Post by GM -REDACTED- [L△LIA] on Sept 18, 2021 12:44:00 GMT -5
Please feel free to ask questions you might have about anything Retro related, be it IC or OOC; past, present, or future!
As always questions may also be asked in #games-faq or my DMs on Slack (especially anything that may lean conversational, just to make the back and forth aspect easier). Please also feel free to ask follow up questions to anything in this thread!
Questions may be submitted in this thread, on Slack, or via this form (particularly for anonymous questions): HERE!
(Questions from last night's TC will be going up throughout the day; it'll just take me a little bit of time to recap some of the answers as we mainly focused on noting questions since a lot of the TC was just Tom and I hanging out and doubling back over some of the things we've already been discussing in DMs lately, with a couple other members popping in and out throughout. I'll do my best to cover everything that came up!)
Post by GM -REDACTED- [L△LIA] on Sept 18, 2021 13:25:16 GMT -5
Q: Are we going to be getting RP boards and out-of-games events for the Retro timeline? (Rave)
A: Currently we have a Character Development board for each Retro Games. It is intended not only for any pre-Games threading, but also for anything else people might like to write that is specific to the Retro timeline! Be it tribute or victor related or something else entirely.
If there are ideas for additional boards (or alternatives to the Character Development board) that might enable more engagement then I'd be very interested in hearing ideas for that!
I would love to see more out-of-games events for the Retro timeline! Due to the intense workload of managing the Retro games it's not something I currently have a personal intention to run development for — nor do I think it would be necessary for me to be the person to run development for other types of Retro timeline events. I think things like that could be fantastic opportunities for various people to take both organizational and creative leads. If anyone has ideas for something like that then I wholeheartedly recommend writing up an outline for the idea and running it by the admins!
In the occurrence of out-of-games Retro plots and mini events, I would of course be open to cross-plotting those things with games events. (For example: an organized effort by the rebellion to sabotage a games event or assisting with tying an Olympics event in with the future development of the Training Center, etc. Be it something I can do from a general management perspective or helping to facilitate discussions between future Retro GMs and the people in charge of the other events.) I'd also be happy to assist people who are working on outlining ideas for out-of-games Retro plots and events, if talking about the background on how the Retro games came to be would be helpful reference or anything else like that.
Post by GM -REDACTED- [L△LIA] on Sept 18, 2021 13:35:16 GMT -5
Q: Oooh, are we going to be getting pre-54th mayor spots? (Rave)
A: There have been tributes who have been connected to Retro timeline mayors — for example, in the 1st Games Zoe's tribute was the daughter of a mayor.
I think Retro mayors could be a really cool mini event! It's not something that falls under the Retro games itself, so it's not something that has come up for discussion between the admins and I thus far. I would love to see people coordinate with the admins to develop that history and run plots for things that!
Post by GM -REDACTED- [L△LIA] on Sept 18, 2021 15:07:11 GMT -5
Q: People are allowed to make non-tribute Retro characters (and currently do not need those bios to be approved), but are there certain types of characters that should be avoided or that aren't allowed? (Tom)
A: Similar to how creating modern day IC Gamemakers is reserved for the the people who are the OOC Gamemakers of each games, official IC Retro games staff characters are currently reserved for the people who are the OOC Retro games staff.
For example, the mutt writers in the 4th Games were allowed to make IC animal handlers. For the 6th Games the GMs have an IC announcer and an IC historian, as the major developments for the 6th Games are focused on things like broadcasting technology, live announcing, and utilizing historical references as a key inspiration for arena design; they were most interested in tying their characters into those themes.
There will continue to be consistent and recurring opportunities for contributing as OOC Retro staff and thus for creating a variety of IC Retro staff characters. (However, if no one steps up for those positions — like the open call for writing animal handlers in the 5th Games halftime show, for which there was only one participant — then new staff characters may not always occur.)
It's also worth noting that staff characters may develop into new IC games positions over the years and be promoted to new jobs and titles as those things develop. For instance an animal handler may become a scientist, a war historian may become a combat trainer, an intern may become a gamemaker. As often as possible it would be cool to continue to develop staff characters over the Retro years, as each games develops, so that the behind the scenes things can be expanded on as well. As of now the goal for those types of developments is for many of them to be focused on these member created characters and actual IC contributions, rather than suddenly having major games positions pop into existence without an IC foundation or relying on NPCs to create development narratives.
