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Chas And now its time for Jeannette to talk about very cool

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					Chas
And now its time for Jeannette to talk about a very cool program AJJE Games
has established, one that I'm eager to learn more about myself and which is
doing its own community building

jeannettegiesbrecht
At AJJE we've created an area for member-developed sims.

jeannettegiesbrecht
It's a way of letting people RP in an environment for which, either a sim doesn't
exist, or for something original.

jeannettegiesbrecht
We currently have it broken into three areas. The biggest, of course, is Sci-
Fi/Fantasy, but there's also Modern Fiction (anything from TV shows, book
series, real-life) and Horror Fiction (ie. Buffy, Anne Rice, Underworld).

jeannettegiesbrecht
In order to allay some of the fears people may have of developing a sim, we've
established a development area, where people can bounce ideas off each other
and look for assistance.

jeannettegiesbrecht
We've also made it pretty simple to get started. There's only a few things that we
require in a proposal.

jeannettegiesbrecht
One is that you have 6 players committed to joining (so that your sim starts off
fairly healthy), and that you've formalized the ranks, races, species, etc. that will
be involved.

jeannettegiesbrecht
We've also limited it to a single location, so nobody gets carried away and walks
in with a proposal incorporating an entire pantheon of locales.

jeannettegiesbrecht
OK, that's the intro. Questions?

Jeren
None yet

Jeren
From me, at least.

Kaarin
What happens if you don't have enough players?
Jeren
would never speak for Chas

jeannettegiesbrecht
You're not allowed to launch the sim without the minimum 6 players.

Kaarin
Is there a spot for recruiting within AJJE?

jeannettegiesbrecht
We've already had suggestions for a B5 sim, a police/fire and rescue sim, a
mech warrior sim and a horror sim.

jeannettegiesbrecht
Not as such. A lot of COs don't appreciate people advertising for players, so at
the moment, it's being done through member support.

jeannettegiesbrecht
In the government ships.

Kaarin
Okay, I will remember that

Kaarin
I should be taking notes...

jeannettegiesbrecht
We're quite excited about it, because it allows for the ultimate in creativity. After
all, you're developing your own sim - what could be more creative than that?

jeannettegiesbrecht
Plus, there's not a lot of sims out there that aren't Sci-Fi or Fantasy-based, so
that opens up a new avenue as well.

jeannettegiesbrecht
*Jeannette reconsiders that last statement and wanders off to a collection of sims
to check*

Kaarin
Can you create your own little world -- something that has no affiliation with a
known tv or book series?

jeannettegiesbrecht
Yep.
jeannettegiesbrecht
Nope. Not a lot out there that's not Sci-Fi or Fantasy.

Chas
Jeannette... how long have you had member sims in place?

jeannettegiesbrecht
Almost a year. We currently have three sims on the go: Andromeda, Harry Potter
and a general Fantasy sim.

jeannettegiesbrecht
We're now in the process of revamping it, part of which was the expansion of the
focus outside the sci-fi/fantasy realms into horror and fiction.

Kaarin
Are your members excited about these changes?

jeannettegiesbrecht
We also added the new sim development area because people were getting
scared off.

Chas
scared off?

jeannettegiesbrecht
I think so. Since we made the changes, we've been generating a lot of chat.
There's a group ready to launch a Star Wars sim.

Kaarin
Too much pressure?

jeannettegiesbrecht
It's pretty daunting when you think about rounding up the players, developing the
gameplay and writing the proposal before going public.

jeannettegiesbrecht
With the revamp and the introduction of the new sim development area, you can
work it out with others before you need to present it for approval.

Kaarin
So, your developmental area helps the players to create the proposal and
develop the gameplay?

jeannettegiesbrecht
It also provides a place for interested players to see what's in the works, and
maybe join.
jeannettegiesbrecht
AJJE Games

jeannettegiesbrecht
That's the plan.

Tavey
That's a good idea.

Kaarin
Sounds pretty intersting

jeannettegiesbrecht
I'm still reworking all the pages, but the links are in place.

Chas
how did the idea come about? and was there much resistance to doing it?
because it seems to go against the classic mold of leadership comes up with a
sim idea, appoints a host, and goes with it

jeannettegiesbrecht
It came about as a way to encourage a sense of ownership in the site by the
players, and as a way to expand AJJE's offerings.

jeannettegiesbrecht
There wasn't too much resistance, just uncertainty, which is why we've revamped
the site to remove any intimidation that might've been felt by someone looking to
propose a sim.

Kaarin
This new area is called "Ride The Edge" isn't it... a separate club within AJJE?

jeannettegiesbrecht
Yep. So AJJE has four clubs: Stargate, Serenity, Star Trek and Ride the Edge

jeannettegiesbrecht
People who sim online tend to be highly creative, so this allows them to break
free and run their own sim.

Kaarin
It sounds like a great opportunity that isn't offered by traditional simming clubs.

jeannettegiesbrecht
Just to expand a little on what I said about ownership, at AJJE we really
encourage grassroots development and initiatives.
Tavey
I am liking the concept. It's interesting. So, if I am reading this right, the players
all have input in the structure. So they all feel proud?

