Shattered Rift

The Future of Sparkbomb (2015 Edition)

25 posts in this topic

IPS has finally delivered the long-promised discount on the community software, and I should be updating Sparkbomb next Monday during the late morning/early afternoon hours PST. For all of you, this will simply mean some aesthetic differences and a few differing features. For me, it means that one of my long-held excuses for not working on programming-related aspects will be past.

 

I've thought about Sparkbomb a lot off-and-on these past few months. Dancing occupies most of my thoughts and nearly all of my time, but the idealist in me wants to find a way to balance both aspects of my life. I've had a handful of ideas for the community, but logistics (primarily time) have long been the issue. Regardless, now feels like the time to act.

 

I'd like to ask two questions. The first: "Who's still around and interested in helping?" The second I hope to prompt a conversation with: "Who has ideas for the community and what are they?"

 

I have at least two ideas that I think I want to move forward with, but I'd like to see what else we have and if the direction I want to steer things in is the most practical.

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I am more than willing to help out and go beyond my usual check in, post and stay logged in schedule. I can come up with ideas with you. I have a lot of time on my hands. Plus, i don't want the site to die, you guys have become my family and each of you help in some way for me to get over my social anxiety and my once low self esteem due to my Aspergers.

I can see us doing more Werewolf role plays, keep it balanced for everyone and keep this a friendly and welcoming place.

Zen likes this

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You asked similar questions awhile ago when looking for a new staff member, some of those applications might have some ideas.

Community blogs and art submissions seemed to be a popular idea.

I've been very lax about various comics and projects I've worked on in the past because I've gotten hung up during the creative process or not expected to release content (although there is one person who constantly bugs me about it) Creating and hosting Werewolf games has been an easy way for me to express myself and release content on time as I'm kept to a schedule by the playerbase.Having something such as a community spotlight, or schedule for releases that members could submit/commit a project to a specific slot might help generate a steady stream of content and encourage/inspire less confident potential content creators to be more vocal.

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I'm not sure if there are any features that are going to be important. The trophy cabinet idea seemed good, but it's certainly not vital to the site's growth. The only thing I see regularly bringing people here is Werewolf, and I've revitalized and spurred growth elsewhere by running similar short-term recurring events. If something along those lines would help, let me know and I can run or suggest a few cyclical events.

 

I would be happy to help how I can, but I've learned the hard way never to volunteer to do my day job so I won't be helping with writing the code (though I'm willing to help debug if that would help).

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I'm happy to help out, based on available time. I think we should get the Mansion RP going again. Not that that was exactly you generated. But maybe more stories to spur what the RP is based around would be nice. 

 

And hats. You know my opinion about hats. Or some other form of trophy cabinet. I do think that proof of success can be a big factor in player retention, even though it may not generate much growth.

thedreamcard likes this

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Cel, may I call you that? I love that idea! I want to continue my hobby of writing and this would help a lot. Any role play in general may help.

Maybe writing and art contests can be made so we can reward the community.

InuyashaOhki likes this

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You may certainly call me Cel, Dream. :)

 

That reminds me. I should run another photo contest. I could run similar contests for art and poetry. I'd appreciate some help in gift buying/delivery though. It took forever to get Jose's prize to him in Mexico. :P

InuyashaOhki likes this

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That reminds me. I should run another photo contest. I could run similar contests for art and poetry. I'd appreciate some help in gift buying/delivery though. It took forever to get Jose's prize to him in Mexico. :P

I wasn't around for the last one, but I would like to participate in the photo contest.

I would also be interested in a contest or event that let us put together a story with multiple media or a multimedia story competition. (Cue someone telling me it already exists in 3...) No points for guessing which recent game put this in my head. :P

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I'm interested in helping! I am a graphic designer IRL, so anything along those lines I would love to do. (including hats!)

 

As far as forum activity, I remember in other forums (mainly PPT...Pink Poogle Toy) I was a part of prior to this there were always some fun mindless games and threads going on to keep it active and the community connected. Games such as:

 

Five Letter Word Game...Type 5 random letters (ex. FEIAN). The next person has to make a sentence from those letters (ex. Fat Elderly Imps Are Nocturnal) or something along those lines. The person who made the sentence must post another random 5 letters.