As for other character types to avoid: I would recommend avoiding things like high-level government positions (such as the President — it's worth noting that an NPC for her already exists anyhow — or mayors), unless you have received permission directly from the admins. Those types of characters are often used as NPCs for official IC announcements or awarded to members who participate in mini events such as elections. When in doubt, it's usually quick and easy to ask!
Follow-up Q: What if someone prefers to participate as a Retro tribute? Is there any possibility for an exception to be made for them to create a staff-adjacent character to engage with the behind the scenes games development?
A: While I do not foresee allowing people to create Gamemakers or other major IC positions who have not made OOC games staff contributions (if for no other reason than I would like to avoid situations in which someone takes IC responsibility for another person's OOC work), I cannot think of a reason off the top of my head not to allow things like interns or assistants. There is also already precedent for having more prominent characters who do not work with the games officially, but who have been set up to potentially be transitioned into an official games position in the future. For example Rave has a Retro character who does some unofficial games announcing, via a more general IC Capitol media platform, and if Rave participates as a Retro GM or other relevant games staffer in the future then I would see no issue with having that character hired on in an official IC capacity versus creating a new character.
Post by arthur rollei d3m [zori] on Sept 18, 2021 15:45:55 GMT -5
Hello! I'm posting this with the caveat that they aren't my words, and were contributed via mainly a single member, are co-signed by myself. I don't want this to come across as a personal attack or slight, but in the interest of town halls and Q&As, it does no good as a community not to hear difficult things.
I already have a feeling that I'll be told to check my tone (tone policing) and that this makes people uncomfortable, but if it does, then good! We can talk about why and also how we can better communicate. As the words below already will say, it's with love that people care so much about this site, and no one wants to do anything to anyone out of malice.
Criticism and questioning are not an attack on an individual's identity, but a measure of how other people are assessing a project or activity. So with that being said, I wanted to post this below as I didn't want to be anonymous in this effort. Remember,
So I have been listening and reading the comments from the live Q&A about the retros, and have taken a little time to digest exactly what is being said. The questions asked were meant to gauge a more wide spectrum aspect of exactly how the retros are supposed to work, but A LOT of very active members are STILL quite confused on some of the other machinations of what goes into the retros, and the lore of the site in general.
To be quite clear, these words are being written with love for a site that I have been a part of for years, and while my time doesn’t compare to other members, I feel like this is a place that I can call home. And so, when one does not feel safe or heard in their home, they are going to put up walls.
Well, at this point in time, there are A LOT of people that call this a home, that do not feel like they are being heard. So much so that it is starting to become unhealthy for some people. I don’t know quite exactly to put it into words, but I am all about just being honest.
The retros need to become a community effort.
Site lore needs to be able to be put into any members hands.
There needs to be less talk about what YOU want for the retros, and more talk about what other members want for the retros.
I feel like you think you have this huge mantle on your shoulders that you are hoisting up, and that you think you have it, that you can hold it, but here is the thing…. You don’t have to hoist anything up by yourself. However, the site as a whole feels like if they get anywhere near your mantle, you are just going to rip it away and scream MINE.
Where is the community in that mentality? The fact that we are on a writing site with 50+ active writers is proof enough that anyone can handle writing lore, but when it comes to pre-54 th writing, there is this lock and key that you seem to be holding onto dear life. And even then, when we ask questions, we feel like you are answering them as how you want them to be answered, instead of trying to think of it from another perspective.
Its almost like you think that YOU are the only one that can have a hand in the creation of the site. Like there aren’t other people that can and do exactly what you are doing. The fact that you have only let Aya try is what is jarring. And quite honestly, that is what is feeling the most gatekeeping.
You claim that you are letting some other members GM to get a taste of what it is like but honestly, it under minds so much of the basis of the site. They get to decide some things, but it feels like a junior GM role isn’t what it should be. That you are still trying to hold on to as much power over the lore as possible. Why?
