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Summer Town Hall Topic Thread [07/13/19]
Post your topics for the upcoming town hall!

DATE

07/13/19 @ 3PM DST

OVERVIEW

The Summer Town Hall dates have been announced and now it's time to share your topic suggestions with us. We hope that you all take a moment to voice your suggestions and join us at the Town Hall. We love to hear your feedback and the Town Hall is a great opportunity for you to give it and help us shape the game for the future.

TOPIC SUGGESTIONS

You can respond to this thread with your suggestions, however, PLEASE in the interest of keeping this easy to manage, do not engage in discussion about the topics here. If you want to discuss them, create a relevant thread in the correct part of the BGBB and note that not every topic will make the cut but we'll do our best to get as much in as possible.

SCHEDULE

The town hall is THREE HOURS long.

It begins with speeches from the admin, who offer updates on their respective areas of the game (Building, Coding, Operations, etc.).

We then move into the discussion section, where we run through an agenda of player & admin submitted topics.

We then close it out and people can leave or stick around to chat with various admin.

WHAT TO SUGGEST

If you're stuck thinking for suggestions to give, here are some general topic categories that you can think about:

Code Improvements - What could be changed code-wise to improve the game?

In Character Topics - What can we do In Character to make Sindome a better place for all?

Out of Character Topics - How can we help you, the players feel more at home in Sindome?

WARNING

Please do not reveal any IC info in this thread. Again, this is just for posting ideas for topics (you can explain your topic in as much depth as you want, but don't get into it with others about the topics they post). Create a new BGBB thread to discuss something if you want.

PRE-READ INFO

If this is your first town hall, please refer to the posts below for a list of previous posts relating to the most recent Town Hall.

January 2019 Town Hall Agenda: https://www.sindome.org/bgbb/open-discussion/anything-really/-agenda--town-hall-january-2019-1014/

January 2019 Town Hall Log: https://www.sindome.org/townhall_01_19_19.html

Squeeee!!!!
I'd like to suggest topics on:

Smallworlding/Meta - what is it, how to avoid doing it, how to approach staff if you expect someone is doing it. On the flip side how to remember there might be legitimate, non-meta/small world

Power emoting/posing/spoofing with NPCs/in general - what it is, why we shouldn't do it, and how to build people's perception of your character through organic means rather than forcing reactions from non-existent ambient NPCs.

These seem to be slowly growing, which is why I suggest topics in the town hall.

*Smallworlding/Meta - what is it, how to avoid doing it, how to approach staff if you expect someone is doing it. On the flip side how to remember there might be legitimate, non-meta/small world ways to find out information.

(*Because I decided I couldn't finish sentences in my original post, sorry)

Awards?!
Awards are once a year during the winter townhall.
HNGGGGGGHHHHHH

Okay.

Better ways to pay your sic bill.
@Majere_Draven could you be a bit more detailed?
I meant as a topic, it'd be good to hear a bunch of different ideas from all sorts, Mostly people who don't get on XOOC and the like. I had my idea was gonna finally make a post about it in Ideas, but.. Honestly I just think it would be a fun thing to brainstorm with the whole group.
+1 to crashdown's recommendation.

Also, from a similar smallworld/meta standpoint, discussing Skills would be nice. Whether anyone feels certain Skills are more or less respected due to prevalence of people being meta, such as that time on the boards someone mentioned Disguise being a weak skill for this reason.

My humble suggestions:

Coded support - Deckers are listed as an example of a role that doesn't really have an extensive code backing right now. How do you feel about coded-support for other archetypes? Is there any low-hanging fruit that would make your favorite archetype/skill more "codedly badass" without having to ask Admins for help?

NPC user friendliness - I feel like a lot of NPC scripts need meta-knowledge to be used (e.g. Asking about the location of a !!!party!!!) and it would be great to discuss ways of making scripted NPC interactions "discoverable" without puppets. Example solution might be a standardized method of asking NPC to "Tell me about yourself" that would make them spew e.g. "I can sell you a *drink* and I always know where to find the *best party*, duh. I also *gossip*, but not with every chum".

Automatic Teaching - the Best way to learn about some aspect of Sindome seems to be finding a character willing to teach or self-experiment with a system. That might, however, mean that someone can impart wrong information or some functionality might be overlooked. It would be interesting to discuss OOC ways in which IC information might be imparted on characters via Items, NPC Scripts and other ways not requiring admin attention. (E.g. Imagine a "Chemistry textbook"/"chemistry datadisk" that shows different info to chars depending on their chemistry skill or "Decker NPC" teacher that tells decking tricks to high-skill chars and technobabble to low-skill chars).

