gone, and the existence of multiple cards, and the knowledge that it wasnt a bug. I'll be okay. And no one else will have to experience the panic I did. Thank you for speaking up for me dolan, I wouldn't have said anything otherwise.

    --
    I AM currently accepting calling cards.
    Stats loss counter: reset, irrigo equivalent: none
    [00:34] <@ortab> NiteBrite's laugh is that of a condemned soul gazing into the abyss.
    Merciless Modiste avatar by Paul Arendt (based on an original image by Joe England)
    http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/TheBriteModiste
    +6 link
    Urthdigger
    Urthdigger
    Posts: 940

    12/9/2013
    Given the nature of the island (Didn't the process of getting the card in the first place come from a rather meta-game action?), I do have to wonder if that will be the ONLY way of getting the F candle.

    --
    Looking for second chances to maximize your loot output from those troublesome storylets? Check out our handy gang of volunteers in this thread, or even volunteer yourself!

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    0 link
    MidnightVoyager
    MidnightVoyager
    Posts: 921

    12/9/2013
    NiteBrite wrote:
    Spacemarine9 wrote:
    You can now manufacture an Impossible Theorem at the University!
    It costs forty nine Searing Enigmas.

    It can?!
    ...

    [spoiler]http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/1337grind[/spoiler]

    AHAHA

    THERE GO THE LAST OF MY ORIGINAL 90 ENIGMAS. STATS LOSS, THE MAD GAMBIT THAT PAID OFF LIKE A BANDIT.

    HAHAHA AHAHAHAHAHAH
    HA HA HA HA HA
    edited by NiteBrite on 12/9/2013
    edited by NiteBrite on 12/9/2013


    (goddamnit, I wish reporting had a confirmation, because I accidentally did so here, I WAS JUST TRYING TO REPLY/QUOTE, HONEST)

    There appears to be a typo in the very title of the action, and there's no image for it. Thorem! But now I have something to save up for.
    edited by MidnightVoyager on 12/9/2013

    --
    Midnight Voyager - A blood-cousin to predators. Collector of beasts. Affably mad.
    0 link
    NiteBrite
    NiteBrite
    Posts: 1019

    12/9/2013
    Oh. The duplicate people on the island had their mr eatens cards removed, were booted, and lost their progress. I thought thats what you meant by not always being one person on the island. Uh. In that case, I still have three mr eatens cards. I'll hold off on passing it further for now. Alexander had 2 last I spoke with him. Also I still have a pending send social action with spacemarine too. If these are bug cards I'll wait for them to be rectified before passing further. I don't mean to intentionally cheat. I just misinterpreted your statement above as codifying the duplicate cards as intentional and gave the others the go ahead to proceed. Like, all along we could have been duplicating the card but were too panicked to ever try. Not the case apparently. Apologies to everyone who accepted a card and suffered a lot of menace from my error. I didn't know.

    --
    I AM currently accepting calling cards.
    Stats loss counter: reset, irrigo equivalent: none
    [00:34] <@ortab> NiteBrite's laugh is that of a condemned soul gazing into the abyss.
    Merciless Modiste avatar by Paul Arendt (based on an original image by Joe England)
    http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/TheBriteModiste
    +1 link
    Alexander Feld
    Alexander Feld
    Posts: 427

    12/9/2013
    There are a lot of typos in this last batch of content. St Forthigan's Candle is spelled without the H on the item itself, even!

    Edit: Nooo, my card! Tragedy! The tiger comes like a thief in the night. I was hoping to hold onto that.
    edited by Alexander Feld on 12/9/2013

    --
    I am a star-gazer, story-eater, and a smelter of words.

    I filch hidden things from hidden places, to hide once more in my dark cabinet of curiosities

    Alexander Feld, the mad, damned, lord of seekers.
    +1 link
    Spacemarine9
    Spacemarine9
    Posts: 2234

    12/9/2013
    I still have a card floating in my messages tab buried under a half dozen nightmare requests someone sent. Which card is Card Prime? I don't want to get sliced in half only to lose the card due to a bug (I don't know if it still has all the menace and stat damage intact but whatever you get the idea)

    --
    my rats will blot out the sun
    Ratgames
    FL lore/mechanics questions and answers
    #FallenLondon IRC (irc.synirc.net) Channel! Click to join via Mibbit.
    #SunlessSea IRC channel! Like the above, but zee-ier.
    +2 link
    Alexis Kennedy
    Alexis Kennedy
    Posts: 1374

    12/9/2013
    Last post before I eat me breakfast.