 

Rock, Paper, Scissors...Just post something (anything) that beats whatever the person above you threw -- get creative!

 

Acrostic Game...Take the last word of the previous answer, and define it using words that begin with the letters of that word in order -- and only the letters of that word -- so that you can spell out the word by the first letters of your definition (the goal is to come up with a phrase or sentence that makes sense, with imaginary bonus points if it's funny). Here's an example:

PINKPT: Partaking in Neopets, kinship, play, talk

New word: Talk

 

There's also a forum version of Paper Telephone that I've played and will be open to hosting. Having more non-WW games going at a time might encourage activity, especially those who are not participating in the current WW game or have died. Also, current members to be proactive at threads like "How are you doing?" or an "Awww" thread where we can post pictures of our pet or "What's the weather like?" (since everyone LOVES talking about weather...come to find out as an adult). Etc. etc.

 

Tl;dr...MOAR THREADS. MOAR COMMUNITY.

Neopetsmom and InuyashaOhki like this

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Inu, I'll post an interest thread after this game, if I don't host next. It doesn't take much effort on my part, so it'll just depend on how many people want to participate. Even so, I want to avoid hosting a contest and a game at once. Also, if we had trophies for that, I wouldn't have to worry about sending prizes all over the world and spending money on said prizes. 

Edited by Celairiel

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Inu, I'll post an interest thread after this game, if I don't host next. It doesn't take much effort on my part, so it'll just depend on how many people want to participate. Even so, I want to avoid hosting a contest and a game at once. Also, if we had trophies for that, I wouldn't have to worry about sending prizes all over the world and spending money on said prizes. 

Even if the trophy feature isn't in place, I would still give virtual trophies. They can be transferred if and when a trophy cabinet is put in place, and until then they can be in the thread. I also have this sneaking suspicion the prizes were hats, and I'm 2.25 hat sizes too large for "one size fits all".

 

I definitely know what you mean about shipping, though. I've shipped to Canada, Japan, England and Puerto Rico, and received from Israel, Scotland, China, Japan, Mexico and none of them were pleasant. From Israel took about 3 months in customs for pictures drawn on paper by a friend, and Puerto Rico had to route through a courier in NYC and cost an arm and a leg (though, Google "GI Joe Defiant" if you want to see the other half of why it was such a hassle...).

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I am more than willing to help out and go beyond my usual check in, post and stay logged in schedule. I can come up with ideas with you. I have a lot of time on my hands. Plus, i don't want the site to die, you guys have become my family and each of you help in some way for me to get over my social anxiety and my once low self esteem due to my Aspergers.

I can see us doing more Werewolf role plays, keep it balanced for everyone and keep this a friendly and welcoming place.

Dreamer, I'd appreciate it if you could get a role play going. :) Try contacting Code, if you can. I think that between the two of you, you might be able to get something stable and consistent going (depending on his schedule).

 

You asked similar questions awhile ago when looking for a new staff member, some of those applications might have some ideas.

Community blogs and art submissions seemed to be a popular idea.

I've been very lax about various comics and projects I've worked on in the past because I've gotten hung up during the creative process or not expected to release content (although there is one person who constantly bugs me about it) Creating and hosting Werewolf games has been an easy way for me to express myself and release content on time as I'm kept to a schedule by the playerbase.Having something such as a community spotlight, or schedule for releases that members could submit/commit a project to a specific slot might help generate a steady stream of content and encourage/inspire less confident potential content creators to be more vocal.

Thanks for the reminder. There are also ideas floating around in old threads that I need to dig up/necro again.

 

What do you have in mind for art submissions, exactly? And what do you mean by "community spotlight"? I just want to be sure that I know what you have in mind.

 

I'm not sure if there are any features that are going to be important. The trophy cabinet idea seemed good, but it's certainly not vital to the site's growth. The only thing I see regularly bringing people here is Werewolf, and I've revitalized and spurred growth elsewhere by running similar short-term recurring events. If something along those lines would help, let me know and I can run or suggest a few cyclical events.