+1 to crashdown's recommendation.
+1 to Dedalus's ideas.

The difficulties involved in learning how to effectively develop a characters skills, etc via IC learning are something I bought up last town hall and not something I feel there has been substantial progress on since. The rest are just good ideas imo.

To expound on Crashdown's smallworlding/meta thoughts, I'd like to bring up how to go about self-reporting moments of smallworlding/accidental meta usage, and the level of such that the GMs would like to know about.

Things like OOCly saying...

-- "crap, I asked someone about a character I saw on the lev that my character wouldn't have realistically asked about compared to anyone else riding the lev"

-- or "I partially heard someone identify themselves quietly over the phone as .zz.z. and in a later conversation positively identified them instead of saying I was pretty sure it was them, despite .zz.z. being only one possible word I know of and someone loud on SIC using that word as their alias"

-- or even self-reporting something like "someone kev'd data via OOC instead of CC but my character already knew that data."

(P.S. .zz.z. isn't actually what I overheard.)

In the first instance I just removed it from my list of what my character knows. In the second I corrected and clarified my statement on the next session. The third hasn't happened but I'd like to know what to do in advance! 😅

Adding a +1 to crashdown's ideas. I'm a returning player after several years (3+) and while I think I've avoided any kind of metagaming, I'd like to see this discussed to enhance immersion.

On another note, since I was going to say this at the Town Hall but I'll be at a seminar that day, I've had an insanely good time on Sindome since I've returned. It's been an absolutely rewarding and refreshing experience. The game and the community have come along way since I was last here and I just wanted to say that the RP and story I've already gotten involved in is some of the best I've ever experienced online.

Thanks for making such a cool place.

https://www.sindome.org/bgbb/open-discussion/anything-really/being-successful-on-sindome-889/

Tips on how to be a Group C player. What makes a good player GM, characters that create a lot of RP (even more than many high-positions NPCs) and what dissuades players from RPing that way, be it lack of money, contacts, or incentive.

How to harbor a solo culture, get people used to the gritty Mix solo lifestyle while they're still green. How to stop people from not wanting to become solos or work for group XXX or group YYY because they're going to get curbstomped by the opposite group in brutal ways.

I'd love to see some discussion for more tech-related coded job opportunities for decking / electro_tech / etc.-oriented folks. Not necessarily super fleshed out jobs (bc what would they be really doing?), but a bone thrown to those archetypes to offer some baseline income and stability considering how lacking they are otherwise. Some random suggestions in the Mix might include:

Olga's Fallout Shop (the person could be counter help / deliver goods, IC'ly they 'help fix stuff', 'handle deliveries', whatever, perhaps they'd be able to sell things that are in stock at a slight discount to PCs, providing some small RP opportunities)

SHI - Advanced Electronics Division (a higher-tier SHI clock-in job, you earn decently more over the base rate to work in their division for folks who know what they're doing -- has the added advantage of potentially bringing folks with a similar skillset together for possible RP / networking, fostering a bit of potential community there)

A bit more of a stretch, but I've also had an idea for a while about NLM having a sort of Mixside sub-contractor company that they have half-assedly fixing the SIC brownouts. There could be a few NLM-branded SIC amps throughout the mix (like at the immigration gate, at lev stations, at a couple major intersections? IDK) and it could create a couple of jobs (maybe this could all just be rolled into WCS) for techie folks that are responsible for keeping these amps repaired (they would randomly just break, is the idea).

+1 to Jameson's idea. I especially like the higher tier SHI job idea.

It could be gated by skill level, or maybe a simple skill check at 'scan in'. Limit it to once a day. Have a failure message to the effect of, "Come back when you know what you're doing."

Earn two or three times as much per hour, subject to the regular weekly earnings cap.

Town hall is this coming weekend. Get your topics in!
The current state of small world RP on SIC and alias hopping. Terms like 'alias hopper', 'fake alias' shouldn't be used and abused just because the alias is not recognized.
+1 to Daedelus' idea of "Automatic Teaching"

I feel like my character is trying to do some of this ICly, but not making any progress on it. I am realizing that it might be due to a lack of content. ie, the materials simply aren't available because staff has never had a request for / need to create them.

Yeah, the more I think about it the more the 'Teaching' idea is really interesting to me.

