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sndwurks

Keeping the Story Team

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Shawn, Hand, and Denton were all great people and writers that just like anyone else had hits and misses particularly when handcuffed by limited resources and unclear brand direction. Had they written in the halcyon days of the game that some people really loved and some grognards wistfully remember with nostalgia glasses of the rose-colored like Wick,they would have been even better. I really don't like Wick's stuff and his current articles on gaming do little to change my opinion of the man's writing. What also matters to me is that Shawn was one of the most engaged members of the L5R team with the community. His blog which provided upcoming hints about coming RPG products and tiny teasers of the content, along with his forum engagement was a wonderful thing.

 

Must... resist... urge... to go on Wick rant...

 

 

* pats

 

Breathe in, breathe out

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If FFG would want to continue to have a Story Team to continue telling the story of L5R, I actually hope they will assemble an entirely new team to avoid any potential baggage from previous writers. 
Now, I think Spooky is totally awesome, and I really do want the novel to come out (as I love reading Denton's work!), but there are a lot of strong feelings in the community for the old ST... both positive and negative. I do want to see a revival for L5R with the change to FFG, but I do think it might be better to move on to a new generation of talented writers. 

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Fu Leng was a hyper-stereotypical piece of cardboard with "Evil" written on it. 

 

Later, much later, some motivation and backstory was filled in, but at the point he was actually the antagonist he was Evil God 101. 

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Do people actually want Fred and Shawn back?  How many long, boring story arcs do we need to go through with the same people in charge?  You can say they were handcuffed by brand, but that still leaves the past 8 years as proof that they were unable to work around those constraints.  

 

Not all of them are boring >.>

 

I wub Ree, want back, and most the writers of clan wars too. ^_^

 

Mya mya mya mya !!

 

If you want to avoid Mary Sues, bringing back Ree is... not the best plan you could have.

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Do people actually want Fred and Shawn back?  How many long, boring story arcs do we need to go through with the same people in charge?  You can say they were handcuffed by brand, but that still leaves the past 8 years as proof that they were unable to work around those constraints.  

 

Not all of them are boring >.>

 

I wub Ree, want back, and most the writers of clan wars too. ^_^

 

Mya mya mya mya !!

 

If you want to avoid Mary Sues, bringing back Ree is... not the best plan you could have.

 

 

but but but...

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If FFG would want to continue to have a Story Team to continue telling the story of L5R, I actually hope they will assemble an entirely new team to avoid any potential baggage from previous writers. 

 

You're right; previous baggage should be jettisoned.

 

However, I would also like to see some form of 'background support' that addresses or takes into account previous (and/or existing) L5R history..... thus, bring in a new team (and don't drag in previous L5R brand writers) and sprinkle that with support personnel from existing FFG personnel.  I hope that is making sense, as it seems somewhat cyclical in my opinion. 

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So...

WHAT REALLY NEEDS TO HAPPEN...

Is FFG needs to have a hiring process for new writers. If the former Story Team wants to get in, they need to submit a new writing sample. This opens the playing field too to other talents writers out in the aether. It seems a fair way to approach things, with people claiming "baggage" and what not.

I'm just going to reiterate Chris Hand.

Think he is an amazing writer? He is also an amazing Game Master.

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Maybe some of the old guard would be interested in coming back too? I don't know the exact reasons for the mass exodus in 2014, but I do know that Nancy Sauer, Yoon Ha Lee and Rusty Priske were excellent writers. I understand there is likely at least as much "baggage" associated with those names, but in particular Nancy made the courts click for me like nobody else - no offense guys!

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I try not to post in this thread, as it feels... self-serving? Weird, at the very least.

 

I will say that William has the right of it in that can't lay the blame for everything on Brand. The nature of the relationship between Brand and Story is not something I feel comfortable discussing, but much as I appreciate those of you offering credit where credit is due, as long as I've been around, I've certainly earned my share of blame as well.

 

It's very Shawn of you that you are willing to take the blame, but frankly, they should have supported you and your team more. I am not saying lightly that I believe that AEG burnt out their writers. I am not a stranger to burnout myself. What they expected you all to do in addition to your day jobs is unbelievable.