Chas
does the organization of it vary in any way though? it seems like it would present
different managing challanges to the leadership... do the people who run the
sims also run the club, or is there some appointed management team that does
the paperwork and helps run things, and the members just create their own
sims?

jeannettegiesbrecht
Those involved in the development of the sim would all have input, which,
theoretically, would make them stronger players and proud of the sim once it's up
and running, because they would have part ownership in it.

Tavey
A little like how players who are in at the beginning of a new sim feel the same
way. Nice.

jeannettegiesbrecht
There is a management team in place, but only to help make sure the operational
and admin support is there. The CO/developer of the individual sim runs their
sim.

jeannettegiesbrecht
They appoint their own GM.

Kaarin
Does the club management help out if asked or do they step in when they
suspect a problem?

Tavey
Does the GM position rotate?

jeannettegiesbrecht
Yes they would.

Kaarin
That could create some interesting simming

jeannettegiesbrecht
The GM position traditionally doesn't rotate, but that again, would be up to the
CO. If that was part of the way that person developed the gameplay, then it very
well could.
Tavey
Nice.

Kaarin
Competitive GMing within a sim is a very innovative concept

jeannettegiesbrecht
The best thing is, if you've created it, then you'd naturally want it to succeed, so
right there, that would remove a lot of impetus for the management team to
interfere.

Kaarin
Good point

Chas
it doesn't have to be competitive... in TOL we rotated GMs, but not to get off
topic...

Kaarin
Keeping the sim healthy would be a natural instinct if you are the one who
created it...

jeannettegiesbrecht
How did that work? did the outgoing GM e-mail the incoming one their plans?

jeannettegiesbrecht
Or did each GM see through their own storyline, and then move on after
resolution?

Tavey
We do something similar with The Monarch over at the SLA. Anyone who comes
up with a plot that is approved by the CO and I, gets to run it.

Chas
yea... each one saw it through, and than they returned to the crew, and another
crew member rotated out to become GM

jeannettegiesbrecht
Cool.

jeannettegiesbrecht
I like that idea.

Tavey
Again - keeps everyone involved.
Maki
Speaking as a creator of sorts, while keeping a dream of yours healthy is a
natural instinct, sometimes... :-s

jeannettegiesbrecht
Hopefully, though, any bugs or hiccups will have been worked out/workshopped
in the development stages.

Kaarin
But overcoming obstacles is the natural way to progress

jeannettegiesbrecht
And I'm sure there will be obstacles. Nobody can predict everything that'll happen
during gameplay. But if the bumps are small, then they're manageable.

Kaarin
Still, it does allow the average simmer to aspire to something more creative

Diaspora343
In short, turning the simmer into a writer, less play more innovative creativity?

jeannettegiesbrecht
And something unique.

Kaarin
That is something that you don't come across everyday

Kaarin
I think it would just be more creative play not less

jeannettegiesbrecht
Not even a writer. Just a visionary. All the creator has to do is establish the
ground rules and parameters, then find others who share knowledge of that
environment. Then jump off the cliff and see how far you fly.

Tavey
Most importantly - lets everyone feel important, as opposed to "just" a simmer.

Kaarin
Exact;u

Kaarin
Exactly -- rented fingers

Tavey
One of the reasons we like using it is that it also keeps us as hosts fresh.

Chas
do you have restrictions on who can propose starting up a sim... can someone
join the club today and say I want to start a sim?

jeannettegiesbrecht
When we originally launched RTE, you had to be a member for at least a year
before you could propose a new sim. However, as part of the revamp, we've
removed that condition.

jeannettegiesbrecht
So you could join today, and start developing a sim tomorrow.

Kaarin
So anyone can make a proposal?

jeannettegiesbrecht
Any member of AJJE Games.

Kaarin
Cool

Diaspora343
Wouldn't that somewhat hurt quality?

jeannettegiesbrecht
All sims still have to be approved by the RTE management team, so that's the
QC right there.

Kaarin
How vigorous is the vetting process?

Maki
does the management team drop in from time to time?

jeannettegiesbrecht
Most members of the RTE management team play in RTE sims already, and
they would certainly be heavily involved in the new sim development discussions.

jeannettegiesbrecht
Lol. I think the vetting process was too vigorous - that's why we relaxed it
somewhat.

jeannettegiesbrecht
However, we wouldn't be launching a sim that we weren't satisfied with.
jeannettegiesbrecht
It wouldn't be fair to players, or to our community
jeannettegiesbrecht
(to continue Chas's discussion)

Kaarin
valid observation

Maki
So what are the vetting standards now then? What is RTE management looking
for?

jeannettegiesbrecht
Basically, we're looking for sound proposals that have the support and buy-in of
at least 6 players. The gameplay has to be logical and within a reasonable set of
boundaries.

jeannettegiesbrecht
For example, I'm proposing a B5 sim, but I'm going to limit the number of races,
so it doesn't get too crazy.