There are some things you simply can't just put yourself out there / play / experiment / 'just go try it' and figure out over time. Some archetypes / 'communities' are so niche that you can potentially play for quite a while, RP a lot, try genuinely quite hard and for a multitude of reasons never be able to really gain mechanical knowledge of what you can do or how to do it, regardless of UE investment -- hell, there could legitimately only be a couple of PCs at a given time with certain knowledge and it's perfectly themely for them to horde it for their own gain. Or what if the only chars with access to certain knowledge or gear happen to be corpies / mixers and you're the opposite? What if you have the skill/stats and the chyen but don't even know a certain piece of gear exists in the game, or about a certain command? I think I only learned 'sleaze' was a thing like a year ago through some random mention in a BGBB post.

It feels like there should be -some- kind of access to knowledge, based on skill investment, that your character would presumably have. I think the idea of tying it possibly into something like the chatter system (since we already have at least some framework for NPCs responding differently to different characters depending on their background) is intriguing, or textbooks / nodes / etc. that you can understand more of progressively.

Obviously I get we don't want to supplant the need for people to seek out mentors or experiment, and I absolutely think we can have a middle ground that just gives people more fair access to what their characters can do -- it'd be healthy for the game, and would maybe do a lot to curb a very frequently voiced frustration around lack of information. People would probably be willing to actually experiment more if they had better ideas of what tools / actions they were able to experiment with.

^^^

@Jameson, perhaps that's motivation for people to write and sell IC self improvement zines? Like for your example, "Little Luxuries: 50 great ideas for what you can get away with when you're beautiful."

That way if there's literally nobody around with the info, there's still biz to be had.

Out of character topic: A better OOC chat etiquette so that people won't be mean to each other "just for fun" because it is not fun at all. Just a suggestion.
While the Town Hall probably won't allow the full time needed to discuss this, it's really the best time to bring it up in front of the most players/staff at one time and get at least some feedback on it, so I'm throwing it out there.

I'd really, really, greatly, very seriously and sincerely appreciate a good faith revisiting of some of the things I was specifically discussing in this thread a while back:

https://www.sindome.org/bgbb/game-discussion/game-problems/rules-clarifications-354/

Less in regards to me personally and what's allowed for me with triggers, and more geared towards, well, SD is now xterm256, and we've seen that spice things up here and there and it's been great, the hard work so far is wonderful and appreciated. But I think we could really take this moment to ask the players and the staff if there are some more core UI elements we might be all open to QoL'ing with some tweaks.

Examples:

1) Anor please, can we do something to visually offset pubSIC / encrypted chatter our char doesn't know / encrypted chatter they do / privateSIC to&from? I'm willing to acknowledge my accessibility issues makes this feel probably worse for me than it does for others, but it really does continue to feel like a very sub-optimal design choice and we now have far more options to tweak our visual presentation. Please, I'm done entertaining 'themely' arguments for SIC being that way -- SIC is supposed to be a noisy nightmare for my character, not for me.

I'm including a screenshot of what SIC looks like with a recoloring trigger (I hope this is okay, admin, it's a very tiny snippet only meant to show an example in case people are confused by what I'm talking about, and there's no worthwhile IC info shared except that whoever my character is doesn't have access to a certain key). This just shows one very basic way in which things could be tweaked in a way that would be a QoL improvement to many (and a huge accessibility improvement to some).

2)Some kind of emphasis / highlighting when you are spoken to / posed at, maybe? This can be very helpful in very crowded scenes with quite a bit going on when parsing for 'you'-s can become difficult.

I have other examples I've done in the past client-side to make things easier to read but it's hard to share them without showing relevant IC info; I'm happy to share with staff though if they are curious.

These are bound to ruffle people who like things as they are, or who would change things if they could but would want one color or another, so should the discussion be, how badly would others like to see a few MOO-side tools for customizing at least a few things?

I understand everyone engages with the UI differently and with subjective experiences and I 'd like to see more thoughts.

More craftable bombs pls and thank you
Wow, unreadable keys in dark gray is surprisingly easy on the eyes. It would made sense themely, too, that gibberish is less loud than actual coherent thoughts.
Right? It feels themely that way to me, the way after a while we presume you'd sort of tune out that noise.