Like I feel like that is the basis of most conversations when it comes to the retro. Why are we gatekeeping, why do you feel like you are the only one that can make these decisions, and most importantly, why can no one else help? Why is it important to keep the victor quell when the site as a collective does not want it?
“Because it would mess up the lore that is already created”
No it wouldn’t, it would add to the lore that is already created.
“Because it would be too hard to manage…”
There are literally 25+ staff members willing to help if you need to help manage things.
“Because it would just be easier…”
Then you are trying to take away the agency of writers that did work hard to get those victors, and that right there is just wrong. We are allowed to have a say in something, and you should let us have it. Its starting to sound like you do not want anyone to touch it because you claim that the past is your baby, and if you didn’t have that, then you would fade into the background of the site.
And to add, now hearing that you feel that retconning would be too difficult due to precedence, there are many examples of past writers linking their characters to past victors from the 53rd and prior. So Julian Bryze loses his parents in the quell? What about one of Python’s tribs that was related to a past victor in the 60’s? Cricket wants to be known for all of these firsts… but like…. The retros WILL retcon like there is no choice. That is the acceptance that everyone understands. Its extremely frustrating for many to hear that they don’t get to really choose what they want to do. The victor quell needs to be abolished. Point blank. Period.
How is it anyone’s responsibility to dictate the fate of anyone’s character? That takes the point out of the whole experience of getting a chance to write a retro victor. There are easy ways to implement retconning that would “not break the foundation of the site.” Lets be clear, the foundation of the site is rocky at best, and the timeline is anything but straight. Linearity does not exist on HGRPG and a lot of the members have come to accept this. If something is needed to be retconned, then it should be up to the writers involved to talk about it, not leave it to some cataclysmic event that takes away the agency from people that have earned the right to write characters they love. Sure they can branch out, and do other plots and what not, but that should still not be constricted to “no matter what, your victor dies.” Why would anyone want to continue with them? Its hard enough to get some people to write their CURRENT victors as is, and HGRPG is known as a place where Victors just make appearances for plot purposes. Some do more, and some do a whole lot less, but why? From what I am gathering from the Retro Victors, they want a chance to wrote those victors into their old ages, and choose how they go out. If we believe in agency and autonomy of self, then there shouldn’t be any question about this… they should be allowed to do so.
It is not up to one person to decide the fate of a country, but up to the majority. There are lots of bright eyed, eager people on this site willing to literally bend BACKWARDS to make anything work, but instead of trying to reach out to them, there is this preconceived notion that lends to it being “diatribe ” because you already have it “in mind” that no victor will live past the 50th. The retros lore needs to become an open forum, break the chain, throw away the lock and key, and let other people in. Create a forum that is specific to trying to retcon things when they happen.
Let me also throw it in, that a total of 7 (being generous on this number) out of 15 victors in present day games are currently active pre-70th. And even out of those seven… how often are they being written? We would think that having retro victors in present day plots would maybe give reason for some of them to come out of the woodwork and be written more because there is a ton more to go off of. To assume that no one would be interested in that is just ludicrous. We are acting on assumptions, instead of talking it out. No. No one wants to do a feedback form, we want to be able to publicly talk about all of this openly and honestly. And so, bluntly, I just have to be honest.
It is also infuriating to a large group of the site, because we feel like we are helpless while you get to dictate what we can and cannot do with any of our tributes from the retros. Especially if we get them out of the games. We are policed, because it seems like you want to “scatter out” the “firsts” of the games. If it all happens in one games, then like, that’s how it should be, because it is organic. Instead, writers cant have too specific things happen in their own bios because it doesn’t fit with YOUR vision. Why should OUR characters fit YOUR vision? That idea just baffles me, even to this day.
There is a part of me that does appreciate this mentality, because then it challenges us to take the character in a different direction, but at the same time, there are members that have to spend days trying to get changes approved, and sometimes, it kills the buzz for a writer, making for a lack luster tribute and writing experience.