 

I would be happy to help how I can, but I've learned the hard way never to volunteer to do my day job so I won't be helping with writing the code (though I'm willing to help debug if that would help).

In the past, I've asked for thoughts and ideas specifically to foster growth, but that's not quite my goal here. What I care about most right now is improving the community that already exists. That said, some ideas may very well foster growth, and there's nothing wrong with that either.

 

I'd appreciate it if you'd host another short-term event. :)

 

I'm happy to help out, based on available time. I think we should get the Mansion RP going again. Not that that was exactly you generated. But maybe more stories to spur what the RP is based around would be nice. 

 

And hats. You know my opinion about hats. Or some other form of trophy cabinet. I do think that proof of success can be a big factor in player retention, even though it may not generate much growth.

Could you clarify what you meant? I assume you posted that from your phone, and I can't tell if you're asking for me to resurrect The Mansion story or simply to create a new avenue for the role play to be revived.

 

Has anyone been awarding hats for games since the idea was proposed? It's very possible to create a thread to store all of the hats.

 

Cel, may I call you that? I love that idea! I want to continue my hobby of writing and this would help a lot. Any role play in general may help.

Maybe writing and art contests can be made so we can reward the community.

You may certainly call me Cel, Dream. :)

 

That reminds me. I should run another photo contest. I could run similar contests for art and poetry. I'd appreciate some help in gift buying/delivery though. It took forever to get Jose's prize to him in Mexico. :P

Make it so. Bonus points if you can think of some sort of Sparkbomb-related theme for each contest. They don't have to be particularly elaborate: something like "This would be a fun place to play Werewolf" would be perfectly fine for a photo contest, for example.

 

I'm interested in helping! I am a graphic designer IRL, so anything along those lines I would love to do. (including hats!)

 

As far as forum activity, I remember in other forums (mainly PPT...Pink Poogle Toy) I was a part of prior to this there were always some fun mindless games and threads going on to keep it active and the community connected. Games such as:

 

Five Letter Word Game...Type 5 random letters (ex. FEIAN). The next person has to make a sentence from those letters (ex. Fat Elderly Imps Are Nocturnal) or something along those lines. The person who made the sentence must post another random 5 letters.

 

Rock, Paper, Scissors...Just post something (anything) that beats whatever the person above you threw -- get creative!

 

Acrostic Game...Take the last word of the previous answer, and define it using words that begin with the letters of that word in order -- and only the letters of that word -- so that you can spell out the word by the first letters of your definition (the goal is to come up with a phrase or sentence that makes sense, with imaginary bonus points if it's funny). Here's an example:

PINKPT: Partaking in Neopets, kinship, play, talk

New word: Talk

 

There's also a forum version of Paper Telephone that I've played and will be open to hosting. Having more non-WW games going at a time might encourage activity, especially those who are not participating in the current WW game or have died. Also, current members to be proactive at threads like "How are you doing?" or an "Awww" thread where we can post pictures of our pet or "What's the weather like?" (since everyone LOVES talking about weather...come to find out as an adult). Etc. etc.

 

Tl;dr...MOAR THREADS. MOAR COMMUNITY.

Could you link me to some of your work, Zilary?

 

Any of those thread ideas would be welcome. I just care about them being in the proper forum. For example, it's possible to have a topic where you're actively discussing your pets, things they've done, obstacles people are having, asking about food choices or best toys or what-have-you (and such a thread would go here in General Discussion), and there's a difference between that and people just awwing over pictures (which would go in Random Chat). It's all in the approach. That Rock, Paper, Scissors game would also make for an interesting type of writing experiment, having each person write about how the newest winner beat the previous winner, or the like. (Er, hopefully that made sense.)

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I am trying to finish this doctorate, so, I can't promise much, but I suspect I will often be available for SB Hour.

Edited by Kirby-oh

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Not a feature, per-se, but perhaps a non-Werewolf section under "Forum Games" for things like the art/poetry/story/etc. contests?