    Is a player meant to go to Winking Isle and leave frustrated and angry and depressed?
    edited by Dolan on 12/9/2013

    Phrased this way, it's a have-you-stopped-beating-your-wife question. Did I (a) want NB to be angry, frustrated and depressed? Or (b) make a mistake? I'm not going to address (a) but I am going to point to the fact that I just hopped on the thread at 7am and let you draw your own conclusions.


    About (b). The warnings are there on the SMEN content for a reason, and I've always been really frank about it. Every so often something like this happens when the stakes are raised, and I periodically amp up the warnings. (A while ago I made it easier for people to opt out of the quest, and harder to opt out of the quest by accident, because I do think that the original effect of 'ha ha you're stuck on this quest and it'll keep taunting you with cards and telling you that you should stop' was unfortunate, and I know people have misclicked occasionally.)


    I don't want to talk in any greater detail here about my design goals for the Mr Eaten comment, but it's not intended as a a 'psychological experiment', it's intended as a piece of art. You could make a case for it being cheap or manipulative or tendentious or 'bad', but it's what I felt moved to make, it's what I made, and I've never imposed it on anyone.


    Dolan wrote:
    Just my 2c on this - NiteBrite spent 300-odd Nex on action refreshes and used up a Veils-Velvet scrap, and came away with NOTHING. So that's $50+ real money, 1500+ echoes, and hundreds of wasted actions, for nothing.


    Well: he got an experience he couldn't have got anywhere else, as part of a larger experience he also couldn't have got anywhere else. It's definitely not an experience that'd be to most people's tastes. I'll let the SMEN players decide for themselves whether this is something they want to be part of, or whether it's a sign that actually, this is just too aggressively niche.
  • +3 link
    Alexis Kennedy
    Alexis Kennedy
    Posts: 1374

    12/9/2013
    After a couple of aggressive comments that I've just deleted, I'm going to lock this thread until tempers have cooled.



  • I'm also going to lock out the entry to the Mr Eaten content for a day or so and think it over. This isn't any kind of punishment, I'll likely bring it back online, but I want some time to consider.
  • +1 link
    Alexis Kennedy
    Alexis Kennedy
    Posts: 1374

    12/9/2013
    Unlocked, because there's been a development: I've had a refund demand from a player in respect of this content, which includes a legal threat [EDIT: since retracted, and please call off the witch-hunts! This doesn't change the fundamental nature of the problem]. I think this is probably barratry, and our refunds policy is 'at our discretion only' but I have to treat it seriously, and I have to reconsider whether it's practical to continue the Mr Eaten content.

    For the past year it's been a personal passion project that I can't justify commercially, and only gets work out of hours... in principle, but here I am in office hours dealing with it.

    There are three reasons that I don't provide customer support on it:
    • one, because it makes it plain that Here Be Dragons;
    • two, because then I don't have to provide support in company hours or out of hours, when bugs inevitably arise. There was one here: Nitebrite distributed a number of items to other players using (in good faith, I think) an accidental exploit, and when I removed them they were thrown out of the locked areas they'd entered, suffering loss of progress in the meantime. The party line is that players engaged in SMEN should be prepared to suffer random horrible things, and this is one of those things.
    • EDIT: three reasons! Also, an air of mystery, which gets shredded when we end up in these conversations.
    I've always been very careful about adding Fate-locked content to the storyline for precisely this reason, but it's impossible to prevent people from spending Fate to accelerate their progress: and the 'no customer support' policy doesn't prevent people from feeling upset when they've spent money and don't get customer support.

    Consequently I'm going to take a week or so to think this over. At the moment the most likely responses are that I'll end the storyline prematurely and as cleanly as possible, providing what closure I can, freeze existing content and leave it in indefinite hiatus, [EDIT: or look at ways to domesticate it into mainstream content without changing the underlying fiction.] I am going to think about other solutions.