This idea also seems to go against what the retros to be, and quite honestly, there are many members of the site that feel like they don’t even get a chance to really explore other sides of their writing in that vein, and moreover, even if they win… they only get to control so much of their own story? Because they HAVE to die? That’s just not fair to anyone that dreams to have a retro victor, because it is now sounding like “sure, they get to have a little effect, but nothing more than just a drop in the ocean. ”
I think the easiest way to put it… we don’t want the victor quell. We want nothing to do with it, and to be quite frank, we are not even sure why who was the one that was allowed to decide that for the lore of the site. Since we’ve found out that this has been the intention all along, the current victors have felt like there is this looming cloud over them, and it feels like they aren’t getting much say. In the grand scheme of things, no one is really getting a say except for yourself.
May I lean back to the point about gatekeeping? Because that is what this feels like. And the fact that you have publicly stated that even if there isn’t a high showing for the retros, it will not detour you from running them. So you would rather have small numbers as long as the retros keep getting written? I thought the point of the retros was to give others a chance to add to the lore?
From the sounds of it, you single handedly want the credit for the site lore, if not want majority credit. Site lore is not something that should be created by one person, it should be talked amongst the people that want to ALL create it. We want to have equal say, not minimal say. I am not sure how this is so hard to grasp, and we were hoping that this would have become apparent in the questions that were asked in the live Q&A.
I actually wished that the medium for the Q&A was actually done on site, as I heard it was a very low showing as well. That way questions could have been asked and there could have been some more thoughtful back and forth for everyone to see as they pass by. This was all put together in a rush, and I really think there shouldn’t have been a rush to do so. People have work, and lives outside of the site, and so time to read everything and discuss would have help to further the understanding of why the retros are ran the way they are.
Instead we got the run around, to be quite honest.
At the end of the day, what many members of the site want is a chance to get our hands wet. Not dip a toe in (junior gm) but literally throw ourselves into the eye. Let other members run the retros, let other members have GM’s, or even just let the writers have their victors in present day. Retro victors as a concept is awesome, but if they have to die, then what is the point? They could offer dynamics in present day games, different viewpoints, and introduce people to other writers on the site. There are so many benefits to removing the quell, and its getting increasingly more frustrating that you are gatekeeping this.
I hope this at least sheds light on how many members are feeling currently about the trajectory of the Retro games, and maybe these words can be taken into account when deciding the future of them.
Post by GM -REDACTED- [L△LIA] on Sept 18, 2021 16:04:16 GMT -5
Q: Is there potential for an alternative to the current Retro bracket system? (Tom)
A: Previous to this, I had only received 100% positive feedback for the bracket system, a good majority of which was overwhelmingly enthusiastic due to the way it ensures pretty much equal odds of becoming victor for each tribute. It also removes potential GM bias with regards to how fights are mandated and helps to easily pace a games so that fast writers are not at a disadvantage to slow writers (which was perhaps the biggest issue with the original Retro system of having fights be fully un-mandated). Based on that, consideration for changes have been more focused on potential minor adjustments rather than working towards yet another major overhaul of mechanics. Particularly since this is a very stable fight system that is easy to maintain games balance and pacing with and so it finally allows new Retro GMs to step up without setting them up for failure and/or literal 24 hour a day workloads (which was why the previous attempt at switching up GMs failed, despite Aya obviously being the most experienced and knowledgeable GM on the site).
No adjustments for the bracket system were considered for the 6th Games because the main priority was to ensure a stable framework for new GMs to work within. It's hard to change too many things at one time without widespread confusion amongst participants and having another go at bringing in new GMs was the change I most wanted to prioritize for implementation.
That said, I am always looking for people's thoughts on how to make Retro mechanics as flexible as possible (so long as that does not come at the expense of other tributes). For instance, I'm hoping it will be possible to re-introduce an option for tributes to self-assign in early fights — so long as this can be done without overly benefiting any particular person's odds of becoming victor — so that participants can once again have direct say in who they write a fight with. Also some people prefer 1v1s to large fights and it would be good to be able to adjust for those preferences as well. However the plan is to organize large community discussions on these types of mechanics changes and to openly source alternatives from members for consideration, so absolutely nothing is currently set for upcoming adjustments as of now.
(Please note that this was followed by Tom mentioning that he personally has ideas about alternatives to the fight bracket, which I cannot accurately recap myself, but that I asked him to outline in further detail. There will be official open calls for alternatives as well, but it will take more preparation and planning.)