 

Please please know that while we're greedy thankless monsters, we also love you as a person and want you to be healthy and happy and wish you all the best. And I mean it, because my theory is that you get to know people you read for years.

 

And frankly, Sir, that's why you can't fool us: You are talented, work diligently and consistently and you are loyal to a fault. Problems may have arisen because you were not given time to breathe, let alone think - who cares. In the end, they gave you lemons and you made lemonade. I think AEG, strike that, we all owe you.

 

And just in case we're talking your legacy, for all the mixed results and controversy, those of us here are still collectively very much hooked. That's pretty much thanks to your work. I can't wait to find out what your next project is. Excelsior!

 

Ah well. Others are probably better at expressing this, but I gave it a try.

Edited by GranSolo

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Soooo....

 

What I'm seeing is that you really want us all to keep writing?

 

Right?

 

Neat!

 

Thanks!

 

:D

I think you should be given a fair shake to continue, yes. As I have said elsewhere, you and your cohorts (including shawn?) tried hard to get engaged with us again. And you guys got blindsided. Those are not the people you toss.

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I find it refreshing that Shawn, Max, Fred or Robert come and discuss with us about this, tbh. Yes, it might be a bit uncomfortable, but what do we prefer? There is no painless way of discussing this. Obviously, we all know that they were all working under seriously complicated circumstances. Shawn has mentioned this already, I believe (tell me if I'm wrong) and it's clear that any problem there has been with either story or continuity can not only be put under their responsibility. And we have to remember they were, to my knowledge, doing this either as volunteers or as a side job at best. I also remember that they were all quite open to discussion, which I will always be grateful about.

 

This said, I think there is no harm or disrespect in asking FFG to consider very seriously who they would rehire if any and give our opinion as future customers about the process. The fictions is what kept many of us engaged over the year (and I am saying this as a compliment to this team and the previous ones) and I believe it's fair to say that it's more at the core identity of this game(s) than even its mechanics, its victory conditions and what not... 

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I find it refreshing that Shawn, Max, Fred or Robert come and discuss with us about this, tbh. Yes, it might be a bit uncomfortable, but what do we prefer? There is no painless way of discussing this. Obviously, we all know that they were all working under seriously complicated circumstances. Shawn has mentioned this already, I believe (tell me if I'm wrong) and it's clear that any problem there has been with either story or continuity can not only be put under their responsibility. And we have to remember they were, to my knowledge, doing this either as volunteers or as a side job at best. I also remember that they were all quite open to discussion, which I will always be grateful about.

 

This said, I think there is no harm or disrespect in asking FFG to consider very seriously who they would rehire if any and give our opinion as future customers about the process. The fictions is what kept many of us engaged over the year (and I am saying this as a compliment to this team and the previous ones) and I believe it's fair to say that it's more at the core identity of this game(s) than even its mechanics, its victory conditions and what not... 

Well said.

I am glad to see this openness, honesty, and civility when discussing such a touchy subject. I think it's the sort of exchange that needs to happen at this juncture, no matter what route FFG chooses to go.

It's no secret that I've been rather critical of the ST and of AEG in general. That said, it'd be downright delusional to act as if the people involved weren't impacted by a complicated situation, a heavy workload, the other rigors of running/working within a business, and even the constant pestering by us folks in the online community. I know working with a rabid pack of gamers can certainly be a thankless task. And that's when you're not expected to churn out weekly fictions on top of everything else.

As far as FFG goes, I think we should definitely be striving to make sure our opinions are heard. The ability and willingness to do that is one thing that makes this community great.

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It's an odd feeling being called bagage. I wonder, since I was so new, am I one of those sleek hard case bags or an old crumply beat up bag?

Either way, you shouldn't toss bags unless you work at the airport. Though I'm certain FFG will do what is best for FFG.

Edited by C Thomas Hand

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I did not mean to say that people are baggage. :P 

What I meant is that there is "baggage" attached to names. Kind of like when you go to see a movie starring SuperFamous HollywoodStarlet, you have certain feelings and expectations about the movie simply because of the actor and you already make a judgement based on that before the movie starts. 

