Be Kind to your Gamemaker [an essay] Jun 11, 2012 21:19:08 GMT -5
Post by GM Hera Levelwright [aya] on Jun 11, 2012 21:19:08 GMT -5
Note: this is not my first Games-related essay, and I highly doubt it will be the last, but it's something I've had on my mind practically the entire 61st Games so far, and I feel the need to speak to the subject.
Be kind to your Gamemakers
I'm not sure exactly how many of you have ever taken a step back to think about exactly how many people are involved in a single Games, or if you've thought about how much time goes into planning and running them. Maybe you have, maybe you haven't; either is fine, since the Games are supposed to be about you guys, the members and tributes. They are about glory and recognition and roleplaying opportunities, not the behind the scenes work. But for once, I'd like to call to light exactly what goes into the Games behind the scenes from start to finish.
First, a general theme is decided upon and a rough idea for a map is created. I sketch the map out on a piece of paper. (2 hours)
Next, a rough copy — and eventually a final copy — of the map is created. (2 hours)
Random Events are planned. Lots of creative energy is necessary for this stage, and it occurs over a period of several weeks to several months before the Games. (2 hours total)
Arena board descriptions are written. This can take a lot of input over a long course of time, depending on the number of areas in the arena, and on creative energy available to write long descriptive paragraphs on a setting. (3 hours of writing total)
The tribute reaping spreadsheet is created and posted, along with tessera sign-ups. Individual tessera are added to the spreadsheet, money is subtracted from each paying member's account. (1 hour total)
The mutt contest is posted. All of the mutt entries are read through and the best ones for the arena are selected. (1 hour)
Additional mutts are created. This can take a long time in certain Games (for example, the 60th, when many of the mutts were brand new) or several hours in others. A final list of muttations is compiled. (2 hours)
The tribute reaping masterlist is created on the night that I do the reaping. This accounts for entries based on age and extra entries based on tessera for 500-600+ characters. The reaping is done and a tribute list is generated. (1 hour)
The reaping posts are written beforehand and posted at midnight, EST. The tribute masterlist is set up. (1 hour)
The HG Info and HG Discussion boards are set up. All of the appropriate threads are reposted in Info, with the necessary modifications done to each. (1 hour)
Arena Boards are set up. The Combat Code is installed and tested. (1 hour)
24 Private Training Sessions are read and evaluated. (1 hour)
A generator is coded to randomly distribute item lists to the 24 tributes. (1 hour)
The Games begin. The Bloodbath: logging attacks, tallying damage, monitoring for rule breaks, answering a flurry of questions, trying to get everyone else to keep their sanity while quickly losing yours. (8 hours + one stress hairball)
For each Games Day:
Answering questions and resolving conflicts (1 hour)
Taking care of Tribute Maintenance (2 hours)
Writing the Anthem (1 hour)
Updating Betting/Odds and Sponsorship (1 hour)
Writing Mutt posts (2 hours)
Checking/activating Random Events (1 hour)
8 hours/Games Day times an average 8 days in the Arena (64 hours)
Keeping the Tribute Sidebar and the HG Status in the sidebar infobox updated (1 hour total)
Making a Thread Tracker (1 hour)
Paying the Betting winners (1 hour)
Archiving the Arena/moving reaping threads (1 hour)
Designing a crown for the Victor (1 hour)
Recap Video (10 hours)Grand Total: 106 hours
This isn't a complaint. It's work that is fun and well worth it to an appreciative group of members, and I'm sure the other Gamemakers would agree. I'm absolutely happy to devote upwards of 100 hours of my life to work for the site once a year, on top of the regular staff duties and on top of roleplaying.
I just want to make one thing clear.
I do not, and I have not, put so much work into the site for my own benefit. I don't do it because I like to be appreciated. Contrary to popular belief, I don't do it because I like to have 24 tributes at my mercy. I do it for you guys. The other GMs do it for you guys. I don't care about personal glory or feeling evil, I do it because I want the Games to be a fun experience for everyone: the tributes, the past victors, the siblings of tributes, the members who are just watching.
Do I care if you guys know exactly how much work goes into the Games? Until now, no. But I've been seeing a lot of disrespect towards the GM and the staff as a whole that is absolutely, unbelievably uncalled for. We do this work for no pay so that people can enjoy themselves. We are not here to be your slaves or your servants or your punching bags. If you have an issue, please be calm with your GM. Be patient. There's 24 of you — plus a lot of members without tributes who have questions or try to put their two cents into everything — and no matter how much experience with the Games we have, it can always get overwhelming.
Remember why you're in the Games: to have fun.
Remember why we put so much time and effort into the Games: for you all to have fun.
Treat your Gamemaker with courtesy and respect and you'll be dealt with courteously and respectfully. Don't intentionally be difficult. Don't give us a hard time. Don't tell us that our rules don't make sense; we'll be happy to explain them to you. Don't try to get away with things. But still feel free to ask about anything. The rules are right there, but if you're confused about something, ask. Ask in a PM if possible, or ask in the Questions/Suggestions board, where we're sure to see it. It is no excuse to attack your GM for not letting you get away with something, and then try to claim ignorance.
Once again, I urge you to consider everything that has to be done for the Games to work the way they do. Consider the time and energy spent by the Gamemakers and other staff and even the RP Tutors for the Games to be as successful as they are. Remember that no matter what happens, you directly control how much fun you have in the Games.
I'm not asking that the GMs get showered in praise. I'm not asking for a pat on the back for each of us for a job well done. As I've been saying, it really isn't about us at all; it's about you all: the tributes and the members.
What I am asking for is a small, quiet appreciation. You don't need to say anything. I just ask that, no matter what Games it is or who's running it or who the tributes are, you treat the Gamemaker with the utmost respect. It isn't an easy job.
I'm going to close with the words of the wise Toxic Bob: