26 February 2012

Vote For Adventure: Series 2 Retrospective

I have just finished the second series of Vote For Adventure, the RPG that I run via Tumblr and form polls I create with Google Docs. When I finished the first series I talked about what worked, what didn't and what happened. I'm doing it again with series 2.

On Setting

This time around I did things differently. I presented the voters with a big list of different genres and setting elements and told them to choose 3. I then took the top 3 responses and mashed them up into the setting for series 2. The top three results were Weird, Survival and Post-Apocalyptic. To me, this meant a weird apocalypse and for that I had to turn to Lovecraft. I came up with a setting based roughly on The King in Yellow, but modernized. This turned out to be pretty successful. People liked the setting.

Despite the setting being popular, it was an absolute chore to write for. The big issue here was the survival aspect. In a world where there isn't really anywhere to go, no hope or way to save it, there just isn't much of an ongoing plot. I really struggled to keep the plot forward moving. I won't be doing a survival game in with Vote For Adventure again.

On Character Creation

I also did Character Creation differently this time. I presented the voters with a big list of skills and told them to select 4. At the end I was left with a % for each skill based on the number of people that selected them. I used this as the baseline success rate for those skills whenever the protagonist tried to use one. This worked out pretty well, but the reality of how the character was played (aggressively) did not match with the character that was created (an engineer with little physical prowess). This is what ultimately lead to the character's demise.

On Update Schedule

I slowed the update pace down to 3 days a week (Mon/Tues/Fri) and this seems to be the sweet spot. It doesn't absorb my life nearly as much and I get less complaints about people missing updates.


I enjoyed VFA 2, but I moving the narrative really was a chore this time around. I started rooting for the character's death after a while because I just wanted to move on to something new. It didn't take long for him to pick a fight with a shotgun-wielding maniac, however, and I got my wish.

If you would like to read through Series 2 then you can start at the first entry here.


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