Some others I've used and found insanely nice and useful just to give people ideas of what could potentially be done or customized MOO-side with enough support as discussion and coder time warrants

PubSIC: I don't recolor, left natural red

Private SICs (to&from): burntish orange/copper, sets it off nicely from pubSIC traffic, but is similarish to red so it feels SICish

Encrypted SIC traffic my character knows: varying shades of green depending how bad my heads hurting on a given day, heh. Basically the most direct, stand-out color because it's selective traffic beaming direct into my character head, makes sense it'd stand out through all the other noise, this is traffic most people generally always want and need to pay vitally close attention to

Lines coming through a progia: Same color as private SICs, helps it stand out in scenes where potentially busy posing / dialogue is occurring

Name mentions / highlighting 'to You': helps me parse things in busy scenes and not miss when being posed at / spoken to, which is awkward and silly and makes my head hurt

+1 to Jameson and Dedalus

Mostly with a focus on more coded support and mix jobs for technical archetypes. I've personally been thinking and planning a web supported tech modding and programming system. People would be able to use components and wire them together, and then use graphical programming to make programmable components do things. To make it more useful all current devices would be converted to the system, to let tech people mod their devices. This would also provide more surface area for business between players, as players could ask for specific mods in functionality of their devices. (for example a dead man's switch in their phone, calling someone with a prerecorded message if they don't press a button sequence every 24 hours)

Due to the processing power required the system would probably need to be coded entirely outside of MOO, and connected to the server through a set of C extensions. Once that's done though one could theoretically put the "electric simulation" server wherever one wants, next to the MOO or even Serverless. Unless the hardware the MOO server runs on has power to spare, it's probably cheaper to go Serverless.

I'd estimate the entire thing to take from 2 to 4 weeks, depending on how much issues the MOO software itself causes.

Sorry, meant weeks of work.

Adding Edit Post to the BGBB would be nice too.

Are we doing Moo-voting for most themely, etc? Or is that a winter only thing? Just curious. It's fun for me to see who the top corpie is, etc, since I don't interact with them a lot.

+1 to Jameson on both skill-based access to IC knowledge, and with SIC.

Certain archetypes are VERY niche, to the point where there might be no other PC who you could engage with to potentially gain IC knowledge related to the specific skill you had your character invest in.

That forces us to navigate the IC world via puppet-request, and I get the sense that I'm an inconvenience and burden to Staff for requesting puppets just to get more information that my character should have access to based on skill investment.

I think it would be nice to have a short segment where Admin and/or invited players (especially you lifers) prepared short anecdotes of their favorite IC moments (without breaking IC protocol) to help shine a light on why you have played this game as long as you have and what keeps you returning to it either on the player or admin side. I think this would be encouraging to new and old players alike, highlighting some of the rp opportunities that spark lifelong memories and online experiences, and also be something lighthearted and fun.
+1 to your idea Plebe.
These are all excellent. If anyone has additional ideas they want to pose for discussion, please do so today! I'm going to be working on the agenda tonight.

Also thanks everyone for keeping on topic!

I'm unfortunately not going to make it, but I'd love to add to what Jameson said with colour. My eyes are getting pretty old and a slight adjustment of some colours would be a godsend.
TOPIC SUBMISSIONS ARE CLOSED.

I wasn't able to include everyones topics, for those I missed (see some call outs below) please create BGBB threads for discussion.

- Better ways to pay your sic bill.

This is an IC topic. There are several ways to do this. It's purposefully restrictive to force characters to have to do certain things. It's NBD for a corpie but trouble for a criminal. This friction exists for a reason. It isn't something we are looking to change.

- NPC user friendliness - I feel like a lot of NPC scripts need meta-knowledge to be used (e.g. Asking about the location of a !!!party!!!) and it would be great to discuss ways of making scripted NPC interactions "discoverable" without puppets. Example solution might be a standardized method of asking NPC to "Tell me about yourself" that would make them spew e.g. "I can sell you a *drink* and I always know where to find the *best party*, duh. I also *gossip*, but not with every chum".

This is a good call out but something we should brainstorm on the BGBB rather than the town hall-- as it's a more long form discussion. Please create a BGBB topic for it in ideas, to kick it off.

- I think it would be nice to have a short segment where Admin and/or invited players (especially you lifers) prepared short anecdotes of their favorite IC moments (without breaking IC protocol) to help shine a light on why you have played this game as long as you have and what keeps you returning to it either on the player or admin side.

This is a great idea, but requires up front work. Please submit it in your feedback for the event via the after event feedback form so I can track it as a TODO for next town hall.