 

I am among those who fell off the fiction-train at some point during Emperor, when I saw all the interesting plot-hooks that had been set up fell flat (imho), and before that I had already been on a low ride about the fictions in terms of how they could build up, and then go out with a whimper. Sure, there were individual fictions I enjoyed, mostly those written by Spooky when he first joined, but in the end I was not happy with the stories as a whole and more or less abandoned the current storyline. 

 

So for myself, and many of those I know feel the same way, a brand new team with FFG is a chance for a new beginning. Fresh start, blank slates and new names. I think that might be an incentive for some to get interested again. 

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I know where you're coming from, I was pretty much in the same place for a long time.

 

Spooky's stuff you could read without paying too much attention to the - at the time, eminently forgettable - general plotline, and tided me over the bad and worse.

 

But then I got wind of things going better with a renewed sense of reingaging the community. I think it was right around the time when Laderoute started polling the clans for their goals and Hand joined the story team. Memory is hazy, but I recall being a bit more invested in the story again.

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The baggage thing goes both ways too.

Assumptions have been made, by writers and others, about some members of the playerbase. I've seen people accused of being the sort that 'just like to cause trouble' when they attempt to offer opinions/criticisms. I've seen people considering whether their friendship or enmity with one or more folks at AEG had an impact on decisions (IE: People looking to know if there's a pre-banned list for the official WC games/ Folks claiming that spots at previous games were given out to people because they were friends of game/forum staffers/Numerous concerns about scoring Race for the Throne and WCIV). I've seen people abandon posting on the AEG forums because past posts were met with responses they felt were disrespectful or dismissive.

I think trust and faith in the folks working on the game/the story is important. This is especially true when dealing with an interactive game where presence and reputation on the forums has had a very real impact on things.

I too am sure FFG will do what's best for FFG. That said, I think a large part of that is/should be taking the temperature of their playerbase/customers. What's best? I've gone back and forth on that; it's not an easy question to answer. It is, however, one that warrants candid discussion.

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I've seen people abandon posting on the AEG forums because past posts were met with responses they felt were disrespectful or dismissive.

Oh absolutely, by far my favorite thing about this move is that I don't have to deal with AEG's forum. I like this one so much better.

Edited by GranSolo

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I too am sure FFG will do what's best for FFG. That said, I think a large part of that is/should be taking the temperature of their playerbase/customers. 

 

Truthfully, I'd be really surprised if FFG even offered without doing some pretty extensive market research, but they may not have been able to be specific enough without the license in hand. Be likewise surprised if more isn't planned.

Edited by BD Flory

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After reading 17 pages of opining over story team,  I am amazed at the negative comments by many of you who played this game because it was story active.  Players influenced the story more than some of the writers did.  All I hope is that FFG understands 'the story' is fully 35% of what kept us coming back and I don't even want to discuss the art which made huge jumps and bounds from the beginning.

Edited by HidaYagimaki

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After reading 17 pages of opining over story team,  I am amazed at the negative comments by many of you who played this game because it was story active.  Players influenced the story more than some of the writer did.  All I hope is that FFG understands 'the story' is fully 35% of what kept us coming back and I don't even want to discuss the art which made huge jumps and bounds from the beginning.

 

Well, I have to disagree on that.

 

Did the player decide who will be the next emperor? Yes! 

Did the player decide that two dragons will be next sun and moon, would ignore all the political maneuvering the clans did before, send their two oracles to make a grand tournament and infuse the winner with divine power so that her eyes turned blue? No... Not really.

 

I also can't remember that it was a tournament decision that Sunetra was getting played by Noritoshi like the most green Ninja, I have ever seen in the complete L5R fiction.

And I surely did not expect the unexpected spirit bear which removed Rekai from the setting... 

 

And these are all examples from Samurai, where I would say that the fiction was overall okay.

 

However most of the player I knew did not care for the story anymore. They cared at some point, but they kept playing despised this game being story active, not because it was. 

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