Post by GM -REDACTED- [L△LIA] on Sept 18, 2021 16:16:15 GMT -5
I've just seen that there has been a reply to this thread as well as being bombarded by a sudden rush of DMs on Slack, so please excuse the pause in my attempt to recap the TC as I catch up on what's happening. I will return to recapping questions and conversations as soon as I am able.
As I was expecting last night's TC to be more minor questions and technical clarifications (for instance, clarifying the specific tasks I am NOT involved in so that Arx and Sidney are receiving full credit for their incredible hard work and creative brilliance in these Games) — instead of Tom and I re-discussing many parts of a lengthy in-depth conversation we've been having over the past week or so (which is great and I don't mind doing it, it's just not what I was expecting) — thus I was not anticipating having such major and detailed questions to recap. I apologize that I am not fast.
Post by GM -REDACTED- [L△LIA] on Sept 18, 2021 18:07:42 GMT -5
As Zori's post is more detailed than I will be capable of responding to immediately (I will need some time to gather my thoughts as I am confused as to the basis for some of the perceptions that were mentioned) and references a number of concerns related to TC questions that I have not yet recapped (at least not outside of a notable DM I responded to this morning; so I am not sure if certain issue are due to specifics of my written statement or verbal statements that were passed along), I am going to continue recapping the TC for now. Or at least I will later tonight after taking care of a few important irl responsibilities and if not tonight then tomorrow. That way as much relevant information and context can be as easily and publicly available as possible.
Please note that the response to the aforementioned DM was a recap of a question that was asked last night and as such that response too will be made publicly available. The reasoning for victor deaths having been openly mandated since the start of the 1st Retro Games was one of the last things brought up in the TC so I simply have not made it that far down the list of questions and conversations yet.
I would also like to state that I'm always totally up for having open conversations related to the issues, individual perspectives, and generalizations mentioned in that post (or the alternative viewpoints and different concerns of anyone else, etc), but that sorting out where to start with that post may take some time as being presented with so much at once is rather overwhelming. Particularly when it seems as though there are some rather serious misconceptions about my role and personal intentions, specifically with regards to the 6th Games and Retro GMs. It is also difficult to address concerns that are not being brought to me directly, as I do not know about things I am not told and I do not know who is interested in dialogue with me when I am addressed anonymously with other anonymous people being vaguely referred to. I am a very straightforward person and do my best to avoid getting involved with second hand statements or gossip, so assuming I know something because it is considered common knowledge to some people is generally a false assumption.
In the mean time I hope that the continued recapping of various questions can be helpful with clearing up confusion.
Additionally, I hope that nothing is being said to discredit the hard work and incredible creativity of our 6th GMs, Arx and Sidney. I do not mind people speaking their minds about me, but I would like to publicly state that the two of them have been doing their best to go above and beyond and they deserve nothing except respect and accolades. Their efforts are under no circumstances to be falsely attributed to me. The success of any Retro is wholly due to the participants. I am simply doing my best to facilitate that and it is right that any negativity or perceived problems are directed at me.
Thank you to those of you who have been reaching out to me on Slack. I have received some truly lovely messages from a lot of people and if I haven't responded yet, please know that I very much appreciate these comments. It's just hard to respond to so many things at once. <3
Post by arthur rollei d3m [zori] on Sept 18, 2021 18:54:00 GMT -5
Thanks, Lalia! I wanted to add that I wasn't slighting any work done by the junior GMs. I'm sure they're working hard and are doing excellent work in the 6th games. Thanks for bringing us another retro games!
I also posted this so it's not exactly anonymous, but out of respect for those who felt they wanted it posted publicly but didn't want to put out their names. But seeing as I think the invited public dialogue is helpful, I didn't mind. You can always DM me, along with other members, if they had questions. Though I didn't write it, I can always tell you my personal views. Thank you all!
Post by GM -REDACTED- [L△LIA] on Sept 18, 2021 19:20:12 GMT -5
This post had already been DMed to me directly by the original writer before it was posted here, so I am aware of who that person is and will be having a direct discussion as I am able, but I will still be posting a public response at some point since this was also posted publicly.
If any of the people who consider themselves to be part of the anonymous collective would like to be responded to more directly then feel free to DM me at any point.
