Joined: 25 Jul 2004
Location: UNSC Comm Relay Station Alpha, West Shokan, NY
[BLOG] Studio Cypher OITC Postmortem
The entire text of the entry is a bit long, so I'll summarize. (For the full post, have a linky!)
What Went Right
*The Story: Apparently, people liked it, and the characters had a real presence (especially Sue, which led to some great interaction)
*The Items: Again, people liked getting the clay hexagons, and then using them in the antipodes.
*The Wakeful Agents: The guys at Studio Cypher think we did a good job in spite of all the problems, and they were surprised at how much interest was expressed (they were expecting a relatively low signup for the first case, and were pleasantly surprised to find those expectations exceeded).
What Went Wrong
*Pacing: Although the story kept moving, at some points it did get bogged down - most notably during the Batch Processor puzzle and during the info-cache hunts. (They also admit that while a collaborative puzzle with instant feedback is a good idea, the Batch Processor is a shining example of how not to do it.)
*Communication: On both ends, there were uncertainties - the PMs weren't sure how much they could tell us about the game without breaking character, and some players weren't sure who they could and couldn't contact. (For the record, non-WA players can talk to any character who's not a Cypher - e.g., Sue Terrini and John Match - but only WAs can have direct contact with the Cyphers themselves.)
*Logistics: Once again, back to the Batch Processor - since the "poison" and "parasites" couldn't be counted by computer, they had to be counted by people, which led to human error (e.g., a missing comma). Also, the code for the processor wasn't properly tested for things like a long pause between guesses, and at one point they changed the definition of "parasites" and forgot to update the clue. (Whoops!)
Also, mailing out the items was problematic: the clay tablets were too large to let the envelopes go through a machine sorter (result: broken tablets and shredded envelopes), and the postcard codes sometimes wound up in just the wrong spot (result: delayed delivery and damaged postcards).
*More Characters: This should make things more interesting, won't increase the workload too much, and would mean that some characters can be waiting on things without the entire stroy coming to a halt.
*Better Mix Of Activities: Since they were trying to attract new players while entertaining people who were old hands at this sort of thing, the mix wasn't quite right and neither group was completely satisfied.
*Clearer Goals: Since some of the goals for the first episode were ambiguous, a lot of people were annoyed because they weren't sure what to do. They're planning to make the goals clearer for the next episode.