    I appreciate this is going to be a bitter disappointment to some of you, and I have to say it's a bitter disappointment to me. But capital-A Art (or capital-H Hobby, if you prefer) and capital-B Business is a volatile mixture, and I think I've got to take the safe road on this one.

  • edited by Alexis on 12/9/2013
  • +4 link
    Dolan
    Dolan
    Posts: 296

    12/9/2013
    I just want to say that even though I wasn't satisfied with the Winking Island content, and did spend Fate there, I definitely wasn't angry to the point of demanding a refund or threatening legal action or wanting the whole SMEN storyline closed or hastily ended. I have enjoyed it on the whole and would like it to continue, to whatever conclusion you initially had planned, Alexis.

    However - isn't a third possibility (aside from closing SMEN, or keeping it open and possibly suffering more and more complaints) to continue the storyline but make it perhaps very slightly less punishing? I'm honestly not trying to suggest this as a roundabout way of calling for the storyline to be made easier for my own comfort, but rather as a legitimate compromise between your capital-A Artistic Vision and capital-B Business. I mean, speaking as a player here, it's always been the lore behind Mr. Eaten that's made the storyline the most interesting to me. I really REALLY want to find out the whole background with what happened to him, and maybe help him achieve whatever Reckoning won't be indefinitely postponed. I would absolutely hate to see it prematurely cut short with some anticlimactic and probably necessarily ambiguous hasty ending.
    +11 link
    Sara Hysaro
    Sara Hysaro
    Moderator
    Posts: 4514

    12/9/2013
    I really, really hope you can think of a solution that makes you happy.

    --
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    Please do not send SMEN, cat boxes, or Affluent Reporter requests. All other social actions are welcome.

    Are you a Scarlet Saint? Send a message my way to be added to the list.
    +4 link
    Anstruther Barron
    Anstruther Barron
    Posts: 92

    12/9/2013
    Echoing what Sara and Dolan have said, there are a great many people, myself included who really enjoy the Eaten content and would be very sad to see it wrapped up in a hasty way or even abandoned entirely. I hope you can reconsider

    --
    http://www.fallenlondon.com/Profile/Anstruther~Barron
    +4 link
    Leraika
    Leraika
    Posts: 56

    12/9/2013
    Dolan wrote:
    I mean, speaking as a player here, it's always been the lore behind Mr. Eaten that's made the storyline the most interesting to me. I really REALLY want to find out the whole background with what happened to him, and maybe help him achieve whatever Reckoning won't be indefinitely postponed. I would absolutely hate to see it prematurely cut short with some anticlimactic and probably necessarily ambiguous hasty ending.



    This, really.

    As an aside, Alexis, thanks for a clear explanation on what exactly happened. I'd really prefer both 'Alexis ends up happy' and 'Mr Eaten continues', but if that's not possible...well, I'd prefer the Reckoning be indefinitely postponed than given a hasty ending.

    --
    Leraika - Smoldering Academic and occasional woman-about-town

    Feel free to send me requests!
    +1 link
    Alexis Kennedy
    Alexis Kennedy
    Posts: 1374

    12/9/2013
    EDIT: Please stop sending me PMs, people, I have all the helpfully intended opinions I need :-)


    oh lawks I should have known this would happen. Look, I'm locking thread again to minimise drama, because I don't want the impression to be a long tail of people going OH NO PLEASE ALEXIS and then me sweeping queenily back in and going WELL IF YOU ABSOLUTELY INSIST

    Thank you for your various enthusiasms. In response to a couple of suggestions, making it less punishing and incorporating it into primary content is possible, but it would be a substantial investment either of my own out of hours time, or of company time (and it won't cover its own costs). I'm going to think it through carefully.

    Now go and talk about Christmas instead.

  • edited by Alexis on 12/9/2013
  • +11 link
    Alexis Kennedy
    Alexis Kennedy
    Posts: 1374

    12/12/2013
    OK, update! I've talked about it in a blog post to try to keep the Recept Posts page clear for non-Seekers, and also as an easy link for when someone next asks 'what's up with Mr Eaten?'


    http://www.failbettergames.com/?p=1331



  • cheers all!
  • +4 link




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