Post by GM -REDACTED- [L△LIA] on Sept 18, 2021 23:55:10 GMT -5
Q: Will Jr. GMs be given more control?
A: A question this general is difficult to answer because it does not mention the specific things Jr. GMs may or may not already be in control of. So to respond generally, the answer of course is yes.
To attempt to respond with more specifics because I think this is one of the things people are most curious about: The 6th Retro GMs have pretty much been fully in charge of the creative decisions. While I publicly provided a small quote from the Wikipedia article about Colosseum history as a jumping off point (having no starting point is often the hardest for people), Arx and Sidney mainly discussed ideas and interests with each other. Sometimes I openly enthused because I'm prone to being a cheerleading fangirl lol. In moments where they got stuck I would throw some random ideas out in an attempt to help them think in new directions they perhaps hadn't considered — none of which were actually utilized, if I recall correctly. My personal input has been incredibly minor overall. For instance I questioned the inclusion of jewels in a description, since there are probably still significant IC budget constraints this early on, and they decided to update that to faux jewels. When the train was proposed my main concern was asking if the audience would be able to easily see fight action, to which the response was a glass observational train car and fighting on top of freight cars. We discussed how many train cars could reasonably fit within the arena. I asked that an IC description reference to me as a GM to be removed as my IC GM should not be credited with Arx and Sidney's work or creative ideas. (I will also note here that my IC GM is currently redacted lol, as her IC function will be to actively push other characters into the spotlight and remain a fairly anonymous shadow figure — that's why I had not made a GM up to this point despite being encouraged to by numerous people. But the 6th GMs did not wish to write GM characters, opting for other ideas for which that kind of IC plottage was not necessary.) Even those minor proposed edits were made by Arx and Sidney themselves.
My main tasks have been doing grunt work, so that Arx and Sidney can focus their energy on creating a dynamic and immersive games, going above and beyond with interactive plans. Contrary to popular belief, it's a MASSIVE amount of work to create, write up, and run a games within such an incredibly small time span! I've been posting a lot of the copy/paste type threads and helping to track technical stuff and remind tributes about rolling initiative and such. I answer general questions, but encourage tributes to ask Arx and Sidney about various arena questions and other 6th Games specific things. If there's busywork that I can do that frees up more time for them to focus on direct interaction with tributes or discuss RE ideas with each other and things like that then that's what I'm around for. I remind them that I'm there for support if they get overwhelmed or have irl emergencies at any point, but barring that I am primarily a reference resource for things like games history and established precedents that could be used as stepping stones for introducing various ideas they have. In the event of an unforeseen major controversy (something like dice edits being called into question) then I would potentially step in to help moderate — however the current mechanics make most situations of controversy highly unlikely.
I adjusted the fight bracket to account for a smaller number of tributes after individually surveying each participant about their preferences for being involved in fights and what size of fights. I also surveyed participants about the idea of NPCs and in response to the high level of enthusiasm Sidney and Arx decided it would be fun to work with people to make that a unique feature of the 6th Games. Once the GMs got to a solid point of having the arena designed, descriptions written, plans that are yet-to-be-revealed sorted out, etc, I have been encouraging them to also be the ones to post things like the Round One 1v1s starter and other announcements — so long as that's fun for them and not tedious. It is not that Arx and Sidney are not capable people, without a doubt they are phenomenally capable individuals. They are free to post and coordinate all the things they have time and energy for, but sometimes they are real humans who get busy or tired or need to prioritize larger concerns and I post minor things on their behalf or coordinate with tributes to help out. The workload of a Retro is far more extensive than most people realize.
To respond to the generalized question of control in a different manor: The current goal for Retro mechanics is for them to become self-sufficient. The same way mutt writers were asked to systematically randomize their targets in the 4th (this way there was zero question of whether someone might be attacked unfairly; particularly since many members are actually prone to over-attacking the people they feel most comfortable with, which can disadvantage friends as easily as malicious intent could disadvantage someone) the bracket system aims to remove various kinds of bias that can be present in other methods of assigning mandates. Things like this are of vital importance so that non-staff members are allowed to function as equals to staff members when GMing, writing mutts, or whatever else. (There will of course also be times when GM teams may not include staff members and self-sufficient mechanics enable that too.) Those types of control are not planned to be more extensively put into the hands of Retro GMs because ideally those types of control are not planned to be in anyone's hands.