Celairiel likes this

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Not a feature, per-se, but perhaps a non-Werewolf section under "Forum Games" for things like the art/poetry/story/etc. contests?

Usually I see it as an art section with our writing section as a subforum since "Art" is a much broader topic, and roleplaying as either another subtopic or it's own section depending on activity.

Edited by Blacjak

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I'm still around, sometimes, mostly lurking the portal page. Checking for topics like these to see what you are up to. I'm not sure what you would need help with or if I can be of any help. I can offer some thoughts on community things:

 

The art idea sounds like something I would participate in once every couple of months. Are these community ideas for us, the current members? Are you looking to attract new members with new ideas? What kind of future are you seeing?

 

Personally, I'm interested in programming related ideas like the spark game. Actually, the spark game sounds too much for me. I'd probably not participate in that.

 

I'd be interested if you can code something like having pets. Signing in to check on that and seeing whats up in the forum sounds chill enough for me. That's just me, since I don't say much, and community "social" things sounds hard, especially with such a unique group as Sparkbomb. Would rather do something mechanical, and indirectly interact with others through the code you come up with if that makes sense. 

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Bring back the shoutb--

 

Oh, there's a 'chat' feature now. OK. Is it persistent?

 

Recruitment and retention are the biggest issues. If there's nobody around, WW games aren't large enough to be fun, if the WW games aren't fun, nobody sticks around. Back in the good 'ole days there were pretty healthy, regular injections of new members, brought in as friends-of-friends and that one big dump from X-Evo. WW/Mafia is still a common-ish party game, and there's a lot of Ultimate Werewolf fan-energy on the web (for a specific variant of the card-based party game), so maybe there's a way to harness that? If anyone is local (enough) to  make it to Decepta Con 1 (in Atlanta, info here and here), it'd be a great place to have a presence and do some IRL recruiting.

 

New layout is odd. Took me entirely too long (>2 seconds) to find the forms. Maybe look into that. Minimalist design is nice 'n all, but what ya got right now is a bit... obscure.

 

If folks get the WoT RP back up I'll be a more frequent character, I suspect. But as Kirby has expressed, finishing a PhD takes most of one's life/energy/time.

 

Good luck.

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4 hours ago, Liz said:

Oh, there's a 'chat' feature now. OK. Is it persistent?

It technically existed before, but it's largely a crapshoot. I discussed the details a bit in the announcement thread.

4 hours ago, Liz said:

New layout is odd. Took me entirely too long (>2 seconds) to find the forms.

This is something I plan to change once I decide what a good approach will be. I may simply resurrect the previous navbar with the new additions added in. There doesn't seem to be any penalty to doing so with regards to mobile. I'm open to thoughts on this, though.

Oh, hey, they finally added a split post tool. Mildly tempted to cut this into news thread parts and other parts to leave here, but... no need yet.

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Make it a front-end webcomic site with the forum and a store-type game a secondary avenue for activity. Get me to write funny stuff, and James to write serious plot. Dunno if Sam would be down for making 2-3 webcomics a week though.

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We have several other artists, we just can't use anything that is Sparkbomb related or canon I think...

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Sparkbomb's story isn't Rift's proprietary property. Now if we were to try and monetize it, he'd have legal claim, especially if it wasn't including me, Marcus, or Rexozord. Dunno if anyone else was involved in the early beginnings of SB 'lore'. Regardless of how much things have changed since those times, I believe we all could have some legal precedence to use any or all of the themes, names, etc. developed for SB. But all that doesn't matter, it's Rift's site and he has final say on what is done with it, and I'm too lazy to try and run a webcomic from scratch. I just want to see my funny sketch ideas made into little cartoons for everyone to laugh at.