Kaarin
Is there a cap on the number of sims that RTE will allow within the club?

Maki
so what genres is RTE looking for? Sticking to ST/B5 or stuff like Sliders, X-Files,
etc?

jeannettegiesbrecht
The expectations of a sim are formalized and laid out in a document we have
onsite.

jeannettegiesbrecht
At the moment, there's no cap.

jeannettegiesbrecht
The coolest thing about RTE is that we're looking outside Sci-Fi and Fantasy.
You could do Sliders or X-Files, but you could also do Discworld, Underworld
movies, something based on Anne Rice or Lost.

Kaarin
it sounds like a very ambitious project.

jeannettegiesbrecht
There's really no limits.
Maki
it is extremely ambitious

Maki
and horribly creative

jeannettegiesbrecht
It is ambitious, but I think it offers something unique.

Maki
I hope the Simming League is taking note *looks toward Chas*

jeannettegiesbrecht
Bring on the creativity!!!! :P

jeannettegiesbrecht
Oops. Should've been :)

jeannettegiesbrecht
Or :D

jeannettegiesbrecht
You could even do a Desperate Housewives sim.

jeannettegiesbrecht
(As long as it met our standards and stayed PG 13, that is)

Maki
We all know you should go Grey's Anatomy, Ugly Betty, 30 Rock or The Office ;-)
:-P

Tavey
Eek.. the thought.. Though I bet there are folks out there who would.

Kaarin
Most simmers tend towards things outside reality. It is an escape, after all...

Chas
well, lucky anyone who would want to do a sim for those shows will end up doing
fan fiction instead

Chas
yea

Chas
sims are an escape... and they need to be a broad universe so you can fit
yourself into it

Chas
if you want to just write about specific characters within a specific universe, you
do fan fic

Kaarin
Much more fun to create someone new

Maki
if you created a knock off, though, and allowed people to create their own
characters in a similar setting...

jeannettegiesbrecht
True, and a lot of fan fic takes the environment and extends it.

jeannettegiesbrecht
Of course, that's what we do in our sims: we use Star Trek mythos as our
backdrop.

Kaarin
I guess it all boils down to individual tastes

jeannettegiesbrecht
This would be no different.

Maki
Just call me Fugly Betsy

jeannettegiesbrecht
There you go ;)

jeannettegiesbrecht
It can even be completely original. Wanna do a western?

Kaarin
Are you anticipating an upsurge in new members as a result of this
development?

Kaarin
Spur me on!

jeannettegiesbrecht
Probably not right away. It takes some time to think through new proposals.
Hopefully, in a week or so, we'll get a flood once people have mulled over the
idea and come up with the nub of a proposal.

Kaarin
I bet you'll be able to get a nice write up in the Simming League news

jeannettegiesbrecht
Yeah, I might know some people ...

Kaarin
;)

Chas
LOL

Chas
write away

Kaarin
:D

jeannettegiesbrecht
So, what does everyone think? Is this too crazy to work? Could it be the start of
something exciting? Any trepidations?

Kaarin
I think a whole new simming universe is being created

Tavey
I think it's a really interesting concept and I am going to come over and look..

jeannettegiesbrecht
Cool!

Maki
I think it's worth a try at the least, jeannette

Maki
it's too easy to be the same, to be complacent. it's much harder to be bold and
daring

Maki
trust me on that.

jeannettegiesbrecht
Shall I book a chat room for next year's SciWorld to report on our progress,
Chas?

Kaarin
but so much more rewarding

Chas
sure

Chas
it'll be great to get an update

Maki
next year is the big 1-0 (in years)

Chas
I think what you have is very cool, its a great evolution in how things are done

jeannettegiesbrecht
We hope so.

jeannettegiesbrecht
That's right. We'll all need T-shirts.

Chas
it gives you an edge in running non traditional sims, fosters the development of
new tallent, gets people involved

Maki
t-shirts for the big 10 or t-shirts for the sims?

Kaarin
I think it will also create a greater appreciation of sim leaders once everyone has

jeannettegiesbrecht
T-shirts for the big 10

jeannettegiesbrecht
Though I'd buy a Fugly Betsy t-shirt.

Maki
LOL

Maki
maybe we should talk Chas into both...
Maki
:-P

Chas
utoh

Maki
If Robin was still around...

Maki
they could be SL Park ts

Maki
heheh

jeannettegiesbrecht
Well thanks, Chas, for letting me do this. This was fun!

Chas
glad to have you
Maki
(and that reference was probably before most of you...)

jeannettegiesbrecht
And, hopefully, interesting.

Chas
its very interesting to hear what you're up to

Tavey
Thank you for explaining it.

jeannettegiesbrecht
It was interesting, wasn't it ......?

Maki
Good luck there jeannette

Tavey
And thought provoking.

jeannettegiesbrecht
Thanks.

Maki
Well - it's 11 eastern, so I need to get goin - I hope you all have a great SciWorld

				
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