Things like bio approval are openly acknowledged as formalities at this point. Unless there are direct rule breaks or things like twelve participants all intending to create pregnant tributes within the same games then there isn't much of anything that gets called out. "Firsts" are only denied because they are things that nearly every Retro participant wants to be the first person to do, so the only way to do that fairly is to utilize the reaping to randomly select for those things. After that they can become something that everyone is allowed to do freely, but unfortunately there cannot be 764875943 first ever career tributes and randomization is the only way to prevent bias in choosing something like that — which means that it's not something that should be casually approved on a request basis by me or any other GM. I have been asked about careers, sibtribs, tokens, starting a protest, and all of the other things everyone collectively gets excited about, right from the start of the 1st Games. Additionally, it's important for these things to be announced before a reaping takes place, so that the entire community can have an equal opportunity to sign up for a chance to write them. Limiting the number of "firsts" per games also helps to spotlight different tributes in fun ways! "Special characters" can create a level of hype that encourages positivity in community discussion and often increases engagement with a Retro from people who aren't necessarily writing tributes, etc.
Unique ideas have always been approved, so long as it's not something with a significant domino effect like tributes killing games audience members, which would obviously result in something like no longer having an audience and then we wouldn't have been able to have a concept like the 6th Games which is based on creating an immersive theater experience with the audience. Members who GM should have the opportunity to do creative things with something like a games audience, as that's unique to Retro, so I discourage rushing to eliminate those unique aspects before multiple people have gotten to put their creative twist on them.
TL;DR — What the 6th Games GMs are in control of has been based on what they've expressed interest in being in control of. This will also be true of future Retro GMs. Obviously the role will continue to evolve and the ways in which it will evolve will be a direct result of working to ensure that Retro GMs get to have the level of creative and/or managerial control they are interested in as individuals.
Post by GM -REDACTED- [L△LIA] on Sept 19, 2021 13:36:51 GMT -5
Q: What is the reasoning behind the rule that Retro victors are dead in modern day?
A: So the reason is kinda two parts.
1) Established site canon takes complete priority over Retro.
Members have put in... 11 years? 12 years? Of real life writing time covering nearly 40 IC years and Retro is intended to build on that, not to contradict it or to rewrite that established collaborative history that has been the work of hundreds of writers by this point. Inserting 53 victors into modern day would contradict so much writing that it has the potential to be legitimately site-breaking.
In particular, core site characters like the older victors have written out actual decades of development specifically centered on the lack of peers and having limited people to bond with. That led directly to things like the close-knit families of the D12s, various victors jumping through elaborate hoops to have cross-district relationships and marriages in order to connect with people who understand their experiences, all of the people who've written about being the lone victor in their district, etc. (I know I've written extensively about Cricket being fully ostracized from the victor collective and not having a D2 circle to fall back on because she was at direct odds with Julian over ideology and he was all there was for 23 years — it's only with Shy winning the 86th that there's now a third D2 victor. And that's just one example of many that I could speak about from my own development experience.) It's something that has had such a significant impact on many, if not most victors. So if say suddenly a dozen friendly victors materialize out of thin air in a district where someone has spent a literal decade writing about loneliness and a lack of understanding for their trauma, then that destroys modern day as we've known it. Additionally, the latter of the victors in the Retro timeline would end up being close in age to the older modern day victors, making a lack of relationship between them a particularly glaring issue to grapple with. All of this is also true for the decades and decades of tributes (well over a thousand at this point?) who wrote about not having anyone to mentor them or being neglected by the limited option(s) they had. Those feelings have led to notable character arcs, tribute rivalries between the haves and have nots of mentor support, and so much more. Even common site jokes about lower district dynasties or failing career systems have been foundational and if it turns out that there are 40-some new Retro career victors suddenly living amongst all of that then every long established dynamic of site canon is suddenly broken.