Celairiel likes this

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4 hours ago, Zen said:

Sparkbomb's story isn't Rift's proprietary property. Now if we were to try and monetize it, he'd have legal claim, especially if it wasn't including me, Marcus, or Rexozord. Dunno if anyone else was involved in the early beginnings of SB 'lore'. Regardless of how much things have changed since those times, I believe we all could have some legal precedence to use any or all of the themes, names, etc. developed for SB. But all that doesn't matter, it's Rift's site and he has final say on what is done with it, and I'm too lazy to try and run a webcomic from scratch. I just want to see my funny sketch ideas made into little cartoons for everyone to laugh at.

why not take the initiative and form a group?  like blac says, there are a few ppl that can produce something. id do 1 or 2 if these things if they are short enogh. just take turns drawing the thing. doesnt matter if its just stick figures imo, anyone can make somethng  presentable if they put in ssome effort. the joke or idea is more important. 

as far as lore, i dont even know what the lore is. i know i read stuff, but werewolves spectres phoenix has been done

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On 12/13/2015 at 10:13 PM, Zen said:

Make it a front-end webcomic site with the forum and a store-type game a secondary avenue for activity. Get me to write funny stuff, and James to write serious plot. Dunno if Sam would be down for making 2-3 webcomics a week though.

She's not. Also, James for plots? Has he been doing that well with DnD? I've never seen that side of him before.

On 12/13/2015 at 2:50 AM, Blacjak said:

We have several other artists, we just can't use anything that is Sparkbomb related or canon I think...

If I put Zen and futureguy (or anyone else) on some sort of official writing duty, it wouldn't be for the Sparkverse. It would be Mansionverse.

On 12/14/2015 at 7:59 AM, Zen said:

Sparkbomb's story isn't Rift's proprietary property. Now if we were to try and monetize it, he'd have legal claim, especially if it wasn't including me, Marcus, or Rexozord. Dunno if anyone else was involved in the early beginnings of SB 'lore'. Regardless of how much things have changed since those times, I believe we all could have some legal precedence to use any or all of the themes, names, etc. developed for SB. But all that doesn't matter, it's Rift's site and he has final say on what is done with it, and I'm too lazy to try and run a webcomic from scratch. I just want to see my funny sketch ideas made into little cartoons for everyone to laugh at.

Yes it is. I scrubbed the lore very thoroughly two years ago when I decided to monetize the site, and I acquired legal rights from Marcus at the same time I obtained the domain name. Rex never really had any input on the lore (though he was probably the original inspiration for the Biotics Division of the Phoenix Syndicate). There shouldn't be anything left in the lore that you had any input on, and I don't think I ever used more than a handful of your ideas in the first place.

But all of that is pretty irrelevant overall. Any non-lore project (such as SparkComic) would have my approval and probably be Mansionverse-based. The big issue as far as a webcomic goes is the lack of an artist. Nebiros has other obligations keeping her too busy to contribute much here. Zilary (who contributed our modified site banner) is working on other projects (and her specialty isn't character design anyway).

 

tl;dr: What do you have in mind? Just that you want to see your funny sketch ideas made into cartoons? What kind of writing does James do well?

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Is any of the lore published in some form? I remember reading about a few stories about the rain of sparks... or was it the fall of sparks... and everything else was mostly snippets here and there. Rain of sparks was more story and less universe lore I think. I also remember we had a thread about the actual lore too because I distinctly remember comparing starcraft and other works and then getting man-handled by S.Rift soon after.

Unrelated but I'm not sure how you claim a story other than publishing it. Can you use your backup data to claim it? I don't know how your prove archived work, unless the archive was officially acknowledged and not tampered... which is hard to prove. I, myself am looking for an answer to this.... and it seems the only way is to publish a small book or something.

I assume most of the lore itself is kept secret anyways and even if we were to do a version of the story it can simply be called parodied work. Nobody is making money from it so it doesn't seem like anything wrong with putting a fan-fiction in the front page. But... S.Rift owns the site and he would be the one putting it up so anything that goes out can be barred if he wanted anyways I guess. 

I remember lixyl made some pretty awesome comics. Is the quality of artists more of the issue? Because I think you'd get more people to help out with the drawing if you set the bar a little low first.

 

Edited by Bed

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James as in ?Code? I think is his name on here.

Funny stuff like back when me and Sam would laugh our asses off at things. Like Lixyl getting married to maple syrup as the bride. Was my idea, her artistry. Sparkbot perving on the girls dorm showers is another.

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