So that's the main reason that it was necessary to have Retro victors be dead in modern day and why that has been such a strong emphasis right from the start of the 1st games. We've done our best to ensure that people are aware of that before choosing to take part and while I absolutely sympathize with the desire to have a Retro victor alive in modern day on an individual level, it's pulling back to consider the bigger picture where it becomes an issue.
2) The core goal of Retro is to develop the past.
Ideally this includes expanding on the past beyond just the Games themselves. There are 53 years of the Rebellion to cover, 53 years of District community development, 53 years of events like Mayors, Olympics, County Fairs, Career competitions — all of the other recurring mini events that are run on the site (and more) could also have their histories developed. To jump a Retro victor's character development forward nearly a century and prioritize their last few years in life dismisses countless opportunities for them to become major historical figures in ways beyond just winning a Games. Retro victors have some unique development issues to take into account since as of yet they do not win prize money, a house, material benefits for their district, or anything like that — so when they win they're sent back to their homes and cannot necessarily seclude themselves the way a lot of modern victors do. They have to deal with community stigma in unique ways and have jobs and attempt to go back to living a "normal" life. They do not yet live lives of celebrity and it would be very difficult to just hide away from the passing years unless they already had the means to do so prior to their games.
Otherwise if the issue is that people want to plot more extensively with Retro victors then wouldn't that be better done within a mindset of expanding Retro world building? People have always been free to create non-tribute Retro characters and to write about things beyond the Games (this is highly encouraged) and it would be far more impactful with regards to building site lore (and expanding the community's ways of doing so and individual creative input on history) to focus on things like that. While people are allowed to make descendants of Retro characters, Retro itself is not intended to be just another means of attaining a victor and things like that. It's supposed to be about telling the stories of history.
Follow-up Q: Can you explain the need for a victor quell?
A: The 50th Retro Games being noted as a victor quell creates an additional option for people in how their Retro victor dies. No one is required to participate in this theoretical quell — writers may plot any type of death for their victor that they choose, so long as that death occurs by the 50th Games.
The idea of the 50th Games being a victor quell came about separately from the rule that Retro victors are dead. Outside of Retro it has always been common to joke about a victor quell or to discuss how fun it would be if not for the part where killing off 24 modern day victors would be a total bummer. Retro seemed like an ideal outlet for people to potentially write about something like that, since Retro victors are mandated to be dead anyhow, and it neatly explains the longstanding history of pre-54th victors being notably absent from site canon.
Post by GM -REDACTED- [L△LIA] on Sept 19, 2021 14:30:26 GMT -5
Q: Will there continue to be a Retro between each regular games?
We've always known there would be times when participation varies — this is true of any mini event on this site. People have real lives and cannot always participate in every single site plot or event; burnout following a regular games is very real and common; other times people are around and active, but they have other creative priorities. I was actually quite surprised, personally, that the 1st Games ended up having a full 24 tribute roster as I had been expecting at least a few empty spots even then. Right from the start of Retro there have been all sorts of flexible plans in place to account for participation varying from games-to-games.
Participants of the 6th Games have been extremely enthusiastic about the creative opportunities that NPCs provide and it will likely continue to be an option in the future if there are other Retro games with a limited number of writers. In the past we've also opened tribute spots up to be claimed by OOC volunteers, which is more suitable to a games with only one or two empty spots. While a full and fast paced Retro is exciting and brimming with diverse perspectives, having fewer writers has relaxed the pacing and provided more opportunities for participants to easily plot as a super chill group.
Smaller games would be particularly fantastic opportunities for more plot-based Retros, similar to the 4th Games, where tributes fighting each other is not the primary focus. Disaster arenas (tech mishaps, extreme weather situations, etc) in which a massive number of tribute deaths occur due to something non-combat related could kill high numbers of NPCs, leaving surviving tributes with unique writing opportunities focused on reacting to unprecedented situations.
So long as Retro games with a small number of writers are still fun and fulfilling for the participants then I do not foresee a change in the way Retros are scheduled. (Please note: I am not in charge of scheduling and I do not make those decisions.) In my personal opinion, I see nothing wrong with running a games for even just a single tribute — rather that sounds like a really cool opportunity for Retro GMs to work with someone to make their every writing hope and dream come true by tailoring the